Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sick is Pharma

Dear Pharma,

How come you've become so mighty that you precept almost everything in the world? You have the knack of making your appearance so generous and everything you do is seen as an achievement. How do you do that so easily? You are able to dictate what Doctors should study during their extra-prolonged education and you direct what medicines should be sold to where. How come you've become so globalised and united that you are able to fake the entire world in the name of WHO, CDC, FDA? And your relentless marketing for the fight against AIDS and Cancer which are nothing but temporary condition of the immune system (which you make sure gets permanent) deserves an award. You enter our lives right when we were born in the name of "vaccination" and stay with us all through our life. You've made almost everyone believe that you are the cure for all diseases - when in fact its the exact opposite. I want to go on and on about the damages you've done for centuries and the damages you keep on doing - but our time is relatively minuscule in cosmic scale and you will pay for the karma you leave behind.

-Braga

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cleo's Grill - Avoid at all costs!

It was a miserable experience at Cleo's Grill and there is enough evidence they are tampering review on Zomato to make it look good. That restaurant won't even deserve a 1.0 rating, however they constantly are writing face reviews with stellar 5 stars to make it available via Zomato. Zomato should take a look at detecting fake reviews in favor of improving their own reliability and trust.

I am writing this review as it happened on Dec 18 2015. We were around 35-40 in count. And we entered the restaurant around 1PM.

Initially we were served with a colorised juice and a cream of chicken soup. This happened after we took a seat in 15 min. After that there was a long gap. Then came the chicken-only starters. Three of the five varieties were not good tasting and were not hot as well. We asked for few veg starters. The waiter told that non veg and veg sections are separated and we are not entitled for veg starters. With few persuasion, they gave just one plate of veg starter having paneer and baby corn. When demanded more, the northeast waiter was clueless on what we were asking. A good 1.5 hours went during this battle. Unhappily we were looking at each other to make up something in the main course.

Main course was the main disappointment. A bowl of fried rice, a bowl of noodles and few rotis that were nowhere close to fresh came to our table. We were 8 in our table and we could not even eat 20% of it. And that's it! No more main course. The waiters were all clearly under trained and uncommunicative. They were clueless on what we were asking or to sync to our requests. With few hand motions from them we learnt that this was all there for main course.

Desserts were even worse. They said there were only two varieties. Vanilla and chocolate. When persuaded more, they said nothing but brought a close-to-liquid mix of vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We were left deserted for our desserts.

In the ten years I've dined in and around chennai, I am rating this as the worst of the worst experiences. The restaurant was clearly under prepared to serve our capacity. They did not have the skills or the varieties to serve us. In that case, why take the booking at all?!

It was pretty embarrassing for everyone of us. This kind of rude experience cannot be tolerated. I don't know if this is an exception going by zomato's 3.9 rating or if the rating itself is tampered/fabricated with fake reviews from the restaurant themselves.

In any case, I cannot neither recommend nor visit this pathetic place ever again to anyone in this life or the next!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sold off my iPhone 5s!

I am typing from a new iPhone 6 after selling off my iPhone 5s for what I thought was a fair price of 17k! The phone is in relatively good condition and its life has been roughly greater than 2 years. With iPhone 6 and 6s ahead of it, I thought holding it for more time would only have it value reduced. A price of 17k was indeed a surprise to me as I had offered for 16k to one of my co workers who denied the same. Good that he did!

Anyways the Sunday evening was very productive and I am really happy now that the transaction was smooth and hassle free!!

Cheers!
Braga

Friday, June 5, 2015

Alone is awesome!

I usually never sleep during the night journeys I make to and fro between chennai and my native Thanjavur. Not knowing what to do, I either use to load my iPhone or iPad with lots of movies that would typically run for the entire travel or hear to songs over the entire journey. Hardly do i sleep. Neither in the bus nor in the train. Tired of watching the movie Taken 3 I thought I would not take a rest/sleep. Instead, blabber something in my blog space.

Being alone was hell few years before. I have felt most difficult when it came to eating. As all my life starting from kid to school to college to even after college, I always use to eat with people around. It was one of the most difficult transitions I had to make and adapt to eat alone. It was very difficult at first, then I found something interesting in being alone. I can totally be myself during this time. No interruptions or conversations although I do speak during phone at times which even slowly vanished away. One of the beautiful things or a life lesson I could put it is that the lesser dependency you have the easier and malleable you are. I have witnessed this concept in one of the famous movie speeches of the 21st century from the movie called "Up in the air" where George clooney talks about the burdens that come along the way when you keep adding stuff to your life.

Here is What’s In Your Backpack? Speech:

"How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel ’em? Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things. The things on shelves and in drawers, the knick-knacks, the collectibles. Feel the weight as that adds up. Then you start adding larger stuff, clothes, table-top appliances, lamps, linens, your TV.
The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. And you go bigger. Your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. And make no mistake, moving is living.
Now, I’m gonna set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn. In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it?
Now, this is gonna be a little difficult, so stay with me. You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office, and then you move into the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend.
You get them into that backpack. And don’t worry. I’m not gonna ask you to light it on fire. Feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake – your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders?
All those negotiations and arguments, and secrets and compromises. You don’t need to carry all that weight. Why don’t you set that bag down? Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime – star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals. The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We’re sharks."

Pretty cool isn't it? I did not realise this dialogue to the full extent after I starting adding all those things plus debts in my own backpack. Pretty damn hard to move! Enjoy your alone time as much as possible!

Cheers!
Braga

Friday, March 20, 2015

4 things to do when you switch to a new job

There could be multiple reasons why one would be switching his/her job. It could be one or combinations multiple factors like financial stability, career growth, better opportunity, change in roles/responsibilities, personal reasons or just for the heck of it. Switching to a new job is a time consuming process. You will have to serve your notice with your current employer and make sure that you are having a smooth transition. There will always be some excitement on joining a new company. Whatever may be the case, have these 4 thumb rules in mind before you enter your new workplace.

1. Be Humble
  You may have gotten recruited for a top post or a junior level. The first thing you have to express in any new job is humility. You will have to get up to speed with what is happening in the current job. This at times may be coming from someone lower to your experience/skills. However, you should never let your 'me' get in-between this knowledge gathering process. For instance, all you were asked to do was some mundane/manual work or an errand to run. Remember it is not the time to show resistance or disscontempt. Embrace it.

2. Meet and Greet
  As a new joinee, one often tends to hide behind the scenes and try to spend most of the time in front of a monitor reading documents and expect everyone to just come and talk to you. Practically, that is not going to happen. So, be proactive and talk to all the people at least in the team that you are put into. Make sure you remember the names of all the persons in your team and try to join them for lunches and coffee breaks.

3. Refresh yourself
  It is always a good way to start things fresh given a new environment/job and a new set of people. Try to analyse the types of mistakes you did in the past jobs and the situations where you might have felt bad for some of the things you did. Make sure that you do not repeat these mistakes in the new workplace. Its a very good opportunity to start over with a clean slate.

4. Put that "extra" effort
  One of the main things most of the new candidates will overlook is the fact that they are under the scanner from day one. Any new job requires a sharp learning curve, may it be the business process, the technology stack, new language to adapt, new jargons to learn and altogether a brand new team. This is the time to make sure that you get all the details about the new environment, even the the nitty gritty ones as soon as possible. This is also the crucial process where you could showcase that you are the right person for the job and that you really care about the team and stakeholders who put you there.

Cheers!
Braga

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

கீதாசாரம் - Geethasaram (Essence of Bhagavat Gita)

One of the beautiful messages you would ever hear. This is something that you should constantly ask yourself whenever the "me" part of you kicks in.

எது நடந்ததோ, அது நன்றாகவே நடந்தது ,
எது நடக்கிறதோ, அது நன்றாகவே நடக்கிறது ,
எது நடக்க இருக்கிறதோ, அதுவும் நன்றாகவே  நடக்கும்,
உண்ணுடுயதை எதை நீ இழந்தாய் ?
எதற்காக நீ அழுகிறாய் ?
எதை நீ கொண்டு வந்தாய் அதை இழப்பதற்கு ?
எதை நீ படைத்திருந்தாய், அது வீணாவதற்கு ?
எதை நீ எடுத்து கொண்டாயோ,
அது இங்கிருந்து எடுக்கப்பட்டது,
எதை கொடுத்தாயோ, அது இங்கிருந்து கொடுக்கப்பட்டது,
எது இன்று உன்னுடையதோ, அது நாளை மற்றவருடையாகுது,
மற்றொரு நாள், அது வேறோருவுடையதாகிறது, இதுவே உலக நியதியும்,
எனது படைப்பின் சாராம்சமாகும்.

Equivalent English Translation

Whatever happened, happened well.
Whatever is happening, is happening well.
Whatever will happen will also happen well.
What of yours did you lose for you to repent?
What did you bring for it to be lost?
What did you create for it to be destroyed?
Whatever you took, you took from here
Whatever you gave, you have given here.
Whatever is yours today will be someone else's tomorrow.
And someone else's some other day.
This Inevitable change is the law of the universe.
And that is the essence of my creation.

Cheers!
Bragboy

Monday, January 19, 2015

TCS Layoff


No one was complaining when Information Technology sector folks were receiving hefty pay-checks compared to a Government employee of similar experience and role. No one came forward to standardise the pay structure that falls in line with Indian Labour Laws. Suddenly, there is a heightened sense of merging the private sectors with Government rules and law. The problem does not lie on what TCS is doing. It is a bit deeper. IT Sector has had a huge impact on country's growth - no doubt, but it has also inflated or false projected a lot of other sectors. For a company like TCS, under performers are a nightmare that they have struggled for a long time. Same goes for the Wipros, HCLs, Infys, Accentures, CAP Geminis. If you are a genuine performer and you are skilled enough - why cry out in social media/public and why not find a better job elsewhere - I am sure Information Technology market sector is good enough and adopts performers all over the country and abroad. If you are an under performer and you are scared of losing a job in a low-standard recruitment company like TCS, then it is pretty damn clear that you cannot and should not be complaining.