Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The rapid half life of the dream to live & work abroad

I'll be honest. Ever since I got married, the Mrs and I've always wanted to live and work abroad, for say 3-5 years before settling finally in India. And I applied like crazy to every damn opening that I found on LinkedIn, websites of companies/organizations that I dreamed of joining and seeking friends' help wherever possible.

Repeated failure and 2 near successful attempts later, nowadays I do not feel like making the attempt to apply. Tough visa regimes and possession of a skill-set that is not so easily transferred across borders are definitely a factor when I decide, but I feel there are the following points that sub-consciously play in my mind

1. Large number of important relationships - parents, friends, colleagues, relatives

2. Comfort in familiar settings

3. An improving lifestyle

4. Opportunity to directly contribute to the country's growth

Last but not the least - Seeing my little one bond so much with her grandparents; I just don't have the heart to take her 1000s of kilometers away to only meet her favourite people only once a year.

But, as the adage goes, if I'm contacted for a super stunning opportunity, I might consider it - why not? But have a 3 year return plan ready.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Volleyball, School and Sports

While returning home yesterday, I saw a HUGE poster for the Vajpayee Volleyball Cup - an inter-school district level tournament. My brother used to be part of his school team for this championship.

I somehow linked it to my era, when my batch mates used to go for a tournament (which I mistakenly thought was the Vajpayee Cup) and always used to run into a school called Gandhi School.

Gandhi school boys were massively built guys whose smashes would leave you reeling. In particular they had someone who could smash the ball almost perpendicularly; while the rest of us normal mortals could only smash it diagonally!

So, the story every year used to be this - we prepare well, go into the tournament with lot of confidence; but invariably run into these guys, put up a heroic fight and come back battered and bruised. The only parallel I can draw is to Arsenal in the Champions League. A good team which runs into Barcelona and Bayern Munich year after year and come back as heroic losers :-)

In the middle of all this reminiscing, a tinge of regret crept in. Why had I forsaken my budding tennis abilities for mere marks and in the quest to be popular? ( volleyball and cricket were the top sports at school then). What if I then had the guts that I have now - to do things I like and do it without caring for acknowledgement?

God, if I have to lead the same life again I promise I will work on my tennis right from school level!

Monday, August 04, 2014

south asian sojourns

For the first time EVER I am setting foot properly in another South Asian country. To add to it, I am staying in one for a few days.

Till now, the only claim to fame had been a furtive step across the border at Wagah unseen (hopefully) by the BSF and Pakistan rangers.

Flew into Maldives via Colombo - and it's been good so far. Pleasant weather, nice chilled out people. I even took an hour long walk around Male. I like the place.

I hadn't blogged in a long time. Thought I would record this event :-)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sachin and the emotions

Let me be honest - I was not, am not and will not be a Sachin fan. Don't get me wrong - I respect the guy, and I admire him for the way he has handled enormous pressure while dudes like me blow off our top for every trivial stuff that happens in office; and for the squeaky clean image over a 24 year career.

There has been the odd "Maaki" (Australia 2008) or the "ball-tampering" (South Africa, 2008); but I will let those incidents pass - too many others have done far greater shit and walked away scot-free.

For me it is an honour that Sachin made his debut and batted last on my birthday (15th November 1989 and 2013). #ThankYouSachin for that :D

What is the best image of Sachin in my memory? I have 3

1. Operation Desert Storm

2. The stunning assault on the Aussies in the World Cup 1996. Nearly won us that match till he got stumped off a Mark Waugh wide

3. THAT innings in Chennai against Pakistan

Thanks for the memories Sachin :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rekindled Feelings for a One time love?

I recently met one of my MTech classmates who continues to work in the core-technical areas of the power system; i.e. design, simulations of power system devices. We got talking as friends do after a long time, and got down to discussing our respective lines of work. It was surprising how the adage - grass is greener on the other side holds true everywhere. My friend was of the opinion that commercial is the way to go whereas I told him that technical excellence is the harbinger of greatness.

The major point that got me thinking was when he said that Indian power systems still use Static VAR Compensators (SVCs) for reactive power compensation. What the hell has happened in the power sector in the last 7 years since I graduated? There was so much noise about the various devices like STATCOMs , DSTATCOMs, DVRs, SSSCs etc. revolutionizing the power sector. In fact research used to focus on churning out papers showing different simulations of these exotic devices.

Predictably stupid thoughts started to flow - was I ahead of time in 2006? (I was quickly brought to ground when another friend said that it was not about immediate utility application, but the race to patent an idea that drove such research) Why didn't the final set of unified simulations work? Why did I let folks push me around during the time when I was finding system modeling a little tough? Why did I allow all this to kill my interest in research?

These were some of the reasons for not joining a core-technical company.

But, as the proverb goes "Aadadella Olithe Aayithu" (everything happens for the good) - I discovered the field of management consulting in the power sector which has slowly but steadily led me onto energy policy. Herein is a world where I thought I would be a total misfit - but I've lasted for 7 years and going strong :-)

So much so, that I am contemplating taking up research in this area - is this an old flame fluttering her eyelashes at me? :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

A realization

Pustakastha tu ya Vidya
Parahasta Gatam Dhanam
Karyakaale Samutpanne
Na Saa Vidya Na tat Dhanam

Knowledge that exists in a book and money that is in another's hands
Is not knowledge nor money - cos when you need it its not there!

So true! Damn you Sanskrit Pundits for such foresight! :-(

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Urbanization or reverse ruralization?

"The soul of India lives in its villages" goes a famous saying by Mahatma Gandhi. He was a champion of village development, and believed that India would progress only if its villages progressed. Nehru on the other hand was of the view that urbanization and rapid industrialization alone would carry the nation forward.
Innumerable debates rage about the benefits of either model. If one were to crudely generalize, politicians tend to prefer village areas, and the so called "air conditioned room arm chair specialists" prefer urbanization. There is even a book called "Triumph of the City" which champions urbanization. Before reading the book, I too loved and dreamed to the "suburbian" lifestyle. Big sprawling house with a drive down to a less congested city centre. This vision satisfied both my aesthetic and my environmentally conscious mind; but after reading the book I found that there was nothing environmentally friendly about the "suburbian" lifestyle. More on this book in another post.
One interesting trend that has emerged from the rapid construction boom in all cities is the extent to which the apartment complexes have spread to the far outskirts. Most of these areas used to fall outside the municipal limits of the "original" city. Once a upon a time you would have classified them as "rural" areas.
So, would you define the process as urbanization of the rural areas or a return to ruralization for the urban dweller? Keep in mind that we are just dealing with semantics here. True re-ruralization would actuslly mean one getting back to agriculture/animal husbandry etc and living like a true villager - a simple life without malls/24 hour electricity (wherever it exists) :-)