Thursday, May 21, 2009

The people@SAS R&D INDIA PVT LTD - Part 1

I wanted to write this as a single post decided not to. This is one long post, so you will get this in multiple parts.

Cut back to March 2005, Convocation day @ XLRI. That perhaps is the only occassion in my life till date that I was in full formal regalia.

Just before my convocation I had resigned from my job at CSEL after 5 years of association. Took a month break and went on a holiday. After the holiday joined SAS@Pune. Entry to SAS was facilitated by my brother in law. The first person I meet is Shilpa, our administrative front desk. From there to Priya and then the first friend there - John George, my manager to be. First time I saw him, the thought that ran through my mind was "wow!! He has a lot of face to wash". It is difficult to describe John in a sentence or with few words. Perhaps four years of association has rendered me speechless. He did nothing to put me at ease in a new place. Showed me my desk and left. Couple of hours later he comes to me and drops a plate of problems on my lap which he wanted solved yesterday. This was to be my fate - solve today's problems yesterday. I am still doing the same. This ability of his enabled me to become a quicker learner, shed my inhibition in approaching learned collegues with questions, code better and a lot lot more. Along the way I realized why I found John to be a good manager is because, he puts in an equal effort as me to learn and understand what solution I provide. Secondly the one factor why I would put John on higher rating than others is his mantra of - "Let your work advertise" along with facilitating the environment and resource needed to produce beautiful and excellent codes and solutions. Mind you, he just does not give you a mantra, but also enable you to achieve. Another facet is his drive to push yourself beyond "what you know" and get into the unknown and he breathes dwon your neck till you have completed what you have been tasked with. I can go on and on about my admiration for John and his style of management. I would call him the benevolent dictator. Riding along we see many people, some I admire and some are well strangers. From the initial team along with me only Mahesh is left. When I joined the team I was a prima donna and had all the snobbery, aloofness and tantrums of the worst of the kind. This team (in alphabetical order); Anantha, & Aniruddh (Both along with John had a lot of face to wash), Anup, Deepak (Chirag ali), Partha (Reminded me of my Stats professor, will talk about him later on) and Rasmita and Mahesh from Anna Land(as John puts it) put in every effort to change me.

I am not sure if it was a deliberate attempt nontheless I am glad they did. Within six months I was a different person- I now love being part of the chorus. Looking back I am a better person and better at battling technology due to my interactions with them. But I am jumping the gun here. Lets go chrono as long as I remembers the dates and times. Couple of days later I meet the guy who had a rapid fire technical interview with me. Prabodh Navare was my first taste of what life would be @ SAS. My interview was hilarious. I was called over to Pune for a HR round. I reach the office straight from the airport and it became a marathon 3 hour technical round . At the end of it I was both hungry and thirsty. (Guys provide some snack and water if you do this to someone else). Anyway moving ahead Prabodh was to be my mentor and guide of SAS technologies. Prabodh comes across as a different person to many people, but to me he would provide an answer and a lot of links to research further. I am honored to be esteemed so high by him. Lets ride along and meet others - Anup Desmukh. Anup is no longer with SAS but we shared a desk and some camaraderie since we were the only two Java programmers, he before me was all alone literally and that too all new and fresh maal out of college. Suddenly one fine day the product we were working on was scrapped and the team distributed. We were pulled in different directions and Mahesh, Rasmita, Partha, Anup and me were left holding "no baby". This period was my honeymoon at SAS all of 2 months and then John goes across two ponds, gets back 2 kinds of work - one immediate - "code to show us how good you are" and the second kind was the actual work to be done based on judging our competence by the powers to be by our 1st kind of work. In the mean time Dinesh Sonsale joins us. After a couple of weeks I christened him Osman Ali (Last Nizam of Hyd notorious for his respect for time) and a couple of months later we moved to SAKAR office. The current setup was not enough to hold all our joie de vivre. It was during the two years at SAKAR that I made a lot of new friends and a lort more acquaintances. Friends who were there since the time I joined SAS but took me an year to find. Friends, My Friends, my good friends (Think you can identify them) Motor Mouth, Motor mouth's office wife (its a he by the way)Kunju, Warm beer, John's-Phone-A-Friend, Oh! Baba (this is easy), Silky, Thalaivars 1,2,3, Correct focus, bong brothers, and of course the hotsy maam from Fab India was a good motivation to get away from work and boy was there competetion to get to the basement to catch a glimpse. It was while at SAKAR that I got to go for binges with others, started of with Uncle and Motor mouth asking me first and then the gang just grew - Babu Bhai, Thalaivar 2, Bottle ki dukan, Bhattu, Ak56 (he had left SAS by then) and boy the Rum never tasted so nice before. Heres to all those binges and drinks we shared fellas.

Should God ask me what I desire most, I will ask him, One drink with my friends and every drink after that too. Fellas you guys rock. Leave you guys with Khalil Gibran's immortal words, "When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
That which gives me sorrow is the separation from friends and the same thought gives me pleasure to be reminded of them and think about Those Times"

Stay Drunk Fellas