30

Hello, 15 year old me

Dear 15 year old PB,

Hullo there! How are you doing? I hope this letter finds you in the pink of health. Just like how you open the letter in every letter-writing assignment/exam. Yup, I remember. I remember how horrible your Marathi was when you just started school in Pune. Thanks to mum, you learnt so much! Good job! Don’t be embarrassed when people wonder why your Marathi is so bad even if it is your mother tongue. They should be equally embarrassed about their Hindi, living in India. So gah to them.

PB, I know you are going through really hard times. Your 10th is on. People are piling on great stress on your small skinny shoulders. But don’t worry. You will pull through. Eventually you will learn how grades are not the biggest deal in the world. But you will also learn that in competitive exams, grades will pull you ahead and make things easier for you. It is true that nobody will ask your marks later on. But it is also true that during landmarks, those very marks will take away a lot of stress from your head. So buck up, and pay attention to mum when she is teaching you Trigonometry. You are going to love it, I promise, and she is going to do a great job building up your math capabilities. I wish you keep listening to her and studying with her, cuz, ah well, you will eventually realize how important she was to your studies and building the basics and how you should have stuck with her rather than being stubborn. Thank your mom. And your dad(even if he starts yawning at the mere mention of taking English lessons). It is courtesy them, that you have a career with such hi-fi  technical terms in the name.

PB, I also know why your fragile mind is so nervous. There are things inside. Things that only you know how you are going through. I want you to talk to mum and dad about it sooner rather than a nervous breakdown happening. Talk to them about how you are facing extreme bullying. Tell them that you are being insulted in every step of the way. Speak and discuss about how you can face this with strength of character and come out unscathed. Also, direct your anger positively. It is coming out on the wrong people. Your meekness in the outside world doesn’t have to make you yell at your loved ones.

 PB, the people you are with, they are not going to shape your life. Heck, they won’t even exist a few years down the line. You don’t have to put up with this struggle to please people just so that you can sit with someone to have your lunch. It will not matter eventually. All your childhood, you have gone through this struggle to make people accept you. You have been like that monkey who does tricks on orders. Don’t be. You get laughed at because you say weird things, look weird, behave weirdly. It’s OK. There will be people who accept this very weirdness of yours eventually. It is worth waiting for them rather than being what you are not.

 Don’t be ashamed of your soda glasses. At least you have a smile that reaches your eyes. You know your eyes cannot hide the truth. Likes or dislikes are a major giveaway with your eyes. Be happy that you can’t fake it. Unlike those people you call friends who look at you coldly with a smile on their lips. This inability to fake what you feel, will help you weed out people who can’t stand how you are. You will not understand it now, but give it some time.

 Having a boyfriend is NOT a big deal in school. You don’t need to have one to be cool. You will have enough boy trouble down the line. You will have tons of dates, boyfriends, crushes, guy friends falling for your quirks, ruined friendships thanks to them. Don’t feel embarrassed when classmates link each other up. Enjoy it to the hilt. Even if the other guys feel insulted on being linked to you, learn to ignore. Trust me, there is a ton of drama in store for you. They can make a movie out of you later on. Start thinking who you want to play you.(Pssst… Deepika Padukone, that cutie from the close-up ad is going to be really hot eventually). Enjoy your crushes. God knows you have way too many. Your future BFF will count 14 at a given time in 3rd year of BE. 😀 But please for God’s sake, stay away from that loser you will meet when you will be 18. RUN far away!

 On that point, that guy who is supposedly your friend? He said something like when you see PB from behind, she’s so HOT, But when you see her face, she’s a nightmare. Please ignore it! You are quite alright, girl! Keep wearing your skirts for those legs you love to flaunt. What your mausi(aunt) had called ‘Barbie legs’. 🙂

Some fashion advice. Don’t wear those purple pants with the side slits till mid calves. Please. 

 Your family is going to compare you and your perfect 4.0 cousin a lot. Please do not take it to heart. Your life is perfectly alright with a 3.0 but a gift of gab that you have. Keep dancing, keep singing, keep painting, and keep up your love of books and trivia. It is okay if you are a jack of all trades and master of none. Let others have that pleasure. You will learn to love your average-ness. Someone will post a lovely video on your blog about it  and it will make you even happier!

Your Moony is going to be the love of your life. He is 2 now, right? He is going to chew up your shoes for the 8th time if you don’t watch out! Enjoy the time with him. In a couple of years, you will leave home for hostel and eventually abroad, and you will miss your baby boy constantly. That bundle of energy is going to turn into a lump of sleep later on. So continue bugging him. 😉 Take care of his legs. They are genetically fragile. Stop feeding him nonsense. But I guess its fine. He is a happy creature and he loves you too much. Even if he keeps biting you and gets mad at you with jealousy for going out with the alpha-dog(that is your father. Ahem.) You will doubt his memory and love, but you will be amazed when he remembers you after a loooooong gap and comes jumping at you even if his legs can’t support him. Just hug him. Keep hugging him. Always.

 Now don’t listen to me too much. I barely still know anything.

 Take care, you.

 Love,

 27 year ‘OLD’ PB.

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19

11 kind of people on my FB feed

I am a Facebook addict. I must check my account every hour or so to see what is happening in people’s lives that I would give two hoots for. During one such FB staring session last night, I mentally divided my FB list into these types. 

Mind you, this can be universal and has been joked about before. I am not claiming this to be totally original because I am pretty sure I have read something similar, but it’s not copied either. Please get my point, okay?

1.       The ones who like every dog, cat, random animal picture and shares like a 100 of those. That’s my army y’all.

2.       The ones who only like pictures or comments. Silent stalkers. Silent farters. Lol. Real mature, PB.

3.       The ones who don’t say anything for months, and suddenly FB message you a ‘Hie’. Creep alert.

4.       The ones who treat FB like it is a private diary. Their love life is totally open for everyone to peek, glare, stare into.



True story…



5.       The ones who need English lessons really badly. ‘Ma’ for ‘my’ is my pet peeve. ‘Hu’, ‘Lyf’, etc. Uggghhhh.

6.       The ones who post selfies or general taken-in-a-mall picture with a totally deep quote/message. If it’s a quote, its usually by a really obscure author.

7.       The ones who treat FB like a sarcastic message sender. If you try asking them what the status means or for who, they will go ‘Ha ha, just for fun.”

8.       The ones who you can trust for live sport updates if you are not in front of the TV. I wonder how much game do they actually see? Or have they developed their blind typing instinct like Ani?

9.       The ones who are fanatics for a political party/religious outfit. It’s madness! I hate them pretty much and I would remove them, only if they weren’t family or close to me.

10.   The ones who are  incessant viral video posters. Thanks a bunch for eating up my data.

11.   The last and the best. The normal ones. Like me. YES, ITS TRUE. DON’T LAUGH!

28

15 tips for fellow singles to get through V-Day

So we are going to be celebrating a Singles Awareness Day Saturday on, well, Saturday. On the occasion of this SAD Saturday, let me give you a few pointers to get through the excruciating 24 hours where mush and confetti is going to fall on you non-stop.

1. Do not go out to a theater in full taav(attitude) to watch a movie alone. The only thing you will end up watching is some furious making out ALL AROUND YOU.

2. Do not lose your mind and binge eat that entire box of chocolate. You will regret it so much when you step on the scale. Remember my fellow SAD Saturday observer, a moment on the lips, forever on the hips.

3. Do make something special for yourself or order something nice to eat. My special favorites are Egg curry, Pastas, or Tawa Paneer.

4. Do not go to a restaurant alone. Bad idea. The waiters will either thoroughly ignore you or look at you with such undisguised pity. And mostly, you will end up with a table near the restroom or the kitchen. Plus, you may catch umpteen proposals, a lot of PDA and such disgusting things around you.

5. Watch your favorite sitcom. But do make sure you don’t watch an episode with lovers coming together finally, or people getting married, or anything with hot s*x. NOPE. There, there. We don’t want to cry.

6. Do not stalk your ex’s social media. Reminder to myself have been placed all around the room on post-its. Which are thoroughly neglected.

7. Do not stalk and hate on the new girls he is adding in his friend list. Does not matter how horrible you are sure they are.

8. Do not get drunk and drunk-dial the ex. (*Hiding all my wine*)

9. Do not be that idiot who will post things on Social Media wishing parents, siblings, cousins and friends. This is NOT a family love day. It is a day for proposals, affection and the ‘other’ kind of action.

10. Do not pretend you have a date later in the day. Please. Have some self-respect and be supportive of SAD Saturday.

11. Do not send a bouquet to yourself at work. Even if you are writing a note from Anonymous. People will go, ooooh, but in the inside, you know how pathetic that is.

12. Find other SAD Saturday observers and have a picnic together. We used to have our Pavana Dam trip in college in Lonavala every year. Somehow I would start dating people right after V-day who weren’t even a part of that trip. The group was full of SAD celebrators and Friend-zoned people(mostly boys).

13. Do not go shopping. You will thank me later for saving your credit card debt.

14. Do not talk to or meet anyone in a relationship. They are gross on V-day. Just gross. Unless they don’t celebrate it.

15. Catch the India-Pak cricket World Cup match on a giant TV in a newly married couple’s home. This applies for American time zones specially. Again, which I am doing in San Diego, and I shall re-iterate the exception in my point 14. And pray really hard that we do not lose the winning streak.

21

Sum of Averages

I feel like I am a giant average. I am average in academics, average in intelligence. Heck, average in common sense.

I have average looks, average body and an average mind.

My skills are average. I paint just about okay, sing okay, dance also strictly okay. My writing is average.

My talks are averagely interesting. My social skills are meh.

My sense of humor is hit or miss. Average at best.

I am an average friend. I am averagely memorable.

My interest level in things is average.

My hard work level is just about average.

My outlook to life is almost boring.

This below sums up my life very correctly.

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Geesh.

25

‘Make in India’

For those who don’t know, I work in the core mechanical industry as a mechanical engineer. The company deals with turbomachinery and my group is the R&D and new pump development for LNG. My teeny bit for the environment! Our line of pumps consists of around 15 new designs that will cover a wide range of flow rates and pressure rise as per the requirements. The services we are catering to are pretty big and related to railroad engines, transport, marines, bunkering, space exploration etc. These are majorly heavyweight applications all over the world which need a lot of safety enhancements and certifications. Especially since we also cater to the Liquid Oxygen, Argon and other inert gases. Again for those of you unaware, Liq. Oxygen will blow up everything in its vicinity if it comes in contact with any impurity. Yup. So these quality issues and certifications are very big deals.

We don’t really manufacture things on our shop floor. We design the components and give orders to vendors and machine shops who make those for us and we assemble all here. This includes the hydraulic components, the motors, shafts and all the random nuts and bolts needed. Since the time I have joined this pump business, I have learnt that we have certain favored vendors and certain almost black listed ones. I have heard, with my own ears, people saying, NOT to get parts from India or China because the quality is very questionable. As an Indian, I always felt bad about it. But as an engineer, I know there is some truth in it. 40% of the parts will show failure on testing and that is a huge number which eats up the profit like a termite. Aesthetically, Indian made parts leave a lot to be desired which our Indian vendors admit to as well. We have a machine shop in OC that makes all our hydraulics for the new pumps and they are literally like diamonds. It is a state of the art local shop with the latest 5-axis tools and machines and it is a pleasure to visit them and learn, every single time!

During my India trip, I went to visit 2 sister companies of ours based in Vadodara to see how they could help us out. One of them, let’s call them RE are developers of pressure vessels. We need tanks to mount our centrifugal pumps in and the current manufactures charges us $11k for each sump. So we were interested to know how our sister company can help us. Plus our current sump vendor is doing such a bad job that every sump has to be sent back first for corrections. Things like putting the right handed pipe on left side and such disasters. They showed their huge shop floors and their machining capabilities. They have made sumps(cylinders) 10 m in diameters and 20 m tall. They looked at our purchase orders and drew up such detailed drawings for questions that we were pretty awed! They explained to us what they can do and the costs. The next company we met was, let’s call them DS, and they already do some drafting work for the design engineers. We collected all their info and came back with whatever we needed.

Today we had our weekly team meeting. When my turn came, Dennis asked me to tell what I learned in that trip to Vadodara and he asked Rahul to cover the points too. We explained to them everything about what RE is doing, their big customers who also happen to be either our customers or another sister company. They have done really impressive work on the pressure vessels side. I very proudly showed them their detailed drawing and everyone was pretty stunned. Then, Dennis asked what the per sump cost will be. After hearing the amount, they literally fell off the chair! We will be done with production and shipping in max $4k!! That’s a friggin’ difference of 7k! Then came the question of using the drafting capabilities of DS. That’s when this all-Texan guy, piped in that if it were him, he wouldn’t send anything to them cuz of his few bad experiences. Basically Mikey is a pretty nice easygoing guy but he was just telling about his bad experiences. He mentioned that even with clear cut instructions, these guys have managed to screw up a lot and it was way more time and energy consuming than making the drawings himself. At this Dennis piped in and said these few things and these are his own words :

· We have two people in our room who studied their undergraduation in the same way as those guys and perhaps from the same universities and we know about their capabilities.

· The smartest engineers in the company come from India! (Woohoo!)

· Entire bloody Houston is run by Indian engineers, well, entire country is run by their engineering prowess.

· This young lady(me) brought back a Pumps India magazine and flipping through it makes me realize how innovative they are getting and with such advanced product line!

· Let’s face it that India is an emerging world leader and we will lose out if don’t take advantage of that.

· Big companies are making an exception for RE even if their clause states ‘NO India and China vendors’, so why not use our own sister company.

· Everybody needs a little hand in training and if the result will be good, then why not guide them.

Hearing Dennis say all these awesome things and seeing a blue blooded Canadian-American white guy standing up for us, made me want to get up with a flourish and kiss him on his li’l bald head!

So ladies and gentleman, I am proud to say that we have managed to get RE involved with our test sumps for now and very soon we will have them working on a huge order for us!

Yay for NaMo’s Make In INDIA!!

IMG_5566

Image by the official Make In India website