Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What do you want to become when you grow up?

This is a question we were all asked a number of times as kids.

I find myself recollecting some of the things I wanted to be through these years. But when I come to think of them, what baffles me more than the list itself is the reasons for which I wanted to become that person - some serious, some silly and some downright ridiculous!

Sample this -

The Serious

IAS Officer - My uncle Mr. Rangarao was my idol those days. He used to live in (then) Madras and we used to visit him quite often. He was a god-like figure for me. He could talk about any topic on the face of the earth! He seemed to have a very respectable job.
He had a servant for everything - cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries, 'Ironing'. Even to polish his shoes. I used to hate polishing my white canvas school shoes as a kid. It was a dirty but compulsory job :) He used to go around in a white ambassador car with a flashing red light on top if it. Now who doesn't want something like that? That itself is more than enough reason to become an IAS officer. Right?
Even these days, I think about preparing for the UPSC exams sometimes ... Wonder if I will be a good administrator though!

Doctor - I clearly remember keeping the medical option open for a pretty long time during my High School days. I was really good at Biology and my mom in a way encouraged me in this direction. In fact I almost became a doctor but for the one tiny problem that I faint at even the thought of a needle or blood! I have visited the pathology division for blood tests a good 3 to 5 times so far. And I do not remember anything from either of those visits because I fainted every time :)
BUT for that, I was on track to becoming a great doctor one day! Really!

The Silly

Astronaut - Every kid wants to be an astronaut at some point in his/her childhood. I was no different. I wanted to be one even when I didn't know how to spell A-S-T-R-O-N-A-U-T. I was ready to grow up, put on the space suit, hop on to the next available rocket and exit the earth's atmosphere. But then, I came to know that there was this one intermediary step of having to study some really crazy sounding subjects like Astrophysics and what not.
I was heart broken to stay the least that this was NOT in fact an escape from the grueling course of 12+ years of studies!

Waitress at Saravana Bhavan - I know! I know! I know how this sounds... But stay with me on this!
Now, who will refute the fact that Saravana Bhavan is the BESTest place EVER for great tasting authentic south Indian food. And I am a huge fan of south Indian cuisine. I can practically live off of Idli Sambar for the rest of my life!
When I was a kid, I thought I could get access to an unlimited supply of Chinna Vengayam Sambar and Thair Sadam for free if I worked there myself :)
I still laugh at it every time I go to a Saravana Bhavan for a meal!

The downright Ridiculous

Auto driver - Gasp! Take a Breath! Be fair to a kid (I think I was in the 5th standard) who was (and is) a huge fan of Rajini Kanth. Alright?
Now this is the downright ridiculous part - That was the time when 'Superstar' (I had to say it :P ) Rajini's hit movie Bhasha had released. And as we Rajini fans know, he was the super cool auto driver in it! That was more than enough reasons for me to want to be just like his character in the movie. I happened to mention this to my dad at that time and he cancelled cable connection the very next day!!

Well, all said and done, I am now a Consultant at an IT company and still wonder if this is what I am really passionate about. Who knows when my career will take a detour and I will end up doing something radically different from now!

PS: Any Anti-Rajini comments ridiculing his movies or laughing at him will be not be tolerated! :P I am still a huge fan of his :)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

When is the last time you ...

wrote a letter to your old pen pal?
called your grandma and that distant cousin?
told your dad that you missed him?
told on your sister for wearing your shoes!
gave your mom a hug?

talked to your friend for so long that the battery died!
commented about the person in front of you only to realize he understood Telugu
talked in a girl's voice when your friend was on the phone with his mom?!?
gave your boss a crank call ?

When is the last time you ...

stuck in traffic with nothing but the radio keeping you company?
walked bare foot on the beach?
stopped and watched the sun set?
smelt the scent of wet earth after the first showers?
walked in the rain ...

traveled ticket less just for fun!!
had ice-cream for dinner?
slept for so long that you had to check the date when you woke up?
tried cooking a fancy dish and ended up ordering in Chinese ...
did something for the first time?

When is the last time you ...

worried about your future?
smiled at those embarrassing childhood moments?
laughed so hard that your cheeks hurt!
cried at the end of a movie?

cribbed about the current situation?
felt someone Else's pain?
blamed fate, luck and the government for all your problems?
cast a vote?
stood up and fought for wht your believed?

When is the last time you ...

wished things were different
wished you were older and wiser?
wished you didn't have to take that decision or those responsibilities?
wished you were younger?

When is the last time you ...
lived life?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Where were you that November day ?

Shock! ... Disbelief ... Fear ... Prayers ... Anger ... Tears ... Pride ... Joy ... Disgust ... Pity ... Hope ...

Words defeat me when I try to say what I thought and felt that fateful November day during the thanksgiving weekend of 2008. It reminded me of a song by country music singer Alan Jackson about the 9/11 terrorist attack. It is amazing how just changing a few words around in the lyrics fits perfectly to the Mumbai attack!

Clearly grief and pain knows no boundaries!

Why should innocent lives be lost? Why should the small little lives of ordinary people and their near and dear ones be shattered for any reason?

Here is the song on Youtube and here the lyrics for the song ...

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Monday, November 17, 2008

Music & Lyrics

" Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers "
- Garth Brooks, American Country Music Star
(Lyrics from his hit song 'Unanswered Prayers')

Singing along to some of the best country songs on on my way to work and back has become a daily ritual for me. I turn on the radio in my car and tune in to 96.9 FM - The Kat even before I turn on the ignition. I have become a big fan of country music off late. I love these songs - amazing compositions, meaningful lyrics (for a change), just enough instrumentals and brilliant melodies.

Most of the hit songs are very well written with beautiful story lines and have tunes that will just 'stick' to you. I find myself humming these tunes all day (which is actually annoying sometimes :) ).

Here are some of my recent favorites on youtube. Do listen to them and let me know what you think!

Love Story by Taylor Swift (lyrics)
Home Grown by Zac Brown Band (lyrics)
I'll Walk by Bucky Covington (lyrics in the video)
She Never Cried in Front of Me by Toby Keith (lyrics)
Start a Band by Brad Paisley/Keith Urban (lyrics in the video)
Baby Girls by SugarLand (Lyrics)
In color by Jamey Johnson (Lyrics)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Project is in Red!

Due to client confidentiality reasons, I am not allowed to talk about my project and its awfully pitiful situation to anyone other than the few people in the project who have no idea how to turn it green from red. So, here is a little Dilbert to help you understand my pitiful situation!! (Click on the link for a sharper image)

Boss (grinning) to Client : Don't worry. We are in a great position!
Turning to Me : Do you have any clue how to fix Bug # 1012?

Disclaimer: This is just an exaggerated joke Ive made out of my project - a little way to let out my frustration :) I like the people I work with and highly respect their knowledge and capabilities.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I tell you. This show is a phenomenon. Atleast according to me. I spent 2 weeks watching each and every episode of all the 4 seasons so far. My roommate thinks I am addicted to the show. And maybe I am :P Can't wait to see the new episodes from the recently premiered season 5! I hope this is season is just as exciting as all the previous ones!

Three cheers to Math & Logic ... :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A New Beginning

Ok! This is not about getting back to blogging. From (multiple) past experiences I realize that I cannot trust my own commitment to blog regularly :) I am scared to even say that I will try my best :P

Neway, this new beginning I am talking about is all the post graduation stuff happening in my life. Shifted to Charlotte, NC into a new apartment with an old friend from Duke. Though sharing an apartment with a friend, splitting grocery bills and cooking together is much like the way things were while I was a student at Duke, some things are different. No classes or studies to begin with! Yaaay ... I do kinda miss all the rush that comes with late night meetings, all nighter reports, assignments and stuff. Anyway, I am sure I wont miss any of these things once my job gets into high gear :(
So, I was saying how it was different living in Charlotte as a working professional and not as a student. You start thinking about actually spending a little money on 'nice to haves'. A cot and a bed and a couch and a dining table :) Living with bare minimums is not particularly exciting I figured. So, My roomie and I are both making our first salary wish lists :) Stuff we want to spend on ... Stuff we want to buy to (I still can't believe I am saying this) FURNISH the apartment.

So, though it is just my 3rd day at my new job, I am already looking forward to that pay check :)

New job! Thats another thing I have been really looking forward to. I am working in a company called Sogeti USA. It is a company that belongs to the CapGemini group with over 40+ years of experience in the IT industry. and my profile is that of a consultant. I am a consultant :P Yeah .. the whole things has not sunk in yet. I just keeping flaunting about my title a lot these days. I've always wanted to be a consultant you see. Well, I hope it takes at least a couple of weeks for reality to set in.

For now, (in these 3 days i.e.) - love the office, love the job, love my new laptop and love the people here. I hope my opinion on all these only gets better with time.

The other new things I've been doing lately is - going to the swimming pool at my apartment complex, which I find extremely relaxing and fun; Reading - I joined the public library in Charlotte and love there huge collection of all kinds of literature and CDs; Plus, looking at rekindling other 'I have always wanted to learn/do this' things.

Cheers to A New Beginning!!