There used to be a large white signboard in the manufacturing plant where I worked a few years ago. It stood right outside the R & D Centre, and proudly read: INDIAN CHURAL ROAD. No one knew what it was doing in the company. It just existed, by some weird quirk of fate, an amusing interlude to the dreary business of work. In the wrong place at the wrong time.
Exactly like me.
I remember the day I realized this wasn’t my cup of tea. It was the first month after joining and we were undergoing in-plant training. Things were pretty interesting in the beginning, what with getting to see how the assembly line worked and all.
One day our trainer asked us if we wanted to see the MX108, the company’s yet-to-be-released model. Everyone nodded enthusiastically and we set off to the dispatch yard, a good mile away from the HR department where the training was being held. He took us to the far end of the yard, where hundreds of brand new vehicles were lined up in the sun, and pointed to a shiny red pick-up.
I looked around me. It was a late November afternoon, and the chill had just started to seep in. The sun was halfway down the horizon, with its golden streaks playing hide and seek among the clouds. A gorgeous wind was blowing, swirling dust and leaves on the asphalt. And in the middle of the it all, a bunch of uniformed twenty-somethings stood oohing and aahing over an empty truck!
It’s not that they didn’t notice the moment. They did, but they had their priorities defined, and rightly too. Mine just happened to be different.
I wish I could say I quit the next day and followed my distant star. I didn’t. I hung around for a while, growing more messed up by the day; having a crazy time with some amazing people. Eventually when I did leave, it was without the faintest idea what to do next. Some good and some not-so-great decisions later, I’m finally in a place that feels more ‘me’.
So is this it, my perfect job? Who knows? I do know that the day I stepped in my new office and the editorial desk turned topsy-turvy because a mouse had run inside (seriously, on the first day??), I had an inkling I’d fit right in.
It’s not perfect, but it feels right.
And if I ever do become a motorcar enthusiast someday, (which is highly unlikely!!) I hope I’ll never pick it over a glorious sunset.