Back to full-time job

After being on my own from Jan 2007, I have finally moved to a full-time job. I have joined as a user-interface consultant in one of the MNCs at Hyderabad.

I have worked as a free-lance web developer and successfully implemented web based projects in last three years. For reasons I could not really understand completely now, I have decided I should get back to a full-time job and pursue my career primarily in the field of user-interface development.

I started my career(or should I say ‘my career was started’, as I am not sure I myself started it) as a software engineer trainee at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. in Jan 2005. It was not long before I realized I must leave job and do something different. I worked there for two years before eventually quitting the job after two dramatic attempts at resigning and finally becoming intentionally-jobless in Jan 2007.

Initially, the decision to leave job and try something on my own was more of an impulsive kind than a clearly thought out plan. I found myself a misfit in the IT industry and desperately wanted to do something different with my life then.

I have no regrets what so ever. In fact if you ask me to brag a little bit, I am so proud that at least I have had the guts to do it. I know many people who hate their jobs every day and yet they never really do something to change. Many people warned me then that I may eventually ruin my career. I am still not sure whether they were right.

Thanks to everyone who have supported me in the last three years. I think I will run out of space if I mention everyone’s name here. Sometimes, I feel very blessed to have many friends and relatives who really care for me and have been with me through all the good and bad times.

A special thanks to everyone who read my articles here and sent me encouraging comments!

And a big thanks to my dad and everyone at home. I know how it had been for my dad all these years. But he never really insisted me to do this or that. I know how it feels when people ask about what your son is doing. It’s so embarrassing to manage.

And I am happy for one more reason too. Now I do not have to listen to the boring lectures from people about my career and how I am ruining it. Sometimes, I secretly dreaded to attend any social gatherings, as the first question from people would be why am I not doing a job? And then typical Indian middle class questions and comparisons which I started to hate.

I have learned many things in life whether they are technical or other stuff during the freelance years. I have met many interesting people who have become my best friends, and whom I surely wouldn’t have met if I were in job. What if I hadn’t left job? Like many other questions in life I will never find answer to this question.

I have discovered writing is one of my passions. I never took writing seriously before. Even in my wildest dreams I have never thought of becoming a writer as such three years ago. When I started reading many books with the  freedom of not being in a full-time job, I slowly developed interest in writing. Writing really helped me to understand many aspects of my personality.

Like writing, music happened so randomly that there was every chance for it not to happen. In May 2009, I met a music teacher at Isha yoga center, Coimbatore, and she taught me the basics of Indian classical music. With the kind of encouraging feedback she gave me, I have plans to take it further when the time comes and learn some form of classical music though I may not become a professional singer.

Though I miss my freedom when I am in a full-time job, I will have to find time for other stuff too while pursing the career seriously.

More than anything else, now, I realized I must take  job more seriously and build my career.

Wish me good luck on this new journey!

Thank you for reading!!!

Posted in: Personal | 21 Comments

1411

What’s common between a mobile services provider and Tigers in India?

Only a month ago, 1411 was just another number without much significance attached to it. Now, almost everyone who watches television even moderately would say that, 1411 is the number of tigers left in India. Thanks to the massive media campaign from Aircel.

For those minority who are not aware of this campaign, let me brief it here in a few words. Save-our-tigers is a massive media campaign by Aircel to make people aware of the extinction of Tigers and there are only 1411 tigers left in India as of now according to their statistics. They have created a website where people like us can pledge our support.

Yes, it helped the average Indian to know that Tigers are at the verge of facing extinction in India. Not to forget, Tiger is our national animal.

My whole point in writing this blog post is not to make you aware of this campaign. For that matter, I think most of the average netizens in India are already bombarded with ads and chain mails about this issue.

Frankly, I really do not understand how am I going to save tigers just by writing a blog post, or updating my Facebook status message, or ‘roaring online’, or twittering. I am not kidding. I seriously do not understand how this is going to help save the tigers, and let alone increase the count. If you have any idea, please do tell me.

I can safely say I do not know anyone who uses Facebook and killed a tiger in his life. So, asking an average Indian to save them is almost useless. And how about asking an average Indian to tell police when you come to know about tiger-hunters. Come on… are you joking, I ask them. Imagine yourself going to a police station or calling a helpline to tell that you know someone who hunted a tiger. I do not see this as practical. Not for a common Indian like me.

Brand-building through campaigns/advertisements with a social issue around them seems to be the new age marketing mantra. Of course, there is no harm in doing that. But I really hate when my inbox gets filled with such forwarded stuff and when I get an SMS asking me to save tigers. Especially when my phone buzzes in the middle of an afternoon nap. Come on… I am not a tiger hunter. Not even in my wildest dreams.

If we really have to support, we must actually help people like the following kid.

Cub Warrior

Of course, I came to know about this kid from this campaign’s website.

If there is something the government can do, is to really take steps to increase the count of the tigers. But how? Hey… can’t they just bring a few male and female tigers together in a dedicated zoo for them? And I am sure they know what to do. They do not need our help. Nature takes care! When there are enough  new tigers, they can be left on their own in the tiger reserves. But, I am no ecologist though.

My point is not to criticize or dismiss such campaigns. It’s just that I really do not understand how they are going to really help the cause practically. And being aware of something really doesn’t always help to solve the problem. Being aware about AIDS is no good when we actually don’t practice safe s_x! I know this isn’t a good analogy, but I hope it helped me to convey my thoughts.

And may be this campaign was actually started with a good intention with no commercial interest. Who knows. Now Aircel guys, don’t sue me for writing this blog post. I have nothing against you. Between, I have an Aircel connection even before you started this campaign.

PS: I wonder how they have come up with the number 1411. I mean how can we really count tigers? And did they count all Tollywood heroes who say they are tigers in every other movie.

Posted in: India | 10 Comments

Book: Love Story by Erich Segal

It was first published in 1970. Yet we find the book everywhere even today, in every bookshop in the best-sellers racks, and almost on every roadside book shop in every Indian city. I have been sighting this book as long as I could remember looking books on the roadside shops in Hyderabad. Long before I actually started reading fiction.

Love Story by Erich Segal is a little masterpiece, and yet standing like a giant in the genre of ‘romantic novels.’ The book is actually based on the screenplay the author wrote and the movie was produced by Paramount Pictures.

Critics, however, severely pronounced the book as banal and not qualifying to be called as literature. The judges for the National Book Award threatened to resign unless “Love Story” was withdrawn from nomination.(source)

To hell with the critics. The book became a number one best seller among the general public and is widely read even today.

I wanted to read this book from a long time and never got the interest to buy, as I always had a couple of other books waiting to be read. A couple of days back when I was watching the titles of a Telugu movie, the director credits this book as the inspiration for the movie. I decided I should give this book a try.

Coming to my thoughts on the book, I think this is really a good book. For first, it wont take more than a couple of hours to finish with an average reading speed. And it really is worth the time spent reading it.

A love story of a Harvard student, whose last-name spoke more than his first-name, and a working-class girl. They fall in love and the guy leaves the fortune he was supposed to inherit from his father, to marry the girl.

Overall, I really liked the book and the signature line of the novel was so well written:

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

The opening line is so intriguing that it’s hard to put it down after reading it.

What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died?

Read this book if you have a couple of hours of free time to kill. Trust me, you wont be disappointed. But let me warn, this story has a sad ending.

PS: I had no plans of writing about this book here. But, today, after finishing the book I immediately checked in google to know more about the author, Erich Segal. I realized he died on Jan 17th. Exactly, a day before my book was delivered. That prompted me to write a couple of lines about the book here. And I hope you liked reading it.

Posted in: Books | 5 Comments

bye bye 2009, welcome 2010

Wish you all a very happy new year 2010. May this new year bring lots of happiness to you and your family, and to all your loved-ones. May all your dreams come true and dream girls/boys too for those who are single :)

As I type these words I am wondering how  fast the year has passed. Like the previous year I could not believe it’s the last day of the year today.

Well, personally 2009 has been a little eventful for me. No major ‘wows’ though. But, yes, there are few things which I will remember for a long time.

For the first time I tried to write a diary and did not succeed though. I wrote for a couple of weeks and then stopped. Blame it on my laziness and lack of commitment.

I have moved to this new domain in February. To make it short, my first blog was hacked and was penalized by google as it found some ugly keywords in my site which were inserted by the hackers/spammers. I decided to move to a new domain with my name and here I am.

In May, I went to Coimbatore and stayed there for three weeks in the Isha Yoga Center. Now, don’t take me as a hardcore spiritual seeker who is after enlightenment and such stuff. At least not for now. It was more of taking a break from the monotonous daily routine and do something new. Those three weeks were few of the best days I have spent in this year. Made a couple of wonderful friends there.(Vinod ji and Sunita, I am not sure whether you ever get to read this article, but you are two of the best people I have met this year.) My idea was to spend some quality time with myself at the ashram and get rid of the confusions I had, but I must say that I accumulated more confusion at the end of three weeks than when I arrived there.

In June, I went to Bangalore for a weekend to meet Deepak and enjoyed a lot there. Thanks Deepak! Visited few of the places in Bangalore. Bought a lot of books at Landmark.

My interest in writing had turned into almost an obsession this year. I devoured many books on writing. Started reading classics to see how the biggies of literature wrote. I tried my hand at writing some fiction too. Wrote a couple of interesting posts here for which I got a very encouraging feedback. Hope the new year inspires me to pursue this hobby more seriously and to better my writing.

If someone asks me to name the best book I have read this year, it  would be Animal Farm by George Orwell. I have become a fan of Orwell now.

I attended a classical music concert in July for the first time. It was a good experience which I will remember for a long time.

There are few other interesting things happened and I am not going to write about them now, for few of them are lil personal to make them public… and others I am not sure whether this is the right time. Keep reading my blog!!!

And there is one thing that hasn’t changed though. My status in Orkut and Facebook is still singlelol..

Coming to the new year, I do not have any major resolutions and plans. Because we can’t plan everything. But I am sure that 2010 is going to be a crucial year for me, both professionally and personally as there are enough things to sort out in life.

Thank you for reading and let me once again wish you a wonderful year ahead.

Posted in: Personal | 5 Comments

of Sachin and cricket in general

I have never written anything about cricket here and let alone about Sachin who is considered as God of cricket by his fans.

I was going through one of the articles written by a famous cricket columnist from India, and I was not sure whether he was praising Sachin or he was actually making fun of Sachin. He could have written in a common-man’s language so that people like me could understand what he wanted to say instead of confusing us by his literary skills. In fact, he forgot the fact that not all cricket fans are literary geniuses to understand what he writes.

There is a never ending argument about Sachin that he plays more for his milestones than for the team. Recently, during the Australia’s tour(2009) of India, the milestone of making 17,000 runs in the one-day internationals had become a hot debate in the media. If media hadn’t told me that Sachin is nearing this milestone, an average cricket fan like me wouldn’t know about this. Before every match, every news-channel and newspaper talked about this milestone. Few channels airing special programs about this and running SMS polling about whether he would reach the milestone in that match or not. The hype was created in the first place by media and not by the average cricket fan. There are few cricket fans who know every statistic about cricket. They are few exceptions.

Before the series began, Sachin was 137 runs away from 17,000 runs mark. The audiences in the stadium anticipated that he would reach that landmark in first two or three matches and they came well prepared to cheer for the little master. But the crowds were disappointed in the first four matches. In the fourth match it was more because of an umpiring mistake rather than anything else. Sachin was seven runs away and he was declared out with a very controversial decision. Of course the same media guys had huge debate over this decision showing all the previous mistakes which costed India Sachin’s wicket at crucial times.

With seven runs away from the milestone, he came to Hyderabad and in all cases everyone expected to witness the history being created. Sachin took 16 balls to score seven runs and he became the first player to cross the milestone of scoring 17,00o runs in ODIs. Yes, it was easy to sense that Sachin was a little nervous till he reached that mark. For me, it was more out of responsibility than anything else from Sachin’s part. What if he got out without reaching the milestone? What a disappointment it would have been for the thousands of spectators who came to the stadium to witness history being created? They were not disappointed and in fact enthralled to see Sachin playing as if he was back to his twenties.

Unfortunately, after hitting 175 runs from 141 balls, a knock which was praised by none other than Sourav Ganguly as the best ever from Sachin, India lost the match or rather thrown away the match after Sachin got out seeing India almost home in a crucial encounter.

For me, this was one of the best innings by any Indian cricketer. Chasing 350 runs against Australia in a high pressure match is not any easy. But Sachin made it look so easy that India almost won the match. And the other big names like Dhoni, Gambhir, and Yuvraj back in pavilion without reaching double digit scores, Sachin terrorized Australians with his superb stroke play.

Now, coming to the never ending debate that Sachin plays for himself rather than for India, I think this is a silly argument created by few idle brains.

When you criticize Sachin, think of what right you have to do that in the first place. You have a little  eligibility to comment if you have played at least one international cricket match for India.

This little man had dedicated his life to Indian cricket for two decades and still going as strong as he was when he started. He had seen other players come after him and retire before him. There was a time when if Sachin’s wicket was taken, the opposition thought that the battle was almost half won.

The funniest thing is, few people with a microphone in their hands and a journalism degree behind them, talk about cricketers, as if those very journalists have played cricket forever. I wonder how many of those journalists/analysts have seen a cricket ball/bat from close quarters except on TV. Come on guys, you have got to create more meaningful news than criticizing somebody who is playing for his country. Go get some other news and don’t waste precious time analyzing what if Sachin had played a square-cut instead of a scoop-shot and what if Dhoni hadn’t made that bowling change.

Sehwag made it very clear many times that Sachin is his favorite player and of course his inspiration. Sachin, without any doubt had inspired a whole array of younger generation to chase the dream of playing cricket for India.

Modern cricket is yet to see anything near to the phenomenon that we call as  Sachin, no matter whether it is on the field or off the field. Real gentleman of of the game. Do  you remember anytime seeing Sachin losing his temper and shouting at other players? I don’t think I have seen.

I am not a statistics crazy guy, but I learned that Sachin had won 57 man of the match awards till now in one-days and 15 man-of-the-series awards. That is a real statistic if you want to look at them. This should be some food for thought for those who criticize the little master.

Now that India officially lost the series, there will be enough news for the tv-channels to talk about for a couple of days.

India cannot win in every match we play.When a billion people expect the players to win every match, the pressure is sometimes overbearing. Nobody expected India to win the first T20 world-cup and nobody thought India would perform so badly in the second T20 world-cup. It’s all part of the game.

We have to enjoy the game more than enjoying the victory.

Having said that, I still remember the day I almost cried when India lost the match in 1996 world-cup semifinal against Sri Lanka. I was a crazy cricket fan then when I was a school-kid. When I was absent for the school, one of my teachers used to ask me what cricket match was there on that day.

If cricket is considered as a religion, India is a monotheistic country. Cricket is enjoyed by kids of five years old and is also enjoyed by people who are in nineties.

Stop criticizing Sachin. He knows when to retire, he knows what shot to play, he knows everything about cricket for that matter.

For all those critics of Sachin, we know that history will forget you, but Sachin will remain forever in the history of cricket.

PS: I am a Sachin’s fan and not a maniac fan though. I do feel sad when he gets out no matter what score he is on.

Posted in: Cricket | 10 Comments