Dear dear Technology

The pace at work is pretty hectic (Ours being a small company, and one of the fastest growing in our domain) By nature of their profiles, the Production support groups and DBAs are known to be high-tension jobs, since they are always required to take care of issues NOW!

So, imagine how I felt when I walk into the break room to find a member of the production support technical team staring out the window, and making a comment about the weather in San Francisco.

“It is breezier here during the day, and definitely colder in the mornings and evenings” she explains.

I nod in assent.

Soon, she continues after acknowledging my nod, that everybody outside is walking baring their skin, and life looks so pretty outside. I let out a laugh, and move towards my coffee.

Soon, a few more people walk into the break-room, and one of them even responds to her statements: “Fantastic weather isn’t it?”

To which she replies: “Yes, I really wish I could wear shorts” (Not entirely out of context, but….)
He: “Yes…that would be cool. Though the office really is cool you know”
She: “Hmm….I wonder where my white shorts are!”

Now, all of us in the room are slightly baffled! While we exchange concerned looks, she says:
“Oh ma….I really got to go. I am talking with this ear-piece on, that no-one can see, and everyone thinks I am nuts!”

THAT explains it!! Oh..for the love of technology!

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Da Vinci Code

Fictional piece:

Setting: Velankanni seashore in India. There is a mild breeze blowing and the tiny droplets of rain are soothing.

Reporter: Da Vinci Code-ai ban pannitaangalaamae? (Da Vinci Code has been banned. What do you think about it?)

The reporter is addressing a Christian couple headed to the local market. The lady has a basket full of fishes on her head, balancing an infant on her hips and walking briskly towards the local market with her husband bearing an equal load on his head

Man : Mariyaadhaiya pesu paa: yenna “Da” podarae? (Speak with respect. ‘DA’ being a derogatory term in Tamil)
Lady: Ayyo irunga….yedho kodai venum pol irukku (Oh wait….maybe he wants an umbrella. Kodai (Code-ai) in Tamil means Umbrella)

The reporter hastens to explain that he is neither treating the man with disrespect nor asking for an umbrella. He explains in some depth about the book authored by Dan Brown, that has been banned, while the fidgety couple glance market-ward in their worry that they may not quite make it to the local market for prime spots to sell their wares.

Lady: Ohh! Browns colour-aa? Addhaan mannu colour. Adhhukku yenna ippo? (Brown is the colour of mud. So what?)
Reporter: Ayyo…….andha Brown illai. Ivar vandhu English-la book ezhudhi irukkaru.(This Brown is an English author)
Man: AAma …….Tamil padikaave aala kaanum. Idhila English veraiya? (I can barely read Tamil, so who cares about an English book)

Couple together: Verai velai vetti illa? Kaalangaarthalae vandhittan yedho book-a patthi pesa. Boney-meeen venum-aa? (Useless fellow wasting everybody’s time in the morning. At least be the first customer to buy some fish!)

Newsitem in The Hindu dated 2nd June 2006 banning the Da Vinci Code movie from being released in Andhra Pradesh:

Dr. Reddy, sources said, was initially reluctant to support the ban. He argued that the original novel had already sold more than 60.5 million copies throughout the world and no Christian country had preferred the ban. He, however, relented when the officials cautioned him about possible law and order problems if the film was screened.

Later in a press release, Mr. Paul Bhuyan justified the stand arguing that the minority organisations had pointed out that the film’s story line attacked the very heart of the Holy Gospel destroying the divinity of Lord Jesus Christ.

It might lead to unrest among the semi-literate and illiterate rural folk following the faith, they had further warned.

The movie has been successfully released in Rome!

Tut Tut!

My husband and close friend took part in the Bay to Breakers 12K run in San Francisco. All I have to go by are their tales, and some photographs I saw in the newspapers the next day. But, by all reports, this is one hell of a race: The convention was to wear unconventional costumes, or in some cases the Emperor’s finest clothes!

I hail from a community in South India, known to treat mavericks with disdain. It tickled me pink to hold my guns for small things and watch with interest the emotions my sayings evoked. Thankfully for me, my parents just shook their heads and moved on with their lives.

“I don’t like flowers on my hair, it gives me a headache”, I would protest, to gasps from aunts hushing me into not saying these unconventional things. Imagine a girl child not liking jasmine flowers to adorn her hair? * GASP! *

Or better still: “I don’t like jewels, so please don’t me make me wear these ornaments!” *By all standards, this was the best, since South India is well-known for its jewel craze, and not liking jewellery was like a cat not liking to eat mice.*

Luckily, I only had to endure this during my school vacations. Hailing from a country, which places unnecessary onus on others opinions of us, and a tradition of blending with the populace, I must say the US was a welcome change in outlook. And to hear about people running around like this, with nary a worry about what others think!

Tut Tut!: Just wait till the oldies in my village hear about this!

Honey, I’ll manage you!

The beehive boasts a sign as you approach:

DO NOT DISTURB! ANNUAL TARGETS TO BE MET!

The beehive is bustling with activity. There is a honey target to meet before the winter season sets in, and the flowers wither away. The important look and sense of purpose in the flight of every single worker bee is evident, and one would want to stay away from them to enable them to do their own work, which is fantastically co-ordinated and classically implemented by exceptionally motivated worker bees. There is the busy queen bee too, laying and hatching eggs in the hive.

Works perfectly: Queen bee lays eggs, worker bees collect nectar. Everything is hunky-dory as long as the bear doesn’t get its paws on the hive.

Now, let’s introduce Management into this setup:
There are several manager bees whose purpose in life is to ensure the worker bees reporting to them meet their targets. There are fewer Senior manager bees whose purpose in life is to ensure that the manager bees meet their target. Even fewer Director bees whose purpose is to ensure that the senior manager bees meet their targets and very few bees to directly report to the Queen bee.

Valid points in current context:
1) The worker bees already are meeting their targets, why have another bee to oversee what they are doing perfectly well? *Argument squashed.*
2) The Queen bee is really not interested in what her direct report bees report because she is busy laying eggs. *Point to be noted*

The day dawns and the worker bees bustle along as usual, collecting nectar. Only now, every hour, they have to come to the manager bee to report that things are going fine, and the nectar collection is going smoothly.
Cumulative time spent during the day reporting status and looking for manager bee: 90 minutes per bee per day.
Target: lowered to accomodate for this activity, and winter months spent with less honey for more bees.

Once all this data is noted, the manager bee speeds away to update the senior manager and the senior manager bee to the director bee and so on and so forth.
Loss of productivity: nil, since there is no contribution to nectar gathering from these bees.

One particular patch of flowers does not yield as much nectar, but the bees know to steer clear of it, till the manager bee notes this, and prods the bees to keep trying harder there. Soon, manager bee, senior manager bee and director bee visit the patch several times a day, and get more bees trying futilely to obtain nectar from this patch, when the remaining flowers waste their perfectly good nectar.

Side Effect:
The hard-working bee wants a break. Previously, he would have just dawdled on a minute longer on a favorite flower, and then gone about his own duties. But now, he sees before him a working model of a set of bees that do nothing all day except fly around looking at other bees, and soon he wants to become a manager bee. Competition sets in, the ugly head of jealousy and scheming cloud the clear vision of otherwise happy, united worker bees.

The Pandora’s box is opened.

Appy T’youuuuuuuu

I really like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Not so much for the marketing, but for the thought. One day when everybody takes a moment to think of the everyday things these wonderful people do in your life. A moment to appreciate and cherish our wonderful parents.

I was a proud mother listening to my toddler wishing me “Appy T’youuuu” multiple times on Mother’s Day. She made it special by rising with the lark to spend time with me on a Sunday morning! I would have been happier still, if she had risen around 2 hours later, but it was fun anyway – its fun as your eyes adjust to the increasingly quick maneuvres with sleep tugging at the eyelids. Have you tried adjusting the Mouse settings on the Windows operating system to show the mouse pointer trails?

Something like that: my eyes were constantly shrugging sleep and trying to follow the path of the lil one.

I tried taking a nap later, but Father and daughter were determined to get me a gift, and before I knew it, I was a happy shopper at Great Mall. A tiring day of shopping done: we were back at home and took stock of the gifts purchased.

The toddler gets a booty (balloons, clothes, shoes and accessories), the father’s wardrobe gets a facelift, and oops! The selfless mother gets another “Appy t’youuuuu” to make up for the oversight of not getting a gift!

I love being a mother.

Appy T’youuuuuuuu

I really like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Not so much for the marketing, but for the thought. One day when everybody takes a moment to think of the everyday things these wonderful people do in your life. A moment to appreciate and cherish our wonderful parents.

I was a proud mother listening to my toddler wishing me “Appy T’youuuu” multiple times on Mother’s Day. She made it special by rising with the lark to spend time with me on a Sunday morning! I would have been happier still, if she had risen around 2 hours later, but it was fun anyway – its fun as your eyes adjust to the increasingly quick maneuvres with sleep tugging at the eyelids. Have you tried adjusting the Mouse settings on the Windows operating system to show the mouse pointer trails?

Something like that: my eyes were constantly shrugging sleep and trying to follow the path of the lil one.

I tried taking a nap later, but Father and daughter were determined to get me a gift, and before I knew it, I was a happy shopper at Great Mall. A tiring day of shopping done: we were back at home and took stock of the gifts purchased.

The toddler gets a booty (balloons, clothes, shoes and accessories), the father’s wardrobe gets a facelift, and oops! The selfless mother gets another “Appy t’youuuuu” to make up for the oversight of not getting a gift!

I love being a mother.

One fine day

A foreword is necessary to this post. I work in the Financial district where dress codes are respected. The IT department, like in most companies, is the frumpier of the lot. We have people dressed smartly in Business casuals Monday through Thursday. There would be a slight exaggeration here, but you get the drift when I say the brightest colours inside of the office are the yellow walls.

The colours bloom on Fridays, which is the casual day at work. Hawaiian shirts spot the horizon, and the orange shirts and jeans are seen on happy faces awaiting the week-end. I sport all my Indian tops on jeans on Fridays and get rave reviews on the prints. I was looking for company to digress a little further and wear bright Indian skirts to work. A friend of mine showed inclination and enthusiasm. So we arrived on a date, and decided to wear skirts to work that day, when she said: “Oh, I meant, you should wear bright clothes, I can stand by the by-lines and encourage you.”

Have you been bungee jumping? It is like a x & y, two best buddies climb to the top. X depends on Y for company. They reach the top, and Y says: “You jump. I ‘ll stand here and give you encouragement!”

Well, one fine day, maybe I will come in looking like a bouquet of flowers in a yellow room!