Sunday, October 23, 2005

My Social Economic Profile

I took this 'Politics and Economics outlook' personality test on OK cupid. It was kind of cool, taking a personality test after a long time. Took quite a few of them, during job hunting back in India and in the amazing TCS training sessions.

Over the years I have and am happy to have grown into a person who can take these tests honestly, because if you are good intentioned, you can afford to be honest.

Regarding this test, the result was that I am Social Liberal (61%) and an Economic Moderate(40%). On the whole making me a centrist, which means having a balanced view of things. I would rather see myself as a Social Moderate and an Economic Liberal, which will still leave me a Centrist, but lets not lose focus here.

I think I turned a centrist the day I read the 'Gone with the Wind' and realized it is a greater book of philosophy than 'Fountain Head' or 'Atlus Shrugged', the day I realised that the way I thought is same as the way my rolemodels (like President Kalam, FC Kohli, Srini Rajam etc.) talked.

The interesting part, I thought, here is that a couple of American teammates I had here in one of my projects unanimously pointed out that "I am a man of Convictions". Nice way of putting what my friends at Ittiam used to do so bluntly! Now being a person of convictions and being a Centrist is quite a thing ain' it?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Nice ... Uhun

Prologue :
My friend I were having a pointless conversation, on which we were copying a third friend of ours. The third guy was silent all the time and finally replied saying that it was a nice conversation, which the conversation was far from. This was my reply.

"Nice conversation"
One thing about talking to girls for long hours is that (or is it about being in B schools), one tends to start everything with 'nice'.

Like 'Nice article', there is no gaurentee the person even read the subject line. Similarly 'nice conversation', like 'nice dress', 'nice book', 'nice forward' 'nice ass' etc. The nicest part of nice is that it is a nice thing to say.

The only thing that can equal nice in what-ever is the 'aham' the 'a's are pronounced as a median of the sounds 'a', 'u' and 'e'. It is said with the right mono-tone to it so that it could mean anything from 'thats great' to 'do not bullshit me'. 99% of cases it is means something between ' I do not care' to 'do not bull shit me'.

Next time you hear an american or someone who has been here for a while 'ahun', it is anything but 'nice'.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Causalty of Success

I needed to be at that great Grad school doing MS in my field of interest. Why? There are a lot of reasons, I still can not figure out why exactly.

To give you the back ground, I am at Georgia Tech, the fourth best institute in the world for Engineering. I mean the fourth best. In mobile robotics, apparently my field of interest, it is still better. It was not an easy thing coming here. I do not mean to say that I had to work hard, get high grades during Bachelors etc. But then I had to stay dogged on to getting an admit and a visa to get to this place. It was one heck of a fight; which when I finally won, many of my friends congratulated on both getting it and for making it happen.

Yeah, but then why did I need to get here so desperately. Especially towards the end, that is especially just before I came here. I am having a great life here, (well almost, there are a couple of things I miss). But still why did I want to come here so 'desperately'? There are a few probable reasons, let me evaluate each
I always wanted to do MS, there were a few exceptions to it, especially just before I came here. Now that is confusing, isn’t it? Just before I came to the US, that is when I was still in my company, I realized that my Karma is to help take India to the next level of Economic growth. This was a combination of the business and people sense God gifted me with. Like every rose that has a thorn, my gift needed that I place my future for the progress of the country. Of course I would be getting the enormous illusion of satisfaction in return. In that case, an MS degree will not be the fastest way to get there, an MBA understandable. A PhD, understandable, but then why an MS? BTW, I have no intention of doing either and MBA or a PhD, as of now. In summary this reason does not seem to hold enough water.

The second reason was that, I want to explore the world. After all in many a places on the net, where ever I am given a chance to mention my interests, I do mention people, places and cultures. But for that did I need to do an MS? I could have gone overseas trough my company, I could have roamed around on corporate money, rather than getting holed up like I currently am, between school and home. Hence this factor could have had it is influence but then it was not the majority of the reason.

The third alternative, which will sound pretty strong, is that, I was genuinely pissed off with my job in Bangalore. The life in Bangalore was pretty cool, but then the job, especially the location of the company and the profile of my work sucked. To counter this, I could have switched job, which I in fact prompted me to resign without another at hand, of course with the excuse of the visa. And my manager could have given me a good interesting job in the same company; after all there were many jobs with good profiles that suited me real well. This is a good reason, but still not strong enough, because if I left Bangalore, I would be losing my financial independence and my freedom to roam around.

The fourth reason, that sounds the actual reason, or if I did not choose to believe in the actual reason, this will be the one I would rather believe in. It is that I got admission from one of the best universities in the world. Of course I should go. It was always my dream to do MS from one of the top schools. "And just imagine what a bullet this would make in your resume", many of my friends would point out. Marrying the most good looking women just because you were asked by her does not make all that sense, after all you got to consider if she is the kind of girl for you, don't you? That's the weak part of this argument, but then it still is a strong point.

There is this one argument, that I always push to the back of my mind, that I do not want to believe in, but let me pull it forward and dissect it at this altar of truth (that is my bolg, whose status of truthfulness got jeopardized recently, owing to a decision to go public). The argument is that I came to the US just to proves that I am still capable of achieving what I started out to achieve. Do I mean to say, that I was afraid I would end up being a loser. Because after two years in the real world, I felt that the industry has disappointed me, my expectations from my 'love life' and how to go about it were so unclear, the real world was harsher than I ever expected, the responsibility that my fellow country man felt for his country was so damn disappointing. I wanted to escape all that, I wanted to feel that, I could be very lucky in life, that I could really make things happen to me. And then, I got admission from the best school I applied to just by presenting my self so darn well, and by staying dogged. I could not let such an opportunity go by.

Hmmm.... Does not sound all that strong an argument. Let me add more premise to this to make it stronger. Like me and one of my friends agreed up on a few weeks ago, 'we somehow can not let life to be going still, we have to jump the boat, make things wild, mess up things, make life less ideal'. That's weird, but is kind of true with us. Still the reason does not sound strong enough.

Yup got it, the reason I came here to do MS is as I mentioned to the guys who were kind enough to come to the airport to receive me in Atlanta. It is not a print out of this blog, it is just the two words 'time-pass'. Yup that was it. A combination of the reputation of the university, the US education system, a love for simple mathematics, a boredom with the job, an round age, and a sense of exploration made me come to do MS. After all, if I came here for some stupid reason, I would not be enjoying it as much as I am doing right now.

Now, who is the casualty? The casualty is the piece of blog your are reading right now. This was the biggest hit, with this exaltation in my life. I lost the freedom to move around, I lost the freedom to ride. I miss my bike now, on that bike, going on those nice roads of Bangalore, with a sense of ownership, I got all that I wanted to write blogs, I was in touch with myself. The number of blogs came down, the quality of the blog as I see it came down. That's why at this time of the night with a project due for submission, I am writing one to compensate for the loss.

Here it is as if I am in a program. I do enjoy this mighty, but pretty soon I got to do something that will let me regain touch with myself. The American system is famous for making you lose touch with yourself, it is so not spiritual! No wonder there are books like 'Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance' and movies like the 'Fight Club' in this country.