December 18, 2007

Balance sheet for 2007

Thats right.. balance sheet for 2007 :) Last few weeks have been really happening; for good and for bad. I was sitting y'night with my roomies discussing the ups and downs of the Indian stock market and why it happened (if at all we had any clues); and it came my mind that the entire year in my life has been like the sensex reaching peaks and touching craters; and i've no idea why. All-in-all its been a great year, for those achieved targets because they made me happy and confident; even for those failed wishes i couldn't fulfill because they made me learn quite many things. So i just thought to, well, list all the highs and downs and calculate my net gain/loss this year :D and started this post. However sorry to disappoint you it got too personal midway and so i left in between and moved to my secret notepad hosted by Y! Notepad. Couple of things that were really happening and can go on public record ;-) included my great job with great guys (was very much enjoying all that i was doing there and the people i was working with; with special mention of my mentor), made couple of trekkings with 3000, doggie, kabbu and rpg, found couple of school friends on social networks (met a few personally, promised others that i will meet them soon, though i'm yet to), lost some weight and learnt a bit of fitness mantra (hell, i had to spend quite some money for it), met few relatives on my couple of tours back home (it had been more than 5-8 years since the last time). Well thats it. I'm not going to share the failures, thats for me :D, both the learnings and failures..

December 09, 2007

Golden Rules for Career Success by Richard Moran

WORKING as a business consultant all over the world, I have discovered some basic career-related rules that everyone should know—but many don’t.

Business is made up of ambiguous victories and nebulous defeats. Claim them all as victories.

Keep track of what you do; someone is sure to ask.

Be comfortable around senior managers, or learn to fake it.

Never bring your boss a problem without some solution. You are getting paid to think, not to whine.

Long hours don’t mean anything; results count, not effort.

Write down ideas; they get lost, like good pens.

Always arrive at work 30 minutes before your boss.

Help other people network for jobs. You never know when your turn will come.

Don’t take days off sick—unless you are.

Assume no one can/will keep a secret.

Know when you do your best—morning, night, under pressure, relaxed; schedule and prioritize your work accordingly.

Treat everyone who works in the organization with respect and dignity, whether it be the cleaner or the managing director. Don’t ever be patronizing.

Never appear stressed in front of a client, a customer or your boss. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: In the course of human events, how important is this?

If you get the entrepreneurial urge, visit someone who has his own business. It may cure you.

Acknowledging someone else’s contribution will repay you doubly.

Career planning is an oxymoron. The most exciting opportunities tend to be unplanned.

Always choose to do what you’ll remember ten years from now.

The size of your office is not as important as the size of your pay cheque.

Understand what finished work looks like and deliver your work only when it is finished.

The person who spends all of his or her time is not hard-working; he or she is boring.

Know how to write business letters—including thank-you notes as well as proposals.

Never confuse a memo with reality. Most memos from the top are political fantasy.

Eliminate guilt. Don’t fiddle expenses, taxes or benefits, and don’t cheat colleagues.

Reorganizations mean that someone will lose his or her job. Get on the committee that will make the recommendations.

Job security does not exist.

Always have an answer to the question, “What would I do if I lost my job tomorrow?”

Go to the company Christmas party.

Don’t get drunk at the company Christmas party. Avoid working at weekends. Work longer during the week if you have to.

The most successful people in business are interesting.

Sometimes you’ll be on a winning streak and everything will click; take maximum advantage. When the opposite is true, hold steady and wait it out.

Never in your life say, “It’s not my job.”

Be loyal to your career, your interests and yourself. Understand the skills and abilities that set you apart. Use them whenever you have an opportunity.

People remember the end of the project. As they say in boxing, “Always finish stronger than you start.”

October 14, 2007

"Creepers"-A play about Bangalore the city and people who love it

I often get lost while thinking about beginning of a post so this time i thought it would be about the confusion itself, hehe.. coming to this post, i went to rangashankara again and this was my fourth play there (or perhaps i should say third only because i wasn't let in there because of being late for the third one; i appreciate their discipline though, atleast there are couple of guys serious about things they do). I've few friends who are not in bangalore but want to know about the plays i see at times so here i go with my interpretation of "Creepers". I prefer going to theaters to movies because everytime i find some message in the play deep inside; the abstractness at which they present their idea is overwhelming. You wonder where it is going until it reaches the end and you suddenly find relation between what all was performed so far. Its a nice experience, let me tell you :)

"Creepers" is a story about a bangalore couple. The guy is one of those netaholic s/w engineer who spends a lot of time on his laptop writing blog notes, checking orkut scraps and emails and wandering the cyberspace for what you could easily guess.. the girl is an art enthusiast as she says in one of the scenes with pride that she has a BA in arts and going for Masters soon. Both are trying to depict a story, a story about "bangalore-the city" that it was and that it is becoming. They have different perceptions about the changes that are happening. The guy likes the changes the IT revolution has brought in but the girl wonders where it is all going, why everything is becoming so complex. She wonders about the change in culture, change in people's attitude and the big crowd that has suddenly grown beyond what the city ever expected to host. The play starts with comedy with the funny arguments between the two but slowly brings the play into its context. For half of the play the writer probably tried to show how consumed we are today in our online life than the offline/real life doing things that probably don't make much sense (checking email even if there are none, checking scraps even if there are none, watching online videos etc instead of spending time with your friends and family and many similar thoughts). In the beginning itself the play questions you "what will happen to your email when you die? expire? ohh well but what about your online presence in orkut/hi5/facebook?" In the second half play shows the changes of life in bangalore through the eyes of this couple as they go through different phases of life. I loved the way the play shows how they have grown up from one stage of life to another (youth to older and older). They don't say much directly but there conversation itself makes you think and feel whats happening. Dialogues are mostly repeating but the body language of the actors on the stage speak what they wanted to convey. Just loved this part of the play. At the end they relate to Madhuvanti and Lavanya story of "Vikram Baitaal" in current context of bangalore and all those who love the city. In one line they tried to say "the city is dead but i live with its bones and ashes because i love it". This is something i've heard time and again from people who have spent time in bangalore say some 5 years ago from now. They just wonder when they visit here now, is this is the same city they once knew. The infrastructure has not been able to keep up with the growth that IT sector brought in here. Perhaps the rate of growth was too fast for the infrastructure growth to catch up with. I'm not a native of bangalore and have spent some significant time of my life in Calcutta and hyderabad but i must say i love bangalore the most. I would end this post with the note that the play probably wanted to leave "The city is dead but i live with its bones and ashes because i love it"

August 17, 2007

Casting to integer

a = b| 0

and wait a minute, you can't declare a as int, you must use

var a
= b | 0

Short but finally i've started some technical blogging.. hurrah!!!

And to keep link handy, here i go!!!

August 14, 2007

Constrasts of Life

I was going to Tot@l (a nearby shopping mall) yesterday for buying some usual stuff. On the way i saw a drunkard beating his wife near the crossing. That wife was trying to see where all she was beaten and if she was bleeding. While this husband was busy finding ways to slap and beat here. Did i say the wife had stopped resisting the attack; i saw she once tried but the husband picked up a stone on the road and threatened to hit with that. For a few moments i was with no words what in the world is happening. We claim so many things when we talk about India and "woman empowerment" and see here its the same old "woman story" for this unfortunate wife.

While i was cursing that guy for his brutality and reached the mall, i caught a totally different scene there. There was this young couple (both seemed working, well atleast i perceived so) with a child(hardly a year or two old). The husband was carrying the child on his lap and the wife was on a shopping spree. She was buying this and that and that and... (GOD knows what and what) and the husband was giving a pity glance "aaj pura mall hi kharid legi kya..." (OMG, she's gonna buy the whole mall..). Still he was mum and approving (as in accepting it) whatever she was buying... I felt a sense of surrender there by this husband to his wife.

I'm not saying that the second scene was something totally in contrast with what i saw in the first one. But what brought this change in just a few meters distance... was it education? Was it financial independence? I don't know what.. but thats what i'm pondering...

August 09, 2007

I'm reading...

Effective Java by Joshua Bloch

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter

August 02, 2007

Thought of the day

There are things you can change
There are things you can work out
And then there are things you can't do anything about....

July 28, 2007

Barcamp Bangalore 4 - Day 1 & Day2(brief)

Well well well.. this one was definitely better barcamp this time. We had lots of people, good number of sponsors, lots of collectives, tea/coffee in abundance and good food [:D]. Something that was missing was the BCB4 T-Shirts... [;-)] ohh they did talk about that in the introductory session itself; so i'm hopeful they will do pass on one to each one of us in the day 2 session tomorrow.

Coming to the actual topic, the event went pretty good today. There was more enthusiasm than what i saw last time. There were people from non-technical background as well with sessions on music bands to startups to investment basics and stock market tips. I was there at the startup session though i had registered for mobile and internet collectives..(well thats the spirit i like about barcamp; you don't have to be bound to anything, just do what you feel doing). I'm giving below an account on few of the sessions i liked.

Sujai one of the founders of Sloka Telecom shared his experience on his 3 year old startup that he ventured into after returning from Silicon Valley three years ago. He pointed out the wrong perception people have about startups (in his context):
  • People think: He must have had a good bank balance before starting up considering that he returned from US.
    Truth: He had just 3000$ savings that he spent just after his marriage in things that he thought were important to make his newly wed wife happy

  • People think: Ohh than, his wife must be earning when he started his new company.
    Truth: His wife was still a college student and he had to pay for her fees and all.

  • People think: His father must be richie rich then!!!
    Truth: Naah, his father is a professor and you probably know what professors earn like.

  • People think: Must have got good funding then.
    Truth: The company is still self funded and though they did talk to couple of VCs, they never wanted to deviate from what they believed and so they decided not to go the way VCs wanted. They have been sustaining from their product sales and financial support from family and friends.
Quoting Sujai, a start-up doesn't need any VC funding unless it has proved itself and is looking for scaling up current operations and reach. [Something that i've read couple of times before from few other successful entrepreneurs]. According to Sujai, all that matters is the idea and your family to support you in so called "bad" times, path to entrepreneurship is not so rosy anyways. And once you have proved yourself, VC fundings will automatically follow. Yeah there might be few hurdles, not everybody buys everybody's idea anyways so you just have to find the right VC. He sited few examples of well known successful guys, who were not funded at times while for a similar idea a new comer was funded. So in his words, you never know what is the right time and who is the right VC to catch for funding. Nothing is certain and all one can do is give it a full try. However one thing he said matches with people's thinking in india:

"If you are working for an start-up, chances are you won't get a girl to marry in india" (well, this was on a lighter note, because he himself started off after his marriage[:D])

Another session on startup collectives was by PicSquare founders. They talked about the logistics and operations related hurdles they faced. They also talked about the hiring chaos on a question from the audience. "If someone is pushing for a better salary in the interview, you know he is not the guy to survive the start-up pressure and definitely not fit for you". In a different track, another guy talked about his marketing guy running away while on site in US and ruined their entire business. Previously Sujai also talked about the hiring issues; though he seemed quite satisfied about his employees. He shared an "EMI" mantra that he uses to deal with his employees. He asks every new hire what his "EMI" is meaning what all they spend every month; and ensures that the new hire gets to pay all such "EMI"s in time. Apart from this, he can only provide them ESOPs but not higher salaries (to sustain the company and his visions for the company). On a lighter side, he mentioned that sometimes he interviews couple of people who have higher "EMI"s which are too high from the market rates ;-) and definitely risky to hire. They said they rely on references and that has proved to be really stable for them. All in all, these sessions went really good.

There were sessions from Prayank on Adobe Flex and then from some M$ guys on Silverlight. Well unfortunately none of these were that interesting. There were demo sessions by few other guys like etc. But i was surprised when i counted what i liked and what i didn't. It was mostly the non-techie sessions i loved today. What a change, was it me feeling sleepy in these sessions or were the sessions really bad!!!??!!!

I met few fellow KGP'ians there, one of them are founders of They are really passionate about their startup and even more because of the complements they receive from the guys when they meet face to face.

The day ended with a feedback session in the auditorium and music followed after that. I was tired after a day long session and so decided to be back home. See you tomorrow for the day 2 sessions. There are few demos i'm looking forward to.

Update: Day 2 session was good again and this time even more organized. They distributed T-shirts during lunch time. There were sessions on EC2 and Semantic Web. Again couple of demos from startups, two of them i attended were from fellow KGPians (my immediate seniors [:D]) and (my immediate juniors). Man, pressure is rising on me!!!! [:-P]

July 23, 2007

Barcamp Bangalore 4

It would be my second barcamp at bangalore. I was there at barcamp2 which was held in Thoughtworks office a few months ago. But then for some reason i found few topics matching my interests and gave up the very first day(i know i know, you must be laughing while reading this if you are one of the serious barcampers; but bear with me, i'm just learning how to get hooked up). This time since it is being organized as collectives; i do see more people registering and hope that it will be more organized and i would be able to meet more like minded people. If you don't know what collectives are, please see this. There are topics ranging from technology to social interests. If you think you would like to participate or host a session in any of the collectives, do register yourself at matching collectives here. More importantly I'm looking forward to the session being hosted by Prayank from Adobe

Bad dream

I had a bad dream this early morning, bad enough to scare me out. I didn't want to start my blog with a bad thought but thats what life is, ain't it? Sometimes sweetheart, sometimes bitch!!! There have been multiple instances in past, when i thought a topic was worth blogging but never posted. I have already had couple of past attempts on blogging but was never able to continue my efforts. Here I'm back and this time I've decided to post all my rants and ramblings and expressible emotional thoughts here. Well yeah they might be censored a bit here and there but never mind i will try to flush the state of my mind every now and then.

Coming back to my bad dream, this was very personal to me and to keep reminding me what it was-"It scared me of my fast running life. It reminded me i had things to do that i had thought long back (uhh.. in college?). Things that are part of my life but my new hush-hush lifestyle has eaten all of that aspect. It reminded me there is nothing perfect in this world; not even something what they say a 'perfect timing'. So perhaps i need to slow down a bit and start my efforts towards those aspects of life. Well hell with all, i will; cause who knows what will be the next moment like; if we keep procrastinating, we might never be able to do what we thought was very close to our hearts."

I don't know what dreams are; but i think they are your own thoughts in your subconscious mind which keep reminding you about your weaknesses and strengths. Its just the human nature that we mortals are afraid of our weaknesses and a bad dream is just about that. I'm going to take this last dream as a challenge and do things that i always wanted to do. I hope i will succeed.. amen!!

February 14, 2007

Err.. i'm still bachelor

A little long, still worth reading for "bachelor"s and all those who are about to promote themselves to "married" level. Credits are due to the original author, though i'm not aware of him/her.


It was not "someone" who called me a bachelor the first time. It was "something". The brown official-looking envelope I received by registered post that day had my degree certificate in it. 'Bachelor of...', it announced in somewhat gaudy letters as I stood smiling. Bachelor!

Till then I was a boy, a brother, a student and whatnot -- but not a bachelor. All of a sudden, that important piece of paper had given me a new identity.

I know you are dying to tell me things like 'this bachelor is not that bachelor', but believe me, the very next day my phone rang. It was my real-estate agent, an uneasy reminder to the approaching expiration of the initial company accommodation. "Sir, you are a bachelor, aren't you?"

"Sure, I am," I said, almost adding, "and now I have proof of that, if you need."

"Sorry sir. The owner is not willing to give the house to bachelors. But don't worry, sir, I have many other houses. You see..."

So that's how it is. No country for the people of Palestine. No food for starving Somalis. No trees for migrating birds. And yes, no houses for poor bachelors.

They are not welcome in residential areas. Bachelors party and make noise round the clock. They go after the neighborhood girls. They don't respect the norms of the colony. They come in groups...

Anyway, I learnt my lesson: Bachelors don't have all the civil rights that 'normal' citizens enjoy. But then, what do we have that makesmany a married guys cherish the memories of his long-lost bachelorhood?

Palestinians have to cling to their land. Migrating birds are bound by directions. But a bachelor has few restrictions. Except for renting an apartment and walking into those stupid 'couples only' clubs, he can have everything else.

He gets up at any time and sneaks into the office unnoticed when others get ready for lunch. He sits to almost any time in front of the computer without worrying about anxious where-are-you calls. He stays away from the house for days and no questions are asked. He does whatever he wants on the weekend, in the company of his friends...

Yes. Friends are the most important aspect of any bachelor's life. Without them he practically has no existence, especially if he's staying away from home.

But then one day, over the thundering music and the first round of cold beer in a dimly lit pub, he announces his plans to get married to this cute girl that someone else had found for him. Over the double cheers, the naughty comments and laughter, I become aware of something that hurts me somewhere.

My friend's getting married. Of course it's something to celebrate. But then, that also means he's leaving the gang!

[I can see this symptoms on few of you]

We attend his wedding, the most colorful function of his life, in full spirits. All of us. We give him gifts, wish him good luck and retreat to our good old world, one member less. It does not take much time before we find him reduced to much-delayed replies to our bunch of mails -- and as for phone calls, that comes only once in a blue moon.

For my part, I watch the pile of wedding invitations in the corner of my desk grow at an amazing, alarming pace. Before I know it, most of my cool buddies are gone. And the rest of us soon realize that we are not always welcome to the new circle the married men have formed. So we seek solace behind those office doors where the sun never sets.

I do meet my married friends occasionally. In the office, on a casual walk, or in a busy restaurant. They are my friends still. And they are still friendly as much as their new lifestyle and added responsibilities permit.


Oh heck, there's my telephone. I think it is my real-estate agent again.