Friday, June 19, 2009

Bad Money

“Money is a headache, and money is the cure. ~Everett M├ímor”. This was the first quote that went through my mind when I decided to write something about Money. I remember Xavier who studied in the same college where I did my Post Graduation. Xavier was a simple guy with a thick mustache and lean figure. He spend most of his time reading books in the library as well as preparing himself for a job. He didn’t have many friends.

We always saw Xavier alone. I had a personal affection for Xavier because he was ignored by everyone. He was brought up in a culture where studying and earning a good job was considered to be the ultimate aim in life. Right from his college days his parents instilled the belief in him that there isn’t anything more in life other than getting high scores in exams as well as getting a good job. Xavier studied hard right from the start of the course and in fact he was rewarded with high marks. Time went on and then came a time for the annual placements.

Xavier prepared well for the placement tests. Everyone was sure that it won’t be difficult for a well talented student like Xavier to get through the placement tests. All the Predictions were shattered when Xavier didn’t manage to get thru the first placement test of Infosys. Xavier seemed to be depressed after the test results. I saw Xavier crying in his room after the results. I consoled him saying that there are more companies yet to come, and told that u will sure get thru the next placement test. Unfortunately Xavier didn’t make it through the next 2 tests.

All the teachers lost hope in Xavier, until the unexpected happened. Fortunately Xavier got through the last placement test that was conducted in our college. He got through all the 3 rounds of interview and was awarded with the offer letter. Xavier was extremely happy when he saw the Salary package written in bold letters in the offer letter. He was offered a fat salary package of 3.2 Lakhs per annum.

I haven’t seen Xavier this much happy since he joined our college. Those drowsy eyes that I saw in him were now replaced by glowing fortunes. Xavier came to see me before joining Wipro. I told him that u need to be a professional guy when u start your professional life. He said that he will strive to be a different guy as soon as he started his career. For the first few months Xavier found it difficult to adjust with the corporate culture.

The Corporate Life and culture influenced Xavier to a great extent. He changed his dressing style from the conventional middle class guy to hi fi style. The simple shirts that he wore while in college were all replaced by branded T shirts, and the pants that were custom sewed were replaced by Levi Jeans. Life was changing for Xavier in all aspects. Since he dedicated his college days studying, he decided that now it’s the time to relax. Xavier was ready to step into the other side of the hi fi world. Those frequent calls to home were cut down to once or twice a month. Xavier’s parents were astonished when they saw the changes in their son’s behavior as well as manners. They didn’t tell anything to him, they thought to leave their son to his will since he has achieved what they wanted him to be.

A couple of months went on like this. Everything he saw and felt for the first time made him urge for more. Weekends was filled by either spending time in pubs or leisure. Little by little Xavier started going to pubs frequently. He had more than enough money, and now he knew how to spend every single penny that he got. New Horizons opened up for Xavier in the form of drugs. He was introduced to a guy called Khader by a bar tender.

Khader started off by giving Xavier the best stuff he had. Xavier enjoyed the intake and for the first time in life he realized that Life isn’t about studying and earning a good job, Life is all about enjoying till the last moment. The money that he earned thru his profession became scarce now. He was looking for more money, that made him jump from Wipro to a start up company who offered him a few bucks more. Frequent use of Drugs made him insane. Day after day even the salary couldn’t meet his drug requirement. Slowly Khader denied stuff to Xavier after a couple of incidents when Xavier asked stuff for credit. Xavier became insane after he was rejected drugs. Soon the company he was working with got struck in the recession wave, and they asked Xavier to leave the company in a month. This made Xavier act like a mad man. Xavier argued with the Manager and slapped him. That resulted in a Police case and Xavier was infact Black Listed. In the mean time Xavier’s parents came to Bangalore and admitted him in a rehabilitation center. He grew arrogant on his stay in the centre. His parents moved from Kerala to Bangalore for the time being. I went to see him in the rehabilitation centre. I consoled his parents and told them that to pray hard and hope for the best.

On my way back from Bangalore multiple thoughts went thru my mind. In fact it was the Bad Money that made Xavier what he is now. Money is essential in life. We all make ourselves busy each day, the ultimate reason is Money. Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it actually makes one. God left a hundred hidden messages for me through Xavier’s life. We need to analyze our necessity and act accordingly. Always ask your self twice whenever u spend money. “Do I need to buy this? Is this really required? ” The more we go after money we will always be short of money. Instead enjoy what u do and Money will automatically come after you.

God teaches the important facts of life through examples. Each and every day he teaches us something new. All we need to do is expect every incident in our life as if we are going to learn something new. I leaned back in the train berth on my way back to kerala with all these views in my mind. Immediately a guy came to our compartment with a dozen of new books. A couple of guys started looking at those books, as if to buy it, I asked myself “Do I need to buy this? Is this really required? ” .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Machine Life

I was 17 when I saw the Windows Login screen for the first time in my life. The small green strip that ran in a rectangular box below the Windows XP Logo was the best thing that attracted me. This was my first glimpse into the world of technology. In my first day in the computer lab I felt myself in a small space surrounded by sophisticated man made machines that were ready to receive instructions from the human species.

The main reason that made me chose Computer Science was not the money or fame that Software Engineers earned during the start of the 21st century. I was fascinated by the way people typed without looking into the keyboard. I was the only guy who came to the conclusion that Typing skills can be acquired only if u become a Software Engineer. That’s how I chose Software Engineering as my career.

At the start of my career I showed more interest in learning what to do and how to do it kind of stuff using computers. Computers were like drugs for me, the more i used them the more i got addicted to them. I spend long hours in front of computers either playing games or browsing. 3 years passed by and a lot of things changed. I was ready to move towards the next level of my career, Post Graduation in Computer Applications.

Things took a different turn for me when I attended a Personality Development Session. The guy who took the class told us to think abt the good habits as well as some good things that we have discarded or lost way back in our life. I went home that day, rather than sitting in front of the computer I put some thought into this question. I asked myself “What good qualities did I discard /lose during the past years?” I asked myself for many days until I got a well structured answer.

I have lost many things since I have entered into the world of technology. Before being introduced into the computer world I read a lot of books, books that have influenced many, books that made me feel for something, books that raised my imagination. But now since computers have come to my life I have stopped reading and I have lost that feel for things. I have stopped reading newspapers. I still remember my old days when we friends played cricket in our paddy field during our summer holidays. Those games are now replaced by computer games. Earlier I was updated about each and everything that happened in this world by referring either magazines, journals and everything. Before my graduation I used to visit our local Library. Our Local Library was my biggest treasure. I made a sigh when I realized about the immense lose that has incurred to me.

We all interact with computers for at least 8 to 10 hours in a day. Frequent interaction with a machine makes us behave like a machine. This life is what I call “The Machine Life”. Some of us might have lost our good habits/good relations as a result of leading this Machine Life. Computers are a must in our life, but we must realize that more interaction or more usage to anything will lead us to nothing but worry. This realization made myself restrict the use of computers. I have started all the good habits that I have left behind. Rather than spending all those chunk time browsing I spend time reading good books. I was evolving as a machine thru all these years. Finally I have broken the chains of the Machine Life and have entered into a world where imagination and spirituality guides me rather than technology.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is Impatience the new way of life ?

Recently i saw and ad that has the punch line "Impatience is the new way of Life". In a world in which messages can be sent across the world instantly, in which seemingly everything is available for immediate purchase with a few clicks of the mouse impatience is certainly the new way of life.

But maybe we need to revamp this thought. Will Impatience give you the best that you have been looking forward for ? We all expect the best to happen every day and we want it immediately. We always complain that "Dad or mom u r so slow for this job , Look how fast i can do this thing". And then u do the stuff instantly that takes ur dad or grandfather days to do.

Carrying out your job without patience won’t give you the best quality. Of course the deadline is of a concern but always Quality comes first before meeting deadline. You might have wondered sometimes why does it take too long for my dad to do such a simple thing, But maybe u need to notice that once your dad is done with the job it would be of the best quality.

Patience allows you to think out of the box. It allows you to ask for yourself "How better can i do this thing?” So now on if u find anyone doing something slowly say to yourself "Patience is my new way of life".

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Divine touch

“Hard work is the key to success; unless you work hard you won’t succeed in your life”. This was my mother’s first advice when I failed in math in my sixth standard. We all hear the hard work mantra many times in our life in different circumstances. When it comes to success everyone has the same thing to say “Hard work”. After that day I put some thought into the master ingredient of success called “Hard work”.

I started working hard that day onwards, and in fact I was also rewarded. Whenever I got good marks I told to myself “Hard work is the only key towards success”. Time went on and I reached the final branch of the education tree, the mighty Post Graduation. Earning an above average percentage wasn’t a difficult task for me, because I knew the key to success and I knew how to apply it. The thought of getting a job arose. In fact I was looking for an MNC to come after me. I wasn’t looking for a job; I was looking for a big job. “What skills do you need to acquire to get a job in an MNC Software company?” This was my question to every software engineer in my job search. After much Question and answer sessions I came to the conclusion that I need to posses these 4 skills to get into a big software company.

1. Technical skills
2. Aptitude
3. Communication skills
4. Interpersonal Skills

I asked myself. “Do I have these skills?” The answer was a big NO from the bottom of my heart. I started my intense training on these 4 skills. It took 5 months for me to be a professional in all these 4 skills. Skill wise I was ready to get a job. I said to me “No it won’t be difficult to get a job, because I have acquired the most important skills for getting a job.” I started applying for all the major software companies. I waited for them to respond, but none showed up. 2 months passed by. I became fed up. I asked myself. “Since I do have all the skills for a perfect job, why I am not getting one? What am I lacking?” I asked this question over and over again until I came to know the answer.

“Opportunity”. Opportunity was what I didn’t get. How do you get opportunity? Do you get it by hard work? No. Do you get it if you acquire some extra skills? No. Then where the hell do you get opportunity from? You can acquire every skill in this world by hard work, but not opportunity. Opportunity is the only thing that comes to our lives when God touches our lives and that is what I call “The Divine touch”. All the success mantras that were prescribed in my heart were ready to be revamped as a result of this thought provoking concept called “The Divine touch”. It’s not the skills that will help us succeed in our life. Life succeeds only when god touches our lives. God really knows where we fit best and he has really good things in store for you. Trust in the Almighty and you will be rewarded. All you need to do is Wait and Hope.

Prayer is the one and only ingredient that helps us succeed in our life. Prayer can and will do wonders in your life. I started praying. 2 months passed by and I still prayed, and then one evening an HR Manager called me and asked.

HR: “Is this Savio Chacko ?”
Me: “Speaking”
HR: We are looking for people in Are u interested in working with us? If so can u come to our Bangalore office next Friday morning?
I said to myself “It has begun”.