Postcards from another planet

It all started with a impulse purchase at a Bookstore at Khan Market, New Delhi, on our way to Hillhacks at Bir, Himachal Pradesh.

The colour-it-yourself postcards were lacking in quality so I decided to play around with them and imagined that the contents were actually images and drawings from another planet; Andlorra. The birds were coloured exotic and the trees surreal. These were conceptualised and coloured in the Earth House, Palampur.

postcards.pngI sent these to a few friends whose addresses I could gather at that time. The stamps were bought at the Bir subpost office and the postcards were posted from the Dharamshala postoffice. These travelled across the world and funnily enough the Bangalore ones reached last. This was the second time I sent a series of postcards around the world. The last time I sent these was when Shivani hosted a postcard popup shop in Cubbon park last year.

If you want one when I do a series the next time, please share your address with me.

 

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Why big IT companies are wrong for you?

Its 2012, startups are making big bucks. You are studying engineering and have dreams of someday coding the next Big thing and when placements happen you happily jump towards the big IT companies who usually come first. Well if being a “rockstar” or a “ninja” is what you crave, then you are going down the wrong path, my friend.

What happens when you join a big company is that they see you as a raw material, ready to be moulded as they desire but you obviously have other plans. Before you know it, you will be branched into streams and your “rockstar” career may just go up in smoke. There is no measurement of aptitude for the job just seemingly random distribution into the various streams. This is the easiest way of tackling with the ‘how to split these people’ problem. Academics play an important role in this filtering. So there you are , getting trained in a technology that is either boring or getting obsolete by the year and your passion for the profession is slowly being sucked out of you. Once you are done with the “training”, you get allotted to sections of the company and your IT career begins.  You normally start being a team member, answering to seniors and initiated into the project. Appraisals happen and your pay increases by a measly amount every year and you dream of going “onsite”. You are no longer a “ninja” and most probably are cozy in this simple life. If thats how you want to end, well my friend, all the best. But if you really want to be somebody step outside the mould, live life, take risks, code a side project, learn what you want, get enlightened, dream big, execute ideas and be honest to yourself. We are all unique, we are not assembled. Today’s freshers are more likely to revolt atleast that’s what i see around me. Attrition rates are quite growing. Consider this, for every 100 new freshers joining , approximately 60-70 experienced people are leaving IT companies. This results in a vacuum of middle leadership and thats why companies recruit all year long. Most people leave because they are unhappy at their current job. In a recent survey conducted by Karthik, the results seem to confirm what we already deduced. 25% every morning, don’t look forward to go to work. 34% feel their work is mundane, and not challenging. 20% feel that there is no clarity in the work and process. 45% are currently planning to change jobs and 75% are in their first jobs! Alarming statistics actually.

If you fall in the unhappy lot, then well i suggest its time you sat back and reflected on where you are headed and decide if thats the road that you want to take.

P.S. This was meant to be part of a bigger post which i abandoned because i got busy with work and the transition from work to college life again. I currently am studying ‘Information and Interface Design’ at the National Institute of Design, Bangalore. I wrote this post out of frustration and it was based on the real life situation around me at that time.

7 Things About Chennai

Share Auto Life

Things have Changed. Circumstances forced this move to Chennai. Its been a month here so far and the schedule is hectic. I have just got down to blogging again. For people who do visit to check my blog posts, Geekd.in would be the place i would tend to update more often.

So how has Chennai been so far? Not entirely unfriendly. I knew that Language was to be a problem and Water too. We dropped by in October to find a place to stay at Ambattur as our ILP centre was close by. We ended up with a small room in Annanagar West Extn., after a wild 3 days which saw us roaming around in marshy areas finding something that sounds like ‘Abhinjyam Stage 1’ Flats in Mogappair West at night and Going to the MMM Hospital to get Bottled water at 11pm. Lot of New experiences definitely. But then every one of us who came here had their own list to share.

So back in November, we left Mangalore on 31st. Around 32 of us travelled in Train to Chennai. That was the beginning of our Adventure. Arriving at Chennai for the third time in 2 years , i had grown accustomed to some of the things. And we learnt more along the way in the past one month.

1. One of the basic things we were confused about were bus journeys. The Buses had fares which were completely indecipherable with respect to bus type and distance covered. Finally i was enlightened to the fact that the bus fares are ruled by the bus boards. The White board buses are the cheapest and the Blue the costliest (i think). Also a M prefixed to the bus means you get charged 1 buck extra. Travel is cheap here in Chennai. This link helps us at times. Rab.in.

2. Food didn’t turn out to be a problem although the notorious white rice is everywhere. Never try Non-Indian food at Vegetarian hotels no matter how good they are supposed to be. Had a bad experience ordering American Chopsuey at Saravana Bhavan. But i Found their tea heavenly and its pricing (Rs 16) too.

3. Language was and still is a problem. Thanks to Karthik and Rathan, i can survive with my limited knowledge of Tamil. Broken English is a great help at times.

4. We discovered Share Autos as a more viable option over the meterless autos any day. There were lots who got looted by rickshaws. Travel can be dangerous too. We had a ride where the driver thought he was playing ‘Grand Theft Share Auto’. He broke a lot of those so-called traffic rules. But then not many people in Chennai seem to stick to them. I’ve had many close shaves trying to cross the road here.

5. Chennai has freaky weather patterns. Cyclone one day, Sunny the next. I Caught a cold thanks to that and had sore throat thanks to the water. Bathing is horrible due to the salt water and feels almost redundant.

6. Chennai has an English Radio Channel, Chennai Live! 104.8 fm It plays good music and glad i discovered it. i Bought a new Nokia 5030 to manage my new Chennai number and this was a pleasant surprise.

7. Diwali in Chennai is like being in a WarZone. People just burst crackers left and right, On the road and near vehicles. Scary stuff. And deafening too.

More News from Chennai soon.
Image Courtesy: Deepsan