Sunday, October 29, 2006

Being Single

Much to the chagrin of the parents, who, somehow for an unfathomable reason, consider that its their responsibility, one who is single for a considerable time attains something close to what is usually called Nirvana, which makes the concept of marriage and holy matrimony a thing of ‘No Requirement.’

There have been many instances of such occurrences wherein a person being single for an excessive amount of time, will start liking being alone and enjoying the freedom and independence of oneself that a marriage will then start looking like more like a constriction what with all the sacrifices and adjusting that is very rightly needed for the wedlock to sustain.

The love for oneself exceeds to an extent that one can be happy with the bare minimum of re-telecasted shows on television, a nice cozy novel, endless music, some good movies, cooking at times and above all, obsessed with work. With just these, there arises no necessity for any responsibility towards any other human being, and one is satisfied to live life for oneself.

Its also comprehensible, hence, that when the occasion arises for a social gathering, wherein, understandably, the hall is filled with couples, such single people are odd men out and would therefore tend to avoid the mere attendance, much satisfied within the safety of one’s abode. Call it staying within the tortoise’s shell, but its better than answering a hundred people why you are not coupled up. Does a lot to ebb one’s confidence.

But then, as informed earlier, sooner or later, parents start pushing for ‘completion of responsibility’. And it is then that marriage will become more of a ‘task’ than a celebration of the union of two people.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I want to go away.
To a far, far place.
Where no one knows me.

Relinquish everything.
Bring down the cobwebs.
Walk away from the graves.

Disown everybody.
Tear down the dirty clothing.
Abandon the possessions.

Have a refreshing bath in the Holy Water.
Die and be born again.
To a new and refreshing arena.

Where all is clean and neat again.
Filled with innocence.
And lots of happiness.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just another bad day...

Disturbed sleep. Woke up 1.5 hrs late. Time only to brush teeth and grab cereals. I knew it was going to be a bad, bad day. It was written in big bold letters.

Reached office on time. Felt dirty. Unshaven and unbathed. But things went smooth first half. Time dragged on. Almost like the lull before the storm. Pizza for lunch. Yummy.

Clock strikes 2. As part of install verification, I await for a file on a specific folder as an output of a job. Nope. 2.01 pm. Nope. Heart beat increases. 2.02 pm. Heart beat increases even more. The clock strikes like a deadly time bomb. I knew something had gone wrong. First beads of sweat and panic. Faintly feeling.

I rush to a prod box to get logs of the job. Sure enough, it had failed. Logs have insufficient explanation. I ping someone else to provide more logs. And then, at 2.10 pm, the truth is out there. Mistake in the code. Its laughing at me, mocking at me. A series of ‘Oh My God’ comes out of my lips and I let my head fall on my hands and I stay like that for the shock to pass.

Cubicle mates offer help, try to soften the blow. ‘Want anything from Starbucks?’ So sweet. But no thanks. Things are to be done. Escalations. I shoot out a mail, succinctly describing the issue, the cause and the resolution.

Word spreads fast. Within minutes, I am asked on phone with senior management explaining the situation. People all over are pulled in to explain the protocol of a production incident and its fix. Quick meeting. Ten powerful people have ten different things to say.

It was 3 pm within minutes. Amazing how time flies at times of crisis. A hundred dependent jobs were waiting for my job to finish. A hundred people waiting to see how their jobs work. Tension was palpable. The meeting decided who has to do what.

Code fix had to go within 5 pm. Impact analysis and a thorough test needed to be done to ensure that no other wrong code exists. Help was taken all around to ensure things got done. Many VPs were paged at 4 pm on a Friday to approve tickets and ensure code push to production ASAP. ‘ASAP’ couldn’t have been better realized than today.

Code fixed, tested and checked for any more loop holes while bevy of senior people standing behind my neck to ensure I don’t screw it up again. Code pushed to prod and all set by 5. Job is made to run again at 5.15 pm. Time is 5.13 pm.

Never had I looked at time like this before. Never had I this feeling of time clicking away to another bomb. Had I defused all wires? Were there anymore? 5.16 pm. Job started. No file on folder yet. 5.17 pm. No file on folder yet. I swallowed. Ten pair of eyes were staring at the status of the job, and we knew a hundred others were waiting on the phone for our job to complete. Atlast, we could see the file on the folder!

A big sigh. Another failure, and I would have shot myself. Huge relief. Congratulations all around. Not a word of blame. Not an iota of ‘you-screwed-it-up’ thought. Everything was like team work. A big ‘Thank you’ from all for having got it fixed. Imagine that! I screw it up and I get thanks for fixing it! Wow.

Post mortem analysis and more install verifications led to completion of day’s tasks at 9 pm. It had been a long day. A day to forget. It was a sad day. But it was good that the issue was resolved, and I could have a good night’s sleep. It was an irony that amidst the thousands of complicated things that were thought out during development of the job, the job failed at one of the silliest points. Damn.

I came out of the office to get hit by chilly wind. My car is all that is there in the parking lot. I revved up the engine and started my way back to home. Thousand things were in my mind.

How do things work in other professions? A doctor doesn’t have dev int, rel int and acceptance testing before he goes to commence his operation. An engineer doesn’t have dev int, rel int and acceptance testing before thousands of gallons of water hit the dam or hundreds of vehicles go on a bridge.

I mean, work has to be 100% perfect, else its not going to be the right world to stay in. And for work to be 100% perfect, one has to be brilliant, truly brilliant to think about all possible scenarios and be absolutely infallible. A hundred jobs went live today, and it was humiliation to see just my job fail. All hundred were better than me. Says a lot about my brilliance, or the lack of it.

Am I in the right profession? Do I even fit in here? If I am more experienced, would such incidents never occur? I mean, man is not infallible, so I cannot say, with time, I would not do any mistakes. The incident just showed how truly insignificant I am in front of thousands and thousands of people who have done so much to this world, and I couldn’t even get a small, simple thing working. Jeez!

Mistakes in my profession can be fixed in next install, and the max harm that was caused is a wait time for a number of people. However, mistakes in professions like doctors and engineers cause lives to be lost. How can one live if such a thing occurs? Scene in Raju ban Gaya Gentleman props upto the mind.

The mind kept gnawing at such thoughts till I reached home. I wanted to pour out my anguish over myself to someone, but alas, there was no one at home. No one to talk to when I desperately needed one. Tummy rumbled, but there was no food. 10 pm on a bad, bad day, I set out with the yucky frozen parathas. Thank God, next day was a weekend.

I hit the sack and lay there, a defeated man. Cuddled up and tried to sleep with a sad shake of head.

Monday, October 23, 2006


There are some tales that one just cant forget. One such tale that has fascinated me since childhood is the tale of Abhimanyu.

The story goes as follows. One of the famous types of warfare during Mahabharat is Chakravyuha, wherein, the enemy, in hundreds, form a big circular formation and the objective of the other party is to single-handedly penetrate this circle and get out of it successfully, by fielding off the barrage of arrows that is targeted at self and at the same time, be on the attacking mode.

This being a not-so-easy task, as a man even of lower intellect can quickly deduce, needs a trick, as is so common in warfare, to come out successfully and wish to see one’s own arms and limbs in the way it was prior to the adventure. And such a trick was known only to Lord Krishna and Arjuna.

The tale becomes slightly interesting now. Krishna, by way of conversation, is imparting the knowledge of entering this impenetrable Chakravyuha to Subhadra, when Abhimanyu, still an unborn child in S’s womb, hears about it, and kids being what they are, total grasping power and what-not, remembers it for lifetime. However, Subhadra, apparently is too bored to hear about the whole story and dozes off in the middle and Krishna is forced to stop in the middle.

Ages later, when the Good is fighting the Bad, the Bad challenge the Chakravyuha warfare to the Good. Good accept the challenge as they have Krishna and Arjuna who can break the Big Circle. However, the Bad forms – by way of another trick of warfare - a diversion so that Krishna and Arjuna are not in the scene at the time of Chakravyuha. That leaves only with Abhimanyu amongst the Good to take up the challenge.

Enabled only with the knowledge of penetrating the circle but not coming out successfully, Abhimanyu fights valiantly and single handedly, and is able to break the formation but, alas, goes down in the end, fighting.

Somehow, this concept of Chakravyuha and the tale of Abhimanyu is fascinating to me. The former encapsulates the point of a person facing difficulties from three sixty degrees. And the latter encapsulates grasping capacity of an unborn and how mortal a human being is without Knowledge.

Now I wish I knew the trick too…!

"Why no blogs?"

An easy and quick way to answer ‘Why no blogs?’ – I pretty much figured – was to toss out an out-of-sabbatical-blog. It would save me from replying to the multitudes my new-found phrase of ‘Wanting-to-write-but-just-not-got-around-to-it’ and kick the ‘oh-God-what-happened-to-harsha’ thought out of my devoted blog-readers.

Quick update about the bare essentials. More for myself to know what-happened-this-day-twenty-five-years-ago when I check upon this blog - if it still exists in its current state, art and technology - a quarter of century later, with magnifying lens for my underrated eyes and a walking stick at my side.

Wonderful time spent with parents. For the first time felt responsibility for home and office. In Bangalore, it was taken for granted that state of affairs in the house was handled by dad and me just worried about office. But, here, I felt morally responsible for the doings and undoings of parents. An obligation to go back to home early and keep them occupied, show them places and spend time with them. Something which was always taken for granted when I was in Bangalore. Jeez! This is how its going to be when I become married!!

As a proud son – I would be lying if I say I am not proud of myself – I ensured they had a nice time here. Showed them all places I had charted out and pre-planned, and as in most cases, the plan always gets executed to perfection. From apt-booking to receiving-them-at-airport, from flight-booking-to-and-fro-Niagara to package-tour-to-Washington-and-New York, from local-sightseeing to friends’-dinner-visits, from fall-foliage-at-new Hampshire to my-cubicle-in-office, from trip-to-Pittsburgh to dropping-them-off-to-Brother’s-place-in-Detroit, everything went as smooth as it could. It would be unfair to say parents were not emotional at the time of my departure from Detroit.

And then, alas, back to usual routine. If you can imagine a kid being given a chocolate, and after a while, the chocolate is taken away, then I was that kid. Gone were the days of no-cooking, no-dish-washing, yummy-evening-and morning-snacks, bathroom-all-for-myself, hot-lunch-awaiting-at-noon-time!

Now all that is left is a daily call of ‘Wassup?’ while my bro enjoys the luxury.