Saturday, September 10, 2005

You've Arrived

First posted on September 10, 2005. Edited on April 2, 2007.

This is my first blog while in air – somewhere between San Jose and Phoenix on Southwest Airlines flight no. 2979.
Though I almost always switch on my laptop while in air, it is usually to play solitaire while pretending to work on some earth shattering research. Atleast, back home, in India, I used to manage a couple of appreciative glances from admiring folks awed by my commitment to the work that I was supposedly doing. The intense look on my face accompanied by an occasional frown used to be the perfect guise to look important and busy.
Today’s blog is about travel. The best thing about running your own company (which I used to) or being in an IT company at a managerial position (which I am) is the amount of flying miles that you tend to garner. More than the flying miles, I think the opportunity to visit new places and learn new things far outweigh the pains associated with the irritating check-in procedures and jet lags. While I’m on the topic of pains – can you believe that I’ve been pulled up for secondary screening at all the US airports that I’ve touched so far? Tall, dark and … lemme see … DANGEROUS???
Lets not digress. Here are the 3 key areas of learning while on the go -
1. Managing technology: It is surprising how complicated a simple water tap can get (or for that matter the shower knob). Yes, my dear friends, learning to navigate the technology behind using these taps has been the BIGGEST value-add (pardon the B-School jargon). The repertoire of options which come with these seemingly simple devices can be quite an intimidating proposition. Taps with multiple knobs, taps with single knob turning on different axes, round taps, automatic taps, square ones with twin knobs … the list is infinite. After being battered by ice cold, scalding hot, forceful jets of water – I can finally claim a fair degree of mastery over these nasty little #$@#@#.
2. Managing more technology: If you're as lazy as moi, you’ll definitely realize the importance of an alarm clock. Though my sweetheart used to act as one while I was in India, I make do with the ones that hotels provide by your bedside while being away from home. The good old grandpa key-clocks used to be epitomes of simplicity but the modern ones are quite ... hmmm … complex. My failure in this area has cost me quite dearly on more than one occasion. However, it’s heartening to know that I’m not the lone loser – in fact, the Hilton chain of hotels has engaged the services of a consultancy to make these tiny gadgets user friendly. Till then, I just have to bear with the blaring radio (they have them built into an alarm clock!!!) at the dead of the night.
3. Airline Food – isn’t that an oxymoron? This was precisely my attitude while downing curry rice and chicken nuggets on domestic sector flights in India. That was till I landed here in the US of A. To cut a very long story short, take it from me that the airline food there is much better than a “$30 chicken tikka masala and naan” dinner here. Btw, the airlines here don’t serve food on the flight though you can buy beer. People actually pack food in boxes and eat it while traveling – sure does remind one of the lunch breaks at school :)
And before I end this message, some lip service to the routine stuff – you also get to meet lots of new people, experience new places. … blah, blah, blah.
Additional note: There have been many queries about the origin of my latest instant messenger status – “Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound”. Nothing profound behind it – just some good old homesickness.

Friday, August 26, 2005


I am not even sure if this blog would be read by anyone in a very long time or on second thoughts, ever. But this, at the moment, seems to be the least of my problems. Now that I have a blog of my own (after spending a good 3 years reading others’ blogs – including (oh lord, forgive me) some belonging to politicians), I wonder if my life is (or ever would be) exciting enough to merit visiting this blog atleast twice in your (assuming this is being read by someone apart from me) lifetime.

Now that this has gotten me thinking, the real issue is not if my life is exciting – if at all I’ll be able to shake off my laziness to post my thoughts here at least once in a while. However, let me begin by assuming that I’ll be making many more posts and also hope against all logic that people like you (once again a huge assumption of someone else reading this) will actually enjoy reading it.

Ah, now that I have managed to fill up around 176 words in this post without making any sense, I think I’m ready to hit the blogging highway. By the way, did you notice all the comments in the brackets which actually helped me elongate sentences and make my first posting seem much bigger and verbose? Also, did you notice that in the previous sentence, I used “By the way” instead of the universally accepted “Btw”? Hmmmm, not bad, I would say, for a starter (greenhorn, if u like) (Unsurprisingly, the synonyms that MS Word throws up for a starter are “hors d'oeuvre”, “first course” and “appetizer”).

Let me keep this post short and set myself an agenda for the days to come. I’m currently stationed in Phoenix, USA (I absolutely love using the word “stationed” even though I have nothing to do with the armed forces…. Oops, here I digress again) and leading quite an active life. I have been “tubing” (watch out for the next post if you have no idea of what tubing is), skating, eating junk food (…oh yes, this can be very interesting too) and doing lots of other stuff which I intend on posting in the next few weeks. And every once in a while I’ll let you guys (there’s my assumption once again :) ) in on a few secrets about my life as well.

Here’s a quote to ponder over while you wait for my next post –

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” –G B Shaw

What a profound statement – we should religiously follow it for G B Shaw was a successful person – if not successful, he was atleast a very famous guy – and famous people are wise – but wait a minute – aren’t Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson famous people too (or is the word notorious??). Never mind, just go out there and do your own stuff. Come back for more.