Sunday, July 19, 2009

Journey into the dream!

Life is a beautiful journey - just like the one in train. You meet many people, they come and go - the passing clouds, but life goes on. It was my last day in Bangalore and just a couple of days back, I had resigned my job. I was traveling in Mysore Mayiladudurai Express on way to Trichy.

With loads of baggage but no one to accompany and assist me, I felt being lonesome and helpless. The Sunday night at Bangalore City Junction is always a messy scene. Shoving the crowd with heavy bags, I successfully reached my compartment. But soon, I felt the pleasure in solitude. Inside the compartment, I could see the faces of passengers with diverse emotions - some happy of pursuing their dreams (like me), some sad of parting their near and dear ones, some indifferent (may be bcoz of frequent travels).

The iron caterpillar whistled clamorously to signal its departure. People started waving their hand, just as a sign of farewell. It was like all the people in front of my compartment sighed and bid farewell for my journey. That is one advantage when you travel alone. You can enjoy every moment and cherish the beauty of nature, people and life as a whole. I often feel or assume such dramatization happening around me, when I am alone.

It so happens that every time I get into a train alone, I wish some beautiful girl (fine, at least an OK type) should sit right in front of me. My wish list is always unbounded; after all it is a WISH list. I wished that she should somehow be related to me by some chance so that there is a possibility of a 'HI' being exchanged. I rushed through the compartment and checked the reservation chart only to see a 53 year old MAN (named George Emanuel) in the window seat right in front of mine. My wish has always been a wish and has never changed into reality even once. I know, I am no Chetan Bhagat (as in one night at call center) or Surya (as in vaaranam aayiram).

Blaming fate as usual, I started reading 'The week'. The TTE came to check our tickets. As the train reached Hosur station, a girl (needless to say, she was damn good looking and even familiar) showed a RAC ticket to the TTE. The Good old man allotted her a seat right in front of mine. Just then I came to know that the 53 year old George has not turned up (Ofcourse, I thanked God a million times). Suddenly, I heard a voice saying 'Excuse me'. With a thud in my heart, I turned to see the beauty. She brought to my attention my bottle that has leaked water and wetting the baggage area of hers. Oops... Now my turn for an excuse!

In a short time, she called again. I wondered what mistake I have made this time. She asked if I am from Trichy. I replied in the affirmative. She quickly asked if I can identify her. All of a sudden, my brain loaded her history into its RAM.. ‘Meenakshi’.. She had come to my school once for participating in Miss. Campofez contest – a cultural event for identifying the bold and the beautiful girls. We took our engineering entrance exam coaching in the same center. I found my chance for a few words to be exchanged. We started sharing our information. We were deeply engrossed in our conversation when suddenly I heard some voice asking for my ticket. The TTE had just come and the train had halted at Bangalore Cantonment station. My wish has always been a wish ...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

VISA power !

All is well that ends well. After slogging for days and having sleepless nights to prepare the financial documents, the D-Day had come.. 29-Jun-09 - the day I had my visa interview. Let me share my visa interview experience with you.

Reached consulate at 6.45 am. Seventh candidate for the day to enter the Chennai consulate first building where security & document checks are done. One cute, lovely, good looking lady verified my documents and guided me to the second building. To my surprise, I was the first (!) to enter there to take my interview. Thank God, there was a tv showing CNN IBN news, which distracted me out of my nervousness. With pukka documents in hand, I went to counter 1 for my interview. The visa officer (VO), a young man in his mid thirties greeted me with a smile.

VO: Good morning
me: Good morning, sir. How you doing?

VO: I am doing fine. How about you?
me: I am doing fine as well.

VO: So, which university?
me: Virginia Tech

VO: Why specifically to that university?
me: Because of its reputation and research facilities. Also, the funding chances are good.

VO: Oh.. Good. What will be the kind of work after you complete your MS?
me: Network Administrator, sir. (This is the best part. There are many better positions for MS
graduates. I still wonder why i told N/w admin.. I suck !)

VO: Fine. Who is your sponsor?
me: My mother, sir

VO: How much money you have in your account?
me: I have XX in my savings account and YY as my FDs.

VO: Great. Your visa has been issued. Your passport will reach you in three days.
me: Thank you, sir. Have a great day. (But.. is that it? I was expecting more Qs and documents to be perused, tho not completely, but at least a couple of them).

I was on cloud nine once the visa was granted. Had it been the other way, my one and a half years effort would have been in vain.. The interview lasted hardly for 3 mins. My financial documents were not checked at all. But that does not matter as long as the show ends well.

To the 'Mother of Presidents' in US, here I come to become a Hokie ! :)

Bye Bye Nokia ...

As I had said already in my older post, the first company is usually the favorite & best for most of us. At the least, it has been true in my case. 22-May-2009 was the last working day for me at Nokia. I have often imagined this separation as the two hands in the logo moving farther rather than otherwise. :)

The agility of time in these two years is ineffable. It has been a fruitful and somewhat challenging experience here. In these two years, I have seen Nokia going through sea change - from a leading mobile company to an Internet company, though my work was not much affected by this change. ;)

The transition from 'student to employee to student again' has indeed been smooth. After bunking classes and enjoying my life to the fullest in college, this professional experience has groomed me as a matured individual to a great extent. People saw me in spotlight which made me look respectable and that pushing me to behave in an adorable manner. I realized my potential at Nokia after a dismal performance in my UG. Yet, I failed to deliver my best here once my MS plans took shape. No man can serve two masters and I was forced to serve my GRE master better (a regrettable act).

My interaction with my team was limited, thanks to the work process and me being a silent observer in most places. Even then, how can one forget the mentoring sessions, appreciations, team lunches & outings, B'Day bashes, T.T matches, wildcraft trident (farewell gift) and last but not the least - 24 x 7 internet ! Keeping all these memories with me, I am moving forward to the next phase of my life at Virginia Tech, where probably more responsibilities are waiting for me.

But before my next challenge, I would like to take a moment to thank my team for the support and wish everybody all the best. :-)

P.S: (long one.. again)
I would like to tell my pathetic performance during my farewell at Nokia. I anticipated a formal meeting where my team will wish me for my career and that I would stay casual, rather bombastic about my dream admit. I wanted to do, in fact, perform really well during my farewell. But the result was otherwise. Actually, all my team mates were totally casual and the most formal fool in the scene was 'me'. It is pathetic about the way I reacted.. in truth over-reacted ! It is still a mystery - why I am being so formal in being social? In my work atleast, is it because of my technical inability or intimidation of corporate life? The question remains ...