Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A life called Infosys - The Halo of Dalai Lama

In my article - A life called Infosys - The Dream Company, I mentioned about the fact that the announcement that I got a job at Infosys drew various reactions. The reactions ranged from surprise and amazement to happiness and praise. However all those reactions didn't quite come close to the reactions that I saw when I came home to Mumbai for the first real vacation. This vacation was about 8 months after joining Infy, so there were lots of changes in me and also the perception of me among other people (relatives, neighbours and friends).

I have always been among the worst dressed guys in college so as mentioned in "The Dress Code" I was now counted among the most improved gentlemen in terms of dressing. I received a few compliments and chose to take notes in my head so that I could mention those in blogs like these. I think the best of those when one of the good looking females from my college mentioned "Vishal - you are looking smart" ....To all my critics - notes in head of course have not been amplified here and that is an actual comment.

However none of the compliments even come close to the "The Halo of Dalai Lama" reaction. One my roommates once told me about a conversation between him and one of his distant uncles ("door ke rishtedar"). The conversation went something like this.
Uncle: Beta where do you work?.
My Roomie (with a look beaming with pride): I work at Infosys.
Uncle: (With a look on the face that signifies respect, appreciation, praise etc). Ooh Mr Murthy's Infosys. Its a great company .. blah blah ... How do you think should I ask my son to become some one like you?

Of course the rest of the conversation mentioned above is inconsequential. The look on my friend's uncle's face is what matters. My friend described it to as "He looked at me as if I am an enlightened soul with the Halo of Dalai Lama behind my head" This description stayed put in my head and I learnt that it was so very true when I went home on my first vacation.

Suddenly I was no longer the guy in the grey T-shirt and muddy blue jeans who stood for all things that college students (guys) are not supposed to do. I am referring to things like bunking lectures, hanging out in canteen, ogling at girls, sleeping in the occasional lecture that I attended, copying assignments and so on ..... an no I didn't do drugs or ciggarettes so please don't imagine those in the so on list. I was now the guy who had made it to one of the most successful and respected companies in India. I was now seen as an ambassador of the company. I was now seen as the one with "The Halo of Dalai Lama"

So you might ask what's so special about this look... to site a few things I'll use a approach better known as then and now. The "then" here is when I was in college and the "now" here is when I came for a vacation after joining infy.
1. "Then" Mom nagged me about the fact that despite being bright (all Mom's think thier kid is bright) I couldn't stay above the 60 % mark consistently during my B.E. She wanted me to reduce my involvement in all the extra curriculars (refer to the so on ... list above) "Now" she was convinced that I was doing all of that with a purpose. I pretended that I had it all planned :)

2. "Then" some of my neighbours would think (I guess) this guy is spoiling the kids by hanging out in the playground during the exams (I did that a lot). "Now" the same set of neighbours were appreciative of my intellect. The suddenly started believing in "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".

3. "Then" I was the person who barely scrapped through the exams and didn't seem to be good enough to make it to a job in the campus placements. "Now" people would ask me for advice on career advice for their kids and they would actually listen to me.

4. "Then" My college teachers viewed me as an "outstanding student" - a student who always stood out of the classroom. "Now" my college teachers viewed me as an "outstanding student" - a student who worked for Infosys.

With the "Then" - "now" approach I believe I have really highlighted "The Halo of Dalai Lama" and its significance. I have to put some disclaimers out here. I wasn't actually all that bad in college. I did manage to clear all my semesters of engineering in first attempt in Mumbai university and that is a feat that only a small percentage of people (I guess that percentage would be as low as 20 %) manage to perform. Of course this feat was known only to a few people (my family and close friends). Most of my neighbours and relatives had kids who did the same feat but with an average which was much above 60 %. (Some of them actually had managed a first class every sem). Thus it was not that I was all that bad in the eyes of my neighbours, it was just that I wasn't too good enough :) ... Infosys for the first time changed that from not bad to "The Halo of Dalai Lama"


  1. hi..i hav been reading ur blog from quite somtime..itz really interesting and cool the way u describe things..and i am really getting to know a lot of things about INFOSYS inner life da(the company i am going to join next)..keep blogging

  2. I loved and quite relate to the "then" and "now" syndrome of people... Chadte suraj ko hi sab salaam karte hai Vishal babu...

  3. hi its nice tat u ve got a gud identiy now can u say more abt infosys i m a fresher n waiting for infy call letter can u help me out abt training n tests office culture like how u move with colleagues superiors food dressings language accent etc these would b really helpful for me
    i know its a great company i want to prove me worthy plzzzzzz

  4. This response is for the anonymous person who commented about joining infy ...
    Next time you expect a response .. please leave a mail id [:)]

  5. Infosys Sucks BIG TIME!!!

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