Sunday, September 23, 2007

Off The Track

Many a times I feel how fraud I am. I have been just putting half hearted efforts towards my dealings in day to day life. One of my very good friends, wrote me a testimonial when I was leaving IIT. He wrote that the best thing that I possess is the rock hard attitude. He justified that it suited my kind of personality. I kind of always knew that latently. Lately, today , when I am here at my office at Bangalore, I feel, .. was my friend right ?

"Do you know bhupc, you have lots of attitude". I remember that during my HR training sessions, I irked one of the HR managers when I made a comment and she said, "Do you know Bhupesh, Kanpuriya itne tez nahin hote.". "What?? is she doubting intelligence of IIT Kanpur, I mean does she even know what she means?". I started to think fast. I had to fire back. "Oh really, I am not from Kanpur.", I retorted. Next came her question, "Then where do u belong to ?". "Bhilai.". I replied. And then again she repeated, "Wahan ke log bhi itne tez nahin hote." Roaring laughter spread through the room. I did not understand if they were all laughing on me, or on her. Anyways I got my lesson; do not mess with the HR. From that point onwards I lost my confidence for the day.

It was a nice afternoon and the last session of the HR training. We were being taught how to write mails to our bosses and colleagues. As usual, I was overconfident, and was sitting with my ears closed. "Common on, I have been doing it for the past four years at IIT. My profs weren't less formal than any of your Oracle Managers or Directors...What are these kids going to teach me." Everyone was asking questions and I was sitting (almost spread out on the chair.). Up came the glare (back)at to me. Her again. "So Bhupesh, you seem to be quite relaxed and comfortable about this topic. No doubts, nothing to ask." In the past one week of training, I had got the reputation of a query engine at Oracle, the one who asks all sorts of queries, and doubts. How could have I let them down this time. and so I asked a clever enough question. "Can we use emoticons in our mails to out managers?" At first, she didn't seem to understand what I meant. Probably the word "emoticon" was alien to her. Happens with HR; but this doesn't stop them from being the smartest people in the world, at least they think so. But by the time, the whole class had got what I meant and seem to be admiring, "wow what a question, he did it again, a nice question again...". So I made the HR manager explain saying, "can I use :P, :D etc.. in my mails". She got it.

Now the next move out of that cunning HR mind. If I have asked the question, I must be having some opinion. "So Bhupesh, what do you think about it? What precautions would have you taken while writing a mail to your boss?". Aaah nice move lady. Oh that was simple for me, after all I am from IIT, and had been writing gentle mails to gentlemen at my institute. And there I started complacently "Well, the first thing that I would do is not to use briefs" oops what did i say, I meant to say abbreviations and short forms aka acronyms. OMG, blunder that was. She was fast to catch it "Please don't say you would not use briefs, just the lighter side of it." "F*** , how can I make such a mistake..I was so (over)confident. Shit!!" And the whole class bursted in laughter.

After the long tiring session, I came out of the office, totally disappointed, with a gloomy face. Everyone knew why that was. I was screwed by the HR twice in a row. It was not over; it is going to linger in my memory for next few weeks,for sure. "What do they think of themselves..they are not perfect. I will show them that I am smart enough to pull asses out of them.(After all I am an IITian)..". And I knew..I was making the same mistake again. The mistake I have been making for the past four years, wait...may be for the past 20 years, just took too much of fuel in the past 4 years. "When did this happen? When did I get so much of attitude? Main aise kyon hoon? ..Infact..Main aisa hi hoon..What did my friend thought when he meant I have an attitude which suits my personality... but then, am I wrong when I think I am very smart. Am I not? Am I not one of the most intelligent youth in this country..Don't I belong to the best techonology school in the country..Have I lost the right to be called smartest and the brightest..Is it taking over my life..uff.. my head is paining...I cannot handle this gush of thoughts ..I need to sleep..." And all my dreams I had been dreaming my four wonderful years that are either going to make me or destroy me..It's upto me which way to choose.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hip Hop Bangalore Malls

After working all so hard in the office for the whole week, the very next thing in your life is the glamorous weekend in the hip hop, most happening Bangalore clubs, pubs and Malls. Someone like me, who graduated out just a month or two back, and that too from a remote piece of terrain on this country would definitely notice the change that has been brought about by Liberalisation and Consumerism through out the country. Well I do not outstandingly revolt against these two phenomenons, but certainly I am not a supporter of either. It's just that I am keen enough to observe things happening around me.

Now, the very next question, what am I going to do. Well, I am here just to enjoy my weekend. So the very first mall that I visited was the Forum in Kormangala. The moment I entered I knew I hated the place. It was damn crowded. I hate crowd, but never ever did a place or a crowd repelled me to this magnitude. I just was not able to think anything except when to leave this place. I started with so called window shopping at the branded showrooms. Levis, Reebok, Nike, Van Heusen, Tom Hilfiger, Addidas.. man the goods are just too expensive. I just happened to like a jacket at Tom Hilfiger and that had a label of Rs 8000 . What am I paying 8000 for!!! At last there was no reason for me to buy that piece of cloth for 8000 just because it had the name of Tom Hilfiger on it. Leave it..lets go to another shop. I had a budget of Rs 800 and was not going to buy a jacket for more than that but in case I had to raise it, Rs 1000 that's it. Too much for a jacket. So what next....and next...and next.. I did the same for every shop. Two hours...just researching on branded jackets..infact their prices...forget quality...the name had all of it. But no one seemed to have a jacket starting below 2000. And finally i did not take a jacket. I decided to quit the plan.
Every where in that place I could see youngsters of my age and coupled!! That is important and remarkable about Bangalore. Every one who has been here for about 4 months has been able to find a so called great match for their life. They want to shop , to move around, hug them and even kiss them, out there in the public place.
" have these people managed to do this, when did my country cut down it's traditionlism and conservationist policies. So is this what the genNext is? Is this was what the watch guards of society warned us about a decade ago when India welcomed liberalization...". All these facts and thoughts crossed my mind at that particular point. I need to sit down. I was not able to take this gush of thougths straight through me. "I need to eat something". I had to find a restaurant. So here it is "Transit". Not a restaurant, but a food court. I had been to a food court earlier at Virginia Tech . That was Schulz hall, if I could remember properly. But then this was India at a Bangalore Mall. Too many cuisines, far too many dishes. In a minute, I got that this place was not for an unprepared guy like me who didn't even knew what means what. But I restored my self to a dosa. A long queue, but finally ordered one. Costly again. Now I had to find a place to sit. It was weekend and almost every one from Bangalore seemed to be pouring in at Forum. Fortunately, found a place to sit. Looking all around , just one thing, the fairer sex with their dates. "Man , am I the only the one uncoupled. Shame on you bhupc . Does it really matter?", I thought the very next moment. "Lets see. So let me eat my dosa. So hmmm...all these people around are wearing branded clothes....hmmm...nice they look dudes and dudess".None had a non branded piece of clothing on their body, except me.

I continued to discover the answer.
"Can't I buy that expensive jacket. I have enough money for that. Everyone is doing it. I don't think that everyone has that enough money..all of them were salaried people, but yes they were all single, like me. But then what about our own industries, the Swadeshi and all that....uff.... it's paining head,.... my heart wants the jacket, my brain thinks too much about my country and my financial status....what about me, about what I want.....This place is making me think it's own way..It wants me to consume what it has for me, at the cost it wants me to pay....Ok I am done. I want that jacket. I will take it. Lets go.. now... "

The next was I went to the showroom, bought an expensive smart looking jacket. And it was brash. I just bought it like it meant nothing to me to spend that much. People just looked at me..probably thinking that they also could have taken that jacket home if they had that big budget for a jacket.
I came out of the mall. Finally I got my peace of mind and the solace I needed. But not yet satisfied. One question still wandering....."is there someone regulating them , is someone watching them .....?" and I thought .."We..yes we all are the ones..the cause and the victims...may be...I need to observe more..a bit more keen...."

Friday, September 21, 2007


My first day at Oracle, Lexington Towers, office was easy, infact the first whole month. Never knew that I never knew anything. And then now after a month, they have started assigning me bugs to resolve. first reaction was to check that when the bug was filed and who was the filer, quite obvious. The bug was filed by someone in 2004 and now has left the company, at least does not have his/her name in the company database. Fine, lets not bother about that, lets move ahead and understand the bug. I never knew what I am going to see is a whole lot of 1000 words with 70% being just abbreviations, acronyms. How the hell was I going to understand Oracle's internal jargon? Hmm..but I never loose.after this is what was IIT Kanpur was all about. One can complete his/her B.Tech (in any damn topic) with just a internet connection, an internet browser, and with Google servers up!!! And this is what I was going to do. Google. I could just get half of the jargons on the web, but half of them were still out there. And so started my world of discovering them. Up on my floor(I am on 6th floor) were my other team mates. I must say most of them were really helpful. Finally, with much of the hassles, I was able to understand from them what the bug was all about. One thing more I came to know was that I had nothing to do to solve the bug. :( . All I had to do was to write a mail to the concerned team stating what they must do so that the bug is all gone. Wow!! that was so simple, you work so hard to understand the bug just to come to know that the bug is not yours.

Well that was all of the first bug with no hands on required on the box.

One fine day, I entered Oracle all so enthusiastic and charged up, as I always am. Had the same prototypic south Indian breakfast of Idli and sambhar(with some chutney of course). Right there bhupc was on his desk at 9:30. Wow!! How come I manage my time so good? This was the first applaud I gave to myself on the day. No one , and take my word, only me, never knew what was going to happen on the day next. I was asked to create a view. A view, and what the hell was that. Never mind, Oracle is all about learning and I have done this before, going about and disturbing people to ask them the most trivial of the questions of which they are masters now( I hope so :)) . Back I was at my desk. Had all the information and the commands to install a view. Bang on. I was ready to solve the bug. But wait..These are all linux commands and the machine I have is a Windows machine. Where the hell am I supposed to run these commands? Oh God!!! I am missing something. I was wasting my time. Do hell with my time management. So got to go again and learn where to get a linux box. And then Icame toknow I need to apply for a hosted linux box, another jargon, which means I need to get a physical machine allocated to me in Austin data centre of Oracle. Oh that sounds exciting, I will be soon having two machines. So what am I going to do the whole day. Just littering about. And I did the same for next two days after which I could get my linux box and NIS account. Ah thank God!! It was done...But installing the view was next being challenge....
Moral of the story : The great time managers in the external world just become the greatest when they join Oracle !!!