Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another innings

comes to end

In  no specific order,  here I go:

--  learnt to lead a team which had only men (who says gender doesn't matter in the modern day office setup? It does! .Detailed post on this later)

-- learnt to lead a team which had men senior to me in age, experience, educational qualification

-- learnt NOT to attach myself to the company or team.

-- Woke up to check emails, and have called it a long day just after sending the last email. Been on calls that lasted hours together for at-least 3 days a week

-- Had busy weekdays with conference calls that occupied my evenings every single day of the week

-- Been away from FB,Blog , constant mail checking for a long stretch at times

-- had very very less gossip :)

-- Used time effectively when the need arose

 -- Had a good feeling when team members approached me for every problem:little or big. felt even better wen team members came over to update me on whats happening in their project wen we all move to different teams/projects

 -- Felt surprised many many times when we got to know that a colleague was leaving the company just one day or even on the last day of the engineer. Wondering how in this organisation, news does NOT spread like fire, trickles much much slower :) Felt amazed at how can information be withheld when the notice period duration is full 3 months and hardly are people relieved before serving the complete notice period

-- Amazed to see a LOT of employees working in the same organisation (some in the same technology/project) for more than a decade (I have seen this trait among my colleagues in the US, but seeing Indians being so loyal to the same organisation in the IT field for decades together is first for me.). 

-- Having worked in an organisation which atleast had some way for employees to vent their frustration(doesn't matter if someone is hearing them and taking action, that's a different matter altogether), this one was a shocker for me and I realized in a few months that I have also got used to it and don't crib anymore (cos, there is no company/group for me to join the crib sessions :) ). yes, when it comes to employee benefits, I would say, I can still work in an org that gives very very minimal benefits ( I've heard employees say that work from home policy makes up the absence of all other benefits)

-- I would like to think that I gained the trust of my managers and colleagues (at-least a few of them). There have been many lessons learnt and hope to rectify mistakes in the future, like closing the loop, following up etc

-- Have got frustrated many times when I had to do a managers job (when I don't hold the title nor I'm paid a managers salary) ,when I'm told  to follow up on the email that I'd sent (I thought people who receive emails to respond to them.,No, here, I was told that when I don't receive a response, I need to go behind the person to get what I want..Yes, doesn't matter that the email recipient is also an employee of the same organisation and not the son/daughter of the company's majority stake holder!) , when I need to track my team members work (Aarg! I hate doing this), when I need to fill loads of xl sheets and ppt (wait, this is what I meant in having to do managers do right,so let me stop here), wen my boss constantly says "Go talk to people ,interact and make your name known to everyone. " , no proper transport facility .

-- hardly went for tea/coffee to cat and gossip. Can count the number of times I went for tea/coffee breaks.

-- Did a good amount of work from home in the recent past , but wish I were more disciplined. If on a particular day,I were to work from home, I would probably bath at 4, have food at irregular times and will end up having a loooong day hooked to the PC. At these times, I have felt that going to office is much better as I will anyway be forced with a "travel time" where the time is mine:)

-- Took leave only when necessary and ended up giving up leaves to the organisation

-- Didnt do any holiday wile in this org..This is something I need to change

-- Did comparatively less team lunches. 

-- Could have taken the initiative with the girls group to go out more often . Missed the opportunity and a lesson to be learnt

-- Could have taken effort to get more closer to one or two . The opportunity was there, but the effort was not put..probably all the time was spent in trying to lay the foundation but the strength was not given..Somehow, I've forgotten the art of  getting closer to anyone in office. Will need to change this. Should give it a try next time

-- Having moved to another project the last 6 months where te pressure was relatively lesser, I took it wit both hands and enjoyed my stint here as well. 

-- Had the opportunity to have  mentors (formal allocation) and I was a mentor too. I should have made good use of their gyaan and inputs , hope to implement them in future.

-- Had the opportunity to be a mentor and discovered the patience levels within me.(not too much!!)

-- For a person who got used to being picked up and dropped by comfortable office bus everyday, I had to change buses, use different modes of transport either way to reach my work place at-least for 2.5 years and I somehow managed it

-- Overall a good stay in the organisation, I didn't attach myself to it, I didn't plan specifically to leave either. Just going with the flow..Lets see whats in store.

And thus, this innings comes to an end. 

Wish me luck and wishing the company the best! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Some philosopy and how I experienced it today

I have heard Amma saying  "yaaruku inniki  enga bojanam potrukko anga than saapda mudiyum"..

Loosely translated as  " Wherever destiny has assigned you to eat today, only there you will dine".

I have been working from home off-late and y'day my previous lunch-buddies pinged me and asked if I could come to office today so that we can catch up during lunch. Excited by the idea of girls-only-gossip-meeting and to have a change of working monotonously ,I jumped in and replied a "Yes" and was in fact looking forward to it. 

This morning, I prepared breakfast and half-lunch ( read: vegetable) and even ate the veggies during bfast as I had plans of lunching out with my friends. 

Clock turns 9:30 : Having bfast catching up with news and logging to PC and checking mails

Clock turns 10: mentally thinking that I will get ready by 11 and reach office by 12 

At 10:30: Engrossed in mails, to-do list and forget to book tickets for Appa who had called in the morning to remind me

At 11:00AM : Remember to book tickets and do the booking, while pinging lunch-buddy telling her tat I would be a bit late but will be there by 1PM.

At 11:30: Lunch buddy calls and says se has a meeting at 2 and will need to prepare for that so will not be able to spend much time today, instead asks if we can meet up tomorrow. I say yes and now searching for some other lunch partner so that I can go out and have outside food .

At 12:00 noon: Colleague calls and I ask if he will join me for lunch. He is neither enthusiastic nor in denying., but says calendar is packed with meetings, hence may not be able to spend time with me. After a while,(probably sensing my disappointment) says he will not attend the meeting which is scheduled immediately after lunch time so that he can spend some time with me.

At 12:30:  I go to the balcony and sense the heat of  the summer sun and decide to lock myself up in the house and not venture out.

At 1:00 PM:  decide to have a bath and later  lunch at home .

So, all the while when I have heard the statement that Amma makes, I have nodded my head and thought I understood the same. But, today, I experienced it and it sunk in well. 

This is nothing new. There are different situations and contexts where the underlying concept will apply. We can only do what we can..Not everything is in our control, right, when it comes to as simple thing as a planning a lunch meeting.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The organic bug

comes to bite me every now and then. So far , it was only the food-related organic bug, but off-late, its cousin, ie, hair and body wash organic bug has also bitten me.

Not sure exactly where it all started, but the desire to use organic bath soap has been there for some time, just that I didnt make any effort to search and buy one.

The first one I picked was from Fab-India which claimed organic in its front label , but the back label had the names of chemicals. I went ahead and bought that and used it too. This one was hard,produced lather like any other soap, but somehow I did not like it very much. The hard texture of the soap itself was a put-off . I wanted to finish this one soon, so, used it liberally.

One visit to the Lush store set me into action and a brief search led me to Burst of Happyness website   and had me order a soap that claimed is suitable for the changing season in November.  Along with this one, I ordered a shampoo bar and a Lip Balm . I was eagerly awaiting the arrival and it took only one full week for the bars to arrive. I had a lot of expectations, after the trip to the Lush store and taking in the aroma of some of the bars there . But, when the package arrived, as my expectations were high, it let me down a bit but ,nevertheless, the bars did have a subtle aroma and if you inhale deeply, you can smell their fragrance . And add the "organic, handmade" factor and it gave me a sense of peace and happiness within. I rushed for bath the next morning and what do I find: the body soap gives out very very thin lather and in spite of using it twice in the same wash, my skin had to be smelt deeply to identify the fragrance the usage of the soap left behind. As I mentioned earlier, the thought the I was using an organic product sans the chemicals itself was mentally satisfying though I had high expectations and this product did not satisfy that . (Lesson to learn here I guess: Its all in the mind!!.)

The lip balm was good, no doubt in that . And quite effective too. Worth the money. This bath soap lasted for exactly 17 days. melts like ice-cream. My experience with shampoo bar is down the line , as I started using it recently.

Next I happened to pick up a soap from Khadi which claimed that it is hand-made soap , free of chemicals. This one was hard, similar to the one from Fab -India, but I went ahead and opened myself to test that and this one gave out good fragrance compared to both of the previous soaps , but somehow , the hard transparent look and feel of this one didnt stick on to me, so I used liberally and finished it off soon. But, the plus here is the good aroma it gave on the skin.

Next in line comes : Areev , I picked two variants: wild orchid and cucumber and mint soap. These produce good lather, and the fragrance is mild and soothing. The wild orchid variant especially gave a deep aroma.  Has a good feel when you use it and all in all, a decent buy. 

I have two others lined up: One from Do Bandar and other from Belleza. Shall update this one after using them.

Coming to the shampoo bar , it gave me good exercise for my hands in producing lather and the bar is hard too. Now, fist time when I used it , I didn't use a shampoo after this bar usage and ended up with oily hair even after the wash . Next time, I had to use it for long to produce a good lather and use it multiple times so that the oil applied before the wash goes way which means, long exercise for the hands and getting tired at the end of it !(:  But, once you use it multiple times in the same wash, the henna smell in the hair feels good and will make you have good food and doze away soon after the wash :) .

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Food of Love : Book Review

I bought this book per TGND's review recommendation and in fact, I was a little carried away by the title and pondered a while before paying for it. The reason for having double thoughts is because I'm not a person that interested in cooking .ie, I dont have this sustained (sustained is the keyword here)  passion to cook or have consistent interest in figuring out or thinking about different items to dish out..But, I'll eat well , with gratitude, whatever is put in my plate :) I'm also waiting to see if I change over in due course.(Already I see a drastic change in me, for the person who has not even entered the kitchen before marriage, I've atleast started to think and plan meals :)) ..Anyway, enough digression . Now, back to the book. Glad that I didnt go by my useless double thoughts and picked this book and I enjoyed reading this one .

If you detach "food" from the story line, then, its a simple triangle love story that anyone can most commonly guess. But, add the "food" factor here and the result you get is an experience which is a lip smacking, enjoyable read :)

This book by Anthony Capella revolves around three main characters , Tommaso , Bruno and Laura forming the three corners of the triangle . Laura is a student visiting Rome for a year and wishes to date  someone who is sensual, creative, understands taste and texture and perhaps a "dexterous" man . Tommaso is  handsome and has a way with girls and they simply fall for him. Tommaso wants to include Laura in this list but figures that she is in look out for someone who is a chef. Tommaso is a waiter, whereas his friend Bruno is an excellent chef. The story revolves around how Tommaso makes use of Bruno's skills to be around Laura. Laura is delighted that she has found "THE " person that she is looking for , all this without knowing that it was Bruno who is in love with Laura and puts in all his passion ,imagination and creativity in all that he cooks for Laura.  Will Laura ever get to know who does the cooking? And will Bruno ever be able to put a full stop to this drama and confess his love directly to Laura? The rest of the story gives answers to these questions.

Now, the passion with which Bruno cooks every dish and the way in which the author has narrated it makes you sense the aroma coming out of somewhere near you and many a time, the description of the spice combinations makes you drool :) There are various references to pigs and all other animals/birds and  how their various organs are cooked etc, but it does not makes the reader flinch one bit (even for a vegetarian like me!) . In fact, I started craving for the dishes narrated in there just that  all those organs be replaced with something vegetarian..And wondering if this is such kind of  authentic Italian food is still being cooked/served in Italy. Lucky Italians!! Sigh!

Overall, a good read, simple one but will instigate your appetite !