Saturday, January 22, 2011

…I still remember my first job

Most people who know me would think how can I even forget it. I left it just 1.5 years back. And they would be so wrong.

Wipro was not my first job!!!

I started my work life at St. Xaviers’ College, Ranchi (SXC as we prefer to call it)!!! And my first office was on the 2nd floor of the old building of the college behind the college’s bookstore. I'm not sure if this bookstore part is correct, but that was definitely the room where they used to sell copies in which the students were supposed to write their science practical reports; and I guess they also sold the some syllabus kind of things also. It was a damn dusty room where we were intruders.

Oh, by the way, by we, I mean me, Abhishek Banerjee (he stole my name Smile with tongue out , but I have a special spelling Winking smile ) and Kamlesh Prasad.

So, as I was saying, we were intruders in the room, it actually belonged to some of the most fearsome spiders and lizards in the world (ok, that was a bit exaggerated, but then anything with legs > 2 or < 2 is not good for humans).

Now most people would be thinking what would three guys want to do in the most dangerous work site in the world (exaggeration again). So lets take the suspense off (duh)!!!

Well, as we like to put it, we were the IT Department of SXC from the year 2002 summer to 2003 winter. Our job profile – Digitizing the admission forms, tabulating the marks in those forms and then tabulating the marks of the entrance exams!!! Big shots, right!!! Ok, I’ll be honest. Our job was primarily that of Data Entry Operators. We were supposed to enter the details in the application forms into a Fox Pro and then once the entrance exams were done, enter the marks as well. The only intelligent part of the work was to run some queries to join the various badly normalized tables into which all this information was punched in and come out with sensible and usable reports. And to do all this the IT infrastructure we had were 2 archaic PCs which could be booted only in DOS mode and the had B/W CRT monitors. There was another PC which was another PC with a Coloured Monitor and Windows XP OS and Speakers. But we never worked on that one. Come on, how can you even do that. Its Windows XP for God’s Sake. Its precious, like treasure. You don’t punch in data and run queries on XP. That’s a crime. That’s why we only used it for playing music. And our favourite song was a super hard rock kind of song from MI:2; it was actually the MI:2 Theme Song (and now I hate anything that’s even close rock. Its noise).

So, during breaks between classes or after classes or on holidays we would get into the room, put on our music and start punching in the details of the kids hopeful of getting admission in the best college in whole of Jharkhand (and possibly Bihar). Thousands of forms used to go under our hands and eyes. Once in a while our eyes would stop on that one form with the picture of a cute or hot chick. And our hands would turn over the pages of the form to take a closer look at it, to check on details which otherwise we would not give a shit about (because they were not supposed to get into the database). The next thing we would do, would be to abort the data entry screen and go to the command line to run an AVG (average) query on the marks of the current database to check out if her marks are atleast above average (Disclaimer: We never had a clue of the college’s cut off marks, but marks above average would normally mean that the person atleast stands a chance of being considered). If the marks were above average, then we would get back to our work with a happy and hopeful heart expecting to spot the girl someday in college. If not, we’d get back to work with a heavy heart and long face Sad smile. Our breaks from work used to be good. They would normally comprise of either of the two things – a quick trip to the college canteen to get some samosas or egg roll (it was always samosas for Abhishek, dharti pe bojh, vegetarian. He’s such a useless Bengali. How can he be a Bengali and vegetarian at the same time!!!) or stand at the door of the room. Well, we just didn’t stand. Just beside our office was one of the two biggest auditorium style rooms of the old building. These were the rooms where they used to have the classes for the subsidiary subjects. So you would have students from all disciplines. So you would have students (girls) from Arts and Commerce in the same class (Science was pretty lame with respect to girls. No offence!!!). So our break would involve standing (sometimes sitting) at the door and observing (ogling at) the students (girls) inside the class. I’m not the melodramatic nostalgic type who misses his college days and wishes he could go back to those days, but I must confess, my work breaks at office now can never be as good as the one’s I had then!!!

On the whole it was a pretty satisfying job. Nice work environment (spiders and lizards and a 1947 model fan, all always ready to fall off the ceiling), challenging work (trust me, Data Entry is the most challenging work I’ve ever done), smart colleagues (I’m just being nice. I don’t know if any of the girls, who once in a while strayed into that room considered any smart guy in that room other than me Smile with tongue out), flexible working hours and a good pay package (INR 15.00/hr. Yes!!! That’s true. We were billed on an hourly basis. Such things don’t just happen to independent consultants in US or in big shot Indian MNC IT companies). And for all this the credit goes to one and only one person – The most respected person in the college – Father De Brouwer (I hope I got the spelling correct). He was my first boss and I guess he will be the best boss I’ll ever have. He gave me my first job in the world of computers; and what a job it was. I’ve always liked all the jobs (projects actually) i worked on, I love my current one too. But that first one in Father De Brouwer’s room at SXC Ranchi would always be a little special than all others I’ve done or I’ll do!!! I donot wish to go back to it (that would mean taking a severe pay cut Smile), but I wish I never forget it (even if I suffer from dementia at the age of 90).

P.S. – I hope the college has got better computers. But they should definitely not throw away the one’s we worked on. They would fetch a lot in a couple of years (antique is always worth a fortune)!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

…I’ll miss my TV like crazy

And that’s exactly why I’m writing this blog on a weekday!!! I’ve got nothing better to do!!! Cooking’s over. I’ve got a brand new book and don’t want to read it. Reason – Its one of those high funda “Why did the recession happen kind of books???” I don’t even know why the hell I got it in the first place. I don’t need to iron clothes. Its Friday tomorrow, I can just pull out a super crumpled T-Shirt from any where. Well, in my office, you can actually do that anyday!!! I’ve got no new movie on my PC. Today I regret the fact that I’m not in the habit of downloading any Tom, Dick and Harry kind of movies all the time!!! Well, precisely, I’ve got nothing to do, but watch TV. And my TV is in coma!!! It just shows a glowing vertical line in the middle of the screen!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!! HELP ME!!!

Man!!! I miss my TV soooooooooooo much. Now I realise how much human my TV is. Its actually like a jeeta jagta insaan in my house. Infact its like many jeete jagte insaan!!! The news readers, the movie stars, the cartoon characters and the soap characters (yes, I do watch a few). The moment I get home, 4 things get switched on this exact sequence – Light, Fan, Computer and TV. And with the last one, the house comes to life. Its full of people. I go about my chores with all these people doing a rumpus in one corner. I read my books, cook my food, clean up the house, wash clothes (sometimes) etc. etc. with my TV to company me!!! And at dinner, it always has dinner with me. Gosh, I miss it while eating. Its such and incomplete dinner without its company!!!

Seriously I’m going crazy without my 5 year old companion!!! I’m cribbing and getting emotional as if I had a breakup!!! I just hope the technician guy finishes off the repairs tomorrow!!! And if he’s not able to repair it………. Oh!!! I don’t even wanna think……….

Saturday, November 13, 2010

…I’d be super impressed by Microsoft some day

I am not a MS (Windows) hater; infact I love Windows and pretty much hate Linux. I know Ubuntu is cool and all. Yes, it is. Starts fast, works fast, is virus resistant, etc. etc. But how does all that really matter. Its a pain to use. Comes with nothing and most of my favourite software's don’t run on it. Google Desktop behaves the sickest on Linux. The part I hate the most is that you have to bloody mount every drive. Dude, its my computer’s drives. Why is your arse hurting to load it???!!! Whatever!!! I prefer Windows any day.

Out of that preference and the sheer urge to start having a piracy free life, last week I gifted my computer an authentic Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OS for Diwali. And my machine is loving it. Its wonderfully using my 4GBs of RAM. The Desktop gadgets have made me totally forget my all time favourite Google Desktop. My social network has moved right on my desktop. Stickies come bundles with the OS and the Weather Gadget looks pretty cool. Google, I’m really sorry, but I hope I won’t be using Google Desktop anymore. Wanna have a look at my Desktop… Here you go…


And no, its not a print screen, its a capture from the Snipping Tool that's bundled with the OS. The toolbar is definitely cool. No more big Program Name screaming labels, just small and snappy buttons which show Jump Lists!!! The best part with regards to looks - the in-built slide show desktop. Since the day I got my camera, I’ve always wanted a slide show mechanism for my desktop background. XP never had any such thing. You needed to install stuff to get that working. Here, its built right in!!!

Look and feel aside, what else is special. The specialest thing -  the startup time. Ubuntu just lost the edge. This thing starts up just like that!!! Blink your eyes and you are in. The backward compatibility support too is pretty good. I was a bit apprehensive about what would happen to my XP softwares. I was definitely shell shocked when I tried to install the first and it closed shouting about some problem in real obscene language. But, then life came back to me when the system said it would like to install the software with some recommended settings. And it did a just fine job with the recommended installing. My software was up and running.

Now about the addons. The best one I’ve laid my hands on is the Windows Live Essentials bundle!!! Its wonderfully vast and after you get it, you’d possibly need very little for you digital social interactions. Its bundled with Mail client, Photo Editor, Movie Maker, Skydrive Syncer and guess what. It has a desktop client for blogging and this blog is being right in it. The blog client is amazing. I’ve never used one, and the first impression that Windows Live Writer has left on my is amazing. I just gave it my Blogger login and it pulled down the full blog for me complete with the background and the theme that I use. The Mail Client impressed me by pulling down all my folders and arranging the mails into those folders from Gmail. This is something that even Outlook had never managed to do. The Photo Gallery is complete with easy share available for Facebook, Youtube and Flickr apart from the Skydrive and Windows Messenger.

All in all, I don’t regret shelling out my hard earned money on buying an OS that possibly is easily available is the piracy market. I always considered Windows as just an OS. But, now on it’ll be just an OS that I really love.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

....A day could be lazy

.... Unlike the popular perception that I'm a lazy person, I like to believe that I'm not (and I'm not). I'm a pretty busy person; not the Ambani types busy, but busy in my own way. For a single guy with a regular job, living in a city like Hyderabad, life can get quite busy. Well, this blog is not about justifying my busy-ness!!! Its about how lazy I'm feeling today.

Last night I stepped into my apartment, closed the door and there a strange humming sound that started outside. Opened my window and realised it was actually the pitter-patter of rain. Today's laziness is a followup of that. My alarm rang as usual at 7, I looked at the window and looked like my mobile had gone crazy. It was definitely pre-6 outside!!! To double check, I pulled apart the curtains and realized, may be not. There were quite a few hangover clouds from last night. Next I opened the window and the air that came in (woooooaaaaaaaoooooooow) made me take a split second decision. Its time to pay a visit my bank. That might sound pretty disjoint, but there's a connection. My bank's on way to my office. The bank opens at 10. So if I need to get to the bank, no point going to office early or take my cycle to office!!! So, if its no early office its more time in the bed. So, I happily pulled up my sheet and for once in a blue moon let my mind ramble about with my not crazy mobile playing all my favorite songs!!!

Then, a knock on the door. Poor guy, he possibly cannot have a lazy day. I asked him to make a cup of tea!!! He gave me a puzzled look. I rarely have tea and never on weekdays. With may be a thousand questions in his mind, he finally got me the tea. By which time I had switched on my PC and started typing!!!

And........... shit, its 9.30. I guess its enough to say that I'm typing this since 1hr 15mins. That says how lazy a day it is. But, now I can't afford to be lazy!!!Bank opens in 30 mins and need to get to office by atleast 11.15!!! I just hope my team gives me some boring, dull brainless work!!! I hate being workless in office, but I would love to be brainless today!!!

So, bank here I come. Bye folks and have a wonderful day!!!

Btw!!! Good Morning ;) I'm awake!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

......... I love rains


.... Half the world does!!! Big deal!!!

Most people would say that. But people who know me will fall off their chairs reading the title.


But this year's different!!!

This year I've found a new love for rains!!!

Now don't get ideas. Nothing Bollywoodish!!! I didn't meet the girl of my dreams. That happened ages ago. There are very logical reasons for this love and the love has conditions attached. The reasons first:
  • My house doesn't behave like a leaky cauldron any more. The new place is purely water proof.
  • Madhapur is a sparkling and swanky place. But leave the main road and get into the by-lanes and you would be surprised at the paradox. Broken roads and often no roads. And those roads became drains during the rains. But, all that changed a couple of months back and now although not as swanky as the main road, the inner roads are all concrete and you won't have to swim in mud when it rains.
  • The bore of my apartment has dried up. We need rains desperately. Its irritating to get up at 6 in the morning to fill up the drum.
  • My new place is wonderfully and strategically built for rain watching. The windows don't open into open space, they open into balconies and the balcony provides and extra buffer from the rain and even sitting on the window you don't get wet.
  • My last post was all about how chickeny I was feeling because of the heat. The rains are superly cooling down my apartment.
  • Thankfully its raining only in the nights, when I'm safely and dryly home.
Now the conditions:
  • I hate getting wet in the rains. Specially early in the morning when I'm leaving for office.
  • I love watching it rain, but from my bedroom, far away from the water.
Now reading these, I guess its ample clear why I'm loving rains this year.

And I'm very sure this love is not gonna last long. As the monsoon takes on the full steam and it starts raining cats and dogs all day long and the roads, no matter made of what, start flooding, this love is gonna change into super hatred. But till then, I'll rather savor it.

Its raining again with chilling wind. Time to hit the sack cuddled up in my quilt!!!

Goodnite :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

.... I'll sleep 12 hrs a day

..... Now this might not be some crazy stuff for most other working bachelors of my age, but it surely is for me. Reason - I have severe insomnia. I sleep may be 4-5 hrs a day. And the wierdest part - I love it. Insomnia is a good thing. Mom says it has been this was since I descended on this planet. She says as a baby I would sleep in fits and starts, as if by sleeping I'm missing some serious action. And somehow with age I've time and again confirmed her suspicion. Now as an adult who makes his own decisions, I choose to not see a doc to get my sleeping problems addressed or go off to bed when there's nothing more to do. I seriously have started believing that by sleeping more I'll be loosing so many precious hrs of this small life. One lifetime is definitely a very short time to have all that you want and then wasting time by sleeping more that what my body demands; I'm not going to commit any sins sufficient enough to banish me to hell!!!

So all a sudden what on earth is making me commit the sin. Nothing. I mean the thing is not on earth. But, its our solar system. Its what makes the solar system. Its the baap in the solar system. Its the SUN and the enormous heat that it generates at this time of the year. And this year it seems like it has somehow managed to get some extra supply of Hydrogen. Its burning everything down. Living at 45 Degrees for days at a stretch is just not possible. I guess this is the only period of the year when people say TGIM rather than TGIF. Thanks to the swanky and upmarket AC cooled office of mine I'm still alive. Atleast Monday to Friday the office totally makes me forget that there's a ball of fire in the sky dying to kill anyone in sight!!! But then you cannot start living the office. 2 reasons: They don't serve dinner; Its not good to be visible after work hours (I don't wanna die working). So get back home and all a sudden you are reminded of the ball of fire that was roaring all day. My apartment on the top floor can act as a very good eco-friendly brick kiln. Open the door and the first thing you experience is a gush of super heated air whoosh by. That's the welcome. Step in and I start feeling like a nicely marinated chicken (the marinate in sweat) being slowly cooked in a microwave preheated
And then after Friday comes the weekend!!! You can't go to office. Not because its closed, but because being closed means the ACs are switched off too and they won't let me in the server room. So you need to stay back and have a new experience!!! Its again a chickeny experience again, but a bit different. This time I start feeling like a chicken that's being just roasted. So they put you in the oven (not microwave, just plain simple oven). As the sun goes up in the sky, the temperature of the oven rises. First your skin starts parching, then slowly juices start coming out (sweat again) and then your skin cracks and you are ready to be served!!! Garnish with a bit of dhania and wollaah; here's Roast Avishek.

So, finally I decided to do something about this chickeny experience. I'm not at all getting sympathetic about chickens (I'm No PETA fan, doesn't matter how many Hollywood actresses they rope in to pose nude).

My solution - Sleep. Sleep. Forget about the precious hours I loose. जान है तोह जहाँ है !!! If I sleep today I might live to not sleep another day!!! So, load the cooler with water and ice, quench the thirst of the mattress and hope on.

Hey!!! I'm like a bear!!! Just that the season is wrong!!! They hibernate in winters, I sort of hibernate during summers!!! WOW!!! Now I know the animal in me!!! My girlfriend anyways thinks I eat like a bear!!!

So, gudnite!!! Sleeptime again!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

....I'll fly someday

No I didn't grow wings; neither did I have Red Bull. Actually I find the concept of Red Bull very stupid. Pay 80 bucks for some flavored sugar water that's called a colored bull and that's supposed to give you wings. Ridiculous!!!

Now, back to my flying. Its just that I'm getting on a plane to get to Indore to attend a family occasion. So, what's the big deal. Well, that's what the title suggests. I'm getting on a plane for the first time. Well not exactly first. Dad took me once when I was one and I remember every moment of the flight. After all how difficult it would be to remember if all I did was wail and sleep (Mom's version).

And yes, I know that anyone reading this is thinking "What a looser!!! 26 yrs old, has an OK job and never got on a plane". Well that's me. Actually the only place I have travel alone is home. And when you go home, you take a long leave. So you have ample time to get on a train and enjoy every moment that takes you closer home. Its not just about getting home, its about loving the way home too. I have somehow never been able to convince myself to give that up for zip down home in a flight in 4-5 hrs. Plus the flight route home is cryptic; 1 change, 4 hrs wait. I'd rather wait in a moving train.

And to be very honest. I, kind of have a phobia of planes. If a train derails, you may still survive, if a plane blows off, you are dead for sure!!!

But, this journey to Indore was just too suited for my first flight. Small leave; so doesn't make sense to take a 20 hrs train ride and waste 1 day of the 5 days leave. No allure of enjoying the journey; what the bloody hell can you enjoy in an Indian summer. And the most important, I've got money in the bank; so can splurge a bit.

Hence, finally I got my first plane tickets and am ready to defy gravity for the first time in life. Flight's at 6.15 am. Need to leave at 3.00 am from home for the airport bus. So, for now, Good Bye. Good night.

Kingfisher Airlines, here I come........