Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Inflation, a widely used term has always puzzled me.
"Government declares current inflation to be 4.5%",
"Inflation may further trigger prize hike in most items" and many such complex statements have come across us either in newspapers,web-sites or on news channels.

I have been personally interested in knowing about Stock Markets etc. in the past 6 months. As a part of my occassional ramp up to learn more, i happened to go to one of the trading web sites for some online tutorials. Thats where the concept of Inflation was better explained. I was then able to connect in atleast some way to what inflation was.

Example to explain Inflation:

I used to purchase a particular brand of pen at Rs. 10 (about 22 cents) per piece, when i was in the 10th year of my schooling. In about 6 years, on the 16 th year of my education (final year engineering) i was not able to buy the same pen for Rs. 10. I had to pay Rs.12 (About 24 cents) to buy the same pen. This means that in 6 years, the purchasing power of my Rs. 10 decreased. I was able to purchase less for the same amount of money over time. This is what is inflation. Inflation can be defined as the decrease in the purchasing power over a period of time.

How can we evade inflation:
  • Invest money.
  • Ensure that your money earns interest, which hedges (offsets) inflation and earns you money on top of that.
  • Have a diversified investment portfolio - life insurance, stocks, mutual funds, government bonds, NSC, KVP, Fixed Deposits.
  • Investment in Real Estate can also help you to have a good capital appreciation.
  • Invest in the household non performing asset (NPA) - Gold. I know your mom,sister, girlfriend or wife would love u for this! But this is the last option to opt for. Branded gold may not loose value, but gold wont earn you monetary interest.
As i write this, i dont proclaim myself to be an investment ace or a know it all dude. Am traversing the learning curve and just jotting down my observations and interpretations. Diversifying my writing style to ensure am not stereo typed.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Global Delivery Model

Ever came across this term? It means work can be done across across time zones, giving a 24 hour processing capability to Work Products.

This is a widely used concept by a lot of IT Services Companies, most of them based in South Asia. The time zone advantage which Asian Countries have, over the countries in the West has enabled outsourcing of a lot of Western World IT and Business related tasks to the Eastern World.

What this means is when Tom Banks, a guy from Minnetonka, Minnesotta in the US goes to bed, a guy in Asia wakes up for him. Mr. Asian works on the prototype of the application, for which Tom had just finished designing. Had Mr. Asian not been there, Tom would probably had to wake up the next day and resume working on the prototype, thus giving way to an unavoidable delay of 12 hours of work. As a result, the work product of Tom Banks can be completed about 40-50% much earlier than it would have, had it not been outsourced.

The Global Delivery Model (lets call it GDM) concept can also be applied to this interesting scenario. A lot of Married Software Engineers from India, who are sent abroad (read US) for their assignments usually travel with their spouses. Its like a sponsored honeymoon. The transition from auto rickshaws to cars, from crowd to sparser population, from pollution to fresh air, from water to tissues is an altogether new experience.

The snow chills, picturesque locales give way to a desire to parent a US Citizen. So after settling down in the first 3 months in the US, the couple starts planning their first child. The wife is carrying for 4 months and suddenly Mr. Java, HTML- ASP-CMM gets the shock which is common for Asian IT Consultants. His manager tells him those magic words "You may have to go back next month". Mr. Java, HTML- ASP-CMM gathers his composure and replies "My wife is carrying and she has been advised not to travel". Manager is bamboozled and is check mated. He thinks of those projects which needed resources. He plays the sentimental card and puts Mr.Java, HTML- ASP-CMM onto another new project, so that he can continue his stay. This may well be at the expense of another deserving bachelor, who has spent countless desk hours striving for that onsite chance. But alas! Mr.Java, HTML- ASP-CMM soon becomes yet another parent of a Naturalized Citizen. The newly born, will never need to care for a work permit/visa when he needs to come to the US. As they say ...its his birthright! Planning to start a family in the "Global" terms is nothing but the Global Delivery Model (in the humorous context!).

Friday, November 18, 2005

H1-B Under Blanket

Blanket ke neeche kya hai?

The picture you see above is the third man in our lives (my life and my roomie Srivatsan's). Hehehe...now dont be naughty. Its our third roomie at 173 Hunters - Durgaprasad Kalicharan Navin Chandra Mahavadi Kesava Sharma.

This image may make you assume that someone under it is sleeping and snoring away happily to laziness. But do you know? The "under-cover" activities are one of the reasons for RelianceIndiaCall, WQN and T-Mobile having huge profits.

The picture u see doesnt have the sound of soft telugu whispers that flow like music from this sleepy pied piper. With marraige just a fortnight away and every minute after work spent on phone...here is wishing all the best to Navin for his future venture.

The Legacy of 17 Hunters

Prashanth, Me and Srikantha at the patio of our house, on 2nd Oct 2005.

The above snap was taken the day my ex-roomies Prashanth and Srikantha left for India.

We had moved into this apartment in January 2005. It was the winter of 2005 and our first exhaustive experience with snow.Srikantha was actually then in India, for a personal trip. Prashanth moved in by January 8th. Even Satish was with us for some time then.

All the 3 of us had a good time together. We used to take turns cooking. My mouth still waters when i think of Iyengar Rasam, North Indian Dal, Aloo Sabzee from Chef Prashanth.
Captain Srikantha always used to have an understatement ready, when one asked what he had cooked for that day. It was "See man i dont know what it is. Something i have prepared" Beware...the statement was just a hog wash. He used to prepare some very good Sambhar, Chutney, Gongura Sambhar ( this was just too good) and always used to have some speciality in what he cooked (and also lot of spice at times!!).

We guys shared a great compatibility and wavelength. Prashanth was really disciplined, regular and very much "Dravid". That means he had all the qualities of a samathu pillai as they say in tamil. Srikantha always had a talent to build rapport with people and was smart and a masalaboard addict!

Miss the times we used to watch Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City, Becker together and laugh. Also all the hindi movies that we used to get from Indiamart - Agnee Chakra, Morning Raaga, Anubhav, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati etc. U name it and we have watched it! And at times we also gave away the cassette without watching it, cos it was too boring a movie!

But all good things in life come to an end and so did our association. But life is like that. People come and people go. But its essential to remember the good times and keep in touch with people with whom u have shared an episode in your life.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lazy Sunday

Went for a drive on late Saturday night, in and around Middletown. Then had gone to a friends house to fix his iPod. Came home, saw some comedy snippet, surfed the net..then slept at 3.30am on early Sunday morning.

Had a lazy Sunday today. Woke up pretty early..9.30am.Shopped,slept,shopped. Had peas-jeera rice, curd-rice and cantelope milk shake for dinner. Didnt study anything today till now.

Yet another week starts from tomorrow. Time is passing so quickly.

Surrounded by the following items, as i write this blog:
  • How to Create,Win and Dominate Markets - Philip Kotler
  • Table Lamp which i had purchased from Walmart for 4.88$, hoping will need it while studying for GMAT :)
  • Table Clock - hardly see time in that these days
  • My Motorola RAZR, which i havent used that much.
  • My 512MB iPod
  • My Nokia 6600 ...most widely used cell phone in my life :)
  • Headset, which i had got from Planet M, Bangalore for 260Rs. 3 yrs back, with Anu, at Brigade Road
Enough of show off...will write later.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Kaatula Mayay

This is the name of the play i watched this evening with my roomie - Vatsan. Kaatula Mayay can have 2 meanings in the Tamil i know - Rain in the wind or Rain in the forest. Its a Tamil Comedy play, by a renowned comedian S. Vee Sekar. This guys sounds and speaks really innocently and cutely. In fact its really sad that we see really less of him in tamil movies of late. An industry that is thwarted by the ever sadistic Goundamani, ever pavam Senthil, ever loud and cheap Vadivelu, has now only the euphoric Vivek, who can come close to S. Vee. Vivek's wit and punch on relevant social and current issues, through his comedy are indeed entertaining.

Its indeed sad that am unable to check how my stocks performed on icicidirect.com. They are down for 2 whole days, due to some technical reasons. Why is icicidirect have downtime so often these days? Even during trading times, its painfully slow.

Did some Sentence Correction exercises from Kaplan. Planning to study solve some Critical Reasoning exercises too.

Will sign off now...tata...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Whats up with me for today?

Whats up with me for today?

Professional: Same old work. Mechanical, Monotonous,a no-brainer, but high paying. Sometimes i wonder..why is it that the money you earn is inversely proportional to the complexity of your work? Is it because that low complex work needs lot of patience and that no one does it, which makes it highly rewarding? Thinking...18 months have passed by..since i have been thinking on this.

Spiritual: No meditation started yet. Did a bit yesterday. But too less....less than 2 minutes.Meditation helps you focus and attain what you want. But when i think of this, the thought that hits me is - aint i being selfish?

Educational: 2 hours on Sentence Correction background yesterday. Need to work today on some exercises from Kaplan.

Financial: My stocks and mutual funds are performing bad. On the negative side by 4000Rs. But believe that will be up by this amount in the next 3 months. Counting begins.

Will finish this blog now...missed enough of Sex and the City, which am watching simultaneously, as i blog this.

Monday, October 10, 2005


This is one of those days...when i hibernate back to my same old lazy shell. In this shell, i hardly focus on my meals or on anything else. This is the time, when all i want to do is, look for a bed on the most ignored corner of the house, pull a blanket over me and let my mind wander in a 1000 different directions.In this phase of a tance, am always sleepy and kind of on a different level altogether.Nothing motivates me to get off my self induced exile from a routine normal life.
Havent cleaned the house. didnt go to temple, havent done my laundry for the week. Also did not shop for groceries. Thinking of good old days, when i was in school/college and while we were in mulund.Those days will never come back.

The following 5 things surround me as i write this blog:
  • Glucon D Box
  • Nokia 6600
  • Table Fan
  • Packet of Oma Pudi ( A form of South Indian crackers)
  • Tiger Balm
Will go back to my lazy stupen spendour..zzzzz

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Independant Software Consultants vs Employees of big IT companies

Just coming back after dinner from a friends place. Was chatting for quiet sometime with his new room mate, with whom my friend share's an apartment. Mr. Room mate is the ideal indian software consultant. Its so surprising to find that consultants have such a different life than employees of big 3 Indian IT arms like me.

Some interesting points:

1) Consultants Change clients,jobs, consulting agencies as soon as he can, whenever he wants to. He has no worries of sticking to the same technology/same project/same people for long.

2) His resume is more frequently updated that the latest stock prices on a trading web site.

3) He doesnt care for promotions/mandatory yearly training schedules/onsite-offshore calls/indian salary.

4) Feels suffocated and runs when he is asked to work like us - work over weekends for free, no charges!

5) Has a host of technologies/skill sets/experience under his belt.Or...at least looks like. A Big 3 guy knows the in and out of Word, Excel,Notepad and other "blaah"ding edge (meant bleeding edge) technologies.

6) Has to do all the paperwork of his H-1 B Visa and everything else. For a guy working in a big 3, all we need to do is send all the right papers to our HRD and the rest is taken care by them.

Enough...this blog was in my draft for a long time...just finishing it now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

3 years with my first company!

Just earned 3 years of work experience with one of the top 3 IT Companies from India...this September 30th. It was almost as if only yesterday i took that Udyan Express train from Mumbai to Bangalore, eagerly anticipating working in an IT Company. Time flew much faster, than i had anticipated.

Of these 36 months, the last 16 months have been spent in the US. Thanks to IT and opportunity and most importantly the H-1B. Today, am at the crossroads, where my mind is running in all different directions. Job Switch in US, MBA Degree, Clinging to the same old IT Company, Job Switch in India..to name a few. Why is life so complicated? Or is it that we make it complicated? Why is it that we always want more?

Why is it so difficult for someone to opt for one of the choices and work towards that? Is it because so much is at stake? Is it the fear of failure? Is it the loss of belief in self?Or is it that feelings and concepts like enhancing skills, optimism, hard-work, smart-work, self-belief are covered with a layer of complacency and laze glazed dust? No certifications, no coding for past 2 years, dreams of being a business degree...thats all am left with.

GMAT, Short Listing Schools, Recos, Essays, Apps, Acceptance, Visa Interviews, Studying...all look so far and so much of a struggle. Sitting alone in an 1 BHK , besides the light of a table lamp, typing away to boredom is this IT Guy, who never wanted to be in a field where he is, when he was earning his engineering degree in electronics, with a flair for computer networking, only to not be able to apply it now.

Enough...cooked the toor dal in cooker. Need to cook rice and prepare tasty dal. Not having room mates doesnt mean i skip cooking.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Life...strange life

Life's indeed strange. You need something to look forward to, that keeps you going through your normal routine. Perhaps thats the whisp of fresh air that gives that otherwise boring day an extra zing. Was looking forward for a trip down to visit her at Texas and last weekend finally arrived and i went there. It was an awesome trip..being with her, driving a SUV for the first time - Hyundai Santa Fe'. Its so organized in this part of the world. Person can go from city A to city B, rent a car in city B and reach the final destination with no problems. Everything is so mechanical and organized. Mapquest, Internet, smooth network, awesome infrastructure. Admire the vision that would have driven the planning and had the drive to complete the same.
Finally..after a weekend involving loosing directions regularly, driving in Texan conditions (people somehow dont use indicators while changing lanes, a la Mumbai!) and watching Texan Ranches, am back to "The Constitution State" - Connecticut. The whisp of fresh air, the driving point for my not so interesting routine is finally over. Which is the next drive for me, that should keep me going? GMAT? Study...Study..Study mate.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Good Beginning

12.45 pm EST
14 th August 05
Middletown, CT - USA

Yesterday, finally after more than 14 months in the USA, i broke the ice. Saw the first movie in a movie theater/multiplex - Mangal Pandey. A Hindi Movie, narrating the first war of independance raised against the British Colonial Rule in India. Amazing to see that 4-5 lines on a freedom fighter found in any of the history textbooks in India, can be made into a 3 hour movie. Add to that the sleaze,songs of a typical bollywood movie...this one has taken artisitic liberties on the preferences and life of a freedom fighter. Movies sometimes step too far into the personal space of people.Mangal, good that u are not alive any more. You would have really not agreed on a lot of "creative liberty" taken by the director on your personal life. Salute to you for triggering the freedom movement.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Date for the first GMAT

Have taken a date for my GMAT - March 05 2005. Studies still have not reached the level where i would like to have them. Havent spent more than 2 hours on the books. But there is something within me that says that i will be able to manage it well. I would like to indeed make that real by putting in some efforts. One of my friends got his score - 620. He is pretty sad about it. What is the score i want? 710? Is that good enough to get me to the B-schools where i want to me? Dunno time will tell. But one thing is for sure...i am gonna get out of this rut of SE. Will be in a different career in sometime. Do really well there.Chal thats it..will write more later.