Sunday, January 29, 2012

Source Code

Sometime back opened my Inbox to see a mail from a software company I had never applied to. I studied computer science in college; but that doesn’t qualify me as a software engineer. Am not too sure if every so-called software engineer is a coding-whiz, but I know I’m not. The job profile read – Java Developer. 

Around the same time a couple of school kids next door wanted me to help them in writing C programs for a project. I tried wriggling out of it with a couple of tried and tested excuses; none of them seemed to work. I cursed my horrible luck and got down to working with them. Thankfully Turbo C’s blue screen said “No errors Found”.

If there something that gives me creeps after solving calculus problems, it has to be coding. During my three of undergrad I suffered from what was known as *coding-phobia*. A Prof used to mock at my programs saying they could use my programs for the debugging competitions; nobody would ever be able to solve them.

Either ways I wasn’t very fond of coding. I walked into that institute wanting to pursue their Journalism course, but fate had other plans for me. A couple of years into the battle with C, C++, Java and the likes I figured I wasn’t meant to code, I decided I’d rather jump out of the IT bandwagon. When the 50 women in my class were all planning to join either IT companies or masters in IT or get married; two of us decided to join Management courses, one was a wannabe Investment Banker and the other a wannabe Marketing whiz. For the record, neither of us are pursuing what we wanted to.

Then came around the MBA; struggle with Finance, goofing up an Economics paper, truck loads of case studies, finding my feet, dealing with corporate, flunking a Man-Ac paper, Anna Univ’s paper correction and reevaluation and more mumbo-jumbo. Even whilst all this was happening, the time to choose the right job was thrust upon my already pressurized brain. I was dead sure I wanted do something that was interesting and not numbers related.

Here again, I was goofing up interviews, screwing up the last rounds, missed my chance of being absorbed into the Internship Company and then purposely screwing up a Big-Four Audit Company because I did not want finance. There was one sexy IT company offering something called; Functional Consultant, dint make the cut and settled for something called Market Research.

I assumed it was the right choice, because I dint have too many choices up my sleeve then, if you had known me during the first few months of 2010, you’d surely empathize. I still wanted go on a wild goose chase; I applied to companies for Client Servicing knowing pretty well that their package was half of what I would be earning. I saved up money for a British Council Course, my mom promptly made a Fixed Deposit of it.

Some people think I’m a numbers person because my dad is an ex-banker and a Chartered Accountant and mom is a banker. Most of them don’t realize I was made differently. People still raise their eyebrows when I try to explain Market Research; most of them confuse it with a BPO. A few of them are upset that I’m not a banker like my parents. Most of them think I should simply join some good IT company and settle down.

Talking about IT companies being safe havens for girls, my best friend walked into their Bandwagon as a Technical Writer or Instructional Designer. Am sure the oldies are very happy about her choice. While we were discussing the companies hiring, she mentioned about a company in Udupi paying a fancy sum luring people into doing market research on Computer Games.

How I wish these guys would do some solid research on Makeup, beauty, food, healthy eating and what not! Trust me; I can talk in depth about crème amplified and a frost lipstick with the ease of a connoisseur. I will be more than happy to identify the Total Available Market for Lindt or Ritter. I can yak nonstop about how good flaxseeds are for your health!  If only they did… 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Post - A Slice of Yours-Truly

Here's the first official post of 2012, turns out to be a guest post by a really good friend of mine. First things first, A! Thank you so much for this awesome post, I don't know if anybody would like to say something like this about me anytime soon. It's not everyday you come across people who you get along with like a house fire, especially when you contact each other on Gtalk and phone calls! =P AM, is my rockstar, soul-sister and lost twin from my previous birth. If you want to be best friends with her, invite her over and serve "Milk-Powder-Waali Chai" :P No more Kolaveri Ok?

Life can get pretty random in a lot of ways and more often than not, we spend our entire life figuring things out but here is a gal who takes all the randomness of life in her stride and is even able to laugh at it. That’s one quality I love about her.  She is let’s say (in her style) ‘S’.

When life gave ‘S’ lemons, here is what she did with them:

1.       She made lemonade, everyone does that!
2.       She threw some at her enemies.
3.       She grew some of her own.
4.       And after she was done drinking her lemonade, she sold it and made money and then invested it in enviable items! Haah, that’s ‘S’ for you!

And that’s why I call her my hero. She always manages to win both the ‘wins’ in the ‘win-win’ situation, metaphorically speaking! Since I have been asked to write for her blog, I assume, I am allowed to sound random.

Her blog is something that I envy coz firstly she regularly updates it. Secondly the content; time and again she writes about people she loves, hates, loves to annoy, hates to please and so on but what remains consistent is her ability to laugh at everything at the end of the day.

Many might know this about her but I find it remarkable that she is a Chennai-ite who eats her humble idli-sambhar and a pompous north Indian meal with equal gusto. She can even dish out some fancy sounding dishes and even though she hasn’t had (assuming here ;) ) these drinks, she can tell apart a bubbly from a soda. And yes, her taste in movies is as universal as the food she eats and love.

I might sound like I am writing a version of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ for my dear friend. Well she is a bit like every girl yet a nomad in her own way who likes to think ambitious, do different things and things differently and yet, is reasonable in her choices so as to fit well in the society. You might be confused, lemme explain with an example. I mentioned she is ambitious, but now read this in reference with guys. I might not know everything about her life but by now I have gathered that she wants a Leonardo Di Caprio with a heart of Salman Khan, class and intelligence of James Bond but his name should sound something like that of a ‘South Indian’ or ‘Tam-Brahm’ guy so that her parents wouldn’t mind. And oh yes, he must sound either like Faisal Kapadia or Shafqat Amanat Ali! Phew, only if God took orders for customization! :P

Her choice might sound extravagant but trust me, she deserves it! She too has a lot to offer but is not the one to brag! Actually she is Ms. Know-it-all but will never show-it-all unless asked. But mind it, never ask coz once she begins, there is not stopping this word-express but of course, she aims to please! Right ‘S’? ;)

Well, I might not know her past or future but the best part about my friendship with her is that I have always known about her present, her today… and the little time we spend chatting, I guess it makes it up for the lost years of friendship and chatting. Actually now when I think of it, even if I had to know her from the time she was born, I would have lost only 2 or 3 years without her coz I learnt to speak only at the age of 2 or 3 but she used her entire vocabulary in the very first month after she was born so thankfully, I wouldn’t have lost much, or would I have lost my hearing by now? Who knows! Surprisingly the way we get along and the way we know each other, we didn’t actually take too much time, so both of us ponder over it even now as to how could it have been so easy and only if it was so easy to find a guy like that! Hai na ‘S’? :D

Well, all I know is that guys or no guys, we gals r here to stay with our chats and comedy that can set someone on fire :D

Rock on ‘S’!

 – A huge fan! :D

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adieu 2011

This post is coming in late by 24hrs thanks to the brilliant efficiency of BSNL’s Broadband Connection.

At the outset I’m very glad that the year is finally drawing to an end. If duality as a concept can be applied to life; 2011 would be it.

Amidst truck loads of epic-fails, bouts of ennui and hordes of shopping, peppered with familial responsibilities; I’ve learnt invaluable lessons that will hold me in good stead for a long time to come.
There have been moments of unbridled joy, exasperation and plain despondency. All along, I lived in the belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes I have this weird feeling that somebody actually stole the lantern which was kept at the end. Whoever it is, please return it.

I’ll start with shopping first; the folks at Health & Glow are smiling their way to Bank, because of yours-truly. I’ve always loved make-up, a part of my childhood was spent rummaging thru my Chitti’s stash and years later, I have my own.  Believe me, when I tell you Coral Red Lipstick can actually brighten up your day. And pouting can do even better ;) I gifted myself a sexy diamond nose-ring for my 24th. I went on to purchase Gold, precious stones and Silver for an insane amount. I have no idea what I will do with a Silver Kutti Vilaku.

On the family front; I turned into the cook and the caretaker. Cooking according to me is a great stress-buster; chopping onions and tomatoes like a maniac after a bad day is as good as a chocolate pedicure at the parlour. Coming to the Caretaker part; Amma hurt her head, underwent a surgery and met with an accident all in the same year. Horrible stuff I know! This had me doubling my roles. It takes superhuman effort to keep a family of 4 happy and content. And Amma you are *God*! I did this for half a year and you’ve been doing this for 26yrs; Total Respect!

2011 marked the completion of 19 months of Corporatization. I learnt a lot of things the hard way; appraisals can be quite disheartening, patience and hard work might work in your favour in the long run. Keeping you a tab on your emotions can save you a lot of unwarranted trauma. Most importantly, never mix work and personal life.

The best of the year was truly saved for the last. This might border on bragging; I’d still go ahead and spill the beans. All the savings plans matured themselves into one little piece of land 80kms off Chennai!

Song of the Year – describes my feelings to the T.

PS: On an after-thought I think I should add a disclaimer on my Tam-Matri profile; "Spark Plugs and Zippo are not sold here. If you want Sparks, please set yourself on fire." 
Here's your Spark Ammunition: