Monday, May 20, 2013

Reporting from the lion city

Been a while since I wrote something interesting on my blog. Though I am pretty interested in sharing my thoughts and experiences on my blog, I feel not many events have happened that are blog worthy though everyday has been interesting. With the onset of twitter. There have been few stories and more blink and you miss events that have been reported. And with a tool like twitter, your life can be a running commentary without any effort to link the events to telling your story. Anyway...

For starters, I landed in Singapore on 19th May. I came here on an assignment with HCL technologies for one of their banking client. It has been a while since I travelled overseas for work. Five years to be precise and yes I am very much looking ahead for the experience on both personal and professional front.

Professionally, I feel it is a transitionary phase of my career. Having worked on several IT projects as a developer/lead I have gained some meaningful experience. But it has been unidirectional and there are so many angles to any IT implementation. It is a natural progression for me to work on IT projects at a phase with the end user/the customer. There are so many aspects to explore, learn and upgrade myself.

On the personal front, it will be for the first time that Ruqaiya and I will face the world on our own in a new place. Though, it is not such a big deal. It will be an interesting phase where we are better equipped to deal with challenges life throws at us.

My first two days were very interesting for me. I left Bangalore almost on the midnight between 18th and 19th May. 18th May was a bit busy as there was a wedding and lots of packing/shopping to complete. I don't remember the finer details but it was a day I had mixed feelings. I felt sad to leave my family behind. Especially my little sister Kulsum and her family. They are USA bound and it will be few years before I meet them next. I managed to meet Kulsum, Ehrar bhaiya and Samia for sometime. They were completely occupied with the wedding of Ehrar bhaiya's sister.

The journey started with a long drive to the airport. It was raining and the traffic was very torturous for me. On reaching the airport, I was asked to repack as the hand bagage was too heavy to be taken on the flight. I did some realignment and managed to get through.

The flight was ok. But I could not sleep at all. I spent sometime chatting with Mr.Shesha. He was sitting next to me. While talking to him I realized that he is a close friend on my teacher in university Mr. Manjunath Prasad. Also I enjoyed travelling in the Singapore airways flight. Especially after having travelled excessively on the no frills flights such as indigo.

On landing at changi international airport in Singapore I found it second to none. After having heard so much about the cleanliness and discipline of Singapore, I was pleasantly surprised about how well managed everything is out there. Absolutely no hassle right from landing to immigration to baggage claim. I spent a while at the airport, had my breakfast at the Mc Donalds. Then left to the East Lodge on Joo Chiat place. So far the East lodge has been the biggest disappointment in Singapore. It is a college hostel. It is not suitable to provide accommodation to corporates. But the silver lining to this dark cloud is that my roomie turned out to be an acquaintance from the HCL technologies cricket team practice (that I attended once in a while). He was very helpful to me when I landed. Gave me lofs of gyan about navigating through Singapore.

On reaching the lodge,  for some reason I din't feel even a bit sleepy. I was itching to go out and explore Singapore in a day. I gave a call to my friend Dilbagh in Tampines. I went around Tampines and had lunch in a desi stall. The Indian food in Malaysia is something unique. Has some special items that are not available in India. Infact, Malaysia, Singapore is a land of cultural fusion. The fusion makes the place unique. On the surface the uniqueness is not apparent but more you explore more interesting it gets. I introduced Dilbagh to Murtabak. That's a special snack. Resulting from this fusion culture. It reminded Dilbagh of a Kolkata snack called Mughlai. A combination of eggs, paratha and meat. For details one may do a bit of research or visit this part of the world.

After lunch, Dilbagh helped me get my sim card and activate a data/talk plan. Then I said bye to dilbagh and went to meet a prospective room mate Keerthi. He happened to be from the same locality back home as me. World now seamed a very small place.

After meeting Keerthi, I called Afroze (my friend from Kolkata days 2005-06). He was a bit occupied. Then my cell got discharged. We lost contact. Also I caught up on some sleep in a massaging chair placed for display at Tampines mall. Then I went to the masjid at Kempangan near East lodge. I prayed and also rested a while. On waking up I called Afroze. He called me to Little India. Where he had been for his grocery shopping. I spent sometime with hiw family at Mustafa centre and had my dinner with them. After the outing thei dropped me back at East lodge.

I came back late night and crashed like there's no tomorrow.

Today, I got up and went to the HCL office at 10 am. Went to axa building by MRT. got my induction done and explored the Marina bay financial centre. It's an amazing place to both visit and work but its bloody expensive.

I did some exploration on the food front. Had Malaysian and Indonesian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was an adventure for my taste buds. Now I'm back home after some wandering around the Singapore streets but not able to sleep because of the critical assignment (updating my blog). Now that my thoughts and I've exhausted myself looks like I better go and sleep. Shall update more events on this trip as they happen. Bye till then.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Interesting changes coming up

Been a while since my last update. I update my blog either when there is a significant change in my career, personal life or to share a travel experience. For starters, I am done with my project for the last 3.5 years.

Yes, WIN is now transitioned to another resource. I get mixed feelings when I think about my last project. Feel sad that it does not belong to me any more. Feel happy that I am out of my comfort zone. I am now going to explore some new situations professionally. This is another project with the same client. I will be handling the operations from overseas. Working directly with the customer will have its challenges but that will give me more opportunities.

Now that this is my last weekend in Bangalore for next few months, I am trying to spend some time with family and reflect to what are the gaps I need to fill so that my skills stay relevant in the long run. I am looking at some interesting learning opportunities on the functional as well as technical side. There is so much to explore and do and the time just does not suffice. I am really excited about the upcoming events and pray that the best happens.

While I am waiting to move to a new location and a new project, my sister Kulsum is coming to India on a 2 month vacation. Feel sad that I'll get to spend only a week with her after 2 years. However, it was by chance that my travel got delayed by a week because of negligience of someone in the visa processing department of my company. With so many moving parts in the bigger machinery, there are some positives and some negatives. I am loooking in hope that the journey ahead will be fun.