Monday, December 23, 2013

Need for gender equality on the work floor (especially tech)

Lest my intentions be mis-construed, let me start by saying that I have immense respect for women at my workplace and at other companies. I have worked with exceptionally smart women both in companies and schools. This blog, like some of my other blogs, is a lighter take on the need for a balance of the number of men and women on each floor of a company and this need is more apparent in tech companies. This blog has no connection with my workplace either.

It has happened multiple times that I had to wait in line to use a stall or a urinal in the men's room and was annoyed by it. Then during a tea break, I mentioned to my friends the same. One of the girls in the group replied, "Well I don't have that problem, didn't you notice the number of girls on the floor". And then it struck me, if there are more girls in technology, this problem would not be present.
Now, there are some advantages to waiting in a line. I made some good friends/acquaintances while waiting in the line. And this network helped me in getting work done faster too. I learnt about gyms with better equipment, good action movies and about various new phones in the market to mention a few topics. I recently met a person working with another company who mentioned how he made a connection with a manager higher up in the chain when both were standing  in the line to use a stall (I am not making this up). 

If the number of women in technology increase, this facility would come under attack. Lesser number of people would be waiting in a line in the men's room. And the opposite would happen. Women would start bonding in the women's room and the existing bro-nnection would get some competition. However one of my other friends (a girl) says that even though there is a line in the women's room, they would be busy looking at the mirror/getting fresher thereby having no time to actually talk to each other and make connections. So, the bro-nnection should not face any serious competition. 

I would presume that in industries dominated by women , women face similar issues and the attendant advantages. Hence, here is my little blog advocating equal numbers on each floor.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stuck in a car on a highway.. that too on a winter night!!!

It was on a cold night in march that we decided to go bowling in brunswick. Now why would we drive all the way to brunswick for that... I am not sure.
Having lived in US northeast for about 2.5 years, I know how bad winters can be. But it's that "I am getting into a car right in my apartment parking.. getting out right at the entrance of the bowling alley and getting back in" confidence that led me to wear a regular leather jacket and rush out.
We were happily driving down the highway next to newark airport watching an airplane land (an awesome sight). All of the sudden, our car started slowing down and my friend drove it to the shoulder and right after we sneaked into the shoulder, the car just STOPPED! I mean just STOPPED!

Even after multiple attempts the car did not start. We were not sure what to do. We thought of getting down and pushing the car thinking battery is out of charge and that might help. But wait a minute.. if that is indeed the case, a running car would not have stopped (I mean the battery keeps getting charged when a car is in motion).  But when the other alternative is suffering longer in the chilly winter, we let our knowledge of basic physics/cars sit aside and got down and started pushing it... no luck.
Then one of my friend's wife called her dad expecting some suggestion.
she on the phone : "papa, Baddha saru che" (daddy, everything is fine)
Are you kidding me everything is fine? We are stuck on a highway on a cold winter night, without enough winter gear, next to an airport runway by the bushes and not sure if we should call 911 because the guy who was driving does not have insurance... Are you kidding me everything is fine?
then after some che che and che (folks who don't understand Gujarati can only understand that word), she came up with an idea. Too bad that did not work either. Finally we decided to get out and wave hands so that someone would stop and help. That is where the fun starts.
Ohh yeah, in the midst of all these another friend needed to use the toilet... now I can understand her instructor told her drinking lots of water is good for health and weight reduction, but drinking too much water when its cold and when you are driving far in a 10 yr old car is not exactly the best thing to do... this is something I learnt after this incident though. Now she did ask her husband to go into the bushes to find if its safe.... but the husband decided not to act too brave...
Now her look said "Before getting married, when you were my boyfriend, you would have definitely done it to score a point" and the evil look in his eyes said "Mwhahahahahah, we are married now " .. anyways this prompted her to come up with the idea of waving hands so that someone would help.

Wait this is USA.. we heard many stories of how helpful people are..... Finally a BIG shady looking van stopped... Does the van actually look shady... or just because a large van stopped when no one else did, we just assumed it was shady? anyways... me and my friend walked towards it. I asked her to walk slightly behind me just in case.
The guy who was driving looked shady.. to add to the problem, he kept looking to the back of the van as though he was hiding something..
"Brother, what is the problem with the car, it needs a jump-start?"
"Yes bbbbb brother, can you back up lil more so that you can help us"
"No problem brother, but wait wait wait  a minute, why did you call the cops, if cops here brother, I gotta go.. I cant help you if cops here"
I was wondering what he was talking about. I turn around and see some red and blue lights flashing right behind our car ... me and my friend said in tandem "WTF"

"No brother, hang on. we did not call em. if the cops cant help us.. we would need your help"
the van moves into driving gear
"No brother, let me go. If the cops here, I have to go. sorry brother" .. and he leaves
All this wile my friend cant stop laughing...SO we turn around and go to our car. the cop flashes his torch right into our eyes... On a dark highway if you do that, how do I walk? Anyways we walk up there and he says
"Guys this is dangerous. you cant hang out in the shoulder like this for long and you cannot keep walking outside. Get into the car. i will call AAA and they would come by". He says that and he started lighting up flares to put behind our car. That reminded me of Diwali.
I wanted to say  "Uncle Uncle, can I please hold one in my hand".. But damn, given I am a grown up, I could not do that and had to get into the car and wait.
After sometime the AAA vehicle came. The guy walked up to our car in a hoodie. Me and my friend got out of the car and said in an accent "Whazzup".. He says in a indian accent.." I am the AAA guy. Can you please sign here and tell me the problem." What? why is this guy speaking in indian accent. Might be he learnt Indian accent. After all he works in new jersey. That can help him talk to his clients. Then I saw him sign.. it said
"lakwinder singh".. Immediately my friend says "lucky paaji (lucky brother).. problem yeh hai.." and narrated the story in hindi with a punjabi accent. A Gujarati guy talking in Hindi with a Punjabi accent and a Telugu guy chipping in with Hyderabadi Hindi making an attempt to put a Punjabi accent. This is what I call "unity in diversity" rather "Unity in diversity during a calmity". He told us the alternator was screwed up and he jump-started the car and guided us to the nearest gas station.
Meanwhile all of us brainstormed on how one could construct toilets on highways, or if we could go into the bushes to see if it was safe.. But finally thanked who so ever constructed the rest area and once we reached it we rushed into .. you know where..
We finally gave up the bowling idea and first thought of unfreezing our own frozen balls :P
Moral of the story "Always carry heavy winter gear.. Sh*t happens. The amount of water drunk before getting into a car should be directly proportional to the condition of the car and inversely proportional to the distance to be traveled"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New York

I feel guilty of not being able to blog in the past 2 years... :(.. but here I am trying to be a regular blogger.

And when I thought of blogging, I got reminded of the blog I wanted to post 2 years back after my first week in new york and it is about new york and my experiences in NY.

"Rang birangi duniya saari..
Bhaant bhaant ke log..

Milke bichhadna, bichhadke milna

Saara hai sanjog"

A colorful world with different kinds of people. Meeting and going apart is all a matter of coincidence; goes a Hindi song.
This was the first thing that came to my mind when I came out of the train at the World Trade Center station during rush hour. People of different nations/colors/races/religions going together in a mad rush towards their offices in Manhattan. I could not find such a mix even in Frankfurt airport which is one of the largest hubs for international air transport.

Step out and you see these fine huge tall buildings all around and hordes of people getting into them through small doors at the bottom. In a way it looks like a bunch a black holes(those buildings) sucking all the little asteroids(people getting into those buildings) walking around those buildings.

I am not sure if paradox is the word, but close to all these is a church. Same is the case with Wall St. We have all these financial institutions in these huge buildings and at the start of the street is Trinity Church.

The reason why people know NY or want to visit NY is to see the skyline, but the place where many new yorkers want to hang out is actually called the Village where in most of the houses/structures are not more than 3 to 4 floors tall.

The most often heard business phrase in NY is "conflict of interest". whether it be buy side/sell side. some bank selling mortgages which they themselves know are worth crap. Whether it be employees of financial firms who want to make some money for themselves or whether it be some restaurant selling food which the owner itself would find tasteless and the list goes on :P.

How do you distinguish a tourist from a new yorker going to office in the train? of course new yorkers going to office are dressed up in formals. Exception are those few programmers working for companies like mine who can dress at freedom in casuals :). Tourists have maps in hand, new yorkers have books.. ohh these days kindles/ipads. And not to miss those, who manage to wrap their hand around the pole in a busy train to hold themselves and the mirror tight, to take care of the mascara and the gloss :P

It's in NY that i see so many people in bars/pubs on Thursday/Friday evenings again dressed up in formals. I guess this is because people want to rush directly from office to pubs to gulp down those drinks to kick start the end of the week... hmm whose paying for those drinks?
Late into the night.. starts the colorful new york nightlife.

Food Food and Food... I told you earlier that new york has a huge diverse mix of people. New york also has a huge number of restaurants serving various cuisines... I am not sure if there is a cuisine in the world which a restaurant in NY is not serving. And not to forget all those fusion restaurants.

Everyone here wants to reach office early. Many reach by 8 AM. Now here is the problem. I am not a morning guy, but my office wants me to be in by 9 AM. Every morning I wake up late and feel like the Running-back with the ball in a football game, trying to touchdown in the last seconds of the game and the entire universe acting in defense, trying to stop me. If I manage to badge in by 9, my feeling is no lesser than that of the running-back who wins the game for his team.

Thank you NY for all these experiences and thanks for getting me back to blogging :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

No Refund

It has been long since I originally thought of this and thought of a blog.

The idea of this blog came up when the movie Om Shanti Om released and I read about its huge revenue even before it released.

But the first time I heard about refunds in movies was when the movie "hello brother" released. One angry guy outside the theatre said "salman khan ko hamare paise waapas dena chahiye; ghatiya movie..moti heroine". I was in school then and dismissed it as a joke.

After coming to US and seeing returns/refunds accepted for everything including underwears (yeah roomie returned them :D..... hopefully it is not the case with condoms :) ), I thought why is it not the case with movies.

I started thinking of some reasons.

1. I believe returns are encouraged for many goods because, even though one item is returned, something else would be purchased which would replace this item. So in a way the store is still making profits. Also since a store would have many items in slight variations, they can easily stay with this belief and even the customer can choose another one in the same store.

2. Sometimes one or two goods are damaged in a manufacturing line. So if a customer is unlucky to get that one, he can happily replace it with other. This does not cause a great loss to the manufacturer.

Now coming to movies.

As in case 1, I am not sure if some theatre gives you money back, then you would go and see some other movie in the same theatre within few days. Also there would be no om shanti om-2 which probably has slightly different story from the original for people who watched the original and did not like it.

It is possible that if many people did not like the movie say coz it was slow, then the movie could be changed and released with a better screenplay. But then how many of us would go back and buy the ticket to watch that movie again given the torture we would have endured watching version 1.

Though he does not discuss this issue directly, Ram gopal verma in his blog on hit/flop goes a bit around this issue. He suggests that a movie is a individual's way of telling a story. If you do not agree its up to you. Also he talks about the way film industry works. In the sense that director doesnot directly release the movie but the movie is sold to a distributor, then to the theater, so on and so forth. This makes the return policy more complicated :)

Now coming to case 2, one production house can think of doing this is ........ no surprises RGV's factory. They release lotsa movies.. not so high production costs...and i feel some of them suck big time. So if he thinks of refunding customers .... well not a bad idea. :). The only thing is people might buy tickets and just sleep in the movie. Except fro the part when his hot heroines look really hot :) (wazz harm neway money is refunded). This might lead to his refund cost getting higher than production cost.

Standard business principle : If something is selling successfully, keep it going. Don't change it too much as long as people are buying it. This could be seen with some classic designs in clothing. Raulph Lauren stripes, Crocodile Polos etc.

In Films the dude who follows this is............. Shahrukh khan. Doesnot change his same set of constant expressions... ehhhhhhehehehhhhhhhai.. No Doubt people buy it. NO doubt Om Shanti Om's international rights sold for 75 Cr approx (as per reports). No trouble of refunds.

The gentleman who did refund the distributors... RajniKanth. I think he did it for the movie BABA which did not end up making expected collections. Did the distributors refund the movie goers .. hard core fans ? I dont think so.

One not so bad business idea. " The theatre funds the production. Of course the production costs are modest. Anounces a refund policy. Push up the rates of pop corn and soft drinks. People might watch the movie since anyway the tickets can be returned. Mean while the theater could make some profits selling pop corn and soft drinks to those dudes. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Shorter Line

(Year - 1993)

Mom is walking fast to head to my under construction home from the current home.

Me : Mom, walk slow, how come you walk so much faster than me. I am unable to catch up.
Mom: You need to walk fast. I have got no time to walk slow. Run.

(Year - 1995)

Me : The argument you wrote worked out. I won the debate competition.
Mom: Ya, next time you will write it totally on your own.

so on and on and on...

(Year - 2004)
By this time, I was 19, finished GRE, almost finished Bachelors.

Me and my mom walking.

Me : Mom, you gotta walk faster or else we will be late. How come you are walking so slow?
Mom: (A look which says 'Oh yeah.. look who is talking').

Me : (Using lotsa jargon.. wierd words! .. just finished GRE right :) )
Mom : What does that word mean?
Me : What happened to your english these days. You were good some years back.

Now she is reached peaks of being pissed off and then asked the QUESTION
How do you make a line shorter without using an eraser?
Me: Tear half the page off
Mom: Bachelors made you more stupid. Did it not?
Me: Cover half the line with hand ... hahahah
Mom: Ohhh.. my..God..............
Me: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

I was kind of thinking when she called a time up and said
"Draw a longer line next to it. It will make the original line shorter" she said and she had a laugh.

Not going into the technical and grammatical details of it, the point she was trying to make was that she is as good today as she was some years earlier, except for the fact that I have become a longer line compared to her.

I hate writing gyaan points but I realized that parents are always smarter in some way than us kids :) ..why not they would see us grow and learn all this in addition to what they learnt. And of course a teacher's/ parent's pride always lies in watching kids grow smarter and better than them.

Its not about writing senti stuff, but wanted to write a blog to thank my mom for coming to my graduation. It was a great vacation trying to make fun of each other using silly riddles like the aforementioned one.

Monday, May 5, 2008


The following is just an attempt to put some funny or worth remembering experiences of mine in Masters and to include names of some good friends and class mates. I hope you have fun.

Packed was my luggage
I was Ready to check in my baggage
In the airport no melodrama
Said before leaving home my sister rama (read it ramaa)
We will chat daily don't worry
Said waving a good bye my mom sundari (read it sundary)
You are going to pursue masters dont look sad
Trying to cheer me up this was my dad
After landing to buy something if u need money
Dont hesitate, call me said my other sister srimani (read it srimanee)

(Now the plane left india and reaching US)
After landing who is going to pick me at the other shore
I will arrange it said India club's Kishore
My flight is reaching late would anyone show up,
Don't worry, there is ever helpful Somu to pick you up.
Need to hunt an apartment have to run door to door
I found one just move in, said Sumedha Uppnor
Tired teaching roomies how to cook was the Biryani Savanth
Ravi Sheshu is learning quick though commented Ananth

In UA projects are long and tuff, the hell ya
Firing the first words of caution this is Sahitya
I was one of the first ones to get an assistantship
With courses and RA then started the hardship
Looking at him work so much, I thought only coding was his karma
Yes I am talking about the ever working Ravi Sharma
we will finish the project don't worry ravi
6 Hours away from deadline this is supercool Pallavi

Not even a month into it and his patience did vanish
Stuck in a business school RA, this is the systems guy Manish
Be careful in US never drive rash
A lesson learnt after the accident of Avinash
Got a license and drove to the temple in Maricopa
Accompanying me were Nikesh, Tarun, swapna and Lopa
With Deloitte Offer we got a Bag, Candies and a Starbucks Card,
Natashaz and my efforts finally bore reward.

To find a Job in NY, a little tuff time I was havin
You will make it to bloomberg, don't worry said bhavin
Last sem also 3 courses, there goes relentless Anurag,
Got Stuck unwantedly in SIE course, poor guy Parag
During Interview prep struggled with Parallel Programming techneek
finally got it, thanks to karthik the geek.
First discussed interviews, now about our jobs we brag
Having coffee after sleeping in PPL class, myself and Pa'rag
Worked in Microsoft, wanted to be a part of Mr.Gates' entourage
Made other choices , Now it is upto Poorna, Natasha and Woj
Anurag filled his transcript with infinte courses,
VMware said enough, now come fill your bourses

Dude Its a bit long and exciting run just be ready,
Now that I am almost done, giving gyaan to Sushanth Reddy

Thank God I have a job and in future would also have a wife
But one thing I would definetly miss is the most exciting student life :)

If your name does not rhyme well
Pardon me, do not curse me to hell
In the given frame of time
I could not find a word which does rime (another spelling for rhyme)

Finally a nice poem in hindi by sumitranad pant about meeting and leaving.

Yeh Saanj usha ka aangan
aalingan virah milan ka
chir haas asrmay aanan
rey is manav jeevan ka

Have fun.

Please feel free to suggest me better rhyming words/phrases. I would be more than happy to include them. Parag, the other day you had a interesting shayari. Please Leave it as a comment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


1. Last movie you saw in a theater?
The Great Debaters. Its a good movie with some great action and direction added with perfection
(dialogue courtesy : ). Its one of those movies where a main point is made in a subtle manner.

2. What book are you reading

Trying to read some but not reading any.

3. Favorite board game?

Business, some ppl call it monopoly. Used to play it like mad. Finally when I go the board myself lost interest to play.

4. Favorite magazine?
Had one called Indian Management. Had not been reading that off late.

5. Favorite smells?

Slightly pungent perfumes and the smell of my mom cooking spicy andhra (my state in India) dishes.

6. Favorite sounds?

That of a train's Horn.

7. Worst feeling in the world?

Feeling like peeing urgently but unable to find a toilet in reach or the flight on the runway and not taking off and air hostess not letting me use the toilet.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

About what replies or emails I would have got :).

9. Favorite fast food place?
Gokul Chat in hyderabad. It has awesome chat, pani puri, and all the chatpata stuff one can imagine.

10. Future child’s name?

If its a guy would name him "Ravi Sheshu Jackie Chan Arnold Richie Rich Jet Li Sachin Razor
centurion Johhny Quest" all that is one name a bit long like my name.

If its a girl I would spare her with Mrinalini.

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?”
Travel around Africa and Afghanistan with a army of secruity guards around me.

12. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

13. Storms - cool or scary?

14. Favorite drink?

15. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?
Read all the news in the world.

16. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Yes, I feel the stem of broccoli is the better part of it.

17. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Mwhahahhahahahah....... BLACK BLACK the could can be pulled out.

18. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
T.. A... N... U.. K... U.. TANUKU, Jamshedpur, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Tucson, Kansas City

19. Favorite sports to watch?
If it includes games Cricket, Tennis, Football , WWE in sports Pole jump.

20. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
Natahsa is a good friend and has amazing friends like Ravi Sheshu who is cool ...... (all adjectives as appropriate good ones).

21. What’s under your bed?
I pulled out the stand under my bed so therz nuthin but carpet.

22. Would you like to be born as yourself again?

Of course ...... would recommend same parents as now to GOD but with a request for a shorter name so that it eases my pain in filling forms.

23. Morning person, or night owl?

24. Over easy, or sunny side up?
What does this mean.

25. Favorite place to relax?
Now dont laugh at this ....thought would be candid. Its the LOO (not the ones which stink.. the loo in my home). It DOES NOT mean I go there whenever I am tired.

26. Favorite pie?
choclate chip caramel pie.

27. Favorite ice cream flavor?
Butter Scotch, Cassata and anything other than choclate and mint in Gelato

28. Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?
Almost everyone i know who blogs already got tagged so might be dots connect and dreamy eyed.