Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Cop it sweet

Anjali & I used to work in the same office. She was related to the big boss from the HO & was brought in to assist the accountant. A bold & smart woman, around 24 yrs old, who was not afraid speak out.

Within a week or so I found out that she was there to keep watch on the Project lead’s nefarious activities. She did her job so well that the Project lead was thrown out within a month’s time because of his own short comings.

She stayed on after that & continued to assist the accountant with the work. We were not great friends but got along well. She sort of adopted me as her sounding board & would tell me all what was happening in her life. Sometimes I ponder what is it about me that convinces people into spilling their secrets, and that too in the first meeting itself. Anyways can’t blame them fully coz I too ask a lot of questions.

Anjali was very fond of my kids & would once in a while bring packets of different types of chocolate bars for them. She would brush aside my hesitation & remind me that her husband worked as a supervisor in a chocolate factory. When I would comically express my envy at his working in my dream job she would tell me how it was not all it seemed to be. They were not satisfied with his job coz there was no scope for growth in the line he was working. Though he would merit a measly salary hike every year there were no such things as promotions since his qualifications did not merit a post higher than what he was holding. And plus it was a night shift job which was getting too tiring & threw their entire lifestyle out of gear.

But it was not like they were just sitting & doing nothing about it. They were saving up for a diploma course he wanted to attend, which could get him better jobs in another field as he thought the present field held no benefits. He & Anjali believed that he was in this predicament as his father had made his career choice even though he was not at all that keen.

Soon Anjali got a good offer from another company & she left us to take that up. Even after she left she would call us at the office atleast once in a month & keep us posted with what was happening in her life. Now that she was earning well, her husband was able to join his dream course earlier than expected. Soon she told us he cleared his course & left the present job to get into another company in another emirate[around 2-3 hrs away]. She told me later that the salary was just the same as the previous company but they weren’t quibbling about it as he was just a beginner. They were very excited at these new developments in their life.

It was decided that he would go first, settle down in his job, find a good apartment & only then take Anjali & their child. They were in no hurry to make drastic changes immediately since she was also working under a contract & couldn’t leave her job just like that.

In the meantime I too had left my job & both of us didn’t speak to each other for a few months. I don’t know how but I just don’t find the time to call anybody sometimes. I seriously am in awe of all the people who manage their home, go to work, find time to blog, facebook, orkut & twitter. Anyways, we did call each other once or twice but each time we tried to speak the other would be busy & months just passed by like that. Then one day she calls out of the blue & we idly spoke for a few minutes when she burst out that she quit her job the previous week. It seemed like the people in the company were not good, their workings very shady, they were taking advantage of her inexperience, etc, etc, etc.

I was like “Look at the bright side, now you can join your husband” but she said that was not possible immediately as her husband hadn’t found a good apartment yet….the rents there were quite steep & all these places were very far from where he worked which made it all the more difficult.

Now that she was at home she called me more regularly & slowly she began revealing her frustrations. She was going crazy managing her child alone the whole week. Her husband who came on weekends, spent most of the time sleeping off his tiredness as he was being overworked in the company. The pay rise they promised him after a few months did not materialize. The job was nothing great, job satisfaction was nil & to top it the boss was hard to please. Expenses were more as they were living separately and whatever little extra which remained, went towards Taxi expenses[between Sharjah & Fujairah] which amounted to more than 1000 dirhams per month. There seemed to be no way out of this vicious circle as recession had set in by then & jobs came by so sparsely. It was obvious that they were bearing the burden of the biggest mistake they made in their lives.

Anjali was so fed up with the life she was leading that she went back to India for a break. For almost 3 months there was no news of her & then suddenly she calls me last week. After the usual pleasantries she told me excitedly that her husband left the job in Fujairah as he was taken back by his old company the chocolate factory. He had called them in desperation & they took him back, just like that.

The same job which they thought gave no scope for improvement in their lives was now a blessing in their eyes. The pay was the same but their savings were more. So what if it was night-shift, atleast the company provided transportation to & fro & he was able come back home at the end of the day.

Anjali was laughing, telling me how her husband vowed fervently that he was never going to leave this company, ever but underneath I could hear the relief in her voice. In her own words, those eight months taught them a lesson which was not going to be forgotten in a hurry.

So many times, we don’t realize the value of what we have until we lose it. And there's no second chance. Anjali, I thought, was extremely fortunate.

Cop it sweet: An Australian saying which means....to get lucky in a way that you did not expect


  1. hmmm.. everything happens for a reason.
    had he not changed his job, they would have never realized its value and would have been cribbing till date about it..

    nice narration Nancy, & all thru the post i was thinking what could the title mean in the context of what I was reading.. good one!

  2. Oh God! So true isn't it!
    But its sad that we realize the value of certain things only after we happen to be on the losing side na :(
    Glad the family got it back atleast!

  3. That was a good one Nancy, life doesn't give second chances to many but your friend was among few fortunate ones.

    It required patient reading though, I have a tendency to hop read and I had to keep going back to check again.

    Have a choice day!!!

  4. Cop it sweet... hmmm...

    thought provoking...

  5. How true,Nancy? Most of the times, we overlook things for the abundance of it!

    What is in today?I am repeatedly reminded of reconcilation and 'no second chance' post after post!!Maybe, God is communicating?

  6. Tara: "had he not changed his job, they would have never realized its value and would have been cribbing till date about it.."
    Exactly what I was thinking :-))!!!

    Swaram: Seriously, so am I:-))!!!

    Sadia: yeah, just realised its a bit long isnt it;-P!!!

    Hitchwriter: Tell me the truth...did u read it ;-D???

    Athivas: Really??? Then u must listen to what ur heart is telling u to do:-)).

  7. I read every word... and thats all I have to say...

  8. LOL.......please accept my most sincere apologies;-D

  9. dont apologise... !! bah... !!

    but seriously do you think I comment without reading ??

  10. Nice read..
    and bfr u ask me like u asked hitchy..Yes i did read the whole post :)

  11. Hitchwriter: Ofcourse I think that...coz both u & swaram compete to be first tht u dont read anything...infact most of time I see comments where u say tht u'll be back;-D.

    Lifeismystery: Hehe ofcourse I wont ask u that...u see Hitchwriter is a superstar with a reputation which precedes him;-D

  12. I am not a person who read write ups...just because im always in a hurry..and lazy and not a reading person.....Butthis one.....I read it whole because it is something thats happening to one and all these days...

    Let me also mention this quote which suits ur story..."Kannillenkiley kannintey vila ariyoo".....Meaning "you know the value of eyes once you dont have them".....somethig like that..

    N ya, the lives of expatriates in UAE is become more and more difficult day by day...
    Very well written dear,,.....Else i WOULD HAVE NEVER read it..:)


  13. Sigh Superstardom and its side effects... how many misconceptions do you clear...

    Sigh this first first race... I have retired !!!!!!

  14. Yeah she was very fortunate to have a second chance. Long distance relationships are very very hard and if they are dissatisfied with the job and place, things become even more frustrating. Glad for Anjali :)

  15. 'we don’t realize the value of what we have until we lose it'.. sooo true! u know this is my father's fave saying and no doubt i have grown up hearing this day in and out.
    i am glad things worked out for ur fren..
    i have been jobhunting in the last one week or so and u know how tough it is to find the right thing here in dubai, so i was in a not-so-great mood since the morning..reading your post made me realise that i should stop fretting and be thankful for whatever lil i have
    keep posting Nancy.. i love your simplicity in ur posts which are yet so meaningful

  16. Do you think about writing stories. I loved reading this! About the lesson, true, we often don't realise what we have till we lose it. Good for her that things have worked out. I am sure she will find another job, and things will be great.

  17. Shabs: That proverb realy is apt in this case....but the sad thing is tht until we experience it ouselves we are never convinced.
    And thank U for the compliment:-))

    Hitchwriter: Oh DONT do tht...all of us will be heart-broken;-o

    Prashanti: U r speaking from experience abt LD relationships, right:-)).

    ISH: Just hang in there...all too suddenly things will just click & everything will fall into place. Think of it as an extended holiday & pamper urself in the meantime:-)).
    And thank U for the compliment...I am louing it;-D

    Passionate Goof: Oh I think of it sometimes but I just dont do anything about it;-D.
    Yeah she's looking out, a job will be like icing on the cake:-))

  18. Wonderful narration Nancy. My husband always says that there is just our jobs between us and the streets! In these tough economic times it is important to be content with what we have and hold an optimistic attitude for what the future holds for us :)

  19. Wow ...!! Thank God that everything turned out well for Anjali and her hubby! I always use to think "Better the devil you know than the one you don't"

    However taking risks is part of life. When one takes risks, expecting the worst case scenarios may help to fine tune our plans better. :-)

  20. brilliant narration Nan! very well written and it was nice to read a happy ending. Everything (good and bad) happens for a reason, which is observable mostly only in hindsight. Usually people have to make that move in order to find out, or else they keep regretting something...

  21. so true..so so true...so glad they got the second chance!

  22. Hmm...guess things just didn't work out for him. But hey...if he hadn't tried, he would never have found out!
    hehe...I get your point though...we don't realize the worth of what we have, unless we lose it, or in his case, get something worse!

  23. so timely- I just received an email from a friend telling of a young woman who lost her friends in the recent Samoan flooding and tsunami. She was saying how the young woman felt overwhelmed with the fact she hadn't let her friends know how much she cared for them.

    We often take for granted the things we have- and we don't appreciate the people or the jobs or the place we are in....until we don't have them anymore! Thankfully Anjali's family was given a second chance to get back those things they lost.

  24. so does that mean one shouldn't try 4 change? ever?

  25. sweet...but sometimes we get so complacent in what we have, thinking that its what we were meant to have that we wouldnt try for something more...but the problem with that is u wouldn get anythin more if u dint try for it rite?

    in the case of your narration - yes they were prob better off earlier...but unless u try; u wouldnt know that...and ud always be wondering if the grass was actually greener on the other side!

  26. Irony of life. I watched a movie once (i'm bad with names, don't remember), where there was this brilliant dialogue "In life, the recipes created by us are often the best".. Ppl might classify decisions as right/wrong but ultimately its upto us to figure out what works for us. Glad everything worked out well for Anjali & family. I LOVE happy endings :)

    I like the title too. Didn't know about the Oz saying!

  27. She was indeed lucky to get a second chance to happiness.. hmmm.. and even more lucky to realise it and grab it..

  28. Beautiful nancy !

    BTW who doesnt adore your kids?..they are so adorable.

    Life has a way of teaching us all that we dont want to. To me everyday is a lesson learnt.

  29. Very Nice and thought provoking Post Nancy!!

  30. Jira: I sooo identified with ur comment but from personal experience I'll tell u that some others wd mistake the same for a laid back attitude towards life:-))!!!!

    thethoughtfultrain: Ur comment covered both parts of the argument and I especially agree with tht last sentence which makes a lot of sense:-))

    Snow: Thank U!!!! Maybe if it wasnt a happy ending I wd have never written it down;-).

    Titaxy: Yes...makes one shudder to think how long it cd have continued if he hadnt got the old job back.

    Meira: Tara used the same reasoning;-D!!!!

    Anjuli: Oh so terrible...such a tragedy.....losing dear ones is the hardest & its the worst coz there r no second chances there:-(

    Blunt Edges: I have given u a real life story here...frankly speaking I feel it cd have gone either ways.....on the other side he cd got the job of his dreams & made it big......& the moral of the story would have been different....it is up to us to draw ur own conclusions:-)).

    Sunshine: The Human tendancy is to reach out for the stars.....all of us want to live a better life and thts wht they also did. There is no right or wrong here....it can happen to any one of us:-)).

    Rohitha: Exactly what I telling Blunt edges:-))!!!
    And so do I....love happy endings I mean;-D. As for the title, it is an informal saying, as in used very colloquially among the Australians;-)).

    SandhyaS: Yes thats what I thought too:-))!!!

    Renu: Exactly!!! U knw I always feel tht God sometimes gives us things we plead for, even though he know it will not be good for us...just so that we make the mistake & learn from it.

    Never Ending Memories: Thank U:-))!!!!

  31. Nice lesson in the story. But as they say: nothing lost, nothing gained. Sometimes you have to make some choices,live the consequences and explore new territories. Such is the way of life! Enjoyed reading!

  32. Nice story with a happy parting note. Whoever coined the phrase the grass is greener on the other side was mostly right !

    Btw , I know the clear answer to you poser - "Sometimes I ponder what is it about me that convinces people into spilling their secrets, and that too in the first meeting itself". Simple, because you're understanding, kind, patient and supportive. Just see the tone of your posts, your comments, ....

  33. So true. Sometimes we just keep looking for more and more and do not see the good things we are blessed with. Thanks for this reminder.

  34. I hope this story doesn't discourage people from aiming higher. I guess, they tried right - education, better job, but luck wasn't on their side.

    Maybe they just think this is a good job coz. it's better than the previous one. "Relativity"

  35. Yes,Nancy we get so caught up in our desire for a better life that we dont realize what is best for us is right beside us.

    Beautiful post,Nance!

  36. Ramesh: Hehe.... and when we finally climb that fence & reach there & chk it out we realise the grass on first side is way better than this.
    The way I see it, U r describing urself;-D!!!!!

    Lakshmi: My pleasure:-))!!!

    Rakesh: LOL...if it were the opposite I might have been worried but human tendenency is always to climb upwards not step down.
    Anjali's kahani cd have gone either ways.....if everything had gone according to plan he cd got a much better job & made it big...but such is life. All I thought was that they were very fortunate to get that second chance.

    Deeps: If only we knew ahead how the decisions we take were going to turn out, life would have been so much simpler huh!!!

  37. this is such a nice incident to learn from. We humans do have the tendency to keep asking for more and more and then realise one day, the value of what we have lost in that process. Being contended or "santosh"(as my mom says) is what we need to learn.

  38. It was such a simple thought...I was wondering if you would get preachy towards the end... but then u didnt... very nice read :)
    happy they are together again :)

  39. Sample 1 :)...

    The response requires a post by itself - so you have given me one more topic for a blog post. Will try to find the time someday.

    (& no... I have not disappeared) - just have been trying to find enough time to read in detail and comment intelligently ;).

  40. Sample 1 :)...

    The response requires a post by itself - so you have given me one more topic for a blog post. Will try to find the time someday.

    (& no... I have not disappeared) - just have been trying to find enough time to read in detail and comment intelligently ;).

  41. u make a good point.....its sad most of us realise what we really want and the value of things in our lives when we are on the verge of losing them or have already lost them....i wonder what it is about human psyche that does that.

    btw, well written story.

  42. very well written....and well depicted..we dont know why life offers some choices only to teach us....that we learned to be grateful for wht we have..!

  43. Dil se: Ur mom said it so well. The older generation were very content with their lot......they managed their lives so well inspite of the hardships:-))

    Amrita: I sooo realise that their life story cd have gone either ways...if everything had worked out for them the ending would have been different.
    So no question of getting preachy;-D.

    Colours: Huh what is the connection between intelligence & my blog;-o?????

    limenlemons: Believe me when I say I wonder about it all the time. And thank U:-))!!!

    Vinoo John: I wonder if u'll beieve me when I say tht at the end of the day I'm grateful for even the troubles in my life....grateful that they are just that much and not worse;-P.
    And thank U:-))!!!!

  44. Nice read. Its so true, we crib and crib without appreciating the nicer things that we have, once we lose it, we crib again!!

    Cop it sweet....nice phrase

  45. Thought provoking story.

    And luckily, they got a second chance. Most people are not that lucky.

    Nicely written, Nancy.

  46. yep exactly...which is why i said that unless you try for the unknown - ud never know if its good or bad...and hence ud be left thinking that maybe u got the wrong end of the stick! :)

  47. so true..u never count ur blessings...when i was in psychaitry i never realised how cool it is..but once i got into medicine[night shifts etx!!] i got to know that for 1 days[psy] i was in pure heaven!!....same thing now..when ever i get frustrated/overworked i realise tht its nothing compared to med postings..lol

  48. very true...Unfortunatily we don't have any time machine to go back and correct our mistakes and wrong choices.
    Between atleast she was lucky to have a second chance

  49. I believe the phrase "Whatever happens, happens for good". It is difficult to follow during testing times but I think its true.
    Great post once again. It did make me start thinking and appreciating everything I have. It is better to appreciate when you have it than feeling sad after its gone.

  50. Working in a chocolate factory is as good as it gets. Ask your kids if you don't believe me. There's a lot of room for "growth"...

  51. Anjali indeed is fortunate. But at the end of things, it is better to have tried rather than not to have tried at all. This is why Anjali got a second chance:-))

  52. gud one...

    it sure is better to feel contented.. hwevr, its best to try for other things - if we get it we r lucky - if not we mite atleast not crib abt wat we have, rt?!

    glad for the fam..

    hpy diwali all..

  53. Insignia: Exactly, sometimes we are so busy cribbing that we never realise that all along it was in our very hands to change it.
    And thank U:-))!!!!!

    Masood: Thank U:-))!!!!

    Sunshine: Something like "Damned if u do, damned if u dont";-D!!!!

    Brocasarea: Exactly...always think how the lesser fortunate are faring...that way we are always happy with wht we have;-)).

    Anishthomas: In these times of recession where everybody is holding on to wht they have for fear of having nothing, they were indeed fortunate to get back the previous job..that 2nd chance.

    Divya: Oh it is very hard to practice it...we are always convinced tht the grass is greener on the other side;-D

    Agnes: Hehe in this case I dont have to ask the kids.....I'm a living proof of all that "growth";-D

    Lan: Yes u said it...we must try, otherwise how will we know:-))!!!!

    Sulo badri: Righto...if we get it we've earned it and if we dont, it was not meant to be:-)).
    And Happy Diwali to u too!!!!!

  54. Love U Nancy...good one, you should write a novel, soon, u spin the story well, even real ones...
    I am still in a hiatus, cant seem to get out of it...we are back but I am not yet back to blogging...don't know why...But Miss u, that I do.
    There is no one simple formula for success, sometimes a change brings luck sometimes it brings disaster...it is all different for different people...

  55. Very well said, Nancy. Most of our lives are spent on thinking and planning and dreaming of a better tomorrow that we forget the simple joys and pleasures of today. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

  56. Such a beautiful post, Nancy. So true. So many times, we donot realise our good fortune and hanker after things which might not be the best for us.. We forget to enjoy our present in our constant quest to better our future.. Cop it sweet is so apt. Anjali certainly did get lucky in a way she certainly must not have expected..

  57. Nancy,not able to comment on your latest post?

  58. Sindhu: Thank U:-))!!! Like u said....there's no sure-fire recipe for success.
    Get back soon...miss ur posts:-))!!!

    Wanderlust: Yeah its just like one of the 1st things I remember learning in Economics "Human wants are un limited" and from then on its a vicious circle;-P.

    Smitha: Thank U:-))!!!! Was not sure how the title of the post was construed by everybody. U said it exactly like how I meant it to be understood;-D

    Savitha: Yeah my mistake, I had written it in one of the old drafts;-/

  59. I hope they wouldnt stop spreading their legs just coz of this first set back

  60. Oh I doubt it.....but I'm willing to bet on it that they'll be more careful the next time they plan something:-)).

  61. Cop it sweet, eh ???? I like it.

    Anjali's story is a true eye opener to many ppl, who dont count their blessings.

    My best wishes to Anjali !!!!

  62. Agree with U!!!! Thank U Uma:-))!!!!

  63. I love it when stories have a good ending! :) Here the beginning and the ending are the same of course..... well, i honestly think that one should aspire to do more, i truly appreciate them having tried the tough road, albeit with no spectacular result this time!


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