Month: September 2015

SUNDAY 45

Time: 4:58 P.M

Place : 005, Devi Residency

A disappointing week. I was overconfident that I would clear the SQL fundamentals certification. I ended up failing badly. I scored even less that what I managed the last time. Need to pull up my socks now. Good thing the certification is free.

A few good things did happen. A sat and thought long and hard about what I want to do in the next six months.

As the Canada thing is not happening, the attraction of moving to Hyd is now gone. Bala will be getting married in Feb. The Europe trip will be in March. I have made up my mind to make the move after March.

For the next six months, I want to primarily work on 3 things.. Scaling up in SSC and Patching, Building up fitness and planning for the Europe trip. Once my gym membership expires in November, I will take a 3 months extension. That should last until end of Jan.

Another good thing that happened was the patching that I did yesterday. It was long and hard work but I did well and got some recognition. I need to keep this up.

I am thinking of having a serious discussion with Chaman regarding the 3 teams thing. I will tell him that I have decided to stay back for a few more months and that working on migration will not be the best thing for now. I will see if I can get a hold of him this week.

SUNDAY 44

Time: 5:43 P.M

Place: 5A021, OTP

Sunday post missing last week as I was in Malaysia.

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. The Malaysia trip was a great experience. The cost for the trip was not as much as I thought it would be. Bala decided he wanted to come to the trip. Which was a good thing as it would have been quite boring without him.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks for Mr. B. The way he managed his work to come for the trip was great. This week he went home and got his marriage sorted out. For all his shortcomings, there are a lot of things you can learn from the guy.

I wrote the 1 year post this week and I have a new action plan for the coming year. It’s not a radically different thing from what I usually do. Just a bit of direction added.

I did the first long run after the hyderabad marathon. The distance I ran was less than what I intended to do but it was still a great run. I am still in pretty good shape right now. Just have to focus on building up the fitness.

Another good thing that happened this week is that I cleaned out my guitar and have started playing again. I hope I am able to spend time on it.

I have a couple of certifications coming up in the next week. I have 4 days to prepare for them starting tomorrow. I will start the europe planning after I complete the tests. Not sure if I will pass them. They are free so I am not sweating it.

A letter to Sridhar – 2016

one-year

To,

Sridhar Reddy

Aged 27 years 9 months.

Hey pal. It’s me. You from the past. How’z it going?

One year is not so long a time. Its 12 months. 52 weeks. And yet when I try to imagine you, I can’t. Such is the turbulence in human life that I am not even 100% sure if I will be alive 12 months later. What can I say to you when I don’t know you and am not sure if you will read this.

You will read this. And I do know you. You are me, an year older. A little wiser, a little poorer, married(maybe), happier(maybe). The core of what makes you, you will be the same as what makes me, me. All this leads me to the question.. what am I?

I am a 26 year old man with per-maturely greying beard, with a father about whom I think I am worried about, but in reality I am not. I am just about figuring out what I want with my career. I am lonely, but otherwise content with myself. I still stop myself from remembering the memories from Mom’s death. I shy away from watching or reading anything that has to do with romance because it makes me feel lonely. I work hard, and I try to make my time count. I am inherently lazy, but by being organized and methodological, I get most things done. I have a confidence now, a purposeful stride as I walk. I keep my back straight and my shoulders drawn. I am dignified, yet simple. I don’t crave attention and look down on people who do.

I will not do in this post what I have done in my previous posts. No ratings, no data gathering. This year I want to write philosophy.

I want to build an aura about myself. I want people to look at me and be impressed. The way I influence one’s judgement of me will be by what I wear, what I say, what I do and by how I look. Starting this week, I will start shaving twice a week. After 9 years of once a week shaving, I will try to have at all times a cleanly shaven face. This will be to hide the grey hairs in my beard, the sure signs of aging. My body will also have to be maintained. I hate being fat and feeling fat. I will dedicate myself to fitness in the coming year and will have an even tighter control on my diet.

Reading between the lines what I have written above, I can feel a pattern emerge. The thing that worries me the most now is not my career, not dad, not money. It’s aging. I want to concentrate my efforts in the next year to reverse the process of aging. I am not sure if this is just a phase for me. Looking at it from an external perspective, such a feeling might seem silly. Nevertheless this is something I feel very strongly about right now.

The other aspect of my aura will involve what I say. I think I am pretty dignified in my speech. But I can improve the content. Which means I will need to improve my knowledge. I will work hard to learn more at work and to prove my skillset. I will start reading again. Good books, not vampire novels shit.

I think I am always pretty well dressed, but I should be able to improve.

So this is my goal for the next 1 year.. to look better, to talk better and to do better. To build and image, and then to sustain that image.

I call the above effort Sridhar 2.0. How did I do?

Let me come back to Sridhar 1.0 mode for the rest of the post.

I completed the Malaysia trip last week. It was a good trip, but it was so hectic that the fact that I was in international waters did not really sync in. I have made up my mind to do a Europe trip sometime in late Feb with Uttam and Chick. I will ask Aditya, Pogo and Prateek if they want to come. Did I get to do the trip? If I didn’t then I hope there is a really strong reason.

The biggest thing that I have been trying and failing from stopping myself from asking (screw grammar in this sentence) is: Did you get married? How was the experience. In 12 months I expect you to be married. If you are not I must say I will be disappointed. Not with myself particularly, there are factors here that are out of my control, but with life in general. For some reason, at this stage of my life, marriage seems really important to me. Has this feeling changed for you?

Marriage is such a big unknown as it involves a person you know almost nothing about. There are false expectations that will not be met. The constant in this turmoil is you so it is important that you continue to do the things that make you happy. That will be being Sridhar 2.0

Everything else aside, at the core, what makes you, you will be the same as what makes me, me.

Do you agree?

A Letter to Sridhar – 2014

one-year

To,

Sridhar Reddy,

Aged 25 years 9 months.

Hi pal. It’s me. You from the future.

The first question you had asked me was how’s my life going.

I can tell you with complete honesty that my life is rocking right now. I completed my first international trip last week and it went great. My work is good, I am healthy and am mentally in a good place right now. Things can still be better though.

When I was you, I was hoping Bro would get married soon. I would like to tell you that he did get married and is living happily right now. He was lucky to get a smart and capable gal who is also sensible and caring. Not a package you find very often. I know you wanted to do the Malaysia trip that was planned in Feb. That would have been an even better trip than the one I just completed. I didn’t get to go because of the marriage. I don’t have any regrets though.

Marella left for the U.S few months back. I am currently living with Bala, Chick and Puri. Bala is currently going through an interesting phase in life. He may be married by the end of the year.

What have I done in the last 12 months. What memories are the most prominent?

I think I have grown a lot as a person. Bro’s marriage was a big moment in my life. I learnt a lot about life in that time. Work has been great till now. I have worked hard to improve my skills and I can confidently say that I am contributing a lot to the team now. Marella leaving left me a little lonely but I managed to overcome that period. The episode with the Sam girl also had an impact on me.

The highlights of the year of course were the marriage and the trip to Malaysia.

I think I take the rating thing a little too seriously sometimes. I tried that in the Sunday post and abandoned it after a while. I am feeling very lazy right now but I will still go ahead and do it once more. For the sake of continuity.

  1. Money: I think I am doing decently well when it comes to money these days. The months after the marriage were a little tough and Bro had to go back and settle down. Now that he is doing fine, he has been taking care of the housing loan. As a result I am getting to spend my own money. The Malaysia trip that I did cost me about 35K. Financing this trip wouldn’t have been possible if I were still in Mphasis.

2.Peace of Mind/Pressures. As I mentioned before, mentally I am in a good place right now. I have a clear idea of what I am and what my goals are. Work is generally hectic but its not a lot of pressure. With Bro getting married, that pressure also has eased off. I am worried about dad sometimes but I think he is doing relatively well right now.

3. Health. I am pretty healthy right now. I joined a gym about 6 months back and have worked very hard to get back into shape. I did the Hyderabad marathon last month and although it took me about the same time as last year, the run was much better.

4. Interests/Hobbies. I think the difference in the last one year has been that I have been writing more often these days. I have completely put aside the guitar though. I need to start playing again.

Long story short, it’s been a great year for me. I hope the next year is even better.

Regards,

Sridhar Reddy.

Aged 26 years 9 months

Kota Kinabalu

My first international trip. It was fun and eventful, although I did get very tired by the time I came back.

The first surprise for the trip was that Bala decided he wanted to come. It would have been a lot less fun without him.

Day 0: The flight to KL was around 3.5 hours. We reached KL at 6:00 a.m local time. Didn’t have a good sleep but were in decent shape. Here we were joined by Puri who had arrived in a different flight from Cochin. The flight from KL was at around 8:30 and we reached K.K at 12:00.

The hotel turned out to be a hostel with an A/C room and common toilets. The room was clean and the hostel was inhabited mostly by Europeans which made the stay there interesting.

The primary goal of the trip was to do the Mount Kinabalu summit trek. Unfortunately, as we found out later in the day, this trek was closed. The route was open unto Laban Rata only because of aftershocks of the earthquake that happened in June. We debated doing the trek upto Laban Rata but it would have been a costly trip with 2 days wasted. So we decided against it and instead went to do canopy walk.

Day 1:

Kinabalu Park Botanical garden and Poring Hot springs.

This trip was a package deal for 150RM per person. Kinabalu park is a botanical garden with the local flora of Sabah on display. There was NO wildlife that could be seen here. In-fact, there was no wildlife that could be seen anywhere near Kota-Kinabalu. The nearest place to visit wildlife was in Sarawak, which was 6 hours away. When we planned the trip, one of the main attractions to visit were the wildlife in Malaysia. We were disappointed that we could not do it.

Poring hot springs was fine. The Canopy walk near poring hot springs was an exiting activity. However, on the whole this trip was more of a granny walk than an adventure trip. Granny walk courtesy Chinese auntie.

Day 2:

Scuba Diving :

We arranged a scuba diving package for 265RM per person. This included the boat trip to and fro Sapi island, 2 professional divers, equipment for 2 dives and a simple lunch. This trip was just me, Chick and Puri. Mr. B didn’t want to come as he would wear specks and the experience wont be fun for him.

Sapi Island does not have a lot of Coral reefs but it was still a good diving experience. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of a turtle but were left disappointed. We did see a lot of colorful fish and fungi on the sea bed. The 2 dives took about 2.5 hours with about an hour break in between. We reached civilization back at around 2:00 pm and still had an evening to kill. So we headed back to the Chinese Auntie place. There we debated hiring a car and going to Sarawak but were told that it was a bad idea. Finally we decided to visit a heritage resort in the evening.

Mari Mari heritage resort.

This tour cost us another 150 RM per person. We were picked up at 5:00 P.M from the hotel. The heritage tour started at 6 PM. The tour was entertaining and the guide tried hard to keep the visitors engaged. The dance performance at the end of the tour was quite good. The buffet dinner was also good. Returned to K.K by around 9:00 P.M. Before we left for the tour, we had arranged with Chinese auntie river rafting for day 3 for RM 200 per person.

Day 3:

White water rafting.

The river looked muddy in color but while we were in the water, it wasn’t that bad. Considering that I swallowed quite a lot of water when I fell in and was still fine later on. The trip to the starting point was supposed to take 4 hours but there was a delay of 2 hours when the train that was supposed to pick us up broke down. It was 11:00 AM by the time the train arrived.

The lanscape along the train route were quite beautiful but the afternoon heat was difficult to bear so the train ride wasn’t fun. Thankfully, when we reached the start point, the climate was overcast. We were clubbed with a Belgian couple on the raft. I’m not sure if it was intentional or accidental, the raft capsized twice when on lvl 4 rapids. It was a thrilling experience for all of us.

We reached K.K around 6:00 P.M and just had time to do some souvenir shopping at the handicraft market.

Day 4:

We left the hotel at 7:00 am and reached KL at around 11:00. We arranged for a local taxi to take us around K.L for 280 RM. I must say that was an excellent deal. We visited the twin towers, KL towers, a chocolate factory and Putrajaya. The mini zoo underneath the KL towers was a good experience. Putrajaya really impressed me.

Food:

We tried Malay and chinese food extensively on the trip. Some of the things I tried were good. Others were not so. One thing I observed was that the chinese use a lot of soya sauce in their dishes for flavor. I got the chance to eat some good fish fry, specially at the buffets.

Ppl:

We met quite a lot of interesting people on the trip. The most interesting were the local Malays. The facial features of Malays are slightly different from the Chinese. They were mostly Muslim though from their dressing and habits, they seemed to be quite liberal. Speaking to the Chinese auntie was interesting. So were the Belgian couple we me while rafting, the Thai uncle on the Botonical park trip, the Philipino auntie and the Singaporean couple on the Hearitage trip. The stinky Euro babe changed the impression I had about Europeans.

Cost:

For an international trip, I thought this trip was not very expensive. The local activity and food bill came to 21K+2.5K for the hotel+15K for the flights, so a lot of 39K INR for the entire trip. The food there was decently cheap, so were the activities that we did. I just wished the trip was longer.

Now I need to start planning next years European trip.

Pre – Kinabalu

We will be leaving for Malaysia this week. This will be my first international trip. I am quite looking forward to it.

We will be staying in Kota Kinabalu for 4 days. We have a mountain trek planned for 2 days. On the rest of the days, we want to cover sea diving and visit the national park. We have a 12 hour layover in KL while coming back so we should be able to do some sight seeing there as well.

We are planning to take 6,500 MYR for 3 people, 4 provided Mr. B joins. I think with the hotels booked, the travel expense shouldn’t exceed more than 30000 INR.

I will write a travel log once I come back from the trip.

SUNDAY 43

Place: Devi Residency

Time 5:43 P.M

Sunday post on Monday again.

Another eventful week this last one. More events going on elsewhere than in my life..

Had a chat with Mr. Ch earlier in the week. He mentioned that he will speak to Chetan and we will push towards moving out of core shift and into migration. It is not something I want to get done immediately.. but its definitely on the cards. With more people joining the team in the coming weeks, my contribution to SSC will reduce so I need to be contributing elsewhere. Will have to take this up with Mr. Ch after I return from the trip.

Regarding the trip, Mr. B will most probably not be coming. He want’s to come, but there are too many things going on at the moment. He has a crucial release at the office next week, and has something major going on at the marriage front. The girl certainly seems to be quite into him. With him missing out, the trip will certainly be less fun and more challenging.

As for the other preparations, we have the hotel booked already. We still need to get the currency. We have more or less figured out what we want to do once we get there. Should be fun.

To go or not to go

In the past few weeks, I have re-calibrated my thinking regarding the Canada immigration thing. I have now come to realize a few facts that I did not know then. Namely:

  1. Receiving the invitation will take longer than the 12-16 weeks that I thought it would take. It could take upto 25 weeks.
  2. Once the invitation comes, its a further 12-16 weeks process to get the PR.
  3. There are no jobs in Canada so getting good employment may take upto 6 months.
  4. Moving to Canada on PR is not a short term solution.

In light of these new facts, I am starting to question the wisdom behind my efforts to get the Canadian Visa thing. The first 3 facts can be dealt with but the 4th fact really breaks the deal for me. I have no intention of moving permanently to Canada. I may be earning in dollars that will translate to a lot of money in INR, but the standard of living will be the same. Life would be easier here in India compared to in Canada. The real question is, it is really worth it?

I don’t know the answer to that question. I am not at the stage in life where I can make that decision. What I do know is that “as of now”, I dont want to move permanently to Canada.

So, removing Canada from the picture, what are my plans for the immediate future, say for the next 12 months.

City:

I wanted to move to Hyderabad to live at home for a while before moving to Canada. Now that I am not going, should I make the move? I guess this answer is tied up with Job and the folks.

Job:

Removing Canada from picture, I think my target in terms of career is to really become indispensable for Oracle ACS. My earlier target of not leaving Oracle until I finish OCM still stands. I may not get a raise for the next year too but I will bear with that in the interest of building a career.

Now that I have stated my career target, where do I stay and how do I go about it? Recognition, growth and improvement in skills will happen better in Bang than in Hyd. That is clear to me. So I would prefer to stay in Bangalore. Regarding the other question. Is what I want in line with what the management wants? For the short term outlook, say for the next 1 year, I think it is. So stay in Bang, do what the management says.

The Folks:

This is the tricky part. Bala has been looking for a bride for himself and it seems he has found one. Let’s say Bala leaves in between. I know for sure that Purush is also looking to get married. Let says he leaves too in the next 4 months. What is my standing? Do I continue to stay in Bangalore or do I look to move out? Based on my stated targets, the answer seems to be to stay on.. but it will not be easy. Am I prepared for the emotional struggle of being alone? That leads me to the emotional aspect.

Emotion:

What is it that I want from life in the short term? To get married? Yes. Before Dad’s money comes? No. How long might it take? Dont know. Can I sustain a brutal campaign in the career while emotionally I am in the docks? Really really don’t know.

If I am true to myself, for 6 months I will be able to handle it. The aftermath of the Malaysia trip and the anticipation of the Europe trip will keep me going. Then I will start to feel the strain. If Europe happens, I will be good till May 2016. If it doesn’t happen, I will start getting desperate in Feb.

One thing is for sure, I will be reading this post several times over the next few months, just to remind myself what I am.

SUNDAY 42

Place: Devi Residency

Time: 6:15 P.M

I am writing this on Tuesday. Will all that happened on the weekend, I completely forgot about the Sunday post. Anyway here goes..

So last week was another massively productive week. Highlights:

AHM -3 – The timing of the run was close to my worst but in a way, this marathon gave me more satisfaction compared to my previous 2 AHM’s. I did whatever I could do to prepare for the run. I mentally prepared myself for the run, then had to prepare to not run, then again had to prepare for the run.. all the in the space of 3 days. I had the best preparation I could for the run and ran the run in the best possible way, considering the circumstances. There was scopre for improvement in post run cooldown though. Something for me to improve next year.

Considering where I was 3 months back, I am proud of what I have managed. I am in much better shape physically and from here I will be able to see tangible benefits to my efforts. The only thing I need to do is not let up.

Clorox – Another equally impressive feat that was achieved over the week was the Clorox patching that I did on Saturday. This was the first patching that I started and performed on my own. I was very apprehensive leading upto the activity and made sure I did my homework properly. There were lots of issues that I had to deal with during the patching but I thought I dealt with them well. I have further established my credentials for Exadata patching and just need to progress this to Supercluster as well. I think I am 70% there for the target that Chaman set for me. The rest will take personal initiative but I should be able to do it somehow before November.

Collage of Devi III’s experiences ends in November and I dont want to extent it any more.

Spent some good family time in Beeramguda. I think this was the first trip to Hyderabad, in which I did not visit Aliabad. Dad was so busy that he granted me only 1 day appointment!

Ravi Mama was there for 2 days and Rama attamma for 4 days. I was expecting the topic of sam_girl to come up but surprisingly, it did not. I asked Pinni on saturday what that was about. She said that the sam family had backed out as they thought the age difference was too much. I made sure I did not show any emotion while I was speaking to her.. but this has had some effect on me.

To be honest, I am disappointed it is not working out. I had mentally prepared for this and to find out suddenly that it is not going to happen, is upsetting. If it went through, this marriage would have been a little challenging, but I wouldn’t have had to move out of my comfort zone too much. It was a great opportunity for everyone involved to do something good. Now I am back to square one and face the prospect of stepping into the market when the time comes. This will involve all the bullshit that comes with arranged marriages that I can see Purush and Bala are going through right now. It will also mean moving out of my comfort zone and doing things that I am not very keen on doing.

I was keen on maintaining status quo regarding this, but I was not expecting something like this to happen. Given that they are losing more than I am, I don’t understand how they think age is significant enough to break this. I think it’s probably because they dont really have the confidence to step up and ask. The girl is starting MBA so its not like they are actively looking for other options.

Would it have turned out any different if dad had money? Would I have done some course correction if dad had money and I knew before hand they might back off? Will I resent dad not having money given how things have turned out?

I have thought about these questions and I can truthfully say that the answer to these 3 questions is no.

I do not like the way this has turned out. If I want to, I can change the way this narration is going. But I will not do so, as it will not be appropriate on my part. I am hoping things change and they get back. All I can do is wait and watch.

Anyway, this Sunday post ended up with quite some rambling about, but this had to be recorded here.