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Archive for August, 2010

Its one of the hardest things to do – to accept that mistakes inevitably happen ,
whether due to luck or pressure ,rush or whatever.
Unlike others who find it hard owning up to one I very easily can own up when I see one ,
but to accept it to myself that I overlooked something , it is very hard.

I try , but its hard till I manage to get some sleep over it.
Its till I do that well enough , I find it tortures me .

And then when people tell you , its ok its ok – its hard not to try to
figure out who says that as a smirk and who means it genuinely.

This was a week I felt after a long time felt that whole elements were simply against me.
It felt like a huge conspirarcy of fate , nature and what not and I slipped up .

Murphy’s law took its course and everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

I just hope it ends here and does not carry through to the next month.
reminded me of a sysadmin to whom once I said after our whole servers crashed
” Oh that VM is fine , well then the worst is behind us”
To which I was replied

Never say that –, The worst is never behind us,
it is always ahead of us , waiting for us to slip up and then catch us
” or something like that
Even on messenger it seemed ominous then.

In hindsight , such errors keep you grounded , may be .
Trying to look at the bright part of it.
I erred , when many believed in me.So yeah they will cross check now but
had I committed something similar before that belief set in ,
I guess like some others I would have been typecasted too.

But neverthless right now I typecast myself as a hopeless freak and nervous wreck who mulls over
things like a wrong version install to write rant posts like this.

P.S: The movie “I hate love stories” may be just one more has been movie for me, – I watched it on CD so offhandedly and with not much time spent on TV I never listened to the songs actually.
And then I listen to the Sadka song from it while shopping at a mall for nearly an hour , it kind of grew on me as I was there and now its been looping for the last two weeks on my media player. Love the song.

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This should actually be a seperate post. RGV deserves that but I am too lost in my worries (I add my saga to the end),and he put across a opinion which sort of merged into my thoughts I mix it up here.
Ram Gopal varma – have known quite a few fanatics of his. Have seen some of his movies which are too good and some too hilarious.
Seriously Thank god I watched Daud in TV. In theater I dont know how I could have managed.
The music of Dauuuuud… itself felt so hilarious.
But this isnt about his movies really. I did not like him much as a person as his visions seem like he’s still stuck in some crazy
curiosity associated with teenage boys – his potrayal of his leading ladies/his horror fixation.

But I dont know waiting at which place I flipped through which magazine/news wherein I read a interview of his where he said something like this
If I need to think why would I go to a woman. I would open a book
Now its not a comment that makes any woman happy , but the guy I thought was being quite honest and I admired that then and that thought stayed with me . Till I saw this tweet by him and again thought.
Well all said and done he just put honestly a very uncomfortable truth.
“The biggest lie is that hard work pays nd ths is mainly propogated by smart non workers who live off the stupid hard workers”

The thought and some other stuff and my life’s bad twists got me started off on reading “fooled by randomness”.
The goings slow but will post on that later.
So well its been terrible time .Its like something which was nothing has snowballed into horrid stuff.

Its actually not as horrible if only , if only I could develop that Take It easy policy.Its a hard hard bargain.Easy to say but tough to live upto .But some of the most idiotic people have that attitude and thats what carries them through.
Actually all managers Ive seen who really want to see you move up gave one simple advice – dont worry about people’s grumbles and mumbles .
I find it unlike others easier to implement it in life – but hard when it relates to work.

I once had a flare up with a team member regarding some work assigned and he mumbled something I got into the – lets clear this up mode and my manager calls me up and explains – come on its ok just ignore.

Similarly a friend who was sort of upset about being labelled too aggressive by a set of people who did not like being questioned
about timelines (esp by a lady)spoke to her senior manager who just smiled and re-iterated the same advice.
Ignore it – its part of the job.
(Heard of someone who happen to know by grapevine as a very bindaas – “I wont work” kind of cool person and
he got into IT’s most hallowed places.You could see the pain it causes to the people
who really passionately go about work. But well as they say high up there what you need is a bindaas take it easy person.
You cant go crazy everytime something crashes. But yeah that news sort of made me feel think a trifle
less of the only company I ever admired(I am not a great fan of big organizations , though been with few and still am).
I always thought – oh what could I do there – (its for the hot shot developers and ultra smart genius game changers and what not – but well times change or our perspectives change
)

Now this is all very nice if you have the support – but its a bit hard to take when you are on your own.

Added to that many women simply are worriers – I admit that and give up , we worry way too much.I know it yet its hard to change. Also you think you are cool and over most stuff by now and still at the crunch you just have that pent up emotion.

I have like a soap opera in my head running continuosly – if this is said , this is to be answered . If that then this and what not.
I am never a self help book person – I actually feel beyond help to speak the truth.
but one book I had once bookmarked to check someday was “Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life”

My greatest problem despite all the wonderful advice I have read and know is still the same.
You see a email, you are infuriated , reply reply now.

Forget fury – In any case I have a terrible habit with email – I need to reply and be done with them.
No other way I seem to be at peace.
A huge disadvantage well wishers have advised.
The best successful people are those who as the quote says.
“I love work. I can stare at it for hours”

So I spoiled a whole day in fury , being upset and what not and ringing up people up north and down south to
get a handle on my nerves and stop behaving like the idiot that I inherently seem to be.

I mean what are you supposed to answer when someone arrogantly (OK I exaggerate that chilling calm voice is what I take as arrogance)states as a benefit of working in this place for over 2 years
Where did you work previously (i.e its some small mid sized place)- here youve worked on blah blah – a big blah
And I react
Oh yeah So what ?? the next blah product you ask me to look at – well the manager there will also say
– I gave you the big chance on this blah , Did you ever work on this kind of blah”

I forgot – I forgot big time – that managers are also human beings
and human beings have egos
and a human being who happens to be a manager and Indian usually tends to have a big big ego.
Add to it the calm ones who are polished and nurse the hurts like a wound which does not augur well for little people like me.

And then just when I was trying to soothe myself from all the woes being visited upon me – I had a surprise situation.
A complete blackout. No power no transport and absolutely locked up for a day away from all this.

I thought I would gain some perspective , but I seem to have lost it, dont know why.
I actually have self diagnosed myself as having a problem of inertia.
When I work on onething I find it hard to leave it and do something else.Even if its not my job – even if its not worth from a payoff
perspective. If I find it good enough to get it started I kind of persist on it.
Similarly When I dont work and veer off to movies and books , work seems like a necessary evil and hard to get started on.
This extends to many other things which includes like not looking for a change.
But fortunately or unfortunately – strange circumstances happen – which finally get me moving every couple of the years.
Seems the next cycle has started.

Anyways its great to listen to stuff you pretty much know and actually might have said to them once from friends.
It reaffirms the whole thing again and makes us feel good.Same stuff we repeat to each other when times are bad , but it does help.
Like one freind told me a such stuff – to calm my mood – part of which I sort had once told her in different words though.Nothing new.
“See if I hire a servant from a village, and she looks after my in laws fine and is very helpful to guests but I dont seem to be
her priority I will still complain right. So it happens let it go.”
Then she added her hubby’s wise statements to it.(Ok I let it pass that he’s a manager)
See if your existing servant whom you started off asks for a 30% hike you scowl. She leaves – you hire a new one at 50%.
And those are the facts of the world we live in.”

Actually I previously had a co-worker who for all his faults had a great sense of humor.
He once remarked women are perfect for QA – they have inherent qualities for it.
i.e they find find faults with everything and anything – Nothing seems satisfying enough.

The verdict though has been clean and clear from pretty much my close friends I know.
You think way too much – what is there to think so much about trying for alternative job.
First try and then you can think – and dont over- react as if your job is in jeopardy (they know the whole issue is simply which
manager gets to suffer me now that I am angry)
You are one hell of a coward deep inside when it comes to yourself – in initiating the change”

Yeah I find it hard to disagree, – but I have my reasons
and at this point they say thats the hard part
your reasoning is totally flawed but hard to argue with you” –
So I start being a little courageous for myself. After all

“Courage is the fear of being thought a coward. ~Horace Smith”

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Reading Eat Pray….

One damn good thing about letting go on the work front is you shift yourself off to different things.

Also once you work for long on organization specific stuff you lose touch answering generic stuff and so when you gotta go for interviews where they send poor people like us only to do interviewing and they ask the bookish stuff ,
youve got to start brushing up the question answer thing.
And to get in the mood for reading boring stuff I need some light reading practice.

So I decided to read something slightly fluffy to first get back to reading pages and well considering its gonna be soon a Julia Roberts movie I thought ok lets wrap this book first as I am not yet up for more complicated reading.

The book ” EAT PRAY LOVE ” to be frank is I feel slightly overrated on the overall bit, but I feel this is one book where the movie might be a bit more fun.
Julia Roberts kind of would add up to this movie. She has this knack of pulling up stuff like this pretty well.

The books written in quite good humor and all , but I especially found it written more like the journal / blog and sort of does not give that overwhelming feeling at all.
But then I’ve always believed that movies and books are different not only to different people but, different to the same people based on the mood and circumstance that the acquaintance with them starts.

So may be I just was in that kind of wrong mood.

Although the most boring part for me was her India part. The part dedicated to Pray.
I mean it seemed the most hopeless part. All she describes is her stint at a Ashram and where they teach her the usual stuff devotion, yoga and self belief.
Now most of it can be achieved at your own home if only you can self control or care to listen to general good.
But you cant , we humans love to led around by a Guru.
If someone we are familiar with tells us – wake up at 4am and sit still for 4 hrs would we revere him/her and do it – No not that easily.
Go to a ashram and have some hypnotic voice say it and you realize God.

I have nothing against the guru concept itself but its more often than not misused . But why complain – it simply shows that most of
humanity loves to follow – they just need a intoxicating and rousing enough cause /man/ woman who can convince them.

Any one can be the Guru -the ultimate pied pipers of this world – you just need to discover the right tune and the children of god flock to you.

Getting back to the book – the India part has nothing India in it except an Ashram and it in no way is India.
It is when I read such authors that I value authors like Shashi Deshpande etc even more whose writing may almost
seem boring to most Indians as its so very realistic and middle class compared to the exotic Western writing on India
Or the more famous Indian elite writers like say Rushdie .
I have written in previous review on Shantaram etc too how I hate this romanticzing the Indian rural village for westerners.
Its a very brutal and politicized landscape and the poorest too are hardly any innocent – the only argument would be they cant afford to be that.
So I felt absolute nonsense in that part OR may be familiarity breeds contempt.
I really wish someone from Italy or Bali can tell how they felt about the section on their countries compared to the others.

Now lets get to what I was not familiar with .
The Italy part – I sort of like it better. Now she might have called this the pleasure part ,
but this is where she delves mostly into her thoughts , so sort of liked it better.Though again I guess people who love food
would empathize with this part hugely.

The only part where I really could empathize was the point where she describes the situation of a friend who has a baby and
just then a successful exhibition of her paintings and throws a party about it and the situation what happens next
– she describes is something I’ve seen a bit often – where women do act as if its totally worth it and may be it is for them.It was the most realistic part. But well its all perspectives!!!.

I liked the fact that she didn’t in the end totally romanticize Bali. She showed how the very kind hearted — are also very human.
How many cultures in the east have a great reverence for a guest (e.g esp a guest from town in a village is taken such dear care of /
people from the west see our best and worst and not the real shades that we live in.)
and so on but can be brutal and heartless to their very own.
The part where she describes how the woman almost tries to blackmail her for more money — based on the very permise that most
tourists are treated in here ” Arre for them a few dollars is nothing” .
The very fact that normal people from the west somehow are slightly more gullible and easily open their purses in the name of charitable causes.
Its not like we are all misers here but we are relatively smarter about cheats (they being a part and parcel of life here).
Also fact is mostly we need a good enough cause for most things including charity
– like washing away sins
– feeling better for the day (ah my 5 rupee coin let a beggar live a day more on the street)
– or be with the in crowd
Ok I think I’m in my worst sarcastic mood but there are enough good and bad people all across the world just that we love to generalize.

As I said its a good read , but somehow the book did not have that touching effect.
I really feel the movie would be much better.

P.S: The nicest inspirational quote in the book
“it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection”
One thought here – why is it that westerners discover/ are told about such awesome quotes in our Bhagvad Gita.
When they teach it to Indians we have it interpreted differently or rather more stringently.
Imperfect lives huh – in Gita haan – that’s against society , again parents and what not .
But that’s what the best part of Hinduism – I guess with all its flaws . Its all about finding your perspective in the same words .

I kind of keyed this in a a hurry so well missed the truest line in the
book.Kind of hard to counteract in any sphere of life.
“There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who’s in charge?” Everything else is somehow manageable. But these two questions of love and control undo us all,
trip us up and cause war, grief and suffering.

P.P.S
I guess Im in a kind of feminist tirade mood too – its not planned but circumstances seem to be all for it.
Saw a update on profile of friend who is a mom.
Some guy on her list confesses since my daughter was born ,I now respect women,
great you are you all moms Godly
earlier I disrespected women that they came to office for wasting time – did no work but you are all god
the lady applauds !! Better late than never

I dont know what to say – if I had to say (so glad I dont knowthe chap )-
appreciate that better late …Or
yeah so now all moms are gods and rest – since they arent gods ??

I hate the whole updates and stuff …should turn them off .
but they have their uses I guess

An Update – Its a waste to write a post on this so I am adding the update here.
The movie is worse the books better I say now. Even julia Roberts cant save it really

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This isn’t the first time and it wont be the last but I have my days when I properly turn
upside down all that I work for like a petulant child.
When I rarely used to draw something years ago I had this inbuilt , sketch my favorite rose very nicely and
then scratch it all over or in my best mood draw window rails all over it.
This post is just a rant , a record I am just posting – to look back how I never seem to grow up.

I just did not like it what was happening at my workplace.
I am countless times told , oh you are appreciated – Good job what not but at the end of the day I have nothing to show for it.
But well that’s a normal thing in corporate offices .

What bugged me was the reason for this was that this was because I was in the middle of a power struggle of
two or may be unknown to me three managers.

No one wants to fight and further a cause which does not benefit them directly.
The one who is benefited is not in a position to further my cause directly.
And thus I end up sidelined.Well this is all again usual I guess.

What I do at such times is my very own style of stupidity.
Most people would simply go out look for a change and slam it in the face of such employers or
look at some brighter side in their life and trudge on in the same way.
I just go and talk nonsense and then feel hugely relieved about it.

After working from the scratch on something for 2 years because I was angry at this whole scenario
I just walkin and say I want to move out to some other department, and well they are thrilled about my asking for a move ,
but not from the whole department – we have so much in here… and so on and I talk back even more ridiculosuly – or may be not.

Ok do you want to do some development work ?

What dev after 6 yrs of QA – no I dont want to be your average developer.

Ok we have some work on blah blah…would you like to explore
No I dont want to do any exploration work at all .

Would you want to do the set up …
No i dont want to set up anything anymore did fair enough of that

So your interest area in performance end would you want something on that.
No you product is too complex so they dont use tools and
do it like …… I dont want that.
I did not want to mean that I did not like complex products but I guess they took it like that as it suited them

Ok so you want some new challenge
No i want what I am good at – no challenges anymore Ive taken enough

I did just some similar odd angry talkback like this some 3+ years back for moving out of a module – that I literally owned and was indirectly told to be the lead.

This process seems to keep me perennially stuck up at the same point in my career and well I have my moment of regrets
when I look back at my peers and all.

But they are just moments, they pass too quickly and after a good nights sleep I have to recall what the whole fuss was all about.
It just some well meaning friends who actually do the rub in or scratch the painful reminders.

For now I am like very chilled out.
See the best thing about all my outburst is I’ve practically announced – no longer rely on me,
and they know they havent much to offer unto me.

So while I did screw up my long term career prospects my short term mood prospects are so better.

But I console myself with that wonderful line

“In the long term we are all dead” – I am absolutely rooting for 2012 end of the world – ok at least for me.

P.S:one thing Ive learnt is we Indians are so conscious about who’s the boss – always.
Everyone goes around saying we should not be taking orders from the US people when the whole workforce is here – we do the real
work and what not,but what no one says openly is while they can still swallow some US chap ordering them around in India – nothing embitters people as much as an Indian in US ordering them around .
I wish I just said that one line too. But then I know both sides are pretty much the same so I am glad at heart I managed pretty well.
So lets see how things work out from here.
P.P.S: Few months back when things weren’t as bad in life as they are now I and my sister had shortlisted two places to may be visit
if we could save up.Thailand / Leh.
Thailand had the political unrest.Leh now has that cloudburst
It means nothing really and yet I feel so cursed even in my thoughts.

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Some reading —

I somehow had on the twitter two articles sometime last month on the same day that left an
immensely bad taste and worse mood .
Now one usually does glance out at much crap like this first article and dismiss it as a hopeless insane person.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/08/sharron-angles-advice-for_n_639294.html

Which is what I almost did except that the crap line in support of God
” Much good can come from a horrific situation like that, Angle added.
Lemons can be made into lemonade. ” and “God’s plan.”
sort of stayed with me
and the usual stuff of bad karma that gets associated with such stuff.

Then as I coincidenatlly read another link that I came across and I almost had a very vicious argument in my head against such crap.

Now this is a very long article on a very sad situation and while it is in general about the post war stuff in Rwanda , the difficulty of reconciling with people who are the prime cause of torture can be a personal thing too in many cases.
There was something esp understanding I felt about so many people being dismissive of physical torure

http://www.guernicamag.com/features/1853/linfield_7_1_10/

I dont want to write much on that and the article is amazingly painful in general.
But since I happened to read the previous nonsense when I read this I wanted to ask that horrible stupid woman
(and they say education makes people better)- look at this about Rwanada.
Now what good is to come of this.
Did God have a plan – how can he make such a plan and be God?
Half a million people had bad karma?
It says but Human Rights Watch estimates that up to half a million women were raped. Seventy percent of those who survived are HIV-positive, according to UNICEF, and it is thought that ten thousand to twenty-five thousand children were born of these rapes. Their mothers are often ostracized by their communities and live, therefore, in marginalization and immiseration (some have been forced to turn to prostitution); the children are reviled by other Tutsis as “children of bad memories,” “children of hate,” or “little killers.”

I am quite agnostic and dont like to get at all into personal relegious discussions but when such crap is
mentioned by people aspiring to be leaders(forget the fact that she is from US – we will happily have our equivalents ) it seems sick.
I am sure they will justify it by some plan of God surely.
The article touches upon the effects of torture – in the Nazi context in a very moving way – we seem to have these days built this highbrow stuff about soul and heart and all but forget that most normal people cannot think of that – when the body is in painfully tortured – that torture sort of can define their soul.
Améry learned, too, that all those aspects of his character that he had considered central and unique would quickly vanish, leaving only one irrefutable reality: the body in pain. “The tortured person never ceases to be amazed that all those things one may… call his soul, or his mind, or his consciousness, or his identity, are destroyed when there is that cracking and splintering in the shoulder joints… Only through torture did he learn that a living person can be transformed so thoroughly into flesh.” The destruction of the autonomous self—a destruction that, if he survives, will continue to haunt the victim—makes torture “the most horrible event a human being can retain within himself.”

The tortured person loses what Améry called “trust in the world”: a belief in the social contract, a belief that the boundaries of the body will be respected, a belief that the world wants to share itself with you. Trust in the world means that you, too, are entitled to a minimal safety and a minimal life: though the world might not shower you with happiness, it will at least defend your right to exist. The loss of that trust, Améry argued, is a kind of mutilation. That is why “whoever was tortured, stays tortured… It was over for a while. It still is not over. Twenty-two years later I am still dangling.”

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