Monday, February 28, 2011

The (Food) Weekend That Was

Friday Evening snacks: Road-side Capsicum Bhajji and Aloo Bonda; Bhel Puri at Shanti Upahar

Saturday Breakfast: Idly with Sambar at Shanti Upahar.
Saturday Lunch: Veg Dragon Noodles parcel from Chungs.
Saturday Dinner: Pani Puri, Masala Puri, Mirchi, Phulka with ennegai, champakali. All home made. Topped off with Gold Label whisky on the rocks. Get together.

Sunday Morning: Home made coffee at road side on the way to Paaparapatti.
Sunday Lunch: Thali at Ananthalakshmi Hotel in Palacode. Boasts itself as High Class but... :-)
Sunday Dinner: Sambar made of Lady's finger and rice. Topped off with another brand of whisky and Ambode! Another get-together.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I hate debates. These days, there are a lot of debates shown on TV. Pundits of the language and great orators come on stage and battle it out. It is in fact amazing. But the thing I hate about debates is that the guy who is for “pro” can talk equally well when he suddenly finds himself in the “con” team and the “con” guy can bring up equally better points when asked to promote the “pro” debate. The guys are so good in talking that they just need a forum to speak and it doesn’t matter if they are “pro” or they are “con”. Their real feelings are actually masked.

Looks and Skills

Looks and Skills are somehow related. There are occasions when I have made some kind of impression on seeing a new person but this impression undergoes a drastic change a few months later when I realize the person’s potential or lack of it. For instance, there was this new guy in my team who looked like an alien with beaked nose and adam’s apple. But a few months later I realized the guy was really good at his work. I came to realize that I was no longer considering him as an odd looking person but in fact I started respecting him and preferred his company. Ditto with one good looking gal in my team. She seemed nice and looked nice and seemed as a nice company to have in the team but after working with her for a few months, realized that she was not good and not a preferred person to have in the team.

Women and Footwear

There is something about Women and Footwear. I have seen many of my female colleagues and colleagues’ female colleagues being crazy about footwear. There is this person who has a wardrobe full of footwear – enough for her to wear one pair once in a year. There is another person who takes so much care of her feet that she wears socks if there is sunlight to ensure it doesn’t tan! I knew couple of my (gal) friends who would pass their time in a mall looking at men’s footwear and rate their personality! Strange!

Hindus and Muslims and Moon

In 2010, Ganesha festival for Hindus and Ramzan festival for Muslims fell on same day. I guess (I may be wrong here) Muslim folks had to see Moon and (this I know for sure) Hindu folks had to avoid seeing Moon. If the belief is for goodness to prevail on Earth, then Muslim folks would want all Hindus to see Moon too and Hindus would want all Muslim folks to avoid seeing Moon. How exactly opposite!

Job: Bread or Joy

I sometimes wonder what is more important. A job that brings home the bread (or bacon as the case may be) or a job that gives joy? Bread is a necessity; joy is optional. So we have four main classifications: No bread, no joy (unemployed and doing nothing); Only bread, no joy (a grocery shop owner working over 12 hours a day seven days a week to make ends meet); No bread, only joy (unemployed but volunteering); Bread and joy (sportsperson). Of course, the two important variations are “Little Bread; More Joy”, “More Bread; Little Joy” amongst which the majority of the middle class get into.


Sunlight is important to a certain extent. It enriches the human body with Vitamin D. But the current craze of the modern women to be fair depletes the essential vitamin in their body resulting in future complications. Even for a short walk from the office cubicle to the canteen, from the bus to the office cubicle, young women nowadays open up the umbrella. Fairness, after all, is not everything. Health is.

Americans in India

When in America, the pleasant thing to notice is that Americans look you in the eye and say “Hello” or something to that effect and sometimes even go so far as to comment on a topic of mutual interest. But when an American is in India, they act like Indians and act as if you do not even exist. So unfortunate.

The AC Service Boy

In an AC compartment, the service boy – the person who provides the bedspread and the pillows and manages the air conditioner – is made to sleep just outside the AC zone. That is so miserly. How much more AC will another few feet take up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

One Day in a Meeting...

We once had a meeting with some important dignitaries. The dignitaries were in location A and we were in location B. We were about a 100 of us in location B and the dignitaries in location A could see us through videoconference. For almost entire duration of the meeting, the camera in location B was focused on the powerpoint which the dignitaries were referring to and for that duration, the dignitaries never looked at location B’s video.

Just at the very end of the hour’s meeting, a guy in location B pressed the switch corresponding to his seat (there is a switch in everyone’s desk used to enable the microphone so as to ask questions). What happens when the switch is switched on is that the camera starts to focus on the person who pressed the switch because the camera expects him to speak. But the person who pressed the switch had no intention of speaking. He merely pressed the switch out of boredom but was now suddenly shown on big screen visible to everyone in location A and location B instead of the powerpoint.

It just so happened that in the frame that the camera focused on the person, two ladies were also visible who were sitting in the prior row and these two ladies were dozing away to glory. They were dozing in such style that one could easily make out they were sleeping for the entire duration of the meeting. Their near-horizontal orientation in their seats gave evidence to the fact that they had not been hearing a word of what the dignitaries were saying since beginning. Safe in assumption that the location B’s camera was focused on the powerpoint and would not be wandering across the room, these two ladies had compromised on their vigil.

Murphy’s Law. For the duration of the meeting, the dignitaries never even saw location B’s video but at the exact juncture when the camera was focusing on the person (and the two sleeping ladies in the background), the dignitaries turned to location B’s video and asked ‘Any Questions?’ They saw the sleeping ladies on the screen and gave a wry smile while the audience in location A giggled.

Another person in location B had quick presence of mind. He immediately realized the gravity of the situation and pressed his own switch so that the camera shifted its focus onto him although he too had nothing to speak. A non-speaking attentive person is better than two sleeping ladies. Alas, this switch to the new person was not seen by the dignitaries. Someone in location A had asked a question and they got busy answering that question.

The whole incident was profound in several ways.

~ There were 90 odd people really attentive for the entire duration of the meeting in location B but still an impression would have been created in the dignitaries’ minds that attendees in location A were sleeping. What an irony.

~ The two ladies became a laughing stock of location A and a big embarrassment for location B just because some guy near them pressed a small red button out of curiosity and boredom! Butterfly effect.

~ Only one guy out of 100 had the presence of mind to act quickly; to press his own red button to save the entire location B’s reputation although in vain. And this person did not belong to senior management nor was employed as highly skilled. In all probability, his pay scale belonged to the lowest slabs in comparison to everyone in that meeting hall. And yet he did what 100 of us so-called 'skilled employees' never thought of doing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


On my way back from office today in bus, I was sitting next to a woman who was sitting next to another woman and although I wanted to sleep desperately I couldn’t because these two women were talking in not-so-hushed voice all the way from office to my destination. And it was not just “talk” talk but it was filled with venom against their respective husbands, about how their husbands were spend thrift, how horribly they managed the home, how stupidly they bought groceries, etc. Each person was giving one example after the other and it was as if they were trying to better the previous example.

I reflected the same thing happening to my life and I couldn’t imagine a minute of it. None of the grouse points the women complained I did – so I cannot imagine my wife saying the same against me. And even if I did, I doubt if my wife would rant about them all in an hour’s dialogue with her friend in a public place. Its imperative that husband and wife stand together as a wall in a marriage instead of speaking behind each other’s back negatively else its no longer a happy married life.

To be fair to the women, some of the complaints they had against their men were in some ways valid and the hubbies seemed nutty to behave the way the women said they did. I wonder why some hubbies are so nutty. I guess the ego factor kicks in when they suddenly find themselves married! I pitied the women that they were leading such terrible lives. And perhaps they were talking (in local dialect) so easily assuming the I was not a localite.

Just like software projects, I feel there should be a family auditing process once in a year to ensure that families run smoothly! After all it is important not to pile huge amount of garbage every day, not to waste water, electricity unnecessarily, etc. too. [Some of the grouse points included these!] Have cameras in the house for a week or so to monitor the workings in the house! Like a reality show!

I didn’t have the guts to stand up and ask them not to discuss about their personal grouses in public places but I guess it was etiquette that stopped me. After all, I should mind my own business. There was so much negative energy in that one hour that by the time I got out of the bus, I was feeling sick of it all. If this is what I felt for one hour, imagine their whole lives filled with it! No wonder divorces are on the rise!

I guess I should take cotton to plug my ears shut next time I want to sleep in bus…

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Hope

When I was leaving office to home today, I passed a cubicle where a client interview was going on. The interviewee was telling about himself. He mentioned a product based company from where he had had his previous experience as a Test Lead. In my brisk pace, I moved on and did not hear the rest of it. But it made me wonder why anyone would want to come to a service based company from a product based company especially in the Testing Domain. While I walked on, I mused. The answer came soon enough.

The United States of America. A Hope.

I continued to walk and then wondered why some of my ex-colleagues who were also Test Leads moved to a product based company. Strangely enough, in most cases, the reason was still the same, but twisted.

The United States of America. A Hope Shattered.