Random Musings

Buenos Aye 2 Day 0,1

I made it to the shores of Argentina in one piece. The travel was extremely tiring. All sorts or body parts started acting up and aching. I managed to arrive at the hotel without a lot of hassle, thanks to the cab service that Oracle arranged for me.

Ordered room service to have diner and then slept off. Checked emails before going to bed and found out that the next couple of days are holidays because of easter.

Day 1 was bad. Dropped my phone in the morning and the screen cracked. It will cost me a lot to get the screen replaced. Had a heavy breakfast in the morning which did not digest until the evening. Skipped lunch and ended up eating cookies throughout the day. In the evening went to bed with the intention of waking up after couple of hours. Ended up waking up at 12:30 pm. Had to order room service again.

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March-y blues

2 years.

That is how long I religiously cataloged my life in this forum. Called them the Sunday posts I did.

3 Months.

Of marriage is all it took for me to stop writing.

Now to blame the Mrs for my tardiness is not fair. Its not like she has been hogging all my time. Since I have no work to do in the office, I am pretty much free these days. What ends up happening is that since I am very busy on Saturdays either working or doing chores or something else, Sunday is the only day that I have to give to the Mrs. The Mrs does not like it when I do not give her attention on Sunday.

All that still does not explain my tardiness. I could still write the posts on Mondays or Tuesdays. In the past I would look forward to the Sunday to write my post. These days I can go the entire week without thinking about it and not even realize that I missed it. I think the Sunday posts have lost their relevance in my life.

What drove me to take up that exercise in the past and why is it not relevant now?

I think the Sunday posts were a way for me to deal with my problems and anxieties. Those were difficult days. It was important for me mentally to know that I was moving forward in life. One way to do that would be to write a journal every week and detail in it what I did for the week and what I planned to do for the coming weeks. It made me feel organized and feel good.

Post marriage life has been better for me. Most of those anxieties and pressures gone. They have been replaced by other things but I am able to handle them. So now I don’t feel the need of a journal.

I also think that I have got too caught up in life nowadays so my attention span has reduced. Writing needs focus and I haven’t been able to do that. Even this post has been difficult to write. I get distracted every 5 mins. I took a 4 hour break after the first couple of lines. The Mrs keeps telling me about this. I may even be facing the effects of having such a hectic life. I have had a constant dull headache for the past couple of weeks. Research in google points towards stress as the leading cause of such a condition.

The real reason the Sunday posts lost their meaning in my life is because the underlying objective has been achieved. I wrote the journal as a way to help deal with the loneliness that I felt before marriage. Now that I am no longer lonely, I don’t need the journal.

I need the journal.

I may not be lonely but I have other problems in life. Like the one right now where I am incapable or relaxing for even a short period of time. I need the journal to track the progress I am making while I deal with the problem. And that is how it should go in the future as well. There will always be problems in life so I will need to take the help of the Journal to deal with the problems.

THE DECISION

It is something of a quirk in my nature that whenever I need to do some thinking, I want to write a blog post for it.

When I woke up today in the morning and opened facebook, I saw a update from waitbutwhy for a new post on their website.. called “the decision”. The topic dealt with the various ways a person might approach the marriage question.

When I was reading the post, I started to think about my own approach to the question. I started to think about my journey from April 3, the first day I met her till today… the first time I told her I was in love with her.

It has been a curious journey, and one in which I have changed a lot and have come to understand myself a little bit more. I distinctly remember that first day.. when she seemed very straight forward and ambitious. I remember being aloof to her. I remember pushing her in our conversations to test her limits. I also remember my frustrations and my realizations.

The last one year has been difficult. I will probably write about it in my yearly post. It has all come down to today, and I am truly happy. I don’t think I have regretted at any moment my decision to marry her. But I have had my doubts as to whether I was compromising. And the compromise was never about her. I have always felt that she was a good match to me. The compromise was always about my impression of their family and my disliking of the situation in which they are in.

Even today I would prefer to be in a situation where her parents would be able to support her a little more. But in the last few weeks, I have come to realize that it truly doesn’t matter. In the bigger picture, if we are ready to work hard a little bit for the first few years. it does not matter how much money she has right now. Of course I would be under some pressure for a few months, but its not like something that I can’t handle.

I have a good feeling about the relationship that we are building together. And its built on top of her understanding of me. I have to give her credit for the way she has handled me. I am a difficult guy to handle and she has shown a lot of maturity and patience with me. These are not qualities that are so easily available these days.

I also love the way she entertains my small quirks and peculiarities. I have come to love her quirks and her peculiarities. I find her beautiful and charming in company. I like spending time with her and miss her sometimes. Even as I plan today’s date, I can’t help but feel exited. Is it love?

To do or not to do.

“Things almost always never turn out the way you expect them to”

A quote by your’s truly. It’s something I repeat to myself at least once everyday these days. While the wisdom behind the words have held me in good stead over the years, I wonder if this line of thinking makes me a cynic.

We dream and we day dream. We fantasize about a future yet to come and convince ourselves it will be very different from the past. Is it any good though?  I know deep down that the future will not be the way I expect it to be. So I think it’s good that I stop myself from fantasizing.

What kind of life will it be when one does not hope and dream? Specially for someone like me whose mental state is shaky at best, am I protecting myself from disappointment? If I had to describe myself as one among the following, what would I choose?

Optimistic, Practical, Pessimistic, Cynic.

** Thinking for 5 mins **

I don’t have an answer. I would like to think that I am a practical person but I am not. I am not pessimistic either. I am definitely not a cynic all the time. I think my outlook depends upon the context.

Take Bala’s marriage for example. It makes me feel uneasy. The couple obviously love each other so I should think that they will do fine. The girl’s volatility and impulsiveness makes me wonder how the couple will handle difficult times. Why can’t I just hope for the best? Why can’t I look at their happiness now and think that it will last?

My quest to get married is throwing some interesting challenges my way. There have been 2 cases that I have considered seriously. Both have been a thought experiment for me. I would be the first to admit that nobody can be perfect. I would give every person I meet generous leeway. Both the cases have pushed me to think about what would be reasonable. In Ms. Telugu Medium’s case, it was a combination of the girl’s and her parents shortcomings that made me decide I did not want them. In Ms. Swati’s case however, from the data that I have so far, I am happy about the girl. The deal with the family is bad though.

Dad is very generous in his evaluations of people. Even he sounded unenthusiastic about this family. He might reason it by saying he needs to get the money first, but I know him well enough to know what is going on in his mind. He is not convinced. And if he is not convinced, I will definitely not be convinced. But it the girl turns out to be very good, can I compromise about the family?

It wont be a small deal. A carefree father is a burden to his child and this father will be a burden as long as he lives. I will have to bear some amount of responsibility. It’s not like I’m not up for it though. If Swati is worth it, I will handle all the shit that I can. And that’s the deal. I don’t know if Swati is worth it. I may not know if I speak to her. I may not even know an year into marriage, in case I marry her.

Situations like these call for a leap of faith. These are also moments when I consider the people who find love lucky. They know more or less what they are getting into.

What should I do?  Should I push and make it happen? Will Swati end up in my negative portfolio? I don’t know.

I have an idea. One can get a good estimate of a person when you push them into doing things they don’t like. So that’s what I am going to do. I will ask dad to tell Janardhan uncle that I want to meet the girl alone. If they agree, let’s see what happens. If they don’t, so be it. Ms. Swati will not get to be Mrs. Ravula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Regimen

Two weeks back I picked up a book about health with the name: Don’t lose out, work out.

Reading this book has been a revelation to me. I had been working out fairly regularly at the gym in the last 7 months. While I have lost weight and have become fitter generally, I felt that for the effort I have put in, I haven’t achieved the results. Now I understand why.

For some reason I have always emphasized on cardio as a method for fat loss. Apparently, my judgement was without any basis. Weight training seems to be the more optimal approach to achieve that goal. I have already decided that I am going to extend my gym membership. I still don’t know for how long I will be staying here in Bangalore so I’m not sure for how long to take up the subscription.

I have a new regimen mapped out now. 3 days strength training, 3 days running and one day rest.

The schedule will look something like this:

Monday: (Back)

Barbell Row
Lat
Shrugs
Barbell Curl
Hammer Curl
Reverse Fly

Tuesday (Run, about 8K)

Wednesday: (Lower Body)

Squats with weights
Lunges with Weights
Leg Extension
stiff leg deadlifts
Leg curl
standing calf raises

Thursday (Run, faster 6K)

Friday: (Front)

DB Press
Chest Press
Machine Fly
Overhead DB Press
Side Lateral DB
Cable Push Down
DB Extension

Satuday — Break

Sunday (Long Run, 16K)

With this regimen, I will be covering 30K per week on the road and will be able to focus on only weights in the gym. The amount of time I will be spending in the Gym will reduce. Hopefully I will see the results.

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.

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.

Next 6 Months

24th May 2015, the day I returned from my last trip to Hyderabad. I enter the room in the morning and the first thing that Mr. AB talks about is express entry. Actually, it might have been the second thing he mentioned. The first thing was the Malaysia fuck up that they did.

Anyway, by the end of that day, I decided I wanted to apply for Canadian PR and from the next day, I had started my planning for the process. Now, 3 months later, I have completed that process and am currently staring at potentially a 6 month wait before the invite comes. The last 3 months have been very eventful but what had to be done is done now so what do I do from here on out?

I had planned to do the GG certification. That I completed this week. I was planning to do the OCA but I think I will do it after moving to Hyderabad. I have nothing else planned for the days to come. Nothing to do in the office when I have free time and nothing to do at home when I come back from office. I can’t afford to waste my time so I need to think about what I want to do for the next few months.

The Marathon, the Hyderabad move and the OCA are 3 side tracks that are going on right now. Each will take its course and is not something that will occupy a lot of my time or effort. I need a main track to base my life on. I think its time I start focusing on scaling up. Not the gentle effortless scale up that has happened over the last few months. The scale up that I have in mind will need quite a lot of effort and dedication and I think I am in the right place at the right time to do what has to be done.

Scaling up from SSC is difficult to do. Planning is not possible and a lot of things happen ad-hoc so this effort will require quite a lot of focus. I think I can keep 2 themes for every week and base my effort of those themes. I will need to work on my documentation and start collecting IP. So action plan for the next 6 months:

ACTION PLAN:

  1. 2 themes every week. Do a lot of testing in the office and after coming home. While working morning shifts, try to pass SR’s by 12:00 and spend the rest of the day doing tests.
  2. No sleep after coming home. Change of dress and straight out to the gym.
  3. Relax time after return from Gym. Then try to do more documentation.
  4. Collect IP, IP and more IP on the themes of the week.

I should start to get the hang of it by the end of the week. I will have a break next week but once I return from Hyderabad, I think I will have another week to follow the same routine. Then will come the Malaysia trip that I am really looking forward to.

The Sunday posts will be a good place to log the progress and I think I can do a review in November on how this has progressed. By then, hopefully I will have settled down in Hyderabad and will have started a good routine.