Monday, September 28, 2009

How are you?

Try and reflect on the random responses to this very sincere question in your everyday life: How are you?

I know what you are saying to yourself as you read this post. [ How many times is this question as sincere as this post claims it to be... Like someone really cares for my response!!!! ]. If I have read your mind correctly, then you must be one among the many who face this question every day, from people who ask you, how you are without any context or concern. This scene often amazes me: I waved a bye just last evening to someone and when I meet the same person the next morning, I am faced with a 'How are you?' instead of a 'Good morning', or may be a ' Good morning, How are you?' sequence... and I am standing there thinking, 'When did I ever say I was not fine to this person, at least last evening, I never said anything that warrants this question, this morning...'. This happens every other day with most of us in most places.

When people hear such 'How are you?' questions without any context/concern very often, they fail to understand and give the heart-felt response to the same question asked by a close friend, with concern and in context. Most often the response for the question is 'Fine' and that is all. In return, there are no more questions asked other than a similar ' How are you?'. Another 'Fine' in response comes without a second thought. The conversation ends there. Such people tend to keep things to themselves and not really come out with what they really feel like, because, the question 'How are you?' has become so common and so pointless in their eyes.

Here are some instances when 'How are you?' can be totally pointless:
In the lift lobby rushing to get into the waiting lift car: To a passer-by colleague, 'Hey, How are you?'. [ Totally pointless because, he/she is already in the lift car and the door closes behind, even before the response ].
After last evening's general talk over coffee, the chief meets the junior the next morning, with a 'How are you?' [ What is the expectation here? ]

We all take common statements for granted, all the time. Most questions/statements are really fashion statements instead of a way of talking.

You ask 'How are you?' and when some one says 'I am fine' without any life in their voice, you know there is something that is just not going well and the response only means ' How does it matter to you?' or 'What I say will hurt you'.

I wont say that everybody has to talk everything they feel like to everyone, but there must one person in whom, one must invest trust regarding certain topics. We all are good at thinking out-of-the-box for some situations, not all of them. It is true that we cannot handle everything under the sun for everyone, because we are not that capable, anyway. It is also true that we cannot handle every problem we face ourselves, however capable, competent, and confident we are. In my opinion, when someone asks how we are, we must say 'Fine, thank you' as part of the etiquette that we all have learnt, but then, if the person who is asking the question is close enough to talk to, it is okay to add a clause : but then, I think, I am a little lost in handling this situation...'.

Of course, all of us are habituated to this question, 'How are you?' but then we can think once again, if we should ask 'How are you?' or just say 'Hi' to the person you meet next. In my opinion, when you say 'Hi', you are in effect buying time to think through the next question based on your time, your friend's time, and where both of you are headed to, and if you really care at that point( in the lift car, for instance) about how the other is doing.. It is perfectly okay to ask a comfortable, sincere, 'How are you?' after a long conversation.. Does any law say that 'How are you?' should be the first question you must ask when you meet someone?...

It is important to use this 'How are you?' question if and only if required, just to help people take it by its face value, and attach some sincere meaning to the response. Now, if you are asking, 'How does it matter if someone is attaching importance or not to the response?', then may I politely suggest that you take this question out of your conversation habit?. If you don't care or don't have time or don't want to get involved, its better not to ask.. That way, the prevalent conversational habits today, will have more meaning. People will be able to respond better to the much valuable question :'How are you?'.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Whatever it takes.....

Software engineers are so used to carrying laptops day in and day out, never have time for anything other than work most of the times, forget what vacation means after the long vacation they took after their wedding, are almost always on the complaint radar in the family, especially when it comes to taking the family out and remembering to buy something from the store. We are not talking about the rare exceptions here. If you are one of the rare exceptions, God Bless You. :-)

Over the past week alone, I had multiple chances to notice how much some of my software engineer friends change for their children. One of my friends who was very much a common software engineer( with all the introductory characteristics) before he became a responsible parent, can actually manage to leave on time for his daughter's school day function. Unbelievable!!! I exclaimed almost aloud. I am all smiles :)

Another friend whose home is a mini-computer lab in itself actually sets his laptop aside and carries his little baby girl most of the time. His emails and phone calls are no more top priorities in life. I don't know if you understand the magnitude of this drastic change, but let me tell you, just no one believed that this man will change for good and take time off work. I am all smiles :)

Recently, one of my friends, rattled off a lot of cartoon characters, on some context. I didn't know how to react for the first few seconds. I was telling myself, This just cannot be possible, but yeah, I just heard them all....This friend is also a blessed software engineer with all the characteristics, that we know from this piece of article. I finally managed to say, " I am amazed you have so much time for cartoons.. Good!!". The response came almost immediately, " Of course, I know. I even draw them for my daughter ". I am all smiles :)

In an advertisement ( I didn't catch the brand of the product), the little girl is having a bowl of some sweet dish and the dad, who is all smartly dressed to go to office, sits on the floor ( no questions on what if the floor is not clean or what if my ironed suit gets creased and all) and tries to get a spoonful of the sweet from his daughter. It was a very cute scene. I am all smiles :)

It is amazing how people change for their children. It is amazing how they find time, spend energy, get enthusiasm for things that they wouldn't have done all these days for anyone else in their lives.

I am all smiles :) I have my own fond thoughts of my childhood days too :) Applause to all Dads :) for what they are to their children. They do whatever it takes to keep their children happy.

Unnai Pol Oruvan

Tamil Film Industry's best make in the year. It is a direct and exact remake of the September 2008, Bollywood release 'A Wednesday'.

'Annan' Kamal Hassan has effortlessly played( actually played, because, it is so easy for him to get the dialogues right with the right emotions. ) the role of the Stupid Common Man and 'Lal' Ettan has done a good job as the Commissioner of Police. The Chief Minister's voice that deputes the Chief Secretary, is an excellent idea. Laksmi has done a good job of expressions as the Chief Secretary.

The Abhiyum Naanum son-in-law character does the angry police man's role and will surely click as a police officer in all the future tamil movies. By all, I mean, ALL tamil movies. He fits into the role very well.

The whole movie is about dialogues, and dialogues only. There is no comedian but dialogues are good enough to get a lot of cheer from the audience. This movie will decide how much Tamil film fans can really think. If it is a super-hit, then it means people can think and we get a chance to watch some nice movies often minus a heroine ( only for the dance in the dreams kind of roles ), and 'out-of-place' item numbers in the most pathetic costumes. If it is not a superr-hit, then we can be very sure that we will never be lucky as often.

Appreciations to the story writer and director for remaking the story as it is. Not many people keep the essence and interest alive in remade movies. Kamal Hassan's dialogue delivery, although a cake walk for his scholastic acting skills, is worth a big round of applause. Mohan Lal, as the Police Commissioner is an excellent character artist, who gets to come in as a Malayalee officer stationed in Chennai. So, a lot of natural Malayalam touch to his dialogues didnt seem out of character. The choice of Lal 'Etan' for this role is a nice decision.

In the second last string of dialogues where Kamal reveals, why he did what he did, there is a particular incident which he narrates, that is very difficult to digest. A lot of appreciation to the script/dialogue writer, who has written the dialogue in a way that won't hurt the Tamil ethical rules of language. There is a disclaimer there saying : "Look, we are adults talking here". I think that is a nice way of saying, I am going to say something, which I believe you have to take it easy, and I am talking with due respect to your position, our context of discussion, and ethics.
This is the only section that is different from the original, so that the Tamil audience can relate to it well.

One word: Nice movie. Not the usual formula. New stars introduced in this movie have a great take-off, if the right directors have made a note. The rest of my review is same as the review of A Wednesday. Its nice to have some really good movies remade as such, so everyone understands the essence.

Caution: If you are a mother-to-be, please do not watch this movie till a few months after your little angel is born. You and your baby may not be able to take it well.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Triple C : Its all in the mind

A lot of people have told me in the last few weeks, "Wonder if I will be able to answer an interview", " I am not sure if I have prepared well " and many such uncertain statements, most of which sound low in confidence level.

From my minimal experience in attending interviews and writing these qualifying examinations, I thought I will write down what I have learned.

Rule 1 : Interviews are unpredictable when you attend the first level.

Most of the first level interviewers are super-thrilled about conducting your interview as much as you are super-scared to face one.

Possibility 1:
When an interviewer is super-thrilled to conduct an interview, and if his manager has given him some advance notice that you are coming over, then he is bound to prepare questions at the level which he thinks is best, for the team. Very few people ask the manager what is the expected skill set level and what to look for. So, when the interviewer faces you, he is at free will to ask any technical question that he believes you must know[ Like this: What is the impact of a recursive function when you are working on a three-tier architecture?].

If the question seems complex, buy sometime with a ' I didn't get that right, can you please repeat?. He will surely repeat verbatim because he has prepared it well and he knows that you didn't[and most people don't believe in telepathy where we could just] anticipate all questions.

Obviously, he is just asking because he thinks that response is required for the job. It surely does not mean you must know the answer. If you do not know the answer just say, I have not had a chance to face a situation to realize the correlation between a recursive function and three-tier architecture. Mostly, your interviewer will take it easy and go ahead with why you didn't realize and all that, but in all, he will declare you PASS.

If you carefully think about the response you just read, it only means: I have no idea; Wonder why you guys try to relate Devil and Deep Sea, since both are equally alien/seemingly scary to me. I have not had a chance to worry about your present problem at work. Get me the appointment order and I'll see how I can solve your problem.

Possibility 2:
When an interviewer is super-thrilled to conduct an interview, and if his manager has not given him time to prepare, that interview will be cool. The interviewer might ask questions that will generally fit the expectations in the job at hand and mostly based on his experience in attending interviews.[ Like this: What is your short term goal?]

Of course, all interviewers ask this, but honestly, if this comes from a junior level interviewer, you can judge that he is asking this because he was asked the same in his interview. He WILL NOT know to judge your response and he is asking this question just to craft his next question. You can just say your dream in your career and be realistic about it. Anything you say, related to the organization usually goes and you will clear the first level interview.

Generally, first timers do not do a good job of interviewing people. What can go wrong here is that, you might have the ability to learn what the company wants you to know, but your first timer, super-thrilled interviewer may not be able to judge. If by any chance your interviewer's boss is smart, he will be able to judge you based on the opinions that Mr. super-thrilled gave him.

Once level one is done, the next-to-next levels are relatively easier to tackle, because your confidence levels would have improved and will boost the feel-good factor in you.

Rule 2:
They are looking at running their business.

Now, why are these interviewers asking what they are asking? If you think it is to judge how much you know, you are partly correct, but the correct answer in my opinion is: Interviews are conducted to judge how confident you are with what you know and how boldly can you accept what you do not know and how committed you are to learn what you must learn, to keep their business going. This is the basic point.

All these aspects; Confidence, Courage and Commitment are all in the mind. You have these and you have the job. Call it luck or talent or skill or tactics, but it is quite a chance that your interviewer is able to read these three aspects in your mind and give you the job.

All it takes to attend an interview is the courage to take the chance to let someone read your mind. Is this tough? Yes, for people who do not allow anyone to know them, it is tough to talk to an interviewer. Some one who is not open to a friend or a close relative, cannot speak to an interviewer who is definitely a third person. Some people are not used to talking. So how do they get the jobs? This time, the interviewer does a good job of getting the right answer out of the candidate; some interviewers know how to bring out the best from a candidate. That is also an art which needs practice. :-)

Rule 3:
Don't blame yourself. You success in the interview is also dependent on the interviewer's skills.

In all, it is no one's fault that you could not click an interview. An interview is always a Win-Win situation. If you get the job, you win. If you do not get the job, you still win the experience of attending an interview. If you are afraid of trying to attend an interview or failing an attempt, then you lose out on the learning. Attempt is important to truly experience the joy of winning.
An interview is also dependent the ability of an interviewer to judge you. There is no easy way to predict an interviewer.So in many cases, even if you have done your best, the interviewer would not have been able to see it.

Preparing for an interview is not really about the technical aspects and brushing up your basic lessons in the subject, just before sending out your resume. It is about keeping your mind tuned enough to the Triple C formula : Confidence, Courage and Commitment. If your mind has these, then the technical aspects are a child's play for you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On education and dress code

Marathahalli Ring Road, Bangalore.
I saw a banner which read : Let's debate college education; Not College Wear.

From my window, I read the banner once again.I was netted in Marathahalli Ring Road traffic in the morning peak hours. So, I had a lot of time to debate on the topic. Dress has become a topic of debate!!! Unbelievable.

Cant help recollecting this: The last short-notice debate was back in my school final year, where I had to face a fellow debater from a Boys' school. I was representing my all-girls school. Both the schools have always been competitors in terms of education, all the time. The ground was packed to see the final stunt of the Tamil debate( last term of school , after which there would be no more chance to fight any sports or science exhibition or literary battles) between the two schools - Me and the unknown debater [There was a time in my life, I didn't remember names... just Math, Physics, Chemistry,Computer Science and Engineering College admission.] All I remember was that, the topic was about dress sense/ dress code ( something to do with Indian tradition or some such 'nice' and 'serious' topic at school level).This boy picked up 'Rangeela' Urmila's short skirt in his talk and I gave a counter comment on that which won the judgement of the debate in my school's favor. I also know I hated Urmila's dress code(!!!!) in the movie instantly because, it was quite a task to counter on the boy's genuine concern about the length of the dress...(!!!!! Back then, I took statements for their face value.!!!! I remember telling my friends that he was after all right in his argument.)

This scene flashed just as I started writing the post... and I see it is very related to the banner. A school kid remembered the dress that the girl wore and has taken the point appropriately in a debate. That is the impact of a dress that you wear.

When we go to places of worship, we all are expected to dress appropriately. Every faith/religion believes that whatever you wear, should not divert someone's attention from prayer. The same goes with colleges too. Any casual wear can pass for a college wear[ I don't mean the kind of dress you wear for an outing in tropic summer. ]. Any dress that does not deviate the attention of a fellow student to the extent of diverting completely from education , can be allowed.[ once in a while casting a quiet glance at a class mate for what he/she is wearing, is perfectly okay.., all part of college education's unwritten curriculum!!! ]

If the student is in college to study subjects, people, values and develop some healthy networking skills, and in the whole process wants to have fun, dress does fit into the picture. An improper dress surely invites troubles in various forms. I don't have to name it all here, I am sure you know.

College wear can be casual or formal based on personal choice. If formal, there is no debate. If casual, anything elegant ( to look at) and comfortable ( for self) is okay. Wearing dresses with funny quotes, crazy designs, totally out of the ordinary color combinations, accessories that have no remote connection to the dress design or color choice or style is all part of college fun. In all these and many more unthinkable college stunts, elegance, decency, and comfort factor should not be compromised at all.

Debating education is a totally different topic... College education is always the second priority in most institutions these days, as I see. And I am not in the directorate to comment anything on it right now. All I can say is, there seems to be an increasing need to redefine the term education and reiterate its meaning to the students of today. Will the authorities think about giving some sensible all-round education ( including wearing the right attitude and dresses) to the children instead of endlessly talking about technology and science advancements which can anyways be picked up from the Internet, to an extent??

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A day without my mobile....

I knew I was missing something, when I set out to work yesterday morning, but could not guess it just then. When I got a comfortable seat, I recalled a pending phone call and in a reflex action, reached for my mobile inside my hand bag, only to find that it was not there.

First reaction was a shock, then a confusion, then clarity that I had missed it at home. All I could do was smile and wait till the end of the day to reach my phone.

In the short span of a minute, my mind imagined that the phone might have been lost, meaning I would have lost all the numbers of all contacts, meaning I will have to send a mail to get all the numbers, and then... it went on and on... I resolved to make a paper copy of all the numbers I had with me, so even if I lose my device, I don't miss the contact numbers.

I reached office and made one notification call home from a friend's mobile, saying I wont be reachable for ten long hours, for the first time in the five plus years of my going mobile. Then, sent emails to people, who need to know.

When I sat back to work, I realized that there was also a time in my life when I did not hold a mobile phone. It was never a problem when your folks couldn't reach you for sometime in a day. Any message that had to be conveyed could wait till the end of the day. All telephonic emergencies were managed with the nearest STD booth in whichever part of the town/city I was at that moment. I could wait to go to the bank in the weekend to check my balance. I could take time to go to the travel agent's office to check for a ticket. I also remembered every phone number before I had a mobile. My brain's database of phone numbers was better and more efficient back then [ My friend also shared the same opinion yesterday, in the same context.. one consolation, I am not the only person who is thinking this way..].

Today, we reach for mobile phones for just about everything : Phone calls, addresses, email ids, music, emails, videos, contact numbers, photos... and we use it all the time, most of which is pointless. As seen, heard and experienced, these are some of the thoughts on top of my list of pointless usage of the mobile phone:

An sms stating, 'I reached office'. - Trust me, I know people who do this.
A call in the bus saying, ' Yeah, I am right now crossing the KR Puram bridge... yeah, the traffic is bad as usual, now almost crossed the bridge, reached the stop, where are you?' - A fellow passenger last week in the bus.
A call saying, ' I'll call you in a while' - Fixing appointment as you would want to term it.
A call saying, ' Are you at home now?? Can I come over??' - Right outside the house, just before entering. Calling bells will soon be out of trend, I am sure.
A call asking ' So, what did you cook?' to a neighbour or a resident in the same complex. - Just go across to the neighbour's house is no longer welcome.
A call from the tele-marketing executive, for the tenth time, in ten days, from the same company, asking " Mr. So n So' ( They say Mr. even if you are a Ms.!!! believe me), would you like a personal loan?" . This is when you are in the middle of something that can be very important or pointless or just a little more irritating than the call itself.
A score of SMS from Marketing teams world wide stating the same thing in different terms. I got 18 SMS from a certain Marketing group in an interval of 18 minutes and my service provider promises it is not a message- spam virus attack.

I can continue with the list, but this is all I could think of immediately.. Its amazing that this is all not needed, and we know it, and still we cannot live without these. I missed my mobile so much yesterday. I don't have a count of how many times I reached out for my mobile only to realize I had not brought it along. After ten long hours, when I reached home, the first thing I looked for, was my precious mobile phone, to return all the phone calls.. I did realize that a day without mobile is possible and actually needed to know the value of how much we take things for granted. This was a very important lesson for me, next to my precious hand bag.

Monday, September 14, 2009

நல்ல கவிதை

நான் தமிழ் மொழியின் ஒரு நல்ல ரசிகை. கண்ணில் படும் நல்ல தமிழ் வலை பதிவுகள் எல்லாவற்றையும் படிக்கும் ஆர்வம் உண்டு. அப்படி ஒரு முறை என் கண்ணில் பட்ட தளம், நிலா ரசிகனின் அற்புத படைப்புகள் நிறைந்த உயிரோட்டமுள்ள தளம்.

அத்தளத்தில் முதலில் என்னை கவர்ந்த வரிகள் இதோ :

ஜன்னலோர படுக்கை

தினம் தினம் பௌர்ணமி

நினைத்தவுடன் மழை

சாலையோர பூக்கள்

அதிகாலை பனித்துளி

இரவு நேர மெல்லிசை

கள்ளமில்லா சிரிப்பு

பொய்யில்லா நட்பு

மீண்டும் ஒரு பாரதி

தினம் நூறு கவிதைகள்
தோல் சாய தோழன்

தலை கோத காதலி

தாய் மடி தூக்கம்

தூக்கத்தில் மரணம்

இவை யாவும் எதிர் பாரா மனசு!

என்ன ஒரு அருமை கனவு வலை இது ! இதில் எதுவுமே அதிக ஆடம்பர ஆசை இல்லை. நல்ல தொகுப்பு .

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It doesnt come with a manual....

I write user manuals as part of my profession as a technical writer. I am a proud peacock when it comes to saying: Every product comes with a user manual.

Think about it.. Just about everything you buy or see or know has some sort of write up attached to it. There is at least a caution word or disclaimer attached to just about anything today.

I was talking to a friend of mine on particularly nothing.. Somewhere in between our getting-to-know-each other chat, parenting and children became the subject.

When talking about her new-mommy stage, she said: My baby didn't come with a user manual.
She went on to say, how it was a very different learning and we continued on that for sometime and stopped at "Yes, nature has its own way of teaching you things..."

but my mind carefully noted that one line:

It doesn't come with a user manual.

My tech writer friend, who had a baby recently said, after a tiring day-and-night match with her newborn : "You forget that there is no user manual :) You just have to start with high hopes that you are doing the best you can." I had dismissed it off, because we were both in the same profession and it was easy to joke about it...but the latest chat was with a non-tech writer. So if you have two people echoing the same opinion, then may be, just may be, it is worth a second thought.

How much of this thought do we have in our minds, every time we see our parents??

We were women talking, so may be my writing speaks about mothers, but then I am sure, fathers would have their share of quizzical times to fondly recall and painfully-perplexed times that they are still trying hard to erase from their minds.

When I say, user manual again in my work, I am sure, I will remember my Mother.... :) If you are fighting with a gadget and can't find the user manual that your son/daughter might have hidden away from your line of sight, instead of spiking up your blood pressure, try to think of your mom and all the tough times that you might have given her, and smile.. for all you know, you'll find that manual right under your nose....

Remember, she had no choice but to handle you without any user manual.

Friday, September 11, 2009

As long as you can hear.....

I think the concept of phone is one of the best inventions. Not, to elaborate into what are the benefits of the telephone, like a primary school essay contest, but I must say just this much: Everything we want conveyed, to anyone in the globe, is just a call away. Thanks, to Alexander Graham Bell.

I read a fact last week which I did not know, [or may be I had read , and didn't care to remember, or may be I remembered, but never pondered much about. I was/am never a General Knowledge savvy person, so, the fact was news to me.]

Made me wonder, how much the man would have felt about the fact, that his family cannot hear him on the phone??

Let's just call our family, friends and relatives; near, dear, and far; as long as we can hear and they can hear us talk [ Its up to us to manage our phone bills though.. but its possible to balance it all well] .

Let's not wait till we get hard of hearing to let people know we care, because when we grow old and want to communicate/talk/share with people who are geographically away from where we live, we might not have sharp ears to listen in to a device.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On Job Change

I am starting this series called Job Hunt series. It is all about what I often hear, what I have experienced, what I have learnt and been taught by some seniors regarding job hunt. I am writing this for the benefit of people who are new to job hunt, who have difficulties in changing jobs, and who have not handled interviews/job hunts in a long time. Each of these posts may or may not be based completely on my personal experience, but the idea is to give the best of what I know.

We all keep hearing 'Change is the only constant' and such high-concepts, basic principles, quite often in our social, professional, and personal spheres. For some strange reason, we forget these when we actually go ahead with a decision; more so, when we change jobs.

So, after that roller-coaster ride involving:

deciding to quit your current job,
applying for half-a-dozen jobs a day,
fervently waiting for the next phone call to be from a recruiter,
answering a series of the same questions in all permutations and combinations,
going through a repeat of the same series with at least half-a-dozen people in your prospective organization,
fielding parallel interviews with at least another company,
negotiating a compensation,
receiving the appointment order,
resigning from your current employment,
waiting for that email from your boss acknowledging/accepting/debating your resignation, discussing/negotiating/fighting your way out of your current employment,
sending an acceptance to the new job offer,
negotiating on a relieving date from your current employer,
awaiting an email stating you are off work on a definite date,
sending an email to the new employer saying when you can join work,
finishing all the responsibilities that your current job involves,
sending professional notifications required,
sending farewell email to all you can think of,
accepting a farewell ( warm or cold, varies on a case-case basis),
finishing the HR formalities with your current employer,
surrendering your identity card,
walking out of the office with a slightly heavy heart ( you cant say why, but it happens anyway),
taking the well-deserved rest/vacation/break ( if you are fortunate, you get a week's time, because your employer would have ensured that you worked till the last ounce of your energy is left; you would mostly have time to manage a very quick break),
finishing the joining formalities in your new work place,
saying a lot of 'Hello' the first day ( you need to have a good work culture where such introductions happen and you feel a part of the team ),
and then sleeping peacefully that day,

you realize most often after say, three weeks of time in your new job that:

- You are not sure why your boss said what he/she said
- Your team treats you an alien
- Your work environment in the earlier place was more comfortable
- You hate the commute to the new office
- Your work involves less/more than what you are used to
- Your colleagues are not your 'types'
- Your growth ladder is not what you thought it was

There could be one or more of these thoughts that visit your mind and it is because we forget the saying: Change is the only constant.

You are not prepared for the change, though you wanted the change and you opted for the change. It is important to remember that any thought listed or unlisted above is okay, and will pass off as a transition mind-state and soon the new place will look better than the old one in at least one way, that is good for you.

The only thought that is totally useless and pointless is : I should have stayed back with my old employer. Beware!!!!! This is a syndrome that happens and has to be wiped off immediately because, if you could have stayed back, you would have. There is no COULD have done, SHOULD have done, after you DID a few changes - and JOB CHANGE is one such change that you should not want to undo.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Cough, Benadryl and Alcohol

Last week's antibiotics eased my throat infection, but then, as we all know, the series of infection-fever-cold-dry cough always takes its own sweet time to completely cure itself off. And we also know that we do take medications to temporarily bring some soothing effect. So, we all know that a fair doctor's fee + antibiotics + long hours of sleep + drugged-effect on face in office meetings + some cough syrup is a very natural process in any throat infection case. ( Well, if you are a doctor reading this, then dont bother explaining the medical science on this... I have always failed to understand why cold takes as long as it wants to take, to cure, inspite of all the medications you prescribe!!!)

I am in the cough syrup phase of the process right now. Yesterday, I disturbed everyone in office with my constant cough and on my way home, I decided to buy a cough syrup bottle. Natural choice was Benadryl, because that was the only name that came to my mind. I did not have the energy / patience for another visit to a doctor's office in five days time span. I am super-scared of another immediate antibiotic dosage.

Benadryl has always been an easy and nice to have medicine. Thanks to the one spoonful of medicine I had, I slept off with my cough quietened. When I tried to wake up this morning, I felt that my head was heavy and eye lids refused to open. I just decided to continue sleeping after managing to reset my alarm. It was the Benadryl ;the Ethanol in it that caused this sleepy drugged effect. I had my friends echoing throughout saying, Stop taking this medicine.. as it will put you to sleep.. Thats not a hazard, so I just let the advice go in the air.

From the time I woke up today, I have not stopped wondering how people who take alcoholic drinks handle it, how they cant stop drinking and how they do not understand how much of a health hazard it is, as much as a purse/wallet-hazard... That is to say, the loss in cash per month for a drinker is much more than that for a person who spends for anything else. I also know people who explain that they know when to stop and have complete control.

Strange... If Benadryl with its minimum ethanol can cause such an effect, how much of a drugged effect the actual alcoholic drink will have? When will people realize that the caffeine in coffee is better than alcohol, to a certain degree?

Yawnnn!!!!!  Have a benadryl free day.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A new flavor of friendship

We did not know the meaning of this word nineteen years back when we were seated in the Fifth Standard class room of our school. There were ten boys in a class of fifty. That was the last year the school had co-education.

We had our first ever farewell party, at the age of nine in the school playground. The forty of us bade a definitely not tearful farewell to all the ten boys in our class, the first ten boys in our academic life.We had dances, plays and games and some speech by the teachers and the principal; all of which was just fun for all of us. We never realized that we might miss these boys around, the next year. Well, the whole idea of farewell party in itself didnt sink in back then, and friendship never meant anything at all. Everyone who studied with you, who was nice to you, was a friend!!!

The next five years went on in the school routine, the only difference we felt in Class Six, was that all of us were girls and it was different fun. We never had to be punished in front of boys, and for some unknown reason, it felt better than the previous years, when taking punishments in front of boys made us feel very uncomfortable. Girls and our egos :)

In our higher secondary classes, we had an All School Level Science Exhibition when some of the boys from our batch had come over to exhibit their science projects. That's when the thought of the first fare well came back to our minds and we started wondering where our batch mates were. We were still wondering and hoping to meet one or two of them in our engineering counselling sessions, or college admission days, but that never happened.

Thanks to Internet, finally after about 14 plus years one of my friends found me on Names database. Then we slowly built the network. We( Two of us, girls) have now, after nineteen years managed to find about four boys from our old batch; now, holding very responsible positions in their professionl and personal lives.

Every time we find a friend, we had managed to meet him/her with the rest of the clan. Today was one such meeting. Today, I was relatively silent because of a bad throat and true to the saying; Silence lets you observe a lot, I did get a chance to reflect quite a bit on the old school friendship.

I noticed that a lot has changed for all of us over the last nineteen years in our lives, yet, the one common thread that connected us, was the school room back in Grade five. We did think of our Grade Five teacher and wished we had her contact number. We did not know anything about anyone else's lives all these years, still, no one had any reservations in saying what they would otherwise keep from a new friend. We never had any friendship day celebrations, or treats, or college movies together, or boring lecture classes, or long phone calls; still it was easy to spend an hour talking general sense and non-sense.

I have always believed that friendships happen, but never really thought about the fact that friendship is around all the time and it can go unnoticed. Now, this friendship may not be the same as the ones we made in our school and college and work lives and neighbourhood, but definitely is very different and has its own special place in our record of life.

I never bragged about it all these days, and today, I've published it on World Wide Web!!! :) Its a great feeling.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Onam Aashamsagal

Onam day - Festival of Colors and Festival of Prosperity dawned colorfully for me at office. We had this Pookalam:

Here is my Onam wish for all my readers:

Wishing you and your family

Health and weath,
Joy and happiness,
Peace and prosperity,
Love and luck,
Care and cure,

A multitude of reasons to smile today and always!!!!

Happy Onam and Happiness Always,

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Blog Award - The Humane Award

Thanks to Nishita for awarding me the Humane award  for my posts in the Spoorthi category:

An award always makes your day!!! :) I'll pass this award on to some deserving blog posts. And that will be over the weekend.

I'd like to pass on this award to my new blogger friend SK whose blog is one space to really stop by : . It is a tamil blog and has posts that deserve the humane award.

Have a good day,


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...