Friday, June 24, 2011

Somehow, I Did It….

Its Friday but I am still at Singapore, fortunately in the same hotel where I was the entire week. The hotel got a cancellation and didn’t throw me out but gave me an extension today for a day till tomorrow :) . I went to have dinner and tried a new place today as well(have tried one yesterday and did dine at an old place as well). Did buy some chocolates and now, back in the room of mine.

As I mentioned already in an another post, I came to Singapore in 2006 for the first time. At that time, I was totally messed up mentally(just for the record, I still am) or may be I can say that the mental breakdown of mine happened at that time and it hasn’t healed since then. I did get up from a very serious sickness(stayed in the hospital for many weeks) and got an offer to come here. I took the offer to come here to change the environment around me because I was almost dead and if anything could distract me was a place change and loads of work.  And these are the two things that I am doing since then, moving from place to place and working my arse off. I was almost dead once again just few months ago too but like the last time, unfortunately, I again survived. Anyways, these are not important talks since I am going to talk about my visit here neither I am going to mention the reason for me being dead. So as I was saying that I came here for a very important program and this was going to by my first ever international session. I had a lot of experience in delivering sessions within India but hadn’t got a chance to present internationally. The stakes were really high and so was the pressure. I cleared the interview and finally landed up here. I met here the senior manager of delivery who took so much care of me, in fact treated me like a little kid and paid attention to every small detail which could make the difference of heaven and hell in the session. I speak very fast and she made me deliver the session on a weekend just to make sure that I am speaking with the right speed not like a jet. There was another instructor, who had been here from many years and was a very senior guy. He helped me a lot in understanding this place, gave me tips about being here and most needed, assurance that I shall be able to pull it off. Then when I was about to start, there was another instructor who took me along to lunch (its a tradition here to take the entire class with you over lunch for the first day to increase the interaction). I met another instructor whom I was told is a very senior instructor and as like any normal guy, I was just amazed to be with such all big people, I truly was!

The module that I was about to take at that time, it wasn’t new for me but the entire set up that was going to be used by me to deliver it, indeed was and it took me some time to understand it. I did put all of my efforts in the module and managed to pull it very well. I was scared to death that how it would do but fortunately, it did went well. I guess if I can give the credit to my preparation for it, I must give the same to the above mentioned people as well who gave so much confidence to a small town guy like me who was shattered by someone already and was completely down in every aspect. I still use all the tips given at that time in my sessions and just like a proven formula, they work all the time, all thanks to the above people for it!

Time kept on moving with its own pace and I did deliver many modules after it, within India and outside India too. But it didn’t happen that I could come back to this office again. Though I wanted to be here so much but somehow, it just didn’t happen. There were many occasions when it appeared that I shall be coming but it didn’t happen. But last month, there was a requirement and usual what happens with me all the time, I was told that the delegates were going to be very senior and experienced, a statement which is enough to send chills down the spine of any instructor. Well, just like the first time, I again had to appear for an interview which I did clear with good ranking. Still, that interview wasn’t the final test but it was the actual session which was going to be the ultimate test. Well, you got to do what you got to do, no matter how scared you are! So I just pulled my socks and thought will see what will happen and finally, landed here, a place where I came long time back!

There wasn’t much changed I guess. Its the same place and all the rules and regulations were same. Yeah, I have put on some weight and one of the instructors whom I met have shave off his beard now. The another one has left the education industry :) . But other than this, all appeared to be the same. Yeah, there are many new shops which are opened now. Anyways, here I was , at a office where I came so long back and from where I started off the international sessions of mine. It was so good to meet my mentors again though it wasn’t for a long time since all have become even more senior and busy now. But still, it was just great to be with them. The instructor, about whom I was told that he is very senior, was going to attend my session this time. Can you believe it?  I mean what can be more happening for a guy like me to see that such a senior instructor is attending his session. Well, to be honest, as much as it did make me happy, in the same manner it made me nervous as well since it just increased the pressure to even more high level. Well, you got to do what you got to do and that’s what I thought and decided to start off. It was a rather large group compared to the normal number that we get here and all the guys were very senior guys indeed and had a lot of experience, knowledge and willingness to learn. In addition to it, all were so friendly too. There were two Indian guys were too in the session with whom I went to have lunch and both were really really nice! One of the guys daily would ask me that whether I had the breakfast or not and what I am going to do in the evening, where I am going to have dinner and whether I am going to go somewhere or not? He gave me so many tips about many things and also told me that what has changed now here since all the years. He also took me this place Pangat to have lunch which was much better than Komlas where I used to have lunch alone. We did go Komlas too but its quality has become much bad now I guess. So this guy took so much care of me and all I can just say is thanks to him. He is here with his wife and daughter and is planning to come back to India soon. Hope I shall meet him soon again. The other guy has already started the process to come back to India. Anyways, all were so good and friendly and we had some great technical discussions. It was so good to be with all such intelligent folks and share with them the little knowledge of mine about oracle database.

Besides remembering the memories of the office, I also have some other memories over here. I still remember the hotel where I stayed. I called someone on an international call at mid night before I was going to come back to India. I am sure that person must not have any memory of it but I do remember it so well. I remember the place where I used to go and have dinner, a south Indian eating joint whose owner and manager, both were a Punjabi guy and gal. Since I was going to stay at the place which was very close to this, I decided to visit there. When I visited there, I forgot the owner’s name. But I did remember rest all of the things and when I finally met the owner, he was shocked that how the heck I still remember all of it. I even told him that his counter was on the other side than where it is now :) . I also passed by that hotel where I stayed, made the call. Its the same I guess, I wanted to go inside but then didn’t. I had dinner one day at the old place, the subsequent two days at two new places(including today). I am not sure that I was able to spot many changes except some obvious ones but it was good to come back and see all of it again, it really was!

Besides meeting the people from the old time, I also wanted to meet some people whom I came across in the past few years over various channels of oracle world which are, Porus Homi Havewala, Hemant Chitale and Maran Viswarayar. All are from Singapore only and Hemant and Porus belong to the same club of mine, Oracle ACE! I could only meet Porus though and was just able to talk to Maran and Hemant over phone. But it was still great to meet with Porus and even able to talk to Hemant and Chitale. Hope I shall meet them soon in person as well.

I didn’t go to any place even when I was suggested to go too. Just didn’t have the mood. But I still managed to get a coffee mug for me from Starbucks Coffee. Its actually quite big but I liked the design of it so much! Also I did buy some chocolates for me :) . I am not sure that whether I shall buy something else or not. May be will buy if I shall like something but chances are very less of it if you ask me. Since Gunjan is also at her home now, I don’t have any one for whom I shall go and look for something. But still, I shall still give a final look, just in case that there may be something worthy enough to spend money upon!

It was a good session and since I have just got the rating score as well, I guess I can say it with complete confidence that it went really well! Hope I was able to live up to the hopes of my mentors who were assured that I shall do well and I also hope that I was able to say a thing or two which the delegates had found useful. Its been 5 years since the last when I came to this office and I just hope, the next visit happens much sooner than this! Time to be on the bed now!

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