Notice-period musings

Of all the poetry that my English textbooks contained, the one that appealed most to my lazy soul was this poem called ‘Leisure’ by W.H Davies, the first few lines of which go like this –

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.”

If the ghost of W.H Davies is listening, I hope I gladden his ethereal heart with this pronouncement. I DO HAVE THE TIME! 🙂

Until very recently, I didn’t, and shortly in the future, I’m going to rejoin the ranks of the productive. But right now, I can out-do the most slothful cow or sheep in the staring department. Because I’m in the middle of that most delightful of times, called the notice-period.

I’ve had many laudatory thoughts about this phase, but to sum it all up..PAID VACATION! I don’t suppose everybody has it this easy – but because of a fortuitous combination of circumstances ( involving a delayed project, and a general slacking of requests coming to my team), I’ve basically been left to my own devices. I’ve fallen through a crack and am now mostly inconsequential here, the merest of mere spokes in the wheel that is my organization.

And the goodness doesn’t end with my suddenly-relaxed schedule. In my eight years here, I’ve had some fabulous acquaintances who’ve drifted away, or whom I have drifted away from. But now it feels like they’re all crawling out of the woodwork to bid me farewell. The cafeteria is suddenly teeming with folks I used to know and like. It’s like my company is going out of it’s way to give me closure – former cab-mates, former managers, a long line of former crushes.. I’m spotting them and talking to them all over the place.

One more thing I observe is the sudden excess of affection in my heart for this place that’s been my home away from home for so many years. The past few days, I’ve been looking tenderly at every last conference room and coffee-machine, and ordering things on the menu I never wanted to eat before, just because I want to sample everything before I leave. I like all my managers more, and am turning into a right old Cisco Loyalist. When I walk through the lovely grounds inside the campus, I feel like a fresh-from-the-oven college graduate all over again, overwhelmed and in complete awe. I’m now positively corny in my love for the place 🙂

The past month has made me a believer in the wholesomeness of this short rest-stop in a career. if life feels, well, lifeless, get yourself a notice-period situation.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to rest your wearied limbs and have a ball of a time. But even if you’re a worker-bee until your last day,  there’s a sense almost of euphoria that accompanies this period of letting go and starting something new – a feeling, which if examined, would probably be equal parts liberation, optimism, and hope. It’s almost as exhilarating as falling in love, and not half as much trouble.


The only movie review you’ll find on this blog

I don’t write movie reviews, even when I have nothing else to write. Earlier, this was because of a tendency to like most movies in a lukewarm fashion, and not be critical enough, which hardly makes for interesting reviews. Of late, as a result of reading too much of the The Vigil Idiot, I’ve begun to sneer spontaneously as I enter a movie theater, which also is not the right attitude.

But this review I feel compelled to write, because cribbing about it hasn’t been enough. At home with the flu last week, I binge-watched Visu’s ‘socially progressive’ movies of the 1980s. I remember loving these movies when I was growing up, for the snappy, well-placed dialogues. The re-watching left me appalled at the treatment of women in these movies! Our society and our movies have really come a loong loong way since the 1980s! Amongst my peeves..

1. The assumption that marriage is the only honorable career-path for a woman. In one of these movies, there’s this chap with a list of conditions that he wants any prospective bride to fulfill. Enter a marriage-broker, on a mission to marry off as many girls as possible, as a penance for having rejected a girl in his youth. Inspired by him, all and sundry conspire in marrying the hapless groom to a girl who does not meet even one of his conditions ( the girl is chosen by the marriage-broker by picking up a horoscope at random). And the marriage-broker/old-wise-man-of-the-movie maintains until the end that he was right in doing so because the girl was languishing in her unmarried state, and needed a husband at the earliest.

2. The daughters-in-law in these movies are of two different cookie-cutter moulds – One is all pureness and giant golden halo, with a never-dying tolerance for getting slapped. The other is the ‘bad woman’ – wears ‘modern’ clothes, is free-spirited , and gasp! expects a man who treats her reasonably and with respect.

3. One of his movies talks about the impact of working women on the family environment and finances. It takes you through the pros and cons by contrasting two families ( one where the wife is at home, and one with a working wife) and their highs and tribulations. The movie ends with this disturbing moral – ” It is ok to ALLOW your wife to work if you really need the money for sustenance, but it is not ok to SEND your wife to work just because you want a more luxurious life” ( that sounded less clunky in Tamil) Gah!!

4. A father beats his daughter to the ground, on the merest suspicion that she has been ‘associating’ with boys. In fact, there’s not one movie amongst these where the daughter/wife doesn’t get manhandled at one point or the other. What gives, I say!!

(Childhood-me, I’m tempted to despise your taste. Your memories even led me to recommend these movies to other people, including an already-cynical-about-tam-movies husband. But I guess you just didn’t know any better.)

Never again a Visu movie!