Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Goa to Growth

This article won the Writing Contest organized by NTT DATA.

I am uncertian who in the world likes me,  but I do know one thing for sure – the fate has a serious crush on me, constantly throwing in unexpected twists, connections, experiences, and opportunities in my life. (It's like the universe's way of saying, "evolo adichalum thanguran, iva romba Nalava da...")

One such connection between Goa and my journey with NTT DATA have made an impact and transformed my life.

It all began during a much-anticipated family trip to Goa, a needed escape after the dark cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I soaked up in the warm embrace of the sun and relished the joy of being with my loved ones, a call from HR brought the news of my eagerly awaited offer letter. Fate had a funny way of aligning the stars, as my joining date happened to fall on the infamous 13th of June. Superstitions surrounding the number thirteen danced in my mind, but I couldn't resist the synchronicity of the situation. Despite my playful plea to change the joining date, it remained unchanged. And so, my journey with NTT DATA began on 13th June.

I embarked with a new project, presenting a myriad of challenges, and learning opportunities. Bullets of adversity seemed to rain down from every direction, testing the limits of my resilience and determination. Yet, I pressed on, surviving, and surpassing each trial. Through this journey, I realized that every struggle was moulding me into a stronger, more capable version of myself.

Day after day, I embraced the exhilarating dance of growth and evolution. I discovered that there is no such thing as an ordinary day. Every single day is a chance to learn, adapt, and thrive. This realization transformed my perspective, infusing a renewed sense of purpose into my work and personal life.

And did I mention about the connection between Goa and NTT DATA? Well, it lies in the journey itself—just as Goa surprises with an exquisite beaches and vibrant nightlife, my journey with NTT DATA has been filled with unforeseen twists and late-night coding sessions fuelled by countless cups of chai, innovative ideas that blossom amidst collaboration with talented colleagues, and the triumph of overcoming challenging goals—all these moments have contributed to the journey of my enthralling experience.

And yes, just like a sun kissed Goan sunset, we always emerge stronger, innovative, and ready to conquer the countless adventures that still lie ahead.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

When Husband Surprises

Valentine's Day – a day that used to mean everything before marriage, and now, well, it's somewhere between "can't live without you" and "just need some space." You know, life's a strange journey.

So, the day started with me checking social media, and all I see is people declaring their partners as the best in the world (some even declared their partners as the eighth wonder of the world). Couples going out for a Valentine's Day dinner – all cute. But here in our world, where work takes the front seat, celebrating Valentine's Day felt a bit too much.

No expectations, though. I knew my husband wasn't the roses, hugs, and chocolates type. We both had to shuffle off to the office, so we exchanged goodbyes. I casually suggested going out for dinner in the evening. His response?  "Client visit, too busy this week." Okay, fair enough.

The day rolled on, no surprises. No romantic gestures. We both were super busy until 10.00 pm. When the day was about to end, he suggested a walk at 11 am. Sounds sweet, right? But the catch – he kept glancing at his phone, answering calls, and doing all that work stuff. I got annoyed and threatened to leave if he couldn't spare five minutes of real quality time.

And then, the unexpected happened. He took me to the parcel room at the apartment, a place filled with packages. I'm thinking, "What's going on here?" He pulls out a gift from the mess of boxes and hands it to me. Romantic, right there in the middle of everyday chaos.

It hit me – love isn't about grand gestures or expensive presents. It's about those little moments. In the parcel room, amid the boxes, he managed to surprise me. No fancy dinners, just a simple walk and an unexpected gift.

But wait, a doubt crept in – did he really go to a client dinner, or was it a cover-up for a secret date? 

As the night approached, my mind started playing detective tunes as I wondered, "Client dinner or romantic date?"

"You caught me red-handed!" he exclaimed with a mischievous grin, and without waiting formy response, he made a hasty escape. And the race was on, fueled by a playful chase. 

In relationships, it's not about grand gestures or elaborate plans. It's about keeping the spark alive with  humor, surprise, and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. Sometimes five minutes of quality time is all the secret keys to a happy journey together! 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Midnight Secrets with Ghost

It was midnight, and sleep eluded me, so I opted for a quiet walk in my apartment. The night air seemed more inviting than tossing in bed.

In the chilly night, my jacket was nowhere to be found, but who cares at midnight, right? Without second thoughts, I grabbed the white bedsheet from the bed and wrapped myself in it. Surprisingly, the cozy bedsheet turned out to be a savior against the night's cold. 

A few steps in, I had a close encounter with a spooky white figure, only to realize it was just me, scaring myself with my own reflection. Draping myself in that white sheet gave me a fright and I ended up scaring myself!

As I strolled along, a warm voice echoed in the quiet night, "Hey, hi! Do you reside in this apartment?" I wondered what brought him out at this hour. His voice, warm and friendly, resonated in the silent surroundings. Listening to him, I couldn't help but admire the charm in his eyes and the inviting smile. Sporting a 3-day stubble beard, he looked remarkably handsome. Oh, and by the way, he was wearing a black shirt. It added a cool touch to his whole vibe under the moonlight. 

"Can I join you for a walk?" he asked, and I thought, why not? It might be a more interesting night than usual.

Hesitant but curious, I asked, "I've been living here for a year, but I haven't seen you around. By the way, which floor are you on, and what's your flat number?""

The mysterious stranger grinned and replied in a hushed tone, "Ah, that's the perks of being a ghost - we're invisible. I reside on the ghostly 13th seventh floor, and my flat number is 1313. Lucky number, isn't it?"

Laughing at his ghostly details, I teased, "Well, that explains why I haven't seen you before – invisible and all. Must say, it's my first time encountering a handsome ghost. Lucky me, right?"

His laughter echoed like a ghost, sending shivers down my spine.

As we strolled, he started sharing spooky ghost stories, making the dark night scary. Amidst the ghostly tales, a sudden chill ran down my spine. The stranger grinned mysteriously, "Speaking of ghosts, there's one right behind you!" I turned around in a panic, only to find him laughing heartily.

"Oh man, feeling a bit uneasy here," I confessed, "mind if we switch to a less spooky topic?"

"Want to hear a joke?" he said, his tone sending shivers down my spine.

"Sure, why not? Mr. Ghost!" I responded, adding a playful touch to the scary atmosphere.

"Ever wondered why ghosts never interfere in couples arguments?", he mused. 

"Because ghosts have realized that couples arguments are deadly and scarier than facing a ghost. It's even worse than a haunting experience!" I responded, marveling at my own amusing articulation.

"Phew, nope!" he replied coolly.

"Well, because when they argue, they both end up looking like ghosts"  I attempted a philosophical response.

"Phew, nope!"

I shrugged, eagerly awaiting the punchline.

"Because they know it's a dead-end conversation!" His laughter erupted, bouncing off the walls like a mischievous ghost causing choas in a haunted house.

I signaled "shhh" to suppress his laughter. "Keep it down; people are in deep sleep," I whispered.

"If someone shows up, watch how I vanish like this,"  he whispered, playfully disappearing into the bushes and leaving a haunted silence that sent shivers down my spine.

"Mr. Ghost, Mr. Ghost sir!" I called out, but there was no response. 

Just as I started to feel spooked, the mysterious stranger reappeared from behind a tree, attempting not to burst into laughter. "Sorry about that," he said, struggling to compose himself. "Couldn't resist a little ghostly prank. Hope I didn't scare you too much!"

Relieved, I couldn't help but laugh along as the stranger remarked, "Chalo, it's time for me to vanish. Hope our paths cross again, goodnight," walking briskly and disappearing into the lobby.

As I continued walking, the security guard approached me and greeted, "Hello, ma'am. I noticed you talking to yourself. Everything okay? Anyone you're looking for?"

"Heyyy wait, have you not seen a man in a black shirt?" I asked the security guard.

"No, ma'am. Haven't seen anyone like that. Are you sure?" he replied.

"He just crossed you and went up to the 13th floor," I asked, my words jumbling and trembling.

"13th floor?" he questioned, puzzled. "lekin maaam, is taavar mein hamaare paas 12 floors hain"

Under regular circumstance, I never quite grasped Hindi and often had to insist him to repeat in a blend of languages (English, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi), hoping to catch at least one word from each. However, in the current moment, the intensity of the situation I am in, made me realise what he actually meant. "But we only have 12 floors in this tower"

 "Oh, no, wait. Yes, you're right." 

My legs started to shiver, a chill running down my spine. Understanding the gravity of the situation, I rushed to the CCTV room, anxious to witness the footage of my midnight encounter with that mysterious stranger. 

"Play the last few hours, quick!". The person in the CCTV room played the footage from the last few hours without an enquiry sensing the urgency in my voice. The sound of my breaths intensified as I watched the footage, only to discover that the man in black shirt was never captured in the CCTV footage.

"Oh, no. There was no one next to me," confusion etched on myface. I was left standing there, talking to myself, my words hanging in the air.

👻💀👁️‍🗨️The mystery of whom I was talking to lingers, casting a shadow on the haunted midnight👻💀👁️‍🗨️