Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Words Except One, Awesome….

If you have visited here before,you must have encountered few posts where I have mentioned those few poetic marvels of Ahmed Faraz. I am not capable enough to portray the greatness of this poet and of his work and I am afraid, I may something too small for him! If you have no idea what poetry is and who is Faraz, I would strongly suggest that you search for him on Google and read his work. His words can bring tears from the eyes of the stones as well!

As I said, I have tried to compile some of my favorite ones from the ocean of Faraz’s work over here. If you are willing to read about them, use the search option over the right hand side. I have read again today few poetic marvels and thought would add them here with the translation for those who may not understand Hindi or Urdu. Like all the previous ones, these also have shook me apart and that’s the reason I thought to share it here.

This is the first one,

Wo mujhe roz parindo ki misaal deta hai Faraz,

Saaf saaf nahin kehta k mera shehar chhod do!

And its meaning in English is,

He gives me examples of birds daily,

But he never tells me clearly that leave my city!

 

And here is the second one,

Iss tarah gaur se mat dekh mere haath Faraz,

In laqeeron mein hasraton k siwa kuch b nain!

Here is its translation in English,

Don’t stare at my hands so sharply,

There is nothing in these lines except some (unfulfilled) wishes!

 

As I said in the title too, there can’t be any word better than “awesome”, wasn’t I was correct?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Not An Off But Still….

Its been months since I have got some time off. I have been working, traveling round the clock and there are so many times I just sit and think that when I am going to get a break, a long break when I won’t do anything except some work with Oracle, listen to music, be at home, get up late not worrying about catching a cab or an auto, not worrying or struggling to get the technical set ups done, not bothering about the module, not thinking about how tough it is, not requiring to be pist off on a bad food and many many things like these! Unfortunately, the answer to all of such questions, for the moment, is that I don’t know. I have been asked so many times that when I am going to quit this kind of life style and would adopt a normal person’s life. To be honest, at times, its too much for me as well to do what I do and on the rate at which I do but just like I said, I don’t know yet! There are certain things which are yet to be finished and as long as I am not done with them, whatever it would take, I shall keep on doing this stuff.

Anyways, though I didn’t get a break yet but I have got a bit time off which was a must for me since there are tons of things going on and without getting a break, even for a day or two, it would be impossible to finish them on time. Though it happened just like that but I am just glad that it did anyhow! I am still so tired and there was a lot of back pain that I was having just a day back but still, its just so good to be back at home. I am not having the pain at the moment but even though it would be there, I guess I won’t feel it at home :) . And also, there are some writing assignments which I need to work upon so I shall be pushing those as well. For this, I have been working since morning to get some softwares working which failed out of no reason, at least not which I could understand and even declined to get started again or even to get reinstalled! I spent so many hours doing this-that-whatever to get the darn thing fixed and the good news is that it finally did get fixed! I spent some time with the darn, ooops dear doctor who told me that I probably would need to wear a waist belt if I would not start doing some workout soon. Well, how stupid that advice is given the fact that I know it myself so darn well but the darn, yes darn doctor doesn’t know that when you work from 8am to 7pm, in a different city every week, stand for almost 6 hours, you get very less left with you in the evening when you come back to hotel room. And if on top of all this, you have to prepare yourself for the next day, this would be the last thing that you would want to see happening that due to the workout, you are forced to sleep early! Obviously I know too that I need to do workout and I am going to do that as well! If things would go as per the plans, may be the travels would be cut short and then it would be easy for me to do it. I did hear patiently what doc said though and came back home.

Its almost midnight that I should be on the bed but I don’t know where the heck the sleep went away(am I sounding angry, I guess I am) ? My eyes are wide open but the entire body is sending pain-waves to my mind telling it that probably its best to sleep but may be mind is just ignoring all such requests! So I shall just sit here for some more time, will do my writing work and wait that dear sleep would come to me and bless me! Hope it does happen before its time to officially wake up :) .

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Last Day Of Being Relaxed…

This post was supposed to come few days earlier but somehow, I was too much distracted in doing few other things. So it didn’t see sunlight till today. I would be brief since there is so much of to do and its the last day of me being free. The last two weeks did pass very well when I met some very good delegates and also discussed a lot about Oracle with them. Though the portion of delegates being very good and a great amount of oracle related discussion remained the same for the 2nd week, it did start with a very bad note when I saw that all the machines, including mine were not working! Okay, not working is not such a big problem as it can be solved by someone looking at it and thus fixing it as well. But the worst nightmare started when even after doing the installations for about 6 times, nothing worked out! Even by the late evening, only 4 machines came up. Even my senior manager was sitting with me and was looking at the matter and doing a lot of work with me to solve the matter, both from technical point of view(he is an EXCELLENT oracle technologist) and from managerial point of view as well by calling numerous people within India and even abroad for the same! Our worst fear was that if we won’t be able to solve the technical issue of the machines, there won’t be any excuse that we would be having with us to continue the class next morning and we would have to cancel it, which is a seriously bad thing if happens! But fortunately, all got resolved by the next morning and we were able to start the class and it did go very well as well! I must say that I was so tensed about it but finally, all went well only!

Now, I am going to start the travel tomorrow morning again and this time, its going to be a very tough program which I have to deal with! I always have butterflies in my stomach when this program comes up and I know the reasons for it as well. I won’t mention the reason but I shall make sure that butterflies fly away :) . Also, I am planning to do some more writing stuff about Oracle related topic and hopefully will be teaming up this time with a very good friend and an excellent technical resource for it. The work is already started for the same because we both(or three if the third person would leave his laziness and join us :)) have started diving deep into the topic. A lot of work, a lot of tensions, too less time and too many distractions, some times I just feel to throw away everything from the window and shut myself down completely! I am sounding not so good right, better to be quite I guess then! Time to get back to the work!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Love Letter With Difference….

Love letters are always special. There can be nothing more better than getting a note, however small or big may be it is from your beloved and reading it in the night all alone. There can’t be anything that can explain that smile which comes with every passing sentence and that shine in the eyes can make even moon feel ashamed too for that while! Love letters are as special as that lover who would send them. But I am not sure how any gal would react after reading the below kind of love letter? Read for yourself and try to find an answer.

My Dearest,

I am very happy to inform you that I have fallen in Love with you since the 14th of October (Sunday). With reference to the meeting held between us on the 13th of Oct. at 1500 hrs, I would like to present myself as a prospective lover.

Our love affair would be on probation for a period of three months and depending on compatibility, would be made permanent. Of course, upon completion of probation, there will be continuous on the job training and performance appraisal schemes leading up to promotion from lover to spouse.

The expenses incurred for coffee and entertainment would initially be shared equally between us. Later, based on your performance, I might take up a larger share of the expenses. However I am broadminded enough to be taken care of, on your expense account.

I request you to kindly respond within 30 days of receiving this letter,failing which, this offer would be cancelled without further notice and I shall be considering someone else. I would be happy, if you could forward this letter to your sister, if you do not wish to take up this offer.

Thanking you in anticipation,
Yours sincerely,

 

Isn’t it indeed a love letter with difference? It came to my mail just now and I am left scratching my head ever after reading it :) !

A Happy TGIF….

I finished my last session yesterday evening. Though I wanted to write this post last night only but then one, because of unsteady internet connection, two, being lazy, I didn’t! It was one of the best sessions which I had taken and I must say, I was really very pleased to meet the entire group of oracle professionals who attended the last week program. There were many reasons for the program being so good. The most important one is that all the delegates were very lively, friendly and supportive. Its always a pleasure to discuss things when the recipient end is looking interesting about it and is willing to hear more and more. If you are a speaker at any public conferences, sessions and/or an instructor, you must be agreed that seeing the enthusiasm in the audience is biggest motivation factor . Fortunately, the entire group was very much interested to know about oracle and were very keen to understand things. There were few delegates who already attended some of my previous programs as well. Its always so good to have a reunion with the old delegates, especially when they come back with a smile on their face and say that its good to see you back Aman! There were few delegates who had some teammates attending another training session in some other premises, who also were in some other programs of mine. When they came to know that I am there from their colleagues, they came all the way to that building where I was last week just to see me! What more I could ask for to be happy after seeing something like this? Nothing, absolutely nothing!

Another reason for me liking this last program was that it was meant for those professionals who didn’t have much idea about the Oracle database and are willing to take their first step in the world of Oracle database administration. Surely enough, there were couple of experienced persons too in the audience which just make the whole experience more enriched for both me and other participants by bringing in more deeper questions which are helpful and interesting for me as well as for others. Also, since it was the starting program in the database courses, there is a lot that I feel like sharing with the delegates. I always remember in such programs those times when I was struggling to learn Oracle database( still doing the same) but there was no one who was there to teach me. There was no proper resource to know about anything, awareness was so less and those who knew, I am sure, most of them must be having tons of things wrong set in their minds. How can I say that even when I didn’t know about Oracle at that time, you may be asking? I know it sounds a little odd but even now, when its almost 10years that I am trying to learn Oracle database,I am seeing people more and more wrong than being right even when there are so many resources available to learn things, its just a very simple and safer assumption that most must be wrong at that time, 10 years back, when there were no such resources available or atleast not many knew about them even if they did exist. So when I step into such a program and look at the people who are willing to know about Oracle database, something which I love so much, I feel like telling them a lot, almost all that I know, both in technical and non-technical aspects which would help them in learning this awesome technology in a better way. I don’t know how many actually would read all the articles I have told them or would visit those websites that I share with them or would go and buy(or download even) those books which I recommend them but still, I feel so satisfied just sharing all such info because I know how hard it can be to start a quest like learning oracle database with no one helping you and not even knowing that from where you can get help even! I just hope that all the delegates would take maximum benefit from all those resources which I have told them about and would become  a very great oracle expert one day!

In addition to all the oracle related discussions, since the delegates were so lively and friendly, there were a lot of informal discussions as well which did take place time to time in between the sessions. We talked about music, mobile phones, life, world, politics, jobs, careers and much much more! Its always a great thing when things don’t remain too strict and there are some lighter moments as well. Especially for me,I don’t like to make the environment a really classroom like where nothing else can happen except work. Work surely is important but at times, its important to have a little distraction as well to ease the mind. There were a lot of funny moments which did get created on their own making us all laugh so much! In the last, there were a lot of kind words which the delegates did say to me about me and I am really thankful to all of them for their kindness! It was truly a good time spent and it was just great knowing all of them! It was a great week and I just hope that we all would remain in touch and meet again soon in some other program or even elsewhere soon!

I have nothing much to do today. There is some work but I am just being lazy and not sure when I shall start it. Its a great weather outside and I really wish I could go somewhere but  since there is no one with me to go, I would better stick in my room only. I am planning to go to some temple today but not sure that I would actually go or not. There are some tensions too on the mind about some things related to both personal and professional aspects. So hope saying hello to god would help in getting some confidence in dealing with those tensions :) . I shall also catch some (missing) sleep. So nothing exciting but hope it would be a little bit relaxing time for me and you all too have a great weekend :) .

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Yet Another Sleepless Night….

Well, not completely as I did get some sleep after I came back from the session. I am not so well so when I came back, all I could do was just to change and be over the bed! It took just minutes before I slept off. The whole body was (is) having pain like anything thanks to the fever. Headache was(is) there as well. Since Since it was a working day, I couldn’t get any rest despite that that this fever is there since last couple of days. Its tough to speak too because of the  bad throat ache and also it was tough to stand because doing so even for few minutes was making me tired like anything! To make the list complete of not-so-pleasant things, the lunch which I got was really really bad! I mean, that much bad that I even couldn’t figure out that the dish I took, what was it containing? There was no one at the stall to tell either so I just picked something about which I knew just one thing, it was a vegetarian dish! I had to drink water almost in every 30-40 minutes because the throat was getting dry constantly and with a dry throat, its really hard to speak especially when the pain is there too in it! Did I mention that the lunch was really bad?

In all of the above mentioned things which are enough to declare today( or yesterday since its already the next day) as a bad day but still, there was atleast one thing which was really good, the program and also, the participants! As I always am fortunate, this time too, the delegates were really good, friendly and supportive! I always  like that session so much where the participation of the delegates is live and I can see that whatever I am saying, that’s not a boring lecture for them but they are enjoying it and also, its going to help them! And when the delegates show that this is happening, I guess that’s the best that I can wish for from my program and for me! There is nothing better to see when you are in a public speech or in a session that your audience is liking what you are saying and when you are talking, people are not really looking at their mobile phones, reading text messages! Best, when they even forget that there is supposed to be tea time now. This time, it did happen like that only! We almost all the time, went ahead from the scheduled time and I couldn’t see anyone desperate for going to tea :-) . Some of the guys searched for me over Google and did find out that I am an Oracle ACE and they were really happy about it! Since they figured it out from my blog, they came to know about the book as well and asked me about it as well! While leaving, few delegates said some very kind words! I can’t ask for anything more to say that it was a really good program and one of the best ones that I had done! Thanks a lot guys for all the kind words that you either said to me or wrote, I appreciate it so much given the fact that I know very less about Oracle! Hope I can meet you again in some other program! Thanks for making an otherwise bad day, a real good one for me, even some part it but it was much needed!

There is one more news which I just came to know and which also has made me really, truly so happy! I have a friend whose daughter was really really sick from last 6 days! That much sick that she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) and also had to undergo intubation! He is so far from me and I haven’t experienced fatherhood yet but I could feel his pain so much! Since the day she was taken into the hospital and I came to know about it, I was praying that she must get completely fine as soon as possible and come back home smiling! And god did listen today when the news came that she is fine now and would be coming back to her home with her entire family! What more good I could hear that could bring a smile on my face than this! I am so happy, really really so happy that she is fine and would be coming back home and I am sure, this must be the greatest news for her entire family as well since they were all so upset and worried! Thanks god so much for making the little princess completely fine and I hope, she never ever goes through the same trauma in her life ever again!

So what I am doing sitting and writing this post now when I already slept? Well, I just slept, wasn’t dead and sleeping people wake up too and so did I :-) ! I did wake up, had water and then was on the bed again with sleepy eyes. But after a few short naps, somehow I just became completely awake and don’t know where did the sleep disappear? I had to get up early anyways because I have to leave for the airport to another city for yet another program! Fortunately, there would be some time for me to rest and hopefully, this would help in curing this sickness of mine! Let’s see whether it does happen actually or not since there are couple of tasks which are pending.  Hope in all of those tasks, there would be some (may be a little only) free time.

I shall give it one more try to catch some sleep now, hope it does becomes successful! At this moment, these two lines written by Ahmed Faraz, fit so well!

Hum se poochani hai to sitaaron ki baat puuchh Faraz,

Khwabon ki baat wo karte hain jinhen neend aati ho!

 

And its translation in English is ,

If you want to ask, ask me just about the stars,

Only those can talk about dreams who actually get to sleep!

 

Need I say anything more? Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Customer Service At Its Best With Kingfisher….

How many times it has happened that you could say that you actually put the phone down with a smile on your face, appreciating the efforts of the customer rep and above all, the company whose customer care you happened to call? Let me tell you about my stats, almost never! Those who know me are aware about this fact that I am very fussy and if I shall call for a complaint or for some service request, I would have gathered all the facts about it beforehand before going ahead to make a call and if someone would still try to tell me some stupid logics about it, well, things wouldn’t go very smooth! And it has happened so many times that I had to explain to the so-called customer-care(less) that what does it mean to sit at that chair and how to actually help the customer? Some times people understand and some times, they give (stupid) arguments which make sense to no one except just to them! Anyways, that won’t ever end and fortunately, this small post is not about another such heated argument as well! As a pleasant change, its about a real good customer service experience that I got from Kingfisher Airlines customer service!

As I was not able to sleep because of stupid fever, I had a glance at my frequent flier card of Kingfisher and thought why not to check my status of membership and other such details! Since I don’t happen to login to my account very often, I forgot the password! Well, not a big issue, I said to myself and tried to check it from that email account which I had used while registering for the membership. Here came the heartattack, when I logged into that mail account, though it did allow me to login, it gave the message that there is no inbox attached to my login! WHAT! So what’s the meaning of the login then to an email account for which I have no inbox available and wait a minute, where is that inbox which was there just few days back attached to the very same email account? Well, there was no point of shouting since its my system which can’t help me in anyways and this webpage which already told me on my face that go away , nothing for you here! The important thing was not the email account which anyways didn’t have too many of the important emails (still a few were there like from Kingfisher) but to get the details of the membership account which I would be requiring if now, may be some other time! So I immediately checked on the flight’s website for a contact information and I got their contact number and guess what, it operates 24X7! Very well, I said to my self and gave a call. A pleasant voice picked up my call and asked how could she help me? After verifying my details and proving that I am indeed who I said I am, I explained her the situation and requested that I want my email id to be changed and password to be reset as well! Well, she immediately did and asked me to check in another 3 minutes. In that time period, I asked her alot of questions about the status of mine, my travel points , gave a feedback about the flight! In the meanwhile, while still talking to her, I checked the email and there it was, my new password was sent to me with the other instructions. She asked is there anything else she could help me with and I couldn’t resist myself from saying that even though I have called at so many customer care centers, this was the first ever good experice I have got after calling at a customer care service! Said her thank you and put the phone down with a smiling face! A really good service within the flight and also on the ground, very well done!

Just wish that all the other customer care services would become like the one of Kingfisher, hope it does happen and soon too!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Working Holiday….

Its the 3rd of my so-called holiday and I didn’t even realize that I was on a break since I have worked more harder than what I do in my normal “working” routine. In my normal days of work, I work for about 10 hours and spend some 2-3 hours once back in the room, doing lots of stuff and then would try to get some sleep. If there would be a good movie coming ( like a martial-arts flick) then I would spend those 2-3 hours watching it and may be still doing the “stuff”! So that’s what I do in my working days and when it seems to be a holiday, I should be having this time for doing the “stuff” and watching movies and listening music sufficiently large enough, isn’t it? I mean that’s what the word “holiday” means that you are not going to do work but anything other than that! So based on this principle, let’s see what I did in these 3 days(today is the 3rd day) and for how long! Well, I have been extremely busy in writing chapter of my book(yes you heard it right, see on the right hand side for its cover image which would bring you to its main page as well if you would click over it) and I worked the past two days up till almost 3 am since morning! There was a tons of work pending and I couldn’t get time to do that since I was doing my sessions with just one day break in between them. Also, I did need a dedicated system where I could run and test my demos for the chapter as well which I was not able to get because either the system which were given to me didn’t have those softwares installed or I was too busy doing/solving/answering/showing some other stuff which was not related to the chapter and its demos. So it was getting delayed and was on the top of my virtual to-do list. So I decided that at any cost, I shall finish it up in this three days time. So it was essential that even if I would have to work for long hours, I would do that in order to at least able to send the first draft to the editors. So the longer hours were a must and even though, I was dead tired, I had no other choice but to get through with this.  Today was sort of an exception since most of the work was complete and after working continuously for two and half days, finally I did send the chapter to the co-author Kamran who would forward it to the technical editors after giving a read. And I am just so relieved that its over since it was a long time pending chapter and probably was one of the most toughest ones to write as well. Now, once this is complete and is sent( there would be still reviews and error correction process) , me and the other author can spend time on another chapter which probably should be the last one from the book. Once done with that, we would wait for the final review from the tech editors.

Besides this, there were lots of small tasks which I had to additionally like I had to prepare and send my bills, get some tasks done related to bank! Oh yes, had to get a hair cut as well ;-) ! So whatever time I had left with me after writing, went into all these tasks. I so wished that I would go with my sister and/or with Aman to watch some movie( had two in mind, either one of them would had been fine) or at least would go and have a cup of coffee at….Barista ;-) ! You thought CCD right? Well, I have tasted almost all of their flavors and somehow, I am not finding their coffees much tasty anymore. May be its because that I have had it too much there but I don’t know, there is something which I am not liking at CCD and I can’t figure out what it is at the moment! I still do love it though but its better that I taste the coffee at some other outlets as well. I had tasted few flavors at Barista and it was really good! That much good that I even took their yearly membership! Anyways, it didn’t happen too that I could get some time out to go there as well. I wanted to go for some shopping but then left that idea as well. Over all, except a really rigorous work , I didn’t do anything else :-( !

Well, there is almost less than 6 hours left before I would start my next travel and its going to be a tough one. To make things spicy, I am feeling a little feverish as well! Let’s see what happens. Its time to hit the bed and try to get some sleep , a really hard thing to do for me on normal days itself and almost impossible for days like today when I already know that I would wake up before I would even get to sleep :-) .