Sunday, September 23, 2012

When you're employed and you know it... won't have the energy to clap your hands.

Chennai - Familiar and yet foreign to me. I’m employed now. I will graduate soon (in spite of the one careless backlog) and my status as a working adult, as a professional in the media industry, will be more concrete than ever.

I cannot say that college feels just yesterday. I felt the full three years that it took. I grumbled and laughed and dreamt and slept through the days that were long and loved; that today are sorely missed.

But I can say it was just yesterday that I joined work, that I signed a contract as an Assistant Director. My first salary, my first workplace criticism, workplace achievement, have all come and gone so fast that I hardly believe them to have happened. These people, with their different traditions, customs, different socio-cultural upbringing, have slowly become family. Being the only woman in the office makes it difficult and easy at the same time. But the novelty wears off, especially for the team, thank god. They start treating you as the AD that grins, trips over non-existent things and does so-and-so work. Fine by me!

The lack of friends and family to spoil you hits you hard in a new city, especially on your birthday. I constantly crave the company of my friends. I miss my college, Pune, my dear professors and more than anything or anyone else, my mom. At home, my morning routine would be to wake up, brush teeth, find mom and slump against her.  And yes, I would drink hot tea. I eat all my meals at work now – the advantage of an 8am to 12am job means you don’t spend on food (hello production money).

Yes, you are tired all the time. As a student, we used to exchange tales of staying up till 3am and 4am watching movies.

“I just can’t fall asleep”

 “I’m an insomniac”


I could lie down in the middle of the college amphitheatre with a session in progress and still fall asleep within seconds.

Some mornings, I want to pack everything I have, sterilize the place and fly back home as if the very devil 
and his ten plagues were after me. But the feeling passes even as I hunt for my specs.

It feels great to be employed. It feels shitty to be away and alone but that’s how it is. And what they say is true. You learn and assimilate a lot just by being at work for an hour. Every last nook, cranny and unimaginable segment of pre-production finally makes sense to you – most times you are running after that last unimaginable segment, waving a paper in his face and asking him to sign it.

If there are any juniors reading this (or anyone to whom it applies) – if you don’t already have a PAN card, get one right away. And renew those passports. NOW. It will save you so much of time and unnecessary, over-complicated, process. I recently discovered (because I walk life with blinders on) that there is not one valid ID proof that certifies the existence of ‘Kavya Ashok Kumar’ on Planet Earth. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me in the least. But it becomes a hassle when you’re trying to get a post-paid cell connection. And well, you just need those documents when you’re working (NEWS FLASH). You (read Kavya) deserve to be kicked in the behind if you postpone, neglect and/or plain ignore to get these done before getting employed.

Well, this is becoming a rambling post. To my fellow SIMC-ians, you are all sorely missed. All the best working/studying/just being. Those last two are especially brilliant and priceless and it’s something we realize only when we move from one to another, I guess.

(This is becoming preachy too…Lord, I need to call one of you up and have a human-to-human conversation)

And don’t stop for whatever reason. It’s one type of bad to be a student, to be not working. It’s another type to realize that you are employed, that very little can save your professional ass when push comes to shove, and that, well, there’s a deadline in 5 minutes that probably ended happily in an alternate universe.  On the whole, the bigger whole that we always look for, it’s all good. It’s all work and if this is your field, then it’s all fun.

Kavya Ashok Kumar

Dedicated to Neeti!
P.S. - NEETI, you're right. We should revive this slightly dead blog.