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First pages

Chapter 1

Gurgaon, India (Read Gurugram for the Conscious & Aware)

Part of Delhi’s National capital region. City has seen a booming growth in last decade or two primarily due to the Information Technology & Services revolution that lead to development of newer modern cities and IT parks across the length and breadth of the country, with Gurgaon been a leader in North.

22nd Milestone, Gurgaon

A thatched roof Bar & Eatery along the National Highway connecting Delhi to Gurgaon and beyond. Frequented by the mid age IT & services professionals, discussing their office politics, sex, romance and anything under the sun and off course Bollywood and cricket.

The rise in the economy and services sector in the Indian subcontinent meant the inclusion of educated young generation and with it came the development of such watering holes along the highway and adjacent to IT parks and hubs.

They held a strong influence on creating an external environment for the young and restless and offer everything from liquor to international food, music, live sports and some get converted as love shacks, at times.

Goods laden trucks contributing their bit to carbon emissions pass by with sirens wailing emergency vehicles zipping across the national highway.

In the backdrop of March’s Friday evening, few of young India’s hard or rather hardly working IT professionals munch and mull the year-end performance of their mates in an Air conditioned section of the restaurant.

Month of March is the onset of spring in Northern India when rains are fewer and cooler temperatures from months of December to February move to warmer days in March.

Some days are pleasant if there is breeze around. Tonight didn’t seem to be a fortunate one and everyone looked for cover under the comfort of air-condition (AC) environment.

Off course there was non-AC section busier during winters and frequented by people wanting a naturalized environment on cooler days.

Radhe. Radheji as popularly known by his patrons with respect, the owner cum Manager of the place believed in not turning even a single customer dissatisfied.

He had his own way of customer database management and remembered most of his regular ones by name and their preferences.

Radhe “You guys please grab a table next to window on first floor” signaling them to move up while he sends his lads to do the table and arrange the logistics for the evening.

Shitij Prabhakar grabs the prime seat next to window “I need some view. Love to watch the highway under lights pulling out a pack of Marlboro lights and gestured for a lighter.

Shitij “Saali apni kismet hi kharab hai” (Seems, I have a bad luck, guys)

Tall, tanned and handsome twenty eight something year old lad from Mumbai muttered in a low pitched voice mixed with frustration and despair, as he munched on the complimentary nuts on the table sipping blended scotch on the rocks.

Shitij “Yukks man “Who ordered Black Dogg? I had asked for a single malt. And, if we drinking in sharing why not order some real Scotch man.”

“Saalon” (a polite cuss word often used in friendly conversations)

“Don’t want tomorrow’s day to go waste. Besides, get some taste in life guys”

Meanwhile not getting any positive response from the other male members, he seemed to have no choice but take few sips as he carried on with his soft rant

Shitij “All I will get is peanuts, this year” flipping few peanuts in the air.

“Man Iam not gonna make it for this year’s promotion” It’s no point wasting all that time and effort. I already know the results”

Sheena Hegde his thirty something year old girlfriend, a Kannadiga Brahmin from Bangalore, South of India who was the senior most member in the company amongst the gang rubs her hand on his shoulders.

Sheena “Hey don’t get disheartened, my love. I know how things work in this company or rather in this imperfect world.”

“Trust me, I’ve been here for three years and know what goes around.”

“You have to be in the good books of seniors. Highlight your efforts and be on the face when you have achieved something extraordinary.”

“You have to be a clever Marketere” as she carried on…

Sheena “Did you advertise when the Singapore client Dorett Limited wanted the quality assurance on the software to be completed in a week’s time instead of a month? And, you made it happen.”

“You put your sweat and blood into it. Worked like a dogg. Forget your meals, sleep and didn’t even wankk for a week, forget seeing me”

You stupid, did you tell that to Rahul? What you went through…

 

Rahul in his early fifties, Team’s Director. Has delivered successfully on numerous projects and was a hand-picked choice of top management for executing international assignments

Shitij “you know how Rahul is, he won’t even spare his relatives, let alone me when it comes to serving international clients and handling their issues and complaints.”

“He doesn’t care how you do it. He just, doesn’t like missing deadlines and client complaints. And you know the client, he was always on my ass as they were nearing the commissioning date”

Sheena “I told you as well, to stay away from office politics, concentrate on your work and moreover don’t ever take Panga (unnecessary tiff) with anyone, even Bhayyaji, the office peon

“What you think Bhayyaji does every day, spending ten minutes every time he is in boss’s cabin. Discussing financials?”

“He’s the right testicle of the management, helping them improve productivity of staff.”

“Well, feeding them all the crap that goes around, as she carried on…

“Who’s dating who, who’s visiting the washroom more than three times a day, having more than two cups of coffee. That must be his performance objective, for all you know”.

“After all he has access to boss’s apartment. Even the first lady calls him if she can’t get through her husband.”

“And, you, I remember blasted him once, in front of everyone for not replenishing sugar and coffee in the kitchen on time.”

Rahil Reddy, forty something, from Tech city of Hyderabad, married with a kid, joined in.

Rahil has been in the firm for couple of years. He was considered to be an expert in executing hardcore technical matters and had seen many ups and downs in the firm, dealt with most difficult clients with ease

Rahil “Ek soda and nuts Lana yaar” (Please bring one soda and nuts) and two Marlboro lights leyya (get it).

Rahil pulls out a hundred rupee (Approx. 2 USD) note and asks for the order to be delivered”

“Keep the change” as he uttered “your life is better than ours” no nagging clients and deadlines

“Man this is not the life I wanted” as he carried on…

“This is just too much the way company treats us as if we are the ones making all the core decisions and in return get our necks on line for everything”

“You know, Rahul called me other day and told me that I may get transferred to the client site at Pune close to Mumbai as some big ticket project is about to start.”

“And, that A$$hole told me Iam the chosen one and assured me a good raise, with strings attached.”

“Raise, his A$$” everyone knows he’s such a miser as if he has to give from his own pocket.”

Rahil “It’s crazy, I can’t leave my wife (and kid) who got a job here and go and live there all by myself. After all I need a life. Can’t just uproot myself like that for a meagre increase”

“Not sure, if I want to stay in this company, as it’s getting too much to cope up with.”

“I will be happy with a less stressful job and spend more time with the family”

Mir Reza: Youngest of the lot (read hot) in her mid-twenties, from Kolkata, the Eastern part of India.

She interacted well amongst her peers and was a keen follower of innovative ideas. She always appreciated spending time with the gang.

Although from a Muslim background, she didn’t mind a drink or two rather few. She always rued the fact that she got stereotyped and wished people could be more understanding when taking her on face value rather than anything else.

Mir had to face embarrassment as her friends kept linking her with Raja, one of the members of this close knit group.

Her standard response became “Let them have fun. Who cares? Iam happy the way Iam and so is everyone else”

It was almost ten o clock on a Friday night, place was buzzing with loud music and drinks were flowing in full swing, with people reaching their second and thirds.

Smell of Woodfired pizzas filled the place as somebody had just ordered for a large table.

Ice buckets, cigarettes and chicken wings were doing their rounds while a famous number from Queen “We will, we will rock you” played in the back ground preceded by a famous Bollywood song.

There were big screens that played cricket and some English premier league (Football) games whilst the crowd reached a crescendo.

This is what a metropolitan environment in most of the bigger Indian towns’ offered which, helps to get over the stressful week and got people going from week after week.

And, all of this comes at a reasonable cost by the local standards, avoiding the starred hotels for rich and famous.

Meanwhile Sherry joined the conversation in agreement.

In her late-twenties Sherry Ebrahem belonged to a wealthy Anglo-Indian household from nearby pink city of Jaipur. She was married to Rihan, employed with another software firm in senior level executive position.

Her family situation made her feel more at ease at work and believed in putting her personal life ahead of professional. Probably that’s the reason she claimed, she was happiest of the lot.

She was also the pacifier of the group and always kept the group motivated to carry on week after week.

She took lead in planning get togethers and liked to be in thick of things when organizing night outs and get togethers.

Sherry “I know how it feels” other day Rihan (Sherry’s hubby) called me from New York and he was upset with the way his stay has been extended by his company over there”…

“But lucky him, at least he gets to travel and stay in exiting places.”

Complaining was not in Sherry’s books and looked at the life with a positive outlook

Sherry “Guys I need to order something different tonight. May be let’s order few cocktails, tequila shots and some tacos, American style” Just that I don’t miss Rihan…

As she giggled... Sheena and Mir join in…

“Hello Bhayya.”(Interchangbly used term for a brother or an unknown male in a public place in a polite way)

Clicked her fingers, a common attention grabber for the service staff in busy and populated places

“Can you get us a round of tacos and five tequila shots, and jaldi (quickly)”

Raja Kahan hain? (Where is Raja?)

In this melee, everyone seemed to be missing the link and spark of the gang. Rajan Chowdhary, a local lad from Gurgaon.

Raja as known by his mates, called him “The Happy go lucky Chappy” a tall, fairish and good looking lad who was brought up in a traditional family environment, but his growing up years changed his outlook towards a modern, vibrant and a Westernized but rooted India.

In his late twenties with few girlfriends to his credit, Raja served his time, working on projects ranging in areas hard hit from insurgency in East of India to a culturally different, South of India.

Raja never left a moment to impress his peers, clients and his near and dear ones.

From Armani jackets to Louis Vuitton bags, Gucci shoes to zippo lighters, he was a symbol of consumerism at work and in his locality he resided.

Never a moment in his life when he never dressed to impress. He always wanted life to the maximum

Raja loved expensive perfumes and had a penchant for cars.

He loved to hire cars and often took his friends or rather girlfriends for a spin, on pretext of test drives and was an expert in building a fantasy world of his own.

Without a doubt he developed a large friend circle, credit to the social networking sites and going out for dinners, dates and get-togethers became his sole motto in life, if not working.

Although he always believed in sticking to his close set of friends in his spare time

Raja once used to be good at tennis, cricket, soccer and badminton but over the years his other passions had taken over, and sports for him got limited to accessing his phone and playing an odd Pokémon or anything that was floating around.

He was loved by all. A real “Jack of All” and a mastermind in devising quick fix solutions and keeping the client happy.

Raja’s previous background in working with various sectors of banking, insurance and Information technology helped in understanding the client requirements and delivering on time, although he used to get spiked when it came to really hardcore technical issues and if the client is not his types.

He never got flustered except on few occasions, but always came out clean with help from his close set of friends and team

Once, whilst working for one of the Public sector client he was told to fix his spiked hairstyle as it was too much for some section of colleagues at work.

Raja immediately went and had a local immersion by chopping his spikes off and as he donned the local colors and simple attire for the time he spent with the client.

He also spent few months in London on a project and came back with a dash of English accent and British lingo (language) not to the surprise of his mates, as he loved imitating accents and real life characters or rather his peers & bosses, in his spare time.

Besides, his connect with peers and colleagues always helped his cause to go an extra mile and give a helping hand in times of need.

Some of his peers jokingly called him “Company Kaa Damaad”. A term often used in a satirical way to described Blue eyed boys at work, although the literal meaning is of son in law, due to the respect and high status provided over the years to the son-in-law by the in-laws and family.

Raja “Guys I know you will be spewing at me. Had to fix my Dad’s car and the buggers took the entire evening and half of my night”

“Well at least Iam here before the tequila shots.”

ShitijGoli Dena band kar” (stop fooling us) we already saw you hanging out in the Café at the High Street Mall with that Russian intern.

Raja “What you talking. You would had seen Sandy wearing my red Addidas jacket, he took it last weekend and Iam getting all the flak and have to face the sensationalism for nothing”

“Swear on my projects Iam coming straight from home. Never mind you guys can fantasize on my expense”

Shitij giggled…“Great you came out clean this time.”

“Thought you may get trapped in my goli (slang word used for fooling others) but you did well this time.”

High fives and some loud laughter sank the loud music and the group seemed to be taking off for next few rounds of drinks and nibbles.

Raja “I know you guys would be discussing about the same shit new day stories. And tell you what, It will be the same story year after year.”

“I know for me it doesn’t look bright either.”

“The last public sector client I had was looking for an opportunity to complain. I knew he would had brought several behavioral issues against me when I was working at their site” as he continued…

“I even got rid of my spikes, and tried to be an ideal fit with them. They never liked me somehow for one reason or the other”

“I had an argument with their accounts for not clearing the invoice on time, which still hasn’t been cleared to date”

“Hope Rahul doesn’t take it too seriously, as he was himself pissed off at their attitude.”

“Think it’s Abhay, the guy who sits in Kolkata giving lot of grief to Rahul. Demanding more in terms of project deadlines, recovery of overdue payments and hosts of other issues.”

“I came to know about this from Paddy (Parmeshwar) the Human resources Top Dogg, once I was in Kolkata for some work. Who knows, Rahul may jump in some other company before us”

 

Rahil “What you talking, Rahul is well connected. He has all the clout in this world” He’s been a top performer and doesn’t take shit from anyone. Iam sure he would have some plans up his sleeve”

As the guys discussed some serious office gossip the ‘House girls’ as popularly known within the gang got edgy and interrupted further strategizing.

The Birthday Bash……

Sherry jumped in the conversation “Guys, why are we discussing Rahul. We all know whatever has to happen, will happen, regardless. Hey what’s the date today?”

Sheena “5th March, Why?”

Sherry “Does anybody remember. Today is Joshi’s birthday, let’s give him a call and get him over. Think he stays somewhere close to the Cyber city”

Mir “Leave it, why disturb, he may be out with his girlfriend”

Sherry “No, his girlfriend is travelling, out of town, on some client assignment, last I spoke to him day before.”

Mir “Ya, think anything is possible now in this company. Not even get to celebrate birthdays with loved ones. Then, I guess we should give a call.

Sherry rang Joshi to call him over “Hey Joshi, was wondering what you up-to as your girlfriend is out of town, I believe. Why don’t you come over and spend time with us. Everyone is here”

Joshi “Hey thanks. Was thinking to see what you guys up to. Anyways will come by soon.”

Sherry ran up to the Manager and worked to organize a cake and candles and came back with the good news.

Sherry “All done. The Manager will organize a cake and a champagne at twelve. Let’s surprise him

Sheena “Hey good you gave him a call. He was all by himself. Let’s do a bottle of wine for him as a gift. Will add that to the final bill”

Sherry “hey, I was thinking let’s call Swati (Joshi’s girlfriend) to tell her about what we doing, and let’s get her on WhatsApp. It will be a nice surprise for her as well”

Mir “That’s a plan. She paused for a while, as she gave a thought and carried on…

“I will go speak to her. She will be back in her hotel room anyways”

Mir rang Swati “Hey Ms.Workholic, sometimes do message your friends as well. I know you must be writing some work stuff right now?”

Swati “Nahin yaar (No, my dear friend) was doing some yoga and listening to Pundit Ravi Shankar”

Mir “You didn’t tell us, its Joshi’s birthday today”

Swati “Well we thought of doing something when Iam back next weekend”

Mir “Sun (listen) we thought of surprising your boyfriend”

Swati “What you mean” she giggled. “Nothing naughty, I guess”

Mir “Ya, we have organized few strippers and some fire spitters” and its hens (girls only) night with your boyfriend only male, invited. Happy now!”

Swati “You area real biatch”

Both burst out laughing loudly. Swati had mixed emotions as tears of joy ran through her eyes as she carried on…

“I wish you can do something like that for him. Poor soul, must be feeling lonely.”

Loud laughter filled the room which was followed by receding giggles…

Mir “Nahin yaar. (No my love) Just thought of surprising him in a gentle way. Thought you can join from WhatsApp at twelve”

Swati “Nice, something better than nothing. Ok will give a video call on your mobile. Don’t tell him”

Mir “Done”

It was almost midnight and Joshi was unaware that his colleagues had organized something for him on his day. He appeared bit saddened as his girlfriend was travelling and he was left all by himself to share his day.

Little did he knew, that he had friends who did remembered his birthday and prepared a surprise for him behind the scenes.

Five minutes to twelve…..

The atmosphere was buzzing as people filled the place. The crowd had doubled than what it was about three hours back.

Music was suddenly lowered and lights were dimmed as the clock ticked towards twelve. The air was filled with an expectation as if some aeronautical space rocket was about to be launched.

The table next to the birthday table sensed that something was about to happen as the activity around the birthday table got increased and there was an expectation in the air.

The entire restaurant was filled with artificial smoke and at the stroke of twelve there was bursting of balloons in the background. The entire restaurant sensed someone’s birthday celebration was on as free loaders gathered around the table.

Window table had been surrounded by people from nearby who were half drunk in expectation that something was organized for them.

An air of expectation had filled the place…

The music had suddenly stopped and Radhe, the Manager walked out with a cake in his hands and marched towards the table.

The restaurant lights suddenly went full bright and the Birthday song was played in the background.

The Hindi version “Tum jiyon hazzaron saal” (long live) was followed by English “Happy Birth day to you...”and the entire restaurant was filled with claps and cheers for Joshi, the birthday boy.

The birthday boy was thankful for making a special moment away from home and his girlfriend

Mir took the opportunity to smash some cake on his face while Rahil held Sheena’s phone to WhatsApp the live video feed to his girlfriend.

Sherry and Sheena also joined in to rub cake on his face, while Shitij who was bit drunk tried to lick some chocolate of Birthday boy’s cheeks.

Joshi yelled in a joking manner “Stop it, you Bastard. Go rub some cake on Sheena and lick her face”

While Rahil had some different plans. He got a big coke bottle and shook it to splash all over Joshi’s clothes.

Rahil yelled “Bastard this one for our Bangalore trip when you left mid-way during the project and I had to take all the shit from the client. Hahaha…”

Shitij joined in and smashed more cake on Joshi’s face as Raja followed...

Raja “This one for the time you mentioned that client want the work to be turned around in three days, only to found out later that he never said that. And my ass was grass for three days”

Joshi “Kutton” (doggs) I know you have the right to smash even more cake on me today and you can get away. Even Iam maintaining your profile now and have your dates in my diary or rather will check for updates on Facebook”

Huggs and embrace does the round and laughter reverberated and filled the air.

Everyone felt they’ve had enough but Shitij had another plan and there was more to come.

They always did “THIS” to anyone celebrating their day. He signaled at Raja like a trained soldier to another on a battlefield.

“Lift the Bastard” he screamed at Raja.

Raja responded in a quick commando like action and screamed “Its Birthday bumps time” and others joined to kick Joshi’s butt with whatever they could find. While the girls joined in with their sandals and shoes.

“Guys it’s enough” Joshi pleaded “I have to go to my aunt’s place tomorrow morning”

As Rahil sensed the birthday torture he stepped in “Ya guys, let go. He’s had enough” Let’s save some for the next birthday.

And, suddenly Joshi was dropped to the ground while he gasped for some breadth Sherry, Sheena and Mir helped him get off the ground.

Joshi limped to the washroom to get freshened up for next round of drinks as the Bar Manager, threw in a mini bottle of ‘Sula’ a local Sparkling wine or rather a local Champagne.

Girls were thrilled and they quickly shared the bottle as they sensed that guys were not interested.

Rahil wanted some more liquor. “Can’t have sparkling wine, will have an egg head tomorrow morning”

Joshi “I will join you Rahil Bhai (brother)

Shitij “me too”

As he lit another Marlboro light which they usually referred as “Stamina stick” much to the hate of his girlfriend Sheena.

Meanwhile Raja felt bit tired after his long day of running around as he felt bit desperate to reveal something…

Raja “Bro, Iam done it seems as if Iam getting bit aged, I feel, besides I’ve got a skype interview late evening tomorrow”

The Breaking News…..

There was silence all around….

Breaking news breaking news!!

Everybody was aghast about Raja’s abrupt breaking news and the gang looked at each other’s face with dismay and weirdness in their expressions.

Everyone looked at each other in expectation as they looked for the person who will utter the first alphabet. Sherry was first one to break the silence…

Sherry “Iam actually shocked, that you will be leaving us. Which company. Iam sure your package will be pretty decent”

Sheena “Hey, if you going on a promotion, you have to pull us to”

As Rahil and Shitij joined the conversation.

Rahil “Bro this is some news. Ok spill the details now”

As Raja responded to the overreaction from his friends…

Raja” Guys guys, it’s just a first round interview. I had put in my CV through JobsLelo.com and I got a call”

Rahil: But why skype interview?

Raja “The consultant said it’s one of the offshore recruiting firm that will skype me tomorrow evening at five” as he continued…

“Actually the recruitment agent and company Human resources will call from Aubaland, in Nuviland. I don’t know what the market like over there although our company did some work last year for around six months.”

Everyone’s eyes and mind opened up and were super keen to listen…

Shitij “Yaar saari utaar di” (Got me sober). Sounds good for you, it seems”

Rahil “Are you serious, you will take it. You have your entire business set up here by your Dad and Gaurav Bhayya (elder brother). You will go overseas all by yourself. And what will happen to all your lady friends, who will take care of them.”

He gave a smirk, while he sipped his drink

Raja “Guys, I haven’t given the interview as yet. So please don’t put the cart before the horse

“I know if I get it, it will be a big decision as I don’t know what’s in store for me as it will be a decision I will make once I get it”

“Besides, I haven’t told my family as yet. I don’t know how my parents and elder brother will react”

Sheena “Will you take Tanu along, if you get it”

Sherry “Or Meesa, will go with you”

Raja “Shut up guys. I have nothing on, they just good friends now. Besides Tanu is getting engaged to her boyfriend and Meesa will most probably get married within her community, as per her parents wish.”

“So would request some restraint and respect on these things”

Shitij “Saale (a gentle sarcastic swear) when you asked for my apartment key than where did your respect go”

Raja got unsettled “I will have to leave guys, before I start uttering some nasty stuff”

Sherry “Guys come one. Shitij just SHUT up. You are too drunk it seems.”

Rahil “Shitij kyun yaar, why rub salt”

Shitij “Sorry Raja, Jyaada bol gaya (said a bit too much), thought you guys were still dating. Sorry man”

Raja “Give me a hugg man”

Mir “Gosh, you guys act like kids. Let me snap this. Will beat any Bollywood movie hands down

Sherry “I got it too. Will record and Instagram it, swear will get thousand likes

Raja “Don’t tag me, as my Dad is keeping a watch on me and my social networking after I broke up with Tanu. He thinks I may over react on those sites” as he continued…

“Or he is just paranoid about my activities…younger son, so he does not have that confidence, it seems”

Sherry “Uncle, will be thinking to get his son married off with some businessman’s daughter. Little did he knew that his son had bigger aspirations and world is waiting for him”

Mir “Do you think you will be happy living away from us, if finally you make it”

Rahil “Off course he will be, No pressure from the family. Free from the commitments to anyone. No worries in life” You will be a free man

Raja “What do you think, what kind of life I will live there, if I finally make it?”

“It’s a tough world. Will have to start all over again. Make new friends, colleagues in a different environment”

Raja got bit defensive and started to pace up and down, like a lawyer in courtroom as he carried on…

“Besides doing my work I will have to do my own cooking, dishes, household chores and fend for myself and all of this without getting demotivated”

“That country works on different dynamics”

Mir “You will definitely make a local girlfriend there. They will love to have international experience too” said with bit of cunningness and jealousy in her speech

Mir started to giggle along with Sherry and Sheena while Rahil and Shitij joined in.

Raja started to blush with mixed emotion of pride and embarrassment at the same time as he tried to hold his emotions. Raja was unnerved and lost for a moment and retorted.

Raja “Guys, I’ve not yet given the interview. Let’s take one step at a time.”

“Even if I get there, who knows one of you may follow as I suggest you guys should put in your CV as well on their site.”

Sherry “I’ve been telling Rihan, for such a long time that we both should put in our CV’s for some foreign firm. But he never listens. He always had these inhibitions about working abroad in a totally foreign company” as she continued…

“Don’t mind Raja, but Rihan thinks, you will never get that respect and will always get ignored in crucial matters and importantly career growth.”

Rahil “Which is true to an extent. I’ve had a similar feeling when I worked in Sydney, Australia couple of years back. Although the life was good but it’s an intense world in terms of developing your niche and getting around with colleagues at work.”

Shitij “Man, I think it’s totally up to an individual, how he carries himself. I’ve friends who are currently living and working in various parts of US. I think in IT industry our countrymen have a proven and successful track record”

“Look at all the world’s top CEO’s in Silicon Valley. I think it’s not entirely true. It all depends on person and his abilities and connection he develops”

Raja “I think so as well, as my experience in London was a mixed bag. Anyways, I was there for few months only.

Mir “And, you made GOOD lot of friends there in quick span of time. What was their names, couple of them still tag you in their Facebook pictures. Those British girls Ana and Alice”

As she giggled with Sherry and left Raja blushing and this time bit enraged…

Raja “Well, they loved Indian food and I always treated them at my apartment along with their boyfriends” So you not getting any stories out of this…

Sherry “humm”

Rahil “Bro, I hope all goes well for you tomorrow. If you need any technical or project related references, Iam always there for you. Iam going to tell them all you did was going out with clients and chatting for hours and hours over beers” as he carried on…

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell the boring bits of how we both worked through the night to submit the report on time. That Iam sure you will go “gaga” in your interview”

Shitij “Same here man. Let me know if you need any references. By the way are you going to give Rahul’s reference? He may come to know that you are in a process of applying and start ignoring you from tomorrow in crucial project decisions.”

Raja “Rahul was the one who suggested, that I should start to look around other places as well”

“He suggested that the company may not look to promote many this year, besides the increments as well may be wafer thin, as the top management is not happy with the way things are going.”

Raja carried on “He himself looked unlike himself. So I thought I should give it a serious thought. Although, he promised me a good reference and all the help”

Sheena “You didn’t share that with us”

Raja “Yes, I didn’t as I did not feel it was the right time, besides it was about couple of months back and I wasn’t too prepared to talk about this to anyone”

Sherry “Good you told us now. At least I won’t think you just left upon us.

Raja “I will never do that”

Shitij “We know Bro You will never do that. Well, good luck for tomorrow. Just be calm, Iam sure they will definitely grab an asset (read ass-sit) like you” and winked at Raja

Raja returned the wink with a smile as Rahil like an elder brother suggested…

Rahil “Do have a read of all your projects and work you did. Read every word of your CV and make yourself understand what you did and what the outcomes were. You know the drill”

Sherry “If you want, I can tell Rihan to join you on skype tomorrow morning. He has appeared and has been on panel for quite a few overseas interviews.

Raja “Ok. I will be online tomorrow after noon time”

Sherry “will message him now to be there and talk to you tomorrow’”

Sherry gestured to the group to give her a moment and as she started to fiddle with her mobile to message Rihan.

Rahil and Shitij started to yawn away as their eyes were drowsed in sleep. Both of them pulled a chair and rested their legs on top


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Sankalp (Sanky) Jagati is a freelance Business Consultant, Writer & Business Coach and currently undertakes academic lecturing in business and management subjects at tertiary level in Auckland, New Zealand. He loves to write fiction and satirical humor and enjoys playing outdoor and indoor sports in his free time. He is also a foodie and enjoy cross-cultural cuisines, wining and dining. Academically he went to Singapore University. He is an MBA and MPA.

Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
A.
Struggle of educated immigrants coming to the Western world and trying to assimilate and succeed in a different work and cultural settings.
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
The Making of “International Citizen” provides peep into cultural insights and idiosyncrasies, while breaking few stereotypes. The book is an inspiration for professionals to get to that final frontier, narrated in a witty and different approach.
Q. Tell us about the cover and the inspiration for it.
A.
The cover denotes Corporate look of the main character who's hand rests on a wood signifying the hard yards he put in towards his dreams,his way, while his colleague works on the laptop. The vacant chair is his ultimate dream. The salt and pepper denote varied color of his character 'White & Black'

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