Friday, June 28, 2013

Exhausted But Contended As Well….

I have finished my this week’s session today. If you are a regular here you would be aware that I was traveling to Cambodia the last week before coming here and how tough that entire trip was! This week also was not of any difference. Though the module that I had to deliver this week was the one which I knew already but it is such a kind of module that every time when I step in the room to deliver it, I feel a chill in my spine. The reason for it is that the not only the module is very tough but also that there is a LOT of the content in it and because of these two things, I have to speak a lot, at times even without taking any breaks for a very long time. And this happened in this week as well. The level of complexity became even more higher because of the delegates that I had in my session-very experienced and techie group! But that’s what make the module interesting as well because if the delegates are not able to understand what you want to convey to them, your interest dies and that’s not a good sign.

There were a lot of discussions and as I said that the whole group was very experienced, there were few very tricky questions raised by them as well! I hope I was able to give my best to ensure that the delegates had a good session and it was worth of their time spent there! Today when we finished the sessions, I came to know from few of them that they had been knowing about me already and were told by their colleagues and friends that if he(me) is coming for the session than don’t be worried, it would be indeed a good one! Now, that’s a big compliment and are very kind words! I felt very humbled hearing such kind remarks. All the delegates met very nicely after the end of the session and mentioned that they would be looking forward to meet me again next time in some other session. Now, that’s a good sign that the session did go well indeed! Thanks a bunch to all of them for coming to my session and for hearing me out and also for being so kind, friendly and respectful towards me! Hope I would be able to meet them soon.

I finished the session a little early than I expected and of this miscalculation of the expected timing for the session’s ending, I would need to spend a little more time over here (few extra hours) before I would be able to start the travel for home. Not sure what’s the reason but I am feeling so restless. I can’t think of any reason for such feeling but yes, it’s there and it’s very strong too!Also, I am having a really bad mood as well at the moment too. So it’s going to be a long night and with such an internal state of mind, a long travel as well! Just hoping and wishing that I reach home asap and also this that my mind gets a little bit of relaxation as well! Not sure it would happen or not though!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Travelogue & Thoughts….

I am sitting at the Starbucks right now. Just had a cappuccino along with a sandwich. It’s still 3 hours more before I shall be boarding my flight. As I said before, it’s going to be a long and tiring day and may be that wasn’t enough, the check-in staff played a practical joke with me as well. I specifically asked for “no emergency seat” and guess what I got? So I spent the last 2 hours sitting upright and it’s again going to be happening for another 5 hours in just a while. I am just not sure what do because I know the flight would be full and it wouldn’t be possible to change the seat because not anyone else also would be so willing to exchange his/her seat with an emergency one. I shall try for sure but I am not keeping very high hopes.

Before I ordered my coffee, I walked around the place for almost an hour. I am sure a lot must have changed here but still, it appears the same to me, just like what I saw when I came here for the first time. And that was even the first time for me to travel abroad as well. Heck not even abroad, anywhere on my own. People who know me well, they are aware about the fact that I have a very sharp memory so while walking today, I saw two places which I remembered instantly. One was a bench where I spent one night. Why is not going to be answered but I spotted it today and how did I remember that it was the same bench because just opposite to it is a shop and the ambience around it. And another one was  a phone booth. Again, I remember it with a landmark. It’s all same, just like it was many moons ago.

I have ordered another cup of coffee while this song is playing on loop on my iPod.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sessions Finished, Traveling Starts….

It’s been a long time, well 3 weeks is not a small time I would say. I have finished all of my sessions today here at Cambodia and at the end, I shall say things went okay. Though there was a small sudden issue that came up which did spoil my mood but still, overall I would say things went fine. I was really very worried as there were four different sessions that I had to deliver and out of that three were completely new for me. That was a big challenge and on top of that, I am working on a very important writing project which is time bound which is running parallel with my day-job. You can imagine from this that I had two weekends and one public holiday here with me and in all of these days,  I was in my room either writing or preparing for the new modules. Though the sessions are over today for this trip but the writing part is still pending, a lot of it! I am working on it very hard and trying my best to get it done as soon as possible because there are many other things which I need to finish after that.

I was earlier planning to go to home but that’s not going to be happening for at least next 5 days because I have got another session confirmed. I shall be most likely going directly from here to the next destination to save some traveling time and to take some rest. It’s going to be a very long and very tiring travel but there is no better option than to do and finally, get crashed over my bed in the guest house. Not only that, I so want to have some good meal as well because the food that I had over here was really not good. It was not from the hotel as I ordered it from outside but still, it wasn’t good at all and I tried at least 5 different outlets. Even the dinner today that I just had was completely bland and wasn’t good at all! Earlier also it happened that I actually ordered for spicy but instead I got the food totally bland. So I am just so looking forward to get back to my guest house and ask the cook there to make something good for me. Hope he hasn’t forgotten to cook good food.

It’s time now to have a little bit of rest before going for a long and tiring travel. Not a very comfortable thing but still, a must-to-do isn’t it! 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Feeling Of Accomplishment….

Note: I started writing this post when I was at Singapore, two weeks ago, on the weekend when I had some time free but then I got caught up in tons of things and this post left uncompleted. Now, as I am done with the session for this week, I have completed it. About this session, I shall be writing about in another post, hopefully.

I don’t get to say this very often that I felt really relieved and felt that I have achieved something but after the end of this week’s session, I believe it’s not going to be true if I would say that it was just an okay session and I didn’t get a feel of accomplishment after the end of the week.

I have been at home for about 4 (or may be even more) weeks because the programs of mine were not getting confirmed and it was some how required too as there was a lot of travel that I had done in the past few weeks so a little bit of relaxing time was just about right. But what I was scheduled to do after that time out was actually very tough and it was sending chills to my spine whenever I was looking at my schedule calendar. It was a session about  a module that’s considered so tough and complex that not many instructors are teaching and since I was going to teach it for the first time and that too at overseas(Singapore) , the level of being worried and tensed was just so high for me! But it was something which was really needed to be done, some day or the other and there is never a moment when you can say that you have known it all to go ahead and deliver such kind of module so the sooner you start, the better it would be. And that’s what I had in mind that let me go ahead and see how it is and let’s see how it goes. I had done my preparation and I had planned to do as much as needed at the time of the session so it was time to go for the session, in whatever way it would go at the end!

Just before I was going to start my travel, about 2 days ago my back started to hurt SO much! That much that I could actually scream with pain. It wasn’t actually my back bone which was hurting but a small area besides the backbone. Luckily, I got a gel from an aunty from the neighbourhood which did help but it wasn’t something which I wanted to have again , even a tiny bit of it too! As a safety measure, I picked up the gel along with me, just in case that pain hits back to me and I am so glad that I did bring the gel back with me because the pain did hit me and not just on any day but on the very first day of my session!

So finally the travel stated with me getting a cab from home to Delhi. I planned to read or sleep in the cab but the driver was just so interested in telling about his life’s issues, he being a ‘chef’, his heart break and all the other things so for all the 6 hours, I didn’t get a single minute to do either any reading or to take a nap. In between of this, I had to stop at Ambala Cant to pick up some documents which took about an hour, a task which didn’t take actually more than 10 minutes but the commute was so long! Anyways, finally I was at the airport. The queue was long at the Jet Aiways counter , just as I expected. It took about an hour to get the whole thing but it was not still so bad because the queue was even more longer after I got the check-in done. After that immigration and security check took almost no time and now, I had about two hours to have something and wait for the flight. Since there is a new outlet of Starbucks at the departure counter, so I thought to give it a try. The staff was offering a complimentary pastry and was very friendly. When I asked about something new to try, they suggested to try Iced Shaken Hibiscus tea (check the menu to have a look at the pic of it) which was very nice and a good change from the traditional coffee. It took a little bit of time and finally. it was time to board the flight. Since it’s a long travel and I thought I may get some good movies to watch, I was a little shocked to see that the airline just pushed the same flight which came from a domestic route with no in-flight entertainment. So I did some reading and then tried to catch some sleep which didn’t work out very well as I never can get myself to sleep when I am flying. The flight reached before the scheduled time and that was not a good thing as the check-in time is 2pm in Singapore hotels. I waited for some time at the airport but then decided to go to the hotel as I was so sleepy and I wanted to take some rest before to get to the study. The only issue was that the hotel didn’t allow for an early check-in. Well, it was expected but since I was so tired, I told them that I shall pay off for the early check-in and then only, they allowed me to get in. Anyways., I was so tired that I just slept off before waking up at about 9pm and  then started study to prepare for the next day-the BIG day!

Since it was my very first session of this module, the biggest issue for me was that how do I start the day? I thought about it the whole time when I was traveling from hotel to the office. Based on that, I did start the session. There were three delegates which were there in the session. All three were extremely good. The day was going on fine till the time when the back pain hit me again and hard!

I was feeling a little bit of pain since morning but when it was post lunch, it started to grow up. It became so much bad that I had to tell the delegates that I can’t continue and we have to close for the day. It wasn’t very late but I had no energy to fight with the pain anymore as it was way too much! So I just came back to the hotel, applied the gel and slept off. After about two hours, when the pain became a little less, I started to prepare again. Luckily, for the subsequent days, the pain didn’t come.

The session was very complex and needed a LOT of preparation. I even didn’t sleep in all the days when the session was going on and also didn’t really care much about food too. Since it would take about an hour to go for lunch, I decided to skip it because I could use that time for doing the preparation of the module.

There wasn’t much of the trouble that fortunately came in the entire time of the session. Though there is a very steep learning curve for me remaining for this course, but I somehow managed to finish it on a very good rating, which for me was a very major morale booster as I was just so damn scared and worried about this course. You have to be scared if the course is taught is only by a handful of the instructors worldwide and even lesser in India. I was asked by my manager in Singapore and in India that I must start taking this module as soon as possible but I was always very doubtful about it. But I got a HUGE support from both, especially from my manager at Singapore who not only took complete check and care when the course was going but also arranged for me not one, not two but three help resources by contacting three other instructors.  What more you can ask in terms of help other than this? Thanks so much Madame! I know you won’t be reading it any time but if you ever will, thanks so much for all the help that you gave to me since that first day when I came to Singapore to deliver my first ever international session. If had not been you and your guidance, probably I had never been able to get the confidence the sessions internationally. Also, thanks a lot to the delegates who came for the session. I know I have to improve a lot but a big thanks to you for having patience and being so kind to me. I hope, whenever I shall meet next time, I would have improved myself.

After a successful session, not it was a boring weekend that was waiting for me but it was very highly needed for me because I was just so bloody tired and all I wanted to do was to sleep. And that’s all what I did on Saturday-just slept for the whole day. In the evening only I woke up to go for dinner. This time, I somehow got totally confused and missed going to my favourite place for dinner thinking that it is closed for renovation as the whole shopping complexes were getting renovated but only two days before I had to leave, I discovered that it’s still functional and that complex, where I thought it was, actually it was never there and was in a different complex. WTF! Yes that’s all I could say when I realized my dumbness. Anyways, so I had been going to the location near by to Mustafa mall which was walk able for me from my hotel. The good thing that happened from this walking is that now, I know that area really well and not just that even the surrounding areas where I was staying.

On Sunday, I started working on something which is a very exciting project and me and one more friend of mine, are working over it now from quite some time. Hopefully, it completes on time and without any issues. I can’t talk about it right now but when the time would come, I shall definitely be talking about it over here.

So finally, the weekend was over and now, there was another week ahead of me but fortunately, in this week, I had to deliver a module which I had delivered quite a number of times before as well. But one thing that didn’t happen for this module was that I never could score in it a 100% rating and this is one of the most advanced modules that are offered. To make matters more interesting, the course is now revised 3rd time and has got even more (tough) content to teach. But may be this was a good time for me because despite of alll the things, I was able to score a 100% rating in that course. I know it’s not a big thing for many but for me, even now, every rating of mine is special and getting a 100% rating in a super-advanced course is like winning a jackpot or lotto (or whatever you want to compare it with). And I was just so happy even though that I know this was just a matter of one week. But even a moment of happiness is worth enjoying it, isn’t it?

So now the sessions were finished and it was time to fly back to home which didn’t include anything good or bad despite that the flight was a little better and I was able to watch two movies in it, The Fighter and Life of Pi. The first one, despite that it didn’t have the so-called 3d animations blah, blah, was much better than the 2nd one. Not to say that the 2nd movie is not good but somehow, it didn’t work for me. Finally the travel was over and I headed back to home after a good tour.

Though all the other things were fine in the travel but one thing left a bad taste, literally in my mouth. As I mentioned that I had to go to look for the food, I tried different restaurants to get to know which one was better. Now, when you are looking for better, you are bound to find bad(or worse) too and that’s the same happened with me when I checked into a place called Indian Summer and ordered a full course dinner. There was another guy sitting beside me and he also ordered the same. There were three vegies that I had in our plate and with the first spoon that I tasted from the first vegie, it felt that something is wrong. I was just trying to analyze things and in the meanwhile, the other guy from the table beside me asked me, did you find the vegie having a bad taste? Well, now it was confirmed that there was something wrong. We both tasted one more vegie and guess what, that was also having a bad taste. The first one was made out of cheese and when we asked the server, he said all is okay but for our sake, he would check with the chef. Hmm of you go, we said and guess what, when he came, he said that the cheese was stale and had become rotten but chef still used it in the curry. WHAT? So the chef knew that it’s not a good cheese and he still used it? When that poor fellow saw us so angry, he immediately said that he would change the vegies and give us fresh ones and he indeed did that too. But when we mentioned the same at the payment counter, where the owner’s wife was there, she simply refused to accept it. When we said that ask your server and when he restated the same thing than only she reluctantly agreed. I was super annoyed and she made me even more by adding that she is a North-Indian as well and is from Delhi. I told her right on her face, I am from Punjab and I know what good and bad food tastes like. I don’t get upset easily but she just managed to make me so upset very successfully. Finally, she said that both of you please come tomorrow and she will compensate for it by giving us complimentary drinks, ice-creams etc but we told her, we are not coming back not tomorrow not EVER!

Now, I shall be having a little break of less than 2 weeks before pushing of for a long and a tough session.

PS: If you are a regular here, you already know where I am right now :=).

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hello From Phnom Penh….

I have just come down to this place(for the 3rd time) and now, sitting all alone in the training room as it’s lunch time. No, not really going for lunch cos have no mood for it. It was a long travel to here starting from Delhi to Malaysia and from there to Phnom Penh. There was nothing unusual about the travel as such. Yes, I had to come here this time via KL and the reason for it were two.One, I didn’t really go to Malaysia and just did a transit from the airport  and second, I don’t choose my travel routes but my travel desk does based on the cheapest fares that they can get(even without caring that flying for 5 hours and then further 2 hours is far more tiring than flying for 3.5 hours and 1.5 hours for the same destination via Thailand) . The flight of Malaysian was okay and was far far away from their so-called marketing statement “MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality “.

I have just started the session and it’s a very tough session. I shall be posting an older blog post soon which is about the same session that I finished two weeks ago in Singapore. At the moment, it’s going to be reading some emails and just to stay quite and relaxed-for one hour.