International Women’s Day on March 8 comes once in a year (even though women’s rule continues for the entire year!) and although women all over need to be honored, this blog post specially wishes Indian women in the software industry a very happy women’s day by narrating an incident that highlights how such women work as jugglers in the circus called life by trying to balance career and family.
Working in the software industry is at times similar to working like a beast of burden plowing the earth on a farm from sunrise to sunset, with the whip of stringent deadlines and living up to quality standards cracking above one’s back. This software field just like the field that the animal is plowing, shows no mercy to any kind of human irrespective of class, creed, race, gender, nationality and neither does it care much for time zones.
I work as a software developer and the female QA resource from my team who validates my work lives in India. When the sun rises for her there, it is setting for us here in the United States. Once, when some critical work was going on, I was chatting with her online in the morning. I informed her that the task on hand was required to be finished by 3.00 p.m. U.S. time. What I forgot to say was that it was to be done before tomorrow. She misunderstood that it had to be done on that current night itself and her response naturally contained heavy concern. But it was something she said jokingly towards the end, switching abruptly to Hindi – something that came straight from her heart, a sudden wave of relief – that made me chuckle instantly and then reflect on it later on. The conversation on chat went something like this:
. . . . .
QA: What??? You mean I have to test all that before 3.00 tonight?
Me: No, no. Not tonight. Sorry, I meant it has to be done before 3.00 p.m. tomorrow, U.S. time. That means you have a whole day in between.
QA: Thank god! Accha hua, nahi toh sasu maa ghar se nikaal deti 🙂
(Translation: That’s good, otherwise maa-in-law would throw me out of the house)
Marveling at all the multitasking that is done, I tried to think of an Indian goddess with only two arms but none came to mind and I suddenly realized why they were almost always depicted with multiple ones!