Saturday, March 11, 2017

Democracy

My sleep got interrupted around 5:45am today morning Saturday. Usually i get up at 6:30am, so it was little unusual as per my sleeping pattern. With one eye closed, i swiped my phone to unlock it. First thing i see every morning is CNN app to see if anything 'big' happened anywhere in world while i was asleep. Nothing much was happening that time, so i switched to my second app 'USA today' and again everything usual. Then saw the 'breaking news' flashing over my TOI (Times of India) app with the emerging winners of recent polls held in five states in India and among them were the results of Punjab state. 

Congress has won again in Punjab and it was no surprise given the worst reputation of BJP ministers. Some were hoping against hope to see AAP to emerge as winners, but they did pretty well winning over 15% seats in their first ever elections outside Delhi. And surely it's a good sign for the new Government not to feel so complacent after their huge margins of victory. In coming days, the transfer of state powers will be done in a peaceful manner. One of so many things which we take for granted.

How easily the commander of state accepts his defeat and respects people's decision by resigning from the Chief minister's post. What if he had plotted an attack on opposition's leader or had disrupted the elections or had plainly done something to defend his seat by going against the constitution. Few decades ago, it wasn't a very hard task to fantasize the above scenario. I remember very vaguely reading the newspapers or watching news of violence at election booths or disruption on counting of votes at the electoral centers. Army used to be stationed at electoral centers to ensure peace during counting. There used to be a unusual uneasiness in markets or offices during the power transfer. Huge protests were held by people marching on the streets either in favor of ruling government or against it, disrupting day-to-day life of common man. Schools and colleges were closed on the day of counting and sometimes a day before too. 

After waking up, i went through some more information regarding the election results and how the defeated candidate congratulated the winner in elections and winner graciously accepted the wishes from the ex-CM. There was no uneasiness, neither any protests were held by ruling or opposition party. Everyone accepted the decision of people in a graceful manner. 

Silently, Democracy won again. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Re-inventing myself

The year 2016 is on the verge of its end, and will soon be remembered just like any other year lost somewhere in history books with some good and bad memories. This last week of the year is always a good time to ponder on the past 12 months and make a plan for the next 12 months.

There were things which i wanted to achieve in this year. I achieved some of it, while many got lost in this race of life. I always wanted to be really good at coding and i gave my best this year. Not sure if it'll help me in my work or not, but it does give a warm sense of satisfaction to take a step closer towards one of my goals. Talking about my passion for photography, i pursued it wholeheartedly this year as well by taking some good photos around me. I realized i really enjoy doing it all day. Taking the raw images of beautiful creatures of this planet and setting the tone right on software later on my laptop. I could do this all day long, if i had nothing else to do. But then i have some other hobbies for which photography can take a back seat. One of them would be setup a new phone or laptop with all the applications and settings. I absolutely love to get my hands on a new device and spent a good 2-3 hours to bring it to speed with my old device. Thankfully i'm able to quench this thirst on my work laptop and phones every year.

I understand we all go through a phase when we try to learn whatever we get our hands on. But in long run, do what you're very best at. Consider someone spending a year on typing (solely on typing and nothing else) and i bet one will be faster than me although i've spent a lot of my time doing it but it was never a focussed effort at improving my pace in typing. Similarly i've spent roughly more than ten years now learning and practicing the concepts of electricity and software. It's not any over-confidence, but a realization which comes after repeatedly working on same set of problem time and again. If there is one thing at which i can make this world a better place, it has to be the field at which i work all day all year long. Leaving this field for something better (in terms of money or work culture) will render all these years of hard work meaningless. Some kid will again spend almost three decades to learn what i know now about my field, and leaving it altogether is an insult to what i've learnt so far in my life.

Switching jobs for a better package or other incentives is perfectly fine. But leaving your area of expertise will never do any good. Consider some doctor (no matter how good a learner he/she is) taking up my job at my office. Soon the doctor will catch up with my regular work in a span of 4-5 years. But will he ever be able to have the luxury of feeling the comfort of expertise which i have. Perhaps never. I may be able to do the surgery in five year span, but my concepts of human body can never stand in front of a doctor who has spent almost a decade to learn this human body before operating upon it. If i ever have a chance to make an impact in this world (no matter how insignificant it would be), it has to be in my area of expertise. And we need to nurture our passion by learning something new everyday about it.

Next year will be no different again. Will continue to learn the new techniques and will unlearn some obsolete ones as well. I'll continue to find small pieces of joy in laughter of my loved ones and small bits of success at work. Will try to travel a bit more this year internationally after covering more than 15 states in last two years. May it bring the peace in this world and a spark of light at the end of tunnel for those hoping for it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

November is here..

Yes, roughly a week is left before November would be here. Somehow since i grew up in India, november sounds more festive to me than december. During this time in my hometown, it starts getting little cool after the scorching summers of june and july. You start looking for new winter clothes or starting unpacking your old sweaters and jackets. I remember when as a kid, i used to jump around the pile of winter clothes laid under sun to get rid off of any existing stink from naphthalene balls. I would jump from one pile to other thinking about what will i wear to school the next day. Then those food delicacies like saag and makki would start arriving in big bags to our home. The cold coffee or mango shakes are replaced by hot bournvita milk. The school uniform shorts are replaced with trousers and suit jackets. All this will stay until April comes again.

Fortunately i could very much relate with this change of weather during my college days as well. It was around 250 kms from my home, so the weather change would roughly be the same. After the graduation i moved to Delhi. It does get cooled down in Delhi, but perhaps not to an extent as in Punjab. But i was always glad to witness it in Delhi too. I used to explore some more coffee shops or any roadside stalls which could serve something hot during next 3-4 months of mild winter (yes, compared to northern states of US it was mild).

Then i moved to Maine, US for pursuing my masters. I still remember vividly the night of January 1st 2011 when i landed in states. The weather outside was -28 degrees celsius. Then came the two years of my life where i couldn't relate with anything at all. It would snow for eight months straight which in itself was alien to me. The summers were short and sweet. The Mainers would go out all guns blazing exploring new parks, driving to southern states, visiting family and friends in those three months. After finishing my masters, i moved to the sunshine state of Florida where it never gets colder than Mumbai. You could go out and surf on the beach on the new years eve. And once again the world became a sweeter place to stay where i would wait for november to wear my winter clothes and the gently cooled air of nature to make me nostalgic of my hometown all over again.

Friday, September 2, 2016

My carry bag

I remember writing a post on my carry bag sometime in year 2008 (yes, six years ago). While sitting in the library today, i again thought my carry bag and realized how much it has changed in last 5 years.

The link to my previous post - Here

Well comparing to my previous bag, now i carry an altogether different bag. It sits comfortably on two wheels at the base and is easy to move around. It is black in color with lots of zipped pockets on each sides as well as in front. It has a handle on the top to drive it around at the airport terminals. Inside the front pocket of bag, there is my blackberry phone charger and car keys if i'm not carrying those in my pocket. In the next pocket, i keep my wallet on one side and my vpn token and a pack of mint in the other pocket. This pocket is easily accessible from the top and sideways, hence keep my wallet in there. Then there is a small zipper before the big compartment, it carries 4-5 pens, my office login card and few broken lead pencils. I always want to keep this pocket tidy, but can't think of any other place where i could keep all this useless pens and pencils.

It carries two big compartments, both well padded to keep the delicate electronic stuff inside it. One big pocket carries my dell 17" workstation and other one carries a portable monitor of same size. There are very few shoulder bags available in market which could fit in a 17" laptop and a monitor, so i went with this bag. Since i work from the library or home on regular basis, it is always easier to carry a portable monitor with me to ensure my work doesn't suffer. Then there is a back pocket almost as big as the laptop pockets. I keep my laptop charger and my food in this pocket. One could find the oat crumbs in it from my oat bars or usual spicy aroma from Indian food. Once in a while, it would also carry extra popcorn packets to cover my appetite during extended work hours. Then there are some silica gel packets in almost all the pockets to soak all the moisture inside the bag.

It has almost all the stuff i would need on a regular working day. And yes, it does get the weekend off by laying off in my study room from friday night till monday morning. And then the race starts again..



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Finally i've realized that life is much more than some marks in a subject, some deadline for a project, buying your dream car or a dream house. It is much more than proving yourself in front of the entire world. I've come to a point in life where i have rejected most of the notions which were in my mind regarding life. But the question remains unanswered - what is life?

Growing up in a common middle class family, i thought life was all about securing a regular pay check to survive each month. Once this goal was met, my definition of life changed. It was all about pursuing my career goals. Once met, you hop onto the next goal, a step higher this time. But life isn't meant to achieve these goals set by society. 

After reaching a certain career goal, you realize this is a never ending race. You would keep running this race till your last breath. Life is not all about running this race. You bought a huge house and your dream car to drive to work everyday. But then you realize that is not the life for which you were looking everywhere. This is not the life you thought all these successful people are living. 

Perhaps life is all about roaming around this world like wanderers. But at this point, i'm mature enough to understand that i can never become a nomad. I haven't studied all these courses so far in my life only to move around this world with no purpose. I haven't spent all these sleepless nights only to leave it all one day. But yet, something is missing in my life. I'm happy with my life, but still i'm not doing justice to every breath i take in present. I can do much more. 

These thoughts make me sad sometime, but i'm happy realizing that i'm not satisfied with what i've got. I want to explore more in this life. Perhaps i may be able to answer one day - what is life.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Life's goal

So what exactly drives our lives? Is it the number i discussed in my last post. People work their ass off to make it big and some die without even a single penny. Do we live to earn or earn to live?

One thing is pretty sure - I don't earn to live. If that would have been the case of my life, i wouldn't be working more than 3-4 hours a day to meet the ends. I work to earn and live. My work help me meet my needs and more importantly drives my life. I work to live and live to work. Every night when i go to sleep, i'm excited about the work i did that day; and even more excited thinking about the work i would do next day. I have some boring days in my schedule when things don't go as planned. But then i understand the financial side of my job too that it serves my needs.

But then the work which i do won't remain the same five years from now. Will it be adventurous enough to keep me tied? I'm the one who needs to find out and work towards it. I'm the one who needs to make it more adventurous as i move forward on my career path. Not everyone is lucky to love their jobs; but we can make it more exciting. There will always be some scope of improvement. That 'scope of improvement' drives my life.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April post

I can't believe it's been more than 6 months since my last post on this page. Yes, it's more of a disappointed feeling than a surprise one. This page was is the one where i express myself, and good thing is i never share it on Facebook. Somehow i never feel like sharing it on a social media. People who should know about what is happening with my life already know it. Once in a while somebody finds my blog profile and drops me an email or text praising my posts. Feels good, and will always be this way only.

These six months were just like those normal six-month periods where i had been sometimes trying too hard to understand life, sometimes trying hard to maintain my work-home balance, steady moving ahead in my professional life, trying to be more mature or at-least acting to be so. Many things happening all at one moment, yet there is a presence of calm in my life. This calm helps me to keep composure during tough times. Sometimes an opportunity would knock at the door, yet i have to ignore it keeping in mind the bigger goal of life. This bigger goal of life is more like how you prioritize the materialistic goals in your life. No matter how hard you try not to be a part of this rat-race, you eventually become one at some stage and upto some extent. I may not agree to be a part of it, but some goals in my life are present only due to this rat race. Yes, i'm still happy following these materialistic goals with my virtual bank balance.

This is a funny phenomena. You open a website to check a specific number (your bank balance), sometimes it makes you happy, sometimes sad. You go to a store, buy something big or small; that number goes down. After a month, the number again goes up. You buy a house and a car, that number would go down by some fix percentage every month for next 15-20 years. This number on a website drives our lives. Some are born with a huge number already on their website, some are born with none. Some work hard till their last breath to make it big; while some lose it too soon. But this number is all you've got in your life.

Perhaps i was working too hard to make it big in last six months, but i'll definitely try to post here more regularly. This is one of those hobbies, which won't die like your plants do if you don't water them. But I may lose my ability [if i have any] to express myself for my own sake.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The story of desk

So when i moved to Tampa last year after my marriage, i wanted a bigger wooden desk to setup my workstation at home. Since i would be working from home 3 days a week, i was never going to compromise with the dimensions or quality of the desk. During my masters, i had a huge wooden desk - and i was equally fond of it. But we parted ways after my graduation as it was too huge to carry over from Maine to Florida. Then i bought a nice big desk which served more than its purpose for next couple of years.

So last year around August, i started searching for a wooden desk online and by visiting stores (and this time more seriously since i would be using it a lot), but found none. To make things worse, my wife suggested me (or was it an order?) not to buy a very huge desk, as it would hinder walking in the room.Finally after going through all the tables available, i ordered one online. It seemed like a perfect fit for my room. And yes, it got placed perfectly in a small corner of my room, - but wasn't large enough to keep my two monitors together with laptop. You must be wondering how dare i insulted this nice table with such an illogical reasoning. Who in the world would place two monitors and a laptop together in a room? Yes, i do this. Same expressions were on my wife's face when i addressed my issues to her (not so very convincingly though). We decided to start using it as i couldn't afford even a day without it for my office work, besides we would keep an eye for a bigger and nicer desk.

It's been more than a year now. Every morning when i start using my laptop, i always think of replacing it with something better. Only God knows when that lucky day would come in my life. But using this not-so-big table has made me fond of it too. When i get up from this table after finishing some important project or some random work, i always appreciate the way it has served me for past one year without complaining of any wear-tear or anything. And yet I've always undervalued its worth in search for something better. Sometimes when i walk into my room to see this perfectly sized table well dressed with books and my monitors, i always cherish it.

But one fine day, i'll throw you out of my balcony for something bigger and nicer. Till then, be my guest.