Monday, June 30, 2008

The inevitable 'Change'

They say that change is the only constant (and hence the name of my blog). I’ve heard so many times people exclaim that they need change to happen. But do we really like change? I think, being creatures of habit, we of all hate changes. We are in fact, are scared of change, when our existence depends on it.

Though we loathe at the idea of being governed by habits we humans like any other nature’s creation are a creature of habit. Have you ever noticed that we always will keep our wallets or keys in the same place every day, or take the same route to work or home? Even at work, we have predictable patterns and preferences of how we begin our day. Some like to read the news the first thing, while some would check their mails. Some would rearrange their stuff, while few will head straight for the coffee machine.

Of course, there are things we do change. Like our clothes every day for hygiene purposes or cell phones from time to time. But that’s either that our previous one is mal functioning, or it doesn’t have the features you want or maybe it’s not hip enough. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ll change it just to break the monotony of using the same device. But these changes are only to our peripheral being or towards our superficial interaction with the society. We all hate to come out of our comfort zone otherwise.

History as we know has often showed us that the ones who don’t change are the ones who face extinction.  And this reason alone drives us to accept the change, whether we like it or not. Like in 2000, when a lot of Software engineers went out of jobs because, they were not equipped well enough to handle the new technologies. Or you pick up a new process; introduce new schemes to stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Yet, there are those who in spite of the changing times survived being what they are. Consider the species like the cockroach and many others from the reptilian family. They adapted to the change but did not go through radical metamorphosis as many others. The key word here and to which I want to emphasize is ‘Adaptation’.

Adaptation by definition is: “to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly”. Ninety nine times to one, a change can be predicted. Rarely did you hit an inflection point without having a hunch or visibility into it. Whether you have enough time to adapt to it then becomes the point in question.  And that’s what we’ll talk about in the next post.

Friday, June 13, 2008

'Touchy feely’:: article by Chetan Bhagat

(Well, I have seen this article circulating for past couple of months until it recently bumped in my inbox again. Since, I do not have anything better to put up - I decided to post this today! One word of caution - people only claim that this has been written by chetan Bhagat... No where did I find a proof that it was actually written by him. But still, it's a decent read)

I remember the incident - I was in a restaurant and one girl in our group
was especially charming. So I, like any other male, tried to put on a
wooing act. You know the routine, a nanosecond extra eye contact, a few
more nods to whatever she says, and attempts to throw in those one-liners
which you know you wouldn't if she weren't there. And it seemed to be
working. She leaned forward when she spoke to me, and every now and again,
we'd have a small conversation of our own, separate from our group. She
laughed at my approach with the fork and knife, and I teased her about her
hair band, which had little teddy bears. Yes, we were flirting. A while
later, she asked me the question what did I study? I said engineering, 
without any particular meaning attached to it. And then like a cold metal
rail, she went stiff.

My jokes weren't funny any more. Her eyes wandered to everyone else.

What was it?

Why? Why? Why?

Two days later, I still couldn't get over my great start that had
dissipated listlessly upon mentioning my education. Engineer? What was
wrong with that? My mom had wanted me to become one since I was five! I had
to call her. 'So what happened to you that day, hot and cold, missie?' And
then she said, trying to be nice, 'Well, it's just that I am skeptical
about engineers as friends. I don't know, they can be, you know, very
logical and everything...not very touchy feely'.

Not touchy-feely. Now what the heck did that mean? Well, she obviously did
not mean it literally, since girls don't really suggest that sort of stuff,
certainly not in the first meeting across the table. I guessed it was 
something to do with feelings, sort of having an emotional side. The
stereotype being, the nerdy guy who sees relationships like laws of
physics, to whom love is just a bunch of chemicals going crazy in your
brain, and getting to know a person means obtaining their bio-data.

It's time to set the record straight.

It's true that a lot of what engineers study (and they end up studying
quite a lot), has to do with formulaes, laws and numbers. No matter how
hard we try, some of the vocabulary we read all day gets into our language.
So when my mother said, 'Are you getting married next year or not?' I was
liable to say, 'Well, at this moment in time, the probability is relatively
low,' and felt it was completely normal to say it. And when my sister went
sari shopping and couldn't explain the shade she wanted, I told the
shopkeeper the percentages of pink, orange and red in the sari.

Yet, ladies, I don't think we're bad at relationships, love and getting to
know people. We too, can be touchy-feely, as that is part of our education
as well. The reason for this is that most engineering students live in the
this 'touchy-feely' thing. Relationships. Imagine eating, sleeping,
brushing your teeth, bathing (ok rarely this one) and partying with the
same people all the time. So, when you are kicking that bathroom door down 
for the tenth time, or when you stand in line for 'gulab-jamuns' in the
mess, and when you are done with the vodka bottle and sharing all your
secrets, you know it is good practice. Yes, hostels maketh the man.

So, next time you are in a flirtatious situation with the techno types, go
on, flirt a bit more. Of course, I am biased towards my kind, but if you
find the conversation turning too geeky, just ask them, 'So, what were your
hostel days like?' and chances are, you'll see a heart behind the
calculator. Coming back to my missie, I thought of what would make me win
her over. Flowers... too cheesy. Music... don't know her taste (nor trust
mine). Teddy bears... don't even go there.

Desperate for some good lines, I just turned it right back at her. 'Yes, I
know what you are saying about engineers. The thing is, unless people with
depth like you start hanging out with us, we won't get any better. Can you
meet me some time for some touchy/feely... oops, I mean coffee/tea?'

She giggled. When they giggle, you have won.

- Chetan Bhagat

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Road to Nowhere

From Michigan West...

Today’s one of those days when I have this strong urge to reflect my thoughts and to pen down something, no in fact, anything in my blog but my astute lack of creativity and a total void in the left lobe of my brain has left me with no ideas but to stare blankly at the clean white interface of my text editor. I know it’s one of those days when no matter what or how much I try I cannot get even a glance of an inspiration. I’ve been holding out onto this idea – of blogging about nothing for a good (rather, bad) time. I guess the time has come – This could be the marking of the death of the inner writer I have within me.
And why this intense urge to write? Well, the other option would be to try fixing a piece of code - a task which for past two weeks I have failed miserably at. I know I won’t succeed at it today also or at the least right now. So why not sit squat, pretend that I am working and write out this blog itself. Maybe, I am looking out at this blog to be the vent of all the frustrations I’ve been holding up since the dawning of this script in my life.
Now the worse part it, as soon as I am done fixing it –and I hope I would be able to since the deadline is already crossed, I have to move to a new line of work which I have no clue about and to a place where I am considered to be an ‘expert’ of all sorts. Me and my big mouth! So much for working happily ever after.

Hmmm, I already feel better or maybe I've accepted the inevitable! Now where's that Script I need to fix? Well, lookey here...