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Tag: question

The checklist

For once, there are no words. Words are so limited in their ability to express, to communicate. So much has happened and so much has not happened in the last few days. And so much has been lost. Faith in the system, in the cops, in people, in the current generation. And what a great loss that is. Lesson learnt: Never call 100. They will create a bigger mess and turn the situation around according to their perception and personal prejudice. And in place of being protectors, they  beome judges who can deliver instant judgements without proper hearings.

Appu also came very close to losing her sanity. This is the cost we have had to bear to keep the company afloat, to keep walking the walk. Desperately looking for some normalcy. Of being normal, of experiencing a normal life.

Calculations over for the Trivandrum sites.  We are ready with the presentations. But the meeting of the Appellate Committee has been postponed. There has been a change ( how many times?) in the Joint Secretary of the Ministry and the new guy on the block will take time to settle down and understand the intricacies involved.

Time hi toh nahin hai. Where is the time? We are nearing the end of the month. And the end of the month implies bills. Please talk of something better. Aur kya baat ho sakti hai? I mean who else will pay the bills. It is not a Mills and Boon story you know. We are talking of real life and living here. The mobile, the car, the roof, the eletricity, everything has a cost. And non-payment means dis-connection of services and being on the roads. Grow up. How long can we keep talking of the mall, weather, movies, politics, philosophy. End of the day. The bills will catch up with us. That and the past. The past also has to be dwealt with. At some point.

I have become the masculine force in the house and office. Constantly looking for solutions. Am losing the ability to just hear withut doing anything. My mind starts racing the moment it encounters a problem. I guess that is what  gender transformation is about. So I am becoming a man in a woman’s body. That would be terrible. Need to stop this process.

My father has asked me not to send messages on the mobile as my mother reads them and he has to take the flak for being in touch with me despite contrary instructions. I asked him not to be in touch with me at all. Why should I camouflage my communications with a man who is supposed to be my father? Why? There are never any answers to why? Only to what and when.

Amma is ready to go to her village for a month as her daughter-in-law is expecting. And at some level, I am resentful. I cannot think of taking off for a day and here she is. She leaves whenever and comes back to pick up her life from where she left whenever. Why can’t I have that luxury. Again why? No answers sweetheart. There are no answers to why.

Stop rambling. Get on to your checklist for the jobs to be done today.

Check your checklist. To stay alive.

The checklist.

To just be

Have not slept for a couple of nights in a straight row. Mind is foggy, body is sluggish and the soul is starved. Yes, lots of work. And lots of unmanageability (please tell us something new!). Ok, so all I need as of now is some sleep. Let the bills go to hell, let the turnover go to the dogs, just find me a place to sleep where the mobile will not ring and Amma (our old maid (no master of the house)) will not bother me for rations, what is to be cooked for lunch, dinner etc., etc., Appu has been also up entire nights waiting for me to come home. Consequently both of us are in a sleep deprived mode right now.

 Four presentations for enhanced height clearances, to be made in a day before the Appellate Committee at  AAI in the coming week. God. And here we are. Hardly in a presentable state. So tired and fagged out.  The GRC (Grievance Redressal Cell) of AAI has been dissolved (Thank God) and members of the Ministry have taken over. There is more efficiency, more transparency in the process and that is like a fresh breath of air to us. The members will hopefully not be threatened by new technologies and solutions. Fingers crossed.

Had to meet the GM (NOC), AAI  three days back and his behaviour was outright rude and humiliating. He asked me ,’ Aapko entry kisne di is office mein? Kya likhaya apne reception par? Kiska naam likhwaya?” I told him that I had a prior appoinment with another offcial and that I had gained a very dignified and legal entry into the office but he was beyond listening. He said he would ask the reception to not allow me inside. Then he threw a barrage of questions: What did I think of myself? Who do we think we were to prepare these technical reports without the relevant number of years of experience? What course had I done in aviation to even consider doing a technical analysis? And he did not allow me to speak. To tell him that I had been reading, understanding and had taken a course, however difficult it was to do it with an office to run and the phone constantly ringing. But I could sense that he and maybe many of his colleagues in the NOC cell had already formed an opinion about us. The first one being that we were not entitled to enter their forbidden area (technically and physically) where only they had entry (courtesy their number of years in the organization forgetting that they had not done anything spectacular in their tenure).

We are known and yet unknown. Actually, we are the trouble makers. We ask, we question and we try to go beyond common knowledge. And this irks many people. We are very good irritants for an otherwise smooth running system. If we could get paid for irritating systems and the people involved in it, we could have been millionaires. But unfortunately, it is an unpaid job. And on top of it we earn the anger of very many for causing inequilibrium.Abhi kya karen? This is who we are. cannot change that without dying.

Amma whines  a lot these days. Pain in the head, in the legs, in the stomach. It is as if the pain keeps travelling in her body from one point to the other. Mostly it comes across as an attention seeking exercise and neither me nor Appu are convinced that she is truly unwell. Anyway she has become a permanent fixture of our lives and there is nothing else to be said on the matter.

There is loneliness and there is fear. And there is tiredness. Ok. We have heard that before. What’s new?

This desire to not be a part of any system.

To just be.

‘Why’

Why?

Never a good question. There are no answers.

What?

A shade better.

How?

Definitely sounds good.

In fact, ‘what’ and ‘how’ are the only two questions to which we can assign some answers, some solutions. But the ‘why’ is unsurmountable. A wall. We can keep breaking our head over it. It will still yield no results. The question just sits there like a rock.

Aaj ki ‘dhyaadi’? Just one meeting and administration issues. Wow. Now that’s what is called an output. Bhai turnover ka kya hoga? Turnover toh saal ke baad dekhenge, ‘dal roti chat ka kya hoga”? This is not the US. Just because you are born does not entitle you to food and shelter. kaam karna padta hai. We are a poor country you see.

The Ministry of Civil Aviationa and AAI are involved in the re-structuring process for the issue of NOC, the clients are waiting and watching the next moves ( who will kill whom, after all it is a bloody game) in the wings. And we have no work. We are unemployed yet again. Rahul continues to work on the software but that is not currently a ‘paid project’. In our field the sound of  a ‘paid project’ is very nice. Bolne par hi achha lagta hai. Kya kar rahe ho? Paid project par kaam ho raha hai ( as if working with a future technology but yet unpaid project is anathema).

Appu is drafting the reply for the court case and I am very grateful to her ( No lawyer will represent us and even if somebody agreed by fluke, the charges would be beyond our budget). Thanks Bebzer. Amma is trying to show how much work she can do by cleaning the house before Diwali (Ab to gift dena hi padega).

Still stuck with the many why’s.

Why.

‘The monkey of responsibility’

Pradip Patel has inducted a GIS executive who is a woman in the technical department. Can you beat that? I mean ‘men’ run away from this office. How will a woman survive? I am of course seen as a ‘man’ by most so I am no longer in the category of ‘women’. She has been given a decent time schedule (9:30am-7:00pm, an unheard of schedule in our office). So there is gender bias here, of course in a positive direction. OK, we are trying to be decent here. Nothing wrong with that.
All my batchmates have contributed a small fund as the much needed oxygen for our continued survival. It is a small yet very significant support and we are very grateful to each one of them.

Appu continues to be upset. Still figuring out a way to be able to connect with her. It seems the happiness has left our house and hearts.

Vikram and Rahul mis-behaved with the guard and have been asked to leave. It is just very sad. The payment gateway for the shop is operational and the SSL certificate has also been installed. So the transactions on the site are also secure (if and when they happen). Rajesh, our cartographer has further slashed the rates of the India and state maps (kya kar rahe ho Rajesh? what about the kharcha?). Anyway, we are taking risks with the pricing ( aur kar bhi kya sakte ho?). Let us see.

The stereo pair of satellite images to cover a site in Mumbai have been ordered (that was a very long time ago sweetheart. Anything new?). We are waiting for its arrival (‘waiting’ is a good art to be learnt in India). And presumbaly the client is getting impatient.
The ‘jhagda’ between AAI and MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) continues. With no one wishing to take complete responsibility for the decisions to be made. Who will carry the monkey on its back? That is the million dollar question. Everywhere.

Who will be blamed if something were to go wrong? Who will carry the responsibility on his/her back?

‘The monkey of responsibility’


‘To be content’

OK. Hold your breath. This one is unbelievable (but when have believable things happened with us?). The payment gateway of the shop has been successfully integrated and it is working fine!! Just when we had given up hope of it ever working fine. Just when we thought that our e-commerce venture would go down the drain, that it would never work with all the technical glitches and the  fiasco with the last team( I mean so many have happened, right!). So the shop is technically and financially open and we should be in business soon( I mean not even one of our maps has been sold as yet but what the hell).

Thanks to Hariom and Gagan ( who has recently joined and is a fresher). Thank you guys. For winning this one.

Hariom is also very near to testing the logic to be used in the software for the calculations with reference to the surfaces and the instruments for a single airport. Chandrakant is doing some reverse engineering for a site in Mumbai and he will also need to visit it very soon to collect a few coordinates. Amit has joined us in accounts and OmPrakash in administration. Let us see. Fingers crossed as always. The beginning is good. I have already shouted once (or maybe twice) and they have not quit. Hope is a good thing anyway.

It is so difficult for us to just manage the office ,bills,clients,meals. Wonder how HP manages the earth with its rotation and every miniscule life on it. It would be good to exchange notes with HP. I mean free of cost of course. Why would HP charge us? It is only man who cannot think of anything without charging.

A lot of potential team members are reading the blog. Sone pe suhaga. I mean why would they like to join after knowing all the nitty gritties of GC? A million dollar question. Kya hoga tera kaaliya. I hope it cannot get any worse. That the worst is over ( we have said that many times in the past too).

I don’t think I am writing intelligent stuff. I should pack up. One of the tyres in my car is punctured and that will need changing before I can reach home, hopefully before the time freezed by Appu which is 1:30 pm ( in the night of course). The team packed up early today (which means by 9:30pm) and that is amazing. They have only been able to leave by 11:30pm or 12:30pm in the past few  months.

‘Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence,

And I am learning, whatever state I am in,

therein to be content.’ – Helen Keller



All said and done

‘Water’ is an ‘online’ issue. I discovered this when we barely got any water for four days. And when I went to the officer in charge of the colony for water supply, I was told that I needed to install an online pump with a higher horse power as all the neighbouring pumps were of a higher H.P and hence with greater suction ability. The resulting pressure drop in the line ensured that we did not get any water supply. The other option was to remove all the online pumps (which of course is unrealistic). So, we need an online pump with a power of at least 1 H.P and we need a plumber to do the replacement. Great! ‘Roof’ was an issue. Now ‘water’ is also an issue. I wonder what is next. maybe ‘air’.

The ‘great’ family get together was today. I went in the morning to attend a small ‘satsang’ at my parents’ house (despite misgivings of an impending disaster). The ‘satsang’ was a video cassette of the ‘Gurus’ speech being played on a large LCD TV ( bought and gifted by my multi crore brother). It could not do full justice to the fake hallowed environment of covered heads and muted talk and a ‘pretense of being there’. I got up after a while and made myself a cup of tea and sat silently in a corner in another room. That truly felt like some kind of ‘satsang’.
The ‘satsang’ over, there was an exchange of gifts (like jewellery of gold,emeralds and pearls and money(huge)). I was quite a misfit in the entire scenario and to cover up the embarassment of having a ‘poor’ daughter, they decided to gift me an envelope with Rs. 500=00. I was also offered one of my own sarees (sold to my mother in bad times) to wear in the evening and some artificial jewellery to look good (for them of course!)My brother also offered to have me dropped to my house in an old dilapidated spare car which was also being used to transport one of their maids. So the maid and I could be clubbed together to get a ride back. I mean truly, somethings never change. my ‘Family of origin’ is one of them.
Of course, I did not attend the function in the evening in a glamourous hotel with a glamourous gathering. I had had enough glamour in the morning and enough dis-respect from my own family for a lifetime. If there is no respect where one is born and brought up, how can one expect any respect from the world outside.

Mr. Silakari of Aakar Consultants called up and was rude and loud. I disconnected the line as I have no wish to be shouted and screamed at anymore. We are doing very good work for Nagaur and Uniyara and beyond that it does not really matter. Who has written to whom and what and when is a non-issue. The politics of a government department never ceases to amaze me. More than the work the most important question is ‘who is closer to whom’ and ‘who has written to whom’ and ‘why’. Beyond me.

The new office space is being worked upon. It is what we call ‘ a work in progress’. Hopefully it will be a ‘complete work’ very soon (before we are thrown out of this office).

Work, money, self respect. The more self respect we are willing to give up on, the more money we can make. And if we wish to keep our self respect intact, forget about making huge money buddy.

Self respect and money. Inversely proportional relationship.
I guess the fight for us is more about maintaining our self respect and less about making money.

Nevertheless, a fight is a fight.

All said and done.


space for our graves

Appu is in school. The day has begun and I have no idea what to do and what not to do. There is work and there is chaos. There is money to shift and there is a lot of debt to be cleared. There is loneliness and there is aloneness. There is peace and there is sadness.

Another office, another transit camp. Before the time is up and we have to move on to another office space. I guess just the process is important. Not the outcome. The ‘trying’ is significant. The ‘arriving’ is immaterial.

Dimpi and Himashu are working on the Khasra maps of Nagaur. Hopefully we can finish them before the office is dismantled. Narendra is joining by Saturday and the work for the Airport Authority of India should begin then. I have yet another meeting with the AAI on friday. I am a slow learner! And these guys are complicated. I mean their guidelines are complex. But we are using our trignometry ( at least part of our formal education is being used) and so the schooling is not all useless (the major part is, no doubt about that).

Rest is all calculations (mostly money) , running the house (Amma has gone to her village for casting votes, the one time that they get importance by the village pradhan who actually sent a ‘gadi’ to pick them up, so there was no question of them not going) and the nitty gritties of daily living.

With every house boasting of three to four cars, parking is a major issue and although I try to park my car at the very outskirts of the colony (like an outcast, just so no one would have any issue), I find a lot of love notes posted on the car saying that the next time I parked it (here or there or wherever), I would find the car in a broken condition or the tyre deflated or some such threat. Go ahead guys. As long as me and my daughter are safe, it does not bother me. The seniors of the colony told me, ‘car parking ki jagah kabza karni padegi’. ‘You will have to grab the parking space’. And what about the space for our graves? Would that also need to be grabbed? At Nigambodh ghat or wherever? I mean truly, is ‘grabbing’ all that we have learnt?

OK. One day at a time again. One step at a time. Deep breath.
This too shall pass. eventually.


On my knees

No payment has come in this month(not that too many are expected). And all the bills are pending. I mean the pressure is truly building up now. I have no idea how to run the show on a day to day basis.

I guess I am on my knees.

The small team that we have now seems to be settling down ( that is a miracle in itself). I am hoping that we close the small mining project (keep the revenue wheel rotating somehow).

The recent drama in the office as well as the daily crisis management has ensured that I have not been able to focus on business development. Our order book is close to nil and I am just not feeling inspired to send lovely energetic mails to prospective clients greeting them and bragging about our company and basically asking (begging) for work.

We finally sent all the maps being prepared for the UP hindi atlas for NATMO. It has taken us two years to create and cartograph 47 hindi maps and we are getting peanuts ( not even that) for our work. To top it, they are not even willing to acknowledge our name in the Atlas they will be printing using the same maps. Talk about ethics and morality. And there is no question of royalty. It is just a one time small payment and we are expected to be happy with it. So no real money and no recognition. What the hell are we working for?

Good question. But no answers.
At least we have the questions.

That means we are not dead. As yet.



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