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Showing posts from February, 2004
I read How to Write a Better Weblog couple of days back. It made me think about something else altogether. I wanted to study Creative Writing for some time now – I don’t know what that means, I think I have seen some movies (“My Girl” has some scenes) and got some idea into my head.

In my school days, for some months I had this crazy idea of writing a story and submitting it to a newspaper or magazine. I think I wanted to do it because they offered some money for it and I thought I could use some cash. So I used to think about stories and even wrote some horrible ones. The biggest problem is, I wound the story in loops, jumped back and forth in sequences (something like Pulp Fiction and other Quentin Tarantino films – with all sequences broken up, but mine was incomprehensible to anybody other than me) and tangled myself in all kind of loops. I start telling a story, go into something else, come back, say something more, introduce some other character, then go back to other – it was p…
Today I think there was a strike or something. Buses were very few and most were state transport. They don’t have collection based compensation, but a fixed monthly salary, so no street racing and no competition to fill the bus and all related tricks. Anyway, I got on one such bus. I was having some papers in my hand, a mobile phone, had a tie on. I already had the change for the conductor in my hand – so with all these papers etc, he had to take it from my hand. He wrote the ticket, didn’t play kite with that piece of paper and carefully put it in my hand. And he gave me a smile. You won’t realize the impact – how often do you get a smile from a bus conductor? I also smiled nicely back. Then he asked me something in Kannada – I don’t know a word – even though I have been living in Mangalore for quite some time. I said I don’t know – but he is smarter, he knew my language a bit. So he asked me “do you work there?” – pointing to my office. I said yes. And then he asked me “how much do …
It is so hot out there. It is like walking thru a hot oven or something. And to think that summer has not started its works yet. You can get roasted crisp if you stand still in that heat for one hour. But it is not so bad to walk out there, to tell you the truth. On the way to office, I was walking across this small playground constructed by industrious youth of that locality. They play cricket there. Some weird kind of cricket where they bowl underarm. They seem to enjoy it a lot. They have even tournament for that where they even display a trophy (complete with red ribbon and all) by the side of this small ground. They seem to be very passionate about it. They have flattened the ground, built a small basic room to store their things. One side of the ground is road, so they have put a net on that side so the balls don’t go to road often. They draw lines using this white powder and all. It is almost red earth; dust will rise like clouds at every step. I only wish those do something wo…
One day, I am the soaring spirit, happy as I haven’t been in months. Next day, I am a crawling worm, not able to pull myself up. Yesterday, I was so content that I wanted to capture the moment, freeze and live it over and over again. I didn’t want yesterday to be over. But today, everything seems to go wrong. I have slipped on delivery dates, not able to motivate myself up to do something. Brain is simply refusing to function. Yesterday I was so creative that I planned a week’s activities for myself and the team, drew some charts with sequences and activities, brought a calendar and marked all important dates. I was able to design, analyze, explain, joke, convince, argue, teach – possibly everything. I was hyperactive and at the end of the day, I got to know that I got graded at the top 30% in year end appraisal – so much for my “initiatives” and “visibility factor” – after all just working might also fetch some goods (even though I still don’t know for how long). But today I am wonde…
In office on Sunday, am supposed to finish something to meet a deadline for Tuesday. Irrespective of the deadline, I am feeling happy, eager, peaceful, and content to do it. I have already put around 60 hrs into work this week and still I am not feeling tired now. I had this small theory about taking a small break – getting recharged. I had a welcome break yesterday, didn’t even think about work. It is rather unusual nowadays, not to think about work. We didn’t do anything special, nothing at all, but it was a beautiful valentine’s day. No Hallmark, no Archies, no gifts, no candlelight dinner, no oh-so-good music. But still it was beautiful.

Ate twice at a new Punjabi Dhaba, where we are getting to know the owner cum waiter cum cashier. Honest guy, I like honest, down to the earth guys, with no pretense, their actions speaking for themselves, not even knowing that they are doing good. There are not many I like; it is something I want to explain a little more some other time – about so…
Open a notepad. Close it. Open it again. Feeling shy, close it again. These are open cubicles. Somebody will see. People come in without knocking and stare right into your monitor. They will see me writing trash in office time. But I am just waiting for lunch time, can’t start doing anything, I can’t finish it. List of things to do is growing, but I am exploring the meeting rooms. One after the other, I have used all the meeting rooms in this floor for hours everyday. So now I can’t work until I get into another.

This is another way of thinking, words flowing right out of mind into the notepad. Will it becomes a habit and I can’t think in any other way other than by writing it down? Will I be perpetually writing something in my mind? Have you ever thought about being crazy literally? I have heard this once, don’t remember where – “everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.” So who might be thinking I am weird? That guy in the lift when I was standing there staring at the corner of the ceili…
“remember to take these savings certificates, okay? Where shall I put it?”
“put it on the top of those other papers.”
“you will forget”
“no dear”
“it is 60,000 rupees.”
“okay”
“should I make a list?”
“no dear. It’s fine”
anyway she made a list.
.....
“..should I add that also to the list?”
“please stop. Let’s not start with this in the morning. This is the place where we start our little arguments. I can very well take care of myself.”
I am thinking about adding “I survived so many years before even I saw you.” But luckily didn’t.

Went out of the house. A bunch of papers in hand. Took 10 steps as if sleep walking. Folded the papers. There is no certificate! Is it a dream? Was it always there in my hand?
Retraced the steps. Two more guys came out of the building. They are looking busy, so they must not have found it. One guy is waiting for something on a two wheeler. Is he waiting for me?
On the entrance to the building, a lady bend down and took something in her hand and said “Who..…

Kiddish attempt at rhyme

Feels like a mule, dead tired
But carrying the weight of the world
Steep is the path, occasional lash
But thinks that the weight is gold

At times, heart filled with pride
Surges ahead, yearns to do more
More weight on top, trying hard to please
Panting at times, still trying to smile

Feels like Atlas, once in a while
Eases the pain, makes it worthwhile
Ride that wave, it will carry you a while
Until you wake up and see that darn slope

Dubious thoughts on project management

Project management is one pie which I don’t know whether I want to take a piece, but everybody is going for it and it is the aim for most.

In my narrow perspective, this is how I see managers (I haven’t yet become one, even though I am well on the course of becoming one some day in future): Some were basking in the glory of past successful projects. They have been part of two or three successful projects. It is like drinking a powerful potion of experience and then running on that fuel. I don’t know how long it will last. In some ways I think I have started practicing that. Symptoms of such managers will be frequent references to the best practices of those projects.

Some have an air of mystery around them. The team will not know specifics of what he has done in the past, but have heard this name. They had some colorful past experience in mysterious things like .NET, COM/DCOM, EJB. Some are lucky not to have faced a situation which tested their mettle.

Some of them come from onsite (…