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Confused employee wading through Nerd Nirvana

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Location: Hyderabad, AP, India

Program Manager Microsoft IT India

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Sands of Time

I have turned 20, as of now.

Birthdays are always fun. Or at least, I enjoy them. It’s a good day to do some introspection, to analyse yourself, to ask yourself the questions that you are too busy to bother about the rest of the year. On every birthday in the last few years, I’ve asked myself where I’ve started the last year from, and where I’m going this year.

Tomorrow, (that is today, since I’m writing this at midnight) is of course time for a deeper introspection, as all landmark birthdays are. With this one, of course, I can no longer be technically called a teenager. I’m also supposed to be wiser: but my friends vehemently insist that I’ve only grown more idiotic this year – thanks, guys, it’s nice to be a nut.

But, I digress. This year has taught me lots! Beginning, of course from Bombay, a visit that I will treasure, because it sort of reshaped my priorities a bit. Funny how a few days can change your outlook.

Then a chaotic III Sem., and the bond-building with friends (esp. Hyderabad Blues: always good for a few laughs). SSN’s tech symposium. Dancing in the corridors, hangman in Digital Systems classes, and fun in DBMS. Plans framed in August, for brochures to release in Nov., announcing Enzyme Ads (naiveté, but the concept of course was sound). The Digi Project, and the associated tension. The onset of personalities and clashes.

A month of employment (a most boring one, at that) that occupied mid-November to mid-December, which was another eye-opener that showed exactly how humans are all connected to each other, and the dependencies that sometimes we take for granted. “No man is an Illand, entire and of itself” – John Dunne.

Come Christmas, and the crystallization of Enzyme Marketing Solutions. The AIMS project, with an ambitious start, but which threatened to explode in our faces till we managed to convert it into a small success. Saarang, which I enjoyed, and which gave me an insight into relationships and the way they work.

Pondy Trip: a truly enjoyable experience, and something that cemented a few bonds that had had a shaky foundation previously. The Ides of March, wherein each day brought laughter, where Spring brought its own freshness into life, and we could just become crazy. (I think this is why the idiocy comments started). The end of March, with a new look on The Guindy Times (did I mention personalities?).

In all this, two quotes that I’ve recently read seem to round off what I’ve learnt this year. One of them is in a Perry Mason book – The Case of the Perjured Parrot (recommended light reading):

“Men attach too much importance to (paper) money as such. A rupee represents a token of work performed, and men are given these tokens to hold until they need the product of work performed by some other man, and anyone who tries to get a token without giving his best work in return is an economic counterfeiter. Depressions are caused when people try to get as many tokens as possible in return for as little work as possible..”
And the other of course, I’ve covered in the previous post, and demonstrates very clearly the futility of knowledge without application (the engineer in the Sahara desert)

And so, happy birthday to me…for each b’day is an awakening. And what this year holds is known but to the Sands of Time

Friday, April 01, 2005

To B.E. an engineer!!

Attended the college annual day function today, where the chief guest was Mr. Mahadevan, Director, India Pistons Ltd.—a really fascinating person. A mechanical engineer, and an old friend of the Dean’s, he was in his element today, presenting his views on “The traits of a competent engineer”. His anecdotes were extremely hilarious but at the same time insightful and perspicacious: here’s the one I enjoyed most, which came when he was talking about the stereotype of an engineer in people’s minds

A man was lost in the Sahara desert, and five hot days under the boiling Saharan heat had just about taken the life out of him. He was trying to reach the nearest army base or whatever outpost of civilization he could find. After five days of surviving on the barest of food and water, he happened to meet another guy.

“Where am I?”, asked the man of the stranger.

The stranger reflected a while and then, with an extremely grave countenance, replied “You are 24 degrees 32 minutes N of the Equator and 42 degrees 50 minutes E of the Greenwich Meridian.”

The man digested this and said “You must be an engineer.”

The other guy said, “That’s right, but how do you know?”

The man said, “Your information was extremely precise, and extremely useless!”

I fear that that’s exactly what we may become in a few years if we don't do something about it.

P.S.: EC lab end sem on Monday!!! Its been easy for evry1 so far, and this is what worries me extremely.