Friday, September 17, 2010

HALDIA! (Should I call it ‘HELL-DIA’ or ‘HAIL-DIA’ ???)

This is a post by Maithreyi. The views expressed are solely of the writer.
This is my first post from Haldia, a small village in the state of West Bengal located about 120kms off Calcutta. You might be wondering about the purpose of my so-called short stint at this place. I am supposedly attending my training at Tata Consultancy Services, a giant in the corporate world (Giant in the literal sense of the word!).You randomly pick a hundred Tom, Dick and Harries from the ever-growing Indian population, atleast 20% of them are bound to be a part of TCS. Am sure all of you are saying, “Dude, cut a slack to the facts and get to the topic”, so “1..2..3..Go”!

I am sure a lot of people attending training would have posted about the nature of training, some maybe even about training especially at Haldia. The very reason I started to blog from our training premises is because I wanted to get over my frustration. So I’ll stick to the positives. Food, Learning and Entertainment is definitely not going to be a part of it. Sorry guys, the less said the better.

Being at Haldia,I’ve learnt to manage things myself,manage finances et all.But, I would have done that anywhere.Whats specially positive about Haldia ? Right,It is a village, but its not all that pollution-free or clean-green.Thanks to the industries.They spew fire 24×7 and contribute to more holes in the already hollow ozonosphere.Nothing positive yet ? Wait for it!

The people are the asset of this village (teenage guys excluded).Innocence personified.Their life is simple and they have no reason to complain.Born and brought up in a city for 22 years, our life looks so complicated when compared to theirs.

* Their only reliable source of transport is the BAN (fish-cart). Its economical,simple,pollution-free and provides quite a work-out.To add,there are no buses beyond 8pm from the township.
* Each house has a pond in its vicinity.Imagine an environment where you can swim in the pond with ducks wading along, rear cows and goats ( the goats are so healthy and plump).
* All the ladies reciprocate a warm smile (I do not know them at all!) and strike a casual talk with us in bengali,quite unlike the Chennai City ladies (No offence,I love Chennai).Just that the people here are naive to think in a crooked manner.Despite telling them “Ami Bangla Jaani Na” (I don’t know bengali!), they still continue their conversations with full vigor.They always wear a wide smile on their cherubic-rotund face.The big red Sindoor adds to the charm :) .But despite the differences between the city and this village, the moment we say,”Didi,aap bahuth sundar hai”, a shy smile crosses the face of the lady.This is universal truth I suppose.
* Despite their poor financial status, they lead a decent,happy & simple life.I haven’t seen a single beggar since the day I came here.They have a potti kadai ( a small shop) with biscuits,sweets,cigarettes,paan (usual stuff) and manage to make a living.

I haven’t seen any teenage girls on the road especially in the evenings.Probably they are not allowed to go outside.Put me in a situation like this,I’ll probably become a terrorist or come down with a heavy nervous breakdown.We city people, have so many expectations.Despite being given everything,having access to anything within minutes, we still complain and grumble about petty things.There is so much to learn from the people here.I still look at my short stint in Haldia as a village exposure trip and not as “training in TCS”.

I am sure all of you are wondering why I call it “Hell-Dia”.Frankly, I have nothing against the place. On the contrary,I quite like this quiet place.Its not bad at all.But, when the basic amenities are a problem, you fail to see things with rose-tinted glasses.After all, come on, I’m human.We have adjusted ourselves to this environment and graciously accepted this mundane lifestyle (**sob**) and the pathetic food.Its not fair enough to blame the place but it would be unfair if I don’t blame TCS,UFS,HIT and the other umpteen people trying to provide services to us and making money in the process.TCS and HIT have struck a high-profit business deal at our cost.It is this fact I’m unable to digest.The fact that TCS is showing step-motherly treatment to the 600 of us at Haldia for no fault of ours is something I can’t swallow.

We were told that our training is a 35 working-day period, but all of a sudden they say, we’ll have to do our stream training here, which means we are stuck here until May.No confirmed news yet.All credit to TCS for their effective and efficient management practices ( I wonder how people give them awards for good management etc.. bang forehead!).Adjustments work only for a short period.The more they prolong, the more we are gonna suffer, the poorer will be our performance. Get it straight TCS!

The only certain thing about TCS is uncertainity.I suggest they change their tagline to “Experience Uncertainty”.It is high time TCS realises and learns good management principles.If not, please tone down your recruitment trends.You are incapable of managing such a huge crowd.

We are just hoping some miracle happens and our release date gets preponed.Meanwhile,we have decided to enjoy the stay at Haldia and try putting up with the conditions here.After all,the Corporate world demands us to be flexible and adaptable.So now its not “Hell-Dia” any longer.Its “HAIL-DIA”, rather “HALE-DIA”!!

4 comments:

  1. The only reason I am posting this comment is because I am see a role reversal of sorts over here. I have been brought up in Kolkata, Had my ILP in Trivandrum and am staying in Chennai since my training for the last four years. Needless to say I am working with TCS for the last 5 years. When you write that hearing "Ami Bangla jani na" from you people start talking to you more vigorously, I am reminded of my "Tamil teriyadhu" and how the auto rickshaw drivers used to snort at me on listening to it and their already evident dislike for me used to increase manifolds almost immediately. It took me some time to figure out that if I tell a Tamilian that I dont know Tamil and that too in Tamil, but quite obviously he/she is going to think I am trying to pull a fast one on him/her. So the fault actually lay with me. Regarding the TCS training facilities in Haldia I am not qualified to comment because am not knowledgeable on this specific point. However as far as Haldia is concerned I definitely can say a word or two because way back in 2002-2003 I had was involved in a project whose site was Haldia (it was on project engineering and nothing to do with software). So for 4/5 months I had to travel every week to Haldia and be there for 3/4 days. Even from the brief experience (48-80 days) and what I remember of the place, I would have even then termed it as a small town. But listening to you talking of it as a village makes me think that Bengal is literally moving backwards, which if proved true would make me one of the saddest persons. Regarding TCS, its ILP and subsequent mainstream work, a small word of caution though for you over here. In case you have already started disliking the way TCS functions, even during your training period I would only advise you to fasten up your belt because from my experience and from what I have heard from various other people also, this is your honeymoon period in the organization. Not that my ILP was without its share of glitch, hitch and grumbling from me and my fellow colleagues, but once I came into the mainstream of the org. and look back at those days I do so with a lot of fondness. One thing I found quite strange in your post was there was no mention of the camaraderie, which builds up during the ILP with your colleagues. Though I wont term it as life long but they are really strong ones. Infact that was one of our source of sustenance during the period. Well my comment is actually becoming bigger than your post but had to put it in so many words just to drive home the point that things are definitely going to be tougher in the coming days, so you might as well tune your expectations accordingly to overcome the dejections you encounter because of expectation mismatch. Wishing you all the best and am sure you will do a great job for the organization.

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  2. Nice post Nilanjan. Your views complemented Maithreyi's experience. Really valuable feedback you gave.

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  3. blah blah blah....frankly speaking(in this case writing) I quite wonder why you so called guys from cities make hue and cry when talking about towns.Having been to Haldia some days before I quite dont understand what makes you call it a village? may be it is quite small compared to calcutta ,chennai...... but believe me it is one of the fastest growing cities in west bengal.And I believe you can easily adjust to that...If not then....
    well enough I guess this would be enough to convey my view.
    Best of luck for your ILP

    pratik

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  4. Is tcs providing Accomodation at haldia? ..tell me mre abt accomodation facilities available ..i 2 have joining in haldia in dec

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