Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Where is your time?

Posted: March 3, 2014 in Life, Me, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Heard that quote before? I am sure no one agrees to this more than a passionate photographer wanting to depict a story of what they see in a slice of time. I loved this quote when I first heard it. After reading this, I started seeing every picture I came across very differently. The more I looked at pictures, the more I started liking photography. I wanted to say things through the pictures I took too. I wanted to explore the new world that fascinated me. Slowly the fascination turned into passion and I bought my first SLR.

I had been spending quality time with it for quite a while. But then I realized, as people grow old, new things and new events start taking priority. There are new responsibilities. There is higher expectation. At times these get to a point they become quite overwhelming. These are things you know you cannot ignore. These are things that need your attention at right times. All these mean less MY time which also translates to lesser time to keep doing what you are passionate about.

But I always believe that if you are really passionate about something, you will figure out a way to make room to get a little bit of time from your busy life; spend that all on what your are passionate about. If you have to do this efficiently, you must be a master of managing your time. I have always been amazed by people who are masters at this. It is really hard for me to figure out how they do it. I have read so much about this but the hard truth is theory can get you only so much. The rest you have to figure out by being you. There is no single solution for everyone. Everyones responsibilities are different. But at a high level, everyone can narrow it down to these few things:

  • Distractions – The most significant time hogger these days. Its the age of smartphones and social networking. Notifications, mails, chats, texts, the list is really endless. I have seen folks who are so distracted with all this that they have an attention span of a gold fish. If you are so distracted, you will never know when the day started or ended. If this evil haunts you, forget making time for something you are passionate about, you will not have a clue on how to make time for something you have to pay attention to.
  • Priorities – Learning and mapping things that take priority in your life. I have seen people who are workaholics and I have seen people who are family oriented. One common thing between these two sets of folks is that they have prioritized things that are important to them. Things that are higher on the chart will obviously get more time. Things on the lower end get very little or no time. Where does your passion fit into on this chart? Thats the big question.To make things complicated new things and new events in life start playing havoc  to this chart. It is really hard to keep this chart straight with so many things changing around you.
  • Level of Passion – Everyone is passionate about more than one thing. It can be mundane things you do everyday. Photography is what I already said I am passionate about. I also love spending time on TV. I love cooking and eating. I love reading online. I love a lot many other things. Though one may not tag these mundane things as passion, they are things that you spend most time doing. So when you compare your passion against all these small mundane things, where does it fit into? How does it fare when compared to other things you are passionate about?

I personally am still trying to figure out why I cannot make time for spending it on something that I was so passionate about a few years back. I am not able to make time for it but I sure am still passionate about it. Figuring this out is easier said than done. I hope I can figure out something before it is too late!

Have you been spending time wisely lately?

Invictus

Posted: June 30, 2011 in Life, Quotes
Tags: , ,

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

More than what you say you feel

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Life, Tech, Thoughts
Tags:

Am sure everyone often pauses and thinks deep into crazy things at times. I just had such a moment. I was just thinking about inventions that have transformed the world as we know it today and I was also contemplating on some things that could make our lives a lot better.

We all know humans have five important abilities (what we often refer to as five senses). Some people do often claim they have the additional sixth sense which is arguable – Let’s not get into that here. The five abilities that humans have known to have mastered so far:

  • Ability to hear
  • Ability to see
  • Ability to feel
  • Ability to taste
  • Ability to smell

Thanks to our fore-fathers and their life changing inventions, we now live in a world in which it is possible to share some of these senses with others; even with someone who may be sitting right across the world. With the invention of telephones and radios, people were able to share what they hear to people far away from where they were. Imagine the delight a grand parent would have had the first time they could hear their dear grand children’s voices. Though at times it may not possible for them to physically be there to see those little ones blabber off to glory, the voices over a long distance telephone call would make a world of difference to them.

Then there was the ability to share what one saw. Inventions of cameras, televisions, webcams, etc. have transformed societies and living styles. I feel lucky to have been born in a generation in which I can capture what I see and share it so easily with anyone who needs to see it. “Pictures speak a thousand words” as they say. Imagine trying to explain in words about your recent trip you had to the most breathtaking place without the ability to share what you see!

I was just thinking how different my world would have been without the abilities of sharing just these two senses with the people I care. Then I was contemplating what was next? What about the next sense of feel/touch? Would it be useful for a doctor/surgeon operating remotely to have the ability to feel the texture or harness/softness of the tumor he is operating on remotely? Would it make a difference to a solider who is thousands of miles away in a battle field to have the ability to touch and feel his new-born baby? The world of communication would be lot different if this was possible; won’t it?

I was thinking on how could it be possible to share such a thing digitally right across the world. Since I use Photoshop many times, the coloring schemes came to my mind. Using the color picker tool I can point to anywhere in a picture and know what exact color it is in. This would give me digitized values of that particular color in various color schemes. RGB for instance is one of the most commonly used color schemes. Providing values to indicate how much of Red, Green and Blue is used, computers now have the ability to show many millions of colors. So if I have to tell a friend of mine that I am seeing a Red rose, I now have the ability to indicate to him/her how red the rose is. In other words we are now able to quantify sight in a way.

If we apply the same kind of scheme/logic to the sense of touch, there may be many more vectors/variables. Some of them I can think of right now:

  • Hotness/coldness
  • Roughness/smoothness
  • Hardness/Softness

What about digitized values for these parameters? With the combination of these values it would be a good starting point to at least share/simulate what it feels like to touch something. Am sure there would be lots of inventions and technologies in industrial and military field by now which would do similar things but it’s still not available for commercial/personal use. Getting to this point is one step closer to the ultimate step. Once humans have fully understood and mastered the working of human brain; may be we can take this to the next level. The information about what we touch and feel through our skin reaches our brains through electrical signals via nerves in our body. If someday, we fully understand what these exact signals are and how this information is sent across to the brain, we can use the digital values in the form of something like the touch scheme I described have above and translate the digitized information into brain signals to make the recipient feel something he is not actually touching.

Wishful thinking you say? 🙂

The Beautiful Truth

Posted: April 20, 2009 in Life, Thoughts

For each of us eventually, whether we are ready or not
Someday it would come to an end
There will be no sunrises
No minutes, hours or days
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten
Will pass to someone else
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrill to irrelevance

It would not matter what you owned or owed
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear
So too your hopes, ambitions and plans will expire
The wins and losses that once seemed important will fade away
It won’t matter where you came from and on what side of the tracks you lived at the end
It won’t matter if you were beautiful or brilliant
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant

So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built
Not what you got but what you gave
What will matter is not your success but your significance
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught
What will matter is ever active integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example
What will matter is not your competence but your character
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that lived in those who loved you

A life lived that matters, is not of circumstance but of choice

Contribute and help make the world a better place in any small way you can 🙂

Why employees leave organisations?

Posted: August 25, 2006 in Life, Tech, Thoughts

Every company normally faces one common problem of high employee turnout atio. People are leaving the company for better pay, better profile or simply for just one reason’ pak gaya ‘. This article might just throw some light on the matter……

Early this year, Arun, an old friend who is a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer. He had heard a lot about the CEO of this company, charismatic man often quoted in the business press for his visionary attitude. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Arun was sent abroad for training. “My learning curve is the sharpest it’s ever been,” he said soon after he joined. “It’s a real high working with such cutting edge technology.” Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Arun walked out of the job. He has no other offer in hand but he said he couldn’t take it anymore. Nor, apparently, could several other people in his department who have also quit recently.

The CEO is distressed about the high employee turnover. He’s distressed about the money he’s spent in training them. He’s distressed because he can’t figure out what happened. Why did this talented employee leave despite a top salary? Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called First Break All The Rules.

It came up with this surprising finding:

If you’re losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he’s the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them. Often, straight to the competition. “People leave managers not companies,” write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. “So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people – in the form of better pay, better perks and better training – when, in the end, turnover is mostly manager issue.” If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away? Beyond a point, an employee’s primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he’s treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere.. A Fortune magazine survey some years ago found that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find – you guessed it, another wolf in a pin-stripe suit in the next one. Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees. HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find public humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted.. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he starts looking for another job. When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information.

Dev says: “If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don’t have your heart and soul in the job.” Different managers can stress out employees in different ways – by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit – often over seemingly trivial issue. It isn’t the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It’s the 99 that went before. And while it’s true that people leave jobs for all kinds of reasons- for better opportunities or for circumstantial reasons, many who leave would have stayed – had it not been for one man constantly telling them, as Arun’s boss did: “You are dispensable. I can find dozens like you.” While it seems like there are plenty of other fish especially in today’s waters, consider for a moment the cost of losing a talented employee.There’s the cost of finding a replacement. The cost of training the replacement. The cost of not having someone to do the job in the meantime. The loss of clients and contacts the person had with the industry. The loss of morale in co-workers. The loss of trade secrets this person may now share with others. Plus, of course, the loss of the company’s reputation. Every person who leaves a corporation then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse. We all know of large IT companies that people would love to join and large television companies few want to go near. In both cases, former employees have left to tell their tales.

“Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee,” Jack Welch of GE once said. Much of a company’s value lies “between the ears of its employees”. If it’s bleeding talent, it’s bleeding value. Unfortunately, many senior executives busy travelling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going on at home.That deep within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away.

– As said by Azim Premji

Thought for the day

Posted: August 25, 2006 in Life, Thoughts

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for each of you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other’s cups.

Now if life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn’t change. Some times, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it.”

So, don’t let the cups only drive you… enjoy the coffee (instead) also….

Failure is not when we fall down; it is when you don’t get up again.


Mystical London. We were finally here. After a long 10 hour flight we got a chance to have a great aerial view of London, thanks to the air traffic. Our plane was going around the city till it got a clearance for landing. This gave us a nice 20 minute ride over London. I must say, right from way up above, the city looked way too beautiful. It is very well organized in terms of planning and usage of space available. The best part is, the city has retained a lot of greenery with all the development going around which is awesome. (Other countries should really take lead to follow London.)

Ariel shot of London1

Ariel shot of London2

 

Heathrow airport was way too big and very well maintained. I am sure there would be bigger and cleaner airports around the world, but for a guy who just came in from the Mumbai airport – this was huge difference.

 

The weather seemed good and manageable when I got out of the plane. All the talk about the temperatures hovering around 10 deg seemed too much of hype. But this changed as soon as I got out of the airport. Just as I stepped out, there was this blast of cold air which hit me. It was a nice surprise. It sent a shiver down my spine! First thing I did was to grab the jacket and wear it. I have never been in places with temperatures so less. It was a nice experience though. J

 

The first thing I noticed when I came out of the airport was this child clinging on to his mother arm and chattering away to glory. He had that typical English country look. That’s when it really hit me that I was actually out of India in another foreign land. Till then all seemed as though I was on a small weekend trip just a few miles away from home. But I am out here for a big reason, Hot House. Lot of work in stall. Lots of stuff to be proved, lots to be learnt. London was not our final destination of the day. We had to take the road to travel around 2-3 hours more to reach a place called Ipswitch. That’s where the actual work was going to be.

 

One of my senior who was already onsite had arranged for the travel for all of us. We get out of the airport and we see this huge Merc SUV standing waiting for us. We wasted no time to get into this mean machine and off we went. The warmers in the car were actually welcomed by all. J All the talk I had heard about London roads being well planned and organized suddenly made all sense to me as soon as I saw this device in the car – Talk Talk. This is a GPS device which is used as a tool to guide drivers through the roads of UK. We key in the unique postcode or a road name we need to travel and the whole travel plan would be in front of us. As we travel a voice will guide us as to which turn to take, how far is the next turn, traffic status, the best routes to take and as I heard it even indicates sometimes where police checkpoints are located. This really bamboozled me. How can all damn roads such a big place like UK be marked and understood!!!

 

All this was good and enjoyable until one of our managers got on the phone with one of the customers and learnt that our domain of work may change. We got to know that we may have to use OffBiz servers to deploy the code we crunch in the next 3 days!!! Knowing that knowledge about this server configuration and deployment among us was absolute zero, this news came in as a real rude shock. We started to chalk out back out plans to see how this situation could be tackled now! But I don’t know why I had a hard feeling that none of this would affect our work one bit and we would surely come out with something that would put us out of any mess we may get into.

 

I took time out of all this and started having a look out at the roads and the traffic. I was really surprised to see the kind of cars that were cursing on the roads. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I saw 2 Lamborghinis wiz past us. There were endless list of amazing cars. Everything from Audi, Mercs, Porsche, etc were seen in big numbers, all there in a short journey of about 2 hours.

 

We made it to our final destination and were surprised to see all shops closed at around 9pm. Then we were told that this is how it works here. All the shops usually close up at around 5 or 6 pm. So there was no way to grab food for the night. 😦 So there you go, we went to bed all hungry the first day in London.

 

Deserted Ipswich

 

Not a good start… Hope not everything will be as bad as this! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Over International Airspace

Posted: March 28, 2006 in Life, Me, Thoughts, Travel

It all started off on this wonderful day when I came to know that I may have to go to UK for a week for some really important work. I hardly knew anything about what was to come and what I could expect. No one was sure though who all would be going for this trip. Apparently our clients British Telecom would decide on who could attend this event. At least that was what we were told.

Hot House, an event organized by British Telecom very regularly is attended by some of the best designers from a wide range of companies who provide services to them. It’s the place where big business deals are made purely based on the performance of the teams that are sent to this event. I guess I won’t go into details of the actual event (just because I don’t know much myself as off now). The best time to write about this would be when I actually finish attending one off these. All I know now is that it’s one the best opportunities I have had in life till now. Just the idea of working with the best of the best holds me at awe. I really don’t know how I would fit into all this, but I will be trying to take the best out of everything that happens in the next week.

The flights that were booked for us were Jet Airways, a rather better choice than the usual Air India flights that our company usually books. We were all expecting a real good flying experience. But I guess for a person of my height, it is really hard to find a good means of transport. I realized this today. As I type now, its 5 hours into the flight and I am not able to grab any sleep. Thanks to the congested seating (For my height any seating would be really crampy). But the rest of the services are amazingly good. The people who travel regularly tell me that its better than the best international brands of flying. They actually said Jet would give Virgin a run for their money on this sector.

This was my first international flight and I should say, it has been a real scenic one till now. My flight flew over Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and is now approaching Greece. It would carry on flying over Ukraine, Germany and France before it reaches London’s Heathrow airport. Barren lands are all we could see over Iran and Pakistan.

 

Coast Line

This changed drastically as soon as we started passing over Turkey. The pictures outside were really amazingly beautiful. I have never seen such things in my life. Pure white color covered all the lands below. It really felt like someone had painted all the land with nothing but white. Snow clad mountains, frozen lakes – everything I saw was white. To top it all, these were all covered with wonderfully looking puffy cotton balls – the clouds – again white :).

 

Over Greece

It was all so tempting, I wished I could be down there touching and playing with the snow. If only I could ask the pilot to slow down so that I could take a plunge with a parachute on. Would have been perfect, wouldn’t it??? At least if only I could ask the pilot to fly low so that I can get a clear snap of all I wanted. Hmm… How I wish god would hear my call and he would see to that it snows either in London or Ipswitch when I go there to stay.

We are now approaching Ukraine. Looking forward to see lots of better things. The pilot told us when we started flying that the temperature when we land would be less than 10 deg centigrade. I have never been in places with temperatures like that before! Lots of first timers for me J

It is really nice that I have a laptop with me. I just felt like writing something and there it was. This is one reason that I can’t blog more. Whenever I feel like writing something, I never have any access to any systems. Anyways, I guess I ll go back to my window gazing now. Hope I have not missed anything till now.

 

More in the next entry…


I would never say no to these:
  • A winter evening.
    Four friends.

    One barsaat.

    Four glasses of chai.
  • Hundred bucks of gas.
    A rusty old bike.

    And an open road.
  • Maggi noodles.
    A hostel room.

    4.25 a.m.
  • 3 old friends.
    3 separate cities.
    3 coffee mugs.

    1 internet messenger.
  • You and mom.
    A summer night.

    A bottle of coconut oil.
    A head massage.

    Gossiping about absent family members.

Nitin GR (Software Engg.)

Posted: December 13, 2005 in Life, Me, Thoughts

Got this forward today. It was way too good and I wanted to blog this. Dono when we would be on the other side of the window staring down at the little girl outside!

” It was raining heavily outside. Dark clouds gathered in the sky and nature was in its ominous best. I took a break from my work and went to the pantry to grab a cup of coffee. I had a sip and went near the window to see the rain pouring down heavily outside the glass structure. I was inside our huge office building, unruffled by even the fierceness of the nature. Through the heavy transparent glass, I could see a small girl trying to hold on to her umbrella which the wind was snatching away from her. I felt sorry for the girl, and was happy that I was not in a similar pathetic situation. Yes. I take pride for the fact that I am a software engineer. . I have everything which a common man would envy; money, status, respect, you name it I have it. I always wanted to be software professional and here I am, working for one of the best firms in the world. But then, am I really happy? Now, I could see an imprint of my palm on the other glass window, through which I reminisced my past, basked in the warmth of the sun shine.

My childhood was so much of fun. I vividly remember those rainy days, when I hugged my mother tightly during sleeping listening to all the stories told by her. Now, I have a big house here, but then it is just a house, not a home. My parents are pretty far away from me now. I have a cell phone to talk to them everyday, but then I really miss those dinners which I had with my family everyday. I could easily afford to taste all the different cuisines these days, but the best of food there, lack the love and affection which is present in the food prepared by my mother.

I threw a lavish party for my colleagues for my birthday, but then they would never replace the birthdays when my friends secretly brought a cake and at the end, half of the cake would have ended up on my face. The couple of hundred bucks that u save for a long period just to give a treat to your friends in the road side chat shop can never give the pleasure even after spending a few thousand bucks these days.

The scene of me crying and refusing to have dinner on the day when I fought with my best friend came to my mind. Today, she has gone far away from me, taking away my love and with it my life, but I am sitting and coding here with a false smile on my face. Everyday I meet new people, but then I long ceased to make a new friend.

It’s true that I have a lot of things now. I have a nice bed, but no time to sleep. Lots of money, but no friends to spend it with. The latest designer clothes, but a worn out body. Quite a few to flirt, but no one to love. Awards for technical excellence, but no reward for the crave for peaceful ambience. A confident demeanor, but a reluctant and apathetic mind. Full of rain, but no sunshine even in the farthest distance.

Now, I could see the small girl on the road enjoying in the rain with her umbrella firmly in her grip. She might not have all the comforts which I have, but then she has the innocence and fun which I lost a long time back. I have decided to come out of this false fantasy, even if it is at the expense of losing the tap of the software engineer. I am going to again enjoy my life. I am going to go out in the rain and play with the small kid now. I removed my tie, and went near my computer to shut it down. Just then, I saw a new mail alert in my mail box. I slowly opened outlook and I found a message from my manager with an attachment saying that there was a critical defect in the code and I have to fix it soon. I convinced myself that I am not going to get bogged down again by these pressures and stick to my decision. I ignored the mail and went to the rest room. After a couple of minutes, the software engineer in me came out, his shirt tucked in with the perfect tie knot, sat before the computer, and started typing. “