Wednesday, March 31, 2010

20 Things I Stopped/Started Doing/Thinking after becoming an IT Professional!

After becoming an IT professional, I think most of us tend to the adopt the basic similarities of the IT population.....I am no exception to this community... I try to maintain my basic inherent qualities but then some of them have changed over time.......... These are the things that have cropped up in me and I dont know how to do away with them......

1. More extended use of the heavenly shortcuts (Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V) as this helps in better time management.

2. I have stopped the use of oxford English dictionary and other such dictionaries to enhance my vocabulary and spelling (While typing this line itself, I made 1 spelling mistake which the spell check corrected for me :P). This is Effective use of Technology.

3. I see the night time more than daylight (As my colleague puts it...You spend an average of 9-10 hours in office.....7-8 hours in sleep... 1-1.5 hours in getting ready for office and coming to office..... 1-2 hours for lunch/dinner....So effectively you have only 3-4 hours a day for yourself ... or just 90 hours in a month..... And in case, you are in a so called  "Critical" Project with "Critical" deadlines.... forget those 3-4 hours also .... you will be 90% of the day in office only and the rest 10% will be spent in sleeping)

4. When nothing works, everything comes to a standstill, press ctrl+alt+del .... not on your life but on the computer. Thats recovery.

5. I stopped travelling by bus when that used to be the main transport system for me in college....(Advent of office buses and right now my work place is right opposite my apartment.....) .... Maybe I could still hop onto 1 in Chennai.... but Bangalore am still scared of taking one........ :(

6. Am so used to AC now...cant be without one......The heat of Chennai in which I roamed about the whole day is now unbearable to me...........

7. My day used to start with reading the newspaper and a cup of coffee.....The cup of coffee remains.... but newspaper has been replaced by the laptop.... Thats globalization of the computer.....

8. Begin any conversation with the words "Frankly speaking", "I was wondering", "Lets discuss", "So....","Oh really ...', "Generally ...." .... the list is endless... Thats corporate etiquette....(if such a word exists... then good... else its my creation .....)

9. More effective use of mails and communicators. Mail the person sitting at an arm's length from you in office instead of saying to him/her directly or send group invites instead of personal invites to a party or a get together.... .Thats resource utilization. Save the paper.

10. Worse still, my mails no longer follow the grammatically correct way of writing a letter (So much time was spent in learning it). You should start with from, to, then Salulation, then sub, then reference, then body of the mail, then the ending of yours faithfully and your name, and date and so on....  Now my mail starts hi and ends with bye or regards.....They should now start IT grammer lessons in school...

11. Use of SMS more frequently than ever...... Even to say Good Morning and Good Night!!!

12. Maintain an excel of activities to be done.... (Forget the notebook and paper and the pen).... Am still saving paper.... (It really pains when I have to write on paper.... my handwriting is no longer the same!!!)

13. Send forwards you received to a big mailing list .... building the network you see... :P

14. More number of coffee's and tea's to keep you going through the day..... Thats what they term as taking a break.....

15. Blow up the picture. Being able to present the minuscule of things in the most grand manner. Thats event management.

16. Maintain contact phone numbers in SIM or Mobile phones (My last phone book was in college). Thats mobile communication.

17. Foreign countries and flights to such places seemed a luxury....Now I am in a foreign place for past 3 years and can fly back home anytime I want. Call it the IT boom....

18. Now my sleep is helplessly devoted to solving that bug over there in the code, doing reviews mentally, and what not.... my poor brainy doesn't want to think simple things of life now......... I call it ITical obsession.....

19. Most of my friends (that's including me) are at onsite... and its years and years since  I have seen their faces actually..... sigh.... Meeting friends at times seems to be a distant thought and being able to giggle as in college..... sigh... I miss all that......

20. Last but not the least, how can I forget this.... forget exercies... forget healthy food... eat all the junk food and put on a pot belly ... !!!  (Just kidding... I am a reduction spree now :P)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Everybody's fine

I am trying my hand at Fiction 55..... and so Here it Goes... This on the movie "Everybody's fine" I saw two days back and could not take it off my mind. All I can say "What a movie!!!" ..... Simply beautiful .... Only the choicest of words can describe the movie....

"A happy family of six or so he thought..... until he decided to visit them and found the truth .. He had laid telephone lines all his life least realizing they would be the carriers of the destruction.... A destruction for which he had sown the seeds" 

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I know this is going to be boring but I am a bit nostalgic today (sob! sob!). Its 3 years since I have been in the place which has become home to me......... This is home away from home inspite of the people, the food, the language  everything being alien to me. However, life goes on...... after we all apply Darwin's theory of "Survival of the fittest".  I will always remember this place for the many firsts it has given me......
  • First Time I traveled many miles to a totally foreign place without knowing even a bit of the language. The only two words which were taught to me before coming to this place were "Nihongo Wakaranai" which means "I don't know Japanese" which I conveniently use till date
  • First Time I saw snow and actually played with it
  • First Time I faced an client escalation 
  • First Time I actually made a dinner (although it didn't come out well but yeah my roomie did eat :).... so sweet of her)
  • First Time I shopped all alone (Big Time fav of all Gals.....Always had company for shopping in India..... but then I had to find my own way here)
  • First Time I actually started saying TGIF (Thank God....Its Friday)
  • First Time I actually started looking forward to weekends (Weekends for me just meant another Saturday/Sunday @ office or @ home) but then here there is so much of activity on any weekend here.... Now I don't want to miss the weekends
  • First Time I organized a Christmas party and could carry it out well.... Santa rocked the party....... 
  • First Time I realized what boredom means (thats when no activity is happening and I am left on my own) and that led me to discover the plethora of online movies, orkut, facebook, chatting... (blogging I discovered lately....I wish I could have started it earlier but better late than never)
  • First Time my mobile doesn't beep constantly with the SMS screech and the everyday call from Airtel.
  • First Time I couldn't attend my good friend's (many in fact) wedding (simple reason being I cant take many  holidays :( )
  • First Time meeting my family meant travelling 10 - 11 hours of flight journey + 6 hours halt in between (Of course, Its better than having to travel by ship as the good old days :))
  • First Time I traveled by a bullet train/ shinkansen.... bullet train in the real sense... as you cant even fathom the speed......
  • First Time I visited more number of places than I have actually visited in India (my only trips in India being the so-called study tours)
  • First Time I couldn't go to a church on Easter.... a ritual I broke after my 26 years of existence 
  • First Time I got onto the escalator. I always dreaded getting onto the escalator and always used the lift or the stairs in India... My friends have the best of fun in not allowing me to get off the escalator and scaring me :(  .... I hate it.....
  • First Time I sat on a roller coaster and it rolled me inside out .... Vowed never to sit on one again.....eeeeks..... 
  • First Time I saw Shrek in 4D and boy it was soooooo good....I felt I was with Shrek in the movie.......
........ so many lovely memories... so many lovely moments.... I found new friends... I lost touch with some old ones... I lost some friends too (well I dont want to remember the dark things today !!!!) but life is still going on ....

Monday, March 22, 2010

My first day at school :)

Well I know, its a 25 yr old story.... and most of us may or may not remember it... but I studied in the same school for 12 years and no teacher left an opportunity to tease me about it till in fact my 10th std.

So here it goes, I will keep this short!!
As it happens to every kid, once they reach the age of four, they are dutifully sent to school or Kindergarten. This was way back in 1985 and thankfully there were no Pre-Kgs and playschools (Oh I love the good old days). I got shocked when my friend said she would have to put her 2 yr old one in play school (cho chad!!!)
Ok, coming back to me.... I too went dutifully to school with my mom (who also happened to be a teacher in the same school I studied) decked in new uniform, new socks, new shoes (pudu dress, pudu socks, pudu shoes.... kalakkara!!!). I saw the classroom with all small kids and when my mom left me with the teacher and started to go to her own class, I wailed like anything (given my current vocal decibels, it must have been the most unbearable of screams). My mom and teacher (Miss.A) cajoled me into sitting in the class, but no I was not sitting in the class without my mom. 

Now Mom had to go to attend to her own classes, so she left me in the staff room with chocolates and balloons (courtesy the school aayaa who went and got them for me)...... and I happily attacked them. This became my every day ritual......for the next four days. Fifth day, also I did the same thing (but unluckily lady luck was not with me :( )..... my HM was in the adjacent building and could hear my wails (now do you understand my voice decibels) ... she came searching to my class as to which kid had been crying so much. My teacher dutifully told her it was me and she came to the staff room in search of me. The first thing I knew was she snatched my balloons and chocolates (Till date I don't like people taking away my chocolates). She asked in the most stern manner "Now will you go to your class?" I said "Yes sister, please give me my chocolates I will go to my class" ..... So much for chocolates.... and I went and obediently sat in my class (well not actually, I didn't sit with the other kids, I sat in my teacher's chair.... special privilege.... )

But then, that one moment did start my association with the school where I studied for 12 years. It will always remain special to me!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hina Matsuri (Exclusively for girls)

Every March 3rd (after I came to Japan), I am wished "Happy Girl's Day" ..... I didnt know the significance of this day until I visited the Girls Festival along with K san (san is the respectful way of addressing a Japanese person) and also did some googling on it.

Hina Matsuri/Girls Day is celebrated every year on March 3rd throughout Japan. Typically if a girl child is born, parents prepare the hina dolls for them. These dolls are considered to drive away bad spirits and bring health and happiness to the girl child. One such arrangement can be seen below (The below hina doll arrangement belonged to a royal family in Saga - Saga is a place in Kyushu island)

The arrangement (called hina-dan) depicting a emperor, empress,attendants and musicians customarily comprises of five platforms. The first platform depicts the king and queen, the second platform are the attendants to the king and queen , the third is for the musicians, the fourth for ministers and the last for the general attendants. Some more arrangements/dolls that were also available for display (Pics courtesy Dinesh)

Looking at these dolls and the festivities surrounding it, some thoughts tickled my mind. One, I was never wished "Happy Girls Day" in India as India obviously doesn't celebrate one. Two, the girl child is held in honor on this day. To think that still in some places of India, the girl child is considered a burden in the family. Some of them aborted/dumped also. I always felt bad when relatives and friends would ask my parents "Oh, you have only girls... no boys!!!". Come on, we are living in the 21st century and people still live with this disgusting thought. I would feel like walking up to them and giving them a piece of mind. Some of them even got it :) (and well they never opened their mouths again atleast not in front of me). I grew up seeing my friends suddenly missing from the school rolls. The next thing I knew was they had got married (Minor marriages still do happen). Even an aunt of mine had a boy at a really late age just because her mother-in-law wanted a grandson. Thankfully, my parents never had such thoughts and we didn't have to go through the "You are not a boy syndrome".

I am not a feminist and don't want to debate on the girl child vs boy child but surely to have a day meant to pray for the well being of the girl somehow appealed to me. I wish people in this technologically advancing age also advance in their thoughts.

P.S. No offence meant.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Duck Tales - Relighted !!!!

Here goes another blog dedicated to my mommy!!!

Who would not have heard of duck tales - uncle scrooge, his nephews huey, louie and dewey but do you know the seven little ducks who went to meet baby Deepa in Manipur all alone way back in 1979 ..... no... then read on :)

Take One (In Chennai):

Once upon a time, there was a small little girl named Deepa in Manipur. She was very fond of animals and ducks...... she really loved ducks (Quack! Quack!). Deepa's grandmom knew this and she thought it would be good idea to send her sweet little deepa cute ducks as a bday present. So, she sent Albert mama (her son and deepa's mama) to the market to buy seven sweet little ducks. Albert mama went to moore market, bargained with the shop keeper and got seven ducks for Rs.10. Grandmom put the seven ducks in a basket, kept water and feed inside it and told the ducks they have to go and say Happy B'day to her granddaughter Deepa in Manipur. One of the oldest ducks (Sasi aunty) among them asked grandmom, "How will we recognize Deepa?". Grandmom said "Ok, I will teach you a song. When you sing that song my granddaughter will recognize you." The song goes something like this:

"We are going to see baby Deepa, daughter of Professor Suresh, Regional Medical College, Imphal, Manipur State.... Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack!!"

So, Grandma waved the ducks bye bye with this song and with tears in her eyes and Albert mama took the basket to Chennai Central Station (Then Madras Central Station). Albert mama told his friend Krishnamoorthy Uncle (also the station master) that he wanted to send his basket to his niece in Manipur. Krishnamoorthy uncle then put the basket in the goods train and told Albert uncle that the train will go till Calcutta, and from there the ducks have to go by bus to Manipur. Albert mama told the ducks that in Calcutta, Rajan uncle (Deepa's dad's friend) will help them to transfer to the bus to Manipur.
When it was time to leave for the train, all the ducks got together and crooned their necks and started singing the family song

"We are going to see baby Deepa, daughter of Professor Suresh, Regional Medical College, Imphal, Manipur State.... Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack!!"

Saying so,the ducks bid Albert mama farewell and the train started to move with the customary sound Qooooooooo.... chuck chuck......... After some stations, the youngest of the ducks Sweety was beginning to get scared as this was the first time she was traveling such a long distance and she started crying. Sasi aunty tried to console her but she didnt stop crying. Sasi aunty didnt know what to do. She felt bad that the kiddo was crying. At that time, the train started to slow down and Sasi aunty saw a shop selling dairy milk chocolates. When the train started to stop, she told the other ducks to take care of Sweety and hurried out to buy the chocolates for Sweety. However, it was her bad luck as the station was a short stop station and the train again started to pull away from the station. Sasi aunty started to run towards the train. All the ducks inside the train started shouting "Sasi aunty, Sasi aunty, come fast!!!" Sasi aunty didnt know what to do. She closed her eyes, made a small prayer and made a final dive towards the train (typical rajni style uh!!) and landed on the train (wow...... jackie chan duck yaar)...... All ducks started clapping their hands and hugged Sasi aunty. Sweety went running towards Sasi aunty, hugged her and said "Please dont do this again Sasi aunty. I promise I will not cry...... Boo Hoo Boo hooo......" Sasi aunty consoled her and gave her the chocolates which she happily ate.

Take Two (In Calcutta):

The train arrived in Howrah and Sasi aunty started looking out for Rajan uncle. Sasi couldnt find anyone near the train looking for them. She was anxious as to how they will reach baby Deepa. She told all the other ducks, we will sing the song so that Rajan uncle will find us soon and they started to sing in unison.

"We are going to see baby Deepa, daughter of Professor Suresh, Regional Medical College, Imphal, Manipur State.... Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack!!"

A lot of people gathered around the ducks and were applauding them but Sasi aunty was worried that Rajan uncle had not come. Suddenly, somebody was pushing his way through the crowd. Rajan uncle had arrived. Seeing Rajan uncle, all the ducks started dancing and singing again in joy:

"We are going to see baby Deepa, daughter of Professor Suresh, Regional Medical College, Imphal, Manipur State.... Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack!!"

Rajan uncle re-packed their basket with feed and water and took them to the bus stand and put them on the bus to Manipur.

Take Three (Towards Manipur):
Now, the ducks set towards their final destination but then even this journey was not to be smooth. The bus reached Nagaland but then there was a huge landslide in Nagaland and the bus couldnt cross further and would start for Manipur only after 2 days. The ducks were worried as they had to reach Manipur by the next day (it was baby Deepa's bday the next day). They started asking each passenger if there was a way to reach Manipur soon. Father Med was passing that way and asked the ducks why they wanted to go to Manipur. Sasi aunty told Father Med that they were going to meet Deepa and wish her on b'day but now they would be late for it. Father Med said "Ok I will take you to Manipur".... so all the ducks hopped onto Father Med's jeep and off they sped to Manipur singing songs all the way. Father Med asked them on the way how will they find Deepa's house. For this the ducks, started singing the family song

"We are going to see baby Deepa, daughter of Professor Suresh, Regional Medical College, Imphal, Manipur State.... Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack!!"

Father Med said "Oh you are going to see Prof. Suresh. I know him very well. I will take you there" Father Med reached Manipur and moved towards Lamphel and stopped in front of Deepa's house. All the ducks gleefully jumped out of the jeep and ran towards Deepa who was waiting near the gate for her ducks. They all jumped into the pond and played happily ever after.

P.S. This was a bed time story told by my mom to my sis Deepa. I dont know if there were ducks in my house but there was a dog, a rabbit, 2 parrots, lots of chickens ... in short a mini zoo before I was born after that there were only dogs. All the characters except the ducks are not fictious.
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