Archive for the Lessons Category

Lessons Learnt – 2009

Posted in About me, India, Lessons, Life. Or something like it., People, Society on December 21, 2009 by samudranb
  • Bali is beautiful. Thailand is incredible. And the people of both these places know more about “Indian culture” than most Indians.
  • Voting in a general election is pretty useless. But you should still do it.
  • Employment is over-rated. Quitting a job is no big deal. Just be sure to have enough money to last you a while without any inflows. And keep an eye on the credit card expenses.
  • It is possible to have an expensive DSLR, and be made to feel like an idiot by a 18 year old kid with a Point n Shoot.
  • Shutter block is BAD.
  • It is possible to mail the President of your company and expect (and get) a reply. It is possible to tweet Pritish Nandy, Chetan Bhagat, Gul Panag, Imran Khan and Barkha Dutt and expect (and get) a reply. It is possible to tweet Mallika Sherawat and Priyanka Chopra, and expect (and  get) promotional merchandise from their latest movie.
  • It is possible to find your ideal job, and go for it. It is however not in your hands whether you will get the job or not. Just give it your best shot.
  • It is OK to delay BIG plans. It is NOT OK to give up on them.
  • Dress code for a wine tasting festival – collared t-shirt, khakis, as ridiculous a hat as you can find and a nose angled at 15 degrees higher than usual. Strict NO-NOs – formals of any kind. (Suits? Die you pretender! ) Also, it helps if you can keep a straight face and use adjectives like “herbaceous” / “comfortable” / “smoky” / “high notes” / “oaky” to describe a wine (never mind if you dont have any clue about what they mean).
  • I prefer white wines to reds. Chardonnays to Chenin Blancs. And Reveilo reserves to Chateau Indages or Chantillis.
  • I prefer wheat beer to dark lager to premium lager to apple cider (The last one should actually be called “apple shudder”).
  • Never EVER trust directions given by a woman. 15 minutes later, you will end up at the place where you got an indignant “Of course!!” as reply to your “Are you sure this is the right way?”.
  • God invented porn. Just like everything else in this world.
  • Dating is fun. Not dating is fun too.
  • People who do not value your time, are not worth it.
  • Most people are more interesting than they seem.
  • Always ride your bike at 20% lower than the speed that seems safe.
  • No protective gear is ever not worth the money.
  • There are way too many India’s in India. And there are way too many TVS service centres in South India. And not enough in the rest of the country.
  • The Indian government is doing an OK job. I only wish they would do it faster.
  • Having patience is the most difficult thing to do.


  • Use sunscreen.
Wine tasting dress code - ©Chaitanya

The Luckiest Day of My Life

Posted in Accidents, Biking, Lessons, Life. Or something like it. with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by samudranb

So I was cruising the absolutely fantastic ghats coming down from Munnar, Kerala. The scenery was so fantastic, it could make you stop and stare. The roads were so brilliant, you could die and your biking heaven would be right there. The weather so pleasant because of the rains, you wished to stay there forever.

And thats when it happenned.

Fingers moving? Check.

Toes moving? Check.

Arms moving? Check.

Legs moving? Check.

Able to open eyes? Check.

Anything wet anywhere? No.

Woohoo!! I am alive!! I think.

Someone removed my helmet.

Someone gave me water.

The driver of the Tata Sumo did not come out of the car for 10 minutes. Someone later told me he was praying that I was alive.

After I stood up, I looked at myself through the horribly scratched helmet visor. My gloves were torn. My raincoat was torn at many places, exposing the protective elbow and knee pads below, which were themselves badly scraped.

My bike had a bent handlebar, amongst the many bent things. The headlight visor, the headlight housing and footrests were amongst the broken parts. It  must have had taken some bouncing around, judging by the scratches and bends on both the sides.

I tried to recall what had happened. Of course, it had been mostly my mistake. I was cruising down smoothly, must have been doing around 50 (around 10-15 more than I should have) , when I saw the Sumo coming right in the middle of the road. I braked hard, and my rear tyre skidded to the right. And then it caught on something, and I was flying through the air. Landed head first. Straight on to the path of the oncoming car. The driver had hit the brakes by this time, and I only went and hit the slowing car. And bounced off it, to go straight into the guard rail at the edge of the road.

I think it sounds worse than it was. Or maybe not.

Why do I still consider myself lucky?

Because if the guard rail had not been there, I would have fallen some 150 – 200 feet down the steep cliff.

Because if the driver had not slowed down his vehicle, I might have been run over.

Because if I had not been wearing my helmet, I would have had a very pretty face. At least.

Because if I had not been wearing the protective pads, I would have had at least a couple of broken limbs.

I just hope I do not have to be this lucky again. 🙂

My last day at my first job

Posted in About me, Lessons, Musings, Work on August 30, 2009 by samudranb

The day before yesterday was my last day at my first job. Would have been pretty memorable anyways, given that it was my first job, and I have made some lovely friends there. But some other out-of-the-ordinary happenings definitely made it unforgettable.

For starters, I had some random people walk up to me and congratulate me. I don’t just mean people whose names I forgot. I mean people who I had never met in my life before. Why were they congratulating me? Well, they seemed to think I had a lot of balls for quitting without having any other job in my hand. Most didn’t believe me when I said i wanted to go for a biking trip. Maybe they just wanted to verify if I was as crazy as they had heard. I hope I didn’t disappoint them.

After spending about 11 minutes 26 seconds drafting my “Last day mail”, I spent another minute drafting another mail. An invitation to lunch. And sent it to Anshoo Gaur. Of course, I was not surprised when I did not receive a reply.

Lunch time. The usual gang. The usual food. The usual Brownian-movement-like conversation.

Tring Tring.


“Is this Samudra?”


“Hi this is Radha calling from Anshoo’s office. He cannot make it to lunch, but would you have some free time around 2:30pm?”

(to myself: “Umm… i will have to check my outlook calendar… can you hold on a minute?”)

“Sure, I will be there. Thanks!”

It was like meeting your girlfriend’s father for the first time. It was good. I managed to keep my knees from making that rattling sound. I saw what I wanted to see, I observed what I wanted to observe, and of course, learnt what I wanted to learn.

But what impressed me most about him was his simplicity. Everything around him was S.I.M.P.L.E. His mannerisms was reminiscent more of an older neighbour, than the Division President of a  $3 billion + company. The 20 minutes I spent with him might not alter the course of my life, but it definitely made an impact.

There is one thing that I took away from both the meeting with him, and my exit interview, that I had not considered so important before. That is the importance of communication. Correct and timely communication could make the difference between an enthusiastic workforce, and an antagonistic one. As Anshoo sir said, “translation” of the communication between the layers makes or breaks it.

All important lessons to be used when I need.

But for now, I am just happy to be planning my biking trip.

Update: Finally!! Someone in a similar position!