Always nurtured in the comfort zone with Mom and Dad, I had never known the pain of staying away from home. But since I started working in Hugh Technolabs I had to move to Jaipur leaving behind my city and the people I loved the most in life. It has been a year now and living alone in a big city all alone surely gives me a feeling of being independent but at the same time when you eat the cafeteria food everyday all you can think about is Maa ke haath ka khana. Being brought up in a small town of Gujarat named Nadiad I hadn't known much about the world. Soon after my schooling most of my relatives advised me to take up engineering.
Hence I followed the same and pursued engineering in computer science. In the beginning it seemed to be a hectic paradigm but gradually I enjoyed it. Like every Indian parents, my parents were also very proud of my decision of choosing engineering. Being the only child I had received all the attention I could gather from my family. I was everyone's favourite, not only my parents but my whole family adored me like their own kid.
My college was just an hour from home so I was a day scholar. For one whole year my dad used to drop me till college and finally by second year I convinced him to buy me a scooter. Now you can imagine how I was brought up all these years. Sitting at my desk my mind wandered over these thoughts. My hands were involuntarily running over the keyboard making a continuous clicking sound. I was completing my work target for the week as I had to leave for my Diwali vacations.
"Akash are you done with the code? We won't be going anywhere unless we deliver the complete working web site by this week. Parallelly I will make sure that Sarah completes the testing of the same."
"Yes Saurabh, I totally understand that. Don't worry it's my responsibility to deliver an error proof web site and it will be delivered before the deadline."
"Employees like you are our company's true assets. Good luck man. I will see you around."
That was my team lead Saurabh. This is how he boosts our moral and gets the work done. We are perfection lovers. Now you can imagine the pressure I am going through. I haven't confirmed yet to my parents if I will be going home this Diwali. Mom is very upset and she has not picked my call since yesterday night.
Sometimes even your dream job can put you in major trouble. I loved my job and I had no issues working extra hours but this situation was very complicated. We had to deliver this project to our clients before Diwali as they had to launch this web site for their new product on Diwali itself.
My parents were quite old now and more than that they are emotionally attached to me. Dad keeps asking me to join some company in Nadiad. But it's hard to convince them that I won't be able to get anything better than Hugh Technolabs in my native for sure. Any millennial like me would know how hard it is to convince parents about your job preferences. That moment I was emotionally imbalanced but I had to put my hundred percent as it was about my company's reputation.
We reached Friday and the D day of my code completion as per the schedule and my train was on Sunday around 9 PM. I had to finish my work by today without fail else I may have to work even on weekend. My code was still struggling to get compiled. I was losing all hopes of getting home for vacation. The thought of disappointing my parents cringed me inside. I didn't have anyone here to celebrate Diwali. I would be all alone for Diwali in case I missed my train. To make myself feel a little better I called my mom;
"Hi Ma, how are you?"
"How do you expect me to be?"
"Ma please don't say that. You know I am not doing it on purpose. This work is my responsibility so I can't leave this halfway. There's no one here who can take it up after me. Most of them have already gone home a week back."
"I don't know all that. Without you we are not celebrating Diwali this year."
"No Ma don't do that I will try my best to come."
"Anyways I have lots of work here. I will talk to you later beta. Take care."
My existing misery was not enough, this conversation with Mom shattered me completely. I was left with zero expectations. I tried to concentrate back on my work. Saurabh came to me again;
"No luck? I am really sorry man but you already know the criticality of this project. I can't let you go without completing this. There's no one here as efficient as you currently. Even Amit won't be back before Diwali. We can't risk this."
"I understand Saurabh. It's completely fine. It's my responsibility after all."
He sat with me throughout the day helping me fix things. He was trying his best to help me out but nothing actually worked up. Somewhere around lunch break I saw my phone ringing;
"How's my baccha?"
"I am okay Papa."
"What happened? Tell me. Did Mom say anything?"
"Nothing as such. Mom is very upset. I don't want to spoil your Diwali. It's not that I don't want to come, the current condition is not favourable. How do I explain this to Ma."
"You don't worry I will handle it. You just concentrate on your work."
"Okay Papa. I will call you in the evening. If things are fixed today I will leave by Sunday. Please don't be upset Paa."
"Don't worry we will be fine. You take care."
Talking to him actually made me feel much better. He was one of the most sensible person I have ever come across. Even at the age of 67 he is much more understanding than any of my friends.
As anticipated the application didn't work and I had to work on Saturday as well. I was in office already. Saurabh was on his way as well. I felt an urge of anxiety inside me. The people who made me reach where I am today deserve all the happiness and I had to go home for them. My eyes were moist but I continued my work whatsoever.
We worked whole day and few bugs were fixed. We could at least see a web page loading successfully. Next day I went with a hopeful mind and concentrated completely on my project. Saurabh and Sarah were also beside me. After multiple rigorous testing with every possible permutation and combination of test cases we had a working web site in front of us. I literally hugged Saurabh and we could not express the joy we felt that moment. Saurabh informed me that he will handle the demo on Monday and I can leave for the day. It was just 5 PM and I had ample time to pack and leave for my train. We jumped in joy and Saurabh apologised again for all the inconvenience it has caused. I hadn't called home since yesterday.
Finally with happiness on my face I packed my laptop and returned home. Since I was unsure about my travel I had not packed my bag. In couple of hours I did my packing and left my apartment at the earliest. I was so happy that this Diwali I would be with my family. The emotions inside me were just a push away to flow out as tears. It was almost 7 PM when I took the cab to railway station.
"Oh my God!! Is this for real. Akash's Papa come here."
"Are you guys planning to do all the talking at the door step itself?"
"No no. Please come in my baccha. I just can't believe my eyes. You could have called, Papa would have come to pick you up."
"It wouldn't be a surprise then."
This would be my best Diwali ever. This was the time I realised that no matter how far you go, the happiness you receive when you are with your family is immeasurable. The joy I saw on Mom and Dad's face just made me feel content. Parents can understand every emotion of yours no matter how silent you stay and the love they share can never be compared to any other emotion in this universe.
Around 1 PM Saurabh called me up to come online for a video call as the demo with our client would start in sometime. The presentation went on for an hour and to add-on to our happiness they were super happy seeing the design and user friendly web site we had developed. They thanked our whole team for the timely delivery and assured us that we can expect more projects coming from them in future.
Finally Diwali was here and I was completely busy helping mom with all household chores. My cousin and relatives were on their way. At the same time I was on call with Saurabh as the launch was scheduled for Diwali. I was dead nervous. The whole team and the clients were on call. I switched on my laptop to track the smooth launch of the same. Every single step was tracked and our fingers were crossed.
"Congratulations guys. We have never had such a smooth launch. You guys did a fabulous job. Thank you Saurabh and Akash for making it possible. A big thank you to the whole team. Eagerly looking forward to work with you guys again in future. Good luck and a very happy Diwali to everyone."
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