Wednesday, 29 January 2014

There Was A Time

I was thinking to myself, my life was an open book, I was going to get married to my sweetheart, we had traversed the world and not let a single thing affect us, both of us were working and earning good money. Life had never seemed better, with looming large office spaces and swank malls to go to, movies and chatting with friends, it was all falling into place. It hadn’t always been easy, work was dominated by politics and I had taken my time getting adjusted to this new company, “Taking Crap is never easy,” Vijay would say to me, “and you have to fight it back,” he would advice all the way to work and back, riding on his motorbike, “Isn’t this the Yamaha ?"

We rode for hours, all the way to Mussourie, I remember once and she would say to me, “I love this feel of knowing that you will always be with me.”

Work was predominated by a boss who didn’t know what was going on in the office, I hated all of them for bringing me back to company I didn’t want to be in, it was 2007 and I was thinking I needed to quit the job and start my life afresh as an entrepreneur.

Then things changed in 2010 when I met Vijay and he taught me how to fight back, he had been a gay for part of his life, and in those days gay sex and marriage was illegal, as we talked, he opened up.
“I have been into gay relationships, sex and otherwise, I like both men and women, what does that make me Geetanjali.”
I had this stunned look on my face, it had happened as he told me about 2 years back, the dope had got to him and this handsome dude had seduced him.  “Does it matter ?” he asked questioningly as we sipped tea in Chandigarh, it was his hometown and I thought to myself, “ I am sure nobody here in this small town knows anything about this.”

I thought and thought and then said to myself, let me just be honest with him and told him exactly what I thought of gay sex and marriage.
“I think its OK to be gay however I think gay sex is still dominated by criminals who use it as a mean to get back at people they don’t like, “ I said mildly, not meaning to offend him or any of his friends. “Last I was in UK, I was walking down from tube station and I saw this
huge guy and this tiny wimp with him, this tiny guy was being asked to pay up and since he didn’t have money he was sodemized.”

In 2011, both of us went to Edmonton, I had got a job in a software firm and he continued to join me for studies, as it transpired and this thing particularly makes me proud of myself, “ I allowed my partner full freedom to continue doing whatever was happening earlier.”

Edmonton suited us just fine, an open community with lots of people like us, I was straight about this in my head, this community suited us just fine, two years passed by, it was Holi in March, the traditional Indian Festival, the Indian community in Edmonton was out in full colors, spraying dry colors on each other,
“Vijay, you want to join me in wishing me Uncle and Aunty there,” I said pointing to the old couple that we knew from our stay in Seattle. Vijay wasn’t too keen, but nodded his head, as it turned out, he spent 5 minutes with them and then returned back to his male friends.

I was ill in 2013, and on leave for almost a week, ten days, this was the time it gave me to re-evaluate my personal as well as professional goals ( I realised that whatever I had wanted from this job had been saturated, I had moved from one stepping stone to another with this deep unsatisfied urge of creating something new, my work kept me busy and preoccupied but that obviously wasn’t enough. I was sitting with a friend of mine at one of the shacks eating some sweets,

“You sound very sombre,“ Shivani asked knowingly, she was a close friend and we had worked for Microsoft ever since I had moved to the US.
“It’s this work thing, its annoying doing the same thing everyday.”
“I am thinking of moving to a new line of courses,” she said waiting for a response.

“I think the new management courses make sense, Human Resource Development should be an
interesting proposition.
“Two year course and brings back fonds memory of our times in India, rides to Mussourie on the bike., the way to go,” I responded equally sure that I was on the right track.
“Don’t you think we could do with an Ethical Hacking course,” I asked immediately and suddenly I knew what I had to do get out of this rut.

She and I started looking at the Ipad, browsing for courses and as it turned out, there was one in Edmonton as well, Edmonton CEH Ethical Hacker Training Centre, we were impressed and started calling, right then Shivani stopped me and pointed out,

Queen's University of Belfast's Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT). CSIT, a GCHQ accredited Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research,.”

I jumped on it, it was going to be tough decision, maybe a change of jobs and then Vijay would have to move out of his too and we could do with this two year hiatus from US, I had been told that UK was a pretty pretty country. “We are On,” said Shivani and the next 6 months were going to be spent thinking of ways to make this work.
“When Life Turns Up A Lemon, Just Reverse It.”