An year gone by..

The past 12 months was the most happening time in the recent past. 2 job switches after a 9 year stability in Infosys, a whirlwind India visit, moving to Texas, and plans for some more things to come..

Looking behind, getting out of Infosys and trying out new things was a good decisions, financially and careerwise as well. The first job I had was pure consulting, probably the best I can get with my credentials. Only issue travel! Found that my analysis skills were better than I thought and being a PM is not my cup of tea. No offense to all my PM friends but that is kind of boring. With a short project cycle and tons of new stuff to learn this was the perfect job for me.. but for the travelling part.

Capital One, I thought, would be a known devil when I decided to be local. As it turns out, it is not. A lot has changed in the past 2 years. Its almost at the same point where Infosys was when I joined, on the same explosive trajectory and same kind of growth issues. Turns out I am not good at infrastructure as well!! Well I never was. 🙂

Meanwhile, the path that I had set my previous company on is all set to reap huge benefits. With first of its kind Data quality offering, this service might well be Kaygens ticket to stardom. For now, its just all the best from me.

Personal front, I have lots of time now for family. As Adi is growing he is getting more active and needs someone (who else but me :)) to play with him. I am not able to keep up with him and feel the need to exercise and have some more stamina. I did try to get some exercise into my routine, but am just too lazy.

Finally, The next year is promising to be exciting with lots of new things planned. Hoping for the best!

Spring in Texas

Texas – you either love it or hate it. I have been here before and I am not sure if I loved it, but definitely liked it.

Returning back here after 5 years after my emergency exit from Houston. To start with it was HOT. Hot like something I experienced only 12 years ago while visiting Akola. Temperatures above 40 for almost entire summer and after a brief respite freezing winter came. And now spring. It is beautiful here. Something that I havent experienced before. Not sure if this is just the nice weather here or is it something to do with my current state of mind, but I am loving it.

Joining Capital One as an associate did contribute a lot to it. Of all the 4 companies that I worked with till now, this one is definitely better in terms of work life balance. As far as the role goes, I am yet to come to terms with what is happening. The constraints that our team has to work under are unbelievable. Hats off to my boss for maintaining his sanity 🙂

Rolewise, I miss my earlier role in Kaygen. It was almost perfect, minus the travel part. High level of business visibility, short cycles, learning opportunities and best of all a gem of a manager. I dont know how that guy manages to remain calm at all times. Never seen even a shred of agitation inspite the challenges he has. Will miss it…

Coming back to my state of mind, I am at peace now.. Not that I am done with all my worldly things and am close to Nirvana but it does feel nice. For a change I am not worried about a lot of things. But then there is always a Monday following the weekend.. And so I prepare…

And so it begins..

Getting down to write a blog after a long time. Past 2 months were fast hectic and eventful. Let me take a quick recap.

  • Jun 21st – Noticed
  • Jul 6th – Last day (yay!!)
  • Jul 6th – Flight to India
  • Jul 14th – Kochi
  • Jul 21st – Back to Mumbai
  • Jul 27th – Back to US with Aai, Papa, Poornima and Adi… Nope.. not in SFO, but in Dallas..
  • Jul 27th – moved to new house (still rented :))
  • Jul 29th – Travelled to LA for training (Surprise, I was the instructor there instead of attending one :O)
  • Aug 3rd – Back to dallas for a 2 week break
  • Aug 19th – Off to florida.. First assignment.. Engagement lead on Strategy phase of a MDM initiative.
  • Aug 23rd – At the airport now.. waiting for flight back to Dallas.

Now.. The last few points are going to repeat over the next few weeks, months and hopefully NOT years 😉

Travelling weekly is not new since I did that for some time last year, but this is a whole new thing. Adi is an year older now and understands things much more than what he did back then. Aai and Papa are here. So travelling is not something that I am excited about.

Coming to what I am doing now.. Unbelievable.. getting into a room full of business leaders of an organization and helping them know theie business better. I was definitely surprised on how much or how little they know about their own organization and their operations.

Another new experience is how smaller companies work. Being in a huge organization for a long time had its perks. For smaller companies symbiosis with other niche players is vital for survival.

The hectic activity has certainly taken a toll on me physically and mentally. Time for some more drastic changes 😉

Treasure in Kerala temple

So thats the big news this week, apart from Rahuls padayatra and other publicity stunts. Frankly, there is nothing surprising in our temples and religious trusts having loads of money from the devotees. While there is a impending controversy on who should keep this money whichever way it goes it is not going to benefit the common man.

I dont think I need to elaborate on what happens if this goes to the government. What happens if this really goes to the temple trust?
I,for beginners, am not a very religious temple going person. But whatever temples/religious places I have been to are sorely lacking facilities. Most of all a crowd control in terms of disaster management. Too frequent are the news about mishaps at these places. Agreed that most of these are old and facilities cannot be provided without altering the place itself which poses challenge.. but with this kind of money and some clever engineering miracles can happen anywhere 😉

Hoping for the best atleast this time around.

Mohit and Preeti Dinner Party

It took a long time.. 4 years as per Mohit, but finally it did happen. After lots of ups and downs and loads of time.. Mohit married Preeti. And we all got a dinner party at Banzara on 16th April 2011. Though the party started late and picked up slowly everyone had a good time.. It was only after dinner that we had started the singing sessions.. Everyone participated.. Some had to be pushed.. some convinced.. some were over enthusiastic.. here are some of the ones i captured

Mohit

Nishant

Ashish Dhamdhere at his usual best

Surprise Package – Sujata

Another surprise – Sheminaz

Chintan giving some advice from his experience 😛

Srikant Sharma

All the other shy ones singing together

And finally the most rocking singer.. ASHIESH

With his ghazal

<<< REMOVED AS PER REQUEST FROM PERFORMER>>

And his rap song.

<<< REMOVED AS PER REQUEST FROM PERFORMER>>

Finally we gave the new couple a gift

Was a fun night.. And exactly what i needed after a week of staying alone and missing Poornima and Adi 🙂 That story is still in progress so.. some other time 😉

Happy new year

Wish you all a happy new year. Hope you had a good start to the new year.

With over 30 years of experience in celebrating new years.. I still dont know what to do on a new years eve and especially on the first day of the new year. I believe that the first day of the new year is a good indicator on how your rest of the year would shape up. Last year for example I was cleaning up the house on Jan 1 and was doing “clean up” the whole year. This year I am determined not to think about work for the whole day today. Hoping the new year would turn out better for my hobbies and other priorities than about working and working and no time to relax..
Howz your day shaping up?

My experiences in India.. Enterprising Indians

After reaching India on 19th morning, I was to get my visa stamped on 22nd. Landed there in the night and was taken to the guest house by a cab that my company booked for me. The stamping interview was at 8 am in the morning. Since I did not know how far is the Embassy from the Guest house, I asked the in-charge there. He referred a cab straight away..350 for Non AC and 400 for AC – return trip. He also offered to call them for me. I readily agreed to get that since i was already tired and sleepy. Still had the jet lag hanging on.
Woke up early morning. Then it struck me, how am I going to call this taxi when coming back.. we are not allowed to take mobile phones. Checked with the driver… “There is a PCO which you can use”. As I discovered soon after that there is a whole ecosystem there, symbiotic, helping each other make money..
Guest house refers the cab..
Cab refers the PCO.. – The Cab driver has the number of the PCO. when you call from there he promptly comes to the nearby bus stop.

If you are carrying bags, you are sure to have trouble. Bags not allowed inside the embassy.. there is another business flourishing… A cart just outside the embassy obliges you by keeping the bags for your giving you a cardboard token… for a nominal fees, of-course! Fortunately I did not require this service 🙂

Every now and then there is someone who does not have the “right” photo. In my case it was a BLUE background. I still dont understand how this was an issue since the online application did accept the photo. I was told that I need to get a new photo and come again. That typically meant another 2-3 hours atleast.. and no point in debating there as well.. The person at the counter quickly suggests a in-house photographer… equipped with a digital camera, a computer and photo printer.. he prints the photos in 15 mins.. for a nominal charge ofcourse!

So in the end everything works out just well. I end up spending Rs. 500, but was able to get back to the guest house by 8.45 (Having an 18 month old baby make some noise in the waiting hall definitely helps ;))

Going on vacation..

After a long onsite of 2 years I am going back to India.. lots of things changed in these 2 years.. I became a dad, reached mid life, bought 3 vehicles, sold 1, shifted 3 apartments, brother got married, had a daughter, all of them went to UK for 3 months and got back.. all family moved to a new house in mumbai.
Last time I visited mumbai, it took me 45 mins flat to reach home from airport, this time its going to take atleast 3 hrs..havent been to the new house since we had the griha pravesh, Family there since one and half years now.. Adi and Poornima did visit there last year.. I havent yet.. Will I feel like “home” there? who knows!
It would be nice to be in Mumbai during Diwali, would be able to meet everyone, Makarand, Bhabhi, Manu, Preeti, Sunil, Aaji, Aai, Papa, Kaka, Kaku all the friends and have much deserved rest… ok, lets see about the rest when I reach there 😉
Visa stamping is pending.. That would take away 2 days from my month long vacation.. hope it does not add any complexities.. 🙁
Waiting for that one month… for now.. over to packing.. 🙂

स्वारी निघाली घरी..

२ वर्षाच्या दीर्घ onsite वासा नंतर २ हफ्त्यानी मी परत भारतात चल्लो. ह्या दोन वर्षात खुप काही बदलला. मी पापा झालो, ३० वर्षाचा झालो, ३ गड्या घेतल्या, १ विकली, ३ घर बदलली, भावाच लग्न झाल, त्याला मुलगी झाली, तो UK ला जाऊन आला, बहिन US ला आली, मुंबईतला घर बदलल…
मघ्च्या वेलेस गेलो होतो तेव्हा एअरपोर्ट वरुण घरी जायला ४५ मिनिट लागले, आता ३ तास लागतील. नविन घर वास्तु पूजे पासून पाहिले सुद्धा नहीं, दीड वार्षा पासून सगले राहतात तिथे. अदि आणि पूर्णिमा जाऊन आले मघ्च्या वर्षी..

एवढ्या वेला नंतर गेल्यावर घरी गेल्या सारखे वाटेल का? की पाहुण्या सारखे वाटेल? कुणास ठाऊक 🙂

दिवाळीच्या वेळी मुंबईला असण्याचा एक फायदा हा आहे की सगले भेटतील, भाऊ, बहिन, वाहिनी, जीजाजी, मनु, आजी, आई, पापा, काका, काकी, मित्र आणि भरपूर आराम… आरामाचे बघू 😉

एक टेंशन हे आहे की वीसा स्टंप करून घ्यायचा आहे. त्या साठी चेन्नईला २ दिवस घालवायला लागतील. आधीच सुट्टी कमी, त्यात हे काम, आणि वीसा नहीं मिलला तर अजुन डोक्याला ताप 🙁

बघू कसा जातो तर तो एक महिना.. सध्या जायची तयारी 🙂