Nagging Nostalgia

It's probably my umpteenth attempt at writing something since a very long time. I had heard a friend say once that skills of an editor and those of an author are supposedly inversely proportional; or rather "an editor is a failed author". (Later he had added as an afterthought, "But well, we all know that it's not true!") Amidst a crowd of thoughts that I keep collecting and filtering every day, this was something that stayed on with me. Every time I would be confronted by a blank screen, or a blank sheet of paper, being true to the editor that I am, I would almost begin to panic. What am I going to write? What is it that I really want to write? And primarily, why would I write? The moment I would reach the "why" of anything, all reasons would just drown under the weight of the "why". I remember I used to play this game with a friend of mine, back in school. Every time we would sense the pre-exam panic attack, we would keep repeating the "why"s till the answers trickled down to nonsensical nothingness, diluting all sense of nervousness. But on the flip side, as we grew up, this made us realize how utterly meaningless everything is at the end of the day.and we swore by the Keynesian philosophy: "In the long run, we are all dead". And therefore, I justify my extreme unease about putting anything down in words.

However, we got to see the short run as well. In the constant tussle between the thoughts collected and the "why"s, sometimes the latter gives in. Now feels like such a moment. It's 1 October 2009! I begin one more phase of my working life: when I officially begin working from home. As I look back, I see that all my beginnings have been on the first day of a particular month (I began working as an intern on 1 July 2007, I began working as a full-time employee on 1 January 2008). That makes someone like me very happy, in a juvenile sort of way. I like having even numbers when it comes to numbered lists (so I accordingly manipulate points in a list, if I make one), I like round figures while paying bills, or fares (and that often means paying more than the actual fare, since anyone else would not accept less than the actual amount just to respect my eccentricity)! If I have to follow clock time, and begin work, I don't like to begin at 9.42s or 9.58s. It should either be 9.30s or 9.40s or 9.45s or 10.00s, and so on. So I have these minutes of wait.

Anyway, to come back to what I intended to write at the very beginning: I hardly ever realized I enjoyed working for Pearson Education so much till I actually left it all behind. Back at home, here in Kolkata. Every thing seems peaceful and nice, and even luxurious to a certain extent, when I compare these days with the ones I spent alone at my rented room in Patparganj (with my screaming landlord and landlady as my neighbours) after work. I don't know if it is a clear case of the grass being greener on the other side, and I had never thought I would ever be saying this, but now I truly miss everything that came with working for Pearson Education in Delhi and, later, Noida. And just like everything remote assumes a hue of nostalgia, even the puddle-strewn, cratered lanes of Madhuvihar, and the lonely rickshaw rides through the dark lanes of I.P. Extension seem so pretty now. I definitely miss the office, and the view from the seventh-floor huge glass windows that overlook the fields, the cricket players, the grazing buffalos, the roads beyond the fields, and the sunsets across the distant skyline defined by gradually emerging sky scrapers. Just the other day, I was telling a friend how taking breaks while working at home would no more mean coffee breaks at Bunker. Needless to mention the rather (in)famous TT breaks! And of course, of all the things I miss, I miss my friends and colleagues the most. How often now, without even realizing, I keep browsing through all the photographs of the two NSMs I have been able to attend! By now, everyone at home has been well familiarized with the people and their names. Even my three-year-old nephew has learnt to pronounce "Yajnaseni" (the way it is supposed to be pronounced) almost flawlessly! And it surprises me not without reason, since he still mispronounces my name as "Kusanya"!


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This blog is for all employees of Pearson in India . We hope to share updates - both personal and professional - from the worlds of education and publishing.