Out of college and not yet into the first real job...

I’ve been privileged enough to be receiving a formal education sponsored by my loving and ambitious parents, which made me into a graduate sometime in the year 2001, with a certificate in Electrical & Electronics engineering, a job with the then fourth largest software company of India and lots and lots of dreams & hope. This should probably sound like the setting from an Indian happy-happy movie, but then I was soon to learn life isn’t a Bollywood flick!

The infamous dot-com balloon that burst in the Uncle Sam during the turn of the millennium had plans to change lives in some of the most rural of towns in India as well. Lucky me, I was chosen to be one of messiahs of the balloon that burst, metamorphosing the jubilation of a campus-recruited job to the chagrin that I shared with lot of other engineers (who regardless of the specialization in their graduation course, used to come out as software engineers, back then) who graduated that year, all across India. The software company that came into the campus and selected me to be one of their associates, into what-has-to-become the cornerstone of the later India Shining movement (the we-work-for-less based in-sourced software maintenance business projects), sent me a snail mail (that arrived unusually fast), saying they are to defer indefinitely the job offer they had extended me earlier.

Metaphoric balloons burst inside me too. The name & logo of a company that I used to doodle onto the desks of my college classrooms and on my and my friends’ notepads, to express my relentless loyalty and solidarity with them, long long before I even got into their payroll; that very logo put on a lot of ugly fat and grew into a gruesome shape adorning cactus-like thorns on it in my mind. I think I even resolved to never seek a career in that company ever again !

Spending the next couple of months to take in the first real stark life situation, I bounced back and got my self a job on contract terms with the state electricity board to be the ‘Assistant Engineer (Temporary)’ at the KSEB sub station that was less than a mile from my parents’ home. Hindsight is never ever healthy or productive, but the days in that job were some of the best in my life (second only perhaps to the days I spent as a student in the engineering college/hostel). Work was nominal, the main event of the days being literally instrumental in executing the load shedding aka power cut, by switching off the electricity supply to the different surrounding areas fed from that substation, at scheduled and announced time slots. It was announced/advertised to all the public, but thanks to the reputation of the state electricity board, these days taught me many new and varied curse words in my mother tongue of Malayalam. I was at the receiving end of all the badgering from the justly indignant torrent of calls that came in and that helped me learn, though I was unaware of the learning then, on how to shamelessly be bashed about: be it for something you are not faulty at, and more importantly, for something you are! Those were also the days where my reading flourished, thanks to a vast library of books that my well read friend and mentor shared freely with me and the long work hours at office where finding work was very difficult than finding a good book from my friend’s collection.

That went on for close to an year where I continued to enjoy my mom’s good food, growing slowly but steadily into that stereotypical youth, for whom energy, enthusiasm, aspiration etc. are words to be seen only in the dictionaries. Well then for me, as fate would have it, towards the end of 2002, I get a call from a good friend from the school days (who also is from the small town of Nemmara and who also is an electrical engineer by degree; but he was working in a small-time company in Chennai for a big-time call center as a network engineer), that his employer has a position available, that is equivalent to his. In the same call he reminded me rightly of how my life is getting wasted being in the same town that I have been all my life and how we were supposed to be aiming big and that computers are where we should be and that I could always go back to the Assistant Engineer (Temporary) job with the KSEB anytime I feel the Network Engineer job is not for me and many more things. To cut the long call short, I was convinced. Within 18 hours of my receiving that call, I was on a train to Chennai with one shoulder bag for the clothes for a week and lot of hopes !

The interview that was to happen on the next day of my reaching Chennai took a couple of more days to arrive. And when it did, it was in fact a piece of cake, thanks to all the tips from my friend and his new friends there handling similar roles. And so I got selected for the job. The pay was lower than what I was drawing from the Assistant Engineer (Temporary) job. And the new location worsened it, because Chennai is much much more expensive than Nemmara and on top of that the food and accommodation was not free now, as was the case earlier. But what bewildered me the most was the fact that, I was signing up for the same Network Engineer job like my friend, but my work hours were to be aligned to the US timings! That meant that I was to transform into a nocturnal and that too for a remuneration that could not even be called peanuts (I remember the peanuts from Chennai Besant Negar beach were costlier at least by 500% than the same measure of peanuts from Nemmara Lakshmi Theater!).

This phase of my life lasted just three months, but was wholesome once again in that it taught priceless lessons that has enriched my life as I see it now. There were two other guys to share the not-so-bad 2 BHK apartment in Velachery (the only suburb of Chennai, I have lived in) along with me and my childhood buddy. I learned some real good lessons in patience from how one of the roomies used to be compassionately patient towards my rude and belligerent screams of unrest towards him, by considering them to be from the lack of proper night-time sleep that I was going through. Whatever were the reasons for my getting irritated at the others, those never were just, but still the embodiments of compassion and patience endured me! But the weekends there were real good; for me it used to start soon after the dawn on the Saturdays, and for my sake the others would join in by getting up early resuming pretty much where they left off late into the small hours of Friday night. Now thinking back, those also were some good days notwithstanding the sleepless nights and the sleepy-hot-humid-and-mosquito-(and-flea-and-fly)-ridden & I-hardly-dozed-off-and-that-car-honked-in-the-street-outside kinda days, because of the same friends that I had who made their weekends sleepless and we all did some real good merriment. The learning I had on the work front were also tremendous, for, it was in Chennai office that I was seeing more than one computer connected into a local network (excluding the very little of exposure to internet that I had earlier).

And how that phase evolved is like this. I got called in by the same company whose logo I first used to scribble on my classmates’ notebooks and then later used to see as a gruesome cactus-like image. They were ready to take me in for the job that was offered a couple of years ago, to make me a part of the large section of Indian youth, male and female, in doing stuff faster, better, larger, cheaper (there some 6-8 such adverbs, all ending in -er, and all of them put together gave one of the visions/missions of the company) for the clients from the Western world, mainly the US. Forgetting all the resolutions I made earlier, I jumped into the job, probably from the exhaustion of all those night shift hours at that Chennai office. This meant I had to abscond from this Network Engineer job, as it was only 3 months since I have joined them there. I did that too, to start another phase of my life in Hyderabad, that was to change quite a few facets of my life and indirectly to be part of the IT/BPO based boom of Indian economy that was to happen 3-4 years down the line, and therefore indirectly again, to be an impetus to some creative writer, to come up with the faux caption of India Shining.

എന്താണിതിന്റെ ഒക്കെ അര്‍ത്ഥം?

സഹൃദയരെ… കലാസാഹിത്യപ്രേമികളെ… സുഹൃത്തുക്കളെ…

എന്റെ ആ ചോദ്യം, അത് നിങ്ങളെ കുഴക്കിയോ? ഞാന്‍ ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത് നമ്മുടെ മനോഹരമായ ഈ ഭൂമി അടങ്ങുന്ന വിസ്മയകരവും അത്ത്യോജ്ജ്വലവും ആയ മഹാ പ്രപഞ്ചത്തിനെ പറ്റിയോ, അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ പോട്ടെ, ബുദ്ധനും ശങ്കരനും (പിന്നെ നമ്മുടെ ലാലേട്ടനും) ചോദിച്ചു നടന്ന ‘ഞാന്‍ ആര്?’ എന്ന ഉത്തരമില്ലാ ചോദ്യത്തിനെ കുറിച്ചോ ഒന്നും അല്ല… ഇന്നത്തെ മലയാള സിനിമകള്‍ ഇത്രയേറെ തരം താഴ്ന്നു പോവുന്ന ആ ഒരു പ്രവണതയെ കുറിച്ചും അല്ല… അമേരിക്ക എന്ന കുത്തക രാഷ്ട്രം അവരുടെ പിടിപ്പുകേടു കൊണ്ടു വരുത്തി വെച്ച ഈ ലോക വ്യാപാര വാണിജ്യ സാമ്പത്തിക തകര്‍ച്ച… അതിനെകുറിച്ചും അല്ലാ… നിങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ അങ്ങനെ വല്ലതും ഒരു തോന്നല്‍ ഉണ്ടായെങ്കില്‍ ക്ഷമാപണം…

ആ ചോദ്യം ഒരു ആത്മഗതം ആയിരുന്നു… ഇന്നലെ വരെ ഇന്റര്‍നെറ്റ് എന്ന ഈ അണ്ടകടാഹത്തില്‍ ഒരു മേല്‍വിലാസം പോലും ഇല്ലാതിരുന്ന ഞാന്‍, ദേ ഇപ്പൊ ഒരു സൈറ്റ്-ഉം രണ്ടു ബ്ലോഗും ഒക്കെ തരപ്പെടുത്തി ബൂലോകത്തേക്ക് ഒരു ക്ഷണിക്കപ്പെടാത്ത അതിഥി കണക്കെ വന്നു ഉറക്കെ ഉറക്കെ പിച്ചും പേയും പറയുന്നു… അതിന്റെ ഒക്കെ ഒരു കാരണം എന്താണ്… എന്താണിന്തിന്റെ ഒക്കെ ഒരു അര്‍ത്ഥം എന്നായിരുന്നു ഈയുള്ളവന്‍ ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത്…

എന്തായാലും ഈ ബ്ലോഗിന്റെ title-നെ കുറിച്ചു ഒരു ഏകദേശ രൂപം കിട്ടിയ സ്ഥിതിക്ക് എന്റെ ഉള്ളില്‍ തോന്നിയത് ഇവിടെ കുറിച്ചു വെച്ചോട്ടെ… കുറച്ചധികം കാലം ആയി മലയാളത്തില്‍ ഒരു ബ്ലോഗ് തുടങ്ങണം എന്നുള്ള ആഗ്രഹം ഉണ്ടായിട്ട്… പക്ഷെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷില്‍ ഒരെണ്ണം തുടങ്ങി അതില്‍ ആരംഭ ശൂരത്വം പോലും കാണിക്കാന്‍ ഉള്ള സന്മനസ്സു ഉണ്ടായില്ല എന്നത് ഒരു പാഠം ആയിരുന്നത് കൊണ്ടു, മെനക്കെടാതെ ഇങ്ങനെ ആലോചന മാത്രം ആയി, അടുത്ത ഒരു 5 കൊല്ലത്തിനുള്ളില്‍ നേരെ ഒരു ഉഗ്രന്‍ ബെസ്റ്റ് സെല്ലര്‍ നോവല്‍ എഴുതുന്നതിലെക്കുള്ള സ്വപ്നങ്ങളും കണ്ടു, കുഴിമടിയനായി സ്വസ്ഥസുന്ദരം ജീവിച്ചു പോവുകയായിരുന്നു… അപ്പോഴൊക്കെ വായിക്കാന്‍ ഇട വന്ന നല്ല അനേകം ബ്ലോഗുകള്‍ വീണ്ടും വീണ്ടും മനസ്സില്‍ തീപ്പൊരികള്‍ വാരിയെരിഞ്ഞപ്പോഴും മടി ആണ് ജയിച്ചു പോന്നിരുന്നത് …

പക്ഷെ രണ്ടു ദിവസം മുമ്പെ twitter-ലെ @jinadcruz, ഒരു പുതിയ ബ്ലോഗ്-ഉം തുടങ്ങി മലയാളം മറന്നു തുടങ്ങുന്നതിനെ കുറിച്ചും വേറെ മലയാളം ബ്ലോഗുകള്‍ (പ്രത്യേകിച്ചും @kuttyedathi-യുടെ മനോഹരമായ ബ്ലോഗ്) പ്രചോദനം ആയതിനെ പറ്റിയും പരാമര്‍ശിച്ചത് വായിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ എനിക്കും ഒരു ആഗ്രഹം… കുറച്ചു കാലമായുള്ള ഈ സ്വപ്നം എന്ത് കൊണ്ടു സാക്ഷാത്കരിച്ചു കൂടാ? അതാണ്‌ ഇപ്പൊ ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു സംരംഭത്തിന് മുതിര്‍ന്നതിന്റെ പിന്നിലുള്ള ഒരു ഇത്… ഹേത്‌?

Twitter-ലൂടെ ഇപ്പോള്‍ അറിയാനിടയായി മലയാള സിനിമ കണ്ട പ്രതിഭാധനനായ തിരക്കഥാകൃത്തും സംവിധായകനും ആയിരുന്ന ശ്രീ ലോഹിതതദാസ് ഹൃദയ സ്തംഭനത്തെ തുടര്‍ന്നു കൊച്ചിയില്‍ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സമയം ഞായറാഴ്ച കാലത്തു ഉദ്ദേശം 11 മണിയോടെ അന്തരിച്ചു എന്ന്. ശ്രീ ലോഹിതദാസിനു ഹൃദയത്തിന്റെ ഭാഷയില്‍ രേഖപ്പെടുത്തുന്ന ആദരാഞ്ജലികള്‍ !

ഈ ബ്ലോഗിന് ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു പേരു 1 നല്‍കിയതിന്റെ പിന്നിലും ഒരു കഥ ഇല്ലാതെ ഇല്ല… മീനമാസം ആണ് എനിക്കേറ്റവും പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട മലയാള മാസം… നാട്ടിലെ വേനല്‍ ഏറ്റവും ശക്തമാവുന്ന മാസം… മധ്യ വേനലവധിക്ക് വിദ്യാലയങ്ങള്‍ പൂട്ടുന്ന മാസം… ഞങ്ങളുടെ നെന്മാറയിലെ നെല്ലിക്കുളങ്ങര ക്ഷേത്രത്തില്‍ വേല ഉത്സവം നടക്കുന്ന മാസം… ആ മീനമാസത്തില്‍ പക്ഷെ ഒരു മഴ ഉണ്ടാവുന്നത്, വിചിത്രവും ആയിരിക്കും അതെ സമയം വളരെ അധികം കുളിര്‍മ്മ തരുന്ന ഒരു സംഭവും ആയിരിക്കും… ഈ ബ്ലോഗ് അതേ പോലെ അല്പം വിചിത്രവും പക്ഷെ അതിനേക്കാളുപരി വായനക്കാര്‍ക്ക്‌ ഒരു തണ്ണീര്‍പ്പന്തലിന്റെ ഗുണവും ചെയ്യുമെന്ന പ്രതീക്ഷയിലാണ് ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു പേരു തിരഞ്ഞെടുത്തത്…

നിങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ ഇത് വായിച്ചപ്പോഴുണ്ടായ അനുഭവം, അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഇതിത്തിരി കൂടെ മെച്ചപ്പെടുത്താമായിരുന്നു എന്ന തോന്നലുളവാക്കിയ ആ ഒരു കാര്യം… ഇതെല്ലാം ഒരു അഭിപ്രായത്തിന്റെ രൂപത്തില്‍ ഇവിടെ രേഖപ്പെടുത്താനുള്ള സന്മനസ്സു കാണിക്കാന്‍ വിനീതമായി അപേക്ഷിക്കുന്നു… ആ ജഗദീശ്വരന്‍ നിങ്ങളെ അനുഗ്രഹിക്കുമാറാകട്ടെ എന്ന് ആശംസിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് സസ്നേഹം…

- മേനോന്‍

  1. 1.ഈ ബ്ലോഗിന്റെ അന്നുണ്ടായിരുന്ന പേര് മീനമാസത്തിൽ പെയ്ത മഴ പോലെ എന്നായിരുന്നു. അന്നത്തെ ആ വേർഷൻ ഇവിടെ കാണാം

Why is it that I am not able to blog?

Well, it’s been a while since I posted something/anything here. Even a copy pasted ‘inspiring-bit’ like the previous two posts. There is something that is stopping me from thinking up something to write about and actually write about it.

Well, this post is talking about the so-called problem itself and is an effort from my side to break the shackles of ‘not-able-to-sit-down-and-write-something-itis’

Lets see…

Adding a 'Open in a new window' link on SharePoint document libraries

A recent requirement from the client on the project I am working on was to add a new window link on the Report Libraries on a SharePoint Report Center site, that had the reports (*.rdl) generated and deployed from SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). The SSRS Report Viewer web parts were being used, but the reports were also being viewed directly from the report libraries to which they are deployed. By default, the link to the report in a Reports Library (for that matter, any document in a SharePoint document library) opens it in the same window, and this was what they wanted to change.

It is the in-built document library web part that renders all the documents and folders in a document library and that is where the change should be made. Rather than touching any of the core components in SharePoint I analysed the feasibility of using jQuery through a content editor web part (thanks to Christophe) and was able to get it work.

All one has to do is, edit the AllItems.aspx page of the desired document library from the browser, to add a content editor web part and add the below code within the source editor:

Hope this would help someone.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!

  • Rudyard Kipling

To this I put my name

‘That … be not told of my death,
Or made to grieve on account of me,
And that I be not buried in consecrated ground,
And that no sexton be asked to toll the bell,
And that nobody is wished to see my dead body,
And that no mourners walk behind me at my funeral,
And that no flowers be planted on my grave,
And that no man remember me,
To this I put my name.’

  • Thomas Hardy

Noir Verses

Is it perhaps the quietude of Night?
Or maybe the ubiquitous ingenuousness in sight?
What if I find all of my kind so grossly impure?
How can I break the spell, so severe?
Nox, to whom all the sins of men are in a state of respite…
The only time they take a break, despite…
The disposition so conspicuously austere…
Can’t just fall in love, albeit so mere…

The I in Me, is he nocturnal?
If not, why is he so detrimental?
Then, when you are one with the universe !
The very fake colours & sound, all really scarce !
Dark futility that stares at you is eternal…
Ambushed in the clandestine shadows, so ephemeral…
All this is but just a personal somnolence !
When would I be transcending my evanescence !

- Menon
14/Jul/2007, 02:30:42

My First Ever Blog

Well… Yeah! This is my first ever Blog post !!!

It definitely is close to the end of 2005 and ‘Blogging’ is by now one of the the most happening things on the internet. Maybe, it is just that I got to know of this pretty late… Or even that I just kept myself aside so far… And creating some time for this, I couldn’t, perhaps…

Sitting now here in GE Money Bank’s office in Prague on a Sunday afternoon, though, time is all that I have !

And for theme of my blog, I do have this one which I cherish the most and practice very dearly to my day-to-day life - Spirituality.

Will come back here later to scribble down whatever comes into my mind, but this much I guess is good enough to start off !