Archive for the ‘mokkai’ Category

how many seconds in a year

Q: “How many seconds are there in a year?”

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A: “Twelve; January second, February second, March second, …”

Courtesy: my colleague Narayan for sharing this through an email 🙂

Don’t beat me up

There is a man in a village who has three children. These three children are extremely disobedient and never listen to whatever their parents tell. They are always whiling away their time and never doing anything worthwhile.

So, one day their father, out of great concern calls them and gives them advice over different issues. And finally he says,”I don’t want to see you wasting your time like this. If you people want to really become successful in life, you must work hard and not idle away. Now, you guys go and study and try to do well in your exams”.

After listening to all this, the three children go inside and take a mango each and start eating. They keep eating the mango for about an hour until every fibre is eaten. Now, only the seed remains and yet, they are unwilling to throw it away and are licking it again and again.

Seeing this, the father becomes very happy. Why?

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Because the children showed to the father that they can “suck seed” (succeed) very well in life. 🙂

Courtesy: My Colleague Narayan for sharing this through an e-mail.

proving a theorem

Theorem: A cat has nine tails.

Proof:

No cat has eight tails. A cat has one tail more than no cat. Therefore, a cat has nine tails.

Courtesy: Thanks to my colleague Narayan for sharing this excellent proof via an email 🙂

en per padum paadu

I remember years back there was a famous blog post with the same title and it was blogged by a person named Kalaivani (kalai in short). I still remember in the year 2005, I got it as a forward and not to deny it was helping us to laugh like anything due to its beautiful narration of the situations.

Here i do post this with my siutations. Well, those of you who are not aware of my name in full, it goes as ‘M Raghavan alias Saravanan’, and i do prefer to have it in full in most of the places and wherever possible! 🙂 May be because of the self-love one can argue!

It so happens many times that i am asked for an explanation of the term ‘alias’ and why i have two names? Not to miss the interview parts i have attended so far. Luckily if it gets missed out during the initial phases of technical interview, it is for sure to mark its presence in the HR interviews. I would ask them with a small question, “there is a small story behind it. would you like to hear?”. Well, most probably the answers were of type ‘Yes’, ‘Sure’, ‘Go ahead’ 🙂

Very recently, i faced the same with the conversation with a new blogger friend Meenu on her post and so am i here with this post! As per her request, i am mostly writing it in english and wherever appropriate using the translation for the tamil slang!

Story behind my Father’s name

To start off with, the first name or name before the ‘alias’ is my dad’s name as well my grandpa’s.
Well, my dad also has a story for his name. My dad’s name was R. Muthu karuppan since my grandfather’s name being ‘SP Raghavan’. My dad felt a bit shy and/or reluctant for keeping the second part ‘karuppan‘ as it would be a catchy term for the fellow buddies to tease him with the meaning it gives as ‘blacky or black in colour‘ in tamil.

Hence he did remove that ‘karuppan’ out of his name and kept his name as his initial expanded. And his name got transformed from ‘R. Muthu‘ to ‘Raghavan Muthu’. Infact he did this all with the Gazette Notification.

I do remember during my schooling (nursery and i was in Standard V), there was a small argument between our school correspondent and my father for this naming clash and my initial should have been ‘R’ instead of ‘M’. My dad had to send the xerox copy of the gazette for the proof even after explaining those stuff. Obviously that’s the first time I also happened to know all these.

My Naming conventions so far..

Coming to the main track, i was given the so called name ‘Raghavan‘ for the naming to be continued across generations. But again in Tamil culture, women should not call the people by name which happens to match with either of her husband’s or father-in-law’s as it is treated as lack of respect. For that sake, i was given the another name ‘Saravanan’. As my dad felt like keeping those two names in the official records/certificates and they got it registered as such. Just to accommodate both the names, there came a conjunction ‘alias’. That’s when the name has been in existence.

Now coming to the other short/sweet/pet names i do have. Well the list goes like this.

As narrated above, i am called as ‘Saravana‘ by relatives and neighbors. I am specially called as ‘Saro’ by my family members which of course was originated from my beloved mom! 🙂

During schooling till class V, i was called as ‘Saravana’ as most of my teachers were my mom’s students and they got used to the same name.

After class 6th, i was called by ‘Raghavan‘. One small incident to share here is, after the initial few days in class 6th of a new school, one of my classmates came to our house on a holiday just for a pastime and when he enquired about me in lathe which is exactly in front my house, he was told that there was no one by the name ‘Raghavan’ and he had to simply return. 🙂 The next day, i had to explain him as well the neighbors of the other name i do have! lol. 😛

Only one person called me ever as ‘Ravagan‘ [donno where he got that term] and few people just used to call me as ‘Ravanan‘ — just to tease me.

During my engineering, my name has got several forms. Some seniors and friends called me as ‘Raghav‘ which made me feel good at that time till when i came across the term ‘Raghs‘ during my 3rd Year. This term ‘Raghs’ – which of course stays till to date of my preference, has got its own variations. Few people use it as ‘Rags‘ while some others use as ‘Ragz‘.

Very few people use ‘Raghava‘ that sounded like either they are annoyed or over affectionate.

Few friends called me as ‘Raghavs‘ and some continue to do so :).

One of my best buddies who used to call me as ‘Raghs’ for long, she used the term ‘Raga‘ — donno what made her spell that way.

I exactly don’t remember the scenario but one or two called me as ‘Raghavendran’ 🙂

Some of the selected lecturers used to address me as ‘Saravanan‘ – which brings a nostalgia of childhood schooling memories and i just enjoy the feelings within!

A peculiar set of people called me with the unused conjunction ‘alias‘ and that was also welcomed till now 🙂

Few of my college mates and friends call me as ‘Raghavachari‘ as i feel they felt good that way to call me!

Once I went to St Johns Hospital, Bangalore for the corn excision on my leg in Feb 2006, i was called as ‘Raghavan Pillai‘ by one of the sisters over there! mmm. yet another! :). I really din’t dig my small brain for the sources causing the name. :). [Thanks to my beloved colleague,friend,guide Rajasekar M for reminding this one after reading the blog post:p]

What’s a big deal.. a name is given to call you right. The purpose is getting saved!

Out of all these, i somehow prefer nowadays being called with the name ‘Raghs‘ and thats what in use everywhere including this address of this blog!

Some difficulties I face officially

Though having been identified uniquely in all academic environments, i used to face a tough time when filling up the application forms, where in i had to draw few more boxes to write my so called ‘name-in-full’ and it usually attracts a smile from the neighbors and/or the concerned official.

Names in the professional environment

During my employment with Covansys (of course my first employer), the naming convention for the emalil id was the first letter of your initial followed by your first name. And my email id was ‘RMuthu’ (as explained above). Though i had an option to have the email id as ‘MRaghavan‘ by reversing, i dint want to do since i had huge number of email ids on my own name itself, i thought of giving a credit to my dad 🙂

But the display name was ‘MUTHU Raghavan alias Saravanan‘. 🙂 Most of my team members (it was a huge team having 70+ members) started calling me as ‘Muthu‘. Initially i was correcting them by saying its not mine but my father’s name. But no one seemed to agree and they justified saying that it was short compared to Raghavan. What a super analogy and analysis? Just a difference in few characters/letters. Huh! I was practiced to listen to the name ‘Muthu’ thereafter and it continued for 2 years literally. Even now some of my ex-colleagues call me as ‘Muthu’ only! 🙂 Enna kodumai sir idhu?

Another important aspect was with the US clients. Initially they used to ask me in email as how to spell my name and what name they can make use for the sake of their convenience!. Some of them used to address me as ‘Muttu‘ (sounds like ‘Mute-u‘) in the conference call with which people around me have a good fun !

Now, my name has been registered in my present company as ‘Raghavan alias Saravanan Muthu‘ – just a reverse of place holders. Some of my present colleagues call me as

#1. ‘Raghavan alias Saravana Muthu‘ — [note the absence of ‘n’ here :)]

#2. ‘Raghavan engira Saravana Muthu‘ — of course thats how the term ‘alias’ gets translated in tamil!

#3. ‘Raghavan alias Saravanan alias Muthu‘ — beautiful!

What to do? Getting used to it!

After all, its a part of your name and its like a metadata!

Names in the Onsite (Bahrain)

I guess it was somehow missed though i thought of posting it months back. And now its the time to include that as well.

After coming to Bahrain for an onsite assignment i am given some more new names by some of my colleagues here. They are from TCS. Those names go as below.

#1. Raghavan s/o Raghavan s/o Raghavan — maintaining the full hierarchy from bottom to top! :). Software engineers they are, you know!

#2. Veettula Saravanan veliyila Raghavan — meaning ‘in the home Saravanan but outside Raghavan’

#3. Raghwan — that’s how the employees of our client (LMRA) call me. They mainly follow Arabiq here. It can be taken as ‘Raghwan’, ‘Raghghvaan‘ as it varies from time to time and depends on their mood 🙂

Name in the Passport

Well! It goes for a task man. I don’t know why it went like that. And no wonder, the ‘government employees’ are prone to do that i suppose. In my passport, my name is entered as ‘Raghavan ALSOKNOWNAS Saravanan’. All what i could do was to yell at my dad and he politely did the same back to me justifying that he got an answer from the officers that its their way of mentioning alias names! ouch..

Was very much concerned of it as was advised by some of my senior colleagues that it might invite some troubles during the visa interview especially for USA. Till now, i have not faced any issues and i hope the same in future as well.

Hope this answers the question in detail with few extra information and somehow it was interesting!

Donno how many other names are there in store for future? :P.

FBOK — Fellow Buddies only know 🙂

How is the new layout? Just thought of changing it and I did it today.

Let me know your thoughts on the same 🙂

Cheers!

Life in Bahrain..

As such, i would say the 2 weeks of stay in this city keeps me happy except the two extremes of climate.. as its hot outside and to compensate that A/C is provided everwhere. People say that it was so very hot prior to my visit and its pretty cool for a month or so. I also would admit as i don’t see the same climate which was the first one to welcome me soon after i came out of the flight ;-(. Felt like being in a desert really but nowadays it has come down.

The entire city as a whole

Well.. the total city looks very hi-fi and almost you can see many big buildings which are either malls, hotels etc., Was told that initially the entire city was within 22 kms or so and now its widened to be around 72+ kms.. also they are increasing the city circumference by borrowing the land from sea ;-). As the see seems to be not so deep they are able to quickly construct a building.

People are also of high society, well educated. But i am yet to explore much about the clumsy areas as well as i heard they are existing here too. Perhaps, i might have a better look once this Ramalan month gets over i guess. I have not yet roamed many places as i had to come to office on a weekend (for the KT to be completed from my colleague whom i replaced here).

Irrespective of the place, you can find each and every building, table, chair, road so clean and tidy. That’s a very good aspect. Of course with full A/C as well. Almost all hotels are fully furnished and provided with all necessary utilities like modular kitchen, sofa cum bed, TV, A/C, Washing machine, Gas, Iron box,Microwave oven etc., What else do you need? Don’t ask about the rent.. Somehow i heard that its 450 BD per month for a double bedroom. For us, our client pays 🙂 and 4 people share a room. It is big and decent enough to accommodate.

Because of having a good lifestyle and wealth, you can find cars only everywhere. I have luckily seen some 2,3 bikes here. Heard that in a single house, there are minimum of 2,3 cars and on an average 4 to 5 cars. And the cost of petrol is very cheap here. You get 1 litre for 1 Re. :). Also getting the cars is very easy. I have seen an advertisement in a mall, asking you to take the car now and start paying the EMI only from March 2008. How is it? 🙂

Currency

Here two main forms of currency are fills and dhinar (BD – bahraini dhinar). They are like paise and rupees in INR (Indian Rupee).

1000 fills = 1 BD

1 BD ~= Rs. 105 INR (it keeps changing. It was Rs.108 two months back and had been Rs. 121 an year ago). [Source: you can check here]

so, 100 fills ~= Rs. 10 INR. (not exactly).

Generally, fills less than 100 is not of much use as 100 fills seems to be the starting price here. 🙂 On an average, many items would be in BD’s only. (Don’t think Indian Beedee (tobacco) as it may give you such impression while reading :)).

Food Items

As these people have much of petrol and aluminium of their own and of course they can’t be consumed for survival, they are dependent on the imported items right from milk, yoghurt, bread, butter, jam, rice, biscuits, chocolates etc., so you can assume the cost of items. Just to give you a piece of info. I have not looked at the individual items for a couple of times till day before yesterday. I used to just get the items and get it weighed (for vegetables etc) and pay the bill. Only the final amount is what i used to see. It would be usually around 6 BD and some times may be around 3 to 4 BD if the items are less. Day before yesterday, just thought of having a look at the individual item prices.. here you go…

1 ltr milk = 350 fills

250 gms of Carrot = 250 fills (4 pcs)

5 Nos of banana = 450 fills (philippines banana they say..)

3 Peaches (looks like apple) = 595 fills

1 kg of rice ~= 330 fills

1 can of drinking water = 700 fills (in the hotel itself they provide for the cost)

Though they are just for a reference, we can’t keep comparing you know.. why? all for the single word ‘survival’ 🙂

A bit difficult for people who do NOT eat non-veg 🙂 but manageable. Thanks to this city and because of Ramalan, started doing self cooking and doing a lil bit of research in it 🙂 somehow with the help of MTR, surviving! Had prepared Dhal rice, Gobi curry (cauliflower poriyal) of my own.. Mix vegetables are also available in the frozen state. You need to keep them in the freezer, otherwise it will be of no use. Even in the malls, there is a separate section which contain the freezer to keep all these milk, yoghurt (curd), flavoured milk, mix vegetables, meat, chicken etc.,

Hotels

Being the month of ramalan (ramzan, ramadhan), its a very strict order from the Bahrain Govt that no one should serve food till 6 PM everyday. If being found, the license would be cancelled it seems. so very less chances to go to a hotel as we would be in office during those times.

We found one Annapoorna hotel here in Manama ( during the last weekend) and I had one pongal (appadaa..) and one Mini Idli (appadi podu!) and one Tea. It came around 300 fills + 400 fills + 100 fills altogether 800 fills. That was not a very big hotel still.

Yet to explore the rest after Ramzan….

Traffic & Roads

within these 2 weeks, i have just seen only one traffic police once in Manama. It looks like there is no need of having them. You know a great aspect made me admire very much was the usage of horn. I literally doubted whether these people have something to buzz or not. If at all they have, do they forget its existence or what? that’s how people use the horn only if really required. that too like a buzzer press. for guys from India, it looked awkward since our people used to just press the horn to establish their presence mainly and at times to ask for the way! I really get irritated by the unnecessary horn. But after seeing this negligible usage of horn even in the traffic signals, got damn impressed. Believe me or not! The way every individual is following the discipline is also too good. No wonder why you don’t need any traffic police.

One more important and distinguishing factor here is, the people in Car give atmost respect and importance to the pedestrians as the government rule says if they hit someone going by walk on the road, they need to pay some 1000 BD it seems. So you can very much take it for granted to get your way in the roads. There are some signal changing machines on the road where you can alter the signal from green to red so that people who follow will have a pause and you get your way 🙂 Aren’t you feeling happy by reading this? So do I.

The roads are so clean as i already told and very broad to accommodate 3 lanes. The gear system here is pretty different as they are adjusted automatically according to the speed you raise. Because of this facility, people easily manage and control their speed. Heard that getting a DL (Driving License) is pretty much difficult as getting passed here would be a bit tedious and you may be asked to retake the classes which varies from 15 to 20 BD per class and on an average you need to take 20 classes at first. For bahrain citizens, it is very easy as they would start playing around with any of the available 3-5 cars in their home..

Toilet

The ‘toilet’ deserves very much to be a part of this blog! These people use only bath tubs with shower for taking bath. As far as the commode is concerned, here they are two instead of one. One for ‘using’ and other for ‘washing’ :). No pipe attached. Also no bucket, mug here. We made fun of asking by imitating Madhavan from Naladhamayandhi movie ‘Excuse me.. Jakkoosi here.. please?” 🙂

Language

People here speak Arabi. Urdu also is in use. Somehow english and hindi are also omnipresent and we are able to manage with them.

Liberty

Of all the middle east countries, Bahrain is considered as the most liberal country in the rules and regulations be it in the religious aspects, entertainment and all others. People from other nearby countries like Saudi used to make a visit here on the weekends it seems. But generally there are not much restrictions here as heard outside. That’s true. Of course, even during the ramzan, we are allowed to have our food with no restrictions and relaxations. If at all they have some concerns, they used to say it very politely to the concerned person and not to the individuals directly.

Time Difference

Bahrain time is 3 hours ahead of GMT. That means, -2.5 hrs of IST which is +5.5 hrs ahead of GMT. [Source: You can check here]. The capital of country is Manama which is also of very less in geographical area. As the entire city is very small, you can assume every individual area’s size. Not like TNagar/Adayar in Chennai and Jayanagar/BTMLayout in Bangalore.

Comedy wrt timings

As i forgot to change the local timings, on the very first night(!?), i kept the alarm by 6.30 AM as usual. Once i got up and saw, it was completely dark. Then i went and saw the time in my wrist watch, where i had luckily adjusted the day before. It was showing 4 AM here :). What to do? Slept again. The same happened on the next day (second night) as well. Then remembered while setting the alarm and increased it to 9 AM instead of 6.30 AM. Still somehow we keep the mobile timings as that of IST so that it would facilitate us when calling the people over there.

Working Hours

Here the office working hours for government is usually 7 AM – 2 PM. For some private organizations, they can have a bit relaxed timings which is usually of 8 AM – 3 PM i guess. Being ramalan, its a bit relaxed wherein people are coming here by 8 or 9 AM in the morning. But for us (me and the set of TCS guys working here) its generally like the IST 9 AM – 5 PM.

Our Team

We work for LMRA (Labour Market Regulatory Authority), a government organization which facilitates the visa entry, exit, extension of stay for the labours working here. I alone work here from my office and there are about 15 guys from TCS working here. I report to the TCS Program Director here. There are other people from my office who work in other government organization named CIO (Central Informatics Organization) where they usually follow the same bahrain working hours. Lucky those people 🙂

We are asked to wear tie everyday and its been a good and regular habit of mine. It looks good and very professional you know though at times you may feel a little uncomfortable. Pros and Cons.. he he he !

My usual routine

Get up by 6 or 6.30 AM, do the morning duties.. clean the vessels and my tupperware if there are any left unwashed in the previous night. prepare and cook food for lunch. Generally have cornflakes and bread+jam for breakfast. Get the cab by around 9 AM and reach here by 9.15. Having lunch in the canteen (at terrace) at around 1 PM. Leave office by 6 PM.

The usual time of travel to and from home and office is about 15 minutes for some 10 to 15 kms 🙂 Can you believe? It used to take hours in bangalore to reach. I also heard nobody here bothers about the kms as per the cheap price of petrol. Heard that a guy who has been travelling to the same place for about 10+ years does NOT know how many kms its from his home:)

Commuting

But the commuting here is bit expensive. For my to and fro travel per day, i give 3 BD per day. That too being the regular customer and he is an Indian. Otherwise, it is usually 5 BD it seems. Generally when you go to any mall which is situated a bit far, they charge around 2 BD.

Having asked for the same despite of getting the petrol in dead cheap rate, i was told that hiring rate of car/cab is costly it seems. It very much coincides with the lifestyle of the people.

On some days when we have production deployment might need to stay back. Being on support, may get a call in the untime also. On my very first day when i was back from airport after giving send off to my colleague Vignesh, i got a call saying that there was an issue 🙂 Had to rush to office by 9.30 PM and went back by 11.30 PM.

Wasn’t really much excited and all. It looks like yet another transfer from karaikudi to chennai, chennai to bangalore and now bangalore to bahrain! But a kinda overseas exposure would be a value-added one.

But overall, the work and life is coool…………….. 🙂

PS: As at present i don’t have the snaps taken in this machine, would add the snaps in the required places a lil later.. probably tomorrow. so stay tuned 🙂

shifted to new office

Hey buddies,

  Today we have got shifted to a new office. “We” means a portion of our BU (Business Unit) in the organization. The team belonging to one particular project account got shifted today and the rest will follow us on next monday.

  Some of our team mates had a thought of just seeing this office yesterday so that we may not have any difficulties in finding the route. Later we decided then what is the fun if we are well planned. Lets enjoy the first day finding the route. I was told that it would be 2 kms less than that of old office which usually takes around 15 kms everyday for one time journey.

  But to my surprise, i could enjoy the real fun as i had identified the office with no difficulties and also reached in 25 minutes which was quite surprising.. otherwise for 15 kms it would take around 45 to 50 minutes minimum. will 2 kms make such a big difference? probably it would in a city like Bangalore wherein you get 2,3 big signals within a couple of kms where each signal will make you wait for 3 minutes minimum.

   Its because i found the CTS name board and  my memory cache fetched the relevant matching keywords with the information what other admin, system people told abt this new office. With reference to that, just looked for in the listing and there it was! Good of the  administration people, they had done it in time.

  Though i was happy that i reached office with no difficulties and in less time, felt like continuing the fun since the floor in which our office is situated was not looking like an office at all. The whole corridor was looking a big hotel and till the time i reached the door (which also looked like the same) at the end, i could not come to a conclusion. Because wihin the premises, they dint keep any name plate or board neither in the reception nor in the corridors.

  Doubted like had i stepped into a 3* hotel or something and opened the door. Even after the surprise continued and i took a turn on the left side. Yes, the surprise ended soon after i saw my colleagues which was what i had been expecting ;-).

  Well, this new office looks so cool. Perhaps, because of having seen the same old office for so long and the ‘difference’ made me feel 🙂 But it really looks cool. Here CTS is the other IT company present in the same building. Its in Jubilee block near Utility Building which is close to corporation circle.  The construction would have been done in a well planned way. Perfectly fits for an IT company as every cubicle is having enough space around and the entire floor is divided into two and each of them are symmetric.

    The new office has a college nearby which is “Bishop  Cotton Girls Arts College”.  For me, its immaterial you know 😉

   The best part is that till monday, we are free to experiment the places and confirm the slots for us.. looks like 🙂  since we were allocated in one place initially and once my TL came he told we can better shift to some other place. We saw a cubicle with just 6 seats to cover the entire team in a compact way but he dint feel like as it was not on the window side. He felt like it would be better if we get the sunlight. I also agreed and we chose another cubicle.

   The best part is in the pantry, they have the LAN connection so that even people can have a casual dicussion by just taking their laptop with them. Good to see. The pantry is not so big but can accommodate around 20 people at a time.  As its facing the roadside as well as the playground besides, the people may have a good scenaries to look at.

   I am done with the most important part of finding out the pantry, restrooms (very obviuos you know), printer etc etc.., Also had accompanied two of my colleagues for breakfast thereby roamed a little to see the places around. Many more to explore gradually.!

Marana Mokkai

Makkalae,

This is gonna be a true “Marana Mokkai”.. please try to enjoy!!

What does the figure below try to say?

MaranaMokkai

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This is nothing   but “West Mambalam” 😉

Courtesy: My friend Archana Muralidharan for sharing this via an email.