Monday, July 28, 2008

All The Perfumes Of Arabia

Here's the smell of the blood still;
All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh,Oh, Oh!
  • A group of misguided individuals under the delusion that they are fulfilling God's will?

  • Another group hell-bent on destroying anyone and anything that attacks their faith?

  • A sore loser who will not rest till he usurps power?

  • A party trying to ward off the anti-incumbency factor by creating a diversion and instilling fear in the minds of people?

  • A country that arms the terrorists first and then goes after them when the terrorists start pointing their guns on their land?

  • A country ravaged by unrest and uprisings because of the wealth of its resources; in some cases its own leaders looting it to fill up their coffers while in other cases being attacked by others who covet its wealth?

  • A dictator so puffed up with his grandiose schemes of expansion of one race that he meticulously set about destroying others?

Whatever the reason; whoever the perpetrator; the end result is always same! If only we could rely on our conscience to guide us in doing the right thing always! In an ideal world maybe! For once, I do not feel like rambling on and want to cut this post short!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Five People You Meet In IT

At first I thought I should write my own version of Five People You Meet in Heaven. But I am 99.95% certain that I am not going to heaven. Then I thought I should change it to Five People You Meet in Hell. But I don't want to meet any of my friends and family in Hell. And I most definitely do not want to meet certain other people down there (I am not saying that I don't want them to be in Hell. I just want them to be in a separate section, far away from me). Plus why waste breath writing about people who bug you.So, I am writing about IT. Although the people I have met can be found in any other industry too.

The Whiner
Nothing is good enough for him. If he is in support project, then he wants to be in development. But if he is put into a development project, then he will crib about the long hours. Everyone is out to get him, his team-mates, his project leader, his manager. I agree that everyone cribs at some point or the other, but if someone has nothing else to do but crib, then there is something seriously wrong. One year in IT is enough to know that most of the times the work is menial. Copy-pasting code, preparing umpteen documents, sending status reports(this is somewhat tricky coz you need to find stuff to show for the time you were in the canteen or checking your stock's performance on sharekhan or moneycontrol) does not require a very high IQ.The project leader/manager is a b*****d (they have to, otherwise its hard to get things done from unmotivated, unhappy people).So, either you should quit IT or shut-up and adapt.

The Midnight-Oil Burner
These people take great pride in staying in office till the last cab is ready to go. And they make sure that they can let other people know about this at the slightest chance. Maybe you have heard this (If not you will have to imagine the tone: Long sigh + pride + condescension)
'Oh I missed dinner.'
'I was in office till 12.'
'It's been a long time since I have seen the sunset.'
'I can never leave at 6.'
'I was in office on the weekend'
Sadly, lots of people do get impressed by this. But what they do not understand, that only very few people have to stay back because of the work load. Free internet, photocopying, scanning, dinner in the canteen or just doing tp with friends in office may be some of the reasons for people to stay back. More often than not, it's because the person isn't strong technology wise, or his analytical skills aren't too good.

The WonderBoy/WonderGirl
Assign them a task and it's like they take put on their cape and underwear and transform into superheroes. And the reason that you don't see the cape or the underwear is becoz it's invisible. And it is visible only to others like them. Their superpowers? Excellent communication skills, sound technical skills, team player, proactive, strong domain knowledge, management skills etc etc (Just copied that from one superhero's last appraisal)

The Idiot In The Next Cubicle
This is the guy who is in IT by fluke. He didn't have any good job offers in college and accepted a job in IT as a stop-gap solution. He will probably goof around in office till he gets through CAT or GRE. Then there are others who belong to this breed ;whose ultimate aim is not MBA or MS; but who just don't believe in working. Ever had to stay back in office because someone else goofed up and didn't finish their task? That's the idiot I am talking about (Though probably everyone is an idiot at some point or the other).

The Boss From Hell
There is nothing worse than being stuck with a team-lead/project manager who doesn't appreciate you. Even worse is the boss who pretends to be listening to you and then retracts whatever he has promised you. This is the guy who keeps a tab on how long your coffee breaks are, catches you in the restroom/canteen and asks about the status of your pending tasks, nods disapprovingly when he sees you talking on the phone, whose face bobs up and down from his monitor every time you get up to take a leak.

I know it's quite wrong to categorize people like this. But there is no malice intended behind it. I have met some good people too. And I am sure that you have too. Remember the team-lead who faced the music when you screwed up the code in UAT/Production. The colleague who stayed back for moral support when you were rushing to meet the deadlines. The client/manager who sends in an appreciation mail once in a while to boost your morale (it's a different issue that you were expecting a promotion or onsite opportunity rather than just nice words).

Friday, July 18, 2008

What's In A Name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet;

All my life I have been correcting people when they misspell/mispronounce my name be it strangers, friends, teachers, colleagues, managers, clients. I don't understand why people have to add an extra a, e or b to my name. I think I must have heard all the possible permutations and combinations of it after adding these extra characters. Should I be annoyed or concerned that they are probably dyslexic? I think I should start writing the phonetic spelling in brackets along with my name. Though I am sure not many people would be able to understand that anyway.

I don't know if it's childish to have strong feelings about one's name. I may get tired writing my full name on forms or any other document (although it may not be as long as some south-Indian names are, still 19 characters isn't short). But I can't imagine myself with any other name than my own. How can I be anything else other than SK?

I wonder whether it's the first or the last name that gives us our identity. For a famous celebrity probably one's first name is enough. Take the case of Madonna, Cher, Shakira, Sting, Eminem, Bono, and Pele.I couldn't think of any Indian! For us, I guess, being a Gandhi, Kapoor, Bachchan or a Khan carries a lot of weight. But for the common man, it's the last name which identifies them; which connects them to the rest or segregates them.

The idea of changing even my last name after marriage does not sound good. Wonder what made Romeo offer to drop his last name for sake of love. I should probably check with Juliet how she managed to convince him. And if you have no idea what I am talking go read Romeo and Juliet.

P.S : Was just going through my previous posts, and noticed there are soooooooo many I's in there!!!! Think the name of my blog needs to be changed to Me,Myself and SK!!Dunno how a blog is supposed to be. But don't think I would be able to write about anything unless I am able to relate to it somehow. There I go,some more I's!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Experiments With Food

How can I burn thee?
Let me count the ways.

My apologies to Elizabeth Browning for mutilating her poem. But I am not joking. My cooking sessions are always so full of suspense. Until the end, I never know whether the end product is going to be edible or not!!But sometimes I can crack the mystery before the murder happens. My clues?Uncooked or burnt rotis. And I am not even talking about their shape, since I am least bothered about it. As long as I can eat it, I don't really care if my roti is triangular, square or quadrilateral. Too much salt in the food ;I can never detect when the salt is not enough, so I keep on adding till the dish gets too salty. Or worst case smoke coming out of the vessel or microwave. Thank god, my landlady didn't see her blackened microwave. I had to work very hard with the scrubber and cleaning liquid to hide the evidence.

I guess, I should have listened to my Dad when he told me to learn cooking. But I always got angry and thought that just because I am a girl doesn't mean that I have to end up in the kitchen. My secret plan was to marry a chef and be done with cooking forever. So, when my friends were cooking up gourmet meals; along with doing all the other things I must add.I was curled up on the sofa reading a novel, or watching TV. Anything as long as it did not involve chopping/cooking and kept me away at least 100 meters away from the kitchen.

When I finally left home and started living alone, I realized that knowing how to make maggi does not help one much. Neither can you live off canteen food forever. I always thought that people exaggerated the bad quality of canteen food. But first-hand experience taught me otherwise.Uncooked rice, watery dal, same gravy,rotten veggies don't seem like exaggerated stories now.Thanks to some kind-hearted roomies, I did manage to grasp the basics of cooking. Although my role was mainly to cut the vegetables. So beware I am pretty feisty with the knife!!It's only when I was living alone in London that I decided that I would not eat restaurant stuff even if I died of food-poisoning after eating the food cooked by me. Although, I did cheat a little bit by getting microwave ready meals. But hey, at least I know how to operate the microwave now.
Guys don't be MCP's and expect your gf or wife to cook. If you are stuck with anyone like me then you will most definitely need to wear the chef's hat at home. And ladies, you don't need to let go of your feminist vows. Learn to cook at least for yourself; if not for your family. And if your ma-in-law/hubby cribs about your food, tell them to go to h....the restaurant :-).

I have not read any of the "For Dummies" series. But if there is one called Cooking for Dummies, I think I definitely need to purchase it quickly. Last weekend as I tried to fry fish (which my mom had bought,cleaned and marinated),yelling and jumping every 5 minutes coz the oil splashed over me, I realized that maybe I need to think about my back up plan. So, until I master the art of cooking, I am not going to let go of my plan to marry a chef. Or I could develop some additional skills like batting my eyelids very sweetly to get my hubby to cook for me.

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