Monday, October 26, 2009

This blog has moved!

This blog has moved to !

And more importantly here is the RSS feed for it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Has your blog been Redanyway'ed ?

If you check my blog, you would see a widget at the right hand side name Redanyway which looks similar to a Google Friend Connect but it is much more than meets the eye.

A bit of background first, Redanyway is developed by a startup run by some of my engineering college buddies.

It is like the Google Friend Connect widget (which shows who all are following your blog) but it also allows you to show off your Twitter Followers on the blog.
Also it lets you autopost your new blog posts directly to your Facebook and Twitter accounts eliminating the need for a third-party twitter RSS feeder like twitterfeed .
Hence it achieves the effect of Google Friend Connect as well as twitterfeed. So your blog becomes more "social"ly shared across multiple social networks which are the most popular these days i.e Facebook and Twitter.

Thats why this service advertises itself using the catchphrase "a social way to follow a blog".
This is not all though !!
It has google reader like capabilites where you can find friends, follow them which in effect means you are subscribed to their blogs . Also your friends can follow you (your blog) which again you can show off with the cool Redanyway widget.

So increase the social awareness of your blog and build your social network around your blog by checking out redanyway. Moreover its free!!!

Quotes from The Shawshank Redemption modified for I T Industry.

These are some Memorable quotes from The Shawshank Redemption modified (applicable) for the I T Industry.
  • Orientation for New joinees (especially freshers): Put your trust in the management your ass belongs to your manager.

  • One coder( moving into management) to another: Get busy livin' or get busy coding.

  • Assigning/Blaming bugs/issues in your code onto others is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

  • One employee after completing few years in the industry, to a fresher: On the outside (in the college etc),I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come into the I T industry to be a crook (Fake status reports, fake sick leaves, misuse internet connections for torrents, produce fake bills etc).

  • One senior employee to a junior searching for a "better" job esp during recession: Let me tell you something my friend. Hope(Finding a better job) is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

  • Salvation lies within (self-code/design review, testing one's code).

  • Employee, after spending more than 10-years in the company to new joinees, These cubicles(walls) are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That's institutionalized.

  • One coder: Hows' life? Second coder: Same old shit, different day

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Difference between Indian and American Colleges

Notice put up in Indian College:

Notice put up in American College:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

3 years old !

I completed 3 years in the software industry last week. Its a milestone though a small one. Its also time look back, reflect and share some of the lessons i have learnt.

1. Quality of Work:
Chances are that you are not happy with your work because it is not challenging, repetitive, and/or there is nothing new to learn. Now frustration sets in, and typically one's productivity reduces. I faced this problem more than once fell in the same trap mentioned above. Yes, i did tell my manager and tried to get better work and eventually did, but that is only solving half of the problem.
It is not always for possible to get a team change/project change due to various reasons like economic recession amongst other things.

Along with crossing swords with your manager another thing one should do, is to try to see if you can change something about the current project/work. Improvise some code/some feature, automate something, add some more features. Look around and surely something can be done. Something can be learnt.
Also, another thing is capability. Even if there is some work/project to which you can be assigned; are you capable enough? How do you prove you are capable? e.g You are doing QA work and some Dev work opens up which interests you. Now what?

The solution to this is obviously, try to take on some more work which is challenging (along with you actual work) that can prove you are capable. Hence when eventually some new work comes along. You are in the radar.

Initially, i failed on both counts and found myself miserably frustrated. Along with frustration, self-doubt set in. I started doubting my capabilities also. Was i ready good enough for a better quality of job?
Luckily for me, my mentors/seniors at work helped me, guided me out of the rut.

Another aspect that comes out here when you hate your work is lack of productivity and interest. When you are in the right frame of mind, ideas flow; you are more creative. When you lack interest/hate you job; this flow stops.
Hence remember, even if your job sucks. Try to be most productive and give your best, while looking around for
other opportunities.
Its tough, but not impossible.

2.Ask for Feedback:
Always talk to your manager and ask for feedback. It helps in evaluating your performance throughout the year.
At my previous employer, i never bothered asking my manager about my feedback even though we had numerous one on one meetings. At the end of the year, i was surprised when i got a not-so-good rating in my review.
I make it a point to ask for feedbacks atleast per quarter. It gives good insight into where i stand and what i need to improve.

3. Communication:
Supplementing the above point; Always have one-on-one meetings with your immediate managers. Let them know of any issues you have. Don't crib that the manager doesn't ask. Its your job to tell them anyways.
Another thing is, letting people know you exist.

Once my manager asked me, how many people did know on this floor. There were atleast 100 ppl on the floor. I knew around a quarter that too because we were in the same team.
Let people know you exist; across teams. Interact with people in common areas like cafeteria, sports room etc. (No, not in the toilet!). This helps in the long run especially when you want to know about openings in other teams .
Also, talk to senior people in your team. You can learn a lot from them. In turn they know that you are active/forthcoming and will get you more involved in important activities.

4. Peer Pressure:
Another important lesson i learnt is handling peer pressure. Too often, we spend time comparing ourselves with others. Do I have better work than others? Is he getting paid more? Does the manager prefer him over me? etc. Don't let yourself be bogged down with all these thoughts.

Remember the competition is always with yourself. It a very tough but important lesson. Try to find your own weaknesses and strengths and find work accordingly.
Note, its good to observe your co-workers and learn their good qualities both work related and general.

5. Gossip: Indulging in gossip especially one which spreads ill-will about your team, manager or the company is harmful in general. Criticizing companies policies etc are ok to some extent. But idle gossip brings the morale of the whole team down. This may not affect people who have been in the line for a while, but affect the freshers who have just joined. Try solving problems instead. Bring it to notice of your seniors and upper-management

Enough of fundas for now. These are the lessons i learnt after failing/falling multiple times. I was lucky enough to get chances to fix them.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Interview Tips

Having given quite a few interviews over my short career and taken a bunch of them in my new workplace; i think its time i share some tips for people being interviewed.

  • Firstly, preparing your resume. Remember the KISS funda. Keep it simple stupid. I have seen a lot of resumes which have an overload of information; which confused more than informed me. The main thing is that one's resume needs to inform not confuse. Customize your resume for the company to which you applying i.e  highlight the work you have done which relevant to the profile they are looking for. Mention relevant skills-sets.

  • Highlight Awards/special recognitions/papers/patents who you have got/published/filed. Put this at the very first.
  • Don't mention tools like gcc/gdb or even cvs/svn/clearcase etc. If you have done C coding you surely have used gcc/gdb etc and no one cares abt which code mgmt system one has used.

  • Don't misguide or provide inaccurate information in resume. I have interviewed people who claim to be "developers" or "maintainers" and give an impression that they have done a lot of coding but are in fact doing most maintenance/bug-fixing kind of work.
  • You will easily get caught when the interviewer starts digging deep.If you have done bug-fixing, say bug-fixing. 

  • Also don't lie about your known expertise/skill-set. eg. One candidate i interviewed mentioned C/C++ as known languages. When further probed he said he learnt it in college and never professionally worked on it. That was the end of his interview.
    Mention skills sets acquired while working professionally or even on college projects.

  • Also interviewers don't care about you hobbies/interests.

  • Old adage but worth repeating: If you don't know don't lie. You are surely going to get caught. Its better to say that you don't know or haven't work on it so don't know it.

  • Brush up on your basics. Although we understand/know most of the basics, we tend to forget them over time. Brush up ! Read your college reference books or other books that talk about the basics. This is the single most important advice

  • Typical questions asked are "briefly describe yourself", "explain what work you are currently doing". Come prepared with these answers especially what work you are doing currently. Interviewers will check how deeply you understand the current product/system on which you are working.

  • When asked to solve a particular problem, like writing a C program / solving a puzzle; take some time to think properly and use the whiteboard (incase of face to face) or use paper sheets (for telephonic interviews).
    This is stating the obvious, but people try to solve problems in their mind; then lose patience and although they could have given the right answers; they screw up.
    I have done it in the past and seen people doing it.

    Real incident
    : Once, during an telephonic interview i asked the candidate to solve a certain C problem, he thought for a while; got impatient and asked me to move to the next question while his brain processed the current problem in the background.
    I was ROFL ! I wanted ask if he had a dual-core brain!

  • Don't interrupt the interviewer with questions about the work/company etc during the interview. Once the interview is done, typically the interviewer will ask you if you have any queries. If not then you can tell them that you have some questions. Don't hesitate in asking about the type of work/general info abt the company but only at the end.

  • Lastly, if you mention you worked on a certain technology or have knowledge about certain concept. Make sure you know it in and out else don't mention it at all.
    eg. If you mention something like IPSec or RTOS and don't really know it properly, then its quite a turn-off and your chances of going ahead are close to nothing

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Once upon a time on a Sunday..

Sundays are meant to be fun, meant for "chillax"ing, watching movies, sports, IPL etc . One tries to minimise work as much as possible. Order food from outside, postpone the work which was postponed from the weekdays to the weekend to the next weekend and so on.

Most importantly experimenting (which often fails ... rather always) should surely be avoided at any cost. Some folks though don't heed such sane advices and learn their lessons the hard way.

It was a usual Sunday morning with my spouse in deep slumber while i was booting my laptop to watch a movie, suddenly i heard couple of blasts that sound similar to bomb blasts.
Neither was i close to any war zone nor was the Indian Cricket team winning any matches. Also there was stink .. really bad odour . I dreaded the worse ; Chemical Warfare.
( Disclaimer: I didnot fart ! as opposed to popular belief )

I instinctively (like Spiderman) turned around , ducked to save my life and then i was shocked to see the merciless carnage around me.

Lets move back in time to Saturday evening where we were visiting the exhibition for household items. We found a very useful item that would save us some effort during the early morning rush to get to work daily.
Rush? Is my job hectic? No man.... there is free AC at work . Only way to beat the heat !

It was a Microwave Egg Boiler. Wow... thats a really handy item. Place some water; then eggs and microwave it for 3-4 mins.. Voila ! Boiled eggs in no time.
The stall owner convinced me that against popular opinion eggs will not burst/break .
I as always was first very eager to buy it and then even more eager to use this contraption.

Hence, on this very unfortunate Sunday i decided to experiment boiling eggs in this device.
Instructions were simple.
Fill water in the vessel, place the perforated cover on it, place the eggs, cover the lid and microwave it for 3-4 mins.

I did egg-actly that and as being an expert in multi-tasking ( No, i am worse than Windows 98 at multi-tasking. One process hangs... system hangs) decides to boot up the laptop the same time.

As soon as i heard the alleged bomb blasts, i instinctively turned around and saw something devilish flying towards me. I ducked ! Phew! Then there was the stink .
I opened my eyes; Yes, the flying towards me was the lid of the Microwave Egg Boiler and the eggs had been overboiled; they burst all over the microwave, the floor, the otta . I was shocked at the turn of events and then the failure of my experiment.
I attempted to move close to the microwave and removed the utensil which still had one egg intact. I keep the vessel near the sink and turned around.
Then there was another blast ; sadly the last remaining egg also burst.

Not only had the lovely breakfast gone away;
I was in shock for sometime . Now What? Then it dawned upon me.. i had to clean up before my wife woke up.

Also, i could no longer use the old trick that i exercised daily and was really tired. Why ? See here.
Hence, now I a software engineer who most important decision of the day whether i should share this link on Twiter or not had to actually do some work ... i.e cleanup!!

But fear not, i have receiving training on fixing household disasters. Yeah! Really ?! Are there classes where do they teach all this?

If you come to my aerobics class... you will surely learn the subtleties of cleaning the house.

How??? I shall gladly enlighten ! Follow my lead

  • Take your left leg forward; raise your left hand ; bend all your fingers ; Raise your ankle. Now your rotate left wrist and left ankle to the tune of Main Hoon Don! Main Hoon Don!". Voila! you just learnt to change a bulb . Now you can confidentally change all the old spoilt bulbs in your house.

  • Keep a distance of a foot between your feet. Raise your arms to chest height. Keep your arm and fingers straight. Now rotate your wrist to the tune of Bappida's legendary "Tamma Tamma Loge". All you need is a dusting cloth in your hand and you just learn to dust. You can bend your back and clean that dirty centre table also.
    Raise your hands (arms straight). Now take a broom and clean those decade-old cobwebs.

  • An extension of the above step is keep one stand still and rotate the other . All you need in the dirty dish in your steady hand and a scrotch bite in your right hand... Now you are a dish washer !

  • Now, again keep a foot's distance between your feet. Keep your hands on your waste. Lift your left ankle. Rotate your left foot. Repeat the same for the right foot. Do this to the tune of any of Jitendra's song prefably one where he wears white shirt/shoes/underwear.
    All you need a cloth under you foot and you have learnt to do swabbing
    (pochha in your native tongue).

  • and there are many more.... You can learn the sweep, clean your clothes and even fly kites.
Hence using the above super cleaning skills i was able to effectively clean up the kitchen and thus hid the experiment from the Mrs. Though the stink was difficult to get rid off; and my wife smartly sniffed out that a crime had been committed.

I told the whole story, but my loving/charming wife understood and helped clean the stink .

I was let off so easily? Really?
Alas! No... my wife played the song "Aao Sikhao Tume Ande Ka Funda Yeh Nahin Pyare Koi Maamule Banda " and made me do those embarassing aerobics steps.

Have mercy.............

Monday, April 27, 2009

Testing Again


Sunday, April 26, 2009


Testing a new blog post with twitthis,reddit,digg,reddit etc widgets....

Friday, April 24, 2009

See the Trees By William Lambert

(A very good mail fwd)

I lived in Alabama on a half-acre lot blessed huge oak trees that were 40 feet in diameter. They were HUGE! The house was laid out such that every bedroom faced the backyard. Each bedroom had a large picture window. The view was breathtaking. I enjoyed just looking at the trees. In the fall I would identify a particular leaf that was falling and watched it for what seemed liked 5 minutes before it fell to earth.

One day I invited this married couple over to enjoy the view from the bedroom window. I took them into the bedroom and excitedly pointed to the trees out of the window and exclaimed, "just look"!

After about 20 seconds there was no comment from the couple. I however, noticed a big frown on the woman's face.

I said, "What's wrong". She was reluctant to reply.

I insisted and again said, "What's wrong?"

She relented and said, "Don't you see those fingerprints on the glass?"

I turned and looked and there were what seemed to be fifty or more fingerprints on the glass. I ran for the Windex to clean the glass. The lady "Oh, I didn't mean for you to clean it now."

The morale here is this. That lady never saw the trees. Even when I tried to point them out, She missed it! I didn't see the fingerprints. I was looking through the glass not at it.

When the fingerprints were pointed out to me, I saw them and removed them. The lady never saw the trees. She focused on the fingerprints and she never got passed them.

Life is much like that. There are things in life that are good and things that are bad. You choose which things you want to focus on. I focus on the trees.

What are you focusing on?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What do some ads really mean?

1. Set Max's ad for IPL-2. "Kabhi sau crore logon ko ek saath ek hi cheez karte dekha hain?". ( Have you seen 100 crore ppl do something together at the same time?)
I am pretty sure 100 crore ppl (or even more) do empty their bowels at 0632 daily, and No i haven't seen them and i don't plan to !

2. Unwanted -72 : We have Bollywood starlet Tanaaz Currim in this ad, who realizes that she didn't have protection while "doing it". She regrets doing it and now she needs a contraceptive to fix the problem. Besides her a sitting a real idiot (probably her real life husband) with a face saying that i-wanna-crap-i-dunno-what-the-heck-the-lady-is-talking -about.
After seeing the sad excuse for an ad couple of times; it struck me that she is regretting sleeping with this guy more than not using protection and surely doesn't want him to father her kids.

3. The New Bournvita Ad : I heard that Sania Mirza had allegedly faked her age while playing on the domestic circuit. She has allegedly been eighteen for a lot of years.
Now, of course we know the secret. In the Bournvita ad, in one scene Sania Mirza first drinks Bournvita then the camera pans towards her mother and when it pans back... Voila! Sania Mirza is a small girl. Hence everytime she reached 18; she drank bournvita and she became small again.
How come we (normal people) never got this Bournvita ??
Well, she was their guinea pig all these years. Now that they have realized that works; we see the ad.

4. The New TataSky Ad:
TataSky's package scheme/rates are quite bad. Sport channels cost extra . ZoomTV extra. and so on
Seen the new TataSky ad, where Mr. Aamir Khan is dressed as a sardar gives away his own TataSky set-top box to a random person on the road (and surprisingly only person on the road). The first time i saw the ad, the television was mute.
I exclaimed, "Wow, Tata sky themselves have realized how pathetic their Package schemes are that they themselves are encouraging people to ditch the set-top boxes !".

On that note, yes! their packages are pathetic and they are a bunch of cheapskates. I have to pay extra for Star Sports/ESPN; even more for Neo Sports and Ten Sports !! WTF am i going to do with DVD-like/real-life-like quality when half the channels are missing ??

5. The Airtel Ad:
Airtel's network coverage in the city i live in is pathetic. Most of the times the network range low or very low. I am "out of coverage area/mobile switched off", even if i am at work !
The new Airtel ad shows a cute little kid calling his dad from a fake phone. Airtel says in the end that "People believe that they are close to loved ones who are far away and Airtel enables people to believe so !" .
Well unfortunately due its poor network coverage at many places (esp my work place), I only have to believe that i am close to my loved ones coz i can't call anyone anyways and no one can call me !

6. The Airtel DTH Service Ad:
In the new Airtel DTH Ad, every room the house owner enters he sees some one there. Even while watching TV at his own home, he surrounded by people and he is cramped.
Does it mean that when one gets Airtel's DTH service in their house, they will be cramped for space ??

7. The new series of Vodafone Ads:
Now Vodafone ( or Hutch or BPL or Essar) have realized that their network being pathetic all over India; surely it is not going to follow you wherever you go. Even if the pug does (after being bribed) their network can't/won't. Even if one goes to a remote village you will find a lot of dogs following you but not their network. Hence they got rid of the dog.

Now their new campaign focuses on costly services which 99.8% of the population don't give rat's ass about.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Once upon a time in an Aerobics Session

My wife suggested i attend an aerobics class which was part of the package deal i had got when i joined a nearby gym. Now the gym serves more than the purpose of losing weight.
It allows one to avoid housework; watch the cricket match on the large screen LCD TV;
read the newspaper/magazines leisurely when its crowded;
when you come back you are exempt of any further housework; My beloved wife would say "You must be tired honey!".
Then I shamelessly watch the remainder of the cricket match on the home TV .If i reach home late you exclaim that "Oh there was a lot of crowd today at the gym!", when you actually were give some chick what-not-to-eat tips.

The chances of me actually exercising are shown here:

One fine day, i was forced out of the bed and then out of the toilet and then out of the house to attend the aerobics class. Regretting the decision to wake up in the first place, i treaded slowly into the aerobics room.
The instructor arrived early (sigh!) and the session started.

Few minutes into the session and i realized i was in an 80s' song-and-dance sequence with Jitendra and Sridevi lip-syncing to "Toofah Toofah Toofah, laya laya laya". I just needed whilte overalls and some white shoes. I could have easily passed of as one of the dancers in the last row who does not know what the hell he is doing.
The lead dancer (aerobics instructor) felt more of a B-grade Mithun lookalike; similar to the B-grade Harbhajan lookalike in the new Aircell Ad. He was very fast; hard to keep up types.
and in worse-case he expected us to be in sync.

WTF?! We weren't some wannabe-dancers competing in some reality show but were a bunch of sleep deprived slow-witted folks with hardly any sense of where we were.

There were chicks in the front ( I come from an engg. college so imagine my definition of chicks) who were able to actually follow what our Mithun lookalike was doing. I was *innocently* following their steps.

The feeling of being part of a B-grade movie dance sequence became overwhelming when i realized the aunties around me were gyrating.
Slowly the dance steps changed from Jumping jack to Govinda and now the centrifugal forces around me were thrust onto me with greater effect.

When i narrated the experience (i.e 80s style dancing not the chick staring part) to my beloved better half; she was laughing her guts out.
Now i will always ensure that i would surely attend these sessions.

People often ask when i get time to think/write these things.

Well in the aerobics session i am pretty sure the people behind me must be writing a blog about some fat jackass who even though looking at the chicks was doing something totally different (obviously hilarious and most importantly entertaining) than the rest of the class.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If .....

(Thanks to Jitesh for this poem)
Simply superb stuff!!

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Traffic Signal Personalities!

I proudly say that i do follow the traffic rules and do stop at all Traffic Signals even if it is the wee hours of the morning or late in the night. Did i mention i also wait behind the zebra crossing?

During the self-righteous act of virtue, i have come across a lot of different personalities and their behaviors.

I-believe-in-time-wrap: When the signal counter shows 20 seconds or so pending. Most folks have their engines turned except these species. They start honking and honking a lot. Is that really going make the counter move any faster? or have you Mr Einstein discovered that honking loud ( in turn make everyone deaf) can actually make time wrap or will it cause the signal counter to become zero?

Another behavior exhibited by these species is to keep accelerating the engine. Thats the other way to make time fly.

There-is-no-signal: Remember the famous dialogue "There is no spoon " from the Matrix. These species apply the same funda to traffic signals. There are no signals. People standing here are just a bunch of idiots. Come; stand; look around for cops; zoom past.

Left-turn-is-always-free: Another species believe that the left-turn/U-turns is always free to take. They will honk and honk until all standing in their way are forced to take the turn.

Sleeping-Beauty: This species is the entire opposite of the first one. They occupy the first or second rows . Even when the signal turns green, these folks are looking in some other direction or talking on the mobile and are completely unaware that standing at a signal doesn't mean that time has stood still.

What-are-lanes?: These species don't believe in the concept of lanes just like the "There is no Signal" species. Standing in the right lane, i can cut across to the left. Standing in the centre lane, i can take the right lane suddenly and obviously glare at everyone honking.

What are indicators?: A sub-species of the above, don't believe in showing indicators and just take the lane/turn they want to . This is true especially for women and such.

I feel, we need indicators just to say we are going straight.

What are zebra-crossing?: Another non-believers are these species. They move their vehicle way beyond the zebra crossing or on it itself . Its not a white-stripes-on-black-road for show or to beatify the city.

The last
When-the-signal-turns-from-green-to-yellow-zoom past: These species believe that once the signal turns yellow from green, its means raise your accelerator and zoom past. If its car, then try to zoom past; get stuck in the middle; while the other signal starts; look like an idiot; while the other species from above think what am idiot.

Wait, is the signal yellow or orange? I will never know... i just zoom past! :)

Right time to Change Your Job (Take 2)

Here is Take 1. A couple of folks i know, are confused about changing jobs. They are bored of their current profile and see exciting opportunities elsewhere. But the biggest problem on their mind is the recession.

Is it right to change your job during an ongoing recession ?

An easy answer is "There is never a wrong time to do the right thing!". But this is oversimplified. A common myth that people fear is the Last In First Out myth. The employee will be the first to asked to leave. I have seen a lot of forwarded mails from so called expert Economists who warn about this.

When a company decides to hire during an ongoing recession, it means that the decision to do so is very well thought over one. The reason i say this is because, hiring folks and laying them off within months is very bad management. This shows that particular dept. in bad light and obviously a lot of tough questions from the higher management would have to be answered.
Also, a lot of companies have a complete hiring freeze. Not even if the best candidate comes along, would he be recruited. So the one in need would need to try very hard to justify the need to hire to the higher level management . Also the higher management would want to shuffle work among existing employees instead of hiring new folks. Hence, if such a company is hiring chances are that they really need you. It could also lead to some challenging and interesting work/responsibilities for you. Here is an excerpt from the above links:

But a recession can be an excellent time to take a new job, provided you've done your due diligence, says Sam Gordon, a recruiter with Harvey Nash Executive Search. "Firms that are recruiting in a downturn are doing so because the roles they have to fill have a major importance to their organizations," he says.

Such strategic roles are unlikely to be cut if a company has committed to investing in them in spite of a downturn.

Another thing is that your current job is not entirely secure anyways. Hence, if your job was not challenging enough or you were doing repetitive work, chances you haven't learnt a lot. And if you are fired, you are stuck.

Also, the screening process for available positions will be tough. The companies would look for the best fit not just-good-enough fit or ok-but-not-sure fit. So brushing up knowledge is surely not a bad thing to do.

Earlier, i was convinced that one way to beat recession is to go get a degree or such. But after reading this very interesting insight , i rejected that thought. Some excerpts from it :

Most jobs are better than they seem: You can learn from any job.
When I worked on a French chicken farm, I thought I’d learn French, but I didn’t, because I was so foreign to the French farm family that they couldn’t talk to me. However I did learn a lot of other things, like how to bargain to get the best job in the chicken coop, and how to get out of killing the bunnies. You don’t need to be learning the perfect thing in your job. You just need to be learning. Don’t tell yourself you need a job that gives your life meaning. Jobs don’t do that; doesn’t that make you feel better? Suddenly being in the workplace doesn’t seem so bad.

Applications to the military increase in a bad economy in a disturbingly similar way that applications to graduate school do. For the most part, both alternatives are bad. They limit your future in ways you can’t even imagine, and they are not likely to open the kind of doors you really want. Military is the terrible escape hatch for poor kids, and grad school is the terrible escape hatch for rich kids.

Graduate school forces you to overinvest: It’s too high risk.

Lastly, obviously one should just follow their heart it always know whats right.

Yes, its easy blog about such things . Easier said than done right?
I am blogging about it after following my heart and changing my job during the so called recession.

Friday, February 13, 2009


In the world famous sitcom Friends, there is an episode where Ross's Grand mom expires. They are cleaning out her stuff when they find an old group photo of her friends and her in it. Later on in the episode, 6 of them look at that photo.They say, what a fun group it must have been!

The camera slowly zooms out . It shows another fun group.

In life its rare to be part of such a fun group. I am lucky that i am part of one such;

fun, crazy, and most importantly borderline insane.

hash-hash-adda(##adda) is the FreeNode irc channel where all of the above(and some more) hangout.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Movie Review: Ghajini

Lot has been said about this movie. Here is an excellent statistical analysis of the same.
It has many graphs, but this one caught my attention.

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie during my bus-ride from Pune to Mumbai in the Volvo Bus. After that experience, i have extended the graph as below.

If you have seen the movie and liked it, do others a favor; dye your hair blonde call yourself britney!

In the presence of Greatness

Pandit Birju Maharaj (72) and Ustad Zakir Hussain (57) are two living legends who performed together 12 years ago. Since then, there have been a lot of people who have unsuccessfully tried to get them together.

Deepak Vaze of Anant Vaze Sangeet Vidyalaya was successful in getting them together.
One of my relatives, was one of the main donors of this program and also part of the organizing committee.We were lucky enough to watch these legends together from close quarters . To top that ,we also got a chance to meet Pandit Birju Maharaj personally.

Pt Birju Maharaj (2nd from Left)

He loves kids

Pt Birju Maharaj (centre), Shasavati (near his feet) . She has been training under him for 40 years.

Ustad Zakir Hussain starts the show.

Pandit Birju Maharaj makes his appearance.


Madhuri Dixit, who has trained under Pt. Birji Maharaj graced the occasion

Sashavati performs as the multi-talented Pt Bhirju Maharaj performs on the tabla

and now on the Harmonium giving vocals to one of his own compositions. Truly a genius.

We were all mesmirized by the jugalbandi and spellbound by the performance. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why Did BigB Slam Slumdog Millionaire ?

The much hyped Golden Globe winning Slumdog Millionaire was slammed by none other than Bollywood's most iconic personality Big B.(who claims never to have worked in movies showing reality because  again, he claims knows the crowds want fantasy not the reality) for showing Mumbai's seamier side.

Here are the actual reasons why he has slammed the movie :

1. Big B was the original host of Kaun Banega Crorepati (Desi version of Who wants to be millionaire?). Anil Kapoor who plays a similar host for a similar game show in the movie not only does a good job of emulating Big B but also does a better job of mocking the contestant. He almost matches the panache of Big B, but eventually breaks into a Lakhan-style tapori dance. Big B was mortified by the dance and felt he would danced better. He felt the role should have come to him as he would given a natural feel.

2. Big B, although an icon amongst generations in India has never been offered  any role beyond a beggar in any Hollywood movie. Even an unknown actor like Gaurav Chopra has done a cameo role in the Oscar Nominated movie Blood Diamond. Given the fact the movie does have a duplicate playing the role of Big B himself. Big B felt that atleast if not KBC host, he should have surely been offered this role where a kid covered full in shit runs into a crowd to touch the great bollywood legend and take his autograph.

3. Slumdog shows the plight of poverty and poverty in the slums of Mumbai. Big B has no problem with that really! The scene that has really ticked him off is the one where a car parked in a slum of Agra ( in Uttar Pradesh, his home state, where he used to own land by claiming to be a farmer) is robbed of its essentials like tyres, head lights amongst other things and driver calls the kid a robber, essentially calling all "such" people a robber.
Firstly as per Big B, there is no slum in UP and certainly given the fact it is the most progressive state, there are surely no robbers. "UP men hai dam, jurm hai kam" remember the ad?

Lately, Big B has reportedly said that he had been misquoted by the media again. My guess is that the only purpose of his blog is to say something which is borderline controversial. Knowing the Indian media, the borderline controversy would become real news(read controversy) and then Big B's next blog will say he was "misquoted" which will be another headline . Shit Happens!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Book Reviews: Tigers, Lexus and more

The White Tiger: Arvind Adiga's first novel which landed him with the Booker Prize. Now i am not judge of the whether he deserves it or not nor am i judge of the novel's literary quotient. One thing for sure, its a hell of a novel. The novel portray's the dark side of India shining. It shows how people trapped in this "darkness" or "chicken coop" remain there forever; accept fate as it is. But this novel is more than that, its a story of those few "White Tigers" , who dream of the "light"; who want to move out of this "chicken coop" and eventually do breakout of it. That what makes this an interesting read. The unlikely rise of a entrepreneur, from being a normal taxi-driver in Delhi to owning an fleet of cars and running a taxi agency in Bangalore.
The style of writing is lucid and the pace is fast. The author describes the grim darkness very neatly, potraying the truth.
A lot of people have been turned off by this novel or say that its showing India in bad light; the reason they say so is because they haven't seen the "darkness" or witnessed someone fight out of this "darkness".
I won't go into the details of the story etc. Find out about it yourself.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Thoman Friedman's second book; a prequel to the world famous "The World is Flat" set in the pre-9/11 era. I picked up this book couple of times earlier, got bored; found it irrelevant and never went beyond a couple of chapters.
I picked this book again with an aim to finish it. The book suddenly turned out to be quite interesting, and very relevant in today's economic turmoil (Nope, doesn't give any insight into Raju's Books though) . This book tells us about how the foundation stones of current crisis were laid. Not only that it even predicts such a downturn as a possibility. If you want to know about Globalization; its roots; how it all began, then this is surely a good read. The stories and incidents that the author narrates are very interesting and fun to read. It talks about the pros, and cons of Globalization. Mostly pros though. Why some countries/people are against it or are even angry because of it. How most people in developing countries misunderstand "Globalization" for "Americanization" How companies/countries are adapting to it and so on. Sometimes though the book gets repetitive and boring; though overall the style of writing and his interactions with people world over make it worth a read.
Why the name, one might ask? The Lexus, Toyota's luxury brand denotes one end of the world where Globalization has been accepted while the Olive Tree represents the other extreme where people are fighting for gaining control over others' olive trees and protecting their own; where globalization treated as new word for US imperialism.

Q and A: Vikas Swarup, an Indian Diplomat's first novel. The story of an ordinary waiter who wins a million dollars on a KBC type quiz show. The producers think its a fraud. How can a waiter know the answers to tough General Knowledge questions. He says he just knows those answers. Not by luck, not by guessing. He just knew those answers. How did he know this answers, well thats what the book about. His life story; his experiences and his encounter with various type of people from which he came to know the answers to the GK questions. The book has similar undertones as the White Tiger about Dark India. What makes the book different is that ; although the certain description of people and places are life like, overall its pure fiction with twists and turns and a stunning ending. Yes, fit to be made into an movie.
The movie is already made. This book inspired the multi-award winning "Slumdog Millionaire" movie. The book again is fast paced and the style of writing easy. The author has focused on the characters and their emotions and less on the surrounding and the situation, making it a quick read.
Incase you are looking for some action on a lazy Sunday afternoon; chuck the TV and pick up this thriller.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another pic from the trek

This is another great pic . Thats a Superman T-shirt inside.

Caption: Superman who needs to have a bath, needs to be shown directions to the treadmill and also some training from Frankflin Air hostess training institute.

Courtesy: Image: Pallavi, Caption: Chirag,Hemanth

Monday, January 12, 2009

National Himalayan Winter Trekking Expedition (Reaching Dalhousie)

We were part of the "National Himalayan Winter Trekking Expedition" starting at Dalhousie organized by Youth Hostel Association. Name sounds fancy? Well only the name does.
More on that later though.

There is a great saying, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Duh! Isn't it obvious?
But my first step was actually in the reverse direction i.e cancelling the trek as Leena fell sick. Hence she had to drop off the trek. Our original plan was to do the trek and bring in the new year in Himachal itself. But instead, i cut my trip short and decided to return after the trek while Leena took rest at her mother's place at Nasik.

I met the Gang (i.e Varun, Arun, Amit and Uttaran) at the New Delhi Railway Station.

Yeah, all of them are smiling(seems more like they are doped). Uttaran seems fit for the Center Shock Commercial. He is losing hair but claims to be in denial. He trying all sorts of Hair styles; wants to do a "Bucket List" of his hair before them falling. What does the hair think?
"I just want to fall off before freaking people out!"

Anyways, now we had a whole day to kill in Delhi. The train to Pathankot was in the night. So First Stop, was Karim's in Old Delhi near Jama Masjid. We took a tonga ride. tonga - horse driven cart for the uninitiated.

Oh wait! What about the after-effects of a 36+ hrs train journey from Bangalore to Delhi ?

Uttaran, the self proclaimed foodie and also the person who claims to have lived in Delhi for 4+ years gave the orders.
The food looks tasty and obviously unhealthy.

All satiated after the meal

Now, after the meal "normal" people would do some sight-seeing in Delhi. We headed to Connaught Place. Stood outside a cinema hall comtemplating whether to watch the [cough]horror[cough] movie, "Rab Ne Baani Di Jodi". I wished "Rab" would "rub" some wisdom into us. And guess what? Next Stop, TGIF !! Yayee, an overpriced pub. Now thats something you don't find in Bangalore.

Uttaran with his rusty knowledge then directed us to another pub which supposedly played decent rock music. The rock music playing club was now a sports bar with all TVs all over the place showing anything but the current "Test Match between Ind and Eng" and playing Disco songs with the singer going "OOww!" every now and then.
The rates were high, the happy hours freebies were quite sad. Hence after half-an-hour of free water and AC, we coolly walked out.

Next stop Barista!! Obviously. If you want have the best coffee its Delhi dude, not Bangalore!
After Ozzy and Arun showed off their out of tune guitar skills, Uttaran his writing-random-numbers-in-empty-boxes appearing-to-solve-sudoko skills and Varun his just-sit-and-stare-in-the-sky skills, we finally headed to Old Delhi Station.
Once the train started chugging along, I got to know Varun's entrepreneurial ventures during his college days which still funds his overexpensive wardrobe. We discussed everything under the sun including office gossip, emacs v/s vim and so on.
We reached foggy Pathankot next day morning. If you want to know, Pathankot is a dusty and dirty litttle town (just like any other town i guess) with a strong military presence.

We had breakfast (lovely parathas) and headed down to the bus stop.

Yeah, i know we look like two shady guys trying to sell dope to school kids. Alright, i don't but Varun surely does. and yes we seemed on a high.

After 4 hrs of travel, we reached Dalhousie. Dalhousie is a town with a old-world charm slowly giving way to tourism and everything that comes with it (tourists, garbage etc). Our base camp was just a 5 min walk from the bus stand. It had a building with beds to sleep, hot water to have bath, mobile charging points and also had free wifi access. Sadly we all work for a company where no one can afford a mobile with wifi capabilites.

Wait a sec! Building? Beds? Hot water? I thought this was a trek! and also wheres the snow?? I was roaming around in a half sleeves T-shirt . Was it winter, really?

Yeah, Coming back to the title "National Himalayan Winter Trekking Expedition" . Himalayan snow! Winter no way. Trek? Wait and watch, things are going to get worse.

We got ourselves registered, dumped the luggage, cleaned up (in all sense) and headed down market place for some shopping. Rest of the gang, sans Anna reached the camp at night. We had our first encounter with a mountain goat a.k.a God father.

and then next day, we had another encounter with another [cough] mountain goat [cough] whose toothbrush had been used to clean everything except his teeth.

Take A closer look at the brush.

We had a early morning exercise where the leader caught Uttaran faking his exercise (You can fake that too) and called him a 60-year old man and also an insult to Bangalore in pure Kannada.
Then we headed to
Panch Pula(Bhagat Singh's Uncle's memorial...yayee) for our acclimatization walk.
The great Anna, joined us for the acclimatization walk and complained. " Its not cold, lame trek, comparisons to Sar Pass and so on". I got to hear this till i found a cure, more on that later though.

We mostly walked on the road. What kind of acclimatization walk was this? I later realized, it was actually to get acclimatized to walk on the road with heavy shoes, heavy jacket and heavy bag because this is what we did exactly on the first day of the actual trek.

Yeah so no trek, just a hike for the first day atleast.

You can have a look at the Trek Pics
Stay tuned for part 2 .

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Three pics from the trek!

Here are 3 pics that at best describe my antics during the trek. A blog is surely in order. But for now..

Collecting Garbage.

Collecting Money.

Don't ask what i am doing to Hemanth.

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