Sunday, October 21, 2012

Don't judge a book by its cover

I normally don't judge a book by its cover.... and i am talking about taking the statement literally in this case.... I have heard the statement enough times to know it is not something "not-vain" people do... i do judge it by its blurb or reputation... i mean come on how else would you know which ones to buy and later spend your precious time on.... and if something can't impress you with the 100 word blurb what are the possibilities of it impressing you with the million words??

Monday, April 16, 2012

An evening well spent....

You have to first understand the setting.... it was a hot day today... the sun was harsh.... but because of the rain yesterday the evening was pleasant... it wasnt windy at all... but it was pleasant... no mosquitoes either.... for evenings spent outdoors mosquitoes are a big consideration in this part of the world.... they alone can ruin your evening.... but i guess thats the silver lining for the heat.... after a pathetic movie post noon we needed coffee.... after spending an hour or two having coffee it was time for an early dinner.... didn't feel like being inside.... so we decided on this restaurant which we know does not serve great food but has a very nice open area.... you can take the stairs and reach your own private area... literally on the top of the world considering everything around is a smaller rise... you can see very far into the city from there... they dont play loud music either... the light was dim too.... so we could see far in to the city..... but because of the clouds there were very few stars.... very very few..... and like i said it wasnt windy... but it wasnt still either.... a very very slight breeze probably.... actually i am guessing at that height where there is no obstruction there would usually be a slight breze... all in all it was pleasant... we were a group of people.... i am guessing all of us having our own troubles.... who doesn't have any... we were chatting... no heart to hearts or anything... chit chat... leg pulling... probably like a million other conversations going on at the same time.... small talk.... i was there... they werent playing songs... only music.... i could hear it in the background... if you wanted you could focus on it if you didnt you could completely forget it... like so many things in the background that have a big hand in making the scene but are easily forgotten... the music played a role .... i was feeling... I can't say feeling happy or sad... or restless or at peace... i can't give the feeling a name... it didn't have any... i just felt... i felt from deep within... it got me in a mode where you appreciate things... not the "I am so happy that even the flowers on the sidewalk are so pretty" feeling... but just feeling... where everything goes a bit deeper than every day... when you listen to a song and think... dude this guy can sing and the song touches you...... it never meant what it means today.,... where you see a person slightly sad and feel what he is feeling... not just because it's a phrase and this is what you usually say... but because you feel it... and not because you have gone through the same thing... you just feel it....... where you see a kid on the sidewalk laughing and you are happy.... where you think... Jagjit Singh is dead I can't ever attend his concert again... ever... for eternity... and you feel something... it's not sadness.... sadness is different... its not restlessness.... it isnt helplesness... its a feeling.... I felt.... i didnt feel "something" i just felt.... probably felt what is to be human........ not in the "being human" way.... but felt alive...... you know how you go through the rut.... wake up go through the daily schedule and then sleep only to wake up next day and go through the entire cycle again.... it was the feeling that takes you through the next month or 2 of the rut... it's the feeling that stops you from asking yourself... what else? what next?.... i didnt get answers..... far from it... but the feeling i got was for the needlessness  of needing the answers..... the questions will remain... always... they will come back to haunt me.... but for today I dont have to think about those questions.... i dont have to ignore them... the questions are there... but i felt... i felt.... cant say i am glad i felt... can't say i am happy i felt... I just felt that i felt... and for now that's enough..... tomorrow of course is another day.......

Thursday, March 1, 2012

That time of the day....

You know that time of the day when the sun has set but it's not dark yet... the time when if you are driving you would really need to think about whether to switch on the headlights.... when half the buildings have lights switched on making the other half appear in darkness..... the time they call twilight... actually the latter part of twilight when its almost dusk... I don't know the difference too much... but I think you know what time of the day i am talking about.... it's that time of the day... actually it was that time of the day.... (You take this much time to write and it changes to night already!).... the temperature in the office was too cold for comfort... i stepped out... wanted to get away for sometime... looking for an 'open air' place to be... where i could sit.... with or without company.... turns out it has to be without company.... i guess its better that way.... so i sit by this pool... actually not really by the pool... but a floor above the pool but with the pool visible on the side... and a lot of buildings all around.... if it was a natural setting i would have been in a valley... with mountains all around... in it's own concrete way the setting was equally beautiful.... It was a hot day today... so hot that the sun seemed to burn the skin... probably the reason for the too cold for comfort AC.... the evening was "breezy"... but the breeze was warm....

Sitting there by the pool... looking at the buildings... the blue sky turning black.... enjoying a glass of juice.... I looked at random pople... I heard random conversations.... I thought of random things... I thought of evenings past...actually of the same time of different days... I was thinking of the evenings in my balcony when i would try to click that perfect picture of the skyline.... wanted to create an "Evenings from my balcony" album... i have quite a few pictures.... the album never happened..... where's the time....I was thinking of days when I sat in my garden back home... having mango shake... talking to mom, dad, everybody.... I remember this one day i was in the other end of our home... dad called for me from the garden... to show me what a beautiful flower had bloomed in our garden... it wasnt an exotic flower... it was your normal everyday flower... but he called me to see it... he was happy to see it... i was happy to see it.... or may be i was happy because dad was so happy... don't know.... now that i think about it I dont know if it was his way of saying come lets talk.... he just knows the art of conversation.... the evenings.... days when i would sit in my garden by myself readin a book... almost praying to God that Mom doesn't start with "stop reading you are hurting your eyes"... actually i was reading the newspaper today and missed being afraid of Mom stopping me from reading.... isn't the experience more special just because you know it will end any time now.... but i digress... not that there was a point anyway to digress from... but still I digress.... 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This is ironic.....

From my workplace everything is blocked... by everything I mean everything... mobile phones which do anything more than make/recieve calls (which mine does) .... mails to non "" ids.... both outgoing and incoming... more obviously all kinds of data storage devices... any kind of website that could even remotely help you put data on the web.... so much so that getting printer access means having to get approvals from all kinds of business heads and the country head and what not..... and no i am not in a military facility..... but blogger is not.....

and more ironic is the fact that because everything is blocked I never bothered to check blogger.. I mean come on!!! but yeah right here is this tiny window to the outside world (thank you world for remaining the same while I am at work)... the world i lose all touch with once I am inside.... not that its all bad... not having to answer calls while at work... which is the entire day has its advantages... no one disturbs you while you are busy,.. and you get to spend a lot more time with yourself while you are free.... I am not one of those people who were born with a mobile in one hand and a PSP in the other.... but you know how all of us are addicted to our phones... how finicky one gets when the phone is stolen/lost or forgotten somewhere.... how you keep getting the feeling you might be missing something... what if someone is trying to reach you.... you can't be at eaze... when i joined this "facility" i would go out every hour or so just to check if there are any "missed calls"... strangely enough there werent any most of the time.... the world kept moving on with or without me.... with time i stopped checking every hour(believe me it bruises your ego a little bit to realise no one calls you! )... now i only check when i go out for my coffee break... which is once a day... and do you know what is the best part... half the times i dont even return calls that I have and put them off to the weekend.... I hadn't realised what a blessing it is to not have to answer a phone when it rings.... imagine you get a call... you dont really want to speak to that person at that very moment but the reflex action when the phone rings is "hello!! how are you?" and after that there is no getting away.... its not that i dont like these people... but come on... all of us know there are moods when you dont want to speak to some people... and no matter how you put it... "i dont want to talk to you right now" can never be sugar coated enough... but now... Now i dont have to worry about all that... now i can not answer a phone... because literally i can not... and not feel guilty about it... and just lament over the weekend about how hard a life without cell phones is.... while smiling inwards most of the time.... and no i dont hate people/ talking to people...... in fact I love talking ( or is it speaking... considering i love blogging!!)... and people who know me would be surprised that i am happy to miss chances to speak (speaking is a hobby with me ;) )... but i am happy..... happy to not being disturbed during work hours... happy to be sad about missing some calls that i really wanted to attend... happy to not being sad when people dont call.... happy to not being in touch with the world for more than 8 hours a day... all week days!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

last Day in Infosys

This is my farewell speech.... well mail... ok Blog! For the past year or so, actually ever since I started thinking seriously about quitting Infy (I though a lot about it... before even making my resume!), every time I looked at a last day mail I thought about how mine would read... I usually had a starting in mind... I dont think I never went as far as completing a full mail (in concept that is)... and funnily enough I can't think of any of those startings right now... but some of those mails were really awesome! take my word for it :-) How can I put in words the close to 7 and a half years spent here??? There's really no good place to start... there's actually really no good structure either... do i want it to be my memoirs.. or do i want it to be a "Thank you" "thank you" and "thank you" thingi...or do i want it to be things i will miss the most about infy... Who's interested in any of these?? I guess i will put all and leave it to the discretion of readers to read... I am sure some people will be and for others "well it was fun working with you :-)" Oh I still dont know where to start... I cant really start at the training time... I only have a vague memory of it... vaguely remember it being a lot of fun a lot of people and a lot of friendships.... It was a long time ago... it wasnt in Mysore like training is these days for most people... the SAP trg wasn't in Hyd either... started my career in Bglr DC... with the trg... which was very huge and the last buildings were the ones around building 26 (where we were seated in the project)... My first project... DC... A lot of KTs (it was really training but in projects we call them KTs!)to get to know the system... but before I could know the system or the people in the project was moved to Mangalore... at that time Mangalore had only that one DC... worked for an upgrade thr... most of the people in the team were freshers or less than an year of ABAP exp... a lot of them from my training batch (and a very dear friend from college!)... Nishant Gupta, Anuj, Neelav, Mithun (and his esteem (the car not self esteem!!)!) Mukul... we had fun times!! that phase was a phase of no work at all.... but still appreciate the efforts of Roshan Stefano D'Mello and Shankar Kotian who tried to give us work and to keep us busy... Now i know what they were going through then... now their efforts make sense.... what I remember the most about the project is the project party we had... despite the budget we had a 2 day 1 night stay at Coorg(was it coorg or someplace else! it is soo long back ago!!) sponsored by Roshan and Shankar and the people at onsite.... the trip was a lot of fun... a lot!! I have never had a project party to equal that experience!! it was great...!!! Oh that was also the time I met Rajneesh Chauhan for the first time... he has almost been a constant in my time in Infy!!

After the upgrade moved to a project for performance tuning... this project i really worked... cant say worked days and nights... but i really worked.... I put in a lot of efforts and achieved good results as well... as much as 99% performance improvement... the original code being in very very bad shape is a great factor... but come on you got to hand it to me as well!! This project was also my first interaction with Pradeep Khanna and Dinesh K. Pillai.... I remember Pradeep bowling me over with his knowledge about LDBs... that was a concept that I took some time to grasp... Pradeep I want you to know that till today if i want to find out anything about LDBs i look at the BoK submitted by you!! Also, you may not remember, but my first appraisal, was done by you (you were the consultant for the task on development), you gave me a very good rating... better than the one I had given myself... I had heard about "rate yourself high your manager will give you a rating LE that".. but never believed in it... was fresh out of college... the ideal world where people recognise you for your work and only work existed for me..... and that is the world i believed in.... you strengthened my belief in that... thank you again for that... till today i believe in it....

After this was a non project... till date i dont know what it was... we had to move data from our development server to another development server because the project was going to another vendor... needed to create IDOCs for that... Dinesh and I were the only people who worked on it....Dinesh was a functional consultant... didnt know much about the technical parts of IDOCs (at least back then)... but he did encourage me to find out and get it working... I remember working weekends and late nights for this non project!! Thanks Dinesh for all your encouragement (specially the ones in the form of chocolates and Pizzas!!) This was a very good learning experience for me... and also the phase where I converted from "I am scared of IDOCs" to "I love IDOCs.. they are so simple"!!

and then it was back to Bangalore and DC!!! oh DC!! spent some 3 years in this project.. what an interesting 3 years!! Made some really nice friends and met some really "awed" mentors! to start with Esther George Ninan my team lead in DC... if there was any problem she definitely had the solution!! I remember debugging something for 3 hours and then going to her... she debugged for 5 minutes and told me the root cause... it was a standard transaction mind you! Thanks Esther for all your help always! The thing is Esther was my team lead so before approaching Esther I would usually approach Aneesh Tirthankar De or Tirthankar Halder or Varun Chopra.. they were always ready to help... always.... I have no clue when these guys became friends rather than mentors.... but they did... and pretty good ones at that!! Thanks guys for all your help/suggestions for work/non work related things!

Around the time when Esther moved out of the project Senthilvel Periyasamy came back from onsite... Aneesh calls him my ABAP God! I mean the guy has solutions to everything related to ABAP.... and by everything i do mean everything... comes up with brilliant Ideas (remember ZTRACKER in tool shop... his brain child)... always initaites team activities... is always ready to play cricket in project parties... come on Aneesh of coure he is my ABAP God.. stop being jealous now!! and i can't even thank Senthil!! I don't want to... I don't have to!! I mean do we thank Sachin that he plays for India?? we just take it for granted!! I remember that time in DC... and I also remember thinking till the time we have Anbu, Sunil Maheshwari (2 people i wish i had interacted more with!) and Senthil there can never be a crisis situation.... I had that much faith in their abilities... they inspired me to do well!!! How can I forget Anil Atluri he gave you a free rein... let you work on your solution... nudging you here and there if you were deviating from the correct solution... but always having full faith in your abilities... his confidence in me in a way improved my confidence in me... and of course there was alway Aneesh to give my confidence a boost... he does it in a way that you dont even realise he is doing it... only 5 years later it hits you that Aneesh helped you build that confidence!!! All these people were my tehcnical gurus... my management guru Hemant K when i came to know Hemant was quitting Infy I was really sad... I felt it was a real loss to Infy (I felt the same way when i found out Rajesh Rao was quitting... but then i had never interacted with Rajesh... other than a few "please approve this" or team meetings while in Singapore" )... he is the reason i got aquainted with Allocations and Invoicing... he made me do it... I know it is a boring job... and I believe if it was someone else who had made me do it i would have hated him/her... but Hemant made it interesting... I don't know how... probably because he made me automate it.... wrote a few programs in ABAP to convert dart data to various formats so that the whole billing process takes only a few hours... what was a pain was allocations... billing became a smooth machine with all this automation... made the team fill up DART religiously... gives me reason to believe that if a manager really wants the team will fill DART and Radar (I know now it is IPM+) properly!! it wasnt an appraisal task... but the team still did it... if you had any problem... he will sit you down listen to you talk with you... sometimes he had a real solution sometimes he didnt... but whenever i came back after speaking to him I felt better about my problem... if you don't look up to such a manager whom will you look up to!! During all this time there was a constant partner in crime and pain... weekend and weekday... Ashish Kumar!! Dude it was fun working together.... in fact we hardly worked together... it was fun having coffee together!! oh the times of 6 people in the ABAP team... all in one cubicle... all of us turning our chairs and discussing things... from as important as "there will be a day when there will be only Balwant Singh in the team" to as unimportant as "how can someone watch Kabhi Alvida naa Kehna".. (Anant Lokapur sent a one page mail on why someone should watch it!.. that is passion) I was just thinking about people in the team at that time... i recalled Nishant Rustagi ... he has been another constant in my life in Infy till time allowed... we joined Infy together... then we joined DC together... then we travelled to Mangalore together... i came back to DC a few months after he did... then he joined Chd a few months after i did.... one of the most interesting people I have met... and the person who really taught me to forgive... seriously... what will you do with a grudge or hatred??

Talking about constants even Makkathai Ramakumar and I have been in a lot of same projects ... but we haven't really worked together a fact we have worked together very little... but somehow it's always nice talking with Ram... he is ever so polite... and so very different from my first impression of him (my first interaction with you was when you rejected the TS i had sent with one of my initial DC developments with a "did you even get it reviewed" kind of a comment... I was actually scared of you back then... but now well whatever small conversations we have I enjoy it :-)

Soon after that 6 people phase in DC I went onsite to Singapore... my second onsite.... first being a short trip to South Africa... how I wish it was more than a week and i had time to go to a Safari!! Singapore... the year that i spent there was so much fun! Singapore is such a cool place to shop!! Aneesh thanks for all the can I ever forget all those coffee breaks weekends and friday night parties!! Saurav Mukherjee one summer vacation I will definitely come thr... and we will call Aneesh as well and we will relive the old days! Singapore is also the place where i took up inline skating.... you ask why.... well isnt skating on the sea beach something that sounds interesting??? Vamsee Maadireddy my companion in skating and the baked rice afterwards!!! and then there was Aditya Aluru... alway laughing... and by always i mean always not sometimes... and by laughing i mean laughing and not smiling!!! and of course Chittaranjan Pradhan's imitations of Aditya... Chitta how do you come up with all those PJs!!! Then there was Dinesh Sir (DRAO) ever so considerate ever so helpful and so hardworking!! another manager that I look up to... and one person who fed us("the bachelors") a lot of times!

<<< thanks to auto shut down I have to rewrite the part about Chandigarh again!!>>>

After that was Chandigarh... if you have been to Chd DC after working in other DCs in Infy you will know what i mean when i say I got a cultural shock when i moved to Chd... people spend hours in the pantry... they gossip... and somehow there is something different in the air itself... it doesn't feel like an Infy office... it feels like an extension of college.... at least thats what it felt like on my first day... and I remember wondering does anyone ever work here.... but after having spent enough time in the DC I know people get work done.... they just work differently... spend time in the pantry and then work late nights if required.... i know what sounds wrong with the statement... what about work-life balance what about coordinating with people etc etc... the bottomline is work gets done... when i joined in chandigarh my team was pretty small... there were Gaurav Jagya (sorry Gaurav04), Ravish Garg, Azra, Neerja Thakur, Vivek Pandey, Ashish Ranjan, Bhaskar Rao Javvaji , Mandeep Wadhawan and Vijay Sharma in the team.... it was a hardworking team... a motivated team ... a team that believed in finding solutions rather than asking for solutions... and a team with very high team spirit (something to do with those coffee breaks??) the team kept growing and changing after that... but the attributes of the team remained the same... (including calling me Ma'am/Madam! why guys (by guys i mean guys and not people)????) F_ABAP_Offshore I have always loved working with you... really really loved you... and there's been a lot of things that i learnt from you guys... and i thank you for that! There hasn't been a dull moment in Firmenich... be it the FIRquiz or the FPL or well even plain simple work... it always was fun!! Taranamjit Dhindsa I always knew i could count on you... Thanks for that! I cant stop talking about Firmenich before mentioning Mohan Iyer, thanks for all your help and guidance! Girish Madan, Kamlesh Kumar and Santanu Basu Mallick thanks for always providing me with required support!

and there were so many Functional consultants that i looked up to... CA Keshav Rao, Hemant Suresh Salgaokar, Vikas Soni, Hema ji, Amit Harit, Dinesh Kakkar, and of course Vijay and Raj.. I hope you enjoyed working with me as much as i did working with you!

Finally Hyd!! I worked in this project for a very little time... by the time i got used to it and started enjoying myself here it was time to wrap up my things and leave... but nonetheless... RT_OFFSHORE all the best for your future i really wish I had spent more time with you guys... but whatever little time i did spend I thoroughly enjoyed it!! A special mention of AjayKumar S I really like your staright forward and "to the point" way of working... I really hope you keep working like that!!

The blog is already 4 pages long and there are so many things i haven't spoken about and cant for space constraints! ...... like the time in Geneva... specially the tuesdays... or the Synch meetings in Singapore.... or ... well i realised I have started talking about these things after saying I can't.... i will shut up now... and let you remember the times... your time in Infy.... and if i was a part of it... then Cheers!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

clear my head!

I love to do nothing at all... by nothing at all i don't mean nothing at all.. i mean i love to do nothing "consequential"... just bum around and think....