Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All is well

No, I shan't (the first word that Dudley learnt, remember it reading it one November afternoon 10 years back) give a review of 3 idiots.

But truly, All is really well!

Here I am, sitting blogging at home, mom and dad sleeping peacefully in the next room, brother doing really well at his work (he's not at home, rather, 2000 km away, but doing well nonetheless).

I got a pair of wonderful grandparents, well into their 7th decade of partnership. Yes, you heard it right. They are still going strong, god willing, for decades more to come. Love, Sacrifice, Patience - I am astonished to see these and other qualities in them, till date.

I have friends who will do almost anything for me.

I have brilliant plans with my life. No, I do not mind not earning megabucks, so if I don't end up doing that, I wont be "terribly" disappointed. Hopefully.

My "Does it even remotely look like I care" attitude has served me well in the past. I have shrugged away fights, failed love and foolish mistakes with remarkable ease.

I can hit sixes at will in cricket. Well, almost.

I get enough attention from women to keep my ego well oiled.

I am not in the best of shapes, but am still in that stage when I can get back to any shape Id want to!

There are many things that do make me cry. Thankfully, movies and books make up the most of them.

Not that there aren't problems, mistakes and fears, but looking around, they aren't big deal! Really!

Things will change, sooner or later, for the worse or for the better, but right now, All is really well!

Thank you, God, Energy, Luck, Sub-conscious or a surge or serotonin, call it what you want!

Let the festivities continue!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The day I became a Radio-Jockey. Well, almost…..

WARNING: This post might contain topics that are socially Taboo.

Long ago, when Radio City was the only “Cool” radio channel in Bangalore, and All India Radio was still the most widely tuned-to channel, there was another Radio channel in places like Mumbai that was making waves. It was called ‘Radio Mirchi’, ‘mirchi’ being the Hindi word for chillies, synonymous with hot n spicy.

So it was not surprising when they decided to foray into the Bangalore bandwidth by advertising in all the major newspapers, asking for wannabe RJs (RJ = Radio Jockey or Rattling Joker, take your pick) to audition. I looked at it with passive fantasy. How cool would it be to put on a burst of energy as the countdown ended and take the listeners on a trip to where the RJ desired?

I was just recovering from a bout of bronchitis that was a result of a reckless outing in the Western Ghats. Also, Rang De Basanti had just released in cinemas and we were slated to watch it the next day on the big screen. Probably the inactivity of the previous few weeks and rave reviews about the movie’s portrayal of youthful energy spurred me on and I dialled KK’s number who was my then-partner-in-crime.

A few phone calls to the number provided by the radio channel, and we were outside the auditioning studio.

On entry, we were given a page-long prose, to be articulated in front of a microphone in a sound proof room. Voice is after all the forte of an RJ aint it? Piece of cake… Or so I thought.

As my voice trailed away at the end of my narration, I heard another voice in my headphone calling out my name.

“Your initials?”

Q: “As in Blood Pressure? Or Bed Pleasure?”

A: WHAT!!!!!

Q: “So, Mr. B.P., tell me, Why is Deve Gowda better than Narayan Murthy?”

Hmmm… Trying to do me with a googly eh? For the uninitiated, Narayan Murthy, the founder of Infosys, and Deve Gowda, the former Indian Prime Minister, are two extremely well known faces throughout the country, not always for the right reasons.

Their public spat was the topic of discussion for quite some time and it was now giving me a few anxious moments. I mean, why would any sane man think that a politician is better than a successful and honest entrepreneur?????

Q: “So, Mr. B.P., tell me, Why is Deve Gowda better than Narayan Murthy?”

A:“ Murthy might have given jobs to millions, developed India’s economy and so on and blah and blah, but at end of a long and winding day, when you switch on the local Television channel, it is Gowda who, with his drooping face sleeping peacefully in a Parliamentary Cabinet meeting, really brings a smile on your face.”

There you go. Not very good, but something atleast!

Q: “Why is chocolate better than Sex?”

HEY MISTER! Here I am, a middle class, 18-year-old young gullible Indian, with all his virtues and values in the right place, and you try to “outrage my modesty” just because it’s a soundproof room eh??

I almost said,” No Sex please we are Indians”.

But, a moment of silence and cackling static in the headphone before I said, "The other day I started having chocolate right inside the public transport and finished it right in front of my parents, but nobody said a word! Would that be the case if I substitute the word ‘chocolate’ with the word ‘Sex’?”

Q: “Why is a Camel better than a woman?”

A: “ The hump factor”.

That nearly shut him up.

Not so fast. A Hyderabadi style voice cackled into the headphones and I took a full minute to get the hang of it. It was something about mini-skirts and college dress codes. I shrugged and gave a full blast of my learning from bargaining for bicycle parts in bye-lanes of Shivajinagar, Bangalore.

It was a shame that just when I had warmed up for more fireworks, he decided that he’d heard whatever he had needed to hear.

Things looked ominous when three huge and surly guys entered the room and took the chairs opposite mine. I was hoping that I would be let-off with a stern warning and not charged with public indecency for my answers. If they really tried to do me in then I would even point fingers back at them. I was just 18! It was just juvenile rush of blood!

One of them began to speak, but all he said was “ That, was really impressive”.

Heh, I knew I was a teenager, but I was not a dunce. Give me the bad news. “That”, he said,” was spontaneous, fluent and exactly the way we need it to be”!!

Surprise, Surprise!! Before I knew it, I was made an offer – A monthly pay packet fatter than the cumulative pocket money of my entire Engineering!

It was downright tempting and exciting to accept the offer and say, “ So what if I will not be an engineer, I will be someone who did something out-of-the-box and enviable, eh?!”.

The bearded guy at the audition asked me to take 2 days to decide and parted with these words, “Even the most adventurous of us have a Basic degree under our belts. The world is not a forgiving place for people without it.”

Those words by him were the general echo of almost everyone who I met over the next 2 days. My head was buzzing with the pros and cons and ifs and buts and what nots, but that’s when a small voice in my head tapped the innards of my skull, coughed and made its presence felt. On further enquiry, it introduced itself and said, “ Mate, If you can see farther than others today, its only because you have stood on the shoulders of others”. The profundity of that statement sunk in and I decided that maybe it was just not the time to throw caution to the winds and jump into the party bandwagon.

I was 18, not yet aware of my deepest desires or greatest strengths. If I could be a smart alec at 18, I could be a smart alec at 30 too! And it was a fresh new world out there, Ol’ Hobbes buddy! The destination would surely reveal itself in times to come, but it was not time, yet.

I went back to classes at college a week later and bragged about “How my vocal brilliance enthralled an audience trained to identfy excellence”. Chucking the RJ job was not as bad as it had seemed a week earlier.

Disclaimer : This post is not intended to show any person or organization, including myself, in any kind of bad light.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Did not do it in kindergarten..........

A colleague is getting wedded very soon (God give peace) and he broadcast an SOS message asking for lines to be put on his personal invitation card.

Out jumped the rhymer in me
and this is what I gave him, you see..

Unknown to each other, up we grew,
But a great story, God decided to brew,
With a click of his fingers, he united us two
And we came together before we even knew!

Now we embark on a journey new,
And exchange vows and say, "I do"
But this occasion of wonderful hue
Will be incomplete without you...

With great pride and pleasure immense,To
the occasion of our Wedding we invite you
So Please join us with blessings true,
And bring along your family too.

Romantic? Foolish? Who knows?

Use these lines in case you need,
Cheesy though they be, indeed,
But to the author pay a little heed,
and the child in me, please do feed...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Whim ball done?

WARNING : Mr.Overly Suave and Mr.Politically Immaculate, please refrain from looking below. You may shoot yourself or me!!!

Its Wimbledon time! And as I write, Andreas Seppi and Marc Gicquel are battling it out to reach the 3rd round....

A mist brews in my mind and from its murky depths out pop the following, well, feeble attempts at humour?

Q :How would you convince Sampras to play at Wimbledon one last time??

A :You say, " Please com(e)pete Sampras!!!!!!!!

Q :What would be the name of a Wimbledon championship which will be played for benefit of Sampras????

A : "For Pete's Sake!!!!"

When Federer won wimbledon.....................

When Federer won Wimbledon, He was called 'Fedex'.....

Looks like Soderling might win this time, So will he be called 'Sodex'(ho)???????

When Federer won Wimbledon, He was called 'Fedex'.....

I concluded that some guy called 'Roller' or 'Rolling' had won Wimbledon at some point, So they always show a sign called 'Rolex' at centre court!!

When Federer won wimbledon, He was called 'Fedex'.....

I have a friend by name Divya, who's a geek and she won an arbitrary file coding competition called "Wimbledon Coders".They named a file format dedicated to her. Its called DivX!!!!!!!!!!!!

Q :How will Soderling's Girlfriend address him after he gets the £750,000 cash prize in Wimbledon????

A : "So Darling............................."

Q : What will my girfriend say if I get the £750,000 cash prize in Wimbledon?

A : "Should I turn you in you Thief???????"

PS : You may use the above lines anywhere, but at your own risk. And as long as its not to sue me, please quote me. Who doesn't want to be famous?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The day I landed a paying job

23:30 Hours, March 17th 2009.“Aiyy...Aiyy... Aiyy”, was the cry which rang out every minute or so. “Spotted deer alarm call”, whispered my neighbor. Immediately after the cry of the deer, from high in the branches came the sound, “Har harrr harrrr, harr har harrrr”, again, incessant and echoing. The Langur Sentry, warning his entire tribe that the terminator is close by.

The Tiger was afoot!

Sleeping less than 50 meter away, under the brilliantly lit night, 3 days away form full moon, I could clearly imagine the striped form as he slunk slowly towards the water body, probably just to drink the cool water from the stream, his position now given away by the keen sense of hearing, smell and sight of the deer and the ever-alert Langur watchman.

There is a conference call with the on-site guys for yet another clarification session on the object that I am currently developing.

Speaking to the experienced guys always makes me swallow, especially now, when they are in the US of A, 1000s of miles away - geographically, and knowledge-wise!
But, Speaking to the customers, the clients, the higher-ups, dodging the questions which make you uncomfortable, giving ad-hoc solutions to on-the-go problems – All these are just a part of the game when one is in arguably the World's most influential Software company.

It was August 2007, and I was in my Final year of Engineering.A “big” Software company was scheduled to arrive in 2 days time for recruitment of fresh and extremely green, would be engineers. The college atmosphere was typical, filled with nervous energy of youngsters at the helm of adulthood.

It was Viky who came up with a plan and Chicha put his best foot forward.

“Be ready, we’re going to Maddur on bikes, from there, to Shivanasamudra, in Viky’s Bro-In-Law’s car”.
“Errr….. But am in college”.

“Yeah we know. Ask your mom to pack a few clothes. Ill get them on the way”
“Errrrr. But today a company is currently conducting its recruitment process and I am the student placement Co-ordinator and as a rule am supposed to be helping in the process”

“Aren't there supposed to be 2 of you Co-ordinators working together?”
“Yeaaaa, but a BIG company is coming the Day after and I desperately want to get into it. Consulting is a super field man! I think I better start preparing for the test..”

“Dude, you'll manage, just be ready in 20 minutes.”
“ Ok. Ill ask Sandesh to manage the recruitment process for today”

“Buy something to eat along the way. And yeah, 4 mineral watter bottles.......”

Thus, we went on another of our less planned, but successful nevertheless, outing.

Maddur is located on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway. It is an inevitable stop for all and sundry who travel on the smooth highway for one main reason РMaddur Vade.For the uninitiated, Maddure Vade is a flat cake made with flour and mixed with onion juice with a smattering of onion here and there, all this fried to make a delicious snack, especially eaten (clich̩) hot, on an overcast evening.
Maddur is also a place where you can go first and then decide whether to take the left turn, the right turn or to proceed straight to see the various, and trust me, beautiful tourist spots. A few favourite ones include -
1. Winged visitors of Kokkre Bellur.
2. Playing in the river and looking for a ‘scientific explanation’ to the curse
of talakadu.
3. The waterfalls of Shivanasamudra.
4. Heading towards Mysore, which itself counts as an architechtural wonder.
5. Going beyond Mysore, into the Wild, to the thick and pristine Jungles of
B.R.Hills, K.Gudi, Bandipur, Nagarahole...

Ah! Jungles………

Kenneth Anderson, in The Black Panther of Sivanipalli, says, “Forget the false values and ideas of what is called civilization, those imposed rules on the free and simple truths of life. Here in the jungle you will find truth, you will find peace, bliss and happiness; you will find life itself. There is no room, no time at all, for hypocrisy, for make-believe, for that which is artificial and false. You are face to face with the primitive, with that which is real, with that which is most wonderful which is - God.”
It’s when you are right inside a jungle, that the significance of those words hits you. But that’s another story.

Once we hit the road on our bikes, the going was smooth and we arrived at the squeaky clean house of Viky’s Sister and Brother-in-law, who, both of whom, incidentally, are dentists. Boy! I’m sure they used to ace their Oral exams in school!!

A quick plan-of-action and we headed to the Shivanasamudra a.k.a Bluff a.k.a Gaganachukki and the Barachukki falls.
If you’ve never been to this part of India, and if you do get a chance to do so, then do not miss this place! The sheer force of water makes you go weak in the knees and kids wet between them.

A shower in the rain, a tussle with Benzy the dog, and a ride back to Bangalore, all of 100 km and in continuous drizzle, ensured a postcard ending to the “little” outing.

Our own Big Apple!

I had an inkling of high temperature when the results of the written round for the recruiting company were announced. Being a placement co-ordinator, I stole a glance at the selected names and leaked a few before they could officially be out. And I let everyone know in no uncertain terms that I had ended up on the top of the list. You could’ve compared my strut to that of a Peacock in full plume!

“Find suitable rooms for interview” ,
“Right away, Sir”

“Arrange for coffee and lunch for interviewers (miss your own)”,
“ Ok”

”Get stationery”,
“Well, Sure, but Im flicking a few notepads for myself”

“Increase A.C. temperature”,
“and my own too, if you may, please?”

My fever had revealed itself in its full-blown form by then.However, thankfully, my interview was scheduled at the very beginning.

So the game ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire In a few decades’ time!’ begins…..

Q from Interviewer: “Hey! Aren you the co-ordinator guy?”
A : “Sniff…… Yeaah”

Q from Interviewer: “So! Tell me………….” and thus the interview commenced.
A :“…….. Thank you.” And thus the interview concluded.

What happened in the interview would be of interest only to someone who is writing a book titled, “Become A Software Engineer for no fault of yours”, and hence ill spare you the details.

I dragged myself, convinced people that I was not crying or dying, clutched my head in both hands and looked around to find the nearest bed, which incidentally was in the boys hostel.

Post evening and post delirium, and a dose of paracetamol (Thanks to Sunil….) later, it was results time.
Right at the end of the selected candidates list (the order of the names bearing no significance!!), was my name.

“Hey congrats to you too!”

“We’re together again! I don’t believe it!”

“Hey Dude! There is better stuff waitin for ya, Cheer man!”,

and lots of remarks later, the feeling Sunk in - ‘I am now a part of one of the biggest Brand Names in the World – Oracle Corporation’.

I slept badly that night. I expected the Tiger to cross the 5 feet wide elephant trench and come at my throat anytime in the night. The unending alarm calls of the denizens of the forest providing no respite. How could everyone around me sleep so soundly (And snore too!) while I tried to be motionless and adjusted my position to be inconspicuous at the same time?