How NICK was born!!
In a matter of days..his name changed to PattAnik.. read it again! then the last 3 words remained.. Nik.. or Nick! Well people now call him so.. and he loves his name too!
All in my life since my childhood, i had dreamt of 2 things- that I will sit on an aeroplane someday and second is that I will fly in it for free!!
I started thinking more of it and the noise of the aeroplane buzzing overhead made me rush to the window to have a look at it. The more i looked at it, the more it did fascinate me. The more i heard it, the more i started falling in love with it..
My fascination did not make me work nor did i know what it takes to reach to that place! my Dad and Mom came along.. Having been to the erstwhile Soviet Union in his youth, he told me the path to the goal is not always well built, many have to carve out their own. I neither could understand the meaning of the line, nor could figure out how I would reach the sky.
Curiosity took the better of me one day and i decided to fly. I took an umbrella and climbed on to the attic! I opened the umbrella and jumped! The flight with the new parachute lasted just 2 seconds but i felt nice!! Wright brother story book had definitely inspired me.
When i grew up, all along silently i kept thinking of the people sitting in there whenever i heard the thunderous noise of the Air India flight overhead!I would envy them. Still silently i looked up and used to see the flight spreading its mammoth wings and tearing thru the heart of the clear blue sky. A tribute.. and a silent prayer always came out in muffled voice. i too will sit in an aeroplane.
I went to the College which was the best in the state in the intermediate stage..The BJB college. And then somehow i made thru to the best engineering college in the state..People of our times call it the Regional Engineering College, kids now call it the National Institute of Technology. When i walked on the deserted road from the Electrical department to the Halls of residence in the hot summer sun, i would steal glances at the sky to hear the same melodious thunderous roar..the sound pulled me to it..Sometimes i looked too much foolish but not many could appreciate this coz this had been very serious aspect of my life now but to many it appeared routine!
On the eventful day of August 16,2002 something happened which brought me closer to my dream. A bunch of people came over to our college and aksed me a few questions. Not that i answered them correctly, but impressed were they with what i said. Somehow they saw something in me which they thought they could polish and make shine. Infosys recruited me.Supravat Rath- the man behind had a smile on his lips which i still see as the smile of the gods.
Then walking on the same road, i could see the plane close to me. inviting me with its arms spread, pulling me to it. In moments, i changed from the Electrical engineer to a software engineer which once in school had failed in the preliminary computer test!
Days flew and i landed in 2005. A year and half old then in Infosys, Radha baran Mohanty, my project manager asked me to go to Calcutta, the entry point to the coveted aeroplane seat..The lady at the VISA desk asked me a lot of questions but somehow made thru and got a valid Visa too. Know what.. all my family and I was elated!
But still the flight kept me waiting!
Came 2006. And soon january was gone!
Never thought it is actually materialising! I was actually going to fly! And not by a open umbrella, not in dreams but in the best of the best dreams turned reality. All my family was there at the Biju Patnaik International airport to see me fly! I thanked God for having given me the opportunity to see the drop of tear of happiness in the eyes of all who cared for me. Know what.. who was happy the most - My Baba and my Uncle! Baba saw it as his reflection going to board the flight and Uncle saw me as his nuturing going ripe. And my sisters Rosy Tiki were so proud..
It was dusk when i kissed the ground at the airport and boarded the first flight of my life to Delhi. Indian Airlines- the same carrier which had sown the seeds of my dream was going to make it a truth. I pulled my seat belts and took the window seat. When the plane took off, all i could feel was a tinge in my stomach which made me crazy!! Boy! I was loving it!! I cried and thanked god that i could bring happiness to the lives of all of them who cared for me.
The ground below was going down and then i realised i was on AIR!!!!!
The flight reached Delhi and then We took over to the Continental Airlines for 16 hours to reach Hartford. When i saw the lights inside the flight, i thought may be i would see some airhostess which i saw in movies!! Alas. all i could see was the 45 year old ladies( read buddhies!) in there. I decided to sleep. I got my forst shock when i reached the toilet for meeting the nature in the air.. Actually it was it. All air and no water!!! I came back to my seat..exasperated!
When i descended the flight, it was -15 degrees outside!! But boy! I loved that i am in the United States of America.
February 20th- My first day at Aetna Inc, the leading healthcare and Insurance major in the United States.Lots of people, Majority of them white and red..with names which failed to be pronounced on my tongue! How was i to know that Phil was going to be my best pal! I had a hard time pronouncing my name to them too!
Subhendu Pattnaik. Sub as in SUBero(the Car type here) hen ( as in Hen which lays eggs) and Du ( as in DO)! I never dared to explain them the last name of mine!! And hence they decided it themselves! They could never call me Pattnaik!!
Thus came along their version of me.. PattAnik.. read it again!! ( The last 3 alphabets changed me to Nik .. NICK!!) They even gave me a mail id with this name.. Pattanik@aetna.com!!
Boy! As i sit here and write this auto-biography of my nomenclature.. i say i am satisfied with the attention i get and the salary too!! All i know at heart that there is nothing like being in Bhubaneswar!!eating Gupchup and being with my family and friends.
Still Nick loves this place!!