Friday, August 06, 2010

Pardes

Its been a month, I have moved out of Hyderabad, well not for good, but yes surely for some time. In IT parlance am in a long term onsite assignment. So am here in South California in the lovely city of San Diego, and its been more than a month. I have been here before, but those were all short term, maximum being couple of months so this was different.

Firstly, there was a whole lot of convincing to be done at home, yes my wife doesn’t like the option of being away from me. (I know am irresistible) It was a career shift, so it was in the pipeline for sometime and we both ignored it, till it came upon us. And then we decided to chug along the master plan of LIFE.

Shifting is a big job, first you need to pack all your stuff somehow into those huge bags which have to weigh exactly 26 kilograms each unless you want to burn a hole in your pocket paying for excess luggage. You need to carry some basic cooking stuff, at-least that’s the norm and who am I to challenge the norm. You have to meet and say bye to all people and friends, coz you never know when you would meet them again as the stay is not pre-defined.

Coming to how stuff works here, no am still not an expert but its just a list down on stuff the way they were thrown to me.
  1. You cant do anything here unless you have a Social Security
  2. Everyone wants to sell you stuff but no one would unless you have a credit score. And you won’t have a credit score unless you take a loan and pay it back and no zero credit isn’t a good thing down here.
  3. You can work your way around by paying lot of security deposits, which was taken care of by my benevolent colleagues here.
  4. Paying by cash is looked down upon.
  5. Temperatures and distances are in Fahrenheit and Miles. So when people ask you whats the temperature back their in your place, you got to do C/5= (F-32)/9 in your mind before you can answer. Well 105 is a safe answer unless you stay in Shimla or Kashmir.
  6. No one knows what a lakh is? Or for that matter ladies finger and brinjal. And I thought they were English words.
  7. You buy most of your stuff second hand, from random people looking up craiglist. ( This website has been a great blessing)
  8. There are no tube-lights or ceiling fans in any of the houses(Ok any of the houses I have seen).
  9. Saving paper is over-rated. On one side they try to save it, and on the other they use it for everything and you know where am getting it.
  10. Any activity on the cell phone is charged, there are no freebies.
  11. Your post box is spammed with promotional mails.
  12. Wine shops are bigger and better than the most of the shopping malls back there in India. You are spoilt with choice.
  13. Offers are there round the clock 365 days a year. There is no fixed price for any product, different outlets offer different prices, so buy and then don’t ask anyone else how much they bought it for.
  14. You get to celebrate your b’day, twice in a year, one when your family and friends back in India wish you, and then the actual day here in the US. :)

Well this list will go on as I would keep discovering new things about this place. Settling down in a new place hasn’t been new to me and I can adjust pretty easily. I have stayed at so many places with people coming from varied backgrounds that I can easily get along. Still I miss India and home, not to say my lovely wife and all you wonderful friends. Internet and Vonage are the only things apart from the free flowing beer and wine that is keeping me going.

Watch this space for more.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nicknames

They can be cute, funny and some times dreaded too. But surely at some point of time you are associated with one and then it remains with you for a good period of your life and in some cases your life time, and in some avoidable cases it becomes your identity for the rest of your life.

This blog post is not about the cute lovey dovey ones, that either our parents or loved ones give us, but the ones that become our identity more so when we are in a hostel environment. Cant blame the people when so many people co exists creativity flows and in most cases ends up in a dreaded unmentionable nickname.

I have had the unenviable distinction of being on the receiving end during my four years of Engineering. How that name got stuck and how it became my identity isn’t something I would be letting you guys know. I have always hated that nickname, so don’t expect any juicy tidbits there. And yes my frnds who would walk by this post would surely post that am quite sure of that.

So I had a nickname, no it didn’t end at that, it became my identity, even to the extent that my frnds parents would refer to me (thank god in my absence) by that name. Cant blame them.

I tried various strategies to shrug off the name, that my friend leaked out one day in the dining hall and which then went on to become my identity, from seniors to juniors all knew me by that name. I would assume the proffessors dint know or atleast had the courtesy not to call me by that name. That I was mostly bunking lectures might have worked out in my favour.

I was just thinking of the various ways one could nip such avoidable nicknames in the bud. If you get irritated then they obviously like it and they keep calling you. You cant pick up a fight with 400 of them.. Impossible!! If you play along, then they think you like it anyways so they call you anyways. You cant ignore them, coz you meet them everywhere. Living four years away from family they were like an extended family themselves.

Much as I hate my nickname, but I love all the wonderful memories that comes along with it and the wonderful friends I made in those four years. But I still hate it when I have to introduce myself to my some long lost friend of mine over the phone, by my nickname. But then thats life..

But how do you shrug off a nickname, food for thought, if you have any pointers, you know where to write.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 Updates

Five months have passed this year, and am still living under the excuse of being too busy for ignoring my blog. Also my new addiction has to be blamed for the long absence. So finally when I logged in and saw that the last post was in November 2009, I immediately decided to post one right now.
So this isnt about any pcl tag, or any pcl issue, this is just my life in general. People expecting juicy tidbits would be disappointed and hence may leave now(Dont tell me I didnt warn you guys)
Ever since I have been on the new project, life has gone for a toss, first casualty being my gym. From being a regular, I hardly can recollect the last time I saw my gym. My sneakers and clothes are still in the locker( I sincerely hope this is the case)
Funny how things change, I was always waiting for one big project, since it was sometime, I was into one, and was really getting desperate and one lands right away, and now I dont have anything in my life other than that. Working late nights, exchanging hi's and hello's with my wife over the phone or in person during weekends has become the norm. Working weekends, long meetings conference calls and unlimited coffees and teas interspersed with long email chains has become a routine.
The only person who is very happy with all this is my Dad. My Dad being a workaholic, thinks its great that I have a lot of work. Being a hard working Public servant, he sees it as a good sign that the company is doing well and am getting numerous opportunities. My wife has her share of complains, but is now okay that I took a full day off and we both treated ourselves to a luxurious holiday to celebrate my second marriage anniversary. ( Yes guys!! you need to celebrate certain mistakes inorder to avoid repercussions).
Well wont bore you all with the steady monologue, so presenting in points form the highs and lows of the year so far for moi..
  1. Celebrated the new year with a large family gathering with a trip to Ooty, Coonoor and Neliyampathy. ( for pics pls lookup my orkut profile here)
  2. One of my best friends got married, was the witness for the marriage. (Wish them all love and luck)
  3. Travelled to California for 45 days, was a lovely trip, with the august company of project mates and lots of wine and beer. ( Managed to put on 4 kgs in this trip)
  4. Came back to open arms of my wife, my house and my lovely city Hyderabad to face the hot and humid summer ( This is really some change)
  5. Some interesting career move happening(more on this later, most of you already know)
  6. Two yrs of a bitter sweet love filled marriage completed. Love my wife for being with me and most importantly bearing me. (Looking forward to many many more sweet memories)
  7. Got hooked on to Twitter. Follow me here www.twitter.com/sreejitsh

Missed a few close friends marriages thanks to this very hectic schedule, havent called and spoken to a lot of them. But the primary priority right nw is a trip to Kerala to visit parents. Leaves are a distinct possibility so just waiting for the appropriate time.

Hopefully would post more often and next time better ones..

Thanks for reading... and awaiting the comments...