Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The people@SAS R&D INDIA PVT LTD - secunda parte- DRINKING binges

Where were we. Oh! yes staying drunk. Folks do you remember the binge we had at Partha's place before he was to join the Cary office??? Wasn't that a blast. God I miss those kinds of binges. Then the different bachelor's party starting with No Beginning, no end fella- Anantha's. We went with something else in mind and reached a place in Pune camp(don't know why it is named so. Pune has many quirky names). This place; the ambience was bad, the liquor was good and the prices sky high and since Anantha was footing the bill, why would we care. By the time we split for the night, we were drunk for good and there was no need for "one for the road". Boy those were the days. After that binge, the team broke apart and we moved to Sakar place. Now here is where I went on many binges starting with my bachelor's party. Boy that party was a blast where we only drank, shouted hoarse and thankfully did not break anything. Venue was Sigri and as usual we always leave late. Chirag ali come along a lot later. I still don't know if he was already drunk by the time he came or he was play-acting. Sample this... Chirag comes and asks the steward to turn on the lights and poor chap he does that but the light points away from us.  Chirag immediately turns on him and asks him "Kya dikhara re". Light is taraf kar. Tu bhi piya hua hai kya?". Anyway John schemes with the others and presents me a gift. If you know John, you would know what was the gift he zeroed in on. On seeing the package I knew instantly what it was - yes, a pictographic Kamasutra edition. "Ass**** (&()&^%^*($#$&@". Mahesh and usman ali wouldn't drink as usual. John completes his two-pegs, Anup and me and Partha (after three he is at his hysterical best) go on and on and on, so much so I could not know if I was sitting on the table or the chair. The banter I don't remember much, but it revolved around and around only one topic - How did I meet my fiance, how did I woo her with a lot of details of minutae thrown in  . The bhadakaus around me would not relent in their persisting with questioning me. I am sure even my wife did not ask me so much. Sample this
John: Why do you like her?
Me: Because she chose me.
Partha: Kya! sharm kar (followed by a hysterical laugh)
Chirag: Typical laughter mixed with "Ladki tu hai ki who". Tujhe pasand karna hai, usko nahin. Tu aur ek peg peele. 
Mahesh: Twirling a straw in his mocktail (he has been licking the rim for an hour now)
Usman: Snapping photos from somewhere
John: Abhe saale, seeda seeda bol kyon pasand kiya. Aaltu phaltu jawab mat de(trying to imitate Sanjay Dutt in vastav) 
Me: Nahin bolta ja (at my worst petulant imitation)
Everybody together: ye kya baat hai, Tu aisa bolega to bhi ham nahin chodenge, tujhe batana padega, Hum log kay idar hilane ke liye aay kya and then started all the drunk gaalis. 
So I relented and told them a few incidents just to keep them happy. God I miss those days.
After that more binges followed, some at Khyber(speciality is you can drink as much as you want, but you will have no after effects. Saala chadta hi nahi), some at Kapila, chuck wagon (now closed) and lots of other places. The topics would range from cribbing about work-place, pulling legs; always Seetha would be the prime target for this. The drinking gang would roughly be the same. The rest were all visitors. Navin's Bachelor's party was a thing to remember - the bill shot through the roof and we had to chip in to alleviate the pain. Navin do you still carry your schooling certifcates in the car instead of the vehicle documents?? He he ehe ehe he eh ehe eh e

This picture is taken when we were drinking and shouting hoarse on the night when India one the first T20 cup - read more at T20 Champs

Wish there were more such pictures


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dadhood and how- handling child's ill health

I am going to start this post with a rant against GOD. Why did you create illness along with angels? Why for God's  sake why? When my son becomes ill, I am not sure who is affected more; him or us, his  parents. Why GOD why? Were it not suffice you that we appreciate the beauty of your creations as is? Why? why? why?

I am not sure if I am not able to handle my child's ill health or does his ill-health disable me. I become so disoriented and lost that nothing gets done by me and even if I try I make a mess. But I learnt something in this ordeal - "You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance and how much patience I can reap more". I proudly acknowledge that I have become more patient with him. When he was ill and blasted duty beckoned to me every morning, I was torn apart and wished I could be at both places at the same time. I am reminded of Golda meir - "At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent". A struggle which I much desire to leave, but alas cannot.  During his ill-health days. Anxiety is your friend and does not leave your side-couple my anxiety with my wife's and I have many ill-friends at that moment. The day is spent with ministering medicines and watch him scowl first and then bawl with dislike due to the taste. Further anxiety since his appetite is ruined with the medicine intake and feeding him is a session in pain and sound. Pain because I have to force feed him, sound because he bawls with every mouthful. After a couple of bites he does not want more and spits out stuff pushed in. You collect that, keep it aside and try with another morsel. Keep repeating it till the discarded pile is big enough to frustrate you. Why God why? I keep looking forward to his being better again driving me mad with his cyclonic destruction of peace and order. Blessed indeed am I that when I reach home, Prataprudhra beams me a smile, reaches for me desiring me to pick him up and gives me his cheek to kiss.

Give a little to love a child, and you get a great deal back

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dadhood and how - Managing my son

As a father I soon realized that taking care of my son is not so easy matter after all. Doing it helped me understand how Padma, my wife abstract it from me day in day out. My hats of to every mother out there who does the same and to every dad who manages to do it. My son is a cuddly tyke and cyclone mingled into one. A week ago my wife took to the sick bed and what with the swine flu scare in Pune and the rains playing havoc with my son. He took to common cold. The ten days she was recovering from illness I was pinned at home. No working from home either. It was taking care of wife and kid. Those ten days showed me what housekeeping is with a cyclone in your midst. I admit I failed miserably in the attempt. All ten days i was feeling something or the other beneath my feet - biscuits, water, dosa, bread, grains, vessels, toys, clothes and lot more knick knacks. Cleaning will ensure that you only get more. I thought selling cigarettes, bar tending was back breaking work but actually they are nothing compared to taking care of your son. Oof! my back still hurts with the cleaning, picking up things, stopping him from throwing things out of the balcony. A few days back he threw a new bottle of oil out and I could only helplessly watch it fall and break; thankfully not on anybody's head. I did not know his timetable and wifey dear was out of commission to help me out and so it was all trial and error. Early morning milk ,10 AM breakfast cereal or cerelac, 1 PM lunch (typical south Indian) 4 PM - fruit, 6 PM evening milk, 9:00 PM - dinner only chappati (unleavened bread) mind you and nothing else. 11 PM bed time milk. For all these things you have to sit with him. Especially feeding him solids - he will take a bite and start goofing about, try to catch him, he skips and gives you a sly smile. Get hold of him it is all shrill thunder tearing my ears asunder. At bath time, it is a pleasure to watch him play with water and a frustration to get him away from the secrets inside the commode. But all of these frustrations vanish when he sleeps in your arms and when there is a draught blowing in, he curls and snuggles in my arms, I can only let the dam break and tears fall on their own. Tears of happiness.
He is yet to start talking and my wife is worried that he might have a talking problem or a listening problem, but I know (and I also know that I can never convince my wife) that he is alright because he responds to me quite well. He throws liquid down, I ask him to mop it up and he goes to the laundry, gets the mop cloth and mops the floor (not properly though). Before marriage I thought I had a theory about bringing up our child, after marriage, I have a child and no theory at all. I realise that raising kids by theories and philosophies is a big mistake.
Once Padma complained that Arudhra ignores her and I remembered Ogden Nash's opinion "
Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore, And that's what parents were created for" (Parents, 1933). When I dared mention it to her, all I got in return was being transparent to her for some time. In these ten days I was exasperated by him often but once I could take it no more and I gave him a rap on his bum with my palm. Boy did it hurt (me I mean to do it). The guilt haunts the living daylights out of me. Next time and everytime I am inclined to raise my hand again on him I will remember this quote "Never raise your hands to your kids. It will leave your groin unprotected". It pays for you to remember the same.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The people@SAS R&D INDIA PVT LTD - Part 1

I wanted to write this as a single post decided not to. This is one long post, so you will get this in multiple parts.

Cut back to March 2005, Convocation day @ XLRI. That perhaps is the only occassion in my life till date that I was in full formal regalia.

Just before my convocation I had resigned from my job at CSEL after 5 years of association. Took a month break and went on a holiday. After the holiday joined SAS@Pune. Entry to SAS was facilitated by my brother in law. The first person I meet is Shilpa, our administrative front desk. From there to Priya and then the first friend there - John George, my manager to be. First time I saw him, the thought that ran through my mind was "wow!! He has a lot of face to wash". It is difficult to describe John in a sentence or with few words. Perhaps four years of association has rendered me speechless. He did nothing to put me at ease in a new place. Showed me my desk and left. Couple of hours later he comes to me and drops a plate of problems on my lap which he wanted solved yesterday. This was to be my fate - solve today's problems yesterday. I am still doing the same. This ability of his enabled me to become a quicker learner, shed my inhibition in approaching learned collegues with questions, code better and a lot lot more. Along the way I realized why I found John to be a good manager is because, he puts in an equal effort as me to learn and understand what solution I provide. Secondly the one factor why I would put John on higher rating than others is his mantra of - "Let your work advertise" along with facilitating the environment and resource needed to produce beautiful and excellent codes and solutions. Mind you, he just does not give you a mantra, but also enable you to achieve. Another facet is his drive to push yourself beyond "what you know" and get into the unknown and he breathes dwon your neck till you have completed what you have been tasked with. I can go on and on about my admiration for John and his style of management. I would call him the benevolent dictator. Riding along we see many people, some I admire and some are well strangers. From the initial team along with me only Mahesh is left. When I joined the team I was a prima donna and had all the snobbery, aloofness and tantrums of the worst of the kind. This team (in alphabetical order); Anantha, & Aniruddh (Both along with John had a lot of face to wash), Anup, Deepak (Chirag ali), Partha (Reminded me of my Stats professor, will talk about him later on) and Rasmita and Mahesh from Anna Land(as John puts it) put in every effort to change me.

I am not sure if it was a deliberate attempt nontheless I am glad they did. Within six months I was a different person- I now love being part of the chorus. Looking back I am a better person and better at battling technology due to my interactions with them. But I am jumping the gun here. Lets go chrono as long as I remembers the dates and times. Couple of days later I meet the guy who had a rapid fire technical interview with me. Prabodh Navare was my first taste of what life would be @ SAS. My interview was hilarious. I was called over to Pune for a HR round. I reach the office straight from the airport and it became a marathon 3 hour technical round . At the end of it I was both hungry and thirsty. (Guys provide some snack and water if you do this to someone else). Anyway moving ahead Prabodh was to be my mentor and guide of SAS technologies. Prabodh comes across as a different person to many people, but to me he would provide an answer and a lot of links to research further. I am honored to be esteemed so high by him. Lets ride along and meet others - Anup Desmukh. Anup is no longer with SAS but we shared a desk and some camaraderie since we were the only two Java programmers, he before me was all alone literally and that too all new and fresh maal out of college. Suddenly one fine day the product we were working on was scrapped and the team distributed. We were pulled in different directions and Mahesh, Rasmita, Partha, Anup and me were left holding "no baby". This period was my honeymoon at SAS all of 2 months and then John goes across two ponds, gets back 2 kinds of work - one immediate - "code to show us how good you are" and the second kind was the actual work to be done based on judging our competence by the powers to be by our 1st kind of work. In the mean time Dinesh Sonsale joins us. After a couple of weeks I christened him Osman Ali (Last Nizam of Hyd notorious for his respect for time) and a couple of months later we moved to SAKAR office. The current setup was not enough to hold all our joie de vivre. It was during the two years at SAKAR that I made a lot of new friends and a lort more acquaintances. Friends who were there since the time I joined SAS but took me an year to find. Friends, My Friends, my good friends (Think you can identify them) Motor Mouth, Motor mouth's office wife (its a he by the way)Kunju, Warm beer, John's-Phone-A-Friend, Oh! Baba (this is easy), Silky, Thalaivars 1,2,3, Correct focus, bong brothers, and of course the hotsy maam from Fab India was a good motivation to get away from work and boy was there competetion to get to the basement to catch a glimpse. It was while at SAKAR that I got to go for binges with others, started of with Uncle and Motor mouth asking me first and then the gang just grew - Babu Bhai, Thalaivar 2, Bottle ki dukan, Bhattu, Ak56 (he had left SAS by then) and boy the Rum never tasted so nice before. Heres to all those binges and drinks we shared fellas.

Should God ask me what I desire most, I will ask him, One drink with my friends and every drink after that too. Fellas you guys rock. Leave you guys with Khalil Gibran's immortal words, "When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
That which gives me sorrow is the separation from friends and the same thought gives me pleasure to be reminded of them and think about Those Times"

Stay Drunk Fellas