Sneak Peek 001

As mentioned in my last blog, here is a sneak peek into what is in queue for me for next couple of weeks.
  • Hierarchy v/s bureaucracy: I have often mistaken one for the other. Will talk about how I think about them now.
  • Compound interest blog: From Warren Buffet to Peter Lynch most of the investment Gods swear by its power. I will try and put some borrowed perspective to it.
  • Job Change blog: I am not a veteran in this field. But since now that I have done it once, i would like to pass on my experience. I searched for a job change blog when I started the process, but didn't get what I was looking for. So, this post will have what I was looking for when I did that search.
Hope to get back with the posts soon!

50 first blog

While I was going through my posts in the dashboard, I filtered it on Published and saw 50 as the NUM83R. It's true that NUM63R5 alone don't count but i derived certain satisfaction in having reached this number.

Apart from the satisaction part, there was a disturbing aspect to it. I could see 23 drafts, most of which are un-developed and some under-developed. Those are mosly ideas which I just had at some point and then I just couldn't get back to taking them to completion. Few are as old as 6 months!
Here is what I plan to do and why:
  • I am planning to devise something known as an f-link (link to a future blog). The reason some of my blogs are unpublished is because i wanted them to link to another of my blog ideas. Having created this artificial dependency, one blocking blog impacts more blogs. So, the f-link.
  • I will keep putting Sneak peek posts every month or so to give an idea of my work in progress blogs. It will serve two purposes:
    - If readers have any input, I might be able to use it
    - I will feel more accoutable for writing those blogs once I have made a public committment.
  • Weed out outdated drafts. Clutter promotes inefficiency. (Talk to any tarot reader and you will find out how much they believe in this, I do too!)

To summarize, I would say clogging, so far has been like exercising to me. Here is how

  • It is hard work and sometimes you need to motivate yourself to finish it (Did I just earn a few disapprovals and raised eye-brows!)
  • It feels great when you finish it
  • In the long run, you will be better of with it than without it.
Note: Write the first Sneak peek of the Series.

Bangalore to Goa: The Return

(Read Part 1 and Part 2 for context)

Target for the Day - Capturing a DCH moment
R had advised that it was Aguda fort where the famous DCH scene was filmed with the three heroes looking at a ship and talking about it philosophically. No one questioned because of her experience with Goa and her purported filmy IQ. Blind turns are dangerous.
They were on their way to Aguda fort with K (driver) and S and A (driver) and D. Following the tortuous Goa routes, K (remember he is an accomplished biker) was going great guns until he approached a blind turn where he was almost run over by a truck had he not swerved expertly to avoid a fatal accident (by may a quarter of a second). The second bike was right behind. The swerving, however, slowed down the truck and alerted the second bike saving the not so accomplished driver and his pillion from death. After a few speechless minutes and breath catching they were over the accident and were ready to shoot the DCH moment.

Aguda fort looked spot on as it was on the film. The stage was set to capture the moment, but with a small glitch. The camera ran out of the battery. It meant a trip of around 1KM to reach the main land and then search for a shop. Well, it seems this was quite a common thing to happen and so the small shops in the area catered to all such needs. Batteries in place, they captured their DCH moments. Mission accomplished!

Having accomplished the primary target, it was time for bonus action. There was a Jet Ski adventure to follow and then a booze buying session. Apparently, you are a loser if you don’t take booze back from Goa. K bought around two bags worth of alcohol, in plastic bottles, thankfully! (you will know why soon).

Undocumented stuff
Meanwhile, some incidents happened, but those are not included in this blog. Let's just say, someone was expecting to eat Tandoori chicken but ended up eating a raw toad.

The Bike
Time went by fast, and soon it was a race against time. There was a bridge to be crossed before certain time else it closes down and reopens at some unearthly hour. In short, it would have made them miss their bus. The time was running out. The pairs were the same. The less accomplished pair couldn't keep up with the other group. K, who never bothered to watch his back, could care less. A and D had it coming and there bike stopped in the middle of the road with a thud, causing a little mess at the junction. They were completely clueless. Sheepishly, avoiding angry glances, they moved the bike out of the center of the road. None of them were carrying their mobiles (except S) because it seemed like a 'hassle'.

A seemed to remember R's number because A can remember phone numbers of females pretty easily. It comes quite naturally to him. But his skill was hardly any use at this point. However, D remembered S's number because of some conversation they had about it (remember he is smart!). But even the call was of no use since K and S had already surrendered their bike and there was no way they could come back, find the other two and rescue. A and D felt they had lost it, when a quick look at the bike revealed that there were some pipes hanging around. It was quite clear even to the two amateurs that those pipes were not meant to hang like snakes. After fitting things wherever they could, against all their fears, the bike started. A deserved a bigger share of credit in the exercise.

After, all this rushing they managed to reach the bus stand in time only to learn that the bus would be an hour late.

The Bus
In time the bus to Bangalore arrived, seat numbers were 1,2,3,4. Bus was houseful perfect occupancy. They got to their seats. No trouble so far, other than the conductor’s furtive glances towards them. But that might be attributed to various reasons. 20 KMs past, conductor decided to explain his interest. He went ahead and started inquiring about the tickets. Tickets seemed all right but he was not convinced. The details:
  • The seat numbers were 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Bus number was 2777
  • Bus was from Goa to Bangalore (approximately same time)

  • Here is the conductor’s take:

  • Seat 1, 2, 3 and 4 are not booked at all. Every other seat on the bus was.
  • The bus number is not 2777, it’s 777
  • Bus was from Goa to Bangalore (approximately same time)

  • Conclusion: These guys were in right seats on a wrong bus to right destination.
    However, it sounded too much of a coincidence to happen in real life. It all seemed like a money minting trick to them. They could not digest most of the details. D wasn’t even convinced if 777 was a real bus number. “When did RTO start rolling out three digit numbers for vehicles?”

    Since, it seemed like money minting trick, being IT guys (who are blamed for inflating the prices of everything from real estate to baby food), they were quick to offer him extra money over the amount already paid for the tickets. The driver was a man of principle and wouldn’t take them even though the seats were there. It was literally a difficult spot to be in.

    Next moment, they were calling their agent in Goa, who booked the ticket. He confirmed all the details that conductor mentioned and they realized that they indeed were on board a wrong bus.
    But, that realization wasn’t enough and they started shifting some blame on the agent for getting them in the mess. (Blame shifting is another popular corporate trait and they had been around enough in the industry to have learnt it). A was at his rudest best, mafia style when he spoke to the agent. He was firing away choicest abuses to him on S's mobile on roaming. Tired of all this, they (A and the bus ticket agent) reached an agreement. The correct bus was lagging, so the current bus will drop them at a stop and the correct will take them from there. They were promised a representative at the said stop and A stuck on to him like a leech till they boarded the right bus.

    The Cop
    At this point, they were all too tired to handle any more excitement. (Even I am tired of writing this post now) As soon as they finished saying, "no more troubles", the bus came to a halt. Two policemen walked in. A got just too excited because he knew that they came searching for booze. Taking booze out of Goa is tantamount to smuggling. The police usually wouldn’t check buses, but they had to do it this time. Police had two options to start; the front seats, (1 and 2; K and S) or, the other side, taken by other passengers. In general, the first part of the search is quite extensive because of all the energy. A was audibly asking K if he was carrying anything questionable and K was pissed off to no end, so were others (a little less though). A continued doing so for quite some time at which point he was severely admonished to keep quiet.

    Lucky they were, the search (and it was really extensive) started on the other side and had lost all its steam while they reached seat # 1 and 2 in the end. The plastic bottles didn’t respond at all to cop’s casual slap. The event passed without any fatal repercussion and the night was over without any more issues.

    The mobile
    The first thing in the morning, D realized his mobile was missing and was quick to admit that it was meant to happen. How could they have a peaceful day! They called his number and miraculously found his mobile ensconced safely in the luggage stand. That was the last shit that happened because the trip got over right after it.

    Looking Back
    The funny part of tragedies is, while they are happening, people wish them to not happen. However, if they pass without any permanent or fatal damage, they become memories. This trip would surely go down in the memories of those four guys throughout their life. No matter where they are now, I am sure once reminded of it, they will miss it.

    Bangalore to Goa: The warm-up

    (Read part 1 of this blog for context - Bangalore to Goa: The Fellowship)

    After a haul of 13+ hours, the bus finally reached Goa. The search for the hotel wasn’t particularly bad. The hotel manager was a fine looking lady, who got all four of them excited. She turned out to be a mother of a daughter around 5 years old. Amongst all the other things, they came to know that she could ride a bike as well (as a driver). Well, nothing interesting beyond this. Having managed a good hotel to stay, next task was to hire bikes. Two Pulsar’s were hired for two days using one license. The pairs were decided for the bikes. K was a good driver, A was less so and D and S even lesser so. So, S got paired with K, since S weighed almost a ton. D was paired with A, since he weighed as much as a normal person would… on moon.

    The Sea
    It was now time to enjoy, the sun, the sand and everything that goes with it. Time for revelation, A and K were afraid of water. K had been advised by an astrologer to keep away from water. So he was scared. For A, let's just say he never needed any specific reason to get scared (that reminds me of one of his incidents at an exotic locale, when he couldn’t breathe out of fear!). The two of them were entrusted with the task of baby sitting the stuff. D and S decided to go in. After around half an hour of non stop waves, A comes walking in, somehow getting over his baseless fear. No problem so far, K was still there to take care of the stuff. Another half hour goes by, and then walks in K.

    K was promptly asked to explain about his responsibility. He is a thorough man, he had entrusted the stuff with some trusty shack owner. Apparently, no problems even so far. After spending a good hour in sea, they all walk back (almost like Charlie’s angels getting out of the water) guided by K. K didn't look so confident any more. "This is the shack where I left the stuff on a plastic chair". If you have been to goa, you will know, the shacks on the beaches are all alike. The other pointer, well, wasn’t a big help either. Great!

    D/S - figuring out what was in there, wallets (cash and cards!), S had his $200 goggles, mobile phones, hotel keys and a borrowed camera (worth 25k). Both were counting the losses (look at the pessimism, they had already assumed they won’t get anything back) and started figuring out next steps. And to their great surprise, there weren't many.
    A - I swear, I am not going to go anywhere with you guys. That is why I never ever go out. I swear... went on and on more than 100 times. He was like a broken record.
    K - Relax guys, I know the guy who ensured he will take care of it. I even bought a beer to make sure he does that. K tried to make it sound so cool and confident, but his face betrayed any emotion remotely related to confidence. In short, he was frozen, so was everyone else.

    On top of it all, they were not sure how much they had traveled in the sea and which way. K got more than his share of “What the hell were you thinking looks”.

    K would point to every other shack and say, I think this is it and that kept on going for what seemed to be an eternity. Finally, the right shack was identified around half km from the point where the first potentially right shack was located. And they got their belief in God back. All the things were intact. Not on a plastic chair though, but no one was complaining. The shack owner was rewarded in kind by buying more drinks from him. Lots of laughter followed the incident.

    Saturday Night Fun
    It was that time of year in goa, when they had Saturday night bazaar and it was the best thing that happened to them. They just roamed around with their eyes (and mouth) wide open, hardly blinking. Apparently there were a lot of girls in there waiting to be picked up. However, A warned everyone, that in goa, it’s mostly eunuchs, who dress like girls and roam around. For the rest of the night, every time they spotted someone, there first reaction would be to discuss the authenticity of their gender. Thankfully, they didn’t go any further than that.

    There were floor shows from artists from various countries and it was truly magical. The day concluded on a positive note. In hindsight, this was just a warm-up.
    Part 3: coming soon
    Here it is - Bangalore to Goa: The Return

    Bangalore to Goa – The Fellowship

    This is part 1 of 3 of the series which recounts the journey of four friends from Bangalore to Goa. The trip seemed memorable in real life, not sure how much of it will get translated in words. People do crazy things once in Goa but sometimes crazy things just happen.

    It's happened so many times to candidates for Presidents, Prime ministers, etc. that they did something rash in their youth and that comes out as a problem while they run for the office. Hence, even though the story is inspired from real life, I will try and make it sound fictitious, so as not to jeopardize the already negligible chances that my characters have of making it to the office.

    Here is a quick introduction of the characters:
    Lead characters:
    A: has quite a bit of energy, compensated by lack of scruples and wisdom, is proud of his mafia links
    K: has again a lot of energy, compensated by characteristic carelessness. Acts cool when in deep shit especially if it’s created by him
    S: IBCD, Indian born confused desi. a little more on the balanced side otherwise
    D: low on energy compensated by loads of smarts, planning and decision making capabilities (all self proclaimed though)

    Guest Appearances/Absences:
    R: very high on energy and fun quotient and not to say very filmy (only female cast in the story)
    T: known for pulling out when everybody is counting on him. He has a history of doing unusual things
    U - unknown – Was actually just a filler to add to the size of the group for the trip. May be he realized that in time and hence defaulted.

    Plot Synopsis
    Four guys on a trip to Goa; A total of 50 hours; out of which 20 was travel, 6 for sleep and rest was play time. This was a trip with more than its fair share of "Oh shit" moments and that’s what made it so memorable.

    Detailed Script
    All the characters of the act were part of one project and all the lead characters were part of the same track/module. The project was going in full swing, or at least that’s how it seemed to be. The projects, as they say have a habit of getting over schedule, over budget and over patience. This went beyond all the benchmarks set by the history. On top of it, the track was the most critical and hence the most screwed up. Just to give you an idea of how screwed up it was; the track had a history of more than 5 failed leads in as many months. Some did bad and others worse.

    It was clearly not the right time to plan a trip but since K was quite insistent, he took it upon himself to coordinate the whole trip even if it meant some dilution in his commitment. Clearly he knew his priorities well. Roles were defined clearly

    R – The inspiration. Encouraged the main characters to go for the trip and agreed to provide all the guidance required given her prior experience.
    K - Logistics
    D - Plan
    A - Camera, supplies
    S - No specific role

    T – Was assumed to be part of the trip always but decided to pull out. Apparently he has been to goa once and hence didn’t want to go again. T, out of the trip.

    The trip was planned for 5 people and since T had pulled out, so we had to find a replacement, thus U came in the picture. So, things went well, days were decided, the plan chalked out, tickets bought and the stage was set... for a series of “oh shits” to happen.

    The outset
    A, K, D, S reached majestic bus-stand but U was nowhere to be seen. None of the other four had his phone number. After a series of phone calls, first to find out his number and then to learn that for some reason he won't be able to make it to the trip. The group decided to see if the ticket could be sold off which happened or not is inconsequential.

    The first let down of the trip was the bus. It felt like the scenario in one of the forward mails, where a client is promised something (a 7-course dinner), she expects something else (a full platter), and something totally else is delivered (McAloo tikki – The one with the tagline – “Aapke zamane me baap ke zamane ke daam”).

    It was expected to be a chartered luxury bus for the trip and turned out to be just a normal bus with luggage in passageway, crying babies and everything that comes with our buses. Good part was that it was going to Goa. They were on the bus and the journey begins.

    Part 2: Coming soon…

    Here it is - Bangalore to Goa: The Warm up
    and here is part 3 - Bangalore to Goa: The Return

    Analytics, comments etc

    The biggest fuel for a blog to run is its readership.

    Now, there are two kind of readers, just readers and participators, the ones who comment. If someone comments on your post, it inspires you because you think you made someone think or react. Sadly enough, I don't have many participators [reasons can be many, most of them will eventually boil down to me doing something un-right ;-) ]

    Then there are passive readers as well, who will never comment. If it wasn't for google analytics, I would have stopped blogging long back. My daily reports show some (not many) regular visitors who keep on checking for posts and luckily a couple of posts always crawl their way to search results.

    Thanks readers/participators, I will keep writing for you :-)