No Sugar

Don’t eat that biscuit. It has transfats“, he told me. I didn’t have a clue then, or now, about transfats. But from his expression, I got that it was a bad thing to let in your system. I took out a box of Kaju Katlis (Cashew cake) I had brought from India and almost shoved in his face, “This doesn’t have transfats. I hope.

No. But it has added sugar. Refined sugar. Do you know how harmful it is to your body?
I obviously have heard about it but never used to care about it. I noticed this behaviour with many of my Indians colleagues who migrated to The States. All the others used to take at least a small piece out of politeness. I had and still have a sweet tooth. I scoffed at his advice, considered him to be old and made a mental note of not offering anything to him in the future.

Fast forward a decade and few years, I am more or less the age he was then. And I am considering quitting added/refined sugar.

I have seen many stories of people quitting refined sugar and bursting with energy all day, saving a lot of money and losing weight. The idea of having all the 3 benefits is quite tempting. I am thinking of taking a 30-day challenge of avoiding refined sugar. It is more difficult for me as I have a sweet tooth. And I literally run on Coffee (with sugar).

A few months ago, I took a challenge to drink at least 3l of water every day for a month. I posted about it here. But sugar is a whole different beast. I have tried multiple times but I have failed this challenge. I wish I could quote Jaime Escalante for motivation:

Life is not about how many times you fall. It’s about how many times you get back up.

But this meme explains the actual fact.

and-what-do-we-say-to-avoiding-sugar-not-today

 

 

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Corporate Life Lessons

Today, Sep 05, is celebrated as Teachers’ Day here in India. In appreciation of teachers and in celebrating the spirit of teaching, I am going to list out some lessons that I learnt first hand from my experience(s) at corporate environment(s). These may help you achieve success, if your definition of success is being peaceful and obscure at work. If success to you is making money or becoming wealthy, be forewarned – these points will not be helpful in anyway.

  1. Don’t hire based on the command of the language alone. Command of a language and a good communication are two different things. An English sentence with jargon and no grammatical error ≠ meaningful message.
  2. Keep your ego aside when you are hiring for a top level position. In one of my previous companies I worked with, an offer was rolled out to a candidate for a higher position. However, the candidate dropped out on the date of joining leaving a gaping hole that was highly visible. In order to fix this gap, the team hastily rolled out an offer to a misfit without thorough evaluation. This cost the team dearly.
  3. Age and experience are two different things. Don’t offer jobs based on total years of experience but based on relevant level of  experience.
  4. Idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Dumb people spend more time in gossiping and backbiting and usually are the ones who spend more efforts on conjuring up internal politics.
  5. When somebody explicitly says they do not lie, they do.
  6. When somebody explicitly says that they have conquered ego and they have absolutely zero ego, they have an ego larger than a mammoth. Run away from them.
  7. Don’t be nice to idiots. They sap your energy.
  8. When somebody says that cloud technology is his/her area of expertise and later asks you how to save the changes in a google sheet, don’t laugh. Go to your desk, create a meme and make it viral.
  9. When you are good at something, don’t do it for others. Especially, for idiots. They will expect you to spoon-feed them every single time.
  10. Play a fool to fool a fool. When you know something and you don’t want an idiot to ruin your day, just act that you don’t know that thing. Keep your pride aside. Focus on the peace that you will attain.
  11. Don’t trust the guy who whiles away time during work and calls you over the weekend to ask stupid questions not relevant to you, your job or your dog.
  12. When somebody repeatedly overstates that you did a wonderful job, get a rear-view mirror and watch your back.
  13. When somebody you want to avoid joins the table where you and your friends are discussing over lunch, continue showing the same level of enthusiasm on the face but switch the topic to weather, movies or sports.
  14. Get comfortable with long silences. It will be useful in those occasions where somebody joins the table and creepily observes what you and your friends talk without contributing anything. Unnerve them with your silence. If you can’t remain silent, try focusing on the dish. Ask yourselves whether that papaya you are having is naturally sweet or has added sugar.
  15. Headphones are your best friends. Start wearing one and zone-in on the work. If you can’t focus on the work, fake it. This will save you a lot of time.
  16. Learn to be conscious of your surroundings without moving your eyes away from your monitor. You will eventually learn when to turn your head and when not to.
  17. Sometimes, an insecure person will try to exclude you from important meetings. Don’t react. Trust their stupidity. If the person is stupid enough, you will be called back in the next meeting. Go with the flow.
  18. Practice tug-of-war. Sometimes you will have people dragging you down to their level of stupidity and trying to get you on their side. You need to resist it. As Captain Jack Sparrow says, ‘Wash your hands of this weirdness’.
  19. When somebody asks for your help, help the first time. Guide the second time. If they still don’t get it, just play along. They will learn it the hard way.
  20. Develop thick skin. You will meet people who are all hat and no cattle. You will see people in important technical leadership who would not know how to setup a meeting invite. Don’t fret over it. Have fun while it lasts. Ignore, take a deep breath and trust in Karma.

What would be your advice? Let me know in the comments.

 

Chasing Dreams

The best way to make our dreams come true is to wake up – Paul Valery

Any normal person would have been pumped up with motivation and reeked of awesomeness for exactly two minutes after reading the above quote. Not me. It is said 90% of the dreams are forgotten. Those 90% are the pleasant ones. The remaining 10% are the unpleasant ones. The reason I am talking about this here is because my friend told me that his car stereo was stolen. What’s the link? The 100% of the unpleasant 10% of my dreams involve thieves/burglars. I have no idea why. The only encounter I had with a thief was a pick pocketer in a local bus who I caught red handed. He pushed me and ran away. It wasn’t a knee-jerking experience.

Now a little bit more about my dream. The places differed, people differed, time of the day differed, seasons differed. The things that didn’t change was myself and the act of chasing the thief. I guess I love chasing too much. Everytime I dream of chasing a thief, I chase with vigour. I chase with commitment. I chase yelling at him. The line between dream and real life blurs and I yell for real. This is the only type of dream where I blurt out anything aloud. My wife is usually a sound sleeper. She doesn’t even realize when the alarm goes off in full volume right under her ear. But every time I shout, she wakes up. First time she was really scared and worried. She thought I had a nightmare. I wouldn’t call it a night mare. It was fun chasing. Few more instances, she was genuinely worried but started realising the pattern. These days she just wakes me up and asks who was I chasing. She is ready with popcorn and all.

So going back to the opening quote – no, I don’t want to wake up and I don’t want my dream to come true.

Do you have any strange recurring dream? Please feel free to use the comment section.

Oh, a finishing quote. My favourite one.

‘Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.’ – Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam

 

Migrated to the new site

This post is meant as a quick update to the new followers of my site. First of all, thank you for following this blog. Many of you had visited my site after my rant at bloggingmeetup. I made that rant prematurely. I actually had migrated all my followers to my new site which, for some brain fade of mine,  I didn’t verify before posting.

So the message is this: I had migrated to this new site https://sadagopangovindan.com . Request you to follow this new site as I won’t be posting anything here in this blog. Thanks for your support.

Cheers!

PS: Gray Whale travel 12,500 miles during their migration. They make it look easy.

 

How to lose your followers in a weekend

I was happy with my small blog hidden in some corner of the blogosphere. Obscurity was my strength. It has been existent from 2008 like my gym membership. It existed but rarely used. I only visited when I had a sudden spur of motivation.

When the new year of 2016 begun, my motivation to keep up with the new year’s resolution lasted a week longer than the usual. So, in the third week of January, I decided to sign up for a Blogging University course for two reasons – (i) I genuinely wanted to learn about blogging and (ii) It was free. I do not regret for it was a wonderful platform to get to know other bloggers thus building a community. That was the golden period of my blog’s existence. My follower count touched 100. 100 is a small number but I am proud as the count is organic. As in, it is only from blogging community and not from social media sites. I do not advertise on Twitter or Facebook much. A closet writer.

One day I got this sudden thought (Thoughts always seem to be sudden for me. I need to learn to think on a regular basis). I decided to buy a domain on my own name and host my blog there. I did a little bit of research and found the steps do migrate the portal. I spent some time over a weekend in Aug 2017 and migrated my contents successfully to my domain.

By now, things in my professional life started looking up and a truck load of work was dumped on me. In the available free time, I managed to catch up with 8 seasons of The Mentalist, 8th season of House MD, 7th season of Suits, couple of seasons of Black Mirror and 7th season of The Game of Thrones. So, as you can see, I was too occupied to write a blog post. I couldn’t squeeze 30 mins out of my busy schedule.

I logged in two days ago after a long time. You know that this is that time of the year when you dust your previous years’ resolutions and get momentary inspiration. I logged in and realized I have zero followers now. I have goofed up something during migration. I thought I will import the content that I exported during the migration. But, blessings of Murphy, my laptop had crashed, and I lost the export along with other documents.

So here I am. Starting afresh. I am working with WordPress support to see if I can recover. In the meantime, here’s my appeal like Jimmy Wales – If you had already subscribed to my blog and were checking in to see what happened to my blog, thank you! Please subscribe again!

Cheers!

Why? Why me?

Hello, people! How have you been? I am back after a while. I am being regularly irregular these days. Life has been on its usual ride – ups and downs. Work has been hectic. Sometimes good work and sometimes just meetings. Actually, the number of meetings that I am part of has exploded exponentially.  It was so annoyingly more that we recently had few meetings to discuss how to stop wasting time in the meetings. Irony!

Last week I was in one of the late night calls. It was scheduled from 10 PM to 12 AM my time. The day was hectic and exhausting already. And this meeting was the icing on the cake. The meeting involved a lot of people from across different geographies. Everybody to talk about some processes. There is this one kind of meeting that I like where a bunch of people join but you are not required to give any inputs. Just mute yourselves and listen to what is being discussed. Or simply teleport yourselves to the neighboring galaxy. Or try telekinesis to move a coffee cup just by focussing intently. This meeting was not that type. This was exactly the opposite. There were many people involved. You have to give some inputs. But you don’t know when you will be asked. So you have to be attentive throughout the session.

About one hour into the meeting, my eyelids were on auto shutdown mode. My turn did not come yet. I was going through so much process improvements and excel sheets that I was mentally exhausted. I didn’t eat enough and I was famished. My telepathy seemed to have been so strong that my wife came into the room with a bowl full of watermelon pieces. Without speaking a word, I expressed my gratitude through my eyes and was staring at the bowl. I was slowly eating one piece at a time and was listening to the discussions. Somebody did a time check and said we have only five minutes more. I was not sure if I was irritated or relieved. Part of me wanted to get this over with on the same day and another part of me begged to end this call.

When somebody started summarizing, I was pretty sure this meeting was going to continue the next day. I mentally switched off. I took a mouthful of watermelon and was listening to the summary. Somebody interrupted and asked everyone if we have 10 more minutes. What? No way. But they reached a consensus to continue. So, I stuffed the remaining pieces in my mouth in frustration. That is exactly when somebody decided to call me out for my inputs. I had a mouthful of watermelon and I was struggling to push some down the throat so that I can speak. I was mumbling.

“Are you there?”

“mmmmmmmmm”

“If you are speaking we cannot hear you. You may be on mute”

mmmmmmmmm

“Hello? you still there?”

“mmmmmmmmm”

“I think he dropped off. No problem, we will get his inputs in the next call scheduled for tomorrow. Thank you, everyone, for your valuable inputs”

** Meeting ended **

“Noooooooooo…… I am still here!!!”