Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bangalore Traffic


Almost a month after I went to Mumbai, it is now time for me to tell you what the hell has been going on since that fateful day. So I reached Mumbai, found my way to the hotel at midnight, made it to office the next morning on time. Everything was going great until two days I got a call from the husband back home at Bangalore telling me he wasn’t feeling well. Now whether he was sick because he was missing me or he partied too much and ended up falling sick, I can never be sure of.

So I got back to Bangalore to take care of him and have been here since then. So my Mumbai dreams came to an end in a week’s time.

Never to be the one bogged down my unexpected turn of events (I can almost see my mom’s lips curling up in a smirk and saying, “Yeah, right!”) – I have embraced my Bangalore office with a never before glee. Trying to cheer myself up by doing a things that I love doing – reading and writing. Not that I am making much progress in the latter as is evident from the (lack of) updates on this blog.

Another major event that has happened is that, much to the horror of my mom, I went ahead and bought for myself a Scooty to commute to office. It happened after a bad day in BMTC buses when I had at least 4 X 100 kg aunties falling on me. It is just ridiculous. Either there should be more buses in that route (wait, that’s not possible. Because there is just NO ROOM in the road for any more buses) or all companies should give 100% work from home option to their employees. Save some fuel for the next generation too.

That Tin Factory – K R Puram stretch is the one that is the most amazing bottleneck. It takes a full 20mins to cross that 1-1.5km stretch. That said, simple things done by BBMP can make the situation a lot better. The road right outside the railway station is a mess – which leads to the vehicles slowing down to make the impact of the bad road lesser – this at an already ridiculous bottleneck of a place! There are open sewage drains along the road (on the right hand side of the road). Can’t they be closed with cement planks so that they seem like an extension of the road providing the much needed space for at least the motorists? Also people should not be allowed to alight/board buses/cars right on the main road outside the railway station. And how difficult would it be to have an overhead bridge built for pedestrians to cross the road?


And the BBMP is not the only party that can change. There should be co-operation from the people as well. Most of the cars I see are occupied by one person only. In some rare cases, two. Why can’t people do car pooling? That way you save on fuel AND you get to travel in lighter traffic and reach your destination earlier.

Companies could have flexible timings to accommodate people arriving office early/late to avoid peak hour rush. Company shuttles and cabs could be provided at different timings to reduce time “wasted” in travel.

Simple solutions to complex problems; problems that take at least 20-30mins of about 2000 people’s mornings; time that could be used for more productive work. Will the solutions work? Hell, yes. Will they be implemented? Hehe, we all know our city corporations and ourseleves better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Firsts

They say there is a first time to everything - anything great or trivial has to start from somewhere. And when I was chosen for an assignment that required me to travel quite often, I thought I have to start traveling without complaining, start packing by myself (else it has always been Amma/Sabal packing my bags for me - and I had to admit, I had a minor "Up In The Air" George Clooney feeling), start meeting new people with new cultures and different languages - it all gave me a whiff of excitement. But the negative thing was that is what it was - a whiff. If you have to survive in a different place for 12 or 14 weeks, a whiff is generally not enough.

But this assignment filled my life up with a lot of firsts - my first traveling job, my first assignment with a French team lead, my first month-long visit to Mumbai, my first long stay in an hotel - with so many exciting firsts, I also had a first that virtually my butt kicked by my mom.



I missed my flight – a first. It was the first time I had missed a bus or train or flight and it came at the most critical time ever. I am supposed to report at work at 8:30am tomorrow and my flight is rescheduled for 9:35pm from here – I would probably reach my hotel by midnight, if I am lucky. Phew!

Bad timing. But I have to hand it to myself – I have been most calm and positive through the whole thing. A far cry from my usual “analytical mind” that worries about everything and gets all worked up when things don’t go the way as planned. That was a first too (but it was probably because I wanted to show to my mom and others that I was in control of the situation to escape the aforementioned butt-kicking). Or maybe, just maybe, I am growing up and becoming more mature person, or something!

So, off to some awesome vada-pav at the awesome Mumbai!

PS: This post was written while waiting for the gates to open for boarding @ Bangalore airport and posted later.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hangover

Disclaimer: This post is written in a state of heavy hangover caused due to my release from Philips. Although I had decided quite a while ago that I have to leave, now that it has happened I am unable to cope up with it. But like everything else, this too shall pass.

Things change and how quickly. It feels like yesterday that I stepped into Bangalore, knowing nothing about the city (not that I know anything substantial now), got into a new job, in a new office, with a new team. Two years have just run by. Two beautiful years – the years that saw me grow up (not physically, no), get married and all…

I have learnt a lot of things, had a whale of a time with a great team of colleagues, and now all that is part of my past. I have moved back to Atos, away from my team, away from Philips, all set to move to Mumbai on an assignment (although it is only for a few months).

A wise man once told me that when many years pass by and you wake up one morning and think about your past, you remember only the small things that gave you momentary happiness. Those are the memories you cherish, the memories that are part of your sub-conscious,the memories that will be with you always.

I am sure my stint at Philips is one of that sort – when I think about the last two years, I can see my team sitting at the cafeteria, laughing out loud amidst a lot of glares from the people in the other tables. I can see all of us pulling Krishna’s legs, asking about his (non-existent) girlfriend to his would-be wife. I can see all of us having coffee in the break-out area, laughing at what someone said. I can see all of us huddling at one of our desks trying to resolve an issue; I can see us walking around the campus with not a thing to worry about. Sigh, HOW things change!!!

It is very difficult now to sit and think about a new team, new people, new city, and new project. I wish I were with Philips still. Below is my rather philosophical good-bye email that I wrote on my last day.

"Permanency makes me uncomfortable. Change keeps me excited. Time has come for a change in my work.

So, today is my last day here in Philips. The last two years here have taught me a lot of things – in the technical area and in not-so-technical area.

It has been a fun experience being here in Philips – my sincere thanks to my team which has been very supportive and co-operative. Thanks to Krishna, Naveen, Vishnu, Lokesh, Raktim and Amit for making my time here easy and enjoyable.

My sincere thanks to Jack van Nistelrooij, Niek Schelhaas, Adrie Aertse, Ganesh Joshi & Rajkumar Jain – the senior managers I worked with – I have learnt a lot from each one of you.

Special thanks to Richard Ijzenbrandt, Maarten van der Poll, Ruben Zwetsloot, John Bastiaansen & the rest of the technical team – for being very patient with us when we asked them a million (dumb) questions.

Thanks to Sabareesh Kurup, Narayanan Sundaresan, Devendra Prasad Bolusani, Deepak Gidwani, Reetha & Srinivas Ganesan for providing all the support for the Atos team here.
I have made a large group of friends in PIC, I will miss them – Vijay Yogimath, Yogesh Babu, Deepti Rokde, Sapna Jain, Farah Shaikh, Balachandar, the list seems endless.

I am moving back to my parent organization (Atos) to start a new career with Lean Management – something far from the technical work I have done so far in my career.

It has been a tough decision because Philips was such a cozy nest. But if I stay on enjoying the warmth, I might never learn to fly."

That was what Philips was – a cozy nest. But I have decided to fly and I am out in the open – it is cold and my wings ache. But I will fly. Ok, this has become too philosophical now.If I talk any more philosophy, I run the risk of being considered drunk.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An excellent post this

A very touching post by Vidyut. It takes an amazing amount of courage to write about one's own experiences this way - *respect*

Domestic violence is not just about a drunk husband hitting his wife. Mental and verbal abuse is just as awful.

To all those women out there putting up with abusive husbands, YOU DON'T HAVE TO. You deserve to be happy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mind it!

That Bangalore traffic is as shitty as working on a weekend is a known fact. Come monsoon season and it gets worse – with the roads resembling the land surface of the Moon or Mars, so much so that we can safely conclude that if people can survive in Bangalore, Mars should be a walk in the park, quite literally. Last week’s rain really did drive home the point – the service road outside of my office (Manyata Tech Park, Nagavara) was looking as bad as the roads in Kerala during monsoons that I had experienced not too long ago.

Traffic was diverted to an even more treacherous route; one that meant I had to go at least 5 extra kilometers to reach my office. All while listening to the ‘Amit’s in the cab making Rajinikanth jokes. I was thinking about what the Dutch/German colleagues who were visiting Bangalore must think about our country. They are people who find traffic on Outer Ring Road crazy. Imagine a small lane with really bad roads and a Tata Sumo traveling at about 50-60kmph in front of a school with kids giving squat about the cars before running across the road. They must have gotten a taste of the real India – and no, it is not Chicken Tikka Masala.

Apparently, one of the Amits in my cab was talking to his German colleague over chat and was asked, “India is such a rich country. Then how come there are so many poor people in India?”

Amit replied, “Welcome to India”, it seems. Had it been me, I would have said, “Theriyalaye pa theriyalaye…” and put that “tonta tonta tonta ton, tonta ton” music also from ‘Nayagan’.

I also came to know that there exists a number of palatial villas within the Manyata Tech Park campus – which is supposed to be an SEZ (correct me if I am wrong). Is it actually ok to have residential property within an SEZ? And the cars that were parked in front of these houses - *big sigh to emphasize my incapability to own one of those babies*

I also happened to hear that the houses (and, needless to say, the cars) belonged to popular politicians. I don’t know how true the information is. But if it is true, I can do nothing about it, can I?

I could understand that the road was so bad that the traffic had to be diverted. I could live with the extra 5 kilometer car ride (after all, I am not the one sponsoring the fuel). I couldn’t care less about what the Dutch or German colleagues would think about Bangalore roads (it is no secret that they are shitty). I could even brace myself to hear 5 extra minutes of advertisement on 94.3FM (what else do they play, anyway?) What I could not stand was the Rajinikanth jokes. How dare these Amits!

I bet not one of them has seen a Rajini-KB combination movie. I bet they have no idea about how damn hard working he is. I bet they have no clue about how he had to suffer before he became a superstar. All they know about is the Rajinikanth who can fight 100 men at the same time and get out without as much as a scratch and dance around with girls who are younger than his daughters – I am not denying that. But in order to be loved and respected by over 6-crore people, there has to be something in the man.

Dei, you don’t have one superstar like Rajini means, you guys will talk whatever comes to your mouth-ah? Always remember, there is a Rajinikanth hidden inside every Tamilian – don’t wake that guy up. Else we will fire one bullet, throw a knife at it, cut it into two pieces and kill two of you, mind it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God's Own Country


When I had to take a few days off from work to go to Kerala to be with my in-laws and visit a few temples and relatives, I jumped at it because I badly needed a break from my work (ok, I hate my work. Any chance to get away from it is like an invitation to a party where your company is paying for the booze). So off I went to God’s own country; amidst nonstop rains which in Bangalore would have caused unimaginable traffic chaos… Wait; that is not something new. So here I was traveling from one village to another by bus, auto or train – marveling at the lush green landscapes, wondering about how many fucking shades there were of green, listening to my favorite songs, getting “is-she-mendal?” looks from co-passengers for mouthing the lyrics to the songs and moving my head as I did it.

Temples in Kerala have poojas at unbelievable hours, which meant not enough sleep for the little baby that I am (stop smirking!), and every now and then I’d fall asleep during the bus journeys, only to be duly woken up by the bus as it went through potholes in between which some road peeped out. But I wasn’t complaining because I always woke up to breathtakingly beautiful sights that, as I mentioned, took my breath away. Lot of puttu-kadala and pazham-puzhungiyadu (Dear Mallus, you could eat bananas even without boiling, you know?) later, I was standing in the Guruvayoor temple beside the elephant there and had this amazingly heartfelt conversation with him. Then there was this little cat that was playing within the temple that purred so nicely when I was petted her, much to the disapproval of the mother-in-law. Mother-in-laws exist. Even in God’s own country!

By the end of my stay at Kerala, I couldn’t wait to get back to work. The place was right out of a post-card, but I had had enough. I needed to be back in a city that is polluted and traf-fucked where I had a manager to bitch about. But ever since I came back to Bangalore (and to work), I have been hating it. And as often, I want to run away to a far off place where I know nobody. I want to live in a new city, explore it, make new friends, work there in a cross-cultural environment, not think about what to cook after reaching home every night, not worry about eating out all the time – spend a few months with not a care about anything. The wild cat inside me threatens to get out.

Somebody find me a job in Spain. Mallorca to be precise.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home, Work And Everything In Between



Four months away from my beloved blog – what led to it and what kept it there is beyond the scope of this space. Wait, did you just believe that? There is nothing that I wouldn’t write about in this space, except about annoying team mates and ass-holic managers (wait, did you just believe that too?) To say that it has been a very challenging and a busy time at work would be a blatant lie. Let me just get it out in the open – I was suffering from ‘Writer’s Block’ (ok, stop smirking now). Too much of tweeting has taken away my ability to write anything beyond a couple of lines; and the constant butler-English of my teammates doesn’t help either.

I have grown to be much more restrained in expressing my anger and patient in handling, let’s just say, mosquito problems at work. It is amazing how a socially-challenged guy with no personal life whatsoever makes it his advantage simply because he has more time at his disposal as opposed to normal people who have a life outside of work (that it is filled with monotony and cribbing and long crying sessions is a different story).

Under such testing circumstances, one morning, I was on my way to work in the office cab. After picking me up, the driver picked up this Telugu guy (my love for the language is no secret). When someone speaks Telugu, I am automatically all ears – it is such a sweet-sounding language. There were two other people in the cab and they had ear-phones plugged as tight as possible into their ears.

This Telugu guy (TG) receives a call on his cell phone. I am all ears because I was hoping he’d speak in Telugu. Instead, he started off in English. It was probably a call from a survey agency or a matrimonial site or a gym, I don’t know. And I could only hear one side of the conversation, so I had no idea what the topic of discussion was.

TG: Hello.

TG: Yes. I did it for 7 minutes.

I got curious.

TG: I was doing it for the first time.

At this point I was almost giggling.

TG: No, I haven't tried it that way.

I was like, what the hell… Technology has improved very much-ah?

TG: Yes, I'll recommend it to others.

Why is nobody else listening to this? People, take those earphones out of your ears. This man is making history here ;-)

After this, I couldn’t really concentrate on anything he was saying. I was controlling my laughter so much and I wiping away tears from my eyes, my stomach hurt.

That was probably the only happy day I spent at work in the last four months. One day in four months, you say? Well, I at least had one day to boast about in a line of work I not-so-secretly hate. All you people hating your work, in your faces!

But love it or hate it, life goes on. Work is a part of it – probably the worst part of it. But it goes on. You need people to make fun of, people to crib about, people whose head you want to chop off, basically people you hate – but you need people to hate so you can appreciate people who you love more. Too much philosophy is not good for health. So I stop now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Daydream On!!!

When you are bugged out of your wits sitting alone at home all day while the husband snores off to glory, and the IPL matches don’t evoke the interest the World Cup did (oh, you want to argue with me about that? Nobody I know watches all those mid-numbing IPL matches except maybe Sidhu), and the cooking and the eating of it is over and a couple of coffees have been drunk and with all the caffeine in your system, dozing off is not an option, what would you do? Well, here is what I did. No, I didn’t watch a movie or read a book – that’s what I do every other day. I didn’t want to spend yet another Sunday evening doing just that.

So if you don’t want to do the normal stuff, here is what you could try.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

10 Things I Wanna Change About My Office


It is no secret that I hate the profession I belong to. Well, I don’t exactly hate it; it just annoys me so much. Maybe a few changes at the workplace that could make it a wee bit better?

10 things I want to change about my workplace:

  1. The annoying teammate a.k.a ‘Kosu’ Read about him here
  2. My office timings – from the current 11:30am to 8pm to an early morning shift (say from 6:30am to 3pm or so) – just so I can leave office early while the rest of them still have a good 6 hours to slog. Yes, I am sadistic like that. It would also work because that way I’d have the entire evening to myself to do what I enjoy doing like going for a run or something as simple as having a plate of paani puri which my late evening shift doesn’t allow me to.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I am Number Four - What I thought of it


After a rather long wait, I finally got to watch ‘I am number four’ yesterday at Inox, Garuda Mall, Bangalore. And surprise surprise, contrary to what I had heard from friends that it was a movie with aliens and special effects and all that, ‘I am number four’ is actually a high school rom-com, and a disconnected one at that. It has all the stereotypes in it – the pretty girl, the bully, the new good-looking guy (who needless to say is the hero), the geek – makes you think it is pretty much an ordinary high school drama that you might watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon on TV when there is nothing better to do. What makes ‘I am number four’ different is the alien twist to it – oh yes, there are aliens in the movie and all; actually two different species of aliens. Now beat that!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Of the unlawful and disorderly

It is disheartening to see to what extent the protectors of the law of our land (yes, the ones that wear Khaki uniforms) go to make that extra buck. In the past, I have heard stories from friends about traffic constables taking as low as Rs.3/- to let go of a helmet-less motorcycle rider. I thought they were exaggerated or made up. After all the law and order of a country that is as diverse as ours is in the hands of possibly the most powerful department in the country and of course they won’t be and can’t afford to be as cheap as my friends make them out to be. And how na├»ve of me to think that! No, I am not saying this without reason. I had the misfortune of dealing with a couple of young Police officers (well, I don’t really think they were decent enough to be termed ‘officers’, but I would just go with the term used worldwide) and what a harrowing and humiliating experience it was!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wedding Bells... Err, more like Wedding Blues!


Well, this is my last post as a bachelorette. And what a happy 25 years it has been. Finally, the time has come to take the plunge and put an end to my carefree attitude towards life and start taking the heat of a married, working woman. Needless to say, I am so much more comfortable about the working part than the married part.

And for a few ‘different’ souls like me, the wedding is a bigger problem than the marriage itself. There is so much emphasis on looking good for your big day, acting like a lady, smiling constantly and talking everything with a heavy sugar-coat – it gets a lot irritating to a practical tomboy like me. And I am sure there are a lot of you who think and act like me. First of all, we DON’T WANT TO BE LADY-LIKE. Secondly, we DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I love you, Rafa!!!

I was just watching the Wimbledon 2008 Men’s finals match – yes, it is the same historic 5-setter between Rafa darling and Fedex the great that I am talking about. I was watching probably for the millionth time and even today my fingers were crossed in an involuntary action. Talk about reflexes! What a match it was! The two best Tennis players of our generation fighting it out on a surface that one of them was already a champion of; while the other had come so close to becoming champion on it for the last two years. Undeniable masters of the game, both of them. And watching it, as much pleasure as it gives me as a Tennis lover, it also makes me think.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where is "Ponniyin Selvan"?

Yet another year has born without any additions to it (except for the number called ‘age’ that all of us like to forget about). This year is going to be big, no… huge for me (actually, make it bold, capital letters preferably Red color). I am getting married in 26 days. There is all this tension – no, not about life after marriage, but about the arrangements for the wedding. I am probably one of the few morons that thinks the wedding is the tough part, not the marriage. Is it that I don’t like dressing up? Oh hell no… I love dressing up. But when it comes to my own wedding, not so much.