June 2006, 8 Pm , on a Friday evening in Bangalore :
The menacingly black screen stared at me….and I stared back with my bloodshot, tired eyes …..as thousands and thousands of lines of log messages kept streaming in.
All had been well till about an hour back…. until onsite called in reporting a high-priority issue on the application…. now there was no escape … no time to reflect… and no one to pass on the blame to ….the ball was clearly in my court…and I had to hit it back !
And so there I was, scanning through thousands and thousands of lines of logs, trying to find the one word or one statement, that would remotely give me an indication as to what the problem might or might not have been – a task that’s just about as easy as trying to spot the Senegal football team (with their eyes and mouths shut) in a pitch-dark room painted with black walls !!!
Had been working the last 2 weekends, racing against time; and it looked like in all probability this weekend was not going to be any different either 😦
I turn around and stretch my stiff neck….My back aches, thanks to the gnarled posture that I’ve been sitting in for the past many hours….Sluggishly, I dragged myself to the coffee machine and poured a hot mug of that refreshing elixir….
I check up the local intranet-messenger for my friend Krishna – who sits two floors closer to the Mother-earth than me …….his status-message says it all – “PEAK OF BS7799 !!!” * (refer to the upcoming glossary for explanations)
I walk up to my friend Naveen’s desk, hoping to find some solace…but the guy’s very expression tells me that he had been here in office since the previous afternoon !
A colleague, who looked as much frustrated with his state of affairs as I was, walks by wearing a T-shirt that read “This-isn’t-the-life-that-I-ordered !”
Again and again, the “Million Kuwaiti-Dinar” question kept ringing louder and LOUDER in my mind [ P.S: 1 Kuwaiti Dinar = 160.692 rupees ! …courtesy: www.xe.com] ->
“LIFE IS CALLING – and WHERE AM I ???”
For a moment, I sit back and ponder …..My mind slowly wanders out …..to Bridage Road, just a few kilometres away …where hundreds of yuppies would be carelessly pubbing/partying/rocking in welcoming the weekend ahead!
Unlike the previous weekends, my friends did not even bother to call me this time, knowing for sure that I just wouldn’t be able to make it !
All of a sudden, my reverie is shaken – my ‘Outlook Express’ displays a new mail….. with nervous anxiety and trembling hands, I open it , wondering what bigger bad news is awaiting me………
Yet another spam ………explaining why I should shop online for their innovative medical products (boy ! these guys are really bad at their spellings !) ….I console myself thinking that it could have been worse – like for example, a mail from the on-site co-ordinator (technically meaning somebody sitting happily in some cool, clean, green, pristine, unpolluted city in the English country-side) describing how differently plain sentences in English can be interpretted and going on to explain in length the extent of variations between what the clients had meant and what we had thought they had meant !!!
Something like that would have made me have to rewrite hundreds of lines of code, review it, test it, release it …….all with the deadline still intact !
And that precise moment, for some reason, was when I first felt that I should start a blog !
The one thing I’ve never quite been able to comprehend about BLOGGING is that you write your own personal and most intimate accounts/views/confessions/frustrations about stuff you feel relevant only to you (sounds good so far !) , and then go ahead and post it on – of all places, the Internet (as in, the WORLD-WIDE-WEB ! )
..leaving it out there for the net-savvy millions to freely read !!! It just doesn’t really make sense ….
Reminds me of the times when as a kid, armed with more diligence than a UN weapons inspector in Iraq, I used to dig out my sister’s personal diaries, from whichever unsuspecting corner of the house she attempted to conceal it in …The argument I always put across if caught was that if she didn’t want anyone to read it, why write it down in the first place ??? Yeah, if it had been written, it was logic enough for a 10-year old to consider it his holy mission in life to read it !
Innovation was the name of the game, and my sis used to employ all means to get me off her personal journals ! Over the years, she graduated from using ordinary diaries (the ones usually gifted by uncles/aunties working in banks/corporates) to customised ones- replete with lock-key et al ( …keys could be easily unearthed too !) , to finally writing her crazy stuff in camouflaged, old, innocuous note-books (yeah, it took me quite a while to realize that! )
And suddenly today, there are BLOGS !
[ Boy, had technology evolved to this extent about a decade and a half earlier, it would have had made my job a lot more easier !]