My comfort zone – and attempt to step out from it.

This is oddest thing, I think, as I compose this post. I look at it, and feel as though I need a new challenge. Although this is definitely not anything spectacular, as the things I mentioned in my previous post, it seems as though it might require quite some effort on my part.

For starters, let me shed some light on the problem. I feel I’ve been on facebook too much, and although it’s not really a problem per say, I have kind of taken to it like a fish to a pond. Especially after I relocated. Although, I feel the recent push-mail + fb messages are the major culprit, but I’m not keen on any analysis of the root cause here. I used to be totally off it, and now it seems I’m living a life in there.

Yes, I admit there’s a party going on in there, but I’d like to step out and catch some fresh air. So, here’s me saying that I’ll be off facebook for some days to come. I do not know beforehand how long my break would be, but I’m hoping that I at least make it ten days from now on.


So this is my out of office message, out on vacation.

I’ll catch up on reading, writing my blog, watching movies, cycling, and going out, but going to be off facebook limits, for at least 10 days.

So long!

Get out of that zone!

After a while, we settle into our routine, mundane scheme of things that life as to offer.

And then, after really lot’s of introspection and insight, we realise we are in autopilot mode.

We need to be free. We need to feel alive. Even too much of chocolate can make you suffer,

Life needs to be sparkled with non-routine activities. So pack your bags up, and get on that road!


I admit, this particular post has been lying in my drafts section since ages, and I wanted to write about it so bad. Things have been popping up for me so “choc a bloc” that if I look back at what I did, and what needs to be done, the past few days look like a blur. It was good fun though!

Any ways, back to what I was saying.

Is your routine something in the lines of:

  • Get up an hour before going to work/school.
  • Hastily do the “absolutely essential” activities.
  • Reach office.
  • Get on the email backlog.
  • Do some “work”.
  • Status update on FB, smirk on someone’s FB status, frown on someone else’s 🙂
  • Eat.
  • Have some meeting with some random person.
  • Work some more.
  • Reach home.
  • Work out/watch TV/More FB?
  • Eat.
  • Pointless net surfing …..  till you zonk out and crash.


Seems like a very normal routine of things these days. I have been a victim to such a routine in the past. The worst part is that you tend to get this as a one off day, but it suddenly transforms into a vicious cycle, and then you feel so knocked out by the week end that you tend to sleep it off.

This was when I realised life was being pushy at me, and I needed a change of routine. Now I have had the fortune of always being in organisations, where I need not “check in” at a certain hour of the day and need to clock so many hours, to “justify” my salary 😉 . (OK, not an original. I quote)

Also, the luck seems to continue. Touch the wood.

I tried to push my arrival time to my liking, so that when I get up, I’m free to something from that time. I have tried yoga in that time, tennis, cooking hearty breakfast, keeping plants, doing some interior decor work. These activities make me feel that I am more than just a machine whose job is to punch out code.

Even a slight and subtle change, like taking a different (maybe longer) route to work can set you up for a tinge you’d otherwise find missing.

Try doing such a thing, and you’ll realise what I mean. So this is my premise for another thing which I’m proposing. Non routine activities give you that much needed whiff of fresh air. If it is something you fear, all the more better.

I got to hear today that “horizontal exposure leads to vertical success”. As in, when kids who are involved in multiple activities do better in life, because they are more equipped to do a multitude of tasks, rather than some one whose sole focus is developing one skill. Also, people stuck in a problem should shift focus to get a reset point of view of the problem.

Although, lot of examples and case studies were cited by the orator to support his statement, I felt the urge to dissect the reason behind the phenomenon. So I asked myself why the zing comes back?

I think I have a beat on this one. When we keep on doing something which we are good  at, and for most of us, it is what we call as “work”, we tend to do some basic things over and over again. In fact, I think, that’s what probably qualifies us as professionals. But if there is something fresh about a new activity we pick up, there’s that novelty. We might not be necessarily great at it. Better! You must have a fear value attached with it to get maximum. There’s the stepping out of your comfort zone. Certainly there is a challenge. It leads to triggering of those neurons which have been lying in the hidden closet and not invoked for so much time. Those muscles which have not been flexed. They might be rusty 🙂

So, what basically ensues is that the brain gets stimulated and my guess is there is a general sense of confidence and well being once we reasonably acquire that new skill. That might take your regular work on a upswing. Do try it.

Try anything.

  • You think you croak ?  Singing,
  • Two left feet syndrome?  dancing.
  • Bad stamina ? playing.
  • Like to eat, but can’t create ? cooking.
  • Need a mental spa? learn a new language.
  • Shy ? make new friends
  • Hesitant ? Ask that cute girl/guy from work out.

Do get out of your comfort zone! ….. whatever that catches your fancy, and you are somewhat afraid of the prospect of. You might suck at it, but you’ll improve, and not just in it. It’s the kick one gets that makes it worthwhile. Also, you never know, how good you actually are in that aspect. Human body and mind are amazing. Go stretch them out

Limitations lead to capabilities.

Coolantz is not tossing a curveball here. Neither has he lost it (yet). This (I mean the title) is a statement, which, without it’s premise sounds grand and has a “manager talk” kind of sound to it. It also sounds like the cliched phrases of the tune “less is more”. However, this reality dawned up on me at the simplest of situations.

One often finds pearls of wisdom at the most unexpected of places, and times. For me, usually that time is early mornings. There is something about them that I really crave for. Maybe, it’s my usually well rested mind that feels alive and it tells my mouth to curve up in a smile.

The reason to why I enjoy the mornings is still elusive as far as I’m concerned. I do not have a logical explanation to that fondness. I should not digress here, so I’ll get back to the topic.

Game, Set, Match!

I also like to play tennis in the mornings, and I’ve chanced to meet a team mate, who’s actually keen to play the game. Let’s call him Mr. SPK. Of course, there are people who get the gear, but never get to use it, but we’ll tackle them another day.

Mr. SPK is usually a very reserved kind of person, who keeps to himself, and always up to something at work. I think if he gets to have a bed at office, he’d be happy to sleep there. Jokes apart, one fine day he asked me if I’d like to play tennis with him. It was perfectly timed because I had tried looking for partners, with most random options, ended up playing with people having much superior skills (they must have got so bored), and people who were just beginning to get forehand up and going. One more week looking, and I would have given up.

We agreed to play at a specific time, and I realised SPK is quite decent with his forehand (much to my surprise, because he said he’s a beginner). After the initial few hiccups and self adjustments, we had good rallies, some nice serve points and serve returns as well.

Yesterday was a morning when it had rained (very early I guess, much earlier than my wake up time). The roads had the “washed up” look and from one whiff of the air you could tell, that dust had settled. Trees were greener, and the birds chirpier than usual.

When I reached the tennis court, the rain effect had also cause some water logging on the synthetic surface. As weird as the situation might seem, the only traces of water were in one side of the court. We decided to play half court. I was sceptical initially, but agreed on one condition . “We would only play a certain kind of shot”. No fancy serving or wild backhands please.

I have seen coaches enforce this kind of handicap on budding tennis stars, and I had always wondered why they do it. I had also formed a theory, on the lines of demand is more, supply is less. How naive of me! (Hey I’m just a kid)

Now that we were required to be more accurate, we actually became more precise. At the beginning it was hard to keep the balls from  spraying around, but once we got the feel, both of us played some interesting shots, down the line, and perfectly in control. It was being so focussed on straight shots that you improve with a restricted field of vision. By the end, we were hitting them hard, and hitting them nice.  That is when SPK remarked … “Limitations can lead to capabilities“.

A profound statement, which has depth, and I guess it’ll be never used in marketing strategies. I mean, who would want to say, “Our phone does not have an LCD screen, but it ensures a longer battery life” …. 🙂 . On follow up thoughts, where as this truth would not play well on things and commodities, it certainly applies to people. Imagine:

  • “She cannot cook at all, but she can afford to hire the best cook in town”.
  • “Our son might not be the best looking bloke out there, but he sure knows how to make you feel special”

Actually I don’t think any parents would introduce their son like that. But you know what I mean. 🙂

Symbian walking the thin line. Android, iOS or Win7?

It seems the time of usability amongst current cell phones, and the upcoming variants is declining at an amazing pace. Sample this, my phone usage trends :

  1. My first phone, a Nokia 3510 lasted me 3.5. years,
  2. The next Kyocera something was a bad buy, and was discarded in 2 months. Let’s just ignore this.
  3. Sony Ericsson w810, my family also got the taste of the same, and we still dote on it. I hated it at times, and loved it on other occasions. I had to move forward, but I used it for 2 good years. Still think, it was the best music phone (sheer sound), and best camera I have ever bought.
  4. Samsung i450. Nice phone, lasted for 1.5 years. Music library was ahead of it’s times. Sounded great. Camera was nothing to be proud of.
  5. Nokia X6. Loved ovi maps, ovi music, the 5MP camera and the touch screen. Have used maps to quite an extent. Very recently used to route my car through villages and highways. Certainly useful features, finding it difficult to live without these now. Of course, there was music !! Have been using this for 10 months now. This phone seems neither here nor there to me now.


Nokia took a tumble.

For various reasons. X6 has been falling short of expectations for me. Things seemed further exaggerated when it came to my knowledge that Nokia mail does not play well with Exchange server, which is the only way to access mails at my new workplace.

Symbian seems dated when it comes to integration with Social Networking Sites, and the videos that can be played on the device also need to be transcoded first. Another deterrent for watching a movie on the move. Also, I’ve seen the Music Library navigation on some of the Droids, and the omnipresent HTC Mozart :), they seem innovative. The UI seems extremely responsive and fancy.

Maybe I’m just jealous  when I see people around me juggling Social Networking and work while sipping on cold coffee in Barista! Maybe I think it’s useful. Who can tell?

I was actually quite content using my X6, heck I even found ActiveSync, and did get a way (albeit kludgy) to access Exchange server at work. The phone was not the most elegant in the past few weeks(lot’s of reboots, and countless task kills), and one fine day the phone gave up on me. Just a random day, there was no network!

There have been no physical tumbles around that time, although I admit, in the past I have been dropping my phone at a rate of one fall a month. To be very clear, these are the types of falls that result in the case opening, battery and the back lid popping and flying out in different directions! The gentle nudges/brushes against walls and other surfaces occur almost once a week. Fortunately, the touch screen has lived on.


I have no clue what might have gone wrong. Sure it was not a impact related problem. I used it to make some calls in the morning, and pocketed it. By afternoon, it was zonked out. Maybe, I was pushing my X6 too hard.

I’ve given it for repairs, and it still is under warranty. From what I know, a phone post repairs is not really as fit as it should be. It might work, or it might spring up more problems. Let’s see. It’s scheduled to be in the pit for 10 days. After that, if it works good, I’ll stick to it. If it makes me take it to Nokia care in less than a couple of months, I’ll be getting me a new phone. Probably an android, on Sony Ericsson hardware! Or HTC.

OK enough fantasising! I’ll see if and when it happens.

Update : Nokia care called me back in 2 days (instead of 10), and have provided me with brand new handset. They reckon the problems I was facing were due to a faulty motherboard, and thought it’d be better to change the entire phone. Looks like I’ll  be using my Nokia X6 for some time to come now.

Yaaraan da tashan – part 2

For those who haven’t read Yaaraan da tashan – part I’ve reached Gurgaon earlier than expected, thanks to my lucky day.

New Delhi 23’rd March.

Fresh Morning!

I got up early. Early enough to catch mom before she left for school. I wanted to have breakfast with parents. She asked me about my plans for the day, and she said “Do you seriously think you’ll do that, all of those items in your todo list?”. Also, between our various general talks she would come up with “Why bother driving all the way to Hyderabad. Let’s just contact some packers and movers? I’ll foot the expenses. You stay nice at home for some days“, “should I take a day off ? I could help you with your task list“. I wish I hadn’t gone to Delhi right in the middle of week. OK, I had taken off, but people at home were generally busy. She longed to be with me.

Usually, my dad would have been up at the same time, and been up to some exercise and yoga, but I suppose he decided to sleep till late. I get a call from him, and in a sleepy voice he tells “Usually, it’s your sister‘s duty. Today, since you are here, you go drop off mom to school“. I was like sure, no problems. My mom said “Why don’t you play some music in your music system. We find it too difficult to use, so we only watch TV“. This was the cue I was so desperately waiting for. I had recently discovered some awesome songs, and promptly fired up leopard. Leopard is tiger‘s replacement. Tiger is the name of my media centre machine. Generally, the music I find is also well appreciated by my folks. This time was no different, and they quite enjoyed the morning blast. Later, when I drove mom to school, and was talking about things in general, she said “When your sister drives me off to school, she’s usually half asleep, and just stares at the road. Never talks“.

So, after I got back from mom’s school, I was just roaming around the house. Shops and places were not open as yet, for me to go head on with my todo list. I spoke to some people who were up. Mr. SR, Mr. SD joked around in the morning.  SD would be meeting me for a bit in the evening. SR stays at an end of NCR diametrically opposite of where I do. We made some tentative plans to meet in the evening in some central location. If he and I could find time. Damn the middle of the week? what joy?

The birds do chirp here and the flowers bloom!!

Hectic day

Well, after lounging around for a while, I got dressed, and first stop was to be at RTO office, Haryana. I went in, and was stumped to see that government officials had decided to take an off that day, and office was deserted, and there was this group of Haryanvi kids, cursing around, for they would need to wait another day to get their license. I joined them and mouthed out some profanities :). This is the raw, uncivilised and extremely passionate group. This was like a time freeze moment for me. Never gonna see this in Hyderabad :).

Any ways, I had to do what I had to do. Paid of an agent to get my paper work done, gave impression of my car chassis number, and other documents he wanted. He was gracious enough to have it sent to me, once my NOC is done. When he asked me what’ll I do till then, I told him “Drive my car telling I’m a tourist“. I left for other work. Time it took me to get this done, and negotiating a decent rate – 2 hours.

After doing this NOC thing, I decided to blast my stereo, to see if the speakers sound good. Although my sister said that the music system is the best, I had to check it off myself. There was a problem. Just what I was afraid of. The left channel to my amp was sounding like a damp squib. Crap. Utter crap! I took it to one of those big show rooms, and I was squarely told, that some capacitor had been damaged, repair or the guy suggested “saaar buy a new amp“. I knew the stuff, so I was aware I was being bullshitted to. Yep, I was back in Delhi! He took one hour, inspecting and fiddling with various knobs and wires, and I had a lunch with team people from Nagarro. I was famished too, so I called them up, and told them “Guys I’m coming over. Be ready

I reached my old workplace, in decent time, and it was interesting. The guard bhai just smiled at me, and let me in without asking for an ID. I told him that I’m an outsider, and hung out with him for a while till the people came down. Mr. RJ and Mr. PY were sitting at their usual place outside the office ….. Pappu bhaiya’s dhaba. Meeting them was so exciting. Mr. T and Miss PAGS walked out as though there was enough time in the world to even sleep and go. I booed them from behind and got some spring in the step. Mr. AA was going to join us in Mainland china itself. Just one person missing, I asked T where the hell Mr. X is ? I called him and off we went to Mainland China.

Lunch and mocktails later, I parted ways with Nagarro folks. They left, I stayed back, cause I had to meet with a couple of people form ARSD. Mr. S called me, and immediately came to where I was. We sat and chatted inside a cafe near Mainland China.  Mr. RT was supposed to join, and he messaged multiple times about how he was stuck in a meeting and will be out in just 5 mins :). Dude, we did not meet, but it’s the thought that counts, and I appreciate that you cared to at least plan to join. Mr. AM said he’ll catch up at dinner time!

So it was close to 5PM in the evening, and I had stuck of 3 things off my list, but had gotten aware of the fact that Dhanno was croaking, and I had to drive here for some time non stop. She’d cry. I suddenly thought of this place where the scale was smaller, but people were talented, and competition was cut throat. I had him look at my audio gear. First he was awed. He said “yeh kahan se liya hai?” I told him. I explained and showed him the problem. He immediately cross connected my good speaker to all the channels of my amp, to determine that my amp is fine, and fixed one speaker up after some sand papering and interesting tape work. Now we were talking engineer to engineer. So I was 3 speakers up now, and with just front left not working. This took time of an hour, and I started to get edgy. I called Mr. SD and told him I’d be running a bit late. He said he was running a bit late, so it was OK.

Now I took off my check list, and cut off visiting the optician in Delhi. You think I had time? Consequently, meeting SR was out as well.

So we had a problem with one of my 6inch non component giving out just out of fatigue I guess. The guy at the shop said he could not give me some thing equal to bull audio, but gave me some cheap Sony explod, and promised he’d tune them to make them sound good. He was already in my good books, so I told him to do it, and do it in half an hour. And boy did he. He came through, got another fella, both of them doing different things in my car. After a while they gave me an audition. Not the same stamina as Bull, but they had more jingle, and they were composite with tweeters on them. So now, my car has effectively 8 speakers, haha.

Relaxing Evening

SD called and said he’s on way. I was too, so we met on way, and drove back to my place. He was riding the most majestic punto (belongs to Mr. CS, who was at the time, in bangkok). It had the bass tube that could make the seats move! literally. I got home at about 7PM, with most things on my list checked off, and just partying with friends remaining. So I told my parents, just chill sit and talk with me friends will come over, and we’ll order food.

There were some things that were left undone, but hey, I’m no Oriya!

Friends who visited

  • Mr. AMTG (Buddy you are, as your name says)
  • Mr. KSC(Fun, Fun, and more fun. Keep smiling)
  • Mrs. RSC(I think you are family!)
  • Mr. SD(Man I never knew, you had so many facets. Next when we meet, we won’t drink but yap the brains out!)
  • Mr. X(You’re passionate, but you surprise me at times with the detachment you exhibhit)
  • Miss DC(Will See you, see you on the other side :). The world’s maddening. Just hang around )
  • Mr. Simba (for first time out, ever. Kisses)
  • Others : Mr.  SR, Mr. RT, Miss RM, Mr. GaGa did send best wishes. Luv  you guys. this is what maters

My day transformed from Fresh morning to hectic  afternoon to relaxing evening! The friends did turn up. In the middle of week. After work. Ain’t I lucky!!!

Delhi To Hyderabad. On road !! Why would you do it?

So, almost everyone I talk to about my road trip plans has a similar line of responding . It starts with an exclamatory wow! and settles into more introspective “What?, Why?, and How?” . Also, there are people who go like “Hey … you’ll break your car/back/face“. One of the very interesting questions I got asked was “What will you do about the heat?“. A very interesting remark that’s gotten stuck in “That must have been the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in life“. Of course people tell you things. When they care.

My reasons for deciding to do it.

Any ways, it is certainly not a trip people take on an extended weekend. The distance is pretty steep, and I have no idea of the state of roads as of now. One thing I do know is I haven’t been doing any sort of major travelling since the past two years. I do feel the time to take a break and go for a hike. I believe this is a right time as I do not have that much on my plate. Touch the wood 🙂

My car has not had many chances to be taken on a longish ride so far. All it has done is “stop … go”, while I’ve travelled during the day time (to work, mostly). It’s just so crowded here in Delhi. On some occasional nights, when we got to go out to some party, or something, it did get a chance to flex it’s muscles, and purr along happily. Overall, it has been a rather staid life for her. Took me to office, at times, my sister to work, and then back to home. For this very reason, I am kind of detached to my car. I do rave about cleo from time to time, because I have history with it. Hope the feelings develop for Dhanno after this ride. Hope Dhanno enjoys this dash! (Dhanno is the name of my car)

Friends agreed to accompany. Now I would have never even dreamt of doing this alone. More than being scared of the daunting distance, I think I’ll simply get bored to death. Who in their right minds would do such a distance alone? Either they’d be really passionate about their rides, or must have some justifiable reason to do so. As of now, I cannot possibly conjure up a reason to do this alone. But when Mr. X and Mr. T decided to tag along, this was also checked off. (Mr. X has in fact done distances up to tune of insanity, but I suspect he likes driving in general) .

Apprehensions aside, my relocation has presented me with a very interesting opportunity to do this. I’d never go to visit someone for that big a distance (on road, that is). Now I do not think I would ever step into some of the states I’ll get a chance to go into. I do not have reasons, do I? So getting to see interiors of Uttar Pradesh,  Rajasthan,  Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh was a turn on. I’m so short on travelling experience it’s not even funny. Even girls laugh at me at times.

All of the points, might seem pretty irrelevant and tiny if considered separately, but together give me a formidable reason (least for me) to drive Dhanno from New Delhi to Hyderabad.

The story shall continue. Stay tuned….

Isn’t it ironic. Don’t you think?

I’m running through a set of emotions that seem contradictory. Yet, I can safely assert that I feel each one of them. Here, in hyderabad (or should we say Malaysian Township), holi had come a day earlier. I had a good time, and went out for a bit.

Now, its late evening, and as I was about to eat, I saw a friend’s (Yes, we had built a badminton court with bare hands) recently put up photos on face book. It was electrifying to see, because he’s my next to next door neighbour, so the faces on those pictures were familiar, H block DLF City, really upped the tempo this time, there was a Dhol walla, and lot’s of people I do not know as well. The feeling also left me feeling hollow, as I’ve played Holi with those people, for as many years as my memories take me to.

Amongst the other photos was also one, which somewhat stood out as far as I am concerned. He had clicked a photo inside my home. My dad was in the frame, though I wonder where mom was? I swear, the hair on the arms stood up. Goosebumps 🙂 . Later that photo made me cringe :(. I miss H block. I miss parents, I miss home, I miss relatives, I miss friends.

Holi is a real pleasure, when it’s celebrated with family and friends. To all my friends (at home or away), A very happy holi to you.

And the real kicker is, when I was with them/at home, I took it all for granted. Now that I can’t have them, I appreciate their value.

Miss you seriously.

A Grand plan.

I’m super excited. That’s probably an understatement to describe how I’m feeling.

It all started with a very vague idea. Back when I was in Delhi and planning to relocate to Hyderabad, a rather adventure freak of a person (referred to from now as Mr. X) suggested “Dude, let me drive your car over till Hyderabad, I’d love it”. I was at that point concerned with loads of other things, so I said “Yea sure”. I guess the inception of this particular idea happened at that very moment.

<Snip to present>

So I’ve been in Hyderabad for almost a month now, and continue to travel around like a tourist (although, I know my way around to a certain extent), and have no vehicle here on me.I like the roads here, nice slopes and great curves (pun to be excused). Traffic at times seems a little daunting (read : office rushes). I’ve seen worse though. Hey I’m from Gurgaon, what do you expect ?

<Snip to past>

There was this other person back in Delhi, (referred to from now on as Mr. T).

X, T and me knew each other from work. We all joined (my earlier company) at the same time, right at the beginning of 2009. Different backgrounds, but strung together by fate. X and I became friends instantly, we would often hang out after work. T had joined right from college, and he seemed smart (and charming). In fact, I did not get a chance to properly interact with T till early 2010. X had left by then, trying out hands at what he loved the most, “designing, conceptualizing, and trying”.  So I knew T, and I knew X, but T and X were unaware of each other’s existence.

So, as destiny had the grand plan, T and I got a chance to work in the same Project, from early on in 2010. He had been with the project ever since, and I was taken in as a mid way replacement for a resource who had decided to quit. T and me were naturally drawn to each other, as we had a few common interests. We loved eating, and had this zeal for technology. We also loved our music, but somehow the tastes in that context were mutually exclusive. Come to think of it, we also had a generation gap ;). Any how, we worked on this staggering project, with a client who was pretty demanding. Net result : we had to up our game, and work as a team. The project was fun, and we had our shares of highs and lows. As a result, I got to know T better. He’s a bright chap, who’s also a good-hearted person. At the time I left the company T and I had an awkward moment. We never said our goodbyes.

Towards the end of this particular project (I think, at the beginning of last quarter of 2010), X decided that he’d had enough of independent working, and once you get used to a steady income every month, the period of draughts seem worse as compared to withdrawal symptoms of cocaine addiction. He came back to the organisation he had left, albeit in a different role. He called up, and we met immediately. X and T got to meet each other and realise how different they are. There was a mutual feeling of “detest” (yeah that’s a very apt word). Circumstances ensued to tolerate each other a little more, and they did give each other a fair chance. Consequently, they got friends with each other.

<Snip to present>

So, I called T one fine day, and started to whine to him about missing my mobility, i.e my car back in Delhi. He understood my predicament, and said he’d be keen to drive my car on this road trip. He was a little apprehensive though. X was always interested. He’s done a few in the past, but this one would be his biggest one yet.

It’s going to be X, T, C on a road trip. A rather grand road trip, from Delhi to Hyderabad.

So ….. What do you want to be ?

This is one of those perennial questions, whose answer is ever so changing. When I was a kid, I was asked, countless number of times …. “What would I want to be when I grow up”

Answers, at different points in time, varied from actor, zoo keeper, astronaut, police cop (yes it’s true), mathematician, and so on.

Post school, the same question would pop up in more subtle variations such as “child …. what are the future plans ?” . Looked as though people decided to make it their business, to know what kind of profession I aspired to be in.  Well, I was kind of clear, of what I wanted to become, pretty early in my life, but I got egged here. Thanks to a lot of unsolicited advice. On the lines of… “Why don’t you do MBA?”, “Do further studies … you’ll get a more paying job”.

Anyways, as the universe was conspiring to somehow get me to reveal my plans, my lack of interest in such discussions pushed people off my conversation group, and I was in the bliss full period, where I had assumed I was past the “pesky questions”.

I was so wrong, and the question has sprung forward, from a person I hardly know. Then again, it’s vital he knows. He represents the management of my current employer, or perhaps serves as an interface to the management. I suppose, as a part of implementation of a certain process in the organization I work in, I was assigned a certain role. He casually, after a meeting asked me, if I enjoyed this particular role, or would I rather do a certain other well-defined role here.

This was thought-provoking.

The currently assigned role required me to take certain decisions, and collaborate with my team, plan for weekly release of deliverable to the client, and so on. As a part of the package, I was also required to check the health of team, which I was not too comfortable doing. It did not result in an outburst from me, because the team I was assigned to work with, was sufficiently autonomous. People are talented, responsible, and sufficiently driven. I absolutely cherish the time I spend with them (imp. not with the project, but with this group of people).

However, I also understand that with the nature of work I do, this seemingly goody good fabric of harmony might be shredded apart as and when the employer feels necessary.

The other alternate path would require me to pursue a path of technical island, and explore safe landing spot for others, actively engaged in working for a project. For those who aren’t technical vocabulary challenged … an architect. Let me point it out here, that while I would want to be doing the first role for certain aspects of work and durations of time, I also would define me to be the second option in certain points of times.

So I suppose the career paths for me do not bifurcate into directions A and B. I need to find my trail in the middle. A thing or two I’ve realized after observing myself work  (the introspection in solitude 🙂 syndrome) are as follows:

  • I like to work with a certain amount of ownership of the project. If I get uprooted too often from one project to another (as a technical architect would), I’d probably be driven insane. I mean, this way, I’d be providing a move on to many things, but hardly seeing anything to the end. I guess belonging is something I crave for.
  • I do not aspire to check work of others and drive other people to work. I like it best when people are smart to work with, and encourage mutual discussions, and active role play in division of work. More like collaboration.
  • I like to solve problems. Simple ones, or one that have that aura of mystery around them. I guess it all boils down to my belief …. “Everything happens for a reason”.

Anyways, I suppose whatever I say now will be a snapshot in time, and should be interpreted as that. I’m sure no one wakes up one day and says “I’m gonna be a <so and so> person in an organization.

Where you are affects how you are …

I was a believer that where I am had no implications on how I am. I mean, I would say to my boss, that it doesn’t matter where you make me sit, as long as I have the internet connection and power sockets to connect all my gadgets, I would be as productive, if I were  say somewhere else.

For simplicity sake, let us assume that both the places are inside the office premises (Yea it would obviously matter, if I were to sit next to a loud mouth).

Today I realized, that many other things matter, even the view, people in vicinity, and the general atmosphere.

I had a change of seat, and my new desk is in a rather aloof and isolated place as compared to my earlier desk. Also, the new building, where I sit in, has a nice cafe, and lot of other eating options. I generally feel content here. The noise around me is considerably less.

So if I were to give any measures of how it affects me, today I finished most of the work (which was a handful) assigned to me, in a sort of record amount of time.

Also, it did not imply that I had to fore-go my other day-to-day activities, like checking mails, and writing mails, and going out for a walk around lunch time, and generally cribbing about my IT problems to the management. In other words a routine day.

Does it mean that I magically became more productive? If so, was it due the novelty factor of my new found place, or was it plain old lower burden of work. Only time will tell. As of now, I feel happy, and rearing to go, I’ll update this post as soon as I discover more.

I have three possible explanations for this.

  1. My work load today was less, and it only seemed huge.
  2. I was happy due to the new place I was made to shift to, and so it resulted in lots of work being finished.
  3. Since many of my needs were satisfied (hunger, tranquility), my mind was less distracted, and I was in a better off condition to do creative work.

If point number 3 holds out to be true, this might be a very important discovery as far as me and my body is concerned. I’ll keep this post updated.

In a weeks time then…