Sunday, June 25, 2006

My experiments with Sports.

Sports and I are poles apart. The only day in my school when my heart clangs like huge cymbals with fear is on the Sports Day.

I don’t remember what kind of events I used to participate when I was a kid. But the day when I played kho-kho when I was in fifth std. is still clear as a bright sunny day in my memory.

It is really funny when I think of it now.

People assume that I can run just because I’m tall. And the next moment I find myself amidst a group of girls and boys, full of team spirit, shouting and screaming and cheering their teams. Well, I didn’t know the rules of the game. And even when I enquired, I was told that if I run and give kho to a team member to catch the opponent team member, that would be good enough.
And I thought that, when I’m running, the sole responsibility of catching the opponent was on my shoulders and I had to do my best to catch her. I forgot the ‘kho-giving’ part. So, I ended up running between poles, as the girls from the other team kept hopping from one side to another and the girls from my team begging me to give them kho. And I would give in, giving kho to any girl who has been requesting for a long time.

Obviously, we didn’t win that match. But before you think I was a loser, let me tell you, we did win the junior level kho-kho match. Because, by then I understood that giving kho would help me prevent wasting my energy unnecessarily. The first prize certificate laminated with pride lies safely in my folder now.

In my later school years, I would escape somehow from participating in kho-kho. The screaming of girls and the sizzling heat of enthusiasm freaks me out and I just can’t stand there with my heart ticking like a time bomb, as if it is going to burst any moment if I don’t leave that place immediately.

Another sports day I remember is when I was in my 12th std. It was the 1500 mts. race.
I was in the Diamond house. When the race was about to begin, we found that there was no participant from our house. In order to save the grace of our house, my friend and I participated in it. We didn’t aim to win. Participation is all that matters. With that spirit, we entered the race. And the worst part is, I lost count of how many laps I had completed. I still wonder if I had run an extra lap and hence lost the race and my shoe( which tore at the end of the race).

The only thing that consoled me was that I ran 1500 mts. and did manage to complete the race. And that was the first time I was running in a race. Not bad, huh?

Monday, June 05, 2006

You’ve got mail-The End.

How would you react if you were reading your forward mails as usual and you get a warning message in bold letters saying,” You have been using your official mail for personal purpose. This has been noted by the company.” You click Ok. And it continues, “A copy of your inbox is being taken as a proof and will be reported to the HR.” You click OK again. The progress bar shows the status of copying the inbox. “The inbox has been copied.”

I first thought it was some kind of a prank. When I saw my machine name too in the message, I hit the panic button. Sirens were blowing in my head. I was scared that the HR would come in search of me or call me to ask why I was using my mailbox for sending personal mails. I could not think of any convincing answer to that question which was, by now, stabbing my “professional ethics” with a huge, sharp spear.

My brain was rattling with numerous questions …
What if my rating goes down because of it?
What if I was thrown out of the company for such a silly reason?
Are they really keeping a watch on everyone’s mail box?
Then would they be able to read my mails too?
Or is there some automatic setting in the mail client that this should be done when the no. of mails sent to n fro goes beyond some limit.
Am I the only one to receive this warning?
Why didn’t the others get the same warning?
Then am I the only one sending such huge no. of forwards?
No one ever told me about this rule before. .. was it mentioned in the company mail policy? Or I never read it properly?

I was even thinking of moving all my personal mails into some folder and keeping all the official mails in the inbox so that even if someone does come to check my inbox (something like what happens in my college.. the black n white “squads” check the students’, including girls’, bags to see if we have mobiles as we are not allowed to bring mobiles to the college.)

But then, the hard fact hit me that the proof was already taken and I couldn’t do anything about it now.

I was helplessly opening the forward mails I was getting and the very thought of forwarding them to others brought all those questions back in my already cluttered head.

I was wondering why I always fall in such trouble which nobody else has ever heard of or experienced and coming out of which seems very improbable.

I was so scared that I couldn’t even reply to one of my friend’s mail in which he had asked if I was on leave (considering the fact that he hadn’t received a single mail from me).I feared someone was monitoring my mailbox.

At last, only in the evening I gathered some left-over courage within my panic-stricken heart and asked about it to my team mate (we were in the same training batch when we joined work). I was relieved to hear that he too had got the same warning. At least I’m not alone in this weird problem. He felt that it was because of some mail we had received from a batch mate that morning. I got the warning when I was trying to open a mail (which I suspected of being the cause of it all) but still couldn’t believe that it was all a prank ‘coz that mail hadn’t opened by then.

On enquiring about it with my friends in office the next day, I found the culprit mail. The mail had an attachment, an exe file, which on running just showed up a message box which said “Hi”. The file was very small, around 8 or 10 kb. Usually, exe files are very large in size. I had wondered what kind of an attachment was that… it did nothing. Only later did I come to know that it had done everything to make someone stop forwarding mails altogether.

I thought of taking sweet revenge on all my other friends and forwarded it to all of them. One of them called me up to check if the warning was because of the mail. Another friend feared that the message was because of her overflowing inbox and deleted all the mails, including all her favourite forwards and mails, which she had saved over a long time.

This was just another light hearted prank. But I realized the graveness of the situation when a friend told me about a person who was fired because he had violated the client’s mail policy by subscribing to his college groups and receiving so many forwards to his official mail id.

The result of it all… I don’t send forward mails anymore.