Jul 22, 2007

Life or Something Like It....

How many times have you heard yourself say this - "Life sucks!!! Why is all this happening only to me?? God is unfair..Or does He exist after all??"Any of these or their variations means you are going through a bad patch or you are having one of those "dog days".

I've has numerous such dog days...Herez one such typical day...I am fast asleep...Its 7.30 AM in the morning..The alarm buzzes..I promptly switch it off anf go back to sleep counting on my body clock to wake me up exactly ten minutes later (I thought I'd programmed my body clock to do that...wake me up ten minutes after that inital realworld alarm .Wait..did I say I programmed??Then you know what to expect)...

So as the story goes....I get up half an hour after the inital alarm...thanks to my friend's alarm..I switch on the geyser...And off goes the power.....I go to the dark bathroom...knock the bucket down..producing some noisy vibrations that ensue a few more noisier vibrations from my room-mate who is still fast asleep..I try to be done with some of the regular morning chores(You know what I mean) and the water dosen't flush....Therez no power for the motor....Now nothing irritates me more than this ...How many of you beleive in Murphy's laws??

I cleanse my body and mouth quickly with ice-cold water.. come out...cant find the best fit apparel for the day....I finally make do with a not-so-good one....get dressed up quickly (just half an hour for getting made up :(...have to make up for the extra slumber)...go down gulp down the dosa without the chutney (no power for the mixie, you see) and walk out in the morning crowd hoping to magically get a seat in any of the BMTC buses.

Having gotton used to the BMTC buses for over six months at Bangalore, I consider myself fairly good at judging a bus by its front and back looks (as well as I do with people - one of my innate snap judgements)...I know which of them to get into in order to find a ladies seat atleast..I skip as much as five six or six buses to get into the seventh...And as good old Murphy would have it, five or six times out of seven, my judgements are wrong...I end up standing my five-kilometre-one-hour-bus-straddle through the traffic pleasantly brushing the equally pleasant co-passengers..

I finally reach my office...and dutifully start working..I check my mails and orkut scraps...An hour passes by and I decide to switch over to my Solaris box finally...There has been this bug that has to be fixed since two months...Its a very simple fix, the testing is just a little elaborative..my team-lead reassures me...I make the code change..itz simple enough...the usual copy-paste...I build the product image...the build fails....Looks like some OS issue...I try to resolve it my way...I reboot my Solaris box....it dosen't reboot....complains something in technically very foul language and expressions...and refuses to honor my commands...I seek my supposedly tech-savvy team-mate's help to resolve the issue...After some dilly-dallying he finally takes agrees to take a look..He tries some commands that he knows I wouldn't know and gives me the same-old expression and conclusion...Its broke....He then retires to his own tech-crunch blogs that he has to catch up with...

I call up a friend in the OS team for help...He promises to come by in an hour....I relax in the relaxing Windows box...orkut and Google Talk again...Just then , (as good old Murphy would have it) my team-lead walks by my monitor and takes a look at those interesting scraps and chat one-liners....(You get the most interesting pop-ups only when your team-lead is standing by your system)..I demonstrate the issue to her and she gives the same old expression again...Try to fix the issue and have the bug-fix checked in....

My friend from OS team does turn up....takes a look at the poor box...types a few commands that I would have been probably aware of, if only I had discerned what they were...These OS guys have a way of typing those fast Solaris commands so fast that they and only they know whats happening...And the box seems to be talking to them in a totally different way than it does when I try handling it...It responds to their touches while it refuses mine...After a few minutes, he declares "I know what it is...you've broken the link to the /bin file". "Oh no, I didn't"..And while I keep rejecting his claims and am trying to think of plausible explanation, he quickly creates the link and reboots the box..and Lo and Behold...it boots......Wow.......Lunch time....

And between the afternoon siesta, I try to build the image and test it...(It takes an hour and a half to test that fix, its just a little elaborative you see)...And the fix dosen't work..I am not shaken....One of the golden rules in Software is that if your fix works for the first time, therez something seriously wrong about the fix, I re-iterate this new-age Murphy's rule to myself and go back to the code fix..I take a deep breath and an astute look...And there...I'd forgotten the negation operator in the condition check, and it devotedly behaved the opposite way, as it should....I make that change, build and test...And this time while I test, the server refuses to start....And the logs report some new error that I have no clue about..(Another of those golden rules - Whenever you look at the logs, you will find an error you have never seen before)..

While I keep brooding about it, my manager walks by with my lead..They look rather annoyed..."Did you test the fix you made about Bug XXXXX on Monday??"He asks rather loudly I thought..."Yeah, I did"...I respond rather meekly...."The product is not installing in Windows, and reports the error related to your bug-fix. QA have raised a new P1 stopper ...This is the last build for the release and this issue is delaying it up...Yyy Xxx from QA says this problem is even reproducible in Solaris....If yes, this is a SERIOUS problem, This is rather shameful of us.Check that out"...He leaves, leaving me thunder-struck.

Now, I am shaken....Not yet stirred though...I try to install it on Solaris....I chant all the prayers I can think of....I call up my mom and ask her to pray....Time dosen't fly...it crawls....And finally yes, it does install on Solaris.... and another round of testing by a team-mate doubly ensures that...The bug was only with Windows...It wasn't as bad as we thought...I heave a sigh of relief....I know I can't take more for the day....And yet the P1 stopper....my manager's temper..

I walk back to the stop reflecting how doggy the day was....Why is all this happening only to me?? God is unfair..I pass a neigboring temple that I used to frequent on normal days...I somehow don't feel like praying anymore....I am too exhausted for it....And then I see him....waving at me enthusiastically from the temple.....He smiles broadly while he waves...And then he returns to sweeping the temple...The old hunchback who has made that temple his home...the wrinkled skinned septuagenerian to whom I spare a penny or two whenever I frequent the temple and get a toothless broad smile in return..Today I didn't give him the penny, but he did give me that smile and a wave...and he didn't know...he also made me realise that I'm blessed after all....and he also made me discern the beauty of life or something like it....It is worth living after all these dog days....

Let Murphy go and hang himself.......

14 comments:

Divya said...

Ha ha... I am one among the many who use this 'life sucks'and off late 'life's a bitch'... But gone are those days for me when a doggy day at office pisses me off... But, I totally agree with the Murphy law jazz... i often relate to it... My days are either super or completely in the pit... and it so happens to me that when my mood is down due to personal reasons, thats when all crappy and unexpected shocks come my way at office to make the day a total chaos and what is the first thing that strikes my mind - Life sucks totally !

The way you concluded it is awesome, cos I share similar feelings... I have this intuitive and a voluntary reflex action whenever it comes to disabled people and those at the road trying to make a life out of nothing... When my day has been a mess and I am sitting in the auto stuck at the traffic signal,and when i see those unfortunate folks on road, I always think - I am such a coward, cannot face hardships in life that would indeed make me stronger, just look at those unfortunate ones... We are indeed blessed, and make it a point not to brood over mishaps and avoid saying life sucks, but then when its a bad day again, all I can think and say is the one I that i promised to avoid...

Ananth said...

Hmmm... I though my life was great until I read this post. The /bin link was the most exciting part of it and you killed the thrill of it ;-)

Ram said...

Thats an excellent post! :)

ramu said...

Common boss...post something interesting.. this is very boring.

Sunil said...

Hey Nithya.. the post is simply gr8!! I Just cant stop laughing reading the post.. Well, I must agree U have superb talent of expressing your thoughts.. I Just loved the way u narrated the story!! Especially the body alarm stuff.. might b because I will do d same everyday.. :-) do let me know with ur new posts..
n Keep Blogging.. :-)

Karthik said...

Hi Nithya
Nice narration with appropriate tinge of

1. mundane boredoms in life (i.e getting up from sleep, going to work in the crowded bus)

2.humor(ur narration of the interaction with the boss and friend; google and orkut stuff; almost everything)

3.technology and work pressure which plays a monsterous role in our life.

4.Individuals and their unique perception of life and its problems and their faith(you, your boss, OS person, the person at the temple)

5.and ofcourse a philosophical message (implicitly told)

Continue writing.

I have to admit that I had to look up the dictionary for the word septuagenerian

Karthik

kappi guy said...

excellent post!! like a roller coaster ride, so is life ;)

Kamini Santhanagopalan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kamini Santhanagopalan said...

Hey Nithu,

Very nice post...Keep up the gud wrk!

Quote: "I chant all the prayers I can think of....I call up my mom and ask her to pray....Time dosen't fly...it crawls..."

--> I liked this line in particular :)... Exactly as I do!! :D

I also liked the way you have concluded the post. We are all very blessed, after all!

Subbu said...

Sorry for intruding, but nice flow of thoughts. stumbled on this, but it's cool. You got good writing skills and are very good at getting across the message. check out mine if you get a chance http://thequestforwisdom.blogspot.com

Cheers
Subbu

Gokul Kandhi said...

Completely agree boss... But I jus live on having a dream that someday I can be the beggar who can wave and make a person's day.

test blog said...

'Unakkum Keezhey Ullavar Kodi nianythu paarthu nimmadhi naadu' Explained in excruciating detail

DPANI said...

hi its very pleasant post.me 2 felt like tat so many times

Praveen [Kidu] said...

:)

i would rather look at the fact that they dont fire people for leaking a bug...

i would try to max to find positives in negatives...
and i feel thats what you are trying to tell in last 2-3 statements,,, :)

the hunchback guy thinks very positive, even though you dint give him a penny still he smiled...
:)

One funny thing about God is that even if we abuse him he will not say anything back at us.. hehe