Why I am going to US?

In last few weeks, I have managed to turned my life into a living nightmare of some sorts. I guess it all started when I took up an assignment on July 2010 for a year. I came back into India for a period of 3 weeks to get Aabhya’s admissions in nursery and get her started on her 14 years of educational journey.

Here I am still in India – for a period of 12 weeks; way more than I could have ever thought about. I have canceled my travel plans twice now and I am staring at travel on March 25 – just 3 days away. And once again, I am going through a phase of seeing Preeti sad and will be seeing Aabhya crying when I am leaving for Airport.

Starting Feb 7, 2011 – till date; I have been thinking about going or not going and I have been oscillating back and forth many times and several times in a day. I had to cancel my trip early March because I just could not take the pressure and thought maybe I can stay back. I was risking termination because of my action of canceling at the very last minutes. However, all things turned out well and currently, I do have an option of saying No to travel for this assignment `at least`. But, once again I am inclined to travel.

Preeti says – she can only see one reason which is “Money” – that I want to earn more money. Well here are my reasons:

  1. Sincerity and Honesty: I have been always sincere in my work – never said something that I could not do and never lied. Until early March when I did lie so that I do not have to travel. And somehow, I have not been at rest since that day. I feel that good things have happened to me in past because I have been honest in what I did; but this time dis-honesty is something that is not cut-out for me. Somehow, inside of me I want to make amends and get done with the assignment that I committed 8 months back
  2. Complacent and Fear: I have reached a point when I have started to find excuses for my doing challenging work – This project makes me work with some of the worst people; who are very politically influenced. I knew this from the start and never wanted to work with them. Last time around, I was kind of forced by fear of termination into this project and when I reached the ground i did quite OK. But, this time I see a chance of getting out and I was inclined to get out of the mess and do something else.
  3. Practicality over emotions: Last week my decision changed because I was offered a set of responsibilities that will provide me an opportunity to work in areas where I have not worked before and may lead me to a promotion by end of this year. I told this to Preeti and she asked me – what are the alternatives; if you do not do this, how long will your promotion be delayed? – I think it may be about another 1 – 2 years. Preeti is right in some sense if I can not sacrifice 2 years for a promotion than leave her and Aabhya for a a period of 4 months. I do not wish to do so because I believe in taking decisions on what I see in front of me right now. I can not foresee any part of the future and hence do not know what is going to be offered to me in upcoming next 2 years. I may or may not get what I am getting now. I do not think I can deal very well seeing people around me grow at a rate faster than me because they lick their boss’s ass and I ca not do that. Hence, my options are fairly limited and this is one opportunity that is going to get me to that place – hopefully.
  4. Career move: After a lot of hunting around in Indian markets, I have realized that there is no future for Architects. That role does not exist in a leadership role – CTO or CIO unless you have your own company or know someone in that position in an Indian company. I have to move over to a Program manager role and the responsibilities I am being offered in my current role, provide me with a very lucrative opportunity to move into that role and still get promoted without loosing any time. If I was to switch into this role now as a PM, it would mean another 2-3 years before I get into a PM stream.

I do see the point that I am going to sacrifice 4 months of my life with my wife and daughter and I am going to loose Aabhya’s early school life. I missed her start of Kindergarten and I am going to miss on her 3 months of Nursery too. I will miss Preeti’s birthday and any other occasions and events that will happen during this time. I will be able to speak to them daily and do video chats as and when possible. I know from past it will not be too frequent given our schedule.

And this is where I get emotional and conflicted. Career over Family? I do not think I am choosing Career or Family. I do feel that I am still choosing my Family over Career because this is step is going to get me to a position in a company where

  • I can continue to work just 8 hours in any given day;
  • Reach a leadership role where travel is limited to once of twice a year for about 1 week at a stretch and;
  • I can not live by a lie and teach my daughter to be of a principle. Although, the lie was for my family  but is a lie nevertheless, a breach of my integrity and ethics. A legacy I do not wish to leave for my daughter. I hope when she grows old she understands me and is able to pardon me for not being for her.

It is not about Money; Money is just a bi-product of what is happening. However, it is an important bi-product and can not be taken out of the equation. In all ways, however I look at it – Family always comes first. Nobody gains by leaving their Family behind to become CEO of a company and get lots of money, big houses, fast cars. All those are crap if you do not have your loved ones next to you when you die. And by no imagination do I want to earn that kind of money and give up the opportunity to spend a life with my family. But, then I can not also ignore the part the there are basic needs and we are at a point when those basic needs have found a way of evolving by themselves and we can not control those – Dad is going to get retired some day, Aabhya is growing up and she will have her own demands. Mum, Dad, Preeti and I are getting older and our health will have certain demands too – both time and money. I am not at a place where I can afford to take an average path and still be able to satisfy all those needs. This is one opportunity that will take me to a Sr. Manager position and will put in a place / position where I can move ahead with a slight advantage and deliver what my Family needs from me.

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Information can be a Roadblock

The tendency to keep referencing the past is the biggest roadblock that any one hit. We can choose to use the information that we have. We can look at the past experiences to see what we did good and what could we have done better next time. We should not let those past experiences stop you.

Accept the fact that what has happened in the past is simply for information purposes.

Staring at the Sun

Sometimes to stare at the sun you need a pair of Sunglasses. Remember that there is nothing that you add in your capability when you wear sunglasses, you just take a little assistance. But, people also use sunglasses to keep off bright light.

Friends are just like Sunglasses, who you have with you always. They will keep helping you in keeping the difficulties of life out all the time, and also be there when you need them the most to look into the eyes of life and fight it out.

If a pair of sunglasses get damaged, we always go and replace them, remember that you will not be able to replace a Friend. Cherish them always!!

I would die for…

Inspired from Cheeni Kum starring Amitabh Bachan (Buddha) and Tabbu (Neena). Movie was about an old man who falls in love with a woman who is 30 years younger to him. The woman also loves him and they decide to marry each other. Neena’s father is against the marriage. Buddha, is trying to make him understand the fact. Buddha, has a neighbor, a 5-year old girl is suffering from cancer and is destined to die soon. The last scene of the movie is a setting in Delhi’s Qutab Minar. Buddha, goes to Qutab and wishes for Neena and his wish comes true. 5 minutes later he receives a call which tells him that his neighbor has died just 5 minutes earlier. He now wants to go back and wants to wish for the life of the little neighbor, but he can not.

I saw the scene and I instantly, realized something. For me, people live their lives “not to die”. Is life that simple? Would I want to live my life-like this? No way. I want to live life and believe that we can not live life unless we live to die.

I would die for having my family with me. I would die for having my friends with me. I would die for all the good things that I have around me. Would you not?

Faith

These set of thoughts triggered from

  • A thread on Facebook between Preeti and I. Preeti wrote “I hope God listens to my prayers as well…”
  • A discussion with a fellow blogger

Have you ever thought why we say – “We stopped believing” but say “We lost Trust

I will start by providing an analogy of a relationship between a parent and a child. A game that I have played with Aabhya for first couple of years since her birth is where I used to throw her up in the air and catch her mid-air or when I asked her to stand/sit on a desk and ask her to jump where I would catch her. She used to laugh when I used to do that.

As she turned 2.5/3 years when I try doing that, she starts saying no; almost instantly and says “Papa mujhe darr lag raha hai (Dad, I am getting scared)”. I just can’t get her to play this game with me any more. She realizes that falling down will hurt her and an injury will bring pain with itself.

Any reasons why her behavior changed. When she was young, she didn’t understand certain things like pain, injury and that there is a risk in the game that she can fall. She was innocent and trusted me with everything. But, as she grew up and became knowledgeable, her mind tells her about the risk and adds fear to her heart and mind. She somehow still knows that I don’t want to hurt her but the Faith of letting herself go is gone. She now believes in me; where as she had Faith in me earlier. She has started to question my ways.

I relate this analogy  to a person and God. When a person is just a child, he has parents to shield them of problems and tough times. There are many, but parents will not allow most of them to pass on to the child. A child would think “All izz well” (from 3 Idiots), but there are matters he will not know are wrong. Then the person grows in an adult and life becomes more challenging – we got to get a good job, earn lots of money to support our family; find a girl-friend; then find a life partner and always try to keep things working. And, during this time; not everything happens as we expected and we start questioning ways of God. People forget the time when things went right for them – that is what life is – you win some; you loose some.

So what is Faith?

To me Faith is about “Believing is Seeing”. Kids do not have to see Santa to believe in him. But we adults would say – come one that is just a story. I feel there is some magic out there which is greater than everything something that no one can explain. No one ever sees God. Every religion talks about Avatars as incarnations of God to come and help God; but there has to be a higher power that runs this world. Why I say “Believing is Seeing” because this is the basic essence of Life. I say so because

Science is about inventions and now they all are facts. But, someone did invented it (electricity, telephone) did not have facts that this exists. They believed. They did not see it. For that one person who invested it – “Believing is Seeing”. Others who saw it it was fact.

And also, because of one instance that I gathered many years ago which can be found on another link on my blog – read this article where it is claimed that Albert Einstein challenged an atheist professor on “Existence of Evil“.

Every day of my life when I take up a task, I believe in myself that I can do it even before I have taken it up. I do not say this once I have done it. Look at prominent figures who have achieved a lot – they all say “I had belief in myself that I can do it”. They had not seen them achieve the heights of glory; they believed. They had Faith.

I will wrap this post with a continuation of the analogy earlier. I seek Faith from my daughter. Many a times I say No to her because it is not good for her and I will continue to do this for the rest of her life and mine. Similarly, my parents have been doing this to me all my life. There are so many “NO”s that we have to deal with. A parent seeks Faith from their child but does not understands that this is exactly what God seeks from us. God always answers your prayers – the answer sometimes is no.

Have you ever thought why we say – “We stopped believing” but say “We lost Trust”. Is this just coincidence or is there is a higher magic why the words have been put this way.

Need a break

I am wrapping up the day and i am not feeling good at all. I have my bad days and good days. Yet once more the stint for the bad/stressful days have over-lasted itself and is taking its toll on me. I just want to take a break from everything around me.

About the day today, nothing very good happened, and I do not have any that makes me cheerful towards the end of the day. I will be sleeping soon, but what is going in my head – I do not know. I am tired of my life it seems and i need a break; when will i get it i do not know.

Nursery School Admissions 2011 – I survived a nightmare

Well, a few years back I did not think about this at all; never cared about it. When people used to tell me this is a big deal I never cared to ask why. But, last year when I started to do the research I started to understand that this is something that is going to be difficult than my school examinations. However, what this was going to be like I had no clue.

January 1, 2011 is when the ordeal started for Preeti (my wife) and me. The first two weeks it was all about understanding the different criterion that the school had set. My gosh!! every school had a different criteria. If there were two schools next to each other, in one school the points we were getting were around 60 and the other we had just 10 points. Well to brief it all, some of the common guidelines were:

  • Points for Neighborhood: The closer you are to the school, the higher points you score
  • Points for Sibling: If you had an elder sibling in the school you were preferred and you would get a higher score
  • Points for Alumni: If your parents passed out from that school you get higher points
  • Points for Girl Child: Boys were foresaken for some reason that is beyond my understanding
  • Points for Single parent: Somehow it felt that being happily married was a curse

By Jan 3rd, we had realized that our house was in a location which did not any good schools close by. One of the best locations to live in Delhi suddenly became the worst for us. Nevertheless, we went ahead and selected 15 schools and applied for admission for our beloved daughter. While she enjoyed her time, Preeti and I were going through a nightmare.

Jan 15th came and last date of filling forms was done. Now it was time for schools to pour out the results. Some of the best schools announced that all parents who did not have an elder child already in the school or were not an alumni should not even bother looking at the result. Well, those schools were not that good in the past. And, even if they were, should we hold our parents responsible for not putting us in those schools – our hearts were feeling the pain and my parents were sharing the same with us.

On Feb 1st all the schools were to display the results; this was the D-day. Jan 31st, I was unable to sleep the whole night. I remember I was not this worried during my class 10/12 exams and even graduation. Finally on Feb 1st, my daughter was lucky enough to have her name listed in one of the schools with a confirmed seat and in another school under wait list. I had to sit down on the bed when I answered my mobile from the school as they told me that my daughter has been selected and I have to come and deposit the fee.

Now, I read that many parents are left hanging with no schools for their kids. They have no options to wait for the 2nd, 3rd list or find ways to pay some money to the schools. When I think of them, I have a guilty feeling that some kids wont be able to school while my daughter will go. even when this is how it is supposed to be and I had no hand in any of the process all along; but being a spectator.

I do not understand what the government if going to do about this, but this is so wrong. On one side, we talk about providing education to everyone, while on the other hand the process is such that many are left hanging with no where to go. Not right; just not right.