I looked across the empty room for the last time. All things had been packed and sent out in the luggage cart. There remained only a small shoulder bag and a purse on the table. I picked them up and turned towards the TV. I had been watching tangled on Star Movies to pass the time. I switched it off. I didn’t know what else to do. All of a sudden I didn’t want to move. I wanted my room and luggage back. This all was so not fair. How would you feel when you start liking a place you live in and suddenly, a time comes when you have to move away to a new place, leaving all your friends and memories behind?
The door bell ranged bringing me back to my real world. I jumped at the loud sound it made in the empty room and quickly opened the door. There she was! And what’s more, she had a sweet smile on her face today. Wow, I couldn’t believe that on my last day I would be seeing her too. Any other day when she would come, either I would be sleeping or watching TV. That would be mostly on weekends and I would get slightly irritated. But today she was more than welcome. It was the last time I would be meeting her after all. She was the only woman responsible for the clean sheets and extra coffee packets besides my kettle in the room every day. My housekeeper.
“Ready to check out ma’am?” she asked in her kind tone.
“Yes” I replied.
“Please don’t lock the safe in the cupboard. Keep it as it is” she requested.
“I haven’t locked anything” I said, mentally preparing myself to not break down in front of her.
“Have a happy journey” she smiled and went away.
I sighed. It was time. I got out of the room and glanced one last time at each and every thing. Trying to keep my face straight, I closed the door and kept the room keys safely in my purse. As I started to walk away, my mobile started vibrating. I was slightly cheered by hearing my father’s voice. He had reached the campus! I was going to see him after seven long months. That thought made my legs move faster. I started cheering a bit. Seriously, what the hell was happening? Few minutes before, I was sad and unhappy and now after hearing my dad’s voice, I was feeling like an excited kid who has just received her Christmas presents.
I reached the facilities room and entered the building with my heart beating fast. I was literally breathless. I went at the main desk and deposited the keys and the membership card. I was told to collect the black tag from another desk. I turned and started walking at the opposite desk. Whew! Finally, I thought to myself. The entire race for the first half of this year had been for the black tag- to be an employee. Right then, I was wearing a white tag which meant that I was still a trainee.
Oh yes, I was dying to get a black tag as soon as possible. But that’s not easy to get at Infosys. Before joining the company, I knew the training was going to be tough. Still I decided to go ahead. When the training started, my whole life shifted to just staring at the slides. Being in GEC from 9am-11pm became a regular thing. I bet that I haven’t studied this much even for my board exams. Weekends were no different from weekdays. The whole schedule centered around two things only-study the sildes and drink coffee. Trust me when I say this, I haven’t eaten food in food courts as much as I have drank coffee in GEC. Some say it was like a soup to them. But to me it was like a god given gift to help in keeping my eyes open for the next couple of hours. I stopped wearing my watch (which never happened before). What’s the point anyway when you can always view the system time? Throughout Generic-Intermediate-Stream-Extended training, apart from learning a lot of Java, RDBMS, UNIX and Finacle, I learned to carry my tumbler always with me, no matter what. It’s the most demanding thing in the class during training!
I couldn’t believe it when I saw my white tag getting replaced by the black one. The man at the desk smiled and enquired about my posting. But I couldn’t concentrate much on him. I was curiously examining the black tag, the one which every infoscion craves for. It was long and looked new, clearly contrasting the previous white one. He cleared his throat and I looked up. He pointed at the register where I had to sign. I completed the formalities and he nodded. That was my cue to go. Finally, it was over. Incredibly, I had finished the training successfully.
But there was one more thing left to do. Something silly and stupid. I went back to GEC covering the black tag with the stole around my neck. It was well hidden. I walked confidently away from the security towards the swipe machines. A woman bodyguard called out and asked me to come towards her for the bag checking. All trainees should get their bags checked if they are carrying any. But never the black tags infoscions. Never.
I pushed away my stole and proudly displayed her the black tag, waving it in the air exactly how Dhoni would have waved the world cup. The guard smiled and allowed me to go. Laughing at particularly nothing, I half jogged and half ran towards the exit-Gate No.2. My luggage had already arrived before me. I kept them in a trolley and pushed it towards the main gates. When I reached outside, instinctively I turned towards the benches and saw my father, the first person who had supported and encouraged me to be where I am today. At that moment, I felt proud to be his daughter. And proud to be an Infoscion.