‘Being tester’ after ‘being developer’

As you might know, I have been working as a software professional since May, last year. Life has been different. Like my sister Namrata put it in one of her posts, I too have felt the same thing. Only that unlike her, I never had the courage to shriek or show my emotions in front of all. But I never have time nowadays. It is hugely taxing  to stay at office 12 hours through all week. Till May this year, I was working as developer. Now I am a tester. Nothing has changed much except for that now my weekends are more likely to be free. Weekdays are same as before…

I often gain my insights from the unlikeliest of places, and so it happened again. Being developer and being tester has put me on two totally different sides of life, two opposing perspectives, two sides of the same coin. I will put in my thoughts during these two periods.

As developer: I hate testers. What do they do other than dig up the software for isses and make deuvelopers life hell? We put in long hours creating something. But none of that matters to them, they are always looking for the spot on the face of the moon. They can’t leave us for a moment in peace, not even for meal breaks. All they know is find a defect and escalate and so on.
As tester: What do these developers do? Why can’t they take care of such simple things? At least they have guidelines on what to do. We have to sift through data generated from codes and search for defects. If any one defect  leaks into production our jobs will be on the line next. They say we have tools, but these tools have their own defects too, which we have to manage while testing and so on..

Pause for a while. Try to feel the difference of perspectives.

We human beings have this habit of blaming everything on something else. It is easier as we don’t have to work on our own mistakes and our own faults. Then we don’t have to swallow the terrible truth that our own situation is nothing but sum of our own doings. I will explain with an example. Do we care how we get something when we want something? We just pay for it and expect to get it in full. We walk into a restaurant, get angry and complain if our order isn’t served within our expected time.  Do we care to know why is it late? Never. So if we have practiced this for all of our lives, does it not make sense when we are paid back in the same coin?

Truly said, we reap what we sow. We just don’t want to know..

3 lessons in a month

So, it has been a month since I became an associate of Cognizant. Some are curious to know how it has been so far, some aren’t. Doesn’t matter, I am gonna say it anyway 😛 .

The learning curve has been as steep as always. But my experience of the last 2 years has come handy. There are several things that I learned, important lessons they are. Sharing three of them with you here. You might ask why three? I don’t know.. maybe today is 3’s lucky day 😀

1. Bad habits don’t make people bad.

People themselves do. I have seen that up close, very very close.. Nothing more on this point.

2. No matter what is happening, this too shall pass.

Being an employee is a hell lot different from being a student, and old habits die hard. So, you can imagine well that many a time my new colleagues have been in trouble (I had lucky escapes so far). I have seen them break down helplessly trying to answer for something wrong they might have done. Seeing them I sometimes became emotional and unstable, but this phrase kept me going. This is something I imbibed in my character during my job-hunting phase.

The last but not the least! This is a sort of strategy. Something I have been using since some time but didn’t have a set of perfect words to phrase it. My good friend Saurabh gave this awesome phrase!

3. Never say why me, say try me.

I am worst at performing arts and we have behavioral sessions twice a week where we have to perform very basic roles and enact situations. The first few sessions were a torture, I used to groan and look at my watch for the end of the session. Being there in front of everybody was like “OMG, what are they thinking I don’t know” etc etc. One fine morning I just felt like “what the hell? I am scared of a few people?!…” . Since then those sessions have been different. I wont say I perform well, but I enjoy them to the full all the while improving myself.

 

a realization, a prayer… and whatever came in between

I love dogs, street dogs more than the ones which live with people. Maybe coz they demand less or maybe becoz they are more deprived.. I don’t know.  Wherever I go, on seeing any dog or cat r so, I have this habit of making a special tut-tut sound to call them and it usually ends with patting their heads. The place where I come from, dogs are usually very friendly. U just look at them and they will come up wagging their tails and ears backwards. So you can understand my surprise on my first day here, when I saw a dog actually afraid of me and barking at me from a distance. I was like “OMG! This has never happened before, what did I do?”. I waited for a while, it tucked its tail between its legs and fled. I was left wondering what the hell went wrong. I could not believe it. While returning from my office, the same thing happened twice again. The third time, a dog sensing my intention came nearer. After a while when it let me pat its face, it was like heaven for him or so I believe. It was wagging its tail vigorously like it had seen its long lost friend. Slowly the other dogs came nearer, they gave the same reaction. Then I lifted my gaze from the dogs to the people around. There is a guy standing in the middle of a street with and army of street dogs.. Back in my place it would have drawn attention of at least one for sure. Here no one even looked at me. As if I and my army weren’t there at all. Realization dawned on me.. these dogs have never ever felt affection from a human before. To them a human being looking at them is a totally unknown thing, so was a sign of alarm. So are people around here. Back in my home town, we are used to a little nose poking from neighbours. Sometimes we enjoy it. Here neighbours are total strangers to each other, leave alone street dogs, cats and birds. People run and rush all day and night. Here enjoyment doesn’t mean an evening spent with friends on a few cups of coffee. Instead it means having an expensive dinner with a very few, or maybe alone. You won’t see anyone taking a leisurely stroll, instead looking very busy all the time. Expressionless faces, but hands busy rapidly typing emotions into whatsapp, facebook etc. No one just cares about anything at all. Sometimes not even themselves. I am not blaming people, we are all modulated by situations around. It is just a study in contrast. It is a mixture of my emotions, feelings and apprehensions. I don’t wanna be like them. I don’t want to lose my senses like them and be a dumb working machine. I wanna live actively with a an active presence in all the lives I touch. I wanna be remembered by all I come in contact with no matter if it is a dog or a cat or a human.. I might be no great one, but I should not pass away unnoticed. May god give me strength for that. Amen.

 

P.S. a little heads up for those who dont know, I have finally got a job. Now I am in Kolkata, working in Cognizant. Life is a lot, lot and lot different here. I will do a post on that soon. Till then, take care and thanx for reading this one 🙂

How do they do that?

(In my mind, I often try to put myself in someone else’s  shoes, and try to see through their eyes and think with their minds. I think it helps me understand people and situations better. Here is a gist of one of my observations..)

A girl, grows up in the care of her parents. For at least 18-20 years she grows a sense of belonging to her parents and her birth family . All of a sudden marriage comes along and severs that sense of belonging, she belongs to a new family now. It is expected to be quick as changing the reference of an object variable in java, you just change the reference girl.family= new Family(); and done. The girl is supposed to manage that transition all by herself. She has insecurities, fears, anxieties etc. Which is obvious coz parents-in-law aren’t birth parents that they would accept you for whatever you are. She is the intern now. Sometimes she fights back to retain herself in the new environs, sometimes she yields to the pressure. To be plucked from a fenced garden into a new place where there is no one to love u unconditionally, moreover being expected to follow thousand of rules, that too taken for granted. Damn bad it is. Lucky are those whose in-laws are as good as their parents back at home.   Slowly she adjusts to the cogs and wheels of the new family. She learns to call the new family her own family. From being an outsider who was supposed to keep quiet and ignored at talks, she gets woven into the fabric of the family. She is the boss now. She has authority and command, she is the home-maker now. She has a few kids with her husband, maybe boys, maybe girls. She loves her kids more than herself. If the kid is a boy she has expects a nice daughter-in-law some day, and when her boy brings a wife home,she bosses over her. The boss now bosses over the intern brought in by her son. I don’t know if she remembers any of her internship years. But if the kid is a girl, she steadies herself to give her away to someone  else, someday. Like any other caring mother, she too expects her girl to get the best in-laws ever.

What intrigues me is that how someone can grow up belonging somewhere, then get replanted somewhere else and become a part of the new place like having been there since ages.. Hindus and others who know the Mahabharat epic, say Lord Krishna endured a lot of pain and hurt when he had to leave all his belongings in Gokul and go to Mathura to meet his birth parents. In my opinion that is repeated each day with every girl, but no one cares none remembers…

 

PS. Correct me if I am wrong at any point

Ever feel like you aren’t growing up?

I do, quite often!

(Before I proceed any further I wanna let u all know that I am the worst at expressing my feelings in words and this topic is about a deeeeep feeling. So there is a high probability that this post will be a disaster, proceed at your own risk 😉 )

In school, years of my life were slow, verrry slow. This was because I didn’t enjoy going to school. I was reserved and introvert. I used to talk a lot with myself and very little with others. Naturally there were pent up emotions which needed periodic release, and I always ended up trusting the wrong guy with those. Invariably the wrong guy used to go public with them and I was left with ears red. Those were embarrassing. I was the underdog, peers picked on me all the time and I hated school. This hate made each day at school a torture, and time was a lot slower than I wanted it to be. But I could feel myself growing! I am not talking about being taller. I could feel myself growing in my mind. My behavior, way of talking, becoming choosy with whatever I shared with whoever etc these were all changing through the years. By my secondary school exam, I was no longer the kid who used to giggle all the time like when he first stepped into school life. This is absolutely normal you would say. You might also add “what the hell does guy want? Does he want to stay little all his life“. Nope, this guy is as sane is any other . It is just that, then I could feel this change. I said “I could“, because now I can’t! :O Seriously!

School life was slow and I could feel myself growing. But as I finished school and came into college, life picked up a hell of a pace! 4 whole years. They passed by as quick as 4 weeks. Since then I haven’t felt myself growing anymore. Let me explain.. It is said that as we grow older, we gain maturity, wisdom, stuff like that. My experience of watching people says while growing older these qualities are supposed to make us egoistic and grouchy (at the least). Being grown up means if someone calls you a bad name, you can’t let it go easy and you have to fight for your honor.You aren’t supposed to take things lightly anymore, unless absolutely necessary. But I can’t feel any of these. Among my peers, I am the only exception who still goes about his business with the carefree air of a guy in his 18th year (by my DOB I am 22+ ).  Most of them having girlfriends and boyfriends, have already started talking and behaving like family guardians. I hate being so serious all the time. Sometimes I find it hard to relate to them.

You know, this isn’t about feeling myself growing, it is more about being more mature each day, to be a guy of my age. I do agree that there are situations where one has to be serious and a bit grouchy, other than that is it really necessary to carry that air everywhere? Or am I missing the point of growing up?

Thinking…

P.S. Phew! this wasn’t a disaster like I had expected 😉

An emotional Get-Together

The day started with little excitement, I was gonna see my dearest ones after a gap of around 3 months. But I had no idea that this was gonna be the such an emotional day, that it left me with a nose blocked by held-back tears..

Indra was the first to reach college. I too had planned to get to my college by 9 in the morning, but a last minute appointment at the bank delayed me by around 2 hours. Some of you might know that I and my friends had built a mobile phone controlled robot car for our B.Tech project. I had brought it back home to show it to my parents. Alas! it didn’t work. I tried repairing it, but without success. Today I had planned to take it back and deposit it with my project guide. The 8B buses are always too much crowded for carrying any such delicate piece of work. So, I had to take another route and so forth. Anyway, getting off at my college I saw Avinandan with his better half. On entering the gates we saw Indra and Sneha at a distance. Sneha was a bit miffed. Her better half had scrapped his plans of coming and meeting us here coz of sudden fever. Otherwise it was great! we could not stop talking and smiling and laughing.. Needless to say, I kept cracking my fresh baked anecdotes whenever I felt the atmosphere settling down. My main target was Avinandan, coz his new-found girlfriend has brought about some seemingly impossible changes in him, that too in a couple of months.  So, we set off to get our N.O.Cs and final mark-sheets from the Registrar. In the course we went to different labs we had attended in this 4 years. Memories came flooding back as we visited them. The bench vices of the workshop, the drill machine diagram diagram on the black board, those huge DC motors in the electrical lab.. With all the signatures we went to the Admin Block for the next formalities. We were surprised to know that the piece of paper with all those signatures was not to be submitted today 😦 , we got to wait till December to submit it. Then we shall get our certificates.

So, finishing off this business we went off to Panch-Phoron, a restaurant nearby. On the way we saw a lot of policemen armed with guns and sticks. Reason? The town development authority has decided to demolish all illegal constructions in the city. They didn’t even spare the roadside makeshift food stalls. The ambient scenes could have dampened our spirits any other day, but today. We were too charged up for that! We were so busy talking that we hadn’t noticed that we were walking past our destination 😉 . It was Avinandan who pointed it out. The restaurant was on the 2nd floor. We first thought of taking the lift. But not being patient enough for the lift to come down, we set off the stairs.

We took an 8 chaired table for ourselves. Handed over a paper napkin to Sneha, she took out a pen and started . She is the manager at all out outings. She finalizes the stuff we order, how much each one has to pay etc. I had expected an item of PANEER, but no one else seemed to think on my line and so it wasn’t ordered. We ordered 4 plates of mix veg, 3 plates of biriyani and some more plates of some chicken items (I can’t recall the names :P). It was quite a while before we were served. We spent the time listening to Arijit’s experiences at Durgapur Steel Plant (he works there), telling Avinandan’s new found love how much had she changed him in these last 3 months who kept complaining about how much of a trouble it was to bunk a day at his job, I got my rakhi from dear sister Priyanka, teased Sneha how she never likes her own smiling photos, took a few pics etc. Finally, it was time to dig in! The food had been served. I was damned hungry.

There was a shortage of gravy 😦 but it was all great! Sneha and Priyanka could not finish their cold drinks, which I happily finished off! I am well known among my friends for my vicious appetite. All were saying they were full to their throats, but I felt like I could finish off another half plate of mix veg (though after a loud burp). We paid the bill and came out. Again thought of taking the lift. The lift showed “overweight” sign and I had to get off. We all met at the bottom of the stairs. Avinandan and his girlfriend were the first to take off for their workplace at city-center. They were getting late. Then it was Sneha’s turn, she took another auto to city-center bus stand. At last myself, Indra, Priyanka and Arijit were left. We took the next bus to city-center.

Within half an hour we were at city center bus stand. Sneha was smiling and waving furiously at us from her window side seat, the bus was “vroom”ing. There was still a minute left for the bus to depart. We kept talking but she insisted us to go on, enjoy the evening and not wait for her. Suddenly she turned her face away from the window. We could sense her choking on her cries. A few seconds later, she did look back at us, smiling, once more. But this time her eyes welled up and she could not hold back her tears. The bus started moving, tearing away her tearful eyes from our view. Slowly the bus took a turn around a barrier and she was gone.. I caught a glimpse of Priyanka misty eyed, before she wiped them off.. I could neither cry properly nor could I brush away the emotions (like I always do). I don’t know what was holding back my tears. My eyes were red, but my nose was runny..

The last time we had parted, we weren’t so much emotional. We had a reason which made sure that we would meet within another couple of months. But this is the final parting shot.. This time, we really don’t know when shall we meet again, if at all..

A job Interview, an adventure -> 2nd day, Written test and Card tricks

Funny enough, this day started around 4 in the morning! Actually, it was a cat moaning, and those who know it know well how much disturbing and irritating it is. A few times I left my bed to shoo away the cat, but it was beyond my reach behind a door. By the time of my 4th attempt, the cat had dared to appear before me. I was so angry I could have strangled it bare-hand even before it could take out its claws but, fortunately enough, it managed to give me the slip by a few centimeters and fled for its life. Next thing I remember is waking up around 5. A thought hit me like a hammer, “OMG! I have forgotten to bring my resume!!”. Imagine my situation. I had gone for an interview without my resume!! I felt chilly for a few seconds, but then another idea warmed me up! I would have needed the resume on the next day only if I managed to pass the written test.There was ample time in hand. So, I was back on track! here are some pics I snapped in the morning..

Sudipta had finished his morning business in the only toilet for the whole floor and it was my turn. Avinandan was as late as ever. Even after jostling him we managed to get him out of bed only after 6. By the time he was ready and packed we were at Sealdah station buying tickets. Among the three of us, Sudipta is the most punctual and Avinandan the least. I am somewhere in between 😉 .  We were waiting.. waiting on the train..waiting for the train to leave or Avinandan to come, whichever came first. All of a sudden Avinandan’s head and his tall figure popped up among the crowd far away, then he ran the length to our coach with the air of a “Bollywood hero chasing his love“. Half a minute late and he would have missed this train. We departed from Sealdah, promising ourselves that we wont go to that horrible hotel again no matter what happens.  On our opposite side, a young man in interview formals was sitting beside the window. I was hungry. Decided to have a pack of “CHOLA-MIXTURE” (sprouting grams mixed with chopped onions and salts). Since I was awfully hungry, I hadn’t noticed the dripping spice water smeared all over my hands. At last I washed my hand and shook my hands dry (my hanky was in my backpack) and that window side person gave me a glare. Though I told him an inaudible sorry, the milk had been spilled. At least it animated his expressionless face to some extent! 😛

Getting off at Madhyamgram station Sudipta and Avinandan had a cup of tea each. Both were too tense to eat anything. The drone of a plane  passing overhead told us that we were quite near to the DumDum Airport. Looked above, it was an IndiGo plane.  I had a funny yet strange thought seeing the planes overhead, passing so near. I thought what if the plane stops mid-air and falls on our heads, coz literally they looked like hanging from the sky 🙂  We were told that we were gonna be picked up by a bus at the station, and then at another bus stop. We were confused, didn’t know which way to go. Started walking. After a little distance we noticed there were bands of guys and girls who were no less confused. They too were wandering without a clue. The looks in those eyes, we knew we were in the same boat. The scattered groups congregated under a flyover. Someone told “lets go to the next pick up point”, and we all did so. Groups of 4-5 took a rickshaw van each and off we went. It was a fun ride!

Got off at Madyamgram Chowmatha. The traffic police gestured us to go to the other side of the road, the college was in that direction. Soon a small yellow bus appeared. We scrambled to get on to it. I was luck, I got a window seat. Within minutes the bus was jam-packed and we started for our destination, “Camellia Institute of  Technology”. I didn’t look behind but I was pretty sure that many were left standing at the bus stop. It took around10 minutes.

The college campus..

The college is situated in the middle of a grassy wetland. No facilities such as transport or any good hotel nearby. The entrance itself smells awful coz of the high drain passing in its front. Anyway, we had to ourselves registered and authenticated. To that I said to my friends “None except those who have lost their minds will come here willingly, so there isn’t a need for authentication. We won’t have come here unless we desperately needed a job” . We were asked to sit in a medium sized auditorium. there we were supposedto take the test there. The people from “Exilant Technologies” had come. At first they arranged us into neat rows and columns. Then we were given answer sheets and question papers and the test started. It was a test of 15 questions, 45 minutes. My question set was easier, I had completed it within 20 minutes. Most of those sitting around me were slogging on till the 45th minute calculating and writing. The papers were taken back and we were told to assemble by 3 pm for the results. We went to the canteen for lunch. Avinandan had come here before, so he led the way. On reaching there we got a surprise!!! Another group of student from our college had gone there. We were searching for them, they for us and we hadn’t discovered each other till then 🙂 I had 4 parathas for lunch and back we went. There was a lot of time left so we decided to roam about in the college. After some time we sat on a balcony. O! I forgot to mention. Sukanto and Debashish, another two friends of mine had invited us to stay at their hostel for the night. I was immensely relieved!!

Sitting on the balcony..

By 3 pm sharp, the company guys had came to the auditorium. To my utter surprise my name was 2nd on the list! I had cleared the written test. Waow! what a feeling that was with the whole room looking at me. My friends congratulated me. I was asked to go to another room in another building. It was for a pre-placement talk. Sitting in that A/C hall, I was wondering if any more of my friends had cleared the test (Later on I came to know that another one did clear, but he had left for home already). I was a bit sad that neither Avinandan nor Sudipta had cleared the test. The placement talk went on for an hour and we were on our way back. Sudipta was feeling sick, so he had already left for home. Avinandan was kind enough to stay back with me, even though he didn’t have anything else to do. We went to DumDum. There we called up Debashish for the directions. He asked us to take an auto to “Khamkheyali Songho”, which means “the absent-minded group”. Kolkata is famous for such funny names! We were escorted to their room. Compared to what we had gone through the previous night, this place seemed like heaven! Soon we all went out for a meal. Sukanta was the hungriest among us. We went to a resturaunt, woke up the sleeping owner-cum-cook and ordered for 5 plates of noodles. Afterwards we returned as we were too tired to hang out any more.

5-6 people live in these guys’ room. The funniest of them all is a skinny Sikkimese. He is a student of BESU, Sibpur. He looks like he is always sort of intoxicated (which he actually is). Never mind, what I liked most was his card tricks. He is a master at card magic. He deftly performed many tricks leaving me and Avinandan awestruck. Initially I was an active audience, but after a few tricks I got too embarrassed to be fooled again. I pretended not to notice, but who could resist.. He is awesome!! Raghu, Debashis and Sukanta did treat us well. Sukanta even gave me a animated movie “Puss in boots” !! I would like to thank them again, they saved us from going back into that hell-hole. 🙂 For dinner I had a Bengali Thali and a bottle of Amul KOOL!

So this is how the 2nd night ends.. U know I skipped a lot of things, otherwise this post would have been even longer.

A job Interview, an adventure -> the 1st day

Let’s start the story on the day we left home. Me and my two friends Sudipta and Avinandan, were supposed to meet at Durgapur station. We were a bit late, still we managed to catch the train to Dakhineswar, the Jammu Tawi Express. We had general compartment tickets, but seeing the general compartments packed full; we decided to get on the sleeper coaches, which is illegal. Bad luck, we were caught by the TT soon. He was hell-bent on slapping a fine on the three of us. Thanx to Avinandan, we somehow managed to convince him and he let us go. He gave us strict orders to get off at the next station or go to the general compartments. So we did. Just as the train reached the next station, we got off and ran. Bad luck again, we were into the coaches near the end and the general coaches were right next to the engine. After running the whole length of the train panting for breath, we hopped on to the general coach and the engine gave the whistle. There was just space for the three of us and our backpacks. We were a bit tense if we would have to stand throughout the journey, but thank God! Halfway to our destination at Burdwan station, the crowd lightened up and we got seats. It was raining hard, so all the windows were closed. In such a closed coach if someone next to you farts every minute, what would it be like? It was horrible. It was like getting drowned, literally I could not breathe. Someone really needed to go to the toilet, I just could not guess who. At last, around half an hour to our destination I got up from my seat. I could not have sat there for another minute without killing myself. So, finally we were at Dakhineswar.

Dakhineswar station

This place is the famous for a temple complex of the Hindu goddess ”Kali”. Legend says that Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to destroy the body of Sati, then her right hand thumb fell at this place, so a temple came up here. Also, this is the place where the legendary Ramakrishna Paramahansa was a priest in the East India era.

Me and Avinandan
Sudipta in the front
This is the station ticket counter, designed just like the main temple of Dakhineswar

It was still raining, I wanted to go straight to Sealdah, but Avinandan was adamant about visiting the temple. He is damned good at convincing others, so I didn’t have much of a choice. We 3 were off on foot for darshan.  The rain was attacking us from all sides in turns so we were adjust our umbrellas at different angles. On entering the gates we saw many going here and there. Some were barefooted, some weren’t. There was the main temple complex on our left and the offerings shops on our right. Following the other people we went to a place where we kept our shoes for a token. Then we made for the main temple complex. While entering everyone has t pass through a narrow alley after a little checking. The narrow alley opened up into a huge open space, with many little and medium sized temples arranged neatly along the sides. We could not decide which one to visit first. Anyway, we started off the nearest one. The second one housed the main idol of Ma KALI. Here we had a hilarious incident. The temple itself was on a raised platform, and had quite a number of stairs. We first started on one side, got up the stairs, found our way blocked, came down. Went left, repeated the same thing 3 times, only to find that we had chosen the wrong way all 3 times. Finally, we found that the entrance was on the right side of the stairs we had climbed the first time! It would have been a fine script for a show of Mr. Bean! Laughing at ourselves we went to the other side for darshan. This side had 7 small temples of Lord Shiva, right next to the Ganges.
Taking back our shoes, we left for another temple named ADYAPEATH. On way, we had to ask a lot of people for directions. After walking for about 5 minutes we were there. This place wasn’t as big as Dakhineswar, but a lot more dense with many temples. We were hungry, had some snacks and made for the station. On way, there was a overflowing drain which had drowned up a long street in knee-deep water. Initially, we performed some daredevil long jumps along the little islands on the sides. Ultimately we had to give up. I took lead, dipped my feet and started wading along the street. It was funny and frightening at the same time. Funny coz I like walking in the rains, walking through puddles. It was frightening coz we didn’t know if we were gonna step into the next big pothole. At the end of the ordeal, I was utterly surprised! Avinandan was chatting on the phone throughout!  Talk about multitasking!!
We got to the station and boarded a train for Sealdah. The train was almost empty, given the bad weather. We got off at Sealdah and started our hotel hunt for the night. We started off asking a lone policeman for the nearest hotels, then passed underneath the AJC Bose flyover to the other side. It was muddy everywhere. We went from hotel to hotel but were told there wasn’t any vacant room. Only the A/C ones were vacant but they were gonna burn holes in our pockets. After a long search we managed to find one called Hotel Shefali Dx, where after a hard round of negotiation we got a room for the night for 400. The owner was a fine specimen of a typical boss! He is such a person who never talks and always barks!!He barks both at customers and his assistant (who is always on the edge of losing his temper and killing him). No doubt, customers come to this hotel and put up with this unbearable menace only when they have no other choice.  Just 20 minutes with him and we were going mad. Whenever he turned his back, the assistant silently muttered the worst slangs in his direction. We got a good idea of his frustration when he came upstairs to show us our room. Finally, we got a room. The room didn’t even have proper lighting arrangements. We took a CFL from the bathroom and fitted it in our room for the night. Before going for dinner and retiring for the night we took some pics from our balcony.  The room wasn’t good, but the view of Kolkata was awesome!! The pics we had taken aren’t good enough. This one is the flyover right in front of our hotel.

Look carefully, there is a warning painted on the road

P.S.- Whoever is angry at me because I didn’t visit ur blog, blame it on this 🙂

for those who question my taste in movies..

Friends ask me a lot, why I don’t watch anything other than cartoons and animations, why so? Here is the answer for anybody who cares to read..

I seldom watch any movie other than those made for kids. But when I do, it leaves super-permanent impressions on me. The last one I saw was Autograph and today it was Katakuti. In this movie, I found myself in Rony, an out of place character in this sickly twisted world, where nothing is straight. Being true to the saying “movies are the mirrors of our society”, these movies lay bare the darkest realities of life, and reality is damned confusing..

The more I see these movies the more I am reminded of a line I had read in some Bengali prose. A lady said, ভাষার সৃষ্টি হয়েছে মানুশের মনকে ঢাকা দিতে, Language was created to mask the mind. Truly enough, the more you mask your mind the better a person you are. Being transparent, I am the odd-one-out in this race.

The more I see these movies the more it seems, love is nothing but a device used to get something. Romantic partners love each other just to have a support on as-needed basis and satisfy their own false ego. They don’t love the person, they love to have somebody who is at the beck and call. I don’t know to what extent this is true, but this is my own perception.

The more I see these movies, I become more and more of a pessimist and skeptic. I find it hard to believe others. I find it hard to trust others. I am not that intelligent that I can perceive deception before being fooled.

Lastly what bothers me most is that, I feel the things shown may happen to me. I have already seen a few in my real life, and I have just heard about some others. Then the thought surfaces, it happens to some of my dear ones, then what shall I do? The mere thought chills my blood and Reality really hurts... Being bitten by a snake thrice doesn’t accustom you to the pain. It hurts like it did the first time, just the scream “MOMMYY!!!!!!” turns into a little “Ahh..”. Similarly, watching movie characters in pain doesn’t lessen the pain of watching them unfold in real life.

Animated movies are designed with kids in mind. They amuse us, take our mind off reality bites, and give us a break..  So why bother about extra pain when I can avoid it altogether. Better to laugh all the way to the grave because no one knows when and where the path ends. 🙂

Your thoughts please!

Undecided about taking the leap..

It has been my dream to be able to play a musical instrument since long..  This dream was half inspired my subtle show-off nature and the rest was my inborn knack. My mother says my sense of music and rhythm was pretty strong for a kid who had just learnt to walk. She talks of a particular incident often. She says, once I had gone to a theater with my mother. Most probably a folk play was being staged. I was sitting in her lap watching all and understanding nothing 😉 . There was a song and that turned me on. She says I danced so well to the rhythm of the Tabla that surrounding people were awestruck watching me. That playful happy carefree child is still there yet not visible to anybody. Age-derived maturity has pulled a lot of wraps over him. He is locked behind the bars of my ego and shyness. Does this bother him? Not at all. He is still there dancing and tapping his fingers whenever there is music around. He tries to coax me into joining him, but I can’t. Sadly, I am not one of those handsome guys who look smart no matter what. I am a inside-and-out stupid guy, who loves making others laugh with his stupidity..  True, I can’t dance in public. But nobody can stop me from strumming the strings of an imaginary guitar or drumming away at a tabla or tapping on a table top..

Sorry for diverting off the point. The point is I am finally getting a chance to realize this dream of mine. Most probably tomorrow, I am going to buy a guitar and start taking guitar classes within a week, this has been planned. So near to my destiny, yet something is bothering me. A lingering doubt.. Those who know me in real life have been pestered by my dialogue “I am gonna learn the guitar”, yet I was least sure about it. Now that I have fallen for my own con, I really don’t know if I would love the guitar. I never have handled one. I have just seen my friends strum away at those strings. So, my love for the guitar is mostly due to the glamor associated and its sound. You know, some of my favorite songs are those on a slow guitar ex. “Whiskey lullaby” by Brad Paisley.

I guess I don’t have another choice. I have to stick to this or be branded indecisive and fickle-minded. I am not saying that I will hate it for sure. There is a good probability that I will like it!

This is gonna be an unplanned adventure.  I hope the guitar will be able to interest me.. I will be updating about that for sure. 🙂 Any suggestion? Tips?

The most prominent scar, college life left on me..

These last 4 years left some permanent marks on me. Some emotional burns, cuts, bruises, and wounds left their permanent scars, which have shaped me into my present self.  The most prominent one which  actually made me write this post is that, I am a lot cooler than I used to be. I don’t mean handsome kind of cool, but cooler by state of mind. I shall explain with an example. Read on..

Just take the situation yesterday. I and Avinandan had gone to Kolkata for an informal job interview (we had a reference). By the time we were done with the interview and lunch, it was quite late. We were gonna miss the last buses back home. We hurried to Karunamayee. Bad luck, we didn’t get a ticket for the last bus which was leaving right then. Given the time available we couldn’t have opted for the train. So, we thought of going to Esplanade, hoping to get a ticket on another bus to Durgapur. We had no idea if we had already missed the last bus but we were hoping to be there in time. Owing to traffic jam on the way, our bus took around 1 hour for a route of 30 minutes. Luckily, we were there in time. Buying the tickets, we took our places on the bus, informed the ones concerned and everybody heaved a sigh of relief.. Avinandan asked me if I was tensed about missing the last bus and being stranded in Kolkata for a whole night. I said “Nope, I am much cooler now, thanks to you and my college mates…”.It made me reflect on what would have happened if my 18 year self had been through this.

First of all, hearing he had already missed the last bus at Karunamayee, he would have been half blinded by fear. He would have felt hugely nauseated and a migraine would have set in for sure. Each and every second on the bus to Esplanade would have been a huge torture for him. He might have cried out or fainted in the heat of summer. In the mean time he might have lost his mobile phone, bumped into a dozen people already destroying his specs and so on.. Cumulative anger and frustration would have made him half dead by the time he would have reached Esplanade.

Amongst all the different character traits that I have gained through my 4 years of college, this one is the most prominent. Knowing, believing and feeling are 3 different things.. There was a time when everybody used to say to me “don’t panic, everything will be alright”. Slowly I began to believe, but I never got the hang of “everything will be alright”, because I never saw beyond my immediate neighborhood. College life forced me to take a broader perspective and that changed me for good! Now I feel “whatever happens is always the best that can happen, my duty is just to hang on tight and enjoy the ride”. Whatever situation I might face, ultimately I am going to be alive, which implies either I will be successful or I will be defeated and embarrassed. In case none of these happen, it will be much simpler! I would be dead and be spared the trouble of facing others with the embarrassed look!

Thank you my friends! Thanx a lot..

The final day of college life!

My day started with the thought “What if I can’t write anything today in my exams, I don’t wanna fail in the last one…”. It was real scary.

By 10 I was at the exam hall. It was the usual scene; most were preparing cheat-papers and writing on benches with pencils etc. Few were talking about the extreme heat of the summer, laughing at some anecdotes and so on.  I was feeling as if I was in a slaughterhouse about to be killed. Cheating in exams that is something I had never done before. I didn’t expect that myself being able to do that without being caught. The question papers arrived 5 minutes earlier, it killed me on the first look just as I expected. There wasn’t a single question that I could have answered by myself, all were lengthy derivations and I hadn’t prepared them at all. Something else was playing at my fate today. Suddenly something like a heat wave rushed over me and I uttered “Hey Adra, Pass me the cheat”. I was surprised at my tone of voice. This was one of the strangest things I have ever done. Next 2 hours went like breeze! I deftly cheated throughout the paper. I completed the paper with 1 hour left. There was ample time left to throw away the cheats through the broken window behind me. Time became slow. I could not wait to submit my paper and break into the final celebration of my college life! After the exam I ran to the library to submit my last library book and it was done! I was free! We started writing on shirts in the library itself (on other days this would have earned us a good scolding, but not today). Friends and all, we had become a family. Today it was time to depart, time for the last get-together. It was time to get emotional, time to speak those unspoken words we had in our hearts for years. It was time to show off our pent-up sentiments and so on…. Here, u can see some pictures my friends taken by my friend Avinandan.

In front of our library

                  

Afterwards, we decided to spend the night at Sudipta’s mess and visit Sudipta’s hometown tomorrow. I had to do some packing and stuff, so I came back home. An hour later me  Avinandan and Arijit we  3 joined the 3 others, Suvajit, Suvayan and Sudipta (remember the making of the song “college er sei dingulo“?). For dinner we went to restaurant named “PANCH-PHORON” (it is a Bengali spice).Enjoyed a hefty dinner, but it was already past 10 so, we were gonna have to walk the distance back. Luckily enough we got the last bus on the route. It was already running late, so we were at Sudipta’s mess in no time. I got to mention, in my B.Tech life of 4 years, I haven’t ever seen these buses going so fast! Avinandan was adamant about taking a his first sip of beer. Sadly enough, there were many who had planned to take the first sip tonight! as a result we could not find any good one. At last we found a bottle of Haywards 5000, it wasn’t chilled though. Arijit had bought a cold 2l Sprite. We decided that it should be mixed with the beer to lower its temperature. Avinandan was the first to take a sip. But he could not drink much. The rest of the bottle was finished by Arijit and Sudipta. Then we decided for game of cards. I am lousy player, so I was taking a little rest and the others were playing. Around 2 am everybody got tired and we came out of the room into the open air.

Now it is 2 3o am. Tonight, sitting outside by the side of a well, with a few of my friends under the open sky, counting the stars and yawning, we are reflecting on our life for the last 4 years. It was 8th August 2008, that we started this journey, the journey of 4 years of B.Tech. Looking back there are a lot of sweet and sour memories but most have been victims of my short-term memory. So I am keeping quiet, laughing at their anecdotes. In the meantime we can hear funny noises from the girls mess just beside the place we were sitting and we are wondering aloud what they are up to.. I am terribly sleepy, but trying to keep myself awake.

This is our last night together, A memory we shall cherish forever!

a random confession..

It is said that People love to take part in your happiness, but are indifferent when you are in distress. However there are some who aren’t indifferent to others in distress, even though they seem to be so.. I am one of them.

This morning I was going through the new posts on my favorite blogs, when came across a nice post by Just Another Wakeup Call, click here.  Overcome with emotions I could not comment on the post. This reminded me of a sticky situation which crops up every now and then. I need your advice on this, so here goes.

I am fortunate enough to be comforted by my friends and close ones whenever in distress. I am grateful and hugely indebted to them. Yet when it is my turn, I am not of much help. Some of my friends  have often confided in me in their bad times. Since I am known as a patient listener, they expect I can be of some help; at least comfort them with words. They do deserve that. But all I can do is to nod my head. Their pain affects me so much; I myself hang on the verge of breaking down, and to prevent that I put up an blank face  trying to cover up my own mental turmoil. I feel for them deeply, but I can’t convey that. This pent up emotion is another trouble and cause of stress.. So, anybody and everybody who has ever felt that I have been indifferent to your sorrows please forgive me. This is an inherent weakness and I can’t help it.

Anybody and everybody whoever has got any advice for this poor soul, you are most welcome..

SantuOnline is 2 years old!

“YEAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  SantuOnline is 2 years old!”. This was my first thought right after getting up this morning! I am sooo happy, seems like it is my own birthday! I still remember those days when I used to plead with my friends to visit my blog (I didn’t know how to get visits then). Most didn’t  care. Indrajit was the only one who used to comment on each of my posts and I had to be content with that.  It was only this January that I started blogging like I meant it and now have a handsome reader base! I am obliged. I guess I have improved a lot as a writer since I started.

Here are some old posts of mine. I know they aren’t as good as as my latest posts, still take a peek at them. Let it be your B’day gift to my blog! 😉

My very first post, Hello world! . Notice the way I have written? I didn’t know what to write and how to write then.

My first brush with wildlife photography, I clicked an awesome pic of a grasshopper at a distance of just 5cm!

CUTEsome THREEsome, I clicked a mommy dog and two puppies suckling! Cute indeed! U cant miss this one.

uffffffffff…….. chaap ketechhe   a post on an exam. I had been  in a pressure-cooker situation that day!

life at the end of two years in college  The title is explanatory enough. A sentimental one..

curious cutie Snap of a li’l cat, by my friend Tanushree.

HAD A GREAT FALL, I fell while climbing down a hill.

a Friendship day post! This is one of my personal favorites! I celebrated the afternoon of Friendship day, at a river side with my closest friends.

have free time, but I am trying to relax A miscellaneous post on a day I was bored of doing nothing 🙂

a Lovely Sunset.. Another one of my rarely awesome pics! Please, dont miss this. This is a pic of my hometown.

and lastly the series of 4 posts about  a job interview I had appeared for. My very 1st one away from home!

A JOB INTERVIEW, 3rd in my life,1st one away from home
A JOB INTERVIEW, 3rd in my life,1st one away from home -> The written test
A JOB INTERVIEW, 3rd in my life,1st one away from home -> Results are declared..
A JOB INTERVIEW, 3rd in my life,1st one away from home-> the journey ends..
 

A lovely dream that I don’t want to realize..

This one might look like an awards post, but it is not. It is just a bunch of thoughts concealing a childish wish.

Meeting new friends is always great! No, I am not talking about Facebook type of friends. We just have them on our friend lists, not in our hearts. Those I have in my heart are from my real life and from WordPress. It might seem a bit odd that I am equating worth of real life friends and those on WordPress as same, but actually there is nothing strange about it. Let me explain.  You see on FB, we like,comment, show off, feel jealous, congratulate and humiliate each other with status updates, photos and all that. But on WordPress, we just we just go on writing our own thoughts. People who resonate, follow on. Thus a good and healthy friendship is born. I am not undermining the worth of real life friends. I am just saying, my WordPress friends are almost as close to my heart, as my real life friends. Here’s a list of few of my favorite blogs. Read on to know why I like them..

Vighneshacharya is always ready with Speedy Sparks to preach and inspire. His inspirational posts have helped me a lot. Next my mind points to DrChristy from Nashville. Her posts about Jesus and the almighty, those are abrasive enough to rub the veils of materialism and ego off our eyes, yet soft enough to gently touch the heart and show us the right way. I have gained a lot of patience and peace reading them. Currently she is doing some posts on medicines and vaccines. Next I should mention THATlou, short for “Treasure hunt at the Louvre”. Her blog is always full of historical facts objects and artifacts. Even though I hated history, I love her posts.  At Atranquilplace, the photos and words take me to heaven the moment I read them. Awesome! At semi coherent ramblings and such, he just talks on and on and on and in the end, you realize it wasn’t him talking. It was you reading! I love going through his mind . At Angiestoeklinblog, she is a simple girl of tween, living in San Francisco. You have to read her blog to know why I like her. So is Lexical Tapestry, she mesmerizes all with her posts and poems. I should mention, the author of Indrakatha is my best friend. Now for poetry blogs, one is Madame’s Tea Party and the other is Camilla Carron. Madame’s Tea Party posts so many each day that I can’t catch up, and Camilla Carron, she can get you cracking with laughter with just a few lines. Enough with the list.. There are around 30 other bloggers whom I follow for some reason, but I don’t wanna make this post too long. Now, lets cut to the chase!

Just this morning I had an idea. Why not go on a world tour to meet these wonderful people in person? It isn’t that bad an idea and I spent my whole day dreaming of meeting them. I saw myself in San Francisco, looking at that huge red bridge. I found myself laughing at Camilla’s poems. I saw myself in Nashville listening to some spiritual talk by drchristy, and so on.. By evening reality dawned on me. It isn’t quite possible to realize that dream, not at least in my present situation. That made me sad. The chain of thoughts went on, till I settled on a nice climax. I am a human being right? I am bound to be judgmental. What if I don’t like something about them. Instead of being enchanted, I might get a bad taste in my mouth.  It might spoil their images in my heart and if that happens, then what is the point of realizing such a dream?…  I said to my mind, “No reality check please, I just wanna keep dreaming”. Dreaming and wishing that one day, I will be meeting these wonderful people. I want to preserve their images as it is, in my heart and keep resonating with their thoughts for ever.. 🙂