Grappling With Change!

13 06 2007

After two years of hanging around in Tidel Park, my office got changed to Chennai One. Well, if you are wondering about where this Chennai One is, I can’t help you. It exists as one among the innumerable, indistinguishable IT parks on the so called IT corridor in Chennai. I took an auto, since this is my first day and hence ended up being tossed in all directions on the windy road while fighting with the sand and sun through the race. Reaching this particular office itself calls for celebration as I had to wade my way through the dusty and rustic Perungudi while battling with huge Traffic and biting dust on the journey! I could notice huge trail of jampacked vehicles on the Old Mahabalipuram Road during the business hours and the condition is only worsened by the ill-maintained, under construction roadways full of potholes. My official transport nightmare! Now, all those TCS loyalists may draw their swords at me saying we got an official bus transport.. Yet, they dont help me to reach my office at 10:30AM..The infrastructure on the IT corridor is not even worth a mention.

Here is a snapshot of Chennai One. You can even notice the green board which marks the entry to Pallikarnai Forest Block! Coming to Chennai One Office, it houses a lot of corporate offices and you can find offices of companies like TCS, Wipro, Siemens, Ford etc. Unfortunately, its still under construction and the recreation facilities are not yet up. Thank god they got canteen atleast! The office is designed in a purely functional format (matlab no hangout or open space) and hence has pretty good workspace. The only light in the end of the journey is that I meet good people with smiling faces in my project which definitely soothens the mood.

Finally I have officially moved out of the innovation labs of TCS to face the ground realities of the project based organization. Guess my hands are full for the coming months!!!





Camp Corbett

24 09 2006

Out Bound Training at Camp Corbett arranged by TCS. My vote goes for anything that got to do with non academic, adventurous event. The day started by 7 AM and everyone boarded bus by 8 AM and we went on hunting Camp Corbett on the out skirts of the Chennai and ended up there by 10 AM feeling like a bunch of tribals in that God Forsaken Place. People were already running their fantasies wild and we were so happy to spot some trace of civilization in the form of huts just to ensure that TCS hasn’t given up on us yet! 

I loved the place instantly. Fresh air, open spaces, rustic climate, and the chirping of birds felt just right. We met a couple of instructors Rita and Michael who familiarized us with the order of the day. Hearing the plan made me grin a kilometer long as we were starting with a treasure hunt. So a team of 5 whaco kids went on to discover a forbidden house by the side of a lagoon! Well, just for pretense sake!

That was a good 4 km walk which served as a good warm up. We came back and each of the teams wove their share of stories for the benefit of all. Later we went on to do some army training. First to come was Balance Beam, – a 10 cm wide beam placed at a height of some 2 feet above ground on which we were supposed to walk. And the next in order was mine field. So we jumped out way through the imaginary mines to reach the other side. Gullible that I was, I thought these activities are quite relaxed. My opinion got shattered the moment I faced a six feet flat wall and my mind whispered that there is no way I can jump over. It sure made me realize the importance of fitness. Well, what are friends for? Thanks to the help of friends, I managed to do that as well. The next in order were Tarzan Swing and Tube Jump. After 6 ft wall jump, everything felt easy. Well I wasn’t aware of the plan post lunch then! We grabbed a quick lunch and went on to walk our way through Burma Bridge over a small canal. The return proved a little tough though! Well, the ending game was pretty boring. The concept is to let a bunch of blind folded people build a tent under the voice of a leader.

We sighed off heavily while parting from the exquisite place. Back in bus, I sang my way to home in a hopeless multilingual Anthakshari trying my best to concoct exotic songs, much to the annoyance of the peaceful souls! Its for sure will stay as a memorable day in the book of my life.

Team @ Corbett!

Team @ Corbett Camp





Pookalam Competition..

31 08 2006

As a part of the Onum celebrations @ TCS Tidel Park, we participated in Pookalam competition and managed to win second! Well, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed making the floral carpet just for the pure exhilaration of working together as a team. The interesting part is that most of the team who created the carpet are non mallos with an absolute zero experience. I guess that made it most interesting! Since noone was aware of the proper process, we experimented a lot. Some of our guys browsed a lot of websites to arrive at some good choices of floral carpets. A couple of our creative designers worked on to arrive at the perfect concept for our design. One bought chalk powder and made a huge symmetric circle with a cone and thread! Some one added the sand base, while some worked on to arrange the flowers.. Guess that was the first time when I saw most of the teammates by sharp 7 AM in office. Working with flowers, fixing the sand, letting the mind stray to get some creative combinations was an awesome experience. Hey, all was worthwhile for the enjoyment and energy it generated within team. Another instance of ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’.

Here is a snapshot of our pookalam design. One side shows an elephant head, just reverse it to find a man riding a boat! Guess its the idea which won more than the execution! 🙂

Pookalam





My Short Trip to Mumbai and A Deluge of Memories!

1 07 2006

So finally I made it.. I have been longing to make a trip to the Amchi Mumbai, just to meet my friends out there.. A warm touch, a cozy chat, a quiet dinner and a good companionship.. I almost jumped at a training session organized by TCS. Well, the session proved worth the visit too. Well, that’s my first flight experience too. The whole world seems so serene and small from top. Awesome sight! I reached there on Sunday Afternoon, planning to catch up with lots of friends in that short span of 6 hours. It turned out to be better than what I have expected. I felt great catching up with pals and their stories of Mumbai and Work.

Coming to the business of the visit, I went to Mumbai for training on creative brainstorming and innovation techniques. At least, that’s what I thought at the first. I ended up being in a train the trainer session for an organizational effectiveness initiative of TCS called Propel which helps in creating a change platform. Sounds complex, right? It is.

The training was conducted by Tao Knoware Pvt Ltd. When the first 2 days of training concentrated on making people more human and resolving value dilemmas in organizations, the rest 2 focused on enhancing productivity by addressing specific issues at the organizational level. The training session was an awesome learning experience as I could relate those issues in the current organizational context. The whole training is focused on organizational culture as for TCS, “means are more important than the ends.” I met with so many sharp minds who are mature and sensitive. I guess that enhances the appeal of these sessions.

Unfortunately I was hit by viral fever so I was kind of a passive participant there. Added to that, our training was organized at Hotel Retreat at Madh Island, a real godforsaken place! Actually it’s a perfect place for honeymooners and definitely not for corporate conferences.

Its time to get back to Chennai again! Hoping to catch the morning flight, I landed up at 8:00 AM on Saturday only to realize that the flight is booked by mistake at 8:00 PM. Now, the feeling was of pure jubilation! So, I got enough time to catch up with my buddies after all! I asked my friend to pick me up at airport and landed up at her flat again! It’s so long since I had a quiet chat with my dear college friend. She is getting married this December and is trying to train herself to be a traditional lady! 😉 Her life got changed from jeans to suits, and I just loved watching her taking charge of her life! Glad that I could spend some time with the “to be married” gang!

Thanks to my friend’s sweet roomie’s suggestion, I met up with my ILP gang TCS colleagues in Mumbai. Life was back to projects, bosses, and profiles again! It was glad to see them back after one year! Lots of catching up and so little time! All good things come to an end finally and so does this trip…





All of My One Yr at Work!

16 06 2006

Knock Knock.. “Sowmya Wake Up!!!”
Wondering I enquire in daze ” Who the Hell is this? ”
“Its me, remember those M&Bs and late night walks?”, inquires my forlorn, and abandoned self. “Oh dear- are u still alive?”- I ask in splendor.
Guess an year of corporatedom has taken my intelligence to all time low and I have ignored those inner rantings for so long that I didn’t expect a wave of nostalgia to hit me today!

Yeah, Am back to introspect, to blog and to connect with myself even if its only for a while! Its been so long since I turned mechanical.. staring into the screen as if am going to get a windfall, pretending to be Ms. Know All in the face of crisis, doing tap dance and tango in front of clients and muting those inner longings for tomorrow. I had so many wishes for tomorrow that it made me exhausted. I wanted a day to read that book, have that bicycle, own that garden, kiss my mamma, love my granny, be that wanton self and hold that hand!

I spent some time going through some interesting blogs and marveled at their ability to get connected to their inner souls. This whole week I spent VELA waiting for the tide to turn in my favor and my mood to get back to slog. At times I hate Microsoft for its MS Office! Word, or PPT all all alike!

Neither my parents visit last week or nor my great confirmation rating helped me to bring me back to normalcy. Now I know that if monotony is creeping in, its one of those warnings from the system to think something different. I had ignored them for long and that’s the cause for this long hibernation!

Lazy Reflections!

Looking back on my one year of work experience, am pleased to note that I am still intact except for a few bouts of boredom at times. There is quite a lot of things that I have noticed, realized and changed. The biggest realization is the value and the worth of building a network. In the corporate world, my success is not dependent on what I do but rather on how I take others along with me. That calls for being considerate for others, leading by example, having a ready smile and openmindedness.

After sharing experiences with friends, I have realized that having a good support and a good boss who lets you have your own way helps a long way in being yourself. I can use a little guidance on the way, and have noticed that I need to be proactive. Thanks to my boss and guide, who taught me to be on my own, I held my head high with enthusiasm and frankness. Honesty, Trust and Integrity are important as these values truly reflect on your interactions with others. I can sense the other person’s way of interaction, whether its business like, friendly or professional. I long for fair, informal and warm interactions in business environment as well.

We can take Business and professionalism to any level, yet we still remain humans. We are always impressed by the humanly qualities. I may doubt your success chances even if you have a great product, yet am willing to bet if you are passionate about what you are doing as that brings out your confidence, commitment and sincerity. Never loose that human touch or the feeling of appreciation about what you do. Always recognize the worth of people around you. Appreciate and cherish little details and stay beautiful. Welcome to a brand new year of excitement and challenge!





My Trip to MGM!

27 05 2006

After hearing a lot about MGM since long, I ventured out for MGM with my buddies on a sunny Saturday! MGM has all the amenities to qualify for a amusement park equipped with roller coaster and several other rides. The star of the show is “Ranger” ride though! Ranger takes you through a 360 degree spin and leaves your head rocking n rolling! Rest all other rides are sober and cool with a balance of slow rides for the family entertainment. MGM is fun for whole day and is ideal for family! I prefer Queensland though!





Together Everyone Achieves More!

27 04 2006

Well, that just sums up our programme team at TCS! Imagine a bunch of young guys with passion, enthusiasm, drive, innocence and take-charge attitude and throw in fun and party, thats the way the work goes!

All this jubiliation is because I am just back from a team outing for Thekkedy and Munnar for three days. Can’t even recount how the visit went. It was just too good!

Periyar tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s splendour, with great scenic charm, and rich bio diversity. We took the one and half hour boat ride along the periyar lake which takes you through the secrets of the forest. We could spot plenty of elephants, wild boars, deers and birds. Here is a glimpse into the scenic beauty.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We went cycling the town in the evening and reached our hotel exhausted! And the next day its time for Munnar. We boarded the tempo by 6AM and managed to reach Munnar by 12 PM after having fun all the way. But the raid in tempo is quite a challenge as the roads are quite sinuous. It can make your stomach do funny things!

Munnar is a fabulous place though! It may be sunny alright, but reach a shade and you will feel cool again. A natural A.C.! Here is the Munnar info for the tourist! http://www.munnar.com/tourist.htm

We visited Rajmala and could sneak a peak at loads of Nilgiri Tahrs. Half the world’s population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. Later we left for Echo Point and screamed at the top of our lungs! This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. For those interested in boating, a ride in speed boat at the Mattupetty lake and dam is just the thing. The boat drivers are quite cooperative and can give a thrilling experience.

Devikulam lake and the tea gardens are the added attraction! We managed to get permission from Tata Tea for the Devikulam lake as their private road connects to the lake. Leeches gaves us quite a scare, yet we had quite fun at the private lake, consuming the idyllic surroundings! This trip gave us the much needed break and everyone is brought back from dead and all excited to get to work after the fun filled adventure!





A Small Patting!

14 04 2006

“Telecom as a Horizontal”, a whitepaper I have written is finally hosted on the TCS Website. It is accessible at

http://www.tcs.com/NAndI/default1.aspx?Cat_Id=220&DocType=324&docid=493

Here is the abstract of the Whitepaper:

Telecom is no longer a vertical market with a one-pony show called voice services. As we move into the Internet-everywhere age, we are moving onto mobile applications that reach into Enterprise private networks and extract data, applications and services from these networks. As Telecom offers the basic communication backbone, integrating next generation Telecom offerings within other domains in order to enable a converged world by creating New Revenue Channels and Cross Selling Models becomes the order of the day. Going forth, industries such as Retail, Financial Services and Insurance will utilize the services of the telecom market for communication as their core strategy to connect with their customers, thus ushering in the era of Telecom as a Horizontal.

To sum up the experience of writing a whitepaper, it was quite a work and rework with innumerable reviews until it took this shape. Thanks a ton for the different teams in TCS for putting this together. Special mention goes to my boss, without whom this whitepaper couldn’t have taken this shape. Well, it was quite fun!!





A Mentoring Session in My Organization

24 03 2006

Today I had a session with one of the senior persons in our organization. I wouldn’t call it a session anyway; it was more like an informal chat. He made questions like where do I put myself in 5 yrs, 10 yrs and so on which reminded me of placement days! I don’t know how relevant these questions are in this fast changing world. Yet, there are many pearls of wisdom one can garner from the experience.

Some thoughts to ponder after the discussion!

• If you think you are comfortable in your current job, then its time to move on!
• Learning slackens once you reach 5 years of experience as you end up doing more of a coordination role later on.
• As you grow, your job depends the most on others’ contribution and inputs and hence people skills matter the most.

It felt nice that I had this session. I love what I do, and guess I got enough to mull over from this session. I need to redesign the way I work so that I brush up my skillet and still retain the excitement. A long way to go!





My First Collage!

17 01 2006

Today I submitted my first collage for the TCS library week competition and I’m quite satiated. The feeling of participation can do wonders, isn’t it? This week is kind of dull for me and I was wondering how on to spend it. This collage competition came as a blessing in disguise. What got me engaged is the thought process and concentration which goes in making a collage. I even participated in crossword and matchup (albeit with a great deal of help from pals and google!). Well, it sure leaves a feel good sensation.

Apart from the Collage, I also participated in Crossword, Matchup and Book Review. I ended up winning a prize in Crossword by fluke!





My First Six Months Of Work Life!

16 12 2005

I have completed my first six months of work life and am waiting to complete another! The experience has been quite eventful till now! Guess this is the time to reflect and learn! I used to have a director at IMDR who always emphasized on the importance of reflecting after experience to garner learning. Guess I would listen to him this time! Well, I had an interesting team get-together with my colleagues at MGM resorts. We played cricket, handball, and sealed the day with a gourmet dinner. The heavy moment of the day was when we had to bid farewell to colleague who is leaving to UK the very next day. He is our project lead and somehow I grew comfortable with his guidance. Yet, life has to move on, isn’t it? The ambiance of MGM is perfect for team events. The resort has cricket pitch just beside the beach, and it was quite fun to play the match as I have never played cricket earlier! No wonder, I ended up duck-out (rather ducked out!). I had quite an eventful day, yet I had to back to office on Saturday! So more to key on in further posts..





Playing the role of an Organizer..

30 11 2005

Working in my project, I can never define my job in specific terms. The job description and the definition varies day by day! Guess I like it this way too. I have organized a paper presentation event in my organization and it taught me a lot of things. The first lesson is how to follow-up. I came in contact with a lot of honchos of TCS. I was a little nervous as I had no clue of the corporate hierarchy. In the end, I realized that what I was experiencing was a mental block towards authority. Somehow, it reminded me of Bhupi’s lecture on the start of Second Year. Strange are the ways of memories, isn’t it? Organizing this event brushed my co-ordinating skills for sure. It took a lot of coffee and headache to see that event happen. Well, I can’t undermine the help of my project team the day before the event. They sat with me till night 10 PM working on the minor details which even I missed. Finally the event was a great success, thanks to my boss! He did a great oration and kept everyone awake. All in all, it was sheer fun in the end!!





A Fresh B-Schooler Attitude…

5 10 2005

In my three months of working life, I have had a lot of fights with my own fresh B-Schooler attitude. When I was in IMDR, I used to make strategic analysis, resolve case studies, making reports and giving presentations. It sure gives a kind of hype as to the future roles. Yet, when I look back, joining a B-School straight out of college has its own disadvantages. People tend to generate their own assumptions without a realistic exposure. The live projects do give a glimpse into the real scenario and they can be shaped in a more better manner.

When I joined TCS, I had a straight 40 days training where I was introduced to the software industry background and the TCS business areas. All I could take away are the life skills classes. The training was not focused or tailor made to suit the kind of roles an MBA is expected to perform. Its like asking too much because there were 200 batch mates and each would be put into different roles which have their own responsibilities and requirements.

I landed up in an in-house R&D project of TCS where I have to plan the marketing of the products designed by my team. Life is quite relaxed in TCS as I don’t have to strain myself and the work pace is quite relaxed. Sometimes, I got all the time in world for myself. I have all the freedom to explore library, or the Internet.. The way I respond to the situations depends on myself and my attitude. Things are done quite differently once I have started working.

One doesn’t need to be a Jack of all Trades. I need to focus on the current job and need to say myself that ” I am going to do the current job better than anyone who has done it earlier”. Competing with oneself always pays. It keeps me in better health and in better pace. The moment I start worrying about the future and the fast track growth (a gift from my fresh B-Schooler attitude), my mental peace is gone down the drain. Life is pretty much simple, I try to do what I like the best. I need to keep that constant urge to better myself alive.

Yet, those Philip Kotler days in IMDR come to my mind. IMDR was an oasis which sheltered me for two years. It was a different world, yet it makes makes me comfortable with myself. May be this self-awareness is one takeaway which I name from IMDR. Now, the journey is on and life rolls on..





A trip to Ponmudi..

24 07 2005

Today we went to Ponmudi, which is a hill station nearby Trivandrum. The weather was extremely pleasant and the scenic beauty, soul touching. It was some two hour bus ride from Trivandrum. Throughout the way we, the Ganesh hotel gang of TCS, sang songs and had loads of fun. Actually we were trying to make the most of the last few days left in Trivandrum. The surroundings are green and filled with coconut trees and tea gardens. Added to that, the place is covered in mist and I had tough time differentiating the mist from clouds. I tried the Kerala special boiled rice for lunch. Its supposed to be very healthy, yet its very different from the normal cooked rice which I am used to in Andhra Pradesh. What can I say about the place? Its an ideal destination if you are looking for greenery, pleasant climate, and some solitude, as it fills your soul with love, you feel reconnected with the nature. To top off the day, we calmed ourselves over the nearby waterfalls. Its kind of difficult to explain where lies the magic. May be the pristine surrounding of the Ponmudi did the trick. In the end, its a lovely experience and my heart wanted more and more.





The Initial Leisure Period…

9 07 2005

I am currently in Trivandrum undergoing the Initial Learning Programme (ILP) for the TCS employees. The training is for 32 days and Kerala is a lovely place to stay for that duration. The state of art training facilities they have at TCS are just fabulous. I am especially enjoying the life skills and Foreign Language classes. Ich lerne Deutsch these days! At times,It feels as if I am back to school and I have all the time to learn. I am enjoying the leisure and the serene surroundings. The backwaters of Kerala, the pristine surroundings, the beaches and the weather are so pleasant, they fill one with beauty and love. On the flip side, the city is too quiet and it closes by 9. So much of change from Pune where there is good deal of freedom. Still, I kind of enjoy my stay and the Initial Leisure Period here.





A trip to Kanya Kumari..

20 06 2005

Thanks to TCS training programme in Trivandrum, I got to see the Kanya Kumari. We boarded the bus at 3 AM to catch the sunrise but as the weather is so gloomy, we missed it. The journey was quite eventful and the experience is beyond description. We went to see the Vivekananda Rock for which one has to board the steamer boat. There is Vivekananda Rock and just beneath it was a Dhyan Mandir where people can meditate if they wish. I sat inside the Dhyan Mandir and could feel the positive vibrations. Its was the best time which I ever had with myself. The mix of the light chanting, natural ventilation and the sea weather made me feel quite heady. There is also a Thiruvalluvar statue, a great Tamil poet, where a short summary of each of his 133 chapters were inscribed. I was quite delighted to read each of them, one of the best poetic expressions I have ever read. To top off the day, we relaxed at the Thipparappu Waterfalls. The scenic beauty was fabulous. It was one of the most beautiful days of my life.





My Prejudice for Hospitals!

6 01 2005

Hospitals really give me a creepy sense of nostalgia. I just want to recount my phobia of hospitals through this post. I got selected for TCS during last year Dec 1st to join by June. That was fine until I saw the offer letter where in that offer was subject to Medical Test. All that reminded me of the typical hospital environment and that peculiar disinfectant smell. Believe me, it was not that comfortable idea to spend 5 hours in a Hospital where you have to rush through different departments inquiring indifferent and irate ward assistants. Somehow I am very biased for hospitals, more so because I feel really helpless before their ultimate authority and they seriously seem lacking in the E factor-Empathy. Somehow I could bring myself out of hospital in one piece after 5 hours in one piece as usual with a prayer-God never send me to hospitals again!