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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Greatest Moments..Part 1.. The Swap Finder...

So, its been 10 long years since we passed out from engineering. A lot of amazing, regular and not so great stuff happened in those 10 years. 

But milestones, being milestones-  it is good time to review things and see what lies ahead. Essentially, where you were, what you learnt and how you could tried to be a better person.

Like Stage 1 of a game being done and now its the more difficult Stage 2 coming up.

Before we get there, I will just focus on sharing those moments and events which made it all worth the while.

So, the 1st step after DCE was my joining at Infosys in Mysore. It was 4 months in one of the best corporate campuses in the world - The Infosys Mysore Development Center. So, it was like an extended college with classroom programs and projects which taught you the essentials of Software Development and also made you focus on a particular stream which was  in my case was .Net.

Apart from the friends I made, what made the time memorable were two projects which I took up not based on the concepts being taught. Both were basis a personal interest and had no relation with the official program.

The first was a Swap Finder App on the Intranet which was extremely beneficial for employees to swap their post training joining locations with their friends. So, in Infosys you were allotted a Business Unit and a Development Center which could be anywhere in India amongst all their centers. People gave their preferences but there was no guarantee that they could get what they wanted. The good part was they allowed you to swap locations with a willing person. The challenge was in finding that right person amongst thousands of Infosys trainees.

Here came the Swap Finder. Screen shots attached are below!! The fun in creating something and thrill in getting it ready to use and finally the joy in seeing people benefit from it are un-paralleled.

This was my 1st Big Moment after graduation and the one I cherish a lot! Best part was this was not work related but something done out of pure interest. Almost like a mini short lived Start up!!

Special thanks to all my friends who worked with me on this!!- Sid Garg, Sid Aggarwal, Sid Dhodi and Shivank Goel.

Monday, July 28, 2014

To the Little One

How do you explain about life to a little one? To someone who just knows all that is good, all like it was meant to be? Let us see in the below poem!

What do I tell you my love,
How do I explain, 
When your innocent eyes,
Have not seen any pain.

As you look around and see,
A surprise comes in your eyes, 
The world as it was meant to be,
Pure, innocent and free. 

You smile and explore, 
Making friends with new faces,
Like friendship was meant to be,
With open arms and hearts, you see. 

Each face is someone gained,
A new friend or someone close, 
No one told you, you lose some day,
What you gain, one day.

That's the state to be,
Embracing life as it was meant to be,
What will be, will be,
A baby's got other things to think you see!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Midnight Children of Cricket and Sachin Tendulkar

Salman Rushie's famous novel, Midnight Children, talks about Saleem, who is born  on 15th Aug, 1947, at the exact moment on which India got its independence.

Cricket's moment of truth came much later on 25th June, 1983, when India led by Kapil Dev lifted the Prudential World Cup by defeating the two times defending champion, West Indies at the home of Cricket- Lords. That win sparked hope and ambition in a million hearts, in the cricket maidans and colony lanes across India. Kids wanted to be the next Kapil Dev, Amarnath or Gavaskar. One such kid was Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who made his debut, six years later vs Pakistan in 1989. This started a new era in Indian Cricket- the next level above the foundations of the '83 win.

For those born in the early 80's- their cricket watching started with this start of India's next level. It started around 1990, when SRT made his debut. For me especially, cricket watching started with the '92 World Cup in Australia and the '93 Hero Cup in India- coinciding with the start of the rise of the new phase and the start of the rise of Sachin Tendulkar.

This generation was Cricket's Midnight Children. They were came in when the foundation was made by Kapil Dev and they started following Cricket when the next architect- Sachin, started his journey.

As Cricket's Midnight Children moved from School to College to Work Life from the 90's till 2013- there was one constant- Sachin. That one constant showed through various instances, the many facets of life and the many facets of the most beautiful game- Cricket.

The Magical Game

Its not over till the last ball is balled is a saying most commentators use to hold viewer attention till the very end. It all came true in 1993- in the Hero Cup semi final. A young Sachin, bowling the last over, in front of a packed Eden Gardens, defended 6 runs,  conceding only 3 and hence put India in the final. Anything can happen in this magical game, which was proved in this match- the impossible was actually nothing.


The could haves

Sometimes, some of the best performances come in the most saddening of loses. Its like those tragic love stories like Romeo and Juliet,    where a beautiful romance leads to a tragic ending. The 1999 test match against Pakiatan in Chennai was one such example. It was last innings of the match, against the fearsome Wasim and Waqar and the dangerous Saqlain,  with India chasing 270 on a difficult wicket. Sachin, after scoring a duck in the first innings, played almost a lone hand in the 2nd innings, scoring 136 runs and taking India within 16 runs of victory. After he fell, India folded to lose the last few wickets and ultimately lost by 12 runs. The Chennai crowd gave Pakistan a standing ovation in recognition for pulling off a win against the might of Sachin Tendulkar.

Life moves on

Here again in the same year, during the World Cup in England, India started poorly, losing the first two matches. Sachin, who had flown back due to the death of his father, came back and scored a huge 140 against Kenya. It kept India in the running and restored some of the lost confidence in the side. He looked up after completing his hundred to a proud father up above.

Total Dominance

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. If the 2001 India-Australia test series belonged to VVS, in 1997 it was Sachin Tendulkar. The series was billed as a Sachin vs Warne contest. Sachin led from the front, attacked Warne and took then mighty and unbeatable Australia out of the series. Same year was witness to the unforgettable Desert Storm in Sharjarh, where Sachin again was India's saviour against the Aussies.

Its said memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, things you are and things you never want to lose.

These moments were a close part of the growing up memories of the Cricket's Midnight Children. Then the match fixing scandal broke out in 2000 and post school, other priorities in life took over. One still cheered the magnificent T20 win in 2007 and the historic 2011 Cricket World Cup Win in which Sachin again led from the front by being the 2nd highest run getter. He become 6th time lucky and displayed another facet of cricket and life- that perseverance ultimately pays off in the best possible of ways and moments.

With the Sachin era ending, that first love of the Cricket's midnight children has come to a close and a part of life has been taken away. 

The baton seems to be passing though to the wonderfully talented players like Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Pujara and Dhawan. The magic in the game is returning and you want to fall in love with the great game... again.

On behalf of Cricket's midnight children, a big thank you to Sachin for being such an essential part of growing up.

Looking forward to many more seasons of the great game and the rise of the next set of icons.

p.s.: I was born close to midnight on 25th June, 83 - The day Kapil lifted the Prudential Cup at the Lords. So, I can call myself among the true Cricket's Midnight Children!

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Months of Life"

The Comeback Post: "Months of Life"

The Delhi Metro finally gave me some respite. It opened in South Delhi and instead of me driving around the Ring Road- DND Route everyday, I was now a true "Metro Man". I had been envious all this while, of people living in East Delhi and West Delhi and North Delhi, as they had something which we, in the south did not have- The Metro! The relief from the driving meant though long hours still in metro. Now the challenge came, to a restless soul like me, on how to pass that 1 hour, sitting alone in the metro. In the underground stretch, the GPRS did not work, so the good old Facebook or Twitter were out. I tried to be constructive initially, taking with me, like a seasoned businessman, a copy of the morning business newspaper. Opening that, always inspired envious glances in the Metro. I got bored of that pretty fast, I realized, I had already gone through the grind of daily Economic Times reading during my MBA placement days, 1.5 years ago, so, no more suffering!  After fiddling with my music player and trying to read a few novels, I quickly shifted to what I liked most. Something, I really loved and yet, during a hectic 2010, had not found time for it. That thing was poems!! So, courtesy the Metro, the poet was back after a long hiatus.

The poem is an analogy between months and friends. Here it goes:

For all the months that God gave,
Each its flavor, each its taste.
Each its story, each its memory.
Like necklace beads, beautiful life they make.

Just like two strangers, just met.
are the months Jan and Feb.
The wind is cold and the winter long.
For warmth and human touch, they both long.

The ice breaks, and spring is March and April.
Flowers bloom, just like their friendship.
Closer and Closer they both get and
Their joy, like fragrance also spreads.

The summer is hot, like their passion.
In May and June, into love, friendship blossoms.
Like dry earth waits for water.
Lovers, separated wait for their destiny.

Then the Rains  come and wash away their fears.
The Freedom months, July and August are now near.
Heavens give their blessing with raindrops.
A smile is there, where there was a  teardrop.

Like seasons, Life also has its flip flops.
Autumn only comes when spring and rains are gone.
As man and wife, together all hardships they face.
Removing differences, closer they both become.

The two who had just met in Jan,
Now have seen it and won it all.
The festival season, Nov and Dec is their celebration song.
Unlike Jan and Feb, this winter is different.
Each other's company, is their New Year present.

Sid. 14/10/2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Story of a Girl...

Lonely Bird...who wants to Fly

This poem is the Story of a girl who after years of darkness, ultimately finds light and the road to fulfill her destiny. The poem has been written in alternate stanzas of English and Hindi.

A caged bird looks to the sky,
Across horizons she wants to fly.                                                  
Caged and bound she has always been,
Now her only desire is to be free.

एक  बात  वोह  समझ  नहीं  पा रही  थी,
जाने  क्यूँ  मंजिल से  घबरा  रही  थी.
उसकी आँखों मैं  एक  सपना था,
फिर उसको पाने मैं  क्यूँ  कतरा रही थी.

The caged bird even when set free,
Hesitates to fly in the sky.
For years caged thus, it takes time to,
Believe she can also touch the sky.

वोह  झिझक  एक  पल  की  थी,
वोह  डर  एक  पल  का  था.
वोह  अब  अपने  आप को पहचान चुकी थी,
अपनी मंजिल  को  वोह  जान  चुकी  थी.

The bird yearns to fly, the cage now broken.
Who can stop the one who has woken?
In cages of mind, her dream was asleep,
Breaking those, the bird is now set free.

डरी  आँखों  मैं  अब  एक  साहस था,
मन  मैं  जीतने  की एक चाहत थी,
साँसों  मैं  कुछ करने का होसला था.
वोह  अब  उठ  चुकी  थी, वोह  अब  उड़ने  चली थी !

The poem is in continuation of a poem on the same theme written by me earlier. To check out how the thought started, go to:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When Time Stands Still.....The Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye Moment!

There are levels in a relationship from the time when you meet someone to the time when you start liking that person and to the point when you can not live without that person. Liking can be based on physical attraction or it can be gradual based on liking of nature, personality or inner beauty. The more you spend time with a person, the more you start appreciating the qualities of that person. Compatibility leads to friendship and friendship leads to love. Or it can happen the other way round, love at first sight is what you call it, the initial attraction itself results in love. You just want to be with that person.

But is love just a realization of the other person's physical or even inner beauty? Do they lead to love or does love make one beautiful, both from outside and inside?

Further, is love a desire? Is love an attraction? Is love a compatibility? Is love wanting to spend your life with the person? Love is all of these and much more. The pinnacle of love is a point which I call the "Kaise mujhe tum mil gaye" moment. Its a realization which is humbling. Its a moment when you think what good you have done in your life to just spend a moment with the other person. Its a feeling which make makes you want to sing...

"Zindagi sitar ho gayi
Rim jhim malhar ho gayi
Mujhe aata nahi

Kismat pe apni yakeen
Kaise mujhko mil gayi tum"

Its a moment when time actually stands still, you find what has been missing in your life. You realize you could live forever with just that one moment of realization. Its a realization which goes much much beyond a appreciation of physical or inner beauty. These are for everyone. But a feeling like a "Kaise mujhe tum mil gaye" moment is only for one person, because only he or she can understand the significance of it.

"Utar aayi jheel mein,
Jaise chaand utarta hai kabhi.

Haule haule, Dheere se.
Gunguni dhoop ki tarah se,
Tarannum mein tum...
Chhoo ke mujhe, Guzri ho yun,
Dekhun tumhe, Ya main sunu..."

Aamir pretending to be a small time actor to Asin, when he is actually a big industrialist, lies to Asin that he is going to see his ailing mother in his village when actually he is going to UK for a business meeting. What does Asin do? She calls Aamir after midnight to give him the money she got after selling the ambassador, which she had recently bought as a step towards a lifetime dream, such that she can give Aamir some money for her mother's treatment.

Notice how Aamir Khan, as he walks though chauffeur driven limousines to his own personal jet with an army of assistants following him, holds on to the small bundle of notes which Asin had given him. He knows the emotional value that Asin had for that ambassador and thus realizes the value of the money which Asin had given him.

They were in love till then, but this was the "Kaise mujhe tum mil gaye" moment when Aamir realizes how much this girl loves him. He is humbled and feels how much more lucky could he have been to be loved so much by a person.

"Tum ho sukoon,
Tum ho junoon
Kyun pehle na...Aayi tum.
Kaise mujhe tum mil gayi.
Kismat pe aaye na yakeen..."

This is the essence of Kaise mujhe tum mil gaye, a kind of love which makes you think that

"Main to ye sochta tha,
Ki aaj kal...
Uparwaale ko fursat nahi.
Phir bhi tumhe banake woh,

Meri nazar mein chadh gaya
Rutbe mein wo, Aur badh gaya.."

So, have you had your "Kaise mujhe tum mil gaye" moment yet?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

IMT Ghaziabad Placements

The MBA Placement Journey...through G-Talk Status messages!

The placement process as at any institute always starts with the finalizing your resume. That is more difficult than it sounds, involving collecting all your achievements and projects, putting them in perfect words which are "crisp" and "concise". Further, it also involves getting it reviewed from other people who always come up with some mistake or the other. Their recommendation is to "quantify" whatever you things like "Organized XYZ event" changes to "Organized XYZ event and helped increase sponsorship by 78% and participation by 110%"!!!. This is quite a skill, as people earlier wrote "Expert in C++", now some, I am sure would be writing this in their resumes: "Expert in quantifying achievements". I for one, as reflected in the status message got really irritated by the whole process.

sid "has frozen his resume and is sick of the word "quantify""

And yes, unlike "Lock kar diya jae" of Kaun Banega Crorepati(Amitabh Bacchan wala), we dont "lock" but "freeze" our resumes. HOT talent with COLD "frozen" resumes! :-D

Further, all institutes have a placement week where all the companies come for placements. The sentiments run really high in the whole process, it a high pressure scenario...shortlists of big companies are look forwarded to with anxiety and then there are a whole lot of group discussions and interviews before you get your job. Not making it is tough, as I found out, where I got rejected in a interview for a dream company before the actual placement week.

Life changed from happy to:

"Turn the page..."
and more worse...

sid "just wants college to end"!!!

Looking back an interview seems like a small thing but right then when you are going through it, it seems like a huge loss. Negativity creeps in and a lot of other things start looking bad.

I was lucky here, to have some really special friends which helped me come out of the whole thing and focus on my placement week preparations.

The mood then again changed from depressingly negative and back to happy...

sid "is back!"

and then very happy and optimistic...that reflected in my status...the line taken from the commercial of my summer internship company..

"Nazar ko kya chahiye, khwaab thode zyaada...khwaab ko kya chahiye, rang thode zyaada..karlo phir Zyada Ka Iraada!"

Then the placement week preparations started and most of Christmas was spent reading up the economic meltdown.

"What Santa gave me...Philip Kotler, The Economic Times, Santa’s own GD-PI overwhelmed….Christmas Rocks!"

The placement week was in the 2nd week of Jan, so between Christmas and the 2nd week the mood kept changing between:

a) Self-Motivation :-(

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go by"

b) More Self Motivation...this time through a song :-( :-(

" Aditi Maan Kabhi Kabhi Saare Jahan Me Andhera Hota Hai, Lekin Raat Ke Baad Hi Toh Savera Hota Hai..."

c) Then it turned into a plea by new year..

sid "needs the Rhythm Divine.."

d) and then hope...this on the eve of the placement week...

sid "believes that the fog is about to clear....a new light about to emerge...a new destiny about to be written..."

I was wrong here regarding the timing, thanks to the negative sentiments which lead to the scarcity of good companies on campus, that "fog" did take quite a long time to clear. :-(

e) Finally to over confidence, hours before the week started...

"says you cant stop me, baby don't even try..."!!!

(talk about attitude ;-) )

f) Then as week came and went, the wait became longer and longer. It was just hoping and praying that its all over quickly.

sid "is hoping he gets to "earn" his cadbury bournville soon "

But then the biggest realization came that after all being happy and having lots of fun were not related to getting placed. Yes, placements were a very important part but not the whole part. In other words, I realized that you don't really have to "earn" your bournville!

"life is what happens when you are busy thinking about other things"

Finally, getting placed in a dream sector, with a dream profile in my home city days before the convocation and ending unexpectedly with a GPA of 8.5 in the last term, I finally realized that everything happens for the good, and till the time it does not happen, life doesn't stop!

This last status just after my placement, reflected the feeling:

sid says "jab mile thode fursat...kar le khud se mohabat...."

(Note: The gtalk status messages shown in this post are taken through the Kwippy website which automatically saves the status messages of an individual at a dedicated page.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

IMT Ghaziabad Last Day

On the Last Day....15th March....

Vishnu did not want to say good bye...

Neha was sentimental...that explains the touching good bye mail she sent to the group..

Manoj remembered his friends...

and Saikat gave parting a touching, musical twist...ya...These "Seasons in the Sun" will be long cherished and remembered....

Coming to HR, Bhasin was confused...hota hai...

and Shailesh Jha was looking for go back or move on quickly....

but Sid J was just sad...

It took Prashant to quantify the achievement...

and Ashutosh Modi to put it in perspective...

What about Sid Saxena...he just knows something very precious is slipping away...and he can't do anything about it... :-(

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

IMT Ghaziabad Last Day

The RED Tree and other related memories

There is a tree, a tree with red flowers..standing and seeing what all the last 2 years have been...its now full with flowers...but everyday you look...the flowers keep falling...and the tree...standing like it has always been...saying goodbye to the flowers fallen...waiting for the wind to take them away and spread their fragnance...the tree stays the same...only the flowers keep coming and going.

and fine day...a time comes to cry....sometimes you just don't want to move would want time to's always like that...a set of moving images with no pause button...and then you just don't want to stay in that place...where every thing reminds you...of the time, the image, the moment...which just wouldn't stay!

The tree in front of the mess at IMT, full of flowers two weeks ago, now when the time has come to depart, empty branches remind you of the the time that went away...

Something about nature...changes according to times...changes according to see, the red tree is empty come only to go away...moments come only to stay..etched in memory...years may come and go away!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

IMT Ghaziabad Placements

Placement to Placement...Engineering to MBA...

Final year at Delhi College of Engineering to Final Year at IMT Ghaziabad. The same time of the year, the same dreaded 'P' word. P for placements. The same feelings, the same fears and aspirations. Seems nothing has changed. There is an economic meltdown and C/C++ and Quant practice has been replaced by Sub prime fundas and marketing gyan, but still, the essence of the placement time is the same.

In 06, TCS was the first company, followed by Infy and Aricent. In our quest to quickly get a job under our belt, a majority of the 550 strong batch had applied for TCS. A simple objective MCQ paper, not doing all questions right intentionally, as from what we had learnt TCS rejects you as being "over qualified" if you do all the questions. :-) So, we having done just the right amount of questions right,were overconfident that we would qualify for the next stage and be home for Rakhi which was on the very next day, the day on which Infy was scheduled to come.

The results of the initial shortlisting round came out and while almost all of our batch mates made it and even 100+ got eventually selected(TCS is not known as Bulk Recruiter at engineering colleges for nothing!), there were three guys who were surprisingly left out. There was myself, and there were two other friends, all living in the same floor in the same hostel.

Not being shortlisted was hard to accept, as we knew all the answers(Software companies tend to repeat their questions every year and these are freely available on the net!) and had deliberately marked a couple wrong as not to be "over qualified". What ever the reasons might be, the point was we were not going home on Rakhi and were sitting for Infy the next day.

It's said that circumstances and bad luck bring people together. It did, that day, as three friends bonded over their seemingly bad luck and cursed their tormentor TCS, without any limit. As time passed, we realized that cursing just would not do, and there was a company coming up next day. We arranged for material which would help us crack that. For Infy it meant, the famous Shakuntala Devi puzzle book. So confident were we of cracking TCS the very first day, that we had not even bothered to go through it before.

Interesting things were happening then as we prepared for our savior Infy, which was due the very next day. One of us suddenly got a call from the office, that TCS had indeed shortlisted him for the interview and he had to be there in 10 min. Sitting in his night pajamas, he managed to get ready, tie and everything, in 10 min flat. He went, he gave the interview and came back. Dejected. To join us again for the preparation for Infosys. All in a space of 45 minutes. I also got a call from one of my classmates who also had not been shortlisted and with whom I was on msg-msg terms only. ;-) Call was to stay cool and that "there were great companies ahead, this is only the start, and that I was good enough to make it" types. But it worked. A girl explaining you things always always works.

Then, did we get through Infosys? Well two of us did. Did that girl call again to congratulate me? Well she did! Did something happen between us? Well, we became very very good friends. A lot of stories, related to those three "rejected by TCS" friends happened, from that time when they bonded over their failure in the DCE hostel to today. One is now an electronics guru, another a finance stud and the third, well third is me...going through the whole placement process again, which would start very soon.

The butterflies are back and as I read about how managers should cope with the economic crisis, I hope I mange to come out smiling from the placement season, with some new stories to talk about!