Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Naked Baba

Last Saturday as we were driving back from MG Road, there was heavy standstill traffic and I sat twitching and wondering why. It was only then, we observed that a group of people were walking in a procession of some sort and approaching us.

There were both men and women in the group, carrying flags. The colors in the flag looked similar to the ones on the Indian flag, just that amber was replaced with yellow.

In the middle of it, was a middle aged man, walking completely stark naked. He was chatting up with the person walking beside him who looked like his disciple of some sort.

They were followed by a police patrol too !

He was probably a baba, who had no interest in materialistic form of life ;)

But to come to think of it, I assumed, nudity in public in India was banned. But here there was someone walking naked and having a bunch of cops following him too. I wonder what his theory to preach would be.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh no !

Archie is going to marry Veronica. !

I'v grew up reading and living in a visual world of Riverdale High. The lives of Archie, Vernoica, Betty, Jughead, Moose, Dilton, Chuck Clayton, Reggie Ronald revolved around me.

I liked Betty and Jughead the best. I liked Reggie too. Infact in school we had an Archie's club and each one of us played a character. It was fun.

Going to pop-tate's, having that sundae. Archie's Jalopy. All those dates and Archie goofing up with Mr. Lodge.

Oh, I so wanna go back to soaking into bed with Archies comics and no worries in the world !

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Respect she deserved.

Here's a quote from an send off e-mail sent out by top management.

Beep was one of the first people I met when I joined beep - and that first discussion was indicative of her attitude ever since: exceptional personal and ethical standards, a search for a positive solution and a focus on what was best for the business.

In later times she has brought those same virtues to the eep Leadership Team meetings and also to the Beep Supervisory Board where she was our Company Secretary, working with all shareholders to manage their shareholder interests and ultimately sell the business. I am sure the SLT were always grateful for her strict regime…

Note: Names have been beeped to protect privacy

I don't know the woman personally, but respect her for the person that she has been ! Wishing her well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunday Bath.

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon. I thought instead of lazing around and getting a shower just before venturing out in the evening, let me go get a nice shower and feel fresh while at home and lazing around.

So, I was looking out for a particular shorts with nice soft linen, which is so comfy to wear and a particular tee, both of which I couldn't find.

I realised that it must be buried somewhere underneath in my pile of clothes in my cupboard. So I decided to clean it up, assort it and put it back as I do once every single time, I get frustrated like this, which is say once in 3 to 4 months.

Then I realised there were lot of junk clothes that I don't wear anymore, which I thought I'll move to the Godrej almirah in another room, say room 2. Now I go and open the Godrej almirah and observe there is too much of junk there ranging from old work documents (which I haven't once referred in the last 4 years atleast) and also a bunch of old magazines such as Readers Digest etc.

I decided this had to be cleared out and moved to the documents cupboard, so as to make space for the old clothes. Now the documents cupboard is in another room, say room 3.

I go and open the documents cupboard, and realise that it was also full and had a a bunch of gadgets and CDs, which I realised had to be moved to the computer table cupboard in the same room. Now the computer table cupboard was also flowing with too much junk and had to be cleaned up and space made for junk from documents cupboard.

So, ideally I had to start with the computer table's cupboard and make some space, to move CDs and gadgets in here from the documents cupboard, to make some space there, to be able to move all old docs and stuff from the godrej almirah, to make space there to move old clothes from my current wardrobe !

Phew ! Even the very thought burdened me. But nonetheless, I started thinking let's do one at a time. I started with 1 rack from the documents cupboard thinking, I'll finish only the documents cupboard off that day, and ended up cleaning up just one rack for the next 2 hours and left it unfinished too, coz, I got so tired and impatient and bugged !

Don't know when am going to go back next and work on it ! But then now I know, that I should never venture out for an early shower on Sunday !

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why is god laughing ?

Why is God Laughing, By Deepak Chopra, A book I bought purely because the cover page looked good. The title got me curious, and a quote from some random page gave me the feel that it would be a good read.

I liked the book. It talks about spiritual optimism, I mean it largely talks about it. Deepak has tried to put forward in a nice way three things that we have to understand and be aware of.
1. Fear
2. Ego
3. Addiction

I am sure, if I read it a second time, I'd probably have new things to interpret. I liked the way the book was structured, with anecdotes of humour inserted generously. Nice large print. Fast readers must take more than a couple of hours to finish it.

I would give it a 5 on 10.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I met Kamal Hassan.

As I was getting off the shuttle in the airport, I noticed Kamal hassan get off before me. I can't 
explain in words the feeling that ran through me at that moment. I had never planned this, I never thought, I'd run up to him and speak to him, if I ever met him in person.

But yes, I sprang up, ran up to him, took his hand, shook it and told him, 'Sir, I am a very big fan of yours and am completely am in love with your work'. He smiled and said 'Thank you'.

Then the conversation went for a full five minutes, as I walked along with him uptil the baggage claim and mostly it went something like this,

Me: Sir, I have just taken up acting and am part of this acting workshop, and now I am able to understand the kind of belief system that you have to be in to be able to do what you do and what comes out on the screens.

Kamal Hassan: {smiling} I think, I come off as a reluctant actor.

Me: Oh no no, you are just being humble and modest. 

Kamal Hassan: That's what happens when you know more than you should. So where is this workshop ?  ?

Me: No sir, this is in .

Kamal Hassan: What's the name of the production company ?


Me: Amongst the many of your films I like, I want to mentions sir Anbe Shivam, I think came off as a brilliant movie. Every time I watch it, I mature and grow with it.

Kamal Hassan: {smiling} Thank you. So what do you do otherwise ?

Me: I am with in their software division. But, I wouldn't say I am very happy with my job. Am not even sure, if I should pursue something else that my heart desires. Actually I am in a confused state where, I am still searching for what is it that my heart desires.

Kamal Hassan: {Smiles}

By this time, we had reached the baggage claim area.

Me: Ok sir, sorry to have barged in and taken so much of time. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Kamal Hassan: {Smiling} Pleasure is mine.

Me: Thank you Sir. Bye.

He walked away to the exit, where 3, 4 people waited to receive him with a bouquet and all of them immediately dropped in quick succession to touch his feet. 

I just stood there watching, with my mind racing, what did I do, why did I even stop here, I should have walked with him to his car or whatever, is my baggage so important now ? Oh, I forgot to take a picture and then I realised my camera phone had already died on low battery and he was already disappearing in a distance.

The next 20 mins, I remained high, as if I were high on cocaine ! That instant rush, that energy, oh it was brilliant. The 1st of March 09, a day that will be remembered and cherished.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Discovering thy self.

Ok here's something I consciously want to do,

I am going to identify the patterns, of when I am happy and when I am sad, when I am going through intense emotions or when I don't emote at all.

What gets me there, in the sense what makes me happy, what makes me sad, what really drives me ?

I know these things to a certain extent, but I do a lot of stuff subconciously. So I am going to take note and keep track. No particular goals, I would say this is just a start in the journey of discovering myself. 

Wow, now, I sound philosophical. 

Ok, on that note, here's a few things that made me happy and sad.

->  I lost 27 kilos in the last 6 months. But that's not enough, I still need to lose 7 more kilos to reach my ideal weight. Now, that's happy. It gives me confidence in a lot of ways. 

-> I didn't clear the certification, that I took up for the 3rd consequtive time, no actually 4th I think. It's not a very difficult test, just tricky with negative marking and all that. I didn't put in enough effort. I felt a little bad about myself, for wasting a lot of time and rushing in at the last minute. But I did learn quite a bit and decided not to take up the certification again ;)

-> I read 2 books, though I did take a lot of time, I managed to complete them. I enjoyed reading them. That made me happy.

-> Every visit to home, where I meet up with the boys and V, gives me immense happiness, can't
explain in words. My wife A feels why I don't feel that way about her these days ! I keep telling her, darling, we live together, I can't be exited all the time, but with the boys and V it's different, I meet them once in a while. It's like I have this blood gush in my body, as I get closer to V's place, till the moment I see him, the 2 or 3 days I spend there with them is electric !

-> I'v taken up acting, yes, I'v joined an acting workshop, with a production group who specailise in English theatre. Now, that's a lot of fun. I am learning a lot. The peer interaction is brilliant. I am enjoying it totally.

Ok, that's for now, will write, as and when life happens :)

Can I get a little water please ?

Ok, for the sake of this post, both wifey dear and I are working and infact, there are times when she has to put in longer hours at work. Apart from this she makes my breakfast every day.

Now, I am a person who hurries up with my breakfast. 

Now, I eat very fast, atleast my breakfast, that's the way I do, so 4 or 5 spoons down my throat, I'll be close to choaking and will need water. Now there isn't always water on the table alongwith breakfast.

So, I had a request to make. I said something like, "I know you are already taking care of work and also the cooking part, which is already a lot, I don't mean to burden you more, but I have a request to make. It would be great if you could keep a half bottle of water so that I don't have to run to the water dispenser when I have food stuck through my food passage and need water to wash it down." Ofcourse, I did add, words like kanna, thangam in between.

She comes back instantly with something like, "It's all about sharing work and things would be a lot easier if we could share work." And she also went on to press, "In the west, you don't even have housemaids, people have to get all the work done on their own."

Now, that upset me. I was not even demanding and am remotely close to a chauvinistic male partner. I don't cook, nor do I help in the kitchen. But, am definitely not the kind who guzzles beer and sleeps on the couch, watching cricket !

Also, clearly she likes to take care of the kitchen work on her own, doesn't expect me to help around in the kitchen or cook even.

All that I asked her was for some water along with breakfast. So, as usual, it went on a downward spiral, like any argument would take.

Well, it didn't end up quite nice. 

Now, question is, was it too much to ask, for some water ? 

Smiling on the highway.

Last week, I was riding back on my faithful Royal Enfied Bullet from a neighbouring state, solo. It is a great feeling to be riding on the highway, gives me a great high. The steady thump of my bullet always in the background overpowering the music that are already plugged into my ears. 

When I open my visor, the wind gushing through the helmet onto my face. Lost in thoughts, sometimes pensive. Sometimes, the brilliant feeling of warmth, when I imagine so many good things or even as I reminisce the past. 

This time around, I saw this really really huge truckers, carrying 'windmill blades'. I'v never seen something that monsterous in length in person. Wanted to pull over and take a picture, but I knew I wasn't carrying the right gear for that.

As I overtook the trucker, I turned around quickly and lifted my visor and looked at him, manning the wheel. He looked back, I smiled and waved out, and instaneously a big smile broke out on his face, as he waved back in all happiness and vigour.

Now, I liked that, and I was smiling to myself as I rode on. 

ID Card.

Everyday, I flash my id. card to this security guard at my work entrance and over a period of time, it's like we know each other personally. That familiar nod and acknowledgement has definitely become routine.

However, he still makes it a point to ask me to flash my id. card, which I also do, knowing fully well that it's his duty. Though, I might claim not, I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I was mildly annoyed that he insisted on seeing my ID card every single day.

This morning as, I pulled out my ID card to show him, he came close and gently whispered in my ear ' Sir, Security camera hai, isi lea, galath math manoo' {There's a security camera, that's why, don't mistake me} and flashed a big broad smile, back at me :)

I liked that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project Manager.

I am part of this mailing list, of which my manager is part of too. There was an e-mail asking whoever had a device with a specific serial number to respond. I read it, checked the devices we had, and didn't respond because we didn't own the device with that particular serial number.

Now, 10 mins later, I see the same e-mail in my inbox again, this time around, forwarded by my project manager, asking me if we had the device with that serial number. I replied, No. 

Now, the point is, he sits right next to me !!, all he had to do was, turn around, and ask me if I had checked. But, he felt comfortable e-mailing me instead, sitting not even a foot away from me ?

Now, this leaves me thinking, does he have to re-confirm to himself that he is manager(who sits right next to me), by e-mailing me and asking ? rather than trusting me that I'd have responded if we had it in the first place ! or is it technology has him spoilt so much, that he'd rather write than talk.

Whatever, it annoys me, when managers take so much interest in following up with trivial things, rather than try to provide solutions and follow-up with things that really demand it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One day in the life of Niniane Wang.

Niniane currently works as an Engineering manager for Google. This was when she was working as a developer as part of the Google Desktop product. You can read more fun stuff here.

March 2004

One day, we are sitting at lunch, and I'm eating a slice of chocolate pecan pie.

Me: Pie is so great! If I had pie every day for the rest of my life, I would be a happy person.

Steve: If you fix all of your bugs, I will give you one thousand pies.

Me: Don't make promises you can't keep, Steve.

Steve: Hm, yes, I should restate. If you fix all of your bugs by tomorrow, I will give you one thousand pies. Wait, how much do pies cost?

Me: 10, 15 bucks.

Steve: [does some mental computations] Ten pies. If you fix all of your bugs by tomorrow, I'll give you ten pies.

Me: Oh really?

Steve: [slightly concerned] How many bugs do you have?

Me: Fifteen.

Steve: [confidently] Yes, ten pies.

Me: Okay, you're on.

Chris: Wait, now, it shouldn't be all-or-nothing. We should say that if Niniane fixes 5 bugs in one day, you give her 1 pie. 10 bugs, 2 pies. All 15, then you give her 10 pies.

Steve and me: Okay, that sounds reasonable.

Omar: What about new bugs that come in?

Steve: Those don't count.

Me: Okay, it's 1pm right now. The bet ends at 1pm tomorrow. Let's shake on it. [shake hands with Steve] Okay, I'll see you guys later! I have some bugs to fix!

I dash off. The next 24 hours are a steady progression of bug fixing. By dinnertime (8pm), I've fixed about 6 bugs. A few of us are discussing the bet.

Chris: You should fix the easy ones first, so that you can be guaranteed 2 pies.

Me: No, I should fix the hard ones first, when I'm not as tired.

Chris: Oho! That must mean you're going for all 10 pies!

Everyone begins to leave work. By 2am, I am the only person left. From 4am to 7am, I took a nap in the massage room down the hall. When I emerge, bleary-eyed, Steve is already back at work and shocked to find me.

Steve: Niniane! You're here so early!

Me: No, I didn't leave. Don't you see I'm wearing the same clothes?

Steve: [looks at the bug count] Oh no! I better take longer to do the code reviews!

By noon, I'd fixed all 15 bugs. Two new "non-pie" bugs had come in during the 24 hours, and I fixed them too for good measure, for a total of 17 by 12:50pm.

Steve had a graph that tracked everyone's bug count over time. Because it didn't handle the case where the bug count is 0, my graph line disappeared from the chart. So the next bug fix immediately following the bet was from Steve, to fix his script to handle 0.

Over the next months, Steve bought me a number of pies:

Pie #1: berry #2: apple #3: pumpkin #4: custard #5: pumpkin for Hallowen