Friday, December 22, 2006

Long Weekend!!!

Yippee!!! Yet another long weekend for X'mas! Its so nice to have this day, cos
i) Today is Friday and we dont have to get back to work till Tuesday . Things are the quietest on a Friday like this as there is not much activity and lot of folks are out on vacation.
ii) Tonight, sal would be credited most likely! Love to see those $$, though i have a sal cut these days :)
iii) Its so nice to know that all your major deliverables are completed and all you need to do is come down to your room, and hop onto your comforter and write this blog :)

I lost my cell phone somewhere, while winding up things at work and leaving for home in all the excitement. Hopefully my roomie DG should pick it up from my desk (i instructed him :) ) or i should find it in my car!

More blogging later :) TC :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Wait

Since Sat night, i have been visiting yahoogroups, orkut on information on R1 admits at ISB. Its indeed positively intimidating and threatening to know the good quality of folks getting into ISB. The GMAT scores are nowhere below 700, so even though we know the standard line - "GMAT Score is JUST one of the criteria", still am not really that comfortable that my GMAT score of 660 will get a call. I would have logged into the ISB site for atleast 4-5 times in the past 2 days, trying to see if there is any further progress on my application evaluation and that most awaited interview call. Hope it happens! The wait for the interview is just like a pregnant women waiting for her child to be delivered. With due respects to all women, i understand that its more painful then than the wait that i have to endure here, but nevertheless mentally it is the same.

I indeed have to literally drag myself to work each day and see through those 9 hours (though it passes of in a giffy amist conference calls, lunch, tea-breaks, email). Need to do something different. There are close to 200 ppl in this account of Infy in Middletown and all have been almost doing the same thing for the past 2 years. This is my second trip here and its just like, nothing happened between my 2 trips to the US and i was never in India. Things haven't changed at all!

Finally glad now that no longer i have that bad tooth ache i was suffering from about 2 weeks back. That molar, which survived all the grinding, biting,chewing, acidic pepsi and coke, was finally removed and laid to rest. He had consolidated his position so much that Dr. Shashi had to "divide and conquer" - cut the molar into 3 pieces after giving 5 shots of local anesthesia and then pull this guy out. The other tooth were not that happy i guess, and now that the molar has left, there is void between the two teeth he earlier fitted into. Hopefully with the passage of time, i would get an artifical molar there, so that it keeps them company :)

Was on NUS site today. Looks good and impressive. Neverthless, nothing like ISB though :)

Weekend chores - laundry,folding clothes, filling gas in car are done. No ironing needed for tomorrow as i already have ironed clothes from last week :)

Achievement of this weekend: It was undoubtedly cleaning and clearing the clog in the restroom potty. The house maintenance guys were to leisurely come on Monday after i lodged the complaint on Saturday. Me and my roomie - SS thought that we shall fix it before them, so that life is much more convenient. We went to Wal-Mart and got a pump - the one with a long handle and a rubber cup at the end. Used and using suction and air pressure, cleared the traffic jam, cleaned the potty and we were all set!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Of Appraisals, Introspection and Future Life

Closed my appraisal yesterday. Wasnt way too happy with it as things were
A) pushed to the end by my appraiser and reviewer and consultant
B) ratings were rolled back from the earlier ones given by previous ML (who left the company cos he could not be promoted) to a level below as they felt he had over rated all people who worked with him. Voila! What a crap reason ? Couldnt it be that the person who got an A, atleast some of them deserved it? What about all those initiatives i took to create KT Documents? They weren't rewarded at all. The usual sling was - "U are a PA, and thats expected" Expected my foot. I dont see my peers taking so much pains to create documents and give so much attention to detail.
C) All the technical and behavorial competencies are satisfactory. Phew..also agonizing comments with each of them.
The list could go on, but the thing is that Infosys appraisal , though tried to improve itself this year, still is way away from where it should be. My appraiser was of the same band as me and its a lesson learned for me that from the next time, i would like my appraiser to be the next role and not my role. I will make that evident in my 1-1 scheduled some time in the next 2 weeks.

Now that this year, when i had a tumultouse personal relationship and now the professional boat also rocking, need to really see what i need to do to get where i want to see myself. Also gave a go ahead to folks for releasing my horoscope :) Thought, what the heck..lets see how life takes a turn from there. Would definitely like to make my expectations clear and what my aspirations in professional life would be :)

From next time, wouldnt chide my friends, as i usually do, asking "Shaadi Kab Kar Raha Hai?". Hehehe...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sleepy Eyed Wonder

These days i have got into this regular routine of sleeping late by 1am or so and waking up by 7am and getting ready for work. Its not that am utilizing all the time that i am awake productively, but its just that i am wasting a lot of time into stock markets and other miscellaneous items. Need to cut the crap and start working in app's to other B-Schools. After all isn't that the reason i travelled onshore and said a "yes" for this assignment, when asked to travel just 2.5 months back?

Yesterday finally returned the Sony Car Stereo to CC and the Antenna Adapter to BB, since i completely agree with my roomie SS that its waste of money, as i cant take them back to India, and it would stay with the car when i sell it. So settled for the Belkin Tunecast 2 FM Transmitter that i had picked up from Walmart this weekend. Its good, and much better that i had expected it to. Of course nothing can beat a direct CD player or the Cassette Adapter- MP3 player combo in a car, but hey i am no nosy geek. Tunecast2 is good. I will return this to Walmart this Friday as i have already ordered it from Amazon for a lesser price and also some books on Management Consulting. Got to know what this consulting is all about, so that i can give some funda's when required and also seriously take a call as to where to go from this crossroad of my career. Also in my order at Amazon, was able to use the 20$ Gift Coupon i got as recognition from 'Jersey Rhythems' for the help for their show in NJ in Oct.

Today was doing a Business Analyst's job and working on some real detailed requirements for a change for a new application. Glad with what i could complete by EOD. No turns for cooking today! Will check appraisal to see if its closed and then will check ISB to see if there are any further updates! Pls pray that i get into a B-school!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Of Stock Markets, Cooking Turns

Woke up this morning to note that there was yet another fall on the stock market in India and it was down by 400 points for the second consecutive day. My unrealized profits head southwards by 20k INR not counting Mutual Fund's. Phew...looks like the predictions i had heard on stock market stabilizing around 11.5 on the BSE by Dec 2006 end will come true!

Today was my turn for cooking food and prepared "Karela Sambhar" by a very tedious process. Tedious process was to ensure that the karela, which is bitter in taste has the right mix of spices and bitterness. Though time consuming, nevertheless it turned out too good and i was proud of myself.Though ppl hardly appreciate as its just routine! I dont mind, cos i know i gave it my best :) So next turn comes on Friday for me to cook.

Finally modified appraisal and sent it back to appraiser. Dont know if the ratings would need to be negotiated, but am open to be a pain in the butt this time cos i think i deserve what i self-rated. After all, dont we all feel so?

Got an email acknowledgement from ISB that my application packet contents were verified. Oh Lord, pls help shortlist me for the interview and let me make it into ISB! Jai Hanuman! Hope the ad com goes through my CD and is impressed by all info in there! Lord Balaji, pls help!

Am dozing off now..sold IDFC @ 70 tonight..12% profit (including brokerage).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Sorry for writing in after a long time. The wanderer who is the lazy,pipe dreaming geminine in me found yet another excuse for not blogging. Its been couple of weeks since i submitted by ISB Application. In the past few weeks, i have been checking their website regulary to see if there are any updates with regards to being shortlisted for interview. I hope strongly that i do. That reminds me..i have to start preparing for my interview soon and not laze around. So will plan not to indulge in my racquetball games that i have everyday with my roomie DG @ our apartment clubhouse from 9-10pm. Eventually i end up loosing most of the games to him, but nevertheless enjoy most of it.

Need to check appraisal status, send monthly expenses for consolidation :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Work Hours: India vs USA

  • I had to work from 2pm to 11pm for this project. Pay was not encouraging for working in these odd hours, where we had to miss of our personal life for this work.
  • Initially we were given cab to commute from home to work and back to home. But the signs were that even that would be discontinued in some time. There will be a bus which will pickup employees from common points spread across Pune city and drop them at work, and same way bring them back home. At odd hours, dont know who will take the bottomline of security and safety of employees walking back from common point to home. For this pay, who would like to go that extra mile in extreme danger and very demanding work environment?

  • In US, you can land in office anytime between 7am and 9.30am. You can come back home by 6.oopm (earlier if you are a BA or in a cool project).
  • Pay is satisfying though.
  • Commuting is no worry, once you are through the dependancy phase i.e you have your own car.
  • At times you may need to stretch week days and week nights, but you atleast have the money to keep you cheered to go through that extra mile.
Just finished some ab crunches and dips. Can sniff the aroma of eggplant rice siffling across the kitchen. Yummy...dinner in some time.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Commuting to work: India vs USA

Its so different commuting to work in India and in the US.

In India:
1) I used the office bus to commute from a common point (near home) to office and back home from office. It took close to 1 hour per trip, but could take more time depending on the road traffic and other extraneous conditions.
2) The gas prices are way too much to be affordable for a low mileage yielding Fiat Uno, so driving down to work day in and day out would be stretching myself too much. Especially after whatever that remains from my monthly paycheque after the homeloan EMI's.

In US:
1) If you are in a small town like Middletown, you can use the local Middletown Area Transit bus to take you to work at Aetna. Timings are not that flexible, but much better for one who wants to reach work between 7am and 9am and wants to leave anytime between 4pm and 6pm back home.

2) Most of us have a car. So it becomes really easy and convenient. The total driving time is not more than 10 minutes for each trip and the roads hardly have any traffic.

3) Gas prices aint that big a pinch in your pocket. But one has to go through the initial pain of obtaining a drivers license and more importantly searching for a good vehicle. Insurance costs and vehicle registeration costs are very much, but then you dont have a choice if you want independance do you?

4) In the long term the comfort, flexibility and freedom that your own car provides in the end rules out all pains mentioned in 3) Another important advantage is that when you have your car, you can drive down home for afternoon lunch. Its indeed very comforting after the kind of food we have in our cafeteria. Its not that food in cafeteria is bad, its just that i am a vegeterian and that limits my options!

More later :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Its all coming back to me now..

It would have been a little after the second week of September 2006. I was at home, spending some time with my parents, who had just returned from a 2 month trip to London, UK visiting their daughter( in other words my sister), neice and son-in-law. It was a memorable and never to forget experience, re-living the older days, when i had the luxury of staying at home during my schooling and college days. Got to taste some of the best food that my pallate could every have had till now, re-live the banter, fun and enjoyment with my folks. I had missed it for so long, for my close to 4 years of stay outside home - in Bangalore, Pune and Middletown. It was paradise. Its so easy and comforting to have all the fun, joy and family experience staying at home that who wants to go out for vacations? Of course family vacations are a good change, but when you have so much of aura associated in spending time in your own house which is more than 1200 square feet, what more does one need?

Its too sad to see parents growing old and accepting this simple piece of fact is indeed hard. I want them to be as young as they were before, but alas its like being an adamant child asking for the moon. Childhood days were so much fun, when all your overheads like worrying about finances, paying your bills, being cautious of poachy colleagues and the external world were outsourced so willingly to our parents. All you needed to do was enjoy everything and throw tantrums and create more problems for them. In spite of that, the way the situations were handled by them was indeed awesome and i suspect if i may be as mature and kind with my kids.

Coming back to now, well am in the US now and away from home since the above mentioned good times with folks for more than a month. Today had given the customary weekend call to mom and dad and spoke to them their sunday evening (my sunday morning). Dad sounded ill and he indeed was. Nice to hear mom stronger and being able to do things on her own. This is the part about being abroad. You have all the money, good life you may want, but somehow you however cannot be at home when they might need you.

Though now am not on a commitment state with this abroad stint and can be sent back or i may opt to go back whenever i want, it still gives me the freedom to take my own decision and be by my family when the time may arise. Had it been that i would have agreed to someones demands, i may have had a relationship on, but not this freedom, which would be a call of duty no true son will shun down.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ganesh Chathurthi

Today is "Ganesh Chathurthi", which is celebrated with great pomp and reverence all over India, and especially in Maharashtra. It usually comes in August / September each year.

Being a Mumbai-kar since childhood, i have always grown up around the usual festive spirit by tolerating the blaring music emanating from the crackled public speakers of the "sarvajanik (public)" mandals, enjoying the clinging sounds of the gong and the melodious aarti coming from a million like minded spirituals in unison. A typical family which celebrates the festival, brings home the Lord's idol home, for a period of 1.5 days, 5 days or 11 days. There may be other intervals apart from these too. During this entire period, right from the time the Lord is brought into the house to the time he is grandly carried back to a water body for the holy immersion, its a time of unity, togetherness and spending quality time together for millions of families across India. Friends and relatives are invited for a "darshan" of the Lord.

The Lord is respected, decorated and pampered with chantings of numerous mantras, hailing him as the one who removes all obstacles from the path of one's pursuit for success. There is a nice divine and mystic feeling amist the smell of Jasmine incense sticks lighted around the Lord, amist colorful garland and flowers, and the sounding of the "shankha" (conch). The "aarti" (devotional songs hailing the lord) can be supported by not only singing it (if one knows it) , but also by ringing gongs and by clapping hands, to a unique tune of the aarti. No matter how tired one may be, with all the preparations, suddenly some divine force on earth brings in all the energy into the "bhakt" (disciple) and he sings, claps as enthusiastically as ever one could have.

Celebration of Ganesh Chathurthi publicly was started way back in the early 20th century by Indian Freedom Fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Tilak started it to bring unity amongst people and get them together on a single platform, through celebrations of Ganesh Chathurthi. This practice still exists as there a lot common areas across Mumbai and other areas, where "mandals" (temporary bamboo sheds) are created and the Lord is worshipped in these public places. The public contributes funds to take care of the expenses of mandals in their locality.

Finally when the time of immersion comes, the Lord's idol is taken through a public procession and finally is immersed in a water body. People do feel very sad on the day of "visarjan" (immersion) that the time passed so soon. But nevertheless they do cheer up knowing that its the truth of life. The Lord takes shape through the flexible earth, shaped by the artisistic sculptor, and then he disperses back to mother earth, through water. It just indeed confirms that the cosmic power, god or the unknown force that some would like to call it, exists in each element on earth. Its upto us to find the Lord / force, respect it and worship it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Writing in after a long time. Kind of coming to terms with change in work, responsibility, environment and lifestyle. Encouraging, but taking sometime to come in terms with it. Right now on a sabbatical from work since July28th. Kinda nice to be away from work. Gives a lot of time to ponder, introspect, dissect the have and have not's and must do and must dont's. On a journey to a place where i want to be..this is the pit stop. Gotta shower, cook herbal/spicy rasam, to be had with rice. Cya later..

Monday, April 24, 2006

Welcome Back to India!

Had a good week's vacation in London where i happened to not only spend quality time with my sister, neice and brother in law, but also got to do a lot of sight seeing. Also planned my trip so that i was able to attend an Information Drop In session at London Business School. A really impressive school and had a first feel of being in a B- School.

After that came back to India. Its but of course - nice to be back home! Getting adjusted to honking car's, the right hand drive of cars, the people, temperature etc. Cut short my vacation at home and joined office in 2 days flat! Even before i could synchronize my body clock with IST, i joined office. Am on bench since then and will be starting a project mainly from May 1st.

A lot of pending items need to be taken care of in the next one - two months. Also need to ramp up my GMAT Score from 530 to something above 700. I know its do-able. Only thing is need to have discipline, perseverance and hard work.

Thats it for in next..

Sunday, April 02, 2006

All good things come to an end...

Its 7:04 PM EST and i am blogging this from Newark Intl. Airport, NJ. Waiting for my British Airways Flight to London, UK. Will be there for a week and then head back to India.

Its almost 2 years since i landed here in the US. Came here on June 5th 2004, for an assignment for my organization. Really now that i think back...dont know how i spent those 22 months.

Its been a great experience being here in the US and i would definitely be coming back. As i head back at this juncture of my career, i am indeed concerned about my career, family and personal life. Its almost 3.5 years that i have been in IT and now i definitely look all ripened up to do what i want to do and what i like to do. I may face a lot of obstacles as i would always be stereotyped to be a developer. But this not where i should be and where i want to be.

Some things that i need to work upon - be better organized, time management and setting priorities right. I believe i have the power in me to wake up from the lazy slumber triggered by the kind-of-retired life for the past 2 years and channelize my mind, body and thoughts to where i need to head. I just need to stay calm, focussed on what i do. The results should take care of them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ramblings # Life #

What is life and what is it that I want from Life? Should one live life for himself or for others?
Is life, the process of keeping everyone happy or keeping yourself happy? If you think of only your happiness or pleasure, you are termed “selfish” or “self-centered”. If you think about keeping others happy, you may end up doing a lot of things that don’t make u happy. Is this what you were born for, to make yourself unhappy even at the cost of others happiness? Is this what god had in store for you, when you were being conceived by the desire of two divine individuals closest to you? Or is this what you chose, when your inner voice gave you an option to switch to making yourself happy? Did you take that angularly bent flat spatula and had a wild swipe on the ever awake but confessional arrogant inner voice, at least in thoughts?
Does real life have fairy tell endings? Does real life reward sacrificing souls? Only time will be a testimonial to that. Amen.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Year That Would Be..

Wish everyone a "Happy, Healthy and a very Prosperous New Year" to whoever who reads this blog. May you get what you aspire and dreamt for.

This is going to be the year when
- I will be entering a prestigious Business School for my MBA
- I will be promoted to the next role in my organization
- I will have sufficient fame,fortune and opportunities to showcase my talents skill sets.
- I wont hurt anybody knowingly/unknowlingly to any living/non-living thing.
- I will be optimistic and positive about everything in life
- I will reduce my BMI from 27 to a value between 24 and 25 :)