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Busy Day & Travel Time…. May 29, 2010

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What a day it is(because its still not over yet)! I have been working since morning on my chapter and its still not done. I have got a lot delayed in the final submission of it since there are tons of other things happening around me in both, professional and personal side. If you are a regular here, you must have seen a post where I mentioned that  its going to be a real busy day and it really was! The good thing which did happen that all went well on that day. VERY few people know that on that day, how much did I work and how hard it was for me to manage everything since I was the only one who was there. Later on, my brother-alike-friend Aman(deep) joined me and I can’t tell how relieved I felt on his arrival. He was supposed to come with me right in the morning only but unfortunately, he felt really sick in the night and it wasn’t just a normal sickness but he got a fever of 104degrees and he was left unconscious. When I got a call from his sister, I immediately rushed towards his home and was there as long he didn’t get a bit better! Even when I left him much better from the state when I stepped into his home, in the morning, he got a real real bad headache, that much bad that he had to ask his sister to actually punch his head than just pressing it! That was the reason that he couldn’t come with me in the morning. I am sure he was not well even at that time when he came in the afternoon but I know he came because it was related to my sister. He himself said to me, had it been anything related to you, I would had not at all come but since it was for Gunjan, I had to come by any means! I know it so well and I would had done the same if I was at his place. I never can forget that moment when his elder sister was going to get married and I got a little late to get to his home. When I stepped in, she just rushed towards me, hugged me and started crying! I was like that someone must bury me in this earth that why the heck I got late that my sister had to cry! I hugged her so tight too and said, didi(elder sister in Punjabi/Hindi)  don’t cry now, I am here! It feels like all of this happened yesterday only! And if I did feel this at that moment, I must say, Aman is many many steps ahead of me. I can say about me that I sometimes do certain things which are so irritating but he never ever does! I know he would never let me speak this or take me seriously if I would say this in front of him but he means so much to me, more than myself even! We fight, we argue, we get angry but we both know, we are there for each other at all the times, in all the conditions! He has no brother neither do I but I am sure, Aman also would echo, we don’t need too!

Since I am leaving tomorrow, there was tons of work that I had to do today. I had to get my ticket printout, a simple looking task which took so much time since the first place where I went for it was closed. Yeah yeah I know I must have a printer in my home and let me tell you, I did buy one long time back, my first purchase and up till now, the last purchase of a printer! I hadn’t used it much and after some time, it didn’t remain usable as well 🙂 . Okay that sounds really bad but the truth is I didn’t take it to service at any point since I was not using it much at that time so its condition became bad to worse eventually and now its of almost no use. I know I need a new printer and I am going to get one when I am going to set up my home office, yes you heard it right, my own home-office. I won’t be able to speak much about it at this moment but something surely is cooking and I shall let everyone taste it once its ready! Anyways, so I was telling that I couldn’t get the printing done at the first place so I had to rush to the second place. Its somewhat far so it took considerable time for me to get to there and get the print job done. Aman was at my home at that time when I was out to do some downloading and installations. He called me to get some software for him and also a blank dvd. Now again, this looks so simple but the dvd burning took forever! After wasting 3 dvds, finally the darn thing was done and I was able to get back home. Once I was back home, Aman told me that he has called up a sales rep of water purifier company and he is coming to show us the models and if all goes well, may be he will do the installation of it also today! Yes, we didn’t have it yet at our home but it was a must looking at the level of pollution water is having now. And since my mom is already a heart and blood pressure patient,  purified water would help her health too. Looking at all these things, I said yes( I had no other choice too because Aman would had killed me otherwise 🙂 ) .

The water purifier guy came within an hour since Aman called him. He did show us couple of models , told us the secrets behind the more popular brands and what they do and assured us that there won’t be any issues and if there would be any, he would come right away to fix it up! Once we were agreed upon the price( after lots of bargaining) , we asked him to get it installed today only. He was insisting that he would do it tomorrow but since I am leaving tomorrow and wanted to get it done in front of me, we asked him to get it done today only. He came back after about two hours and got the apparatus installed and put it into working. My mom definitely didn’t like the taste of the water and its quite natural since she doesn’t have a habit of drinking mineral water often but its definitely going to help in her health so even if I have to force her to drink it, I will! It was my long term dream to get it done and I am so happy that I was able to complete it today for my family. I know it may sound so silly to many of you but that’s a truth and this also, a deep feeling of satisfaction is there today in the heart. 🙂

Okay, coming now to some serious things now and on top of all is, I am starting my travel tomorrow. Yep, my (very) short vacation is over and I shall be seen on the road, on the airport, in the cabs again from tomorrow. I can’t really say much about it now given the things that I am seeing that I have to do and to make them all done, I need to work as hard as possible. Even when I know how important it is for me, leaving your home and traveling is never a good thing to feel if you ask me! Sigh! And to make things really spicy, I am going to handle a very tough program for a very elite group of professionals. I can’t mention the name of the company( its a really BIG one and you use it everyday, keep guessing now) but I know, the group of people are really smart guys and since I am allocated for this program on a special recommendation, the expectation level must have gone really high! Well, nothing which is in favor of me right? Let’s see what will happen, all I can do is to do my best and be hopeful that I would be able to share and discuss some useful things with the delegates. Hope all goes well! Pray for me guys, I really really do need your prayers and wishes so much!

Also, though not too many know, I am working on a writing assignment and its really important. Due to numerous distractions, I am going behind the schedule for my current work related to it. I can’t tell you the level of the pressure that’s there on my head at the moment and I need to really pull up my socks and get it done at the earliest possible! I hope I shall be able to do so and not to make my co-author upset. Arrghh too many things, too less time and just one me to do it all! Some times, life is really hard, isn’t it! 

May Be Later…. May 28, 2010

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Those who know me really well, are well aware about a fact that if there is point that I have to buy some thing for some one else, someone who comes in the category of either family or near-n-dear , I shall get that thing,whatever it may be right away! But if the spotlight shifts towards me and I need to get something for my own self, it takes me ages to make up my mind to finally get my act together and get it. Its not the case that I don’t get excited to get things for me or new things don’t bring that shine and smile on my face but there are tons of thoughts which take over my mind when I look at something to buy for me. Its been very few times that I had spent money on myself and leaving a few exceptions, most of the times, it was a more of a forced act than a willing one!

Today, once again, I found myself in the same quest about something which I really “need” and not just “want”! Even though I know that its very much required for me, I have deferred it for some more time and I have no idea about the time frame at the moment. For this, mom pushed me whole day that I must go and get it, gave me so many reasoning and assurances that it would be okay if I shall get it but still, I decided to not to go for it at the moment. May be after some time, I would be able to get it, I am not sure about it yet but feeling a bit upset about the whole thing. Not because that I couldn’t get it today but because of those reasonings which stop me all the time at any such moments! Sigh! May be I should just check its online view at the moment, hope that would help a little, don’t know!

Its Going To Be A Real Busy Day…. May 25, 2010

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If you are a regular here, you must be aware( and may be tired ) that I keep on saying that I have got tons of work to do. Well, that’s completely correct and in that series, its going to be the busiest day. I woke up at 6am and got ready for the rest of the day, yet to have my morning tea and breakfast(which is a must since I was fasting yesterday).

In fact, even yesterday went completely occupied. In the morning, I visited my friend Amandeep. Since the time I have come back, I had not visited him, though it was not an act of will but I just couldn’t do because of tons of other things that were(are) going on. So I had to go and see him at any cost and since I knew, today again I won’t have time so no other day was left except yesterday. We sat for about 3 hours, talked about tons of stuff, discussed so many things. He is supposed to be go with me today but since he is not keeping well and also got terribly sick yesterday, we need to see what we shall do today. Anyways, when we were sitting, he asked me couple of questions about today and I didn’t have the answer. So we decided that we shall go to those people whom we have given the tasks and shall demand all the answers. I know, this all is not making sense at all, I mean, questions, answers and all that right? Well, I can’t mention anything yet so bear with me for a while. I shall reveal everything at the right time. So back to the same point, we thought we shall go to the people responsible and recheck everything with them. Gunjan had to come back, so we decided that we shall pick her too on our way back. Aman doesn’t travel now because of his health and we have to look for tons of things before we actually get on the road. Fortunately, all seems good yesterday so finally we left home and drove to the place. Fortunately, we met the manager itself of the place and he really did assure us that all would be fine and he also mentioned that he would personally come and check everything. We did explain to him quite extensively about what need and also the most important question, “why” and he did assure that all would go fine! It was a big tension which finally got relieved from our heads and now we were free!

Since both Aman and Gunjan were not fasting, they asked me to take them to Subway. Well, though I was fasting still the bill was supposed to come from my wallet only and you can’t believe how truly they enjoyed telling and praising me the stuff! Well, I managed to taste their ice tea and coffee only (which was good too) and then we left the place. I have been asked to bring them again there but now this would happen when I can join them too and won’t be a mere spectator only 🙂 .

On our way back, Aman told that he wanted to buy a cap. So he took us to a Reebook showroom where he already had visited and bought a pair of shoes. The guys over there did remember he so well so we got a VIP treatment. After rejecting many caps, he finally selected one! He and Gunjan were kept on insisting me to buy something for me too to which I was not paying any attention at all. Finally, they selected a pair of sun glasses for me and “ordered” me to get it! Its too difficult to oppose such orders especially when you are outnumbered so I had to get it. I must say, its a REALLY expensive piece of glasses but its still worth of its price! I shall post its pic and if would feel okay, a pic of me wearing it too some time later! Overall, it was a good time spent!

Aman dropped us at home with saying that he would come back in a minute. But when it was almost two hours since he left, I got really worried because I know, his health keeps on troubling him. I had a fear in my heart that he may not be well and unfortunately, it turned into reality as well. Aman got really bad fever, 104D and he was unconscious. When I called him, I was asked to rush immediately to his home. I picked up my scooter and rushed to him with some medicines with me. He was really not well! After a long time, he finally got some relief and came back into his senses. I left him saying that he must make himself fine for today but I know, its not in his hands. I just hope that he becomes completely fine and would be able to go with me today!

Its time to have a quick breakfast now and then start gearing up for the day. Hope all goes fine! If you think am tensed, you are completely right!

Busy Busy Busy…. May 23, 2010

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I got back home yesterday but even when I am back, there are tons of things which are pending and are on my responsibility to get finished. Yesterday, though I was back but was so tired so didn’t do much. But today, I was packed like anything. I have finished today’s tasks and am back now at home.

The day started late but since the starting itself, I was occupied. The very first thing which I wanted to get over with, was a book review which I had to do and was pending from a long time. I had got an opportunity to do a book review earlier from Packt Publishing which I did. If you are interested to know how to manager the 10gR5 Grid Console, you may want to read my review for the related book here. I was fortunate to get another opportunity by Packt to do one more book review for one of their upcoming titles. Though this process did initiate quite some time back but due to various reasons, I had not got a chance to get the review done. I had almost finished the reading of the book, just two chapters were left which I managed to finish somehow and finally, did manage to post the review today over my Oracle blog. If you are a DBA and looking for an overall book to help you, you may want to read my review here.

Once done with the writing, it was time for me to get ready and leave for the city since rest all of the tasks were supposed to be done there only and the very first was related to me 🙂 . I needed a hair cut so the first stoppage was my saloon where I go all the time. Besides the fact that I really admire the technical persons there, most of them are my friends too. So its always good to visit and meet all of them. We always have so much of fun while sipping hot tea/coffee. Today was no different as well. I met over there all of the people. There were couple of new faces there too. I did get introduced to them but I didn’t have time today to sit back and do any chit-chat. Day was getting more and more hotter(thanks to no-rain policy of God for my place) and I had to do lots of stuff still. So after getting my hair done and finishing my tea, I was on road again!

The next stop was to check a place. It was already selected by my dad and Gunjan so there was nothing much for me to do there. But still, I did want to have a look at the place myself as well. I didn’t get to spend much time there though. After a quick chat with the person over there, I left to do some exciting stuff, shopping! 🙂 .

I don’t do much of the shopping for myself. Its very rare that you would see me going for a shopping for myself. Today also, it was not for me in the first place. Gunjan asked me to get an cover for her Iphone(yes she has one , not me). I thought about it and decided that I shall go that shop which would have this plus also laptops. So I went to my friend’s shop whom I remembered having both. Well, since its been quite some time that I had visited him, I didn’t know that he has stopped keeping laptops due to lesser and lesser sales of them. He was having very sleek range of laptops and obviously, not many are interested in that kind of high priced notebooks. So looking at the business, it was a right decision for him to stop having notebooks on his showroom. Though I do understand and respect his decision, I was still a little disappointed to know that now I have to look at other shops for the laptops and have to deal with many stupid sales people who only know about the model and its price and have no idea about the technical details of the laptops and also no clue about the competing models and brands. Anyways, there was nothing I could say or blame him for so it was time to check the next thing, the Iphone cover! He still did have Ipods and Iphones in his shop and also their accessories. So at least for this, I was not disappointed. I asked for a good cover and he asked me who is going to carry the phone, me or Gunjan. Well, he kind of knew the answer so he said by himself, I doubt it would be you 🙂 ! So he did show me covers which are specifically targeted for gals. Though the covers were good but I was totally clueless about the color of it. There were quite a few colors there and I was picking the one which I liked the most but then again, my friend reminded me that who is going to carry the phone actually and I had to leave it! So he picked a color telling me that all gals like it so much, any guesses? Well, don’t think too much, it was a Pink! 🙂 . Hmm well, should had come to me instantly but I didn’t think about it at all. I asked him to pack it and also asked about the price. Well, there came a BIG shock! He told me the price, after discount only for me, was a whooping 900/INR! OH MY GOD! Did I tell that the damn cover was not officially from Apple yet? First the Apple people were the only one who were robbing people by their super priced Iphon(y) and now, even the accessory making companies have joined the club! I asked and even tried to understand where the dam 900 bucks were spent by the company but as like any product from or related to Apple, I got nowhere! I paid the amount and got out from the showroom cursing Steve Jobs and that unknown owner of the cover making company!

The next stop for shopping was at Kapsons.I wanted to get some t-shirts or half sleeved shirts for me since I have only full sleeved shirts, thanks to my job where I can’t wear anything else except them! But I have been suggested( and commented) that I should get some boyish type clothes too than wearing all the time uncle-ish types 🙂 . So I finally thought that I shall get some half sleeved shirts for me for two reasons. One, I would be able to wear them with any sort of trousers, be it jeans or Khakis and second, its summer in full swing here so it makes a perfect sense to buy them now than in winters! So I stepped into the mall and started looking at various brands. I was wearing an old(full sleeved) casual shirt of mine which is from Indian Terrain. Its a pure white shirt with some print on its back but it looks really good(not sure over me though). I bought it long time back from Hyderabad since there was no showroom of Indian Terrain in my city yet. But finally, today I was happy to see its outlet in the Kapsons and immediately rushed towards it. Indian Terrain has brought some really cool summer collection and I was able to find two half sleeved shirts for me 🙂 . The second thing to get was a formal shirt for me. This time Zodiac helped me to get a good , formal shirt! I was asked to get a trouser or jeans as well by my mom but I didn’t get it 🙂 . I was done for my shopping and now was damn hungry! Now it was time to look for the immediate next eating joint. Since Cafe Coffee Day or Barista were far, I decided to step into Basant’s. Its a local but really good, vegetarian eating joint! I ordered for me their special, cheese grilled sandwich with a coke and it was enough to me make my tummy full! 🙂 . It was after many many years I stepped into Basant again and I was happy to see that they have managed to maintain the respect of their brand  and taste still!

After a small but satisfying lunch, it was time to drive back to home! There are still some tasks pending but now, there is no time for them and they are deferred for tomorrow now. It was a long day but still, it was a good time spent! Its time now to have some tea and listen to some music to make my mind and body relaxed 🙂 .

Back Home & Leaving Too…. May 18, 2010

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I feel that I am spending my maximum time on airports and with airhostesses , the latter is really not true though but the former surely is! And I must confess, its a real hectic life to live and I am living it since 2006 so its been a long time as well!

I got back home yesterday morning. I had a week long program which got cancelled ( or wasn’t scheduled at all, I don’t know). But I didn’t know it so I was at Sidhu’s place for 2 days. There were two reasons for doing so, one I don’t get to meet Ankit and Sidhu often so whatever chance I get, I don’t want to miss that! Second, I had assumption in my mind that I need to travel again on Sunday so the best would be to stay back at Delhi rather than coming back home for one day and then leave again! So I stayed back but I came to know on Saturday evening that I am not supposed to fly on Sunday. So on Sunday night, I started for home and got here yesterday morning. Its so hot and even in the night, it was a really hot weather , making the travel a real tough thing to do. But I had to get back home for sure since I was missing my family so much and there were some tasks which only I had to take up and finish. My mom, dad and sister, all were waiting for me to come and do those tasks so it was very important for me to come back! I wish I had known this that I am not traveling so that I could come back on Saturday itself. Anyways, I came back yesterday and did finish one of the tasks and I am so happy! Me, Gunjan and one of her very close friends Rekha, went for a very important shopping and I must tell you, its so damn tough to pick up something with gals. They have no idea what they want but they still won’t like anything they see and will look for something “more better” . We went to 4 different shops , the biggest ones over here and still, they didn’t like anything. And yes, no one was ready to listen what I had to say as well 🙂 . Anyways, at last, fortunately, there was one piece which I liked and when I showed it to Rekha , she liked it too. Gunjan was talking on phone so when she came back, it was already 2:1 so she did get agreed too 🙂 ! Yippee!!! But jokes apart, what we bought is really good and I am sure, for whom Gunjan has bought it, that person would like it too so much!

That was the good part of the post!

I am supposed to leave tomorrow for a program. I have no mood to take it up looking at the things that I need to do here back at home. But I guess, I don’t have any choice so I must prepare myself for the travel than cribbing about it. But that’s for tomorrow, I still have today with me and I shall try to finish as much as possible work in this time! Now its time to have some tea and breakfast!

Dining Adventure Saga…. May 16, 2010

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Even though its really tempting and exciting to go on an outing and if that includes eating(and drinking for those who drink) . it just gets a lot more better! Sure enough that this can’t be done alone. Wait a minute, technically speaking there is no problem in going out alone and have dinner/lunch/snacks but if one is alone, why to take such a pain especially when you are not at a new place and has the comfort of being in your room? The best moments get created when you do this with your family and/or beloved and if not anyone out of the two, with your friends! That’s the same we, me, Sidhu and Ankit did too when we decided to go out in the evening and have dinner while being out. A flawless plan it looked, turned out to be a saga of dining adventures, most of which did backfired!

The planning was quite simple. We decided that we shall go to the City Select mall. Its a really big mall with 3 different buildings connected to each other and has so many places to go! Even when you are not really going there to buy something, it offers a real good place to spend time just by roaming around inside it. So this was the place where we all had to meet. Me and Ankit started together and Sidhu joined us after his office. The “perfect 3” did enter the mall and spent some time checking out the place completely. This is the first thing that we do all the time, when we are actually going to buy something and even when we won’t!

The major reason to go out tomorrow was not for shopping but to have dinner outside and the treat was on me for a small achievement of mine in my professional work. The plan., which was made by Sidhu and Ankit , was to check out a new eating joint this time which they hadn’t visited already. Sounded really cool since there are quite a few eating joints in this mall and all appear to look good when it comes to eating. There was just one little issue that I don’t take drink and don’t eat non-veg so the place must has to offer something in veg too . For this, there was a long telephonic discussion did happen between Sidhu and Ankit and it did include web based search as well! Finally it was decided that we would go to Geoffrey’s! So when we were roaming around, the final stop was there only! But since it was a little early to have dinner so after some argument, we(me and Sidhu, Ankit followed us) decided to have cold coffee at Barista. I had tasted Hazelnut Frappe at Banglore airport’s Barista outlet and liked it a lot so I ordered that for me and Ankit. Since Sidhu’s  has a real bitter relation with chocolates , he ordered just plain cold coffee. Though our Frappe was not so bad, but it failed in the comparison test which I did with the earlier one I tasted at Banglore! It was not at all matching in any aspects with that, neither in taste, ambience , anything! The one which I had in Banglore was really well prepared, was served with an ice-cream topping as well! But the one which we had yesterday was missing of all this. Infact, even the ice-cream topping was missing too from it and when we asked about it, we were told, its blended inside! Huh? Where would ice-cream taste better, blended inside the coffee or given as a scoop as a topping? Anyways, there was no use to question the serving guy any further. We finished our Frappe, heard Sidhu’s words of wisdom that its always better to stick with just plain cold coffee and came out! But it wasn’t the end of bad food, the party had just begun!

Oh and before I forget, we didn’t do just random wandering but we also did buy two books, Sidhu bought a poetry book(which I am going to take from him) and I bought a novel, Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Cohelo. Now when I have bought this novel, I am reading mixed reviews about it but still, nothing can be done now so I shall read and post my own review very soon! And how can I miss, we also did buy a paper carry bag which was charged to us extra! How amazing it is isn’t it that even when you have bought books close to almost thousand bucks, you still have to purchase the carry bag in an additional charge! Amazing!

So finally, we were at Viva La Geoffrey’s! Before we could enter, a lady stopped us on the door and asked us, table for how many? I wanted to say count us and see but I kept quite and said 3. She went inside, I believe must had taken a good look to fit us, came back and took us to a table. The first appearance inside the place was just HORRIBLE! It was so chaotic like its not a royal, high class restaurant but some road side food corner! The place was really low in lights making it appear more like a den or cave than a restaurant. The music was really loud and I believe neither the restaurant staff nor the guests were bothered about it or about its volume! As always that we are special, we did bother and it didn’t appeal to us at all! No water was served to us but we were surely asked that would we like to have a mineral water or normal one? I did go for mineral one in the starting(bad idea) but when the waiter brought up the bottle, I preferred(and regretted my earlier choice) the normal one only! Menus did reach to us by then and we were reading them like one reads the last minute revision notes before entering into the examination hall, paying attention to each and every word, trying to understand something, anything out of what was written over those many pages but getting failed in every attempt! We decided to try some starters and Sidhu and me started looking for something in veg because we gave the task to find the non-veg item to Ankit. There were just two veg items we zeroed upon a dish with the title, “Tomato and Herbed Olive Oil Bruschetta” . We asked the serving guy how it is, a stupid thing to do actually given the fact that why would a shopkeeper call his any dish bad, especially that which is so tough to read and gives a glimpse that it may be good! Anyways, we ordered this and Ankit ordered some chicken item. Starters were on their way but we were still struggling to find which drinks we should have with them! Sidhu’s choice was easy, he went for Orange juice, a perfect and assured hit of all times, even at a pathetic place like Geoffrey’s too! Ankit first asked for Carlsberg beer which was not available so he went with good ol’ whisky. It was me who was left and I picked up to have a Virgin’s Kiss oops, not Virgin’s but just Virgin Kiss 😉 ! Well, don’t get fooled by the name like I got , its nothing but a mix of lemon, soda and mint, stuffed with ice and probably a cherry thrown on the top with compliments! This is how it looks. Though the taste was not bad but I am not still sure what Kiss and Lemon and Virgin and Mint and whatever else had anything in common!

Finally the starters arrived. The long named Bruschetta was just named to rob good guys like us since it was nothing but a stupid piece of bread with a little of tomato curry “painted” over it. We asked for sauce for which probably there got a shortage of tomatoes since it never came! May be all the tomatoes were already used to make that stupid Bruschetta or whatever the heck it was! I was told by Sidhu and Ankit that their chicken was somewhat good but it didn’t help knowing this fact since it had no meaning for me. Just when Ankit was about to finishhis last bite and drink, he mentioned that its enough and it would be just a waste to sit here for anything else! Well, I believe we all were feeling the same and it didn’t take eve a minute to approve Ankit’s verdict when he broke the ice by finally mentioning the sad fact that choosing Geoffrey’s was a real bad idea! But none could be blamed for this since no one had visited the damn place before! We asked for bill which was awfully high, 1500 INR, paid it, came out and had a sigh of relief like one prisoner may be feeling after getting out from his cell! We managed to escape from the dark, deep caves of Geoffrey’s without getting much hurt but we were still hungry and we needed to find a place to eat soon! Like they say, where there is a will(to eat) , there will be a way(to some good eating place), we finally found ourselves standing on the doors of Sattvik restaurant, a really good, pure veg restaurant. Ironically , we did pass by from it before and even did ask about its food at the reception but since Ankit and Sidhu wanted to have non-veg we left it. But now we were back at the same place and it indeed was a good decision to pick it up finally!

If I would be asked to tell about Sattvik, I can do it in just one word, okay wait make it two,’truly awesome’! Yes, the place is truly worth of this much praise. Everything, be it ambience, be it food, be it atmosphere, be it staff , heck even be its menus, all are really good! We had to dig a lot to finalize what we would like to eat, not because the dishes were bad but all were sounding so mouth watering that it was so tough to make a choice! Finally, we did select two main course dishes, 2 different types of breads, one salad for us and it was indeed a treat to taste everything! Its really a place which I would recommend to everyone and believe me when I say this, even if you are a hardcore non-veg person(I had two with me as well), you would surely like it! Finally when we were done, we were filled to our limits. We grabbed the last mouth mint and left with a big smile and filled tummies 🙂 .

It took us surely some time to get to the place where we finally wanted to go and even the journey was not so smooth but still, its still was so good to get to the Sattvik finally! As I said, an outing is completely useless if done alone and nothing can make an outing more fun filled with little bit of adventure  in the company of your best buddies! It was indeed an evening very well spent 🙂 !

Seatbelt, I Love You…. May 15, 2010

Posted by Aman.... in Random Stuff.
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I have been traveling on air close to 5 years now and I can say with a complete confidence that I never felt scared, even not for a moment too all this while. I used to use the cotton buds for ears in the initial times but I have stopped that also now. It seems that my ears have become quite used to now for the air pressure which one gets while being in air 🙂 . And moreover, I must also confess, I never really did take seat belt too seriously. Before you assume that I never did really wear it too when I am in air, I must set the record straight that I do wear it and contrary to many, I do wear it the entire flying time of mine but I just buckle it up. I don’t really tighten it (which one should do for sure and I shall tell the “why” in a while) though! But it was until yesterday because from yesterday, I have made a pledge that doesn’t matter what, I am going to wear the seatbelt really tight to keep me hooked to my seat from the time of departure to that very moment until I don’t land safely.

I have been traveling from quite some time and I do it a little more than often.I mean doing it twice a week can’t really be called infrequent , isn’t it! And this means I have faced  bad weather and due to it, air turbulence as well. That’s quiet normal and since its a part and parcel of air travel, one really can’t make any complains about it too. So far, it did come and has gone too in no time. But yesterday, I did face the worst of it , to that extent which did bring the “scared” feeling in my heart!

Since the time my flight went into the air, there was bad weather. So within the initial 5 minutes only, my plane shook really wild , wild enough to make few gals scream even! There was very thick layer of clouds and the trembling of the plane was really very vigorous. Though it was scary but it didn’t last for long and all had a sigh of relief. After that, nothing unusual did happen and after the in-flight dinner, most of the people went to sleep as well. Just before we were about to enter Delhi, it started again. This time, not only it was much more vigorous than before, it didn’t stop after few minutes like the last time. It just went on and on and on! You can imagine how wild it was from this that I jumped off from my seat about 2 inches almost 10 times and it was certainly not me alone who got this “jumping” fun! Like me, all the other passengers were also facing the same thing. It was that time when I really realized that how important to tie up the seatbelt tightly around your waist and not just to keep it buckled up! I did that immediately once it did strike to me and after that, though the plane was still behaving like a real bad drunk brat, I was sitting firmly on my seat! There were two gals sitting beside me and whatever was left to make the moment more scary, their screams fixed it up! Their screams must have reached to the cockpit even since there was an announcement from the captain that things are in control and the passengers must keep their calm! Yes mr. captain that advice really does help, especially when you are being shaken like a cocktail ice cube or I should say, buckled up ice cube 😉 ! Anyways, after some 30 minutes or so, we finally did land (in one piece) and there was clapping in the flight as well! I must confess that though I didn’t scream and did have a belief that I won’t die today, I was terrified too! Had it didn’t occur to me that I must tighten up my seat belt, I would had at least broken some thing too while trying to keep myself on the seat! But I did land and so were the other passengers and I really did love it when my feet touched the firm and steady earth!

I never did think that I shall say it but I have fallen in love with the seatbelt so much now and I shall keep it really close to me when I shall be in air 🙂 . Time now to get ready since its going to be an evening out of mine, Sidhu and Ankit! Hope we won’t face any turbulence today 🙂 .

TGIO(Thank God Its Over)…. May 14, 2010

Posted by Aman.... in Random Stuff.
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Yes its actually TGIF but for me its TGIO only since I am in a really upset mood now. Thankfully, its not from the session. The session is going good and is almost going to finish now. I am sitting in my session only. The guys are really good and friendly and we had some really good discussions, both about oracle and other topics as well. I am eager to see the rating and hoping that its going to be good. Other than this, since the time I have come here, there were only problems and issues that I am seeing.

I am at Kolkata at the moment. I had to come over here on Sunday since the session was going to start on Monday. Though the module is very tough, I was still quite confident that all is going to remain fine. I was sitting in my room quite calm when I got a call from my colleague who called up to tell me some other stuff but when she came to know that I am going to Kolkata, the entire topic of the conversation got changed and she told me that its going to be a tough session since few trainers in the past had a very tough time there. I was so shocked and to some extent quite worried as well hearing all that. She asked me to contact a very senior trainer who is from the same place and has already taken many sessions for the same customer and she suggested that I should ask from him some tips about how to deal with this session? Well, it was quite late so I decided to call that instructor tomorrow. To my surprise, that instructor,even had never met with me, knew about me and mentioned that he had heard lots of good things about me as well. I was so surprised to hear that he had read some of my very old discussions over the internet with few other oracle professionals too! He also mentioned that he knew about me and heard about me since 2008 but its just a matter of chance that we never could meet and even on that day, he had just come to that city in the morning from where I was leaving in the afternoon :-O !I was so shocked but I said thanks and also this that he must not believe all what he has heard about me since I am not really good but he said, no you don’t need to be modest Aman! Its always good to hear kind words about you but somehow, I don’t want to hear good things but things where I lack so I am always a little uncomfortable hearing those sweet, good good words about me 🙂 . Anyways, we talked over the phone for about an hour or so and he did give me so many tips and also shared lots of his experiences, hearing all really did help me to prepare my own strategy. That’s another story that I totally forgot about the strategy and did handle the class the way I always do, without any preplanning or something and so far, it has gone okay only. Even when I was here, two days back, one another instructor came to me when I was taking my lemon tea and asked, are you Aman to which I (obviously) said yes 🙂 . He also said to me that I have heard a lot about you and I just wanted to meet you. Again, I did say to him the same thing that he must not believe what he has heard about me since people are just so kind to talk all the goodie goodie stuff about me but I am not really that great! To which he replied, you don’t need to tell me since I know how good are you! I can’t tell how good it felt to hear that but still, I must keep my feet on ground and focus on those points where I lack not brag/be proud about those where I am okay , so I just smiled and came back to my classroom.

How good it would be if all the times or atleast most of it, would remain in the happy state only. But that’s certainly not the case with me that I can be and stay happy for a long time.

If you are a regular here, you must know that I mentioned about a change in the professional life of mine which I was thinking, if would happen , would be good! But before it would had happened, I was  awarded with the ACE award. Also, I did meet and ask lots of other people about the offer and whether I should take it or not? Well, not even a single person said to me that its a really great thing that has come to me. Moreover, my current company’s manager is not at all ready to leave me as well and when we talked about this matter over the phone, he gave me some really good reasons to think twice about the entire thing. I certainly don’t ever would like to go from here having a bad taste in my mouth after all of these years which I have spent here. Irrespective of the small differences which I believe do exist everywhere, he did help me at that time when I really really needed it. If it had not been him, I have no idea what me and my family would had done. So even though its a truth that there are not any personal relations in work, I still do believe that I owe him big time. May be its not really like this since I only got for which I worked and nothing came to me as a help (neither I would had accepted it in that way too) but still, I feel that I must not go from here by doing a fight with all and ruining all what has come after so many years of work relationship. So thinking all this, I did tell people at the other end that I don’t think its a good thing to just ditch him and come with them. Well, this is where things started getting rusty.  A lot was said to me, including this as well that XYZ company will survive if me and my current company won’t be there and also, the people of XYZ company would still learn if I won’t teach them too! Those who know me, are aware about this fact that I am not a sort of person who would ever feel proud over any achievement of mine or would feel that there is just me and no one else! So I never could even think about those things which I was hearing. Though I wanted to give a reply but I just kept quite. I was also told that it may happen that I would never get any other offer from XYZ company which again, for me, came as a little surprising thing since as long as I have not been caught doing something which is against the norms of the company, there can’t be any reason that if there would be a vacancy and I would qualify for it, than too I won’t be accepted or would be offered the position just because I had declined another offer? Well, I don’t know how far its correct but I have stopped thinking about it, If that’s so than be it! There is not one company only in this world and there is not just position and if I am good in what I do, there is no reason that I won’t get work to do or a job to keep me alive! Still, I didn’t say anything and just mentioned that I shall again go and talk to my current manager and will see what he would say? I have not got a chance to talk to him yet but I shall do it for one more time for sure before I shall give my final reply. But that would happen when it would happen, whatever was said to me on that day over the phone, it really did hurt me and make me upset so much! That much that its now the third day since it all happened but I am still not able to get it completely out of mind and could get relaxed! Sigh!

This was not enough I guess for me to be upset when I got call from my sister that my mom is not well and had gone to see the doctor on an immediate basis! Since my mom is having some really serious health issues, it just shakes my entire self when I hear that she is not well even this much! I did call to that doctor whom she went to enquire that how she is. He did tell me that she is having some acids increased in her body which is not a good thing given that she has quite a lot of other health issues as well. He asked her to get couple of tests done which she has got done yesterday. Now, all what we need is the report to come and I just so hope that it would come out clean! I just can’t wait for the tests to come since I am getting so restless but I have no other choice as well except waiting. So will do and also would pray that all would go fine!

Its the last day of my session and I shall be leaving from here in another 10 minutes. I have to fly to Delhi today where I shall stay with Sidhu for a day. I don’t know what’s the status of my next week’s travel so I shall spend one day at his home. Its been a long time since I have met him so hope it will be a good time spent on weekend with him and Ankit! Though my tensions are not over yet but still I am feeling a little relaxed thinking that at least this week’s session is over today and I am free for the next two days and I just hope that it stays like this only for the next few days. Let’s see what happens!

I guess the guys are almost done so I shall be completing the formalities for the last day of the session before closing it now. After this, a small walk to the guest house and than a short drive to the airport! Oh and I just completely forgot, just on the day when I landed here, I bought a really nice tie from the airport which I forgot in the plane only! GRRR!! How could I be so stupid I don’t know. It never did happen but I don’t know how come I just became totally unaware about it un till I didn’t come in my room but by the time it was too late! I really did like it and thought that I shall wear it on the first day of the session. Heck why did I recall it now, I don’t know! I better get going before I forget that I am in the class still and guys are waiting for me to close the session!

A Short Story & Moment Of Happiness…. May 8, 2010

Posted by Aman.... in Random Stuff.

I haven’t written anything since I came here (and that was a week ago) because there has been so much of busy schedule for me. I wanted to sit and write today but due to massive rain and huge storm, the power and internet wires were broken. So I had to sit and wait for it to be resolved which happened just few minutes back. Its not just another post of mine to mention that I am in a travel or would be leaving for another travel tomorrow(which is actually true) but its about a little happy moment of mine!

I am not someone who really like to call myself a superior person than the others in any thing, be it whatever! I don’t like to talk about myself much too. When someone says some kind words for me, I truly and whole heartedly appreciate it but I focus more on those points where I am lacking rather than about those, where I perform somewhat okay. Some times I am told that I shouldn’t do this but I can’t help doing so since when I want to call myself somewhat good in something, I encounter something or someone which again makes me realize that I am not still anything and/or someone who can be truly called great or good or guru or genius or anything of that sort of! I somehow believe blindly on Steve Jobs( yes the Apple-guy) statement, stay hungry , stay foolish! Yes, I like to call myself foolish and be hungry more often than being a contended and a  genius person!

Most may already know but for those who don’t, I work in computers as a software professional. To put more specifically , I work with Oracle Database , help other people to work with this marvelous piece of software, train them over different parts of it! Many people know about this and many have asked me that how did I get start with oracle as well? So here is a small note about how did a guy from a very small city did start with oracle database? There is a reason for depicting it too which I shall mention in the end.

Not many people know though that I started with Oracle database purely out of nowhere. It was my second year of graduation when I had got a chance to  do first hand shake of mine with Oracle database. It was version 7.3 and we started like all other oracle professionals, with its basic language S(tructured) Q(uery) L(anguage). We were a group of 15 guys and gals who started with that session. For initial few days, the number remained the same. But than, people started dropping out from that session saying that this white-window( we were using sqlplusw tool ) and only commands is just so boring. Finally, it was just me and one more guy who were left in that session and we did complete that session covering basics of SQL and PL/SQL. There was something in this oracle software which hooked me. I don’t know what it was, I didn’t know at all about it before going into that class , had no idea what other options can be there about it or what and where I can go by learning it but I liked it, I really really liked it so much, this much, that I asked my instructor, what next? He said, you can be a developer which he was himself and can make applications or you can be a database administrator who has value equal to company’s CEO because he manages the database where company’s entire data would reside! WHAT, I said ! Okay, I want to be a DBA then if its that important! Yes, silly I know but I didn’t know anything beyond what my instructor told me and internet at that time(12 years ago) was not available in the form it is available today.

So here I was, a guy who did a month’s course about the basics or even lesser than that about oracle database and now wanted to learn about database and be a DBA, pretty much the same saying which I hear now too from many guys and gals who step into the database world. But I didn’t want to get just jump into it. I wanted to learn about it first as much as was possible! There was no institution in my city which was providing training for oracle dba course at that time. There was another institute in Chandigarh but I couldn’t go there since I had my final year of graduation pending and I couldn’t miss its classes. So I started looking in my city for some one who would teach me. I did find one guy and approached him as well. He kept on calling me to come to him for the class but also used to cancel the class right on the spot! Finally he said no for the class. I was told about one more guy in Chandigarh who was conducting private classes for the same. I approached him and even went to meet him at his room in Chandigarh. I didn’t like him,his way of teaching and setup at all in the very first meet so I didn’t go to him as well. I came to know that there is a course happening from correspondence in version 8 of oracle. I wasn’t doing anything about it so I opted for it and did that. Though it did have lots of content but since there was no one to explain the true meanings of things to me, I still felt that something is missing.

After few weeks I came to know that there would be one institute that would be started in my city only which would teach people oracle technology modules but there was no dba class happening since they couldn’t find an instructor for it. I don’t know how many times I went to that institute and ate the head of the manager lady over there, Mrs Zahida Parveen( who also offered me my first job in that very institute), to make sure that I am not going to waste my money in learning something which I couldn’t understand in the longer run. I can’t give enough respect and regards to that lady that despite me being so fussy, she did address all of my queries very nicely and finally I started an official course in SQL and PL/SQL(yes again) from there. Again, there were many many students who were doing the same course there and with me also, there were two other guys besides me but most of them either left in the midway or didn’t pursue Oracle in the career. We did that and also cleared the exams and became the first 3 guys in Punjab to clear 9i version of exams. By that time, we had an instructor, Akshay Sharma, who taught us the DBA modules.  When I finished half of my course , I was offered to teach in the same very institute by Mrs Zahida based on the feedback she got about me from other instructors and students. It was a moment of great pride for me since getting a job , even a junior post, in that institute was so tough because of its really high standards! I was just lucky enough that I was offered a post there.

Since then, I am trying to learn this Oracle database technology and understand the puzzles of it. In that process, I also started participating(and still do)  in OTN Forums and reading various other people’s work. Doing so again made me realize again and again how less I know about Oracle. Still, I got a chance to share space with the best of the bests in the Oracle Community. I am not putting names since I am afraid I shall surely miss more than I shall put here but I am just so fortunate that I get a chance to be at that same space, even when its virtual, where all these real Gurus hang around!

In between of all of these so many things going on, Oracle started Oracle ACE program. This is an initiative from Oracle to recognize those individuals who has expressed technical expertise in Oracle related technologies as well as shared their expertise with the rest of the community through various channels and ways. This is the most elite club of professionals from around the globe. Being a part of this group, I believe, is a dream of that every single individual who works with Oracle and achieving this award is among the highest achievements of an oracle professional. And yesterday, I was awarded with award from Oracle Corp. Yes, I am an Oracle ACE now. Here is the screenshot of my profile page,

Aman ACE

As I said, I never thought ( and still don’t do) that I know anything about Oracle database technology at all and I can’t even imagine putting myself in the same league where the Gurus like Jonathan Lewis, Hans Forbrich, Francisco Munoz (and many many more) sit! If I look at the profiles of those who are awarded this award, I really feel that I am not worthy enough to get this award. Still I am so much thankful to my friend Francisco to nominate me believing that I actually do deserve it! Thanks so much Francisco, I have no other words to express my feelings except this thanks my friend!

The reason that I depicted the story of my journey in Oracle world is that I still can’t believe it that I have got this award. It just appears like yesterday that I started with Oracle and I never even imagined that this day would ever come! I mean, just think, a guy from such a small city, who never even had attended any computer class in his school, how could he ever possibly imagine that he would receive such an esteemed award? Though I am so greatful and thankful to Oracle Corp and to Francisco, I still have the same belief to follow, “stay hungry, stay foolish”! I know nothing and there is so much about Oracle that I need to know! Hope someday,I would also know a thing or two about this database thingy 🙂 .

Oh and before I leave, if you are an Oracle professional and are willing to become an Oracle ACE yourself, I would really strongly suggest that you read this excellent post from Andrew Clarke. If ask me, don’t aim to be an ACE but just keep on working to be as good as you can and also, keep on helping others. Who knows when doing so would lead you to become an ACE!

Its Less Than 7 hours…. May 1, 2010

Posted by Aman.... in Random Stuff.
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For me to be on the road (yet again). Yes, I am leaving tomorrow. Again, the modules are going to be so tough and I shall be out for a long time but also, I have another burden on my head and that is to finish a writing assignment in the next week! My last travels and sessions related to those put my schedule of writing really on a halt since its too difficult for me to come back after a 9 hours session, study and than write as well! All of this becomes much more tougher when I don’t have all the necessary note, books and even software with me since all of that is here, at my home! But nonetheless, I need to pull up my socks and in the next week, finish the work on any cost since there is an awful lots of other writing work looking at me to get finished! Sigh! Tough sessions, long travels and tough writing, I must say, are not the ingredients you want when you are already struck mentally in so many thoughts of about so many things! Hope I can pull of everything in a timely and proper fashion! Pray for me guys and wish me luck, I need it so much!