Category Archives: Archive

Retrieved posts from my old blog(s)

200* – Sach an inspiration!

Oh no… not one more gushing Sachin-fan-turned-blogger!
20 years ago, a kid watched another kid playing cricket for his country on TV and thought, “I can probably bat better than that!”

That kid was me – and for those who are still confused, I refer to the kid doing the “watching”- and I discovered, very soon afterwards, that I was wrong… Fortunately for me, giving me elite company are several leading batsmen (and some bowlers too!) from the last two decades who have had the same silly thought cross their minds when they watched Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bat. But right now, I’m just one among millions of ordinary cricket lovers, who have found themselves compelled to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) by one spectacular ODI innings that could either inspire aspiring batsmen for decades or make them choose an alternative sport that has more achievable records. 200* has never been seen on an ODI scorecard before!

But I didn’t write this post to say “Cricket is religion, and Sachin is God”, since it has been said too many times before, including in this very sentence. I wrote this to express my observations on how Sachin has been an inspiration in ways unrelated to cricket or even sport. Some of you may not agree with what I infer, but this post is to share with you what has worked for me… and maybe, could work for you…

Sachin resigning as captain

The short period of time that Sachin spent as captain of the Indian ODI team, was not a glorious one, but he realised soon after, that he could continue to influence and inspire the rest of his team without being the designated number-one in the pecking order. What he did next, was to resign from captaincy, and put in a strong recommendation for Saurav Ganguly to be made captain. The rest is history!

This happened nearly a decade ago, coinciding with a phase in my career where I strongly believed (wrongly so!), that I had outgrown my job. I remember telling myself that as long as I can find ways to be better at my job, I cannot possibly outgrow it. I also remember telling myself that growth, performance, seniority and designation are unrelated to each other; one need not be the designated leader to be the best. Looking back, I think I was right… after watching Sachin’s epic innings, I’m sure I was right!

There is as much honour in leading by example as in leading by designation…

An older Sachin, but hungrier than ever

20 years, 608 international matches, 31045 runs, 93 hundreds, 147 fifties and still no signs of slowing down! He has stated repeatedly (I wonder why they keep asking, though!) that he still feels as enthusiastic about the game as he did when he was a kid, and that’s what keeps him going. The one thing his modesty keeps him from saying, is that he still doesn’t have to worry about being selected, since he keeps performing consistently, and exceeds the back-breaking expectations of a billion fans most days that he plays!

Let me emphasize my point by leaving you with two facts to chew on…

The youngest member of the current Indian squad was 11 months old when Sachin faced his first ball in International Cricket!

India’s main strike bowler in the current series has 130 wickets in ODIs, Sachin has 154!

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing the game, don’t quit as long as you continue to enjoy it… just make sure you stay among the best!

5’5” in height… taller than most in stature!

I think his longevity is a result of prodigious talent, a passion for excellence and childish enthusiasm, and a hunger to keep playing. Now, you might say prodigious talent is not a gift all of us have, but the other factors are not difficult to cultivate… and all this counts for nothing, if it weren’t for the secret ingredient – humility, a rare commodity among sporting stars! Watching him in the post-match presentation walk back and forth four times to carry back the various medals/trophies/cheques/silver bats he was awarded, was a little funny. But when he was given the mike, he had a great opportunity to publicly vindicate himself by mocking the detractors and retirement-predictors that have plagued him for a few years now. Among those were a certain pair of Chappell’s (pun intended!), who had earned enough infamy for their family three decades ago, decided to earn some more, one of them by questioning Sachin’s attitude to the game, and the other by calling on him to retire. But when his time came to speak, all he did was to thank his fans for standing behind him in tough times, and admitting that he made mistakes as a batsman. That little speech reminded a lot of us why it’s called the “Gentleman’s Game”!

It is possible to be great at your work and still have fun doing it; the trick is to keep your head on your shoulders and your feet on the ground!

Opting out of the T20 World Cup… Cowardice… or wisdom?

There are times when a decision may seem to be completely inexplicable, and may have extraordinarily brilliant results. Sachin’s decision (along with Saurav and Rahul) to opt out of the T20 World Cup in 2007 was initially slammed as a cowardly decision, but how can you find fault with something that eventually led to the first world cup after 1983, as well as one of the most successful captains in world cricket today? Couple this with Sachin’s decision to relinquish captaincy to Saurav Ganguly in 2000, and we got the most accomplished Test Captain India ever had!

There is a lesson there too… Yes, it is important to lead from the front when you can; it is even more important and heroic to step out of the way of a more capable leader, when the situation demands it. Everyone may not understand then, but they do get it eventually.

Know when you’re the right one for the job, but more importantly, when you’re not!

And so much more…

Sachin Tendulkar is as human as the rest of us, he has also been the subject of a lot of criticism; a lot is spoken about how money is as important to him as cricket. But the man’s got a duty to his family as much as to his fans, why grudge somebody his livelihood? A Senile political leader (this time, pun not intended!) recently questioned Sachin’s commitment to his home state… this time, unlike the Greg Chappell comments, he decided not to react, and the entire country did instead! I don’t think anybody in the world has had a billion people tell him to shut up all at once, but this “leader” did! And it was such a tidal wave of support for Sachin that uncharacteristically for the “leader”, he promptly let go of SRT, but through force of habit immediately found a certain SRK’s backside to clamp his dentures on! But I detract, this isn’t about him…

I guess one of the things that appeals to people of all kinds around the world about Sachin is that he probably inspires a lot more people subconsciously than one could imagine, not all of them batsmen, not even cricketers.

I could go on… but this is a blog and not a book, so I’ll leave only these many of my thoughts with you… that is, if you’re still awake!

Maybe you could add to this with your own thoughts and make it a series of blogs. You know, if 200 runs by one man in a one day international are possible, anything’s possible!

Now if only he would oblige us with a Test 300…  and a hundred hundreds!

Pariotism?

This was meant to be a comment to Jithesh’s blog, but it ended up so long, I decided to turn it into a blog post… this also is the first time I have blogged extempore!

On my earlier question in a comment to the last blog, I asked readers what they would think if they saw somebody burning the Indian National Flag. The intention behind the question was to ignite a thought process that I went through myself… how much do we know about the Tricolor?

The Flag Code of India expresses a preference for disposing of the national flag through the process of burning… if I hadn’t read that, I would consider it disrespectful to burn the tricolor, I’m sure most of you would feel the same way…

When I first saw the photograph, my mind went through the usual “Insult to National Pride” emotional trip, but I decided to place my judgment and emotions in cold storage until I learned more about it, and I did…

Thanks to Jithesh’s blog, I learned more about the Indian National Flag in one day than I have in my entire life. I read about the Flag Code, the Naveen Jindal case, which legally endorsed the right of every Indian citizen to fly the Indian Flag, I read about it’s origins and the whole process was humbling… I ended my brief study feeling angry and disappointed at myself for not knowing an iota of what I read, before I read it.

But apart from all the enlightenment, two facts shone through…

One, was the fact that in the photograph in question, no law was broken and the only violation of the Flag Code was the fact that the flag is dipped at a downward angle…If you think I’m justifying the act, read on…

The second realization was connected to something I have always done in my adult life, but never completely understood why, until today, that is: I have never bought one of these miniature paper/plastic/fabric toy flags that are sold on every street/store around Independence/Republic Day commonly used as an excuse to assuage the guilt we feel in the patriotic parts of our collective conscience during the remaining 363 unpatriotic days of the year. What has that got to do with disrespecting the flag? Allow me to explain…

Let’s for a moment, hypothesize that at the cost of that miniature flag (maybe 10 bucks), I would be able to buy one of my dream cars(Ridiculous? I know, but humor me while I make my point :-)), and I know fully well that I would not have a place to park it safely, in the pristine condition that it deserves to be kept in, and maybe not even afford to drive it with the respect it deserves?

Should I still buy it? Perhaps not…

Will I still buy it? Hell, yes I will… at 10 bucks, who wouldn’t?

If I get one day (or even 5 minutes!) to drive around in a McLaren SLR, it’s worth a lot more than 10 bucks, isn’t it? The National Flag is a symbol of National Pride. Why do we buy it if we cannot give it the complete unconditional respect that it deserves, even in disposal? How many of the people who have bought the millions of flags sold on our streets for two days in a year even remember what happened to those flags after those two days had passed? Now, all of us know about one of those flags and one of us was perhaps unfortunate enough to have been reminded of the sin by the photograph… what about the rest? I don’t intend to come across as preachy or “Holier than thou” here, but I never buy a flag, simply because personally, I don’t think I can give it the respect that our soldiers do when they give their lives up for it… For heaven’s sake, it took me all of 32 years, 5 months and 15 days to discover how to “respectfully dispose” of my National Flag! I realized today that I am as guilty of disrespecting the Indian National Flag as the person who left it in the spot captured by the photograph in the previous blog.

Borrowing a theme from Viren’s comment earlier, I leave you with several questions… feel free to discuss your thoughts on them.

How many people in the country refuse to stand in a movie theater when the National Anthem is played?

How many people who stand in that movie theater also stand when they hear the national anthem playing on TV, when they watch the Independence Day or the Republic Day ceremony?

How many of us agree with, and resent the notion that the National Anthem is forced on us in movie theaters by politicians in an obvious attempt to “Educate us”?

How different is forcing these “patriotic” norms on us, from the “religious” norms that several fundamentalist cultures force on their citizens?

Are our opinions about enforced patriotism different from our opinions on religious fundamentalism? If so, why?

Do you think, now, that you are as guilty of disrespecting the National Flag as I am, along with the person who was responsible for the scene in Jithesh’s photograph?

Intuition or Logic?

With the incredible response to the management initiative of driving the direction of Dexler through a unique form of crowdsourcing, I am immensely optimistic of the intelligence that we will be able to collect by consolidating inputs contributed by the entire Dexler community. It has been interesting and inspiring to observe the conversations on the blog and off it, driven by Anand’s posts earlier, especially “Adventures of a bank teller” and other short stories! I noticed that we have a serious talent for engaging in healthy, objective debate, which is very encouraging; except that I hope a lot more of us bring our opinions out in the form of comments as this blog evolves.

After a lot of hesitation on what the subject of my first post should be, the choice came to me rather impulsively, driven by an interesting lunch-time debate that happened today. I thought it would be interesting to see reactions from a lot more people on this, and I’m sure a lot of you will be surprised at your own reactions to a simple question:

 

“What leads to better decision making – Intuition or Logic?”

The interesting part about this question is not an individual’s answer, which in itself would probably be a bit ambiguous, most of us would probably “play safe” and say, “A healthy blend of both”, or something equally diplomatic. The interesting part is that very often, when we are convinced that we are applying healthy objective logic in trying to solve a problem, we are not! Let me make my point with some evidence and introduce you to Monty Hall, a popular game show host on the show “Let’s make a Deal”. He made a living by showing contestants three doors, two of which had goats behind them, and one with a spanking new car behind it, and asking them to choose one. Once the contestant chose a door, Monty would then proceed to open one of the other two doors, inevitably revealing a goat. He would then pose the contestant a question,

 

“Do you want to keep your choice or change it?”

 

Now, I want you to put yourself in the contestant’s shoes. What would you do? Is it in your advantage to keep your choice or to switch it to the other unopened door? I am going to resist the temptation of making this blog longer by trying to explain this situation through statistics and probability. I want you to try this for yourself and determine if, when you thought you were using logic to answer this question, you were really being logical or not. When you thought you were guessing, were you really guessing?

After you perform this experiment, I would love to hear your comments on what you thought of the outcome… you can try this at the “Monty Hall Problem” page.

Tell us what you think!

Resurrection… the Phoenix rises again from the ashes…

This post marks my re-entry into the blogosphere after 4 years of blogger’s block.

Yippee! I’m so excited I think I won’t blog for a couple more years…  Just kidding!

The last comment on my last blog… (someday, when I have more courage, I will reveal it, if it’s still there 😉 )

Sorry, I lost focus there… well it’s 1 AM, whaddaya expect… well, there I go again… ok… Focus now.. FOCUS… now where was I? Yep, I was saying that the last comment on my last blog was someone saying… they expect me to rise from the ashes, like the Phoenix! Ashes, I don’t know, but I’m back… from the hole I’d dug myself into.

And I’ll be here the moment I have something new to say, however worthless it might be… heh heh, this time it’s my website, so I can pretty much get away with anything, right? We’ll see…

Tool for ABAP Developers: Easy ABAP Open SQL Joins!

 

Warning: Long blog ahead! If you’ve ever written code for a complicated ABAP INNER JOIN, you will not regret the time you will spend here…

Foreword

I prefer the “By a developer, for other developers” approach, to the “By a developer, for himself” approach. Ever noticed how, although it would seem like pure coincidence(or divine intervention!), two or more people manage to find solutions to two separate parts of the same problem, without even collaborating in real time… this is a story of one such experience!

The need

For years now, every time I train developers on ABAP, or mentor them during projects, I have consistently heard quite a few of them complain about how complicated they think it is to construct an Open SQL SELECT statement that’s based on a join on several transparent tables. Of course, there are tools like SAP Query(SQ01) that could help, but to create a query object for just extracting the SELECT statement is overkill. So one day, in mid-2007, I thought: why not create a simple copy-paste program that could automate the whole thing? This tool is borne out of this idea.

The Concept

From the very beginning, I had an eye on contributing this tool and it’s usage to the community… The intended target audience for this tool consists of beginner,  impatient or generally lazy ABAP developers(hmm I think I covered everybody there!) who need to create SELECT statements in code that requires them to join two or more transparent tables. The design goals were:

  1. The tool should allow users to quickly construct INNER JOIN-based queries that could be literally pasted into an ABAP program. It should, therefore, involve as few dialogs as possible and very little in terms of navigational effort.
  2. The developer needs to know the table names, and the order in which they happen to be related and not the exact fields involved in the relationship. The tool should lead to discovery of the exact join conditions.
  3. After the base table, the choice for subsequent tables must be based on existing foreign keys, very similar to Views Transaction SE11
  4. Keep it SIMPLE !

You decide if this program meets its objectives, but then I’m throwing this into the community to be improved/modified/discarded. If you like it, use it… If you don’t, I presume you love ABAP Joins so you can help make it better for the rest of us 😉

The Code

 

How to use this tool

When you run this tool, you will be presented with the following dialog:

Step 1

Click on “Select Base Table”

Step 2

Use the standard table lookup(Personal Value List or Information System) to select your base table

Step 3

Once you select your base table, the interface offers you options to add subsequent tables. I suggest you do this one table at a time…

Step 4

Click on :  Step 5

Step 6

As you keep adding tables, the tool composes the ON conditions based on the foreign key relationships between the chosen table and the previous one. You might want to review the join conditions to ensure everything is in line with your requirements…

Click on: Step 7

Step 8

And if you find something wrong in the process and you wish to delete a table and it’s join conditions, use the delete table function.

Click on: Step 9

Just one more thing to do before we generate the query: Select the fields to be produced from the JOIN.

Click on: Step 10

Click on Add(Button 2 below) to add a field and Add All(Button 1 below) to add all fields from a table.

Step 11

Note: Deviation from standard: To confirm your field list click “Cancel”. Just don’t ask me why 😉

Now we’re almost done, it’s time to pop out a freshly baked SELECT statement:

Click on: 

You should see the output of the generator:

Copy query to the Windows Clipboard… 

Finally, just paste the code into your program!

In closing…

I thought it would be great if one could visualize the output of generated SELECTs, and then, I discovered this tool(Also appears on the SDN download page under WebAS. Look here). It was a pain getting it to work, but once I did, I figured that this is a tool that helps you quickly ALV’ize data output from a JOIN, but you require to type in the query yourself. But what surprised me was how easy it was to generate a query from ZJOINER, paste it into the visualizer tool, make a few changes and while your coffee is still hot, you have a well formed SELECT as well as a visual idea of the data it will produce, with almost no code effort from your side! Now if you consider that these two tools were not originally designed to work together, it is surprising how well they do! I call it inadvertent collaboration!

Anyway, I also think it would be interesting to take this further and do something like what ALVRobot does(also here!) But then, I’m sure if it proves useful, the community will take this further. I intend to post this in the code gallery as well, but I need to explore that area a bit more and learn a few more tricks, hopefully in the next couple of days…

Disclaimer: In the short time I spent testing this tool, I discovered quite a few bugs, which I spent some time solving… I am sure you will too, but I will not be able to spend a lot of time on this tool from now on, I would really appreciate it if somebody could also help fix issues as they are discovered. The program was meant to be a copy-paste solution and that shows in the design.

Also, sometimes, you will need to join tables that are NOT directly related through foreign keys(VBAK & VBAP, for example) and I’m afraid this tool will not help you with this 🙁 unless you do this in a roundabout way.

Credits:

Jayanta Narayan Choudhuri – SQL Tool for ABAP Developers

Gabriel Jenik – The ALV Robot

P.S. I love the WYSIWYG editor !!

ABAP Programming Technique: If you don’t run this report in 10 seconds, it’ll run itself !!!

What is this post about?

As ABAPers, I’m sure all of us have our share of “Eureka!!!” moments, when we discover a possibility that we did not know of earlier…

This is a story of how such a moment left me with a confused set of feelings…
For those interested in the technical details… have you ever wanted to create a report that executes automatically after displaying the selection screen for a specific period of time?
Have you been told it can’t be done?
Surprise… surprise !!! It can ! (And if you already knew, why didn’t you tell me earlier?!)

This post attempts to tell you precisely how to make this possible and, at no extra cost, my personal advice for dealing with the weird feeling of discovering you were wrong about something!

Why a blog?

Having been an SAP Technical trainer for a few years now, I have had the privilege(or discomfort) of being asked questions in and out of ABAP classrooms about things that have nothing to do with the curriculum. Sometimes – I’d like to think “almost always” 😉 – I know the answer, and sometimes I think I know…
In all cases I say what I know, 

“It’s possible to do this, and this is how…” or “I don’t think this is possible… and this is why not…”.

More often than not, the question is answered adequately and everyone lives happily ever after, but once in a while I say, convincingly enough, that something isn’t possible, based on what I believe, what I have seen, or what I have been told…
…only to discover later that I was wrong…

 

 

 

 

 

This is about one of those silly occassions, when – thanks to SDN – I discovered a technique, and before I’m sued for refuting the possibility, I wanted to document it, thus the blog… OK, enough philosophizing, let’s get to work!

The requirement

Recently, in an ABAP class, a curious and enthusiastic student(aren’t they all?) asked me if it was possible toautomatically execute a report after displaying the selection screen for a fixed duration of time… Coincidentally, the same day, I also saw a Need to execute Selection Screen Parameter with time specfic on the same possibility! I have to admit I had considered this possibility earlier and in my younger and more enthusiastic days, I had posed this query to my seniors and peers at the time, only to get the predictable response “Not possible!”
In some time, my research on this tapered off, and I never managed to achieve closure on this issue… Today I know that there are people who know it is possible, but I did not have the fortune of communicating with these Gurus and I assumed, like so many people before me, that it really wasn’t possible, and so I told my student…

But yesterday, when I was foraging through SDN for some juicy blogs, I stumbled across Rich Heilman‘s The specified item was not found. and suddenly(imagine lightbulb above my head and bell sound!), I had the answer to the earlier question…

I always knew about the CL_GUI_TIMER class, but strangely never thought I could use it on a selection screen or without a container, until I saw Rich do it!
Sometimes, a solution is so close, you can’t see it!

image

Obviously, I was wrong… but such discoveries excite me, however uncomfortable the realization! Imagine,(not so)long ago, it was said that cancer was incurable, that there were only 9 planets, that the Sun went around the Earth…
When I thought about the kind of people who said these things, I figured I’m in elite company!

 

 

 

 

 

So for the benefit of those who don’t want to wait years to discover this simple-enough technique, however useless it may seem at first sight, here is the description…

So, How?

For this example, I wrote a simple Executable Program, which has a single field on the selection screen with a default value attached. In 10 seconds, if the user does not execute the program, it executes automatically.
This is achieved by creating an instance of the CL_GUI_TIMER class and setting its interval attribute to 10(or whatever your desired timeout, in seconds) and then invoke the run method. We also need to create a local class to do the job of the handler for the finished event. In my example, the method when_done in class LCL_HANDLER does this. Also remember to register the handler class instance before starting the timer! The only hitch I faced while building this example was to know the Function Code of the “Execute” button, but it didn’t take very long to figure that out…

Here’s the code…

 

This program and any usage of the CL_GUI_TIMER class on an older system (prior to 4.6c) will need you to define a local CL_GUI_TIMER class, look at Rich’s blog linked above to understand how to do this…

And the next time you find something that most people, including you, did not know existed, do everybody a favor and share it with us!

[This is cross-posted from my blog at SAP Developers(or Community) Network athttp://scn.sap.com/people/dushyant.shetty/blog]

To hurt or not to hurt, that is not the question…

I, like most people I know, hate uncertainty… and the few days after the biopsy, I spent my suspense-ridden time attempting to obtain more information about the possibilities that could emerge from the analysis. Big mistake, not everything I happened to read needed to be taken seriously, but the more I read, the scarier the picture began to look… finally my wait ended, but the agony didn’t…

Ok, the biopsy showed no malignancy…

I should be elated ! But I’m not…. the biopsy showed that P had cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis… for normal English-speaking human beings like us, It means possibly infectious glandular TB.

When the doctor described the treatment, we knew the battle lines had been drawn… The doctor spoke with as much compassion as he could, despite the insensitivity that decades of medical practice would have blessed him with. He said that P would have to take a six to nine month regimen of drugs that had side effects that could alter your body for good. He said that to address the immediate issue of swellings in the lymph
nodes, P would have to be given a Deep Intramuscular Injection of Streptomycin every day for 30 days. I thought I was going to break something. He said it would be something you could get used to, and that most people get through without major issues. I asked him what the major issues could be… and decided immediately that I shouldn’t have asked.

The journey home was silent… no tears… no emotions… no answers… just loads of questions that we didn’t want to ask…

We discussed a few things, tried to laugh at inconsequential things… failing miserably. This was the most uncomfortable evening of my life… I wanted to go somewhere else…I wished I could be teleported into outer space, where I could scream everything out of my system and not worry about sound travelling… but at that moment, I wasn’t important.

Now that we knew what we needed to do… there was little to talk about… I tried joking, laughing, singing, and each time ended up sneaking
out of the room to wipe my tears and drift back pretending I could continue my charade. P knew this wasn’t working, but played along, probably not wanting to show me how badly I was doing… it made me feel even more miserable, and later much later I sat in my balcony facing the empty hills that, before that night always seemed to cheer me up… this time nothing could change the way I was feeling. I made myself a drink and ended my evening with it… not because alcohol makes you feel better… because after a point, you feel less… I wanted to feel nothing…

The next day started as usual, I broke a toenail and bled all over the bedroom floor… Went to work and witnessed a spectacular short-circuit and a power-cut that made us shut shop and leave for the day… somehow nothing seemed to surprise, startle or stun me anymore…

The five minutes I spent last evening waiting for the injection to be administered will register as the five most unwanted minutes of my life…

No, I’m not depressed… I’m not sad… these are emotions you generally feel for and within yourself… I don’t know what this is… but it hurts… big
time…

You know if I had to make a wish right now, what it would be ?

I would wish I was the one feeling the pain now…

I don’t know how… but for the millionth time… I’m going to pull through… and I’m going to do everything I can, humanly possible or otherwise… to help P get back to normal… better than normal, goddammit… better than normal, I swear…

[Disclaimer: This is one of the posts from my first ever blog, that is now defunct. Though amateur, and in some cases silly, I did want to retain an archive of everything I have ever written in the blogosphere. Thank you for your patience]

Phoenix still buried in the ashes…why do men cry?

Just when I was making a superhuman effort to catch up with work and an assorted mess of intolerable people, inefficient practices and bureaucratic deadwood at office, just when I was on second wind and pulling out all the stops and using the last few ounces of physical and mental endurance I had left in me… just when I was in sight of the finish line, just when I thought victory was inevitable… Fate overtook me and crossed the finish line first…

Suddenly, after waiting till I was just about to celebrate… in one fell swoop, fate showed me who’s boss… showed me that just when you think you’ve killed all the dragons, crossed all the mountains and won every battle… life presents you with an obstacle so huge, monstrous and invincible, all your previous accomplishments seem inconsequential…

After what looked like a fight I was about to win hands-down, life dealt a quick, sharp blow that left my nose bleeding and me feeling like I want to cry like an infant…

Somebody who really matters to me, somebody who I can never bear to see in pain, somebody who happens to have the miraculous skill of being able to relieve me of any negative feeling, suffering or hurt, had to, before my eyes, undergo a neck biopsy last evening with me standing there feeling intensely helpless about not being able to do anything to alleviate the pain… that image stuck around with me even after the procedure was complete, all through a sleepless night, through a warm, ugly, headache-inducing morning…

I gathered myself up… and dragged my tattered soul, still lagging a few steps behind my tired body… towards the daily grind at work… climbed a cab and switched on the radio on my phone at max volume to drown out all the wailing that my conscience was doing…

Nothing on any of the channels seemed to distract me enough, and I kept switching between channels, until I heard a familiar chord, a song that we used to love… after the first few notes… the song seemed to fill me up… and I broke down… and wept… quietly, with my hand in front of my face so nobody could see my tears…

When I was younger, I used to feel proud and manly about my ability to take any kind of situation in my stride without breaking down, without crying… but this time, for probably the first time in several years… I couldn’t stop the tears…

I felt strange… embarassed… weird…

I still don’t know why I cried… my soul will heal, just like the biopsy wound… the biopsy results may not indicate anything serious… I knew
that… but I suddenly felt weak…. very weak…

But, you know what… I don’t care what life presents me with… I’ll fight it… keep them coming…
I’ll bleed through this, but I won’t stand down… I’ll laugh at the pain, till it stops, or until I stop feeling it… but I won’t go down without a fight…
and no matter what Fate has in store for me, I will overcome… but not for myself… for someone else… for the first time in my life I feel convinced
about fighting for somebody else… I’m not scared anymore… weak maybe, but not scared…

I know nothing may go wrong, it may all be all right tomorrow and the biopsy may not indicate anything more than common cold, but even if it
doesn’t, I’m ready for it… I don’t know where I’ll find the strength for it, but I’m ready nevertheless… and Phoenix will rise… from the ashes again, victorious…

[Disclaimer: This is one of the posts from my first ever blog, that is now defunct. Though amateur, and in some cases silly, I did want to retain an archive of everything I have ever written in the blogosphere. Thank you for your patience]

Can you hear me ?

…from under this pile of shit, that is… All the euphoria of getting back home disappeared the moment I realized what was waiting for me at work. Anyway, like a good employee should, I meekly crawled under the truckload of work before it piled up on me… that’s where I’m writing this from. Anyway, though I haven’t really been able to creatively vent my emotions too much in the last few days, I suddenly feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger at the entrance of the cop-station in “The Terminator”… because I feel like saying…

I’ll be back…
(but only after I clean all the shit at office…)
…now I kinda hold the world record for fastest cleaning of shit so don’t expect it to take too long… I can’t live without this place for too long anyway… why do you think I’m writing this? This is literary Cold Turkey!

Y’know, I’m seriously contemplating creating a separate blog for some of my photographs… a-la my dear friend Calvin…
And one more thing… a sincere thanks to all those fellow bloggers who added me to their links… thanks for reading, I will try not to disappoint you!

Later!

[Disclaimer: This is one of the posts from my first ever blog, that is now defunct. Though amateur, and in some cases silly, I did want to retain an archive of everything I have ever written in the blogosphere. Thank you for your patience]

Agony and Ecstasy

For the first time in my three week long existence in the blogging world, I am about to do something that every blogger is expected to do all the time… I am about to post something without having a real reason to, and believe me, there is an eerie kind of pleasure in doing this.

Today, actually in the next hour or so, I will have completed my assignment here and left Kolkata for home base. I leave with mixed feelings. That, I guess, contributed to the title. On the one hand I’m pleased at completing my mission, acing another assignment, going home… on the other, there’s something about this place, and the bitter-sweet experiences I’ve had while I was here that make me just a little sad…

The uncertainty of what the future holds for me is what gives me wings… I thrive on the rush, the high I feel when I negotiate turn after
unpredictable turn, in life… so going home not knowing what it holds for me does not scare me, in fact it excites me… still, there’s something about these few weeks that have probably changed me forever… and I will always hold Kolkata in memory for this…

Incidentally, last night I experienced something very heartwarming on a cold stormy street, something that’s special because of how unexpected it was… I was in a car in the Salt Lake area, heading towards City Center, a local hangout. Neither the driver nor me had any idea where we were, though we knew we were close to the place. So I did what a lost soul does best… I popped my head out of the car and yelled “City Center?” without looking at whether there was anybody there. Unfortunately, there was a dignified looking old man, wearing a spotless white T-shirt and gray trackpants standing right there… and I hadn’t seen him there. My yell scared the living daylights out of him, and I immediately apologized, though I thought his reaction was funny.

Regaining his composure, he pointed his walking stick back towards the ground (as soon as he jumped back, startled, he’d pointed his stick at me like some kind of shotgun, I think he must be a retired serviceman or something…) and told me, “You have to go right from here”. I looked right and saw there was no break in the divider for us to turn through, but I looked back at him and said “Thank you”, expecting it to be a simple “Go
straight-take-U-turn-go-straight-again-turn-left” affair. But as we drove ahead to take a U-turn, I could see that the old man was looking worried if I’d got the instructions right. I didn’t, in my wildest imagination, expect what he did next… he trotted across to the divider behind us, crossed it and the rest of the road before we turned and reached there, and motioned to me… I got the driver to stop, expecting the man to probably ask for a lift or something. The man just pointed down the road and said, “This way… just keep going straight for a mile and you’ll find it…” and walked back across the road without even waiting for my “Thank you”. Amazing… aint it ?

I know it sounds like an ordinary story, but there’s a reason why it’s special to me… I think one reason why ordinary human beings don’t go out of their way to help other ordinary human beings is because most of the time we don’t appreciate it enough, and what this old man did for me, I wanted to appreciate from the bottom of my cynical heart.

Dear Mr. Good-Samaritan-In-Salt-Lake, Thank you and if you don’t mind me saying it, Cool Trackpants, dude!!!

Bye Bye Kolkata !

Adios, folks… me is off to the home… when I get the connected to the Internet again, I write more post to the blog. Till then, take care… and happy ruminating !

[Disclaimer: This is one of the posts from my first ever blog, that is now defunct. Though amateur, and in some cases silly, I did want to retain an archive of everything I have ever written in the blogosphere. Thank you for your patience]