Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Dec 26th - Kozhikodan Alliyanz


The 3 months old planning came to fall in place last Wednesday and I was enrooted to Calicut for my friends A’s brother in law. The whole Football group who plays fantasy food ball was invited and our common friend Thimmz was also there. More than the reunion, lot of drinking and memory sharing was in cards. So after a long break, to be precise, 6 years break, it was a 6 hour train journey for me – alone! The journey when taking around your family and travelling alone are at two different levels. One will start enjoying the loneliness when the burden of taking care of family through out the journey is not there ( it is enjoyed when done in short spells) rather than long journeys.  The train journey ended without much of a surprise and Calicut had two hotels with the same name Emperor. As it is very famous, the cordial Auto rickshaw driver took me to the second hotel with in a blink of an eye and alaz – I am at my destiny. The next 6 hours was more of booze and lot of talks including 25 years old stories of making and breaking of love life,, what was planned and how it panned out, how people we know from last 10 years have grown to things we could never imagine, a few who met our expectation as per our teenage mind projected etc. One thing I really enjoyed in this discussion was no one was so sad with what was happening today and all of us were so happy about the days passed and how we had lived those. So no regrets and such get together really bring back the gest of life and living them with the company of people who we enjoy the most !

ohh i am forgetting myself


The social conditioning has almost left one to place were they trying to re discover by looking back on one’s life. It’s strange to see that many things which I enjoyed a lot are forgotten and now I need to read it myself to realize that I enjoyed  song or doing some specific thing on day! Sadly that’s what life does to you and when I say life, it’s the expectation, people and things around you make you do. It’s a little harsh on others when you put it like that but things change as the time passes away. Every item on you list if linked to happiness of some one or something around you and yourself is lost in the midst. When everything on the list is done and dusted and that small corner of hour if left with you, most of the time one will find happiness in a bit of sleep or a short bit of silence among the chaos – not the bit for entertain / enjoying myself 

As the time progresses and our life gets evolved into something like a strings of a woolen sheet were we lose track on what’s mine and what’s not and it leaves you at a place where you hardly care. This is time when one starts living life over days and hours just passing through the daily chores and not into anything specific. It more of like status updates on done done done! and pending and WIP. The list often reflects in smiling and frowning faces. When it becomes the order of the day, it cease to spring the smile back on you as it just build expectation and as always Expectation reduces joy !!!


The guy who is always on the conf call .....


As usual, I am listening to a product demo and over view presentation. I was reading through some film reviews and preparing some queries on the back ground to check if I get some good talking points when I try to sell the same. I just got a call from my better half with cold sharp queries like

S: you know, Junior is having temp
Me : ya, Mom told but was on back to back calls
S : so ?
Me : how is he now ?
S : passed tools 5 times and have temp
Me : checked with thermometer or feel factor ?
S : huh ? I just came home, need to check
Me : ok, check and see that he drinks lot of water
S : when will you come ?
Me : post 8 , why ?
S : nothing, will come in time or as usual …
Me : yes, bye – need to join the call, bye
S: Bye

Believe me, listening to sales pitch and typing the things that come in my mind is not as easy as it used to be.

Now I see that the bunch of fresher’s who joined our floor went past us. I see that the short guy in the group making some hand gestures meaning – this guy ( me) is always on phone. Does he work anytime ?
I had a smile coming up on my lips but somehow I kept it straight and played the ‘senior’ face. I wanted to stand up and say, buddy – listening to such calls and finding out talking points which makes sense is much tougher than you think. This is the place where we find out selling points for our solution. Also get answers for the tough questions we have in all customer calls.

Now I see two ladies coming to floor looking for someone. I think they found who they were looking for over the corner of the floor. They also exchanged the same kind of look – why this guy is always on the phone ?
I need to get to talk in the call and will not be able to concentrate on this anymore, more to add on….


Sudden Death


Old clean up and appearing fresh and new here ! 
Don’t get surprised by the title of this blog. It has nothing to do with content. As its football feature right around, thought of using a word from football world ! From a work perspective, I was on bench for last two to three months. Family kept me quiet busy with arrival of our new member, followed by an infection to my mom and then it continued with dad. So more of the days part was buying tender coconut and getting it back to the rite room in the hospital, night outs and not the least – waiting in queue. The monsoon season is yet to hit the country cost but the fever season has. As I see it, the current fever leaves people like squeezed molasses. I remember by fevers in childhood as three days of complete rest, no fan and only jeera water with pain staking calpol syrup or a tablet. Just the memory of it brings the bitter memories. Ohh just coming back to the point of starting. As I was too busy with family, had kept low life in work meaning on bench and not hunting for a project. It has been hardly one week into work and I can see hard stuff coming along from nowhere. I left office almost at 10 yesterday – still not into a project but just doing client presentation and capability decks!

It is a little mysterious that – anything you like will not last too long to get to boredom. I was kind of enjoying my daily routine with 4 to 5 hours of perennial work, then the routine tea / coffee breaks and lots of time on talks and healthy stuff. Forgot to add, as my wife and kid are at their home enjoying the “ after birth treatment”, I am back on the health regime with 30 minutes swimming and 5 minutes stretch every day. It again proves that a little bit of physical exercise can do wonders to both mind and body. My list of “ to-Do’s” has come down to almost under 10 with no urgent item pending – including house hold chores “ which with my track record is an amazing achievement. OK, as usual I have a presentation catch up and I have my creative tooth pushing me to write down the above crap at this umpteen moment. Let me get back to stuff that matters now – calling sudden death  ( disaster control after client presentation J)



XIXIX bank and credit cards


Today morning, I get a call from a 1409XXXXXXX number, looks like a marketing call. As I was bored waiting for a deck review / change request, I picked up the call to talk through the marketing details of the product.

Girl voice at other side : Hi sir, Good Morning, this is Rupali from XIXIX Bank

Me         : GM Rupali
R             : As you are an esteem customer of XIXIX bank, we would like to offer you a Platinum credit card
Me         : OK, good, so ?
R             : This card is really beneficiary and first year comes with no annual fee or Joint fee
Me         : So what is the fee for second year ?
R             : It is 99 Rs but will be waived off if 50K Rs purchase is done annually.  This card offers a 2.5% pay back on fuel ser charges and for shopping at malls it offer pay back points. So you stay in Trivandrum rite sir ?
Me         : Yes Rupali, you had called me three days back, we went through this ordeal and I confirmed that I will have the card. You told me that you will check and call back
R             : As you are staying in Trivandrum I cannot offer you this card as this city is not serviceable for platinum card
Me         : Ohh is it ? should I change my residence location for the card ?
R             : No sir, sorry sir, thank you sir, have a great day ahead sir



Wednesday, May 22, 2019




An SMS message read “ Cricket tomorrow @ 6 AM “ and left me thinking – should I ?
I thought for a while before responding mostly “Mostly no”
My wify is @ hospital for her delivery and I am accompanying her on – pre delivery walk to induce the labor pain while receiving and responding the above SMS. I don’t know how many of you would have given a thought before responding to such a SMS and how many ( read men) would have said “Yes” to that. After couple of trial outs of ‘Inducing pain’ pil – our doctor gave us couple of rest days and I resumed my office regime and hence this blog entry!

As this has been a lean period with projects ( Read – not trying too much to get into a project after 2 years of back to back fire shell projects and the pre-dad scare) every now and then we ( the newly acquired group) get into the good old question of “whatz up this evening ?“( Vaikitentha parypady ?). I had also thought for a while to accompany our fellow bench mates to join them for a beer or two but decided against it thinking – what I would get into if I am little drunk and my wify gets her pain for delivery ? options would be
  1.  Shows up in front of delivery room with a hangover to do the left-right : pre dad walk ? or
  2. To be caught by police on drunken driving while trying to reach hospital :
Somehow I felt the above too options would be too much of trouble and it’s better to skip the ordeal for some time before I settle into a much awaited family life with a young one. Coming back to the SMS, I played cricket after a break of almost 2 years and that too crashed right into an internal unit match with nil match practice and scored 5 runs in 8 balls. The match was fun as I could hardly read the pitch and play my shots but felt good playing after a while. As out of practice, I did not even ask a chance to bowl itself! We lost the match like 70 all out when 130 was required with an over to spare.

So to give an update on my personal score, I am eagerly awaiting my little one’s arrival this week, being on bench for last couple of months conveniently to take time off work and enjoy my parent hoods’ early few days. Wish me and my dear wife a lot of luck !

After note : Blessed with  a baby boy on May 23rd  ! The walk which we often see in movies in front of the labor room and all is far from reality. All you hear there is account of cases going in and going out of the room ( some with C-Sec babies blinking and looking around and normal babies awfully tired). Then comes the series of MIL / MPL with babies to feed or NMs ready to feed their babies left in neo natal ICU – just for the sake of charging us some extra bugs.

Some more to add on : Marking 15th day of parenthood with lot of joy. Wife and MIL suffering  from sleepless nights with little one still sticking on to US schedules for his play time.

posting exactly 5 years after :) 

Friday, February 19, 2016

The uncle story ....

Situation : one of our clients status call which falls over various locations including Europe, US and India. I am running the 1 hour call were I need to take inputs from each team lead, ask update on open items from last day call, look for escalation points and follow up on un finished acts. The team has folks with experience ranging from 2 to 15 years!






I took inputs from our own team at my locations, rounded up Bangalore folks and then about to move on to onshore folks :


Me : As we have covered everyone in offshore, lets move to ppl in UK


High tone lady voice : Oyy uncleee, mera update bhi lenaaa


Me : Err what ?


Male Voice 1 : Abhe mute pe nahi hey


Me : Ohh, I think I missed Hyderabad, can you please share your updates


High tone lady : We have completed X packages and rest being worked at, will be completing them by tomorrow.


[ I could hear a lot of back ground noise where people struggling to control their laughter ]


Me : Thanks Mrs S


I took updates around the globe and summarized the call. The moment I hung up, I could see every one in my conference room on splits .... I realized that I have grown to a place were I could see my self older than most of the team members and hence the name UNCLE. hard realizations, but time is not far before my son would spot a gray hair on my head :)



Lazy afternoon @ office

It has been a lazy month since starting of this Feb as i am into a project awaiting customer clearance. I had set up multiple follow up discussion and to my dismay nothing turned fruitful. So most of my afternoon hours are spend over online news websites and interesting reads in wikipedia. The kind of life i had almost 4 to 6 years ago. As Attukal ponghala - god song started this week, its festival time at home. Yesterday, my niece has her performance in stage 1 and we returned home almost at 11 after a late night juice shop visit. The extended stay reflected bad on my sleep and my eyes today. My mid day sleep at my cubicle was disturbed by none other than my delivery manager !!!


Man i hate the moment you struggle to open eyes from sleep and we see the most dreaded face i could see on floor staring at me. I was speechless for a moment as i am caught red handed / red eyed sleeping in office cubicle. I hope he understands the festival season and the intricacy of local festivals and sleep. Anyways, one leads to another and i am here in my blog world to keep me awake. I am planning to be more active on the blog world going forward. I am not sure how many times i have tried this but you know, nothing comes easy and it will work out only if one keep trying !!!

wish me luck - if anyone still ventures around here :)

cheers
Shanks 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blog entry after a year !

It has been a while since I sat on my office cubicle like this. Yes there are still ‘to do’ items in my list but not that many which are burning :). I would say the list is of good to have things. How time and situation decides these items are amazing. 3 to 5 years back, many items which were must to have here now cease to exist. From the daily hi-hello call to a must-talk friend to the weekly pub party which is a never-miss thing. Now looking at my schedules, parties are long gone items as the infant with me makes me decide, which dish I get as quick as possible so that we can leave the restaurant / hotel without my kid screaming. Now mile stone updates, my kid has turned one last month, he is growing and he shows similar trends of what I did – less talk and more actions ;)- I started talking properly only as late as after completing my 4rth birthday. I had my first “ everything went bad” trip with my family ( kid and wife) stranded on sides of a national highway at around 11:45 in the night with vicinity of light and heavy rain. Best part was I could not figure out how to take my stepeny tyre due to – no light / heavy rain. Learned to avoid night time rides with some hard learned lesson. Also completed three years of companionship with my beloved wife. Hours and days of learning people on their love – depth and limits of saneness. Work life has eased a bit in last two weeks and I could see day light more than twice this week. Also having time to clean up my messy cubicle / PMO and my mail box / laptop. I hope to get this on the blog if my boss at home ( my kid) allows me to open my leisure laptop!



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wine @ home - Baby steps :)

After my brief stints of work in US and Swizz, i had become a hard fan of wine. Be it red or white, I just love Wine + Pasta or Wine + anything that goes well with it. I am not an expert to identify any wine - food combination but many Italian and french restaurant served some amazing combination.  Once back in India, I tried buying wine from our bellowed KB outpost of brands like Sula and all but all of them disappointed me. So i searched on how i can make my own and stumbled on the following link - which was amazing. I tried my bit and following pictures says the rest of the story !



1.5 KG Grapes
50 GM washed and dried wheat
5 ML Yeast
Mashed Grapes in Pot




Filtering part at end of 21st day





Over bit of Sunlight
Got hold of only a Black label bottle :)
Wine - Red Wine !
Content at end of 42 day



Monday, October 21, 2013

Back to the Future :)



This is another impromptu write up from nowhere  I have some news to share and i thought the best way is to break it here and then take a stride. Finally after a wait of 1.5 years after my celebrated wed-lock, my better half got a transfer to my native place, which means, no more shuttle between two ends of two states,  the never ending phone conversation where someone tries to convince the other side that how the call went unnoticed or how long this call has been going on or the least, how long i wanted to call you!

Every month was a schedule with bus tickets, long struggle using IRCTC options, missed out tickets, forgotten non-cancelled tickets and also missed weekend trips to  the other family get together as I was travelling ! Belive me - its not fun being married and asked to stay at two different locations which is more than 10 hours apart. Two in one discussion with any of my friends or managers ends up with the question- are you travelling this weekend ?

so friends, its good bye to trips and travels, its family time :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am errr ...hmmm kind of Busy !!!

 
 
I had kept myself engaged on so called ‘ getting a life’ activities

and gave a rest to the creative side on penning words from what I live
through. Believe me – married life is something which makes you wonder
what surprise it hold until you get hitched and it does throw some
surprises at you as you take it along. For folks who were never
contacted / tried to be invited to my marriage, I am really sorry.
After 30 years of wait, I had to do things in hurry and if I missed
you, I am sorry. I know there are not many readers / followers to this
irregular blog but still I am sorry if I missed inviting you to my
marriage with Ms S and now Mrs Shanks ;) on this July 15th . The
engagement followed by the customary steps at both bride’s and groom’s
place, together with lot of shopping and invitation, the last two to
three months was so much engaging. I am slowly getting into pace with
the life ( now It has added mind power associated with it). But to
keep it short, it was fun and I loved all the center stage attraction
and comments ;)



Now back to where I started, things kept crashing down on me on
each day from different direction, if for a given say its relatives
asking me to visit there place with my family, someday its work that
calls me out of bed at umpteen times. Now I realize the word of
balanced life and I feel it’s an oxymoron. You can never predict or
balance life, all you can achieve is best of day option to drill
through the current day. Most of the time, you get things fall in
place at time, the request, the presence, the presents , the
pleasantry etc. But there would be days when nothing gets going but
still every problem stays until you get back in place and they still
stare at you ! that’s life. One thing I can’t understand is the urge
to pen this down came to me on the most un fortunate time – where I
have an exam to clear in next 1 hour where I have hardly read the
contents of the exam, I have a report delivery supposed to go three
hours ago and I am still typing this out as if, this is the best thing
to do. I am not sure on why I take this exam as its crystal clear that
I would fail but still ruining one attempt of available 2 attempts. So
let me take a conscious step here to stop writing and go through the
content at least once before I take the test .



After note:

Yes I flunked the exam royally, where three separate sections required
60% score to score and maximum over all I could get was a mere 29%.
Thanks to the systems which allowed me change the subject and still I
have two more attempts to clear the new exam . Most of the day time
is gone answering phone on giving updates on what is going and what is
not going good. Rest of the time, it’s on doing what I am supposed to do.
Theoretically I can agree that I have grew old to the 30+ category who
always looks busy with two hand held device to check and respond but
believe me it’s fun at times. The toughest part is there is always one
side of the circle around you which is frowning on a given day due to
your negligence in attending them in the way they expected you to
attend. It can be my better half, my mom / dad, sister / cousin,
friend / friends or my team ..or even a remote ping over my messenger
/ FB which I failed to answer and last but not the least – my blog or
by dusted guitar. The only answer to all this is - live along and things will fall in place at the right time .....