Life Is Full! Really Full...
Just off the 80 feet peripheral road in Koramangala, a twist and a turn leads into a dead-end street. It's a small stretch of road, this street (more of an alley actually) and it isn't too difficult to spot the 4-storey Icode building. Dozens of cars parked in vacant plots of surrounding land indicate there's some sort of activity up here and add to that is this steady stream of people most times, including some half-a-dozen foreigners, their IDs dangling around their necks. Nothing surprising really, since many software companies have a regular dose of foreign visitors each day. But the same faces? Daily? Now, that's surprising! So, what's up Sherlock?
Elementary my dear Watson! They work there.
Elia Ramapuram is Italian by birth. To argue if her Malayalam is as good as her Italian would mean invoking a discussion on the chicken-egg theory. Whether the cows come home or not, the debate goes on. In 1960, at the age of 21 when she was still studying she met this Keralite cinematographer, who came to Italy for higher studies. She married him, came to India in 1960 and has been here ever since. For 10 years they were part of a joint family in Kottayam (Kerala). Later, they moved to Mangalore and finally settled in Coorg amongst their plantations. In fact, her late husband discarded all ambitions of being a cinematographer and instead, opted to look after the family estates. When he passed away, Elia took over the responsibility of managing the estates from 1979 till 1992 and now two of her sons have taken over. She has 5 children, all married and she's grandmother to 7 grand children. Mama Mia!
Grandma Elia once came to Bangalore to spend time with her youngest daughter and was told that there was an opening at Icode for translators. She took a chance and applied. She got the assignment. Which was to translate 'Accware' and 'Everest' user-manuals, installations manuals, online help, brochures, etc for the Italian market. She's now on the job for over 8 months and she's enjoying every bit. "There's a lot of work," says Elia and Surprise! Surprise! She first saw a computer when she was in 10th standard but never, ever worked on one till she came to Icode.
What happens when this assignment ends? "Something else will come up," says Elia with a hearty laugh. "Icode isn't going to stop with this." Hopeful, that with new products under way, translations into various languages will be the norm. After her husband passed away, she was entrusted with family responsibilities, to ensure her kids settled in life. Now, as she says and rather surprised at the turn of events, "My life is full. Too full, in fact," laughing as she points at the computer monitor in front. Elia is thoroughly enjoying herself.
She has kids of similar ages and hence, adapting herself to the youthful, extremely friendly atmosphere and culture at Icode was never a problem for Elia. 'Piece of Lasagna' is what Mama Mia would probably have said.