Monday, May 30, 2011

Yes I Did….

I have been asked number of times that whether I do know any other Indian(or foreign language) besides Hindi(national language), Punjabi(native language) and English(global language) . And the question is quite obvious since I travel a LOT. Also, at times, its asked that if I don’t know, didn’t I ever try to learn any language too? Well, the answer of both is partially yes and yes. Partially yes for knowing other languages than the three I mentioned and yes for that I in fact did try (a really honest and effortless try) to learn one language of India. Heck, I even bought books, audio tapes to teach me that! Yesterday, while looking for an Oracle book, I did find one of those books in my closet.

photo (1)

I bought this book in 2003. Needless to mention that I did read it more than once and not just for learning speaking but for writing as well. I have one more such book and few audio tapes for the same. Even, I was going to hire a tutor to teach me the same in person,a guy who came to my office when I was working at Chandigarh for a job. My manager was so mad at me because that guy came for a technical instructor job and when I came to know that he knows the language, I totally forgot that I have to ask him questions about Oracle :-) . Crazy? Yes it is!

I won’t mention that why I did start learning the language so passionately and why I stopped after couple of years so don’t bother asking it. But I did give it my best of the efforts so the answer of the question that I get almost every week is a sure yes!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Finally, A Small But Much Needed Break….

If you are a regular here, you must have read my last post SMC, you would be knowing that after a continuous 6 days of work and a mere Sunday off, there was a grilling week which was waiting for me. Gladly, that week is over and not just over but with a  great satisfaction too came when I was closing the session.

As I said couple of times by now, I had an expectation that the last week would be really hectic. And as like always with me, any wrong/bad feeling that I get into my mind, does come true so the same actually happened as well. When I reached to the office(and I reached very early, 8am itself) , I saw that the whole setup was different from the past sessions that I had taken and due to a change in the policy, I can’t access the support documents for it anymore as well. You can imagine from this that in how much tension I came after seeing this that while I was sitting in an centrally air-conditioned room, drops of sweat came over my forehead right away. I tried to check couple of things, called a support technician and did understand the details. After almost two hours of struggling, I finally was able to finish the setup that was going to happen in the entire day. Did I mention that I yet had to start the session? Yes, I still hadn’t started the session and all the delegates were already sitting and waiting for me to start. I got 30 minutes late in the starting of the session but still, I was confident enough that all is going to work well since I had already tested it. Can’t say that being late was a great start but still, it was much better than being clueless!

The entire week was very tiring. The module which I was conducting, is called “accelerated module” as its a combined session of two different modules where one is for 4 days and another for 3 days. So in total, both the sessions are of 7 days in total but the session that I was conducting, its a combined session of 5 days. Yes 7 days worth talk in 5 days only! So you can imagine that how tough it would had been for me to finish the entire module and that too without leaving anything from it. And it was not much of a problem for me than it was for the delegates since they were being pushed by me to finish the practices quickly so that we could go ahead with the session. And this still wasn’t so bad if you ask me. There was something more worse than this which was there IMO.

The session,which I was teaching was a new course. Now, with the latest release of any course, its expected that it would be more refined and would bring more information for the delegates who would attend it. But the thing with this course of mine was, there was a lot of talk in it about many other, new things but not that much information was there for which anyone would actually come and join it. Definitely, things discussed in it were new and it was important for the delegates to understand them as well. But more than that information, the delegates (and anyone who would come for the same course) were more inclined to know about the last topic of the course since that’s what the course should had been all about in the first place. The older version of the course was actually had a lot of information about the said topic but the new one didn’t have much. And being one who had taught three different releases of the same course, I was completely able to understand where the delegates were coming from about their mentioning of this feedback about the course. But, for something, you have no other choice but to accept them the way they are handed over to you and that’s the same which I told to the delegates. Fortunately, they did understand and accept my reply and with the extra references that I shared with them, I hope they would be able to bridge the gap by themselves. The delegates were extremely good, friendly and passionate about the entire course. I had a great time (as like always) talking to them about the entire thing and also did share with them, a lot of references, names of the big shots of Oracle community and books which I thought would help them on their learning path. All the delegates, when we closed the session, had a smile on their face and as I say always, that’s a sign (and a real important one) that they were happy from me and from whatever I discussed with them in the session. Thanks so much guys for so kind words of yours, for your patience and co-operation. I hope and wish that I shall meet you all very soon either in some other program or whenever I shall be next at Banglore.

There wasn’t anything much exciting that did happen in my journey back to home except this that my flight got late by two hours and this happened with this particular airline company now for the 5h time. I am sure that we won’t be using this airline anymore in the future. We were told that it is possible that the flight may get cancelled as well but fortunately, it didn’t happen and I was able to reach Delhi. After a long and tiring night travel, first with a cab and then with a bus, I made it to home. After a grueling 2 week’s of work, that’s the best place to be to get myself together. And since my sister Gunjan is also visiting home for few days, I can’t ask for anything better to make myself happy, can I :) ?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SMC(Session, Miscommunication, Coffee)….

I couldn’t think of any other title to describe all the three things that’s the reason for SMC and I think it came up quite nice isn’t it :-) . There are three different things that I wanted to talk about and that’s the best I could think of to combine them together.

If you are a regular here you must be aware that I had a three days session which I finished at Hyderabad and then I flew to here, Banglore for another 3 days session. Its normally till Friday I work but for this session, the Saturday was also occupied. Besides that it was going to be really hectic taking a session back to back including a travel as well, the module that I was supposed to take was also a new and tough one for me. I had taught an early version of this many times but this was going to be the first time for me for this version’s session. Gladly, it did go okay. I had just three delegates with me and as per them, they learned many a new things in these three days. With lesser number of delegates, its always less efforts that you have to spend while doing the delivery. But whatever efforts I could save in this, I had to spend equally if not more, for the preparation of the module. But all said and done, it did work out okay. The delegates were really nice, friendly and were eager to learn. And more over this was their first experience of such kind of training. When such is the case, I try to make the experience so good that the delegates must mention that they would come back to have another session which I am hopeful that they would do for sure. I haven’t got the official rating yet but after the end of the session, the manage of the venue, where the session got conducted, came to me and asked that whether I can do the same program for their company as well? To which I said no but the good thing that she told me was that she asked the delegates and they said very kind words for me. I normally don’t settle down unless I don’t see the official rating but I hope, it would be okay. Even they asked me that since they have another requirement for the same session at a different location so how can they ensure that I only would come! What more you would want to hear to tell you that they did like you and whatever you spoke in the session? Thanks so much guys for all the kind words and I hope you enjoyed the program. Hope to see you again soon in some another program and may be, will get a chance to take another session of your friends as well! Thanks so much again!

Communication is a really important thing. I mean how else this world could run if there wouldn’t be any communication right! But, as much as communication is important and helpful, in the same manner, miscommunication is dangerous and useless. And if you add with miscommunication ignorance(genuine) , well then you get a perfect recipe of disaster, disaster which is unstoppable, unavoidable at any cost. And that sort of same happened yesterday when me and my friend Asif Momen, who came from Riyadh on a business meeting here at Banglore, decided to meet. Since we both were working and at very far locations, I asked him to come to Forum Mall which is at Kormangala. Now, little fact that I didn’t know that there is another mall, with the same name at his location too with just one difference that the location is about 40kms away from kormangala. Neither he asked me anything nor I did ask anything to him or anyone else that whether is any other mall with the same name or not? So what could happen, he was standing there and waiting for me and I was standing at here doing the same. I was really confused since he was mentioning that he is standing next to KFC which according to him, was adjacent to McDonalds but all I could see was McDonalds! Well, after couple of phone calls and inquiring from some localities, we did realize the whole scenario. Well, there wasn’t anything that we could do since the distance was too large and any attempt done by anyone to come to the other person would had caused a very long wait to be done. It was really disappointing because we were looking forward to meet and there wasn’t another time or day because Asif was leaving today afternoon and I wasn’t free. Well,nothing could be done at least this time so we put it pending for some time in the future. But indeed the lesson that miscommunication=mishap, was learned loud and clear.

After I finished the session, I decided to go to Barista. The have launched a new Hawaiian range of coffees and other such drinks and I had a plan to taste all of them one by one. So I did order a cold coffee called something like Wild Coffee Mojito or whatever the heck it’s name was along with a veg pasta. The coffee came and it looked nice but as they say, all that glitters is not gold, in the same way, just because it appeared tasty, doesn’t mean that it had to be tasty too. It was so bad that I had to force myself to finish even half of the glass. But after that, I gave up, the coffee, but didn’t let go the dare to experiment. And now I ordered a normal drink called Mango Madness or Mad Mango or whatever. Fortunately, it was good, at least it was better than that coffee for sure. I paid a huge amount and then while going out, bought an apple pie too. This was the first time that I had an apple pie or any pie as a matter of the fact and I don’t know that I am really wiling to eat it again. But who knows, right!

So finally, after a (possibly good) session, a messed up meeting and tasting one bad and one good drink, I am having a day off tomorrow before I shall start the work. Hope I shall get some rest tomorrow because the next week is going to be a tough one and I am sure about it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pics Update(Feedback)….

No, it’s not the feedback for the session that I have just finished. My delegates are still filling it up for me and I have my fingers crossed that it comes out to be good. I mentioned the term feedback for the wedding pics album of Gunjan's wedding. Well, I am not Tom Cruise so it’s not that it was viewed by millions and billions worldwide but by a few of my friends who couldn’t come to the wedding and asked me to post the pics as soon as possible. Again, the list of them is not so long( that doesn’t mean many did come though, very few did arrive actually). Anyways, so here are, in a broad manner, the comments that I have received.

1) The blue tie, that I am wearing with my suit, is not looking at all good and I must never attempt to wear it again.

2) I am not at all smiling or if I am in some random pic somewhere, its so evident that it’s fake.

3) I am looking so much tensed, worried and tired.

4) I am looking nice in the turban and with the veil around my neck.

5) I am looking nice in the white Kurta and jeans.

6) Gunjan is looking gorgeous.

7) Gunjan is looking really nice and sweet.

8) Gunjan and Vikram, both are looking really amazing and gorgeous.

8) The place is looking really nice.

And that’s about it.

I did put comments related to Gunjan in the end because all are nice :) . Okay comments about comments time. I don’t know about the tie color and whether it did suit me or not since I went in so much hurry to get “something” for me and picked up whatever I liked in that time span spent at the showroom of Blackberrys. The salesman said that the tie is looking okay and I just said, give it to me then! That’s all! I guess, I shall wear that tie now on my work and would buy another (better?) one some other time.

I have no idea about smiling or not smiling face of mine since I was taking care of tons of things and there was no time for me to worry about myself. That’s the reason for looking tensed , worried and tired too. I didn’t sleep for couple of days and there wasn’t much I could do about looking tired :) . Same goes for the turban. I have no idea that how it looked over me. I have been told that it was looking nice but I was thinking that it was placed wrong over my head and is not a proper fit. But seems that it wasn’t so bad after all.

Yes, I normally don’t get a chance to wear that white Kurta and jeans because I am on travel most of the time. That was the first time that I wore that kurta even when I had bought it in this last winter season. I expected it to look okay over me and I am glad that it didn’t disappoint me :-).

That said, my favorite section and for what I worked so hard- Gunjan and Vikram were looking gorgeous! That’s what the intention was and if that did happen, I think it doesn’t matter at all how I was looking or appearing. It was their day and all what I did was just to ensure that they must be happy and so do our families. And I am glad that it did happen :-) .

I guess my delegates are done filling up the feedback forms. Time to collect them and close the session. I shall be traveling today to Banglore for a session and with cold, fever and sore throat, it doesn’t appear to be an easy task to accomplish.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Travel Time & Mood Swings….

At times, within a very short time, your mood changes either by seeing something, meeting someone, reading or hearing something or even by eating something. That’s almost the same that did happen with me just now too when I read couple of things at the same time out of which, few raised my eyebrows and few brought a smile on my face. Needless to mention that the mood did change a lot and in a complete contrast when I read both the kind of things. First, let me tell that part which did bring a smile on my face. It’s an email that I have received from a delegate who attended one of my sessions some time back. Somehow, he remembered me as “Amit” and was using this name to send the email. Obviously, that couldn’t reach to me because this is Aman and not Amit LOL. Well, better late than never, so finally, he somehow saw on the certificate of his that the name of the instructor was Aman so he sent immediately the below email which just made my day. I have edited names from the email but the entire content is unchanged and is exactly same what he wrote to me. Have a read,

Kiddan sir…

I am working with XXX and I attended your Oracle 11g training (XX-XX XXXX XXXXX).

I must say that I this training has motivated me to work on SQL tuning more now. To be honest, I hadn't worked on Oracle for the last 4 years but prior to that I worked extensively on tuning SQL's and to a large extent I was able to do so. I had tuned many applications for XXXXX and XXXX. But your training was a class apart, the content that your covered and the examples were really the way I want to understand things.

I wanted to THANK YOU for the training and now I want to become one of the few INDIANS that you said are into Performance tuning.

That “kiddan sir” is actually pure Punjabi speak and it means, “how are you sir”. I don’t think that I need to mention anything that why this email brought a big smile on my face and whether I did reply to it or not. I can’t say anything else except this that I felt really honored to hear such kind words given the fact that I know nothing about Oracle database. All I can say is thanks for so kind words and respect which I don’t even know that I actually deserve or not too.

Now, the note which raised my eyebrows and turned my cheeks burning red was a comment that I got over this post that I wrote some time back. I don’t get upset easily but reading that just pressed the “don’t touch me, danger” button of mine. Ironically, over the same post, a person who asks from me lots of her Oracle related doubts, said some very kind lines as well. Again, a complete contrast between the replies of mine you can see over there.

Okay, keeping mood aside, it’s time for me to be on the road from tomorrow. I was at home for almost 15 days for my sister’s wedding which went well(thank god for it). So its time now for me to get back to work and do it more harder than before as well. I shall be honest that I am a little sad seeing some things like, this time, I packed my bag myself which my sister  always did for me. Second, my mom and dad would be completely alone now and no one would be there at home taking care of them and doing any naughty things to cheer them up as well. Yes, there is television, phone but that’s not enough. I wish I could do something about it but I guess, I just have to tackle this situation the way it is  for right now and in the future as well in a hope that all remains fine while I am not there at home, especially with my mom’s health. About the sessions, they are going to be tough ones, really tough ones and I am just hoping and praying that all remains fine for them as well. It’s time to be on the bed because its going to be a long and tiring day tomorrow. Pray for me guys and wish me luck because I need both of the things desperately.

Blogger Troubles & Pics….

If you are thinking that I have forgotten the spells of the world relieved in my last post feeling relievedd, well that’s not the case. I did it on purpose to remind me that it’s a post that I have re-posted on Friday because Blogger did some blunder and due to the maintenance of it, they removed the posts posted from Wednesday(temporarily). As per this post, they are now back to functional and are also restoring the posts(slowly). Mine, which was posted on Thursday, haven’t yet restored so I have posted the same with a new( and with wrong spells) to avoid the confusion. I hope my original post comes back soon from Blogger’s backup tapes.

As I had mentioned in the last post that I shall be uploading the pictures as soon as I shall get them. Well, I got them last night in the raw format. Raw means that they are given to me in the form in which they are captured. There were a lot of them and the total size, without compressing the pictures, was coming up to around 5gb. After compressing, the overall album size got much reduced and further more, I selected a handful that I thought are adequate to be posted publically. Still, I have to put names and captions on the pics which I shall be doing slowly and steadily. But in the meantime, you can have a look at them at my Picasa web album here. As I said already, I am really not looking very good in the pics but that’s not really important because its not me who is important but Gunjan and Vikram and both are looking just gorgeous. God bless them both and save them from any trouble and anything bad that would try to come towards them!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Feeling Relievedd….

There is a saying that behind every successful man, there is a woman. Well, I am not really a successful man so I wont say that that this proverb suits me perfectly. But yes, I can surely say one thing that there is not just one but two women in my life who have always been the pillars of my strength. These two ladies know me more well than anyone else in this world, have seen me in my best and worst times and also, stood with me as well. They guided me, loved me, cared for me and still do in a way that I don’t think anyone else would ever be able to do so. There are so many things of my life which only these two know about. And these two are, my mother and my sister Gunjan. Well, there is one another, third lady who knows most about me. She has seen some of those shades of mine which no one else would ever be allowed to see. In two days and few hours spent on an early morning on the airport, I had told her some of those things, pains, secrets of my life which I never did share neither will ever do with anyone else again. Don’t bother asking who the third lady is because this post is about my sister Gunjan, about whom I am going to talk about here.

We are just two brother and sister, me and my younger sister Gunjan. Those , who know me more than my professional life and have been given access by me to get a little closer to my personal life( and there are just a handful of such people), they must know this fact that she is a complete contrast to me. Where I am a more calm and quite kind of person, she is a complete party freak, fun loving, always smiling person( not that I don’t smile but it’s much lesser compared to her). For me, the reason to smile is always her. If I see her happy and smile, that’s what I would need for me to smile.There are many things which I can say but as I said, access to that information is not going to be given to anyone so I shall just say this that I never bothered for me to smile or being happy but I did try my best to make her happy and smile, doesn’t matter how tough it was for me to do. That’s the same which I have tried to do for all those whom I have loved and cared. I don’t know how far I have been successful in doing so but that God knows that I did try (and will always keep on doing) my level best for it always. I don’t have  any brother, but for me, she always acted like one. There are just so many incidents that I can say when she acted like a brother for me. Few years back, there was this very cold night of January. After a phone call,  I was sitting on the cold floor, crying while hiding my face in my knees and she came out and took me in. I was crying so much and she just kept consoling me , at the same time, scolding me and at the same time, wiping my tears from the eyes. After few days, I was in the hospital and she was there with me all the time. Two times, one few years back in the past and one just now, second, few months back, I was on the verge of death and I know, she was mad, angry like anything seeing me in that situation. I was hospitalized and she was right there taking care of me and also, scolding me. Don’t ask what were the reasons for me being like that because at the moment, this post is about nothing else but Gunjan. She is the reason that I smile. Looking at her childish acts made me smile so many times. There are tons of times when I have been angry over her too but again, that wasn’t something which ever lasted for more than few hours. You can’t stay angry and mad over someone who is the reason for you to feel alive, feel happy, feel important and for me, one of those VERY few people is my sister Gunjan. Not just that she is my sister, I am saying that she is so much good. She has been working now for almost 10+ years in her profession of make-up and skin and she has proved numerous times that she is so much good in anything and everything that she would get into. There is nothing what makes a parent and a brother more proud than hearing from a third person that your daughter/sister is really good! And guess what, Gunjan made me and our mom,dad hear it countless times and not just for her professional excellence but also for her nature. What more can a brother, parent ask for you may ask after hearing such nice things? Well, there is still one thing which did bother us for a very long time, something which I never talked about with anyone(except  the above mentioned lady) else except my family. And that was about Gunjan’s wedding, a task that can be so massive if you are all alone to handle it.

I haven’t shared this with anyone that how much the thoughts of Gunjan’s wedding made me worried and tensed. There was lots of matchmaking that our parents were doing for this but nothing was getting successful. On top of it, the thoughts of how it would be done was always in my mind. We do say that money is not everything but at some moments, money is indeed the most important thing. Being an elder and only brother, it was mine and only mine, responsibility to get this done in the most perfect manner possible. In the last two years, I worked not just hard but very hard to make sure that I have that much of money to get the wedding arranged of my sister in the best possible manner. But before that, a suitable match was required for her and as like it’s said, “better late than never” , we did find one which is not just suitable but actually one of the best that could be there for Gunjan, Vikram. A very nice, humble, respectful guy who is so down to earth. I couldn’t get much time to spend with him initially but whatever little time I did spend, it was more than enough to tell me that he is the perfect choice for Gunjan. And the same goes for the entire family as well. Even after having a very high status and position in the social circle, they are so loving, caring and down to earth. If you are a brother of a sister, you would understand that how much it means to you and how much you would be happy seeing that your sister is going in such a nice family and all what you can do is to say thanks to that God for being so kind to make it happen for your sister. So the first step was taken and now it was the second (and one of the most important one) which was pending, to arrange the wedding. And I can assure, if you are alone, have never done it before, this can be a real challenge!

I started doing the preparations months before. The very first thing was to select the venue for it. We were expecting a large gathering and I needed to select the venue based on this that it must be spacious enough to cater at least 1000 people easily. Not to forget that I didn’t have countless cash with me to get it done. And it must have to be near to my home as well because being on the other end of the ciry would had created lots of hassle for me. So with these three things in mind, I started the search. After searching and interviewing a lot of venues, I finally zeroed down Sunrise Farms(here is another link). Its a very spacious property, is on the national highway for Chandigarh. I had a really long meeting with it’s manager Gurmeet Singh and I explained to him all what I needed and how. I must mention, though it’s not cheap but it’s not that costly either that I couldn’t afford it. Gurmeet gave me lots of idea and suggestions. One of the suggestions was to select a good decorator and he suggested me to go the one with whom he has worked with number of times. The guy’s name is Deva and I had a meeting with him few days after. There is a new trend now a days for having a revolving stage (see the video below to know what it means) at the time of Jai Mala. I never knew about it so asked Deva and he said yes, it’s a new trend now and it would be arranged. After selecting other things like color scheme, sitting arrangement and some other decorations, finally we closed the meeting.

 

The next step was to select the cook and the items that would be there in the menu. Tell you what, if you are going to arrange your own cook, you got TONS of things to do and this includes buying the vegetables, fruits, grocery, milk products and every other thing that’s possibly needed in a wedding. And if you have to buy it on your own, it can be as harder as like climbing Mount Everest. After a lot of research I selected a cook who is in the business from last 40 years. Now he and his son both are running the business of doing the massive cooking in the large functions. I had a meeting with the father in the father-son duo and explained to him that I want nothing but the best for my sister’s wedding and no complaint must come. For which,he assured me that people would ask that who was the cook than giving complaints and that’s the same happened. Though I didn’t have anything except a few rice and vegetable at about 1am in the night, but those who had tasted the food told me that it was really good. Once the cook was selected, the next step was to start doing the purchase of the good and stuff that he and other people needed. And now, I was getting outnumbered since I was only one who had to manage. There came my friends Amandeep(Saini), Arvinder and Sunil to help me out. Me,Arvinder and Sunil went to the vegetable and fruits wholesale market to get the things. Now, both the markets start at 3am in the morning and if you want the best stuff(not the price, there is no negotiation of it in the wholesale market), you must go at that time. I don’t have much of the habit of sleeping now and whatever little sleep I get too, that's gone when I have this thought in my mind that I have to wake up early and go for some work. So I didn’t sleep at all for two days since it took two visits of us to the market to get the complete stuff. I had never done it before and I had never been to that market before. It’s an entirely different world altogether and you need to be having lots of strength to move around in that market, to talk and finalize the deals with the wholesalers. Though we had hired people to carry the vegetable and fruits from the market to our delivery vehicle but we all three were also carrying bags on our shoulders and putting them in the vehicle to get the work done more quickly. It was a really tiring process but we were happy that we could get it done properly and select the stuff that we would like to eat, the best one from the entire market.

There were many small things that we tried to take care about. For example, in the sweets, we had selected ice-cream given that it’s summer time. Now, I had to finalize a supplier for it. We wanted to get the best one and if you want to get the best supplier of a food product, you got to taste their stuff before giving them the order. Well, that’s the same I did. I guess, there is no supplier in my place whom I left spare. There are about 8 suppliers in my place and I went to each and everyone of them, asked them to give me a spoon full to taste their ice-creams. If you are not eating the ice-cream for fun but to inspect, you tend to see a lot of things in that spoon.I learned a lot how it’s prepared and what to check when buying one. Finally, I selected the supplier which has the 2nd highest price in the city but probably the best taste from all. Likewise, in every small thing, which needed attention, was given a handful of it. There was absolutely nothing that I wanted to get out of the track. Me, Arvinder even selected the best of the serving guys and gave them strict instructions that nothing on their end must go wrong. I don’t get angry easily but when I do, its not good and that’s the same I told them. Fortunately, it wasn’t needed on my part to get angry over them since all of them did their work very nicely and efficiently.

You must be wondering that I am mentioning everything but not this that what I did buy for me for the occasion.  Gunjan asked me to get a face clean and facial done(I forgot which one she told me to get) before the wedding. Also, she asked me to get something really nice like a traditional Indian dress for the wedding. Well, I barely got time just enough to get the shave done ( I did it at about 7pm on the day of wedding, took bath at that time too) so there goes the face clean and facial. About the wardrobe, I just bought a suit 2 days prior to the wedding. I have really no idea how the heck I was looking on the wedding night. Yes, I do know that I was full of sweat and was just running from one corner to another, attending everyone. I haven’t got the pics yet. As soon as I shall get them from the photo studio, I shall post them on my Picasa web album and if you do find that in none or most of them, I am not smiling or in a messed up wardrobe like shirt sneaking out of trouser, well just remember that I was doing almost everything and there was little to no time for me to look at myself or care that how I was looking.

The entire event absolutely smoothly. As like always, very few people were left till the end of the ceremony. Gunjan left at about 5am. As like any brother, there were tears in my eyes too but I did control most of them(couldn’t stop them from coming at all). I couldn’t cry as much as I wanted to because of my mom. She and Gunjan were already crying so much. In fact, Gunjan was crying since the very beginning of the prayers which lasted for about 3 hours. My mom is  a heart patient and I must had to make sure that she wouldn’t get sick or something wrong would happen to her. So even though, I wanted to hug someone so tight and cry my heart, I was just wiping my tears silently. There are so many prices to pay to be an elder and one of them is that you must at least look strong to give strength to others even when you yourself need the most of it.

There is a ceremony called “fera” which means that the brother would bring the sister to her parental home after a day of her wedding for one night and her in-laws would take her back the next day. So me and Saini went the other day to fetch Gunjan back. She stayed for a night and yesterday, her in-laws and Vikram came to take her back to her own home. After that event, there are some other matters which I have to close like paying to all the people and distributing post-wedding gifts to some selected people. It’s almost 7 days that I haven’t slept either not at all or for just an hour or so. My legs, feet are swollen and my good’ol friend, the furious fever , has returned the other day as well. I shall be traveling very soon so I need to get myself in one piece before that. I need some rest but I am not sure that when I shall get that. It’s time to get some tea and then check back first with the photographer about the pics. Do keep watching this place and/or my Picasa public gallery for the pics.

It wouldn’t be right to close this post without saying this that I am feeling very relieved and happy that I could do what a brother must do for his sister. I have mentioned just a few of the things but have skipped a lot of details and few secrets that probably would be hidden in my chest for the rest of my life. Since I am elder from both, I shall be there both as long as I am here and I just hope, wish and shall pray to god that he would bless both Gunjan and Vikram his choicest blessings and shower so much smiles, happiness and success to both in anything and everything that they would do. Congrats Gudia(one and first out of those two gals who got this nick name from me) and Vikram, I love you both so much!

Last but certainly not the least, thank you Saini, Arvinder and Sunil for being there with me when I needed you guys the most. I can’t even try to imagine how would I have fulfilled this massive responsibility without you being by my side. Thank you is not something that I like to hear and say when it comes to those people whom I love and care so much and those who are really close to me. It’s a fact about me that I shall stop you from saying thanks if you are a real close person for me but unfortunately, that’s all I can say right now to you guys since I am out of words. There is nothing that can express to you that how much happy and proud I am to have you guys with me as not just my friends but as like my brothers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

All Alone….

I am an Aquarian and that makes me a person who would be much into listening than saying. This means, I won’t be sharing a lot of things, at least not with all at any cost. I may share all the happy things but the sad parts and/or the troubles, that’s highly unlikely that I am going to talk about them to anyone. There is something very important going to happen in my family on 8th of May and there are tons of things about it that I am handling right now along with 4 other friends of mine(thanks so much guys).  Besides the hassles and troubles of the arrangements, there are tons of other things related to this that are going in my mind right now but I can’t (or should say, won’t) talk about but I really wish I could. There is a marathon of mixed feelings going on within me. I am happy, scared, worried, tensed, sad and god knows what else. Also, I am feeling I may not be able to handle everything well but I shall give it my best of the efforts in a hope  that all goes well. Actually, it must go well since it means so much to me and to my family.

It’s time to have lunch and after that, a long day and a long list of to-do awaits.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Joys Of Traveling Are Not Too Many….

I have just got back from my last session. If you have read the last posts of mine, you must be knowing that I wasn’t really feeling so well physically(and mentally) in the session but I am glad that it went well(hopefully since I haven’t got the official rating yet). The delegates were, as like always, so very good and friendly. All of them showed a great interest in the module and I hope that I was able to discuss whatever little I know with them. As I always say, if the delegates show interest in knowing about how can they contact you once you are going to end the session, it’s a sign that they have liked what you said and fortunately, the delegates of my session did ask me for my contact details which does mean that were happy. Two delegates, before leaving on the last day, came to see me all the way to the cafeteria since it was the lunch time. What more I can say than this that I am so thankful to all of you guys for hearing me for 5 days and I hope you enjoyed the program. Thanks for all the kind words and I hope, I shall be able to meet you in some other program soon.

I normally travel on the same night when my session ends. This time, it was looking a bit difficult to do since I was coming back via an Air India airline flight and the pilots of this airline, had gone to an indefinite strike just a day before my departure. When I saw the news on the tv, I called my travel guy to change my ticket and get me another flight on any other airline. He hesitated initially saying that let’s wait for some more time to ensure that the strike is actually going to effect my airline but I was adamant that he must change it, to which he had to get agreed. Later on the next day, when I had to actually travel, I got the call from the Air India office as well that my originally scheduled flight is now cancelled and there is no news or info about the next available flight. Well, it didn’t matter to me at that time since I had already got a ticket for me from Jet Lite. Though the flight was a little late than the previous flight  but one, it was actually flying on time and 2) it was not coming up too costly when compared to other flights, I said yes for it. There was another, new trainer who also had to travel to Delhi. His flight was also cancelled and now we both had to fly on the same flight. I hadn’t met him before than this meeting of ours. I can’t say that tI found him really nice but I can’t even say that I found him bad too. It was fun to listen stories and acting like being a dumb when he was showing me his stylish iPhone 4 thinking that I don’t know what’s pinch and zoom :-) . No, I am not mean if you just thought like that about me but I don’t like to break the illusion of many that they know too much, not knowing that the person in front of them, might be knowing a LOT more than what they know. Anyways, it was fun to spend some time with him on the way to the airport talking about world and then in the flight, listening again to him. It was quite late when we landed up at Delhi. He left for his home from there and me, well, I also normally would come back to home right away but this time, it was going to be a little different.

I never say that I know anything about any topic, especially when it comes to my work related topic, Oracle database. I always say that I know just a thing or two and nothing else. But (fortunately) many don’t believe on this statement of mine and tell me that I am actually keeping me on a much lower position than others, about which I have no issues. Some people really think that I am so much good and as it’s a normal reaction, if something is considered to be good(  even when it’s not true but a hearsay only) , people want to have it in their possession. The same is happening with me since last three years as since that time, there is a company which is asking me to join them as a very senior member of their management team. Obviously, there is a good money involved too. But there is something which is making me not to accept the offer and since last 3 years, the owner of that company, whenever he meets me, says that I want you since I know who you are and how much of worth are you. Well, I always say that I am nothing but he always makes me quite saying that I don’t go after for those who are nothing. Anyways, so this time, before I had to come back from my program, I got a call from one of his staff members and she said a lot of things to me(out of which, some I disliked too). One thing which she said and which is something that I won’t ever bear , was that I always just say and never fulfill my promise that I shall come and visit their office. Well, those who don’t know much about me, I shall do anything if I shall say that I would do it, doesn’t matter how tough it may be to do it. As obvious , I didn’t like what she said to me and I told her I don’t come to Delhi often and whenever I come, it’s a really tight schedule of mine that’s the reason that I couldn’t come. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t do what I say. Since she mentioned it, I made a note to myself that I must would go and visit the office this time. I was originally going to come back the same night when I was going to reach Delhi but I decided for a night at my friend Sidhu’s place and in the morning, visit the office. She offered me to arrange an office cab for me which I refused. I arranged a call taxi for me and went to the office which is actually very far. I attended the meeting and came back. I am not going to mention the result of the meeting here. If you know me good enough, you can have a safe guess about it.

I have a colleague (and my teacher as well) who is also from my city. She also was coming back on the same day when I was going to come. I travel in the bus and she takes the train but since it was the same day when we both were going to travel, I thought I shall accompany her so I asked her to get a ticket for me as well. Before a colleague, she is my teacher so that’s the way I treat her too and it’s not very often that we would meet with each other because of our schedules. So it was a good opportunity to meet her but there was a problem, her compartment and mine, were very far away. I was in compartment C3 and she was in C10 :-( . Well, we decided that we would check who is sitting along with us and would try to request them to exchange the seat. She boarded into her compartment and I went for mine. Along with my seat, there was a lady sitting and on the other side as well, there were two ladies sitting. I told them the situation and one of them said that she would exchange her seat and give to my teacher. Well, what I couldn’t understand at that time since my teacher would come here, someone from here must also go to her place too. Yeah call me silly but it didn’t occur to me at that time. So I went all the way to her compartment, told her that there is a seat in my compartment. She was traveling with a LOT of luggage which was so much heavy too. I picked up most of it since I wouldn’t had allowed her to carry it as she is my teacher and a lady as well. After almost running, when we finally reached to my compartment, she made me realize about the situation. Now, when we requested the passengers traveling along with us to go, all who were sitting nearby to our seats refused since the other compartment was very far which was right as well since it would be massive task to go that far along with luggage. Then one elderly person, who just boarded into the compartment asked that do we need just one seat, to which we said yes. He said he will exchange his seat with us but on one condition, I must pick his luggage and get it settled in the new compartment. Hmm well, if you don’t know, I have an hairline fracture in my left elbow from an old(but very severe accident) and I have got my right elbow joint hit on the floor few weeks back which is not recovered still( I don’t know why) and gives a ton of pain. Its not broken fortunately but it still pains at times. Anyways, I had still had to do since I couldn’t ask my teacher to do so and it was my mistake to bring her all the way to my compartment. So I picked up the luggage of that person, ran(again) to the other compartment since the train was about to leave and it was a superfast train so within seconds, it picks up a very high speed. I ran so fast though that I actually reached to compartment C13. When realized, I ran back to C10, met that person, get the luggage settled and then, again ran back to my own compartment since it was just in time for the train to start. While coming back, there was a stranger lady who was carrying a baby, laptop and her bag and was almost rushing to compartment C4. I asked her that I shall get her luggage and she must run towards the compartment because it was impossible otherwise for her to catch the train. She said no initially but then said, it would be so nice if I would do so. Whenever I would see any such thing, I would try my best to help so I definitely said yes. I made her sit at her place and then walked towards my compartment within the subway that connects the compartments. When I finally reached to my compartment, I was sweating like anything and needless to say, both of elbow joints were in so much of pain. But at least, everything was settled for good now so I could sit back and relax. I didn’t realize still that the journey had just begun.

As I mentioned that the train in which I was traveling, was a superfast train and besides that, it’s a really posh train as well and with very strict checking for the tickets and other accompanying documents like a photo identification. Now, I don’t know why and how can one act like so stupid that they  won't read something written on the ticket before they wont sit in it actually? It’s actually mentioned on the ticket that person must carry a photo identification card with him to get his identity confirmed otherwise, he would be considered a without-ticket passenger. But as it’s always, someone would definitely prove that he is actually that much stupid to do such an obvious mistake and in my compartment, this was done by two ladies who were traveling with their two kids(one of each). They were going to attend some wedding function I believe since they had their nails and hands completely done with the “art work”. When the ticket checker came and asked them for the photo id, guess what, both had none. Ironically, both said that they left their driving licenses at their homes and one even went ahead and said that she dumped her office badge, her credit cards even at home thinking that she wont need all this at all. Oh BTW, both didn’t forget to carry their smart and stylishly packed iPhones and their make-up kits and home cooked food(even when there was food which was going to be offered within the train) and if I may be a little blunt and say, their kids as well. Now, when the checker asked for ANY photo id, they had nothing with them and he fined them with a whooping 4000INR (for 2 adults and 2 kids, told you the train is costly). Well, there started the drama of story telling, tear shedding and calling to almost everyone at their homes from their iphones and asking what to do? Well the passengers who were traveling along with them, which included me and my teacher as well, requested the checker that if we can get any of their family members get a scanned copy of the photo id and send to any one of us in the email of ours, we can show it via our laptops, will it serve the purpose? Since those were ladies and were along with two(very stupid) kids, he hesitantly said yes but asked for a fax and not via email. So one of the passengers said that he would ask someone in his office to receive the fax and would show the document wherever the train would stop.  When the checker left, those two ladies started talking non-stop about how they got the ticket from some very senior official with railway department who obviously was their relative and if their dad would be there, how he would had made that checker cry like a baby and how nice all of us are? Well,all looked almost settled but still the checker kept their original tickets with them so for them, it was not going to be over as long as it wasn’t really going to be over. I don’t make comments often but when I do, believe me, they can be very harsh and the best part, I do it with my killer smile :-) . Both of their kids were behaving in a very bad manner and both the ladies were busy gossiping about their office and I guess, about the whole god damn world and were least bothered about it. Well, they couldn’t help not doing so since that’s what ladies would do anyways but still, it was damn irritating to hear all of their stupid hue and cry over other’s makeup, husbands, in-laws, office and what not. One of the lady’s son got one corner of the table, which was in front of our seats(told you it was a very posh train) broken and that lady was like, wow, how strong is my baby alalalala and she said, show it to bhaiya(brother), which was pointed toward, well me. Hmm what the heck was so proud in it , I don’t know. But I did say, “kid don’t do it and make place for another case since already a case of your mom is open with the railways which she still has to deal with before she and you get off from the train” . Yeah yeah, I know it was a very sarcastic comment but as I said, if pushed, I am really bad and that’s exactly what that lady did when she asked her kid to show his heroic attempt to destroy railway property. All the other passengers, who were sitting and watching that idiotic stuff happening busted out in laughter at my remark and that lady started scolding her kid. Sigh, not sure why some people act in the most weird ways especially, when they are traveling or sitting in a public place.

At the same time, when this whole drama of ticket and all that was getting telecasted live, suddenly the train stopped. Now before you say that it’s a normal thing, this specific train from which I was traveling, doesn’t stop anywhere except at Ludhiana when it starts from Delhi. At times, it stops for 3 minutes at Ambala but that too isn’t often. Well, we all passengers thought that it must be that the train might have not got the signal to proceed so that’s why it stopped. But when the wait period extended to well over an hour and half, we realized that something terrible is wrong and it indeed was. A commercial train got derailed and blocked the track of our train that’s why our train had to stop and wait for the track to get cleared before it could start again. And this whole process took one and a half hour. I had booked a cab for me from train station to my home which I had to reschedule and later, even pay for the waiting period. But all said and done, it still managed to reach Ludhiana long before the night would end, something which I didn’t anticipate to happen given all the things happening. But finally, I made it to reach my place in one peace :-) .

While going out from the station, I had to get downstairs from a small bridge which connects all the platforms. While doing so, I saw an old getting down while holding her travel bag from one hand and from another hand, holding the railing on the side of the stairs. I asked her to give her luggage to me and just come down. I wanted to hold her hand but I had my own bag with me to carry and I just happen to have two hands. Anyways, she was really happy and said god bless you son. My car waiting outside the station for me. So I just got into and asked the driver to drop me at my home. There was a small accident that that stupid cab driver did on the way but thankfully, except getting my head collided with the front seat, there wasn’t anything else that did happen. I was at home and I am going to be here for another 15 days because there is a very important function coming up on 8th and I have to manage all about it.  I am fasting today so would have a cup of tea before starting the day as there is a lot to do. Hope headache won’t accompany me at least for a week because I am better alone than it to be there.