Beginning of new week at set system’s office brought a few new faces to Shuchi’s life yes some of them to ease out few of the graving issues. Shuchi needed a system of her own that too a working one… 😦 She was anxiously looking out for the hardware engineer that day, who could get her a properly configured system and to her delight hardware engineer was back from his vacation.
Shlok Marathe was tall, dark complexioned, slightly fat man with funky spectacles on his eyes. He was full of life and fun loving creature in the office having too many female fan following, thanks to his adoring attitude. Shuchi came into the office at around 10:00 am. Archi informed her that Shlok was in & she could approach him for the systems. Shuchi went to Shlok, he was busy cracking stupid jokes with his friends who formed the “male minority camp” in the office. Shuchi asked him about the systems, he jumped with joy to get started with the work, His excitement seemed as if she had offered him with bunch of dairy milk 😉
Shlok within no time i.e. hardly 10-15 minutes arranged for 2 properly working systems, one for Shuchi & other one for Shefali. He configured IP messenger, microsoft outlook and some other required software stuff on Shuchi’s system. After he finished, Shuchi was delighted to have a fluently working system 🙂 she excitedly took the charge of the system, she changed themes, checked emails, and most actively changed the desktop wallpaper to her favorite bollywood actor’s picture and it was none other than the King Khan of Bollywood Shahrukh Khan.( Shuchi was die hard fan of SRK. Archi was aware of this fact and often teased her on that. 🙂 )
By the end of the day Shefali confirmed with Soumya that she was to join some other company and could not continue with service at Set Systems, Soumya was frowned as Sultan & Shefali both turned out to be running from job offered to them that too within less than 10 days. But she had no choice and had to accept their escape.
Now Shuchi & Archi were the only two persons who worked their, only due to lack of available job opportunities to them in current scenario. As per contract with the client (Australian Institute of Graduate school), Set System needed to hire 3 employees for the “e-learnware website project “. So they offered the job opportunity to their last interviewed candidate. This marked the entry of Samrita Tejpal (who was earlier interviewed at the same time as Shuchi ) as Shuchi’s new colleague at Set System Infomatics.
Relationship between Shuchi and Samrita was pretty good, there was no room for indifference, hatred or superiority- complex between any of the two. They were actually pals of each other. 🙂 Shuchi has spent nearly 2 weeks working at Set system when, Samrita dropped in. Samrita was also nervous & confused on the first day of work, Shuchi tried to put her to comfort as far as possible. She introduced here to all the folks at office, took lunch together and they also had some gossip chat over the IP messenger as there wasn’t much of work they both could do. 🙂
Archi always acted as if she was the only employee who was working for the company. “Busy with no work” that’s what Shuchi felt about her, but never said so, thanks to her timid nature as always. 😦 Day passed with some fun, some chatting time pass & all 3 of them went back home.
It was the last working day of month and indeed an day of much excitement and plans as all the employees expected their salary for the month. Shuchi had no idea if she would get salary or not, because it was 10 days that she worked in September, she thought that she might get the total of 2 months together at the end of next month. But thankfully it wasn’t that way 🙂 .
As the accounts staff began with the distribution Shuchi’s name was called out she happily hurried and reached desk with heartful of excitement. Afterall it was her first & foremost income. Yes at the age of 21 she received her first pay check, though not very big amount but indeed a special one, it was cheque of 2390 INR, but worth crores of feelings for Shuchi 🙂 .
Shuchi often saw in movies & television serials that whenever any of the character received their first payment it was indeed celebrated one, they bought gifts for their family, she too wanted to buy something for each one of them. One might think this as a filmy thought, but I know Shuchi Bunker always listened to her heart compared to brain, loved people & enjoyed smiling with each of them who were part of her life 🙂 .First payment of lifetime was offcourse an occasion of celebration in her life.
Shuchi went home with several thoughts of buying so many gifts for all the family member’s she listed to herself & then thought for a while is it really possible to buy all these things with such small amount of money ??? 😦 but still there was no looking back in the excitement of earning. 🙂 )
The actual celebration began next day which was Saturday. Weekend often came with holidays. Shuchi celebrated her first salary with family, they went to seek blessings of Siddhivinyak (famous ganpati temple at Prabhadevi, Dadar – Mumbai). Ganpati bappa’s eyes showered blessings to all of his devotees equally there wasn’t any feeling of victory or defeat, love or hate, rich or poor, healthy or sick. One could only sense the deep & calm feeling of devotion, which was is in the air. Shuchi silently prayed & thanked God for giving her an opportunity to earn livelihood, she was happy that he considered her request of getting a job and helped her in taking a step towards a better future.
After visiting Ganpati Bappa how can one forget to ask for more, yes there is “funny ritual” in which each person says his/her wishes in the ear’s of large mouse idol made up silver kept at the temple. It is believed that, mouse which is Ganpati Bappa vehicle, conveys the wishes & messages of devotees directly to God, so as to requesting him to fulfill them at the earliest. Shuchi thanked Bappa for successful completion of engineering dream & prayed for better & bright career.
Devotion was proceeded with celebration Shuchi & her family began with shopping, she purchased a pink colored salwar kameez for her sister, a saree for her aunt. She also bought a pair of black shoes for herself which she had in mind for quite a long time, she also bought a nice sky blue colored salwar kameez for her ownself. Small things but they gave feeling of happiness and sense of independence & completeness to Shuchi Bunker, yes it was like a dream come true because it was now her own hard-earned money that she was spending… believe me first salary of your is indeed a special one even if it’s a small amount of just 2300 INR…happily accepted 🙂
New week begins… Shuchi some how started to feel better being at Set System’s thanks to Samrita’s presence, they got along pretty well with each other, as both had a simple habit of being kind to all.:) Shuchi shared her shopping experiences with Samrita & Archi both. To which Archi laughed and flatly said how did you got things for entire family in such small salary amount… by this time, Shuchi had already learnt one thing and that was to simply ignore whatever Archi Ved muttered out jealousy or anything else. 😉
After a long day at work Shuchi often relaxed herself at home by watching television soaps, which however boring might be for many of the people she knew but were often of great interest for her. 🙂
That day, she was busy looking out for some documents & xerox’s papers which she was suppose to submit to HR at Set System for completing recruitment formalities, after finishing with her dinner session. Around 9:45 at night her door bell rang, she was surprised at first, as to who had come this late? she opened the door with hesitance & found Sharada ( girl who stayed in the neighboring house ) at the door. She had come to Shuchi’s place, to return the wooden stool, which her mother had borrowed for house cleaning purpose.
Sharda too had finished her graduation in Commerce in around same time as Shuchi, she had good payment job in UDT Limited, India’s numro-uno (number one) company in IT industry (name changed for the sake of privacy) at Vikhroli. Shuchi exchanged pleasantries with Sharda & took the stool from her. Shuchi aunt who was standing behind her began with the conversation with Sharda as to how she got a job in such big company. Soon conversation took a new turn, as to how Shuchi can get into that company with Sharda’s help. 😦
Comparison wasn’t new to Shuchi. For her entire school & college life she was under the constant glare of comparison with her elder sister, who was always having excellent grades compared to Shuchi who constantly gave average performance. Whether it’s parents, friends or school teacher’s whoever might be they often said, Shuchi was an under performer as compared to her much intelligent sibling. It hurt her everytime, but she said to herself, everyone can’t be wrong or bad it’s actually true, that you lag behind in this race of clever people.
Shuchi who was lost in her own thought’s recollected back with the loud voice of door shut, Sharda went & all what Shuchi could recollect apart from her own thought’s was how to get a gate pass to go for the interview to UDT Limited’s office at Vikhroli. She said forget it. 😦
Tiring day, horrible travelling condition’s made it pretty much easier for Shuchi to go to sleep as soon as she was on her bed. She said to herself, good night baby have a good sleep to have a great day ahead tomorrow 🙂
It was a time (mid-September 2011) when the 20-20 matches were a new genre in the world of cricket. ( The real reason for arrival of this one more cricket world cup might be a backup plan for monetary losses suffered by advertisers during 2007’s summer cricket world cup of ODI of 50 overs, as both India & Pakistan could not reach the finals. ) So, these days there were 20-20 matches which began at around 7:00 in evening time ended up by 10:00 at night. There was tremendous excitement & enthusiasm amongst people for these matches as people could tune in for these matches after their work hours & the results were open in just 3.5 hours unlike the test matches which much of the times turn out to be draw after 5 days of play.:(
It was actually a D-day, it was 18 September 2007, final match of 20-20 world cup between India & Pakistan the cricket match between these 2 countries is always a matter of prestige, desh-bhakti & it is a question of aan-ban aur shaan for India to win a match against Pakistan which is true each every time. 🙂 Shuchi left the office in hurry as she was already late for the function at Ganpati Festival Pandal (tent created for placing & worshiping Ganesha idol). That day there was a ceremony to felicitate the meritorious students from school & colleges who passed with flying colors in the year 2007. Shuchi too had submitted her marksheets & expected to be one amongst the winners.
The 20-20 match was taking a turn of excitement, audience cheered, yelled & clapped every time Indian players hit a boundary or a sixer. People cheered for M.S Dhoni’s men in blue. 🙂 There was a sense of excitement in Shuchi’s mind too as she expected her first ever prize & felicitation for academic excellence in her entire lifetime. 🙂
Match ended on winning note, India finally won the 20-20 world cup 2007 against arch-rival Pakistan by 5 runs at that very moment of celebration, Shuchi’s gasping over her breath after a long run reached the pandal of Ganpati festival. She was happy to see everyone dancing for team India’s victory at the same time the real reason for her happiness was that she had not missed the award function.
Yes the function was postponed as the audience were glued to the live telecast of world cup finals. After the long run celebration audience finally settled down for the award ceremony. It began with giving prize’s to school children who excelled in last academic year. Small kids were given huge gift boxes, bouquets & silk shawls with coconuts. It was fun to see them felicitated. A famous heart specilist from the locality was invited as chief guest of the ceremony. Shuchi patiently waited for announcement of her name.
Finally the moment came when announcer said, We now present an award to student who gave outstanding academic excellence in Information Technology Engineering at her Graduation, please have loud applause for Miss Shuchi Bunker, that was it, Shuchi felt as if she was on cloud nine. She had been waiting for this very moment for so long, but never got one till now. It was moment of joy, relief of self sufficiency, acceptance of appreciation for her determined efforts of last 4 years of engineering. Believe me it really felt great 🙂 The feeling of winning a small prize was much more greater than India winning a world cup because it was achieved after wait of 21 long years of constant comparison, discouragement, incompetency, arguments & assumptions about her intellect…
At night Shuchi layed down on her bed with smile of satisfaction on her face thanks to her newly achieved prize. But as it is said happiness is often followed by sadness, there was long hurdle race already destined for her in near future…
There’s lot more too come …stay tuned. 😉