Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Not-So-Good Day….

I am writing this after finishing the packing of the bag. It has been a really upsetting day since the starting of it and I am still in a very bad and upset mood! I just finished tea and I even forgot to put sugar in it and didn’t realize it at all because was thinking about tons of things. With a really killing headache, painful thumb, twisted ankle(today only) , burning eyes , I guess its fairly okay to declare today as a real damned day! Oh yes, I didn’t have lunch, breakfast this morning as well and also didn’t have dinner last night too but that’s okay, not feeling like eating at all and won’t die too if won’t eat!

In the morning itself,while getting down to the reception after receiving call that my pick up has come, I rushed over the stairs. It may sound stupid but I had a feeling that something is going to happen and it did when I lost balance over the damn stairs and ended with a twisted ankle. I guess I can blame eyes for that since they were burning already so I may have not looked at the steps carefully (but that’s not the case actually). There was already a painful right thumb thanks to the “adventure ride” of yesterday. Did I mention that day had just got started?

I am not a sort of person who would say “I don’t care” . I in fact pay attention to the minutest details of the things too and there is hardly anything which ever gets skipped from me! The same goes for the people as well around me. Anyways, so I put a lot of attention that I must make sure that things go well when I am the in-charge and I do make a very honest effort for it. And when you do all that and still has to hear that you were not good enough, it hurts! I don’t know about anyone else but it would hurt me for sure and it does as well and it did happen today when I got a comment that I am not really interactive! Huh? Even when I had no mood to talk today, I did speak so much, answered so many of the questions and did the same for all the previous days as well and still had to hear this? What for? I shall be honest, I became so upset reading that stupid comment! I normally don’t get to the level when I become completely quiet when I am upset. Even when I am upset, I shall be talking(shouting also) but won’t be quiet. But if I am quiet , it just means that now that’s the peak of the upsetness and I am out of words too to express it! I was in the same mood few hours when I was sitting in the lobby, all alone  and just quiet! I was sending messages to my twitter stream but otherwise I was just quiet. I have deleted those tweets now and removed them from other streams as well since the more I am going to read them, more I am going to be upset! But it did hurt so much that someone can say just like that despite knowing that it takes a lot , a bloody LOT of effort to speak with your lungs out without even letting know that you didn’t sleep for the whole night,you didn’t eat ,  you are upset or happy, anything! But I guess, its too tough to control people and their sayings so I guess, I have to just bury it somewhere deep!

I am going to stop now since I got a call that my cab has come. Hope that there would not be any more upset things happening but even if they would happen, I wouldn’t be surprised , at least for today! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Got To Go….

Yes, my (unexpected) break is over and I am leaving tomorrow. I believe, this time I shall be gone for some longer duration since there are couple of programs lined up for me. To make things more spicy, all of them are hectic but I am looking forward to take over one specific program which is very hectic but for me but will be a giant step ahead in my technical skill set. There are some programs that I have set up for me which I need to finish and start delivering ASAP and I am working hard to do so too. I hope that I would be able to stick to my plan. I am having a really bad headache at the moment so won’t be going more longer. Besides headache, thoughts have taken control of my mind and its thinking too much and too deeper at this moment so its better that I go and get lost in my own dreamland(or whatever it can be called). But before leaving, I would share this awesome piece of poetry from Mohsin Naqvi which are striking in my mind like a hammer at the moment,

Kuch dinon ke liye chalo duniya ko chhod kar chalein Mohsin,

Suna hai log bahot yaad karte hain chale jaane k baad!

And its English translation is,

Let’s leave this world for few days and go away,

I have heard that people miss you a lot once you leave!

 

Wasn’t I correct when I said that my mind is running a little too fast and deeper! Signing off!

Friday, September 24, 2010

There Is A Little….

Its happens so many times that people don’t realize that even when some one doesn’t say anything, he may still have some things just over his lips and within his heart. He may not show but may be feeling bad, hurt, upset. I guess, we normally don’t bother unless someone tells us so and at times, even after someone tells us so! I have just got this text message which does explains it perfectly that there is always a little that is unseen or unsaid, present in few of the most commonly said sentences. To call it little would depend on how much that person is important is for you and how well you understand him/her? But the message nails it right on the spot! Have a read,

There is a little truth behind “just kidding”!

There is a little emotion behind “I don’t care”!

There is a little pain behind “Its okay”!

 

Yes, it may be just a little but its there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Late Night Post….

Well, that’s a perfect title for the post since its actually late night and I didn’t plan to write it at this moment but tomorrow. But since I am not feeling sleepy, I thought, its better to write it down now only and use tomorrow’s time for something else. Songs are playing in the ears through the headphones and its really quite(shouldn’t be surprised about it though)! What the heck I am doing here, you may ask? Well, nothing actually hehehe. Anyways, since I am here now so let me tell you about the last week’s travel.

It was a really hectic week if you ask me! If you have read the last post, I have mentioned it there as well that the entire week was really really tough. Though it was superb in the regards of the audience, contents and discussions which did happen in the entire but still, I am not sure why, after this module, I feel like dead! The module contains tons of things to do, discuss and even possible, demonstrate as well. In this program, I didn’t have any machines left for me so I couldn’t do the demo part but there was a ton which I had to discuss with the audience, speaking of which, it was one of the best possible people who did spend 5 days with me, hearing me. The delegates were all very senior oracle professionals and out of all, two were from the support team of the same product for which I was there to impart training. There were huge amount of discussions which did happen on 4th and 5th day. I must say that though all were very tiring but at the same time, were very rewarding as well-at least for me! The delegates brought up some very interesting points which were a lot of fun to discuss. The delegates were extremely kind, friendly and intelligent. Even though they were all so senior, they gave me a huge respect and did listen to all of what I said very patiently. One delegate even did ask me to have a pic with him for which I was very reluctant initially but then finally said yes for it. It was a great program which came to a very satisfactory conclusion. As I always say, there is nothing better than seeing smiles on the faces of the delegates when they are leaving or at the end of the program and it was indeed present! A perfect sign to show that everything went as expected or even better(in this case)! Thanks so much guys, I hope I would be able to meet with you all soon!

Once done, I thought that I shall be able to have some rest now since there was a weekend in between me and the next session but there was another thing which came towards me and I am just glad that it did happen!

When I was done with my normal program and was all set to come back, I got a call that someone somewhere has got a real bad treatment while attending his first ever session about the oracle database and he is really upset! And now, there must be something that should be done to make sure that to some extent, his disappointment can be reduced. Now, to be honest, my first impression was that I don’t want to go since there was just a very hectic session which came to an end and there was another hectic session lined up for the next week , with just two days in between these two. And if I would say yes, it means that I would be speaking for a little almost two weeks non-stop which for any speaker is not a good thing at all! And since I normally won’t go and crack jokes or tell stories, its rather much harder over me to do such kind of things without taking any breaks in between. But then this thought also did come to the mind that the person who has no fault of his, why he should suffer because of someone else’s mistakes? And moreover, the person came from overseas and I certainly won’t want that someone would come to my place and would go with a bitter taste in his mouth for any reasons! No, there is nothing to pretend or show-off in this statement. I can’t claim that I shall change the entire world or something like that but I guess, its not right to say that too(but don’t be in doubt, its me who we are talking about so you never know) . If every single person becomes aware about his part of the job and is conscious about its outcome, I believe its enough to change anything in any world in any way! Okay, now that may sound a little too stretched up but its true and that’s what I believe in. So I decided to give it a go and deliver the two day session. To look at the bright side, I said to myself that its not going to be a complete class. Its just going to be a single person and there would be a one to one conversation that would happen so it shouldn’t be that tiring! Well, guess what, it wasn’t tiring at all but came out to be real fun! And as I always say, there is nothing like seeing that light bulb go over someone’s head when he understands something! That’s the same feeling which I saw over that guy, Jai Prakash Assi’s face! In his own words, he was feeling that he has completely lost it but once we started talking and I started explaining him the bits and pieces, I guess things went on to become much smoother than they were before.

I was told that he is very upset and I had no reasons to not be agreed to it since when I heard from him whatever happened, rather than saying that he was upset, I would actually say that he was still very patient with all and didn’t say anything as long as water didn’t come to his nose level! Only when it was the moment of “enough is enough” , he mentioned his upsetness to all and that was the time when I was called in. He was completely right since the instructor that he and two other guys got, was not upto the mark. Mind it that I didn’t say that he completely was of no use and was a complete idiot (I guess I said just what I didnt want to but NVM) but still, this can’t be skipped that he didn’t do his job well. Since you are not aware about certain things , it doesn’t mean that all would be so ignorant and  wont notice. May be they wont mention it but next time, they would not ever sit in your session!Training is a very noble profession and if you are a trainer, you must make sure that you do whatever it takes but would make your delegates happy! But I guess, this simple thing many fail to understand and believe that they can pull any string and it would go unnoticed without making any sound. And that’s what happened when the previous instructor made it all messed up! I tried to clean as much as I could but there were some things which I didn’t come prepare about and couldn’t do justice with them! Besides the technical discussions, there were many informal talks as well since it just happened (from coincident) as a very nice coincidence that he was a Punjabi and his roots are in Ludhiana, my place! So we did a lot besides technical topics( which were at the top priority anyways) . I found him a real nice guy and was very happy when the news came that he is a Punjabi too and that too, his roots were there in Ludhiana only which is my city! Its a really small world and I was once again very fortunate to meet someone really nice! Overall,  it was a very good session and since I did come there with a goal to make sure that Jai would be happy, seeing him happy just summed up the session of 2 days perfectly well!

There has been some change of program so I may find some more time to talk about things happening with and around me! Stay tuned :D .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just Two Lines But So True….

I just got back after finishing a very hectic session. Because of the nature of the module and also because of the special audience attending, the whole week went into it and I couldn’t write anything. Things were really busy and tiring. There were lots and lots of (good) discussions which did happen in the entire week, something that I always look forward to have in the session. If you are a speaker, that’s the best sign to tell you that things are going great and your audience is not sleeping because of you being boring :) . Fortunately, it never happened with me and this time also, delegates did show great interest in the entire module.  Though its always very exciting to have highly deep and technical discussions but there is just one problem, once you are done, you feel like dead and that’s what I felt too most of the times! But that’s a very little price to pay compared to see the smile coming on the face of the delegates when they understand something! Anyways, that’s not this (short) post is about. Its about two lines, or may be four if preciseness is the point, which were sent to me by Amardeep and I was just blown away reading them! I really do think that they are worth sharing so just going to do that. They are in Hindi and I shall put an English translation for it as well.

First, the original Hindi version,

Humse khetli rahi duniya taash k patton ki tarah,

Jisne jeeta us ne bhi phenka,

Jis se haare,

Us ne bhi phenka!

 

And its English version,

This world played with me like a deck of cards,

Those who won me,

They  threw me away!

From whom got lost,

They also threw me away!

 

Just one word, amazing! Or let me add two more, so true!

Time to have a cup of tea and loosen up a bit!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Forgotten Legend, Nand Lal Noorpuri….

Why it is so that when someone leaves this world, then only people start respecting, loving, caring about him? Why when he is alive, no one even bothers about him, about his existence? I fail to understand almost all the time that why such a small thing is so tough for many to understand that its not important to put flowers on someone’s grave twice a day when you haven’t even bothered to ask him that how is he when he was alive? Thanks to such hypocrisy, many people live their entire in a forced solitude and even face a very sad death! And you know what’s the worse part, it doesn’t just happen to common man(it happen to a common, ordinary person for sure mind it but its not limited to him, that’s what I mean) but also to those who are legends! People, who have created history from their work! Nand Lal Noorpuri is one such legend who has given so much to Punjabi literature, Punjabi community but its just so sad to see that he never got that kind of respect, that status which he truly deserved. And seeing that now a days, some idiots who has an illusion that they are either a great singer/poet/musician and yet tasting all the success, enjoying their lives with all the facilities , just makes me sick!

I was looking for something else when I found the below video. In this video, Debi Makhsoospuri  and Mangal Hathoor with couple of other guys are talking about Noorpuri! I won’t be translating the video(its in Punjabi) but I would be putting here the last poetry which is said here and was written by Noorpuri. It just took my heart away to see what has happened to this great legend and how beautifully he penned his pain in just four lines.

 

And here are those four lines! They are in Hindi and I shall be explaining its meaning in English as well,

Log jeete hain duniya mein kis shaane se,

Koi tann bech kar, koi mann bech kar!

Mere ikhlaas ka dard pehchaniye,

Maine faake khareede hain fan bech kar!

 

And here is its translation in English,

With how much pride, people live,

Even after selling their bodies and souls,

Try to understand the pain of my sincerity,

I have bought starvation after selling art of mine!

 

How sad, how so very sad it is that someone who gave his life’s 35 years to the literature, he had to say this to sum up his journey! How so very shameful it is for all of us who give so much of importance, popularity to singers like Miss Pooja, musicians like Honey Singh and writers like Bohemia who, not even after their 7 lives can touch just one percent of what these legends have done!

I can’t stop myself from putting here two lines by Mohsin Naqvi which just fit here perfectly,

Kuch dinon ke liye chalo dunia ko chhod chalein Mohsin,

Suna hail log bahot yaad karte hain chale jaane ke baad!

 

And its translation in English is,

Lets go from this world for few days,

I have heard people remember you a lot once you leave this world!

 

How so very true, isn’t it!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sangam 2010….

I just got back today morning after attending AIOUG’s 2nd user meeting Sangam. It was certainly very good to attend it since it brought one of the best and most respected Oracle guru, Jonathan Lewis to India for the very first time! It was a 2 day, highly technical event where lots of very hard-core oracle related knowledge was shared by Jonathan Lewis, Francisco Munoz Alvarez, Mark Rittman, Iggy Fernandez, Vivek Sharma and Murali Vallath. As like always, this conference gave lots of oracle professionals a chance to grow their professional network as well. Though it was really long and tiring two days( we used to start at 7.15am and would get back by 11pm something) , still it was a great experience for many reasons!

Last year, when Sangam happened for the first time, me , Amardeep and Ankit did plan to attend it but unfortunately, I was at Hyderabad at that time and was busy in my work and couldn’t go and since I didn’t go, Amardeep and Ankit also cancelled the trip(it was happening at Banglore) . We did want to attend it for sure since this was for the very first time that Tom Kyte ( of AskTom) was coming to India. But hard luck that we couldn’t go. This time, it was Jonathan Lewis was going to be the keynote speaker and we decided not to miss his first ever visit and sessions at any cost. Also, we included another very close friend Neeraj to come with us. It was going to be the very first visit of Amardeep in a flight and also this was going to be the very first that he was going out of Delhi. So obviously, it was going to be a very exciting trip for him. And since we all four were going for the very first time for such trip where we were going to get a chance to see and hear our mentors presenting live, the excitement levels were just touching sky :) . We had booked tickets, hotel almost a month before( or may be even before that, can’t recall properly) and also had applied for the leave. The very thought that we would be able to meet Jonathan Lewis was so strong that we were waiting for the travel date to come so eagerly. And finally it came as well 3 days ago and we started our journey to Hyderabad where the conference was happening this year. Me, Amardeep and Ankit were going together from Delhi whereas Neeraj was supposed to come from Pune. There would had been a very severe disaster in our plans which fortunately, didn’t happen though. Neeraj was going to travel by train and his train timing was 1.30am on 2nd September. He didn’t realize that its actually past midnight and that means, he would have to start in the night of 1st September only( which is technically morning of 2nd Sep). But he thought that he would be starting the next day and if he would had done what he had thought, he would had found out that his train has already left the previous night. Fortunately, he called Amardeep just like that and this was the time when Amardeep told him that he has to travel that very night only and not the next one! So he did start and reached as per the schedule only. We all reached on 2nd September and were waiting for the next day holding our breaths(almost) !

Finally, the next morning came and we were all set to go the venue. We reached there on time to finish the pre-registration tasks. After getting done with all those formalities, we were finally sitting and waiting for the conference to start which did get start a little late. There was an opening speech by Murali followed by the keynote presentation  by an Oracle VP and relationship manager for oracle user groups. I can’t say that I did dislike those two presentations but I somehow not able to digest the “sales presentations” very well. Since Jonathan was sitting in the first row, I was eagerly waiting for him to come and start his tech session. While the sales presentations were going on, Jonathan was busy doing his work on the laptop. But there was a moment when the Oracle VP asked that is there anyone present in the room who knows that how many versions of Oracle 6 came before it could be called a stable release and there was just one hand which did rise and it was of Jonathan who told precisely that there 36 patches which came from Oracle for its version 6 of database before it could be called stable(and then was renamed to Oracle 7) . Wow, just “wow” was the word which came from our mouths when we heard it! Jonathan has been there, done that all and his answer just reflected the same.

Finally, there came the moment and it was now Jonathan who started his session. I am too small to say anything about Jonathan except this that he is just superb! His knowledge , way of handling and solving issues, command over oracle database’s working and related behavior  is just beyond what words can explain! It was a very technical session which he presented about how to optimize sql statements! He had two sessions, one on the first day and another on the next day. After his session was over, there were some other sales related presentations which just did bore me like hell. I stepped out and outside met someone whom I wanted to meet from a long long time, Francisco! Though we interact on various web forums, portals almost daily, I was so eager to meet him in person! He is the one who nominated me for Oracle ACE award as well! I was so desperate to meet him and finally did on the 1st day of the conference. What a person he is, so friendly, so nice and so energetic! Even though we met for the first time, it didn’t occur to me even for once that its our first meet! I finally got a chance to say thanks to him for nominating me for the ACE award for which he very kindly said that you do deserve it Aman! What else I can say except Thanks to such kind gesture! It was a complete pleasure to meet him and I just hope that I would get a chance to meet him again soon!

Conference was packed with many technical talks. There were non-stop technical sessions happening simultaneously in two rooms and it did continue for both the days. As I mentioned above, besides Jonathan and Francisco, it was Mark(Rittman), Iggy(Fernandez), Vivek(Sharma) , Murali(Vallath) who also were presenting. In addition to these tech sessions, there were several (boring) sales related presentations as well from the sponsors of the event. Needless to say that those were the most boring part of the entire conference. But we couldn’t do anything except sitting and yawning oops, hearing what those sales guys had to say :) . Why we couldn’t escape from such events? Well, they were precisely put before the start of lunch and it was announced that lunch would be served only when the presentation would be over. I guess,it was evident that there was no other way to hold up people :) . so we did listen to the sales talks and then went for lunch and that’s the reason I said that we were “made” to listen to those talks! Not fair right ;) .

It was a 2 day event and the same technical information flow was happening on that day as well. Since the conference was starting very early( 8am in the morning) , we had to start much earlier from our guest house to be at the venue on time(7.15am) with just having tea and bread toast! And I must say, its a real bad thing to do to start your day with just a bread toast and that too so early in the morning! Add to it tons of technical information and you have got a perfect recipe to make one feet super tired by the end of the day which was exactly our stage for both the days. But still, all of this pain was well worth since it may not happen again( at least very soon) that we would get a chance to hear Jonathan speaking live and direct! It was once a life time opportunity( at least let me say, for the moment it appears like one) and anything else was of least importance compared to it, even the bread toast breakfast too!

Finally, the 2nd day also came to an end and just before the conference could be called finished, Jonathan did an open Q/A session. Though we had attended two of his sessions already in these two days but this session was simply awesome! JL took questions from the audience and gave their answers and once again showed that why he is so respected in the entire world and he is a mentor, guru and role model for those millions of oracle professionals (including me) . Once the conference came to an end, there was a long picture and autograph session which happened( un-officially) ! Everyone wanted to be in the picture with JL and many got this chance as well.

Besides all the above things, this conference became special for me for some personal reasons as well! Though I won’t let those reasons take over me (and that’s the reason I am mentioning about them over here, on my personal space. The very first thing happened when there was an open session conducted related to Real Application Cluster(RAC) by Sateyndra Kumar. He is vice-president of AIOUG and also holding a senior position in the board for RAC in Asia Pacific( I forgot the position title). During the session , he mentioned that he is looking for regional leaders in various cities of India. When he mentioned Delhi, my friend Virag Sharma, raised my hand and said that consider Aman for the same title! To which Sateyndra mentioned that he certainly  can and he also mentioned that he(me, Aman) is an Oracle ACE as well! Then, after finishing his 2nd presentation , Francisco shared with the community who was present there , the information related to ACE program, its benefits and how one can go for it. In the same talk, he told all that including him, there are 4 ACE (and ACE directors) sitting in the room out of which, one was me too. At that time, he mentioned my name and told all that Aman is an ACE ! A minute after he said, I was approached by many who were sitting around me to wish me congratulations! Thanks so much Francisco once again for being so kind! Thanks so much! To my surprise, there were many who told me that they do read my Oracle blog and appreciate my work! Thanks a lot guys for the kind words. Okay, now if things would have stopped here, it would be still okay but then there was something else which did happen and made the whole trip unforgettable for me. What happened,well I was asked to sign autograph! WHAT! An autograph and from me, I mean even the sound of this statement is so embarrassing for me! I am no one, nothing , doesn’t know anything about Oracle, yet I was asked to give autographs. To be honest,  I have really no idea that why me! Very reluctantly, I did sign my signature for two people. I am not sure what to say except this that I was feeling so shy while doing so but still, I am so thankful to those who considered me worthy enough to give them an autograph! Thanks so much guys, thanks so very much! You have no idea how much it means to me and I shall never forget that moment in my life ever.

Finally, it was the end of the conference and we got back to Delhi yesterday evening. We still can’t completely believe that we have finally met Jonathan in person and I am sure, it would still take a day or two before this would sink in us completely :) . And I got a chance to meet my friend Francisco as well which was very deep wish of mine to do from a long time! Overall, it was a very memorable experience and hope I would be able to attend as maximum as possible conferences related to Oracle wherever and whenever possible!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I Shall Be At Sangam, Will You….

This is just a quick post to say that I shall be leaving today with Amardeep Sidhu , Ankit Goel and Neeraj Bhatia to attend AIOUG’s annual oracle conference Sangam which is happening at Hyderabad this year. If you are also attending, just come and say Hi! I hope it would be good two days of Oracle and just Oracle :-) . I am not presenting this time so I would have plenty of time to attend my favorite sessions and meet my friend, Francisco Munoz Alvarez and one of the best known Oracle guru’s in this world, Jonathan Lewis.

Its time for me to get going and do the last minute checks for ticket printouts and everything else. Next stop would be Hyderabad!