Every day, around 11 in the morning, a postman comes to deliver letters to our doors. He slides in a bunch of letters through a slit in the door, and the entire act, which takes about five seconds, is a noisy affair – he always manages to bang the outer door against the wooden door, and pushes the letters in through the slit, which carelessly fall all over the carpet, creating arbitrary paper patterns. Mostly, these are letters from banks, insurance companies, housing offices and the university office. Sometimes, these letters are addressed to other students who have lived here in the past, and have not informed them of their change in address.


Yesterday, the postman came and repeated the same rituals. I carelessly collected the letters from the floor, and was sorting them out, when I noticed a bunch of letters, with the Pearson logo, addressed to my roommate. Just as a brief introduction, my roommate is in the teacher-training program at Stanford. Just a bunch of plain white envelopes with a very familiar blue logo set me off on a time travel!


It's been almost four months since I have become an ex-employee of Pearson Education. Like any other firsts in life, this having been my first job has been very special to me. As Nagma (my roommate) was tearing open her letters, I stood there with a smug smile, almost giving her the impression like I own the company! She doesn't really figure out why I have that stupid grin and a proud expression lurking on my face! I don't either!


A few days ago, work-day thoughts came floating by. I logged in to www.pearsoned.co.in, and checked out all the books I have worked on, how they're doing, what they look like now (from an ex-employee's point of view), and what kind of memories I have associated with each of them. I write to my ex-boss trying to find out the status of a rather long-drawn project. He writes back giving me details of author feedback. I share one of the links (with the cover and the book details of my last project) with my ex-copyeditor, who had copyedited the book.


I'm a part of a campus group that meditates and chants Buddhist prayers every Wednesday morning. Today, when we were chanting prayers at a student's apartment, I kept getting distracted by the bookshelf that was right in front of me – lines of engineering books, untidily arranged on the shelf, with the familiar blue logo! The moment we finished chanting, I blurted out, pointing at the blue logo peering from the weary bookshelf, 'That is my ex-company!' EunYi, a friend who chants with us, exclaimed, 'You owned a company!' I corrected myself, 'Sorry, I meant to say, I worked for that company before I came here!' She looked at me rather surprised at the pride I exhibited!


I came back home, missing the office and all the friends I had made there. Images of my desk in the new office facing the giant window, of getting coffee from the Bunker, turning back and sharing inane jokes with Y, trying hard to stifle the laughter gurgling up my throat clogged my brain. I looked up the blog Web site, and found a post from the CEO (soon to become the ex-CEO, as I hear), announcing a prize for blog posts. I read Soumitri's beautiful post about airports in the country. I closed the window, scolded myself for not studying for my exams (which are just round the corner) and engaging in a nostalgic romanticization of an ex-worklife. I diligently went back to the life I am committed to now.


Just now, between study breaks, after making dinner and before dish washes, I clicked the refresh button unmindfully. I laughed out loud reading about the prize withdrawal and imagining Vivek's hungover state! And even though I realize that Pearson has been shifted to the line of things I have left behind, I knew I had to write something on the blog, even if it meant attaching the tiny little 'ex' with almost every second word in a sentence!


No wine left

It has been pointed out to me that my crass offer of a prize to spur contributions to this blog have turned off all those who might have thought of writing something. I must apologise for that, and by way of punishing myself, I finished off all my wine stocks last night. The prize is therefore withdrawn, and if I look a bit grumpy today its only because I'm a bit hungover...
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

For Amusement (not reward)


Airports are fascinating places, you would agree. They tell stories. And if you have a fertile imagination you would regard and treat them as people, existing in diverse time and space. For example, the airport at Kolkata exudes the weary charms of a fatigued traveller and Mumbai overwhelms one with its relentless representation of the eternal enthusiast. Guwahati straddles the two extremes with great awkwardness while Dimapur fits into the shoes of a trepid amateur. Ranchi, on the other hand, is truly an impoverished icon of the Old World.   

Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Mother of all our airports, is no ordinary entity but a champion of the turbulent multitude. It is a symposium of frayed nerves and hyperactive impulses. It misses, fails, falls, rises, levitates, descends and crashes. It is a universe in pristine state—supreme Chaos—unspoilt by order and discipline. And the exquisite feather—T3—which has recently been added to its glittering cap expands its scope of fallibility to phenomenal depths and heights.

Being the pride of our nation, the IGIA accurately portrays the sentiments as well as quirks of Indian life. India shines and one may get dazzled by this shine as soon as one steps into the IGIA. This shine is sustained by misleading display boards; an amiable staff which comfortably exists in absentia or confusion; frequent conflicts and tussles between aircrafts regarding space (runway space, air space, etc) and time (of departure as well as arrival) and crucial, postmodern breaches of communication between the indoor and outdoor worlds (for example, the airport staff and the airline crew). Here, the relevance of the theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ can be put to an acid-test in the context of the current world order. The species which ‘survives’ unscathed, will be hailed as the Masters of Heaven and Earth. If chaos precedes order (or vice-versa) and reaction precedes revolution (or vice-versa), I wonder what IGIA holds in store for us in the years to come! However, at present it effectively binds humanity in an unruly mess. It is a giant, frothy wave which happily tosses people and things (for example, luggage) about in jest and playfulness.

This rambling piece of writing is not an ingratiating gesture (I’m not in the race for that bottle). It is my tribute to a fascinating world where I spend a lot of time, perfectly attuned to the mayhem, called (for the sake of being cheesy) life!






About this blog

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.