Archive for the Blogroll Category

High Five!!

Posted in Blogroll on April 6, 2017 by prajwalpai

 

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The date was 11-11-11 and I was bubbling with optimism. I had decided to be happy in life! I don’t remember how the numbers were exchanged but I had just started chatting with a potential life partner. She was an HR and had done due diligence by going through my blog before this conversation. Little did I know then this conversation would change my life forever. The Ice breaker was the common workplace campus location for us in VTV. We soon came to know that we both were living close to JPNagar 15th cross for many years and yet never crossed each other’s path.

I am writing this blog on my 5th wedding anniversary but I am sure I will be reading this multiple times in my lifetime. It’s an occupational hazard for me to have a backup of every communication I ever had and when I read this below chat few months ago, I decided then to capture into a blog. The below chat between Deepti and me has a major part to play in how our relation rapidly developed and the comfort level that we shared in our initial days together. We were almost strangers before this chat and within a span of an hour, we were strangers no more. It was not just the information exchange but the ease of conversation too I guess.

This is a restore and recreation of one of our first chat reproduced verbatim right down to any typo.

The Grey chat bubbles is Deepti and Green chat bubble is me. Here goes…

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A lot changed after this conversation. The comfort level was exponentially high , so much so that the next day we made plans to meet. We met the day after to watch a movie together. Yes! We saw each other for the first time outside a theatre. We had our first actual conversation only AFTER we saw a movie together. The rest is history (and material for another blog). Its our 5th Anniversary today and the first after Priyansh came into our lives. To Priyansh, I say, “And that, kid.., is how I met your mother.”

Saaaachin…. Sachin!!

Posted in Blogroll on November 16, 2013 by prajwalpai

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Its end of an era. At the end of his career, entire nation was singing the swan song. I am a Sachin fan , I might not be a die-hard fanatic but I am a big fan. I did not shed a tear like my teammate when Sachin walked down to bat his last innings.  I  did feel  extremely sad when he walked back to pavilion yesterday. The final walk- the emotional expression on all the faces , the huge number of placards with #thankyousachin’ with every fan expressing their gratitude. I felt the camera crew had prepared a special montage for this memorable moment.

I agree that people are going overboard with this occasion. I completely agree that many people are using this occasion as an excuse for their vested interests. I also agree that Sachin does deserve every bit of the adulation that he is getting. Many other Indian legends did deserve a lot more respect than what was given to them towards their end but that doesn’t mean we have to carry on that tradition.

The whole point of this blog was due to a conversation that I had with my FIL. He was sort of angry with the buzz around Sachin’s retirement. During the conversation he mentioned that “Sachin is paid to play for India and he is just doing his job. He is not God and people like Premji is adopting villages for the betterment of the society. He said, if a kid gets educated by Premji’s foundation and this one-act might change the future of the kid entirely! Premji might be responsible for  thousands of bright futures! You will see and forget Sachin’s batting and it doesn’t change anything in your life after the match is over. I agreed with him that Sachin is no God but the context to that saying started with ‘If Cricket is a religion,Then Sachin is God’. I did say that Sachin is involved in philanthropy but he doesn’t like to advertise it much. The donation/sponsor given by him too is supposedly kept anonymous. He obviously might not have given as much as Premji- but it counts.  My FIL retorted, Ajim Premji has spent close to Rs. 8,000 Crores and he is great in true terms. I responded by saying that it’s not fair to compare Sachin with Premji (to whom I have immense respect being an ex-wiprote). Premji might have helped thousands of people financially but Sachin has given priceless memories to Billions. This ended the conversation on that topic.

What Sachin has done for India cannot be put into words, I think he has inspired many generations who have witnessed him play. He was a uniting force for India, no matter the age/religion/caste/creed , ‘How much did Tendulkar score?‘ was a very common question many years back. This impact that he had on people has been beyond any geographical boundary. I still remember the day he scored 200 in ODI and my office cafeteria burst into unified cheer. Today, my eyes were moist while listening to his farewell speech and I didn’t know myself that I liked him enough to cry. If the speech wasn’t enough, he walked alone down to the middle one last time and touched it…one…last…time… I will end this blog with some comments from Cricinfo. When I read this blog after few years, it will help me recall how special this moment was.

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Daniel: “im in rural australia, watching this and just screamed with agony at Tendulkars dismissal, its felt here in the dusty plains of Australia.”

Dhwani: “Gosh! This is getting really serious….Looks like it is going to be a sleepless night following Sachin in cricinfo from the US…glued to the screen”

Najam: “Cheering Tendulkar from across the border 🙂 he just made a century in terms of balls played, dint he : ) #Tendu VS Tinu”

Prashant: “Even in Singapore , we had a full page for Sachin in today’s news paper . Just felt proud to be a Sachin Fan and an Indian.”

Balaji: “As Sachin climbed up the stairs, I couldnt help but shedding tears, as I chanted “Sachin.. Sachin..” down here in Chennai. I turned around to see my dad in his sixties, shedding more tears. This guy can freeze time and generations, crash cricketing records, melt a billion hearts, yet stay so humble. God will be proud to be associated with this man”

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten

Posted in Blogroll on January 11, 2011 by prajwalpai

A fable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson, which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim – Wikipedia


Who doesn’t know the “Slow and steady wins the race” from ‘Hare and the tortoise’ or sour grapes from ‘The Fox and the grapes’! Everybody would know Aesop then. He was apparently a slave in Ancient Greece. Aesop’s existence remains uncertain, and no writings by Aesop survive but he luckily has copyright on innumerable  stories. Aesop’s fables are more of a ‘genre’ than actual fables written by him if he ever existed.  I recently got hooked to Aesop’s fable when I got a iBook by that name. On my journey back from Goa I was immersed in these fables. I realized that its more relevant for adults that for kids. These fables might be one of the easiest way of developing moral values in kids but adults could also relate to the experience they have been through and grasp the depth of these morals.  Each fable which hardly has some 10-20 lines has so much of profound depth. This particular fable hit me hard, I could relate to this due to a recent incident in my life. I could not imagine a simpler and a shorter story which could convey this message.

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The Man and the Serpent

A Countryman’s son by accident trod upon a Serpent’s tail, which turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in revenge began stinging several of the Farmer’s cattle and caused him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it: “Let’s forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?”
“No, no,” said the Serpent; “take away your gifts; you can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail.”
Moral : Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.

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A number of links to read the fables, one of the source which has explicit moral at the end  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28 . Enjoy the read and lets keep our morals high.

Home is not a place, It’s a state of mind

Posted in Blogroll on December 29, 2010 by prajwalpai

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. Just like any weekend, I hadn’t done anything worthwhile. I was pretending to sleep when the door bell rang. He was right on time, Dad asked if we could go with him. I thought ‘what the hell, Lets Go!!’

Dad has been keen on buying a house for long time now and he was actively looking around. I was keen too but the word ‘active’ wouldn’t be the appropriate association with me. Dad was in talks with few real estate agents and had viewing of many places. I too accompanied him to see few houses but I never felt any house to be ‘THE ONE’. The first step was to decide on the location. Staying in banaswadi since some 6 months now, My parents have taken a liking for Banaswadi , Everything for my parents was close-by and I took less than half hour to office. It was close to MG road area, just couple of KM to Indiranagar area too. So kinda strategically located to most things. So we decided to start our search around Banaswadi/Kasturi Nagar/HBR or HRBR layout and then spread out our hunt.

The next step on our hunt was the never-ending argument was on Independent House V/S Apartment. I was initially pro-apartment but with many issues we were seeing in our current rented apartment , I was leaning towards an Independent house. The resale value and mainly the independence in making decisions pertaining to the house was a favorable thing for the independent house. On the other hand, as we were seeing with our current apartment, The Apartment had more security and the maintenance guy who was very helpful in household chores. With so many arguments we finally just patched up and agreed to make any decision on need basis and to keep an open mind on both things. I started to keep an eye for the ‘For Sale’ hanging outside any buildings in nice locality.

The biggest roadblock with an independent house was the ‘location’ and bloody high price! Dad saw few houses but they were too interior and the neighborhood wasn’t too. The houses in narrow lane with sometimes no proper parking and if everything is well, The houses fly off our budget. With most apartments the problem was it was on some 4th floor or 5th floor. A few were over priced too. Dad saw so many houses without liking them and I went along to few houses that he was interested in. I couldn’t see myself calling any of these places as ‘Home’.

So this Sunday 18th Dec , Our current apartment’s landlord had come for something. While we were in conversation, He happened to mention that he has a couple of more apartment projects under progress. We expressed our interest and he told that afternoon anytime between 3 and 4.30 would be a good time for us to have a viewing. When I agreed, Dad was surprised that I agreed to move out of the couch. I was more active and happy from a couple of days and I had in fact seen a ‘For Sale’ board in front of an apartment building the very previous day.

So its 3! The guy came and took us for a viewing. I had a mixed feeling about the locations, It was almost kinda right next to the Mukunda Talkies fly over. The road was not too narrow but still the neighborhood didn’t make me too happy. The apartment had 2-bhk and 3-bhk but both had almost same carpet area. I liked only the penthouse but it was on the 4th floor and wasn’t comfortable for my parents. So it was again a disappointment. While we were coming back, I just remembered the ‘For Sale’ board I had seen the previous day. I just mentioned it to my Dad and we thought ‘why not!’ . The building looked very good from the outside.  When we got a chance to see it from inside, it felt home. The location was perfect, The house was spacious, The build quality was perfect, Its on Ground floor/ground level, so perfect, It has ample parking space for 2 cars, Has ample space around for walking and had skating rink and play area for kids. Most importantly, I could see myself living in this place. As ppl say, Home is not a place, It’s a state of mind. I loved this place but kinda expected to be way over our budget. When we talked to the builder the next morning, we were pleasantly surprised. I paid booking advance for this house the very next day.

If everything goes well, I will be signing a house sale deed soon. If that happens, A sequel to this blog titled ‘Home sweet Home‘ should be out soon.

Welcome to the Human Network

Posted in Blogroll on February 19, 2010 by prajwalpai
Finally the day comes! I am joining the Human Network. I ‘might’ cherish this day after few years and so I thought it deserves a blog entry. This is more of a private blog for myself.
My first day at Cisco was very fast paced to say the least. I came to office at 9.30 and within minutes of waiting at reception, was summoned by a HR. This was my first day at Cisco and I knew that I would spend each moment of entire day comparing Cisco experience with wipro. Four more ppl were joining that day and we followed HR to a small conf room. I couldnt forget my first day at Wipro as there were more than 200 people joining on that day and we were made to sit in 3 huge classroom kinda thing. That experience was very similar to joining some college. As I went with HR to another room, I saw few more people joining on the same day, It was a conference room and atleast 20 more people were there. I got a smile on my face and it occured that Cisco isnt that different after all. There were representatives from different banks fishing for new customers. I just filled a form to move my exisintg bank account and things were easy. I remember filling some 20page document to open a Citi account when I joined wipro and saw the same form being filled by other people in the room. I spent next  hour filling up some empolyee form and getting a new badge. By noon, all formalities were complete and the HR asked us to meet our hiring managers.
Aby picked me up from the reception and we went straight to the IT room and collected by brand new laptop from a huge storeroom and collected an IP phone too. Aby then took me to show my cube. This was supposed to be my temp cube away from my team as our team was supposed to move to a new building soon. I then went to meet Sesh, I was seeing Sesh after a real long time and He indeed is the best part of joining Cisco. Me,Sesh,Kaleem and Raghya had spent some fun time during our early days in Wipro. We went for induction togeter and were jobless together on bench for couple of weeks in wipro. I was literally meeting Sesh after few years but we picked up where we had left off. He had an empty cube next to his and I immediately shifted there.
Sesh took me for a tour-de-campus, He made it clear that Cisco was deprived of chiks and I shouldnt have my hopes high which I too agreed at the end of that tour :). During lunch I was still comparing the cafe of wipro with Cisco. I met Giri during lunch, an old friend from college. I met Raghu who was together with Seshu and Me in Wipro too. CAme to know that Raghu got engaged he previous day. I came back to my cube and was very happy to be in a private cube with the new laptop and the fancy VOIP. Aby again took me to the IT desk  to get my laptop re-imaged.
It was an exciting day and thanks to Seshu, I didnt feel that I had come into a new company. Its funny how I got to be here with my old friend, Prabhu in my current network got shortlisted to be here, He establised a friendly network with Aby and referred me. Seshu being in my old network put a good word for me. That wasnt the only thing, I did went through all the selection process and joined this Human Network.

End to Applying Thoughts

Posted in Blogroll on February 2, 2010 by prajwalpai

After counting 60 days of my notice period and staying further for 2 extra days, My Last day at Wipro had finally arrived. Subbu had organised a small farewell for Me and Satish at 15.30 and my exit Interview with HR was scheduled at 15:00. I knew it will just be a formality of few mins. The HR person asked me what was the best thing I liked about Wipro,What I think as the ‘one thing’ about wipro which sets it apart from rest of the companies. I went blank for a couple of seconds as I really didn’t have any answer for that. The HR smiled and asked me if given a oppurtunity in future, would I be willing to work for Wipro again. I couldn’t go blank again but I actually had an answer this time. I told I couldn’t generalise wipro as single entity. Wipro for me is the people I have worked with so far and the work that I have been doing here. Wipro as a ornanisation doesn’t offer anything unique which other companies don’t. The thing I liked about Wipro and the thing that made me stay in wipro for close to 6 years are the people I worked with in wipro and the friends I have made here. I told her that my friends in wipro were one of the reason for my long stint at wipro.

I had never imagined how my Last day at wipro would be, I had seen many people getting very emotional on their last days. I never in my wildest imagination visualised myself getting any bit emotional. The farewell was a small affair and the attendees count had decreased by each event. This crowd was as small as it could get i believe. I was very content by the crowd cause Kumar and Satish could make it and I shared my strongest bond with these two people. I did miss few of my close people but I was too happy and almost nothing could upset me that day. It went all nostalgic with everybody talking about me and Satish and naturally they only had good things to say. It was no surprise that the farewell lasted for more than 2 hours and everybody had a smile at the end.

It was a mixed feeling of letting go of something that I had held for more than 5 years. To be honest I was not sad at all for leaving Wipro, On the contrary I was happy to be out of Wipro. The only reason which could make me upset was about leaving my friends but I knew that our friendship was beyond the project or company and so I had no reason to be sad. It my defence mechanism I think, i can ‘imagine’ a faint silver lining most of the times in all dark clouds.

I had seen most people getting emotional when the stories are recounted but I had a grin on my face the entire day. I couldn’t help but smile that I had enough of ‘Applying Thoughts’ and somebody was waiting to tel me, “Welcome to the Human Network” 🙂

A Monument called UBS!

Posted in Blogroll on January 4, 2010 by prajwalpai

The UBS team will always be close to my heart. If the UBS project can be considered as a grand Monument, The first set of people who started this can rightly be called the foundation. The strong foundation consisted mainly of Ram,Kumar,Satish, Ekram and Mani. I joined this project in November’2004 as a rookie.

2004!

I still remember my initial days in the project, Sankar was my first manager and he really spoke in managese(The language of Managers). I was scared of Kumar in those days. Satish and Ekram were more fun to work with. Prashant, Sathya( now Sethyo) and Sarath were my first set of mentors and all I did for few weeks was Housekeeping and this was a full day activity. 2004 went by and I was totally disinterested in my project. I remember my first team meeting during which I literally dosed off. I had some good lessons during my initial days in this project.  Sometimes we just hear something which nudges us on the right path and thus becomes the right advice. It could just be a bit of common sense said in a way that it resonates with something in us. Its nothing new,but because it connects with us it holds the meaning for us. I got some of such  advice from people during my initial days. Satish advised that ‘ I need to learn to say no’. Kumar advised me that ‘I should never ask/query about the something more than once’ that I should keep a record of everything I learn. Ram advised me that ‘As a professional,I should learn to keep my word and not give excuses like a college kid’. Might be very simple things but I think these advices helped me steer my career.

2005!

This year was the most significant year for me and for the project. Ram assigned Kumar to be my mentor and Kumar motivated me with constant chats and got me working in this project. We started with QC support and I rose to the occasion. I got active in this project and Ram became our new manager. Kulkarni joined our project. We acquired L1 support and many fresh faces walked into our project. Sethu,Vidya,Kesini and Avinash joined. Even though there was hardly a gap of 3-4 months from my date of joining and the junior group. I was looked up as a senior in the project for the first time and I belonged to clearcase L2 team :). I went more serious at work and became more dependable. I embraced FIRC support and QualityCenter support was growing. Harikanth joined for QC support and Ragahvendra and Vinodini joined for ADT support. Our team was growing steadily. Sethu and I shared a bond called ADT.

2006!

This was the year of FIRC and I became more senior in the project. Abilash and Pravin joined in the team. This was the year when I built my strong reputation in this team. I was closest to Harikanth at this time and Abilash too. Pravin was more of the silent types but Me and Sethu were never in same shift due to ADT but still our friendship was going strong. At work, I became most actively involved in this year. A few people came and went like Manjesh and Sunil and Senthil and Syed Pasha. Deepak kumar also joined and gave us a hand with QC support even though he was an expert in Unix domain. Also, few people left this project at this time. Satish left this project and went on to manage our sibling project called SDS Unix. Kumar replaced Mani as the onsite co-ordinator.

2007!

This year was boring at first cause there wasn’t anything new. FIRC had started to get on to my nerves and with many people leaving our team and joining IBM.. I had an urge to move on. It was 3 years already and I wanted something new in my life. UK happened to me. A fresh wave joined our offshore team. San joined few months before Sheela, Sujatha , Prabhakar joined our team. some 30 days or testing experience came to my rescue and my reputation in this project was a huge add-on, Veronica readily agreed for me to handle LoadRunner. Everything fell into places and I landed in London! It was a tough job at London. I had close to 15 hours on product training and 25 mins of Knowledge Transfer and was supposed to replace a 12 years experienced guy in this role for 2 years. After a couple of weeks, I picked up at a brisk pace and hardly took a couple of months for me to get totally comfortable at this. I because close to Pravin only after I went to London.. I think. Many more people joined our team when I was in London. I didn’t know most of the people by face but only knew their chat Id’s. Ram left the project exactly after a month I flew to London and Ekram replaced him as our manager.

2008!

Kumar flew back to London and Satish came to London. Ekram left the project and Kumar replaced him as the manger. Few more faces came into project and I knew them only by ID’s. I became very comfortable with my LoadRunner and was working 9to5 and very content about being in London. SK and Sudhi joined this project and looked very promising. The project had grown to its max this year and with recession and a huge loss for UBS came the first ramp down for this project.

2009!

My LoadRunner project got offshore at first and then that role was permanently closed. I got absorbed as a L2 person in the newly formed L2 team. With more ramp downs on their way, This year was all about our teammates getting placed in different projects or different new companies. I read more ‘good bye’ mails this year than ever before. The l1 support team now being referred as the Service desk was transitioned to a team from Perot. The end was coming!

After completion of SD transition, The team was left out with Me, Kulk and Satish. Satish, the last stone of the foundation will be moving out this week. I daresay consider myself and Kulkarni as the remaining pillars of this Monument. One pillar will be roll on Dec22 and Kulkarni will be the last man standing with ruins all around him.

A year back, I couldn’t have comprehended to the fact that this project will end in such a way. Every start has an ending and every end leads to a new beginning.


“Disclaimer:
I have a really really really bad memory  and I have missed many people and facts in this. Please excuse me for having edited few facts liberally to fill up holes in memory.”