Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just a thought...

As much as its weird to foresee the next ten years for this industry, its hard to imagine the past decade without IT industry. I remember one discussion within our group when my friend used to say that his ideal job would be to get a paycheck of Rs 10,000 per month, sit in an AC room and sign documents. He ticked the first two checks in the grandest manner possible. He earns almost 75% of his initial monthly target on a daily basis, surely has a spacious AC room to sit and he does a bit more than signing documents being the account manager of one of the biggest accounts in his company. Being a mechanical engineer by education, wonder where he would've been and how close to his dream estimates had it not been for IT.

The more I think about this industry, the more it baffles me. Appo en apdilaam thinkara..unna evanda thinka sonnanu kraas kostinlaam pannapdaathu.

Was having a discussion today over lunch with my friend from another account. I asked him the purpose of his project. This is how the rest of the conversation went:

"Purpose means? Its a development project, to reduce access time for end user"
"Appo performance fine tuning solria?"
"Illa..its an ..say..LIC mathiri oru policy irukkunna..atha pathina detailsa innum epdi end userku quicka kudukrathunu oru project"
"How old is your project and how were the users doing it before your project?"
"Its about 2 years running and previously they were using a different tool"
"What was wrong with that tool?"
" was on a version which was not supported by the product the client has to jump to a new one"
"Ippo irukara tool, how long will it sustain"
"Good point..even before go-Live, there was a policy decision at client side to move apps to cloud. So koodia seekram we may've to go for a new approach. New bidding. New project. New tech"
"Athunaala as an end user what is the use for him?"
"Hmm..first of all we make sure the activity remains automated and he doesn't have to revert to manual work around, secondly we ensure that they are served with latest state of the art tech which keeps them right up on the curve"
"So..just like how we keep changing our phones from basic sengal version Nokia to Bluetooth compatible version to smart phones, client also has to keep changing with tech trends and use panraano panaliyo epdi namma thalaila egapatta features poattu thaakrangalo..we also do the same for our clientsnu solla vara"
"Kitta thatta apdi thaan..naama cell phone companiesku clients thaana..iPhone 6la pesina thaan kekuma..Nokia 3105 battery life is thousand times higher than any smart phone..aana evan ipo phonea pesarathukaga use ellamay confined spaces ulla vanthaprum..there is no singular purpose for anything..ellamay duality or plurality la thaan survive aaguthu"
"Except for the fact that it has saved us lot of time, which we are so happy to waste..urupidia vera edhuvum aana mathiri therilaiye"

In short I am stunned by the thought that, majority of our projects and proposals are nothing but same as selling smartphones!! In my short career, I couldn't think of a single project which the client couldn't have lived without!! Not just mine, but any of the related projects as well. Is IT as an industry just an easier alternative to an already well run system and by the way the cost of the alternative is increasing without any sound logic behind it, as well, is my opinion. How else can one explain, for a company having stagnant to similar level of growth over a period of decade, invest on one high end tech after other just to make sure their payroll system is up to date!! They might as well have spent a portion on the employees and won their hearts and loyalties!!

I am in no way against the industry that serves me bread and butter. I want my work to be like an art, which wouldn't just please the creator and the buyer but also anyone who witnesses its beauty. Unlike many of my counterparts, I prefer maintenance and support kind of projects compared to development. It gives me immense joy and satisfaction when a person who raised a critical ticket expresses his satisfaction and thanks for understanding their problem and solving it. Little joys of life :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The right season

If at all I've learnt anything being in this potti thatting industry, one thing is sure that you need to have immmmmmeeennnnsssseeee patience. Not that you can make haste in others, but here its not just the patience that counts. It has to be at the right time and at the right amount.

There are always periods of intense activity which will wreck many a decent nerve. Even those can be managed. But then will come a period of lull, a relatively calmer period which would test your patience. A period of uncertainty about the next project, a period which will make you realize why you should've socialized more when you were breaking your head to meet deadlines, a period when you would need so much information about the company health status and where the next work will come in and yet all you will be fed with would be gossips and rumors, a period when people will ask you to enjoy and relax after having slogged your asses off for the previous project and yet would secretly want you to fret over the status by dropping a subtly heavy hint, a period when you can't pester the staffing team hard enough to irritate them nor long enough for them to even forget about you, a period when contacts become critical incase of any good opportunities being gobbled up internally.

Like outside the off stump line in cricket, its this corridor of uncertainty that wrecks many a career. The longer the lean period, you would be tempted to try out every single job on offer. You would start to over sell yourself and would end up under selling. You would aim for all things positive at the beginning of the search only to end up doing the same rut again in a different company for probably same salary.

But somehow, people do buck the trend. Some of my peers have this knack of ticking the right thing at the right time. I don't know if its sheer dumb luck or how else they manage it, but they always end up at places where people can't even imagine. If at all they are afraid they never show it outside. THAT I would say is there biggest plus. It might be a false sense of bravado, but to the onlooker it gives a different feel about their character. They make up pretty well for their short comings with their confidence and somehow it always trumps conventional wisdom!! For those who decide to stick on to the same company for years, for some it has paid off and they are in pretty good positions, for rest, like the infamous TCS story of recent past, they are considered as excess baggage!! Very rarely I get to see someone who make the right career move in a logical progression.

I've always been very choosy about what i want to do, within the limited scope of my career having chosen variety over monotony, even at the stake of promotion. At the end of the day, when I sit back and think about it, sometime I feel, I should've probably been bit less adventurous about what I do and lot more patient. If only I can get to know the knack of doing it right, I would be more satisfied.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Punch and counter punch

Born on a "twins" sign, there is always this inherent tendency to think and counter think, for any a Gemini. Probably, yes or no questions would be THE most toughest quandary for them. Whenever they form a belief, the other twin raises questions to the contrary and poor Gemini's are always stuck in the purgatory of beliefs.

All this bittu putting is for the jimple fact that me the Gemini.

If at all news media has a sun sign, going by the characteristics described above, it would undoubtedly and rightly be Gemini. There should always be views and counterviews to balance the flow of arguments and guide the readers towards the truth. When news was restricted only to few newspapers and Doordarshan, there was a straitjacket view of what the viewers should see or believe. With 24 hour news channels, that first barrier was cracked open. When media moguls learnt the power of manipulating news, channels prospered in premium ad rates and politicians relished the prospect of reaching out to every household, right from their seat. The politico media nexus was there for all to see and without any major option to counter their ever growing power, they are now like that gooey alien thing, from Spiderman 3, which eats away the soul of anyone who comes in contact with it, takes their shape and makes them immensely more powerful. Anyone who controls the popular news channels and newspapers can literally control the government. All those James Bond style story lines have become reality.

Like good old days of MGR's double act movies, where, more the eviler a twin, too good-er the other guy would be, the mainstream media has "fathered" a mutant version with internet called as social media. Unlike the news channels and papers, all it needs is an internet connection and an account on any popular social networking site. Though its clout is still controlled by the government with its draconian and megalomaniacal cyber laws, social media has become that ant which could very well fell the elephant.

The trigger behind this post has been long strewn since the recent LS elections, where in Modi and RaGa fought across all kinds of media possible, with Namo coming up trumps. Not just that, he made Rahul the clown of India, who was partially to be blamed for his empowering statements!! Though the battle is over, numerous wars are still being waged day in and day out on the net. Recent one being the controversial tweet by Barkha about Modi's supposed Louis Vuitton shawl, which one fellow Namo follower, got it verified by the company itself that it was a false statement. Of all the zillion issues in the world, the supposedly famous tv anchor, chooses a shawl to make a comment on the nation's premier, which in itself reeks of paid media's outlandish behavior. And the response is no less exemplary, for every single criticism on ruling party, if they've to drag their opponent down, there would be no progress.

The concept of faith has been taken for a hike and nowadays no one believes in anything. Every single aspect of news are being debated to the minutest. If 20 people are killed for hacking trees, every single person with a keyboard forms a conspiracy theory and the issue gets blown over like anything. Human angle in the form of "victims" families make a killing TRP, till the next hot news. There is an explosion of news articles from all angles and it becomes more and more difficult to form an opinion. I hope they all collapse into a heap soon and we've a streamlined and stabilized media circus soon. I want to go back to those days when people asked their kids to read a particular newspaper for improving their language. Considering the crap that they post as news, ippolaam paper open pannavay bayama irukku!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Circa education

How many planets are there in the solar system?

Who invented aeroplane?

Who invented electric bulb?

Who is known as the father of electricity?

Who invented telephone?

Who is known as the father of internet?

Ennada ivan thideernu competition success review rangeku kelvi kekaraannu paakreengala. Avlo ariva valarakra bloga itha maathara mathiri entha ideavum illa. Still, coming back to those questions. These would be the basic GK questions, ever since time immemorial and probably all kinds of school syllabus will have some or other chapter dedicated to each of them. The problem now is, what would be the correct answer for these questions?!!!

Should it be a 9 planet solar system or 8, considering that pluto has been knocked off!! (yaara kettu panraanga ithelaam?? ennoda jaathagathula pluto dosham irunthuthu..Ippo athukku naan parigaaram pannanuma venama??!)

Wright brothers nu answer sonna americalaye adika varanga. Ohio, North Carolina poga Connecticutum sandaikku varuthu. Mudiva entha oorkaaran kandupudichuthunnu avanga solvanga paatha..ella koattaiyum azhi..firstlenthu start panlaamnu, flighta kandupudichathu Indian nu solli hindi padamay vanthirukku!!! ippo namma oorla CBSE syllabusla ellamay vellakaran sonna thaan nambuvanga. Appo state boardla Indian kandupudichannum..CBSE, international schoolsla Americannum irukuma?? apdinnalum entha American? Wright brothersnu answer sonna righta thappa??? avvvvvvvvvvvv

Ithey pola thaan micha kostinsum. Every single major invention is being debated and disputed for ownership. History can be rewritten aana history syllabusa enna panuvaanga? old history new history nu maathuvangala?? apdi paatha historynaalay old thaana?? lot more avvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

With each political party that comes to power, they want to project their own leaders into prominence. Ithula APla padikaravanukku Bharathiyar pathi theriyuma therila..TNla padikaravanuku Pingali Vengayya pathi therinjirukka chance kammi..seri CBSE na national levella cover pannirupanga paatha..ellamay politically correct version irukku.

Oru comedy scene nyabgam varuthu..

Dad asking his kid, who is seen beating his class teacher

"enda vaathiyara adikara"
"naan sariya ezhuthina answeruku thappu potrukaan"
"apdi ennada ezhuthina"
"Indiavoda president Abdul kalam sonen"
Teacher tells dad "athu pazhaiya president sonna othuka maatengaran..ippo yaaro avanga pera thana sollanum"
"Yov..neenga maatukka presidenta mathuveenga..athukku nanga enna panrathu...poaatu saathungayya ivana"

Mela irukara situationum..intha post contentaiyum relate panni paatha..comedy edhunu enakku purila!!!!
and last but not the least... the mega question - is Netaji dead or alive??!! Nehru maama kitta kekanumo? ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

A review that isnt!!

Paakatha padatha review panna mudiyuma?
That's what anyway all those religious outfits do, in the name of banning movies just by guessing their content.
I am not calling for a ban, not yet anyway :)
Rephrasing the first kostin..can you review a movie without watching it fully? OK Kanmani feels like a movie capable of it. I wouldn't comment on the movie per se for, as I said, I am yet to see it. But I am ill at ease with its theme - live in relationsships.

Erkanavay intha aaloda Alaipaayuthey paathutu, evlo pasanga veetukku theriyama register marriage pannikitaanga!! Many of my college mates contemplated it, several did, one ended in a disaster which claimed his life and other is still going strong. Padatha paathu mada thanama decide panra makkalukaga we can't change our movies. But sitting in the closed auditorium with your friends group, with romantic nerve tingling music blaring from speakers all over and cutey cute looking heroines along side their handsome hunk heroes is enough to brainwash, just into teen kids. The already make believe world of cinema which holds our politics in its iron grip, tightens its tentacles further with its never ending love stories. Each one more vicious, gentle, syrupy mush yet sentimental in flavor and lulls the youth audience into a tricky world.

One has to admit that, had cinemas are just meant to entertain and people should forget the movie as they step outside the theater, they are just conning themselves. Right from the days of MS Subbulakshmi to Nithya Menon and MGR till Dulquer salman, every one who has donned their grease paint for the first time, have banked on peoples admiration for their next coat of make up. Especially, down south, where people are vehemently addicted to movies and their stars and their directors and go to the extent of worshipping them, you just need few witty dialogues and an interesting story to impress the millions.

Marriage as a concept has been facing tough competition for its existence from all quarters. People who wants to get married are not getting matches, those who do get married look for the first quarrel to jump out of it and with a more liberal society where, in a overdose of positivity, people who are out of the wedlock are encouraged and praised and last but not the least, increase in number of commitment phobic folks, stories like OKK which glamorizes live in relationships slam another big nail on the coffin for the wedding concept. Being the youngest country in the world, we at present, more than ever, need proper guidance and counseling for the entire country as a whole and I strongly believe our culture and values should be the pillars to lean on and move forward. Changing the philosophies to suit the time and staying current are fine as long as they don't erode the very base where we stand.

As much as I detest Tasmac driven songs and veecharuva movies, I scare for these soft rom-com movies which are equally dangerous for a directionless youth crowd.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Greetings - the Gilsbert way

" miss recruit to our team" introduced our senior damager.
Gilsbert was standing a good yard away and bowed his welcome with a nod of his head.
She took a few steps forward and held her hand to say hello. We shook hands and that's the end of the story. At least that's what he thought.

The moment that girl turned away the senior damager looked at him and said "namma aal pakka graamathaanu prove pannitaanda"
He was not sure whom or about what he was referring to and wore the same look that we all make use of in our team meetings - borderline blank.
"Enda..antha ponnu avlo thairiyama kai neeti shake hand pannuthu..nee ennamo pattikaatan mathiri thalli poi nikkara"
"ellaam oru bayam kalantha mariyaathai thaaan"
"shake hand panna mariyaathai illainu yaar sonna"
"appo bayam mattum fix pannikalam"
"enda dei..nee aaru adi irukka..athu arai adikku irukku..yaar yaara paathu bayapadanum..accept that you are shy"
"seri..irunthutu poguthu..shy nay vachupomay"
"ipdilaam iruntha romba kashtamappu..naaliku client meet panna ithey thaan pannuvia"
Ennada ithu vamba poachu..oru shake hand pannathathu ivlo peria panjaayatha pogumaa..."ungalukenna baas..shake pannanum avlo thaana..don't worry..naaliku client vanthanna avana pudichi ulukkara ulukkula..avan kambeni project mattum ilaama avan sothu mothathaiyum namma perla ezhuthi vachiruvaan paarunga"
Damager started smiling at the joke and then realized with Gilsbert you never know and gave a stern look. "Stay one full yard away from client" and went away
"Itha thaana ippovum pannen..paavam avaray kanpoos aaitaru"
Whistling "Good bad Ugly" theme song..Gilsbert walked into Sunset.

Pi. Ku:
I somehow detest shaking hands. Not to the extent of asking for a wipe a la MONK the detective. Athukaga..neither do I favour our "podungamma vote" style koozha kumbidu. Japenese stylela slight bow is what I prefer. Athukaga yogasanam mathiri thalaiyaala tharaiya thodra alavukkum poga maaten. It feels very fake and samayathula shake hand panrennu irukkara kadupellam sethu vachu client sidelenthu Godrej buereaukku coat suit poatta mathiri varavanunga,  murukki utruraanunga. Oru vanakkam vaikarathula ivlo vamba...ende guruvaayurappa!!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

A day in the life of a husband

"Work life balance is a must you know. Eppo paaru officea kattindu azharathu enakku suthama pudikala..veetuku paathoma..relax aanomaanu irukanum. Office timela office..veetukaana timela veedu..ashtey lifeu" Ram was proclaiming his declaration to his team.

"I don't want to see any of you anywhere even on the pin code of office this weekend..go and enjoy"

When he started for home, then only he realized he didn't book office cab for that day. Since he started early, he decided to take the bus. As usual MTC tested his patience and by the time he boarded the bus along with a million other people, he was half dead from hunger.

He came home late from aapeece, dead tired from travel. Ithula enna matterna, velai naala tired aanatha vida, travel naala tired aanathu thaan unmai. Looking at the number of sandals and shoes outside the house, he got a fair bit of idea on the crowd inside. He counted at least 6 different voices, having several combinations of conversation along side tv news blaring away in its glory. While debating within himself as to whether to enter or not, he was spotted.

"Vaada ram...ungaaam thaan. avlo doubta paathundrukka"

"Ungaathukkay unakku vazhi sollanum polrukkay. Yendimaa..nalla valarthu vachurkka pullaya. kalayanam aagi ivlo naalagarthu..innum amma munthanaiya pudichindu thaan velila varuvanaa"

Bracing himself for more such barrage, he gritted his teeth and groaned a smile.

Uma came out from bedroom talking to someone over phone "haan..avar thaan..officelenthu vanthaachu...pesarela?...inthaango" she gave the phone to Ram and escaped from that place, without even mentioning who was on line.


Still thinking who it is "hmmm..nallarukken..neenga" asked in hope of getting a clue to whom he was talking to.

" Enakkena..kaadu vaa vaanguthu..veedu po ponguthu..wifea kootindu veetu pakkam vaada..unnathaan paakavay mudiarathilla"

"avvvvvvvvvvvv...yaarunnu sonna thaana enga varathunaay theriyum" nu
yosichikittay.."hehee..varen varen..." looking at amma entering the room.."oru nimisham..ammata tharen" he gave the phone like a hot potato and escaped from that scene.

Uma cornered Ram.."en ipdi ummmnu moonjia vachindu irukkel..vanthirukkava kitta gala gala nu pesi pazhagina thaana nallarukkum. Candy crusha vachundu ukkanthelna phonelenthu atha uninstall panniduven aprum. Poittu ellarkittayum enna edhunu visaareengo"

Ram saw his maamanar trying to watch news channel amidst all the cacophony surrounding him.
"Enna maama..epdirukel"
"Nalla irukken..enakku ithula tamil news channellam entha channela varum sollungalen.."
After he arranged the news channels on a scroll and gave it to him, Ram was conveniently forgotten.
"Actualla ippo oru detective serial varum..Star Worldla..athu paakalama"
He wasn't sure whether he was not audible or ignored, looking at the lack of response, he moved on in his quest.

His mom and Maamiyar both were in deep conversation and when they saw him approaching they smiled at him.
"Vaango maapla...enna solra Uma" she asked laughingly.
"ava enna sonna? onnum solalaiye" replied Ram confused what she should've told him.
"Edachum vambu pannaalna enkitta sollungo.." she laughed again..
"Right" he made a mental checklist on the list of people to meet and moved on to the next group.

"Enna athimber..ellam bore adichindrukala ungala" asked his nephew and niece who were happily playing candy crush and hill climbing on their mobiles.
"hmm..ennada level velaadra..adapaavingala..652va!!! schoolukay pogama ithaan panitrukeengala eppo paaru"
"neenga vera..en friend 800 thaanditaan..avana beat pannaum..neenga entha levella irukkel"
Ithukku mela anga iruntha image damagenu lighta he moved away from there.

Uma encountered him again on the hall. He gave her his progress report.
"Ellarkitayum pesitten"
"Naan enna one word exama vachen..ellarkitayum oru vaartha pesitu varathuku...shabba..ungala vachundu ennala mudila" she entered kitchen with a sigh trailing like kari engine.

Ram surveyed the room again. His maamanaar was still watching news, the kids on phone and the ladies chatting in their own language. Suddenly he picked his phone..
"Ennathu..udanay office varanuma" he blurted out loud.
"yaaruda phonela..ippothana officelenthu vantha" enquired amma
"...weekend vera extend panni work pannanuma"
"ennathu..marubadiyum weekend officela staya..veetla guests vanthirukka vara mudiyaathu sollungo" urged Uma
"....kandippa vanthu thaan aganuma..production issueva..seri.." he kept the phone and said bye and apology to everyone in a hurry.

Within no time Uma packed him a small snack box. Half protesting and yet grabbing the dabba he dashed out in a hurry, promising to call her once he reached office.

He reached office, to find few night shift admin folks.

"Enna sir..ippo thaan poneenga..adhukulla vanteenga..ithaan unga work life balancea"


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

When imitations fail to flatter

Recently got to read a book named "House of Silk" shared by my birend mister mages of teerthadanam fame. Its the latest installment of yet another author trying to add to the Sherlock Holmes novels. Read from Wiki about the author and was surprised to find that the novel was commissioned by Conan Doyle's estate themselves!!

Titlea padichitu ivan ennamo peria lord labakku mathiriyum matha writersa kora solla vantaanu nenachukaatheenga. Me crazy about Sherlock Holmes novels. This blog id was originally called Sherlokshanki :D I've read almost all the volumes written by Conan Doyle and have re-read each of them numerous times to the point of recital, once upon a time. With huge expectations I read this novel, probably that set the tone for the review.

If ever there is a checklist for writing a Sherlock Holmes novel, the author ticks every single one of them. Right from the Watson-Sherlock meet, to the way he guesses..err..deducts people's life story, to the mandatory "frightened to death" and "emotionally weak" client, who jumps at shadows, erstwhile London, the chariots and trains and streets description, everything tallies to a "T". But once the case work begins, that's where I felt, it majorly deviated from the "norms" set by Doyle. Watson and even Sherlock is shown to sympathize with Lestrade and at times, even admits some of the methods of Lestrade yielded results. It was almost as if, the author was trying to politically correct the image of Holmes. Watson, sounds in a frustrating tone about Holmes lack of respect for his works. It was implicitly mentioned, if at all, in a humorous tone, in the original series and the devotion of Watson to Sherlock was supposed to be way too much to even consider this blasphemy.

Like, how Hollywood is trying to humanize superheroes, by picturing their vulnerabilities, probably the author had tried his bit to make Sherlock more fallible is my guess. Even this can be accepted. But the singularity with which Doyle goes about the case investigation takes a sound beating here. It starts as a case of stalking for ransom to robbery to kidnapping and gruesome death and all of a sudden makes a hop, skip and jump to child trafficking by the titular "House of silk". Holmes is shown on a revenge mode to avenge the death of his informer kid, which is highly atypical of that character, for he is rarely , if not never, emotional.

Gils verdict: I've read all great reviews about this novel on the net. The author's language has been so similar to that of erstwhile era and almost Doyle-ish. But as a fan of Sherlock I find it  unconvincing. Overa review podreno??!!...back to back to back review posts :D Ithana naala vitathukku serthu vechu postisthaanu :D