A 360 degree turn

Two months back when I came back to India, little I knew that my life would take a U-turn for good. Everything that has happened since July 26 is a welcome surprise. And, it all started with my leadership to decide to allocate me to a project. Next few weeks unfolded very differently

  • I was told that there is a possibility I would be sent on bench if no suitable project was found for me;
  • I was awarded IMPax award which meant I was recognized by the CTO of the organization for my work towards the Java Technology
  • I was told by “the director” who leads Architects in India that I am not skilled enough to be an Architect

On the other side, I was making super-duper progress on my personal front and within a few weeks of my arrival back to India I had achieved:

  • Learnt PHP and WordPress and moved my websites/blogs to self-managed hosted environment;
  • Gave share to my iFramework so that it can be shared with a community bigger than any organization (open source community)
    • I finally released my project to OSS community as a Maven Central Project
  • DZone selected me as one of their Most Valuable Blogger – which meant they would publish my articles on their JavaLobby
  • I started to work on the “Testing Framework” that was Work In Progress for last 3 years and finally I gave it shape that i can be released as a framework
    • Even purchased domain for it: EAMSteps.org
  • Wrote a Multi-threading framework

On personal side, some things started to change and in all this mix I realized one thing – I had lost my touch on technology during last thre years and all this happened because a laid-back attitude that I had developed. Now, that for 6 weeks I was so active which was hard to believe, it seemed appropriate to continue with the momentum and it was time to do things that matter.

Last 3 years made me realize that age is catching up with me and if I do not do something substantial soon, it will be too late. I would have another 2 (maybe 3) years to make a significant impact on my career.

Amongst all of the changes, it became evident that it was time to move on from my current organization and figure out whats next. And, here I am now just looking at another month maybe 5 weeks with my current organization and still figuring out whats the next best thing to do for me to make the very best use of next few years of my professional life.

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A 360 degree turn

Two months back when I came back to India, little I knew that my life would take a U-turn for good. Everything that has happened since July 26 is a welcome surprise. And, it all started with my leadership to decide to allocate me to a project. Next few weeks unfolded very differently

  • I was told that there is a possibility I would be sent on bench if no suitable project was found for me;
  • I was awarded IMPax award which meant I was recognized by the CTO of the organization for my work towards the Java Technology
  • I was told by “the director” who leads Architects in India that I am not skilled enough to be an Architect

On the other side, I was making super-duper progress on my personal front and within a few weeks of my arrival back to India I had achieved:

  • Learnt PHP and WordPress and moved my websites/blogs to self-managed hosted environment;
  • Gave share to my iFramework so that it can be shared with a community bigger than any organization (open source community)
    • I finally released my project to OSS community as a Maven Central Project
  • DZone selected me as one of their Most Valuable Blogger – which meant they would publish my articles on their JavaLobby
  • I started to work on the “Testing Framework” that was Work In Progress for last 3 years and finally I gave it shape that i can be released as a framework
    • Even purchased domain for it: EAMSteps.org
  • Wrote a Multi-threading framework

On personal side, some things started to change and in all this mix I realized one thing – I had lost my touch on technology during last thre years and all this happened because a laid-back attitude that I had developed. Now, that for 6 weeks I was so active which was hard to believe, it seemed appropriate to continue with the momentum and it was time to do things that matter.

Last 3 years made me realize that age is catching up with me and if I do not do something substantial soon, it will be too late. I would have another 2 (maybe 3) years to make a significant impact on my career.

Amongst all of the changes, it became evident that it was time to move on from my current organization and figure out whats next. And, here I am now just looking at another month maybe 5 weeks with my current organization and still figuring out whats the next best thing to do for me to make the very best use of next few years of my professional life.

Travel experience to remember

I don’t know how (good, bad, evil, bizarre or just another experience), but I will definitely remember the experience I had today. Today was the day when I was supposed to fly back to India. I slept well yesterday getting ready with packing and everything. I woke up to an overcast sky and started to watch the weather channel and noticed thunderstorms over Minneapolis and Chicago – two destinations where I had to take my first flight to.

As I was about to start from my place, it started to pour really heave, but stopped before I left and sky started to open. By the time I was at the airport weather was good and Sun was shining brightly. However, the personal at the airport that O’Hare (Chicago) has huge delays and my flight to Chicago is already delayed by 40 minutes. I was given a choice of switching my flight plans to Sunday, but I decided against it and decided to take my chances with the flight and connection happening. So, I went ahead and checked-in, passed through security checks and was at the lounge well in time. However just before the flight was about to leave, it got delayed even more and the woman ay the AA counter informed me that I will most certainly miss my connecting fight. The associate at the airport gave me following options:

  • Take a flight via London, but this was stricken out as there was no seats available out of London to Delhi Sunday;
  • Take a flight via France – these flight meant that I would have lost only 5 hours in overall travel time. The catch here was that the layover in France was only 90 minutes and France only allowed people with Indian passport and US VISA to be in country for 24 hours. If there was any delay in the flight to France and I was to miss the connection they would deport me back to US. This confused me on two counts – 1) why would they deport me after 24 hours; I was not going to leave the airport would just be stuck in transit and 2) Why would they deport me back to US. However, given that this was another country I just did not want to risk sleeping at the Airport or getting deported back to US and then restart my journey. I quickly dismissed the notion;
  • Next option was given was to move the entire trip to Sunday or just the trip from Chicago to Delhi to Sunday. And, again there was the catch that the flight on Sunday had just 4 seats left, so if I choose to wait until I reach Chicago and those got booked it meant that I would leave on Monday instead

 In the end, I decided against all my wishes to postpone the entire trip to Sunday. But, this time I will take a morning (9AM) flight to Chicago to beat any kind of delays (hoping). I rather wait in Chicago than to miss my connection again. I was asked to go to baggage claim and get my bags and come and check-in tomorrow.

As I reached the baggage claim, I was informed that bags could not be given to me because they were already on the ramp and I will not receive them at the Delhi Airport. Now, I didn’t know that or else I would have taken my chances in Chicago. But, nothing could be done now and I was stuck in Minneapolis airport for another without my bags and clothes.

Anyways, I could not do much and I just waited for Sahil and Jiten to come pick me up. As I was waiting on the airport, I decided to check a few things on the flight tomorrow and took out my tickets and passport. As I was still checking my mobile AA application, Sahil called up as they had arrived at the airport. I just got up and moved out. Only after 7 miles of travel I realized that I had dropped my passport at the Airport. I asked Jiten to take a U and we headed back to the airport. Next 20 minutes were so stressful because if I did loose my passport, I would not know what I would have done. I just knew that I was stuck in this country for a few more days or weeks or months.

As I moved into the Airport, I saw that where I was sitting the passport was not there. So my next stop was the closest Information counter and the guy there told me that they found it. He asked me to go over to the nice woman who was helping me with the baggage earlier and she did have that on her. When the woman gave the me the good news, I was so relieved and started my journey back to apartment.

On my way back, I checked the status on the flight (AA/292) from Chicago to Delhi and saw that it gor delayed by 30 minutes. And, I just realized that I would have made my connection. As I was sitting at Aum’s house having lunch I noticed that flight was now delayed by 90 minutes – I would have definitely made my connection. As I sit and write this blog post, the flight is not leaving at 6.20PM which meant I had almost 1 hour and 40 minutes between flights. But, here I am sitting waiting to start my journey tomorrow.

I don’t know why all this happened, but have faith must have happened for a reason and a good reason.

Interesting version of Ramayana

A young second generation Indian in the US was asked by his mother to explain the significance of “Diwali” to his younger brother, this is how he went about it…..

“So, there was a guy called ‘Ram’, this dude had a big cool kingdom and people liked him. But, his step-mom, or something, was kind of a bitch, and she forced her husband to, like, send this cool-dude, to some national forest or something…. Since he was going, for something like more than 10 years or so…. he decided to get his wife and his bro along…. you know…so that they could all chill out together. But

Dude, the forest was reeeeal scary shit… really man…they had monkeys and devils and all the shit like that. But this macho dude, Ram, kicked them with darts and bows and arrows… so it was coool.

But then some bad gangstar boys, some jerk called Ravan, picks up his babe (Sita) and lures her away to his hood. And boy, our man, and also his bro, Lax man,were reeealy pissed off… all the gods were with him… So anyways, we won’t mess with gods. So, Ram, and his bro got an army of monkeys…

Dude, don’t ask me how they trained the damn monkeys…. just go along with me, OK…

So, Ram, Lax and their monkeys whipped this gangsta’s ass in his own hood….Anyways, by this time, their time was up in the forest… and anyways… it gets kinda boring, you know… no TV or malls or other stuffs. So, they decided to hitch a ride back home… and when the people realized that the macho dude, his bro and his babe are back home…. they thought, well, you know, at least they deserve something nice… and they didn’t have any bars or clubs in those days… so they couldn’t take them out for a drink, so they, like, decided to smoke and stuff … and since they also had some lamps, they lit the lamps also…so it was pretty cooool… you know wIth all those fireworks and puff…. Really, they even had some local band play along with the fireworks… And, so dude, that was how, like, this festival started.

The mother fainted………

Deep dive | India’s route to Test#1

Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Adelaide Oval
Image via Wikipedia

I blogged about some stats and when i was cross checking I noticed something was off and I did the correction. Also, while i was doing the corrections, I wondered what attributed to India taking #1 position and how did Dhoni impacted that revolution. What I found was a revelation of facts that a lot of is was favorable and because of Australia and SA not doing their best and India matching up their worst or just being a little better.

To begin with the correction from earlier post is: India streak in tests not loosing a match is 14. Started on 10/9/2008 against Australia (Draw) and ended when they lost to SA on 2/6/2010. during this period India went from 3rd position (100 points) to 1st position (124 points). Also note that during period Australia dropped from 141 points to 116 and SA went from 116 to 120 points and were 2nd in rankings when they beat India.

Lets see how India, Australia and SA fared in this time period:

Played Wins Loss Draw Home Away Wins Home Wins Away Opponents – Home Opponents Away
India 31 15 6 10 19 12 9 6 SA, Aus, Eng, SL, NZ SL, NZ, Bng, SA
Australia 37 17 13 7 21 16 9 8 NZ, SA, WI, Pak, Eng WI, Ind, SA, Eng, NZ, Pak
SA 28 13 8 7 12 16 5 8 Ban, Aus, Eng, Ind Ind, Eng, Aus, WI, Pak
Home % Home Win% Away Win% Win % Loss %
India 61 60 40 48 19
Australia 57 53 47 46 35
SA 43 38 62 46 29

So a pattern clearly emerges – India played less matches in this period and their matches played at home were significantly high. They just played 4 series against Aus and SA and rest were against weaker test teams like WI and Bangladesh (note Australia was not winning enough either and were declining)

Australia were loosing heavily and given their better win rates in 2004-2007, they were loosing points because of the 3-year cumulative match in the ICC Ranking system. That how even in some periods where they were not loosing, they were loosing on points because they played lesser cricket and were playing against teams way below them compared to in 2004 where they were facing top teams.

South Africa were kind of neutral, but definitely played more matches abroad and had series against India and Australia consistently.

Also, note that India remained on top because their Loosing % is significantly higher than other two, while their win percent is almost same. This means they were drawing a lot more than others.

Overall, it clearly presents a case where India has been more conservative on their test playing strategies – playing less, playing at home, don’t loose and play safe to draw.

Now, if all that was played just as I can see all of those, good strategy to be number one. It is like saying “Let the others fight and diminish their resources and we will come on top because of their losses.”

Now – please tell me what did Dhoni do to take India here – it just happened. With a good team and safe strategy forces were in our favor. I am happy we are number one, but Dhoni did nothing in all this to happen. As a captain he could not do what all others in the past have struggled – improve our performance overseas. Change that – and then be called a Great Captain.