Monthly Archives: May 2008

JNR Days

Today is my last day in JNR.I am getting release from my current assignment.I am “moving on” for making my future better and more closer to the technology that reflects my passion for Art , Creativity and Innovation ( If not for the technology ) . But whatever reason I am moving for , I am really having some mixed emotions about my release.I can’t forget the days , more than two years, spent here , since the Bench days ended.


End of Long Bench Days

I still remember my very first day at JNR after the ILP.I reported to the stern faced MATC people ,along with Jose, Vinoth , Petti , Siva , Helen , Papa , Balaji and almost the complete tamil gang who got transfered to Chennai .The aloof looking MATC people directed me to Velachery where I sat on BENCH for a month , after which I was handed over to the Shollinganallur branch MATC people who thought I will be better if a Mainframes Training is given to me.They asked me to attend the Mainframes training for a month…So I did.During the end of the training period, I somehow was transfered to JNR office again , this time to attend the Insurance basics session by some lady whose name I forgot now.I used to remembered her name for a long time because her name was occupying my phone memory for a long time, though I never called her after being allocated to LFCS project.I deleted her phone number just a few days back.I don’t see her even in the admin these days.May be she got transfered or may be switched to another company.

Enthusiastic Induction Days

I was desperate to get into system and type the code and make it work…compile…making the client happier…really very desperate to work , after made to dry on bench for nearly two and half months.So as soon as I joined the project I started asking just too many questions.I was also doing heavy workouts and morning walking during those days,so I used to very fresh even till 7 PM in the evening.We were a small group of ILP freshers…Anandavalli, Thilakavathy , Kirithika , Keerthana , Suba Karthik , Sriram , Joby Johny , Shaheen,Priya darshini.We used to sit around a round table around the corner of a quadrant in the A block from where the Printer was either moved away or never placed.We were asked to study the RSM documents which we hardly understood.Sometimes there used to be classes by some project associates who are relatively(a must word)free.After reaching home , I used to read Robin Sharma books and at night used to watch English Movies , usually War Movies , Science Fiction or some Oscar classics.The next morning used to wake up at 4:30 AM and got for a walk and work out.Such was the life.

My First Project and the very first Assignment ; First Blasting from the PL

My first project was a very prestigious and long term project in Auto Insurance for one of the major client in USA.Ofcourse I am not supposed to tell the name of the client outside TCS, so I will be using the imaginary name as LFCS for the client I worked for more than two years till today.

I joined during the end of Design phase of the project so really did not understand anything about the project though I pretended a lot about my ability to understand quickly.My first assignment was writing a code for a Risk determination Module.I wrote it so badly that Brindha gave up trying to review it.The code moved to PI ( a SCM term very common in LFCS , which looked like Greek and Latin for me in those days).When the Tech Lead , Selva Kumari reviewed the code , she blasted on me and Brindha.I couldn’t forget Nigam sir who patiently taught me how to code and all.Of course, I learnt many things on ‘What to do’ and also ‘What not to do’ during the first project.The real learning started in my next project under Surendar Panuganti and Rajnikanth.

To be frank , I never felt comfortable with the Learning and Training Strategy in the project , which struck in my mind.I was about to innovate a lot in this area during the Property Insurance assignment.

Once ‘Lunch Events’ later just reduced to ‘Lunch Time’

Yes , Lunch time used to be like arranging an event.We even waited for 1 hour or so for making sure all the members of our sangam have gathered for lunch.We used to decide for nearly 15 / 20 minutes and sometimes debate on which hotel to go for, either Bhimas, HSB(Hotel Saravana Bhavan), Annapurna or Vasantha Bhavan.Obviously if no one in our group was able to convince others we took the Canteen option.Sometimes , we felt little Carnivorous , so we went to Ponnusamy or Pandyas.

At Saravana BhavanSometimes the Lunch used to be too costly

As work started flowing in , arranging huge Lunch Events became a time costly affair.So we started going to lunch with whoever was available.I used to go with Sriram most of the time, who later started bringing lunch box.Due to his decision to bring lunch box , I have to go to canteen and have lunch.But when I wanted a more tastier food , I went with Srini or Jimin or sometimes alone.

The last part of the JNR days when I was in Property Insurance project, which was the only project left in JNR whereas all the other projects including the Auto Insurance projects where all my Fresher day’s friends were working were moved to Siruseri.So I have to go alone for lunch, occasionally with I used to go with Ashutosh , Swamy and sometimes with Niloy.I really missed the days when I used to have lunch with Sriram , Srini , Shaheen and Jimin.

Favourite Hotel: Bhimas was my favourite hotel of them all

Favourite Dish: Butter Naan with Annachi (pine-apple) gravy

Tea Time Memories

Sriram and JobyThirupathi Samy - the Code Mover

Thiru will never forget the dog(bitch) that used to always look at him, but never used to eat the food that he gives to eat.

Treat Parties

The people who went to onsite often used to give Pizza party or if was to be grander , it used to be thrown at Hotel Vasantha Bhavan (opp. Ambiga Empire), where Prasanna (my second last Tech lead) threw his Marriage reception party.I once dreamt to throwing such a party if I go to onsite but alas it never happened.May be I will throw a party for onsite , but it won’t be at JNR swimming pool area or Hotel Vasantha Bhavan.

Another party that used to be quite famous was the ‘Release party’.People who were going for higher studies or getting released or resigning the job also threw the party.One of such kind was thrown by Selva Kumar(my first mentor).He is currently in Covansus.I remember giving him a trophy for getting Release from the Auto Insurance project which was considered the most difficult task in TCS.

Vasantha Bhavan Treats

The last of the Parties which I attended was given by Giridhar Ram sir during my Underwritting project at Hyderabadi Food Court.Ofcourse , I was not really doing any critical work at that time except the Applogs, because I was asking for Release from the project, but still I enjoyed the party.This was a strange party indeed because , Giri threw this party for coaxing the team to achieve more test cases.It was something like giving the reward before the work being started.

Trips and Stress Busting Activities

There were only two trips I went to , One was with the Auto Team for the Pulicate Lake and the other was with Swamy and Niloy to Thirupathi.

Pulicate Lake trip

Kapaleshwar and Thirupathi TripProperty Queensland Trip

I also greatly enjoyed the Entertainment hour that was used to be conducted by the HR buddy Lavanya Raghuraman during the ADM project days.ADM project was the biggest team I ever worked with.Team of 30 members.Unfortunately , I also share some of the terrible times of my career, due to the immature acceptance of Agile Process.

The Learning Curve

The Learning curve for me has been like a Hollywood Action movie.My learning curve was definitely on the rise from the day I joined TCS but something was missing until I joined Property , where I understood that “You Got to place yourself into the customer’s shoes to deliver Quality” and also “BIRD’S EYE VIEW” or rather “Proactiveness” is the key for making things happen.Thanks to Sathish (my last project manager and excelled in Micro-Management) , Hafiz (Tech. Architect) , Srinivasan Jagadeesan (My Second Last PL) and KP (My last PL in LFCS , admire him for straightforwardness )who were very approachable.For him your designation never mattered.To be frank,I was able rediscover myself and my abilities after a long period of crowd following.

Still Unsatisfied

Eventhough I was able to implement some of the innovative ideas (of course with the help of VijayMariappan and Thumati, without whom I would have done nothing) like the Yahoo Answers kind of discussion forum and Automation of the Interface modules, I was not able to make it part of day to day life of every LFCS’ians.What I missed was MARKETING.

So there is one more aspect for making innovations work apart from IMPLEMENTATION.The only positive I can take is that , the tool development helped me a lot in getting good appraisal H2.

Property Insurance Assignment

Property Insurance came as a boon to me.It was a project that started from scratch hence a lot of scope for learning and a vast reserve of opportunity for leadership.In many ways , I was supported by my supervisors and the Managers a lot, to express my ideas.I started opening up , after nearly one and half years of silence.

Forming unofficial Tribes for tool developement

Formed various unofficial teams of Freshers to develop tools for effective Knowledge management and did implemented the innovations I always had in my mind , ever since I joined TCS.The fact remains that eventhough the tools which I developed helped me a lot in getting above 4 in H2 appraisals , the tools never served the purpose it was meant to be.May be I succeeded in the Implementation part of Innovation but failed in the Marketing part of Innovation.

Leadership Lessons in Property Project

I learnt a lot of lessons while I was a team leader for the Interface Modules.I really implemented the leadership virtues I read in the Steve Waugh’s book “Out of My Comfort Zone”.I constantly made an effort not to repeat the mistakes my seniors have done in leadership and training a new recruit.I always concentrated on creating duplicates of myself and never allowed any dependency to be created around me.This was the key reason for getting me release.

Hard Work really pays; even though Smart work is Rewarding

I worked hard during my Property Insurance Assignment but I enjoyed those days too.Not to forget my love with the Knowledge Management Portal (Ultimatum-> Knowledge maximum) and Innovation in the last few days.I got so much involved with work that My Blogs started reflecting my passion for work.For the proof please click here , here , here and here.May be during the last days in this project , I felt that I have wasted two years of my career in a technology which I did not want to work in , but I learnt a lot of things apart from technology which will definitely be useful for me in the long run.

Some Other Moments from the Auto & Property Insurance Assignment

My Kalai Pasi

Trophy to Selva

After the Victory over Bank Team in the LFCS tournamentUmbrella Dance

PLEASE NOTE : None of the Process names and Procedure names used in the Project have been revealed in the above write-up.The names used are imaginary


Ludo Cricket

Last week I posted a blog on Book cricket inspired by this blog which is probably the first ever written evidence that book cricket was infact a reality during the end of 20 th century before the advent of Video Games.I was cleaning my room when I got the Ludo-Cricket boards which I prepared nearly ten years back, that pushed Book-Cricket to new levels.The following blog is all about the golden era of Book-Cricket that thrived in the Pinastro illam.

Even after Video Games arrived but was still inaccessible to the middle class society the Book-Cricket was alive and attained new heights until the death blow was given by drastical fall in the prices of electronic goods.

I used to play a very different form of book cricket indigenously developed by Pinasto and his Sister.It had all the elements of Modern day T20 Cricket. Quick Scores , Quick Wickets and Massive Entertainement.The game was basically a cross breed of two timeless masterpieces of Time-Pass games ; LUDO and BOOK-CRICKET.

I named it LUDO Cricket.Me and My sister used to play this Weird Form of Cricket for hours and sometimes days.The plus point was it recreated the same thrill generated out of all the action on the field like , the Commentator’s excited commentary over the huge six that goes out of the park,The crucial Third Umpire decisions,The batsman hit on the Grill, Batsman being Run out by just a few inches from the crease, the sledging wars between the players,Catch being dropped by the fielder in the Slip,No Ball, Wide,Stunning Catch by the Wicket Keeper and almost everything that used to happen during the 1990’s to 2000 in the world of cricket.

Ludo Cricket

Ludo Cricket-Book Cricket

A Different Ball-Game

The Ball used in this game was a Cube shaped , Red in color.This Cube shaped ball also known THE DICE which used to haunt many students in the Maths Mani’s , Probability class.

Red Dice

Rules of the game Ludo-Cricket

The Game is played on a board painted with images of action that happens on the ground.There are two batsmen standing on the board at a single time.

The coaches ( real players ) throw the Red Cubical shaped ball(dice).The dice shows a number.The batsmen on the Ludo cricket board move that many squares and ends up in a square.Whatever action is drawn on that particular square is the fate of the batsmen.Whenever a batsman scores a single , the next ball is faced by the other batsman.

Sometimes,when the batsman entered the square that had a small STAR at the corner.If the batsman landed on a starred corner , he is moved to a More Electrifying board that had nothing but Wickets and Boundaries and Sixers.More on the Electrifying board is explained below.

Starred Squares

Advantages over other forms of Book-Cricket

All the action that happens in the real cricket can be felt on paper.Who bowled the maiden over, who thrashed the stumps of the batsman,How many dot balls the batsman wasted in the game,how many drop catches by the team,how many run outs by the team and almost everything except the FREE HIT and the CHEER GIRLS.

Disadvantages over the other forms of Book-Cricket

Very difficult to appreciate this game if you are allergic to Mathematics.I loved calculating the run-rates, strike-rate,runs-per-over etc. ofcourse everything was manual calculations.But this disadvantage can be an advantage too, if you seriously wanted to improve your math , as this game is a fun way to learn.

Since, this game was played by only two people in the world , me and my sister, I was the person who always did the calculation part (remember manual calculation)

Efforts taken to Maximise the Entertainment generated from LUDO-Cricket

Apart from the High scoring games there is a special type of Entertainment generated by the low scoring games.For Low scoring games a special board was painted which had most of the squares as DOT BALLS.

Low Scoring pitch

Also sometimes the games tend to charged up either due to the Crowd Noise or the Sledging Wars between the Bowler and the Batsman.For this kind of Game a separate board was painted with every square having either Boundary,Six or a Wicket, in which every square is richly illustrated which is called the Electifying Cricket Board.

Electrifying Pitch 1

Electrifying Pitch - 3

Indeed Twenty Twenty was invented long back in the form of Book Cricket which was lost in the missing pages of Folklore ,due to the advent of Video Games.

Re: Book Cricket, age unknown, R.I.P

This blog wants to just add on to this amazing blog by Ashok.As he says the IPL reminds the generation that was in shcool before the period when ‘what’ became ‘wat’ and ‘colour’ became ‘color’ , about the Book Cricket.

I think Ashok is not the first person to see the similarities….Probably he is the first to write a blog on it. I remember Sherry (Navjot) telling to Sonali of NDTV about the similarities of Book Cricket with the twenty Twenty format of the game during the T20 world cup.

The similarities, I see is that the way the runs are scored are never cared for….the shot selection is never a thing to be technically discussed by the Cricket Experts sitting in the TV room.
And the most important similarity of them all ; In both forms of cricket i.e. the OMI ( One Minute International) and the Twenty Twenty ….the number of runs scored by the batsman is always greater than the number of balls faced , even if it is the most boring batsmen like Dravid,Laxman. Really nice to see Dravid scoring 38 off 31 balls.

Well, I will come to the point.I just want to show some other forms of book cricket that were prevalent in my school days …atleast in my school.


The First one was almost the same as the one mentioned by Ashok, but in that form …when the last digit of the page number is ‘0’ , the batsman was considered Out.Nobody cared , how he got out …run out , bowled, lbw …nothing.

But some of the cricket enthusiasts also listened to the expert talks by Sunil Gavaskar ,Ravi Shastri, Tony Greig and Geoffrey Boycott after the match,wanted to raise the level of Book cricket equal to the standards of the real ones,so that the book cricket can also be analysed by the (hidden) cricket expert in them.Hence, they designed a new way of playing Book Cricket.

The last digit of the page number was taken as the number of steps to go forward in the runs and wicket maze as shown below.Whenever we got ‘0’ as the last digit,we considered it as a ‘DOT BALL’. Hence, the DOT BALL in book cricket was introduced.

Expert\'s Book Cricket

It’s quite evident from the picture that the various way the batsmen got out was also introduced to Book Cricket.Experts now had loads of things to talk about the batsmen’s poor run of form.


The other form of Book cricket was perhaps born out of influence from the metro channel’s superhit game show “Metro Dhamaka”.The picture below shows why

Cricket Dhamaka

This game demanded a Safety Pin to be used as Willow.Boys didn’t have the Safety Pin.

So , the boys got some reason to talk to the girls in the first bench and ask them a safety pin for playing this form of book cricket.

Somehow , this form of book cricket never took off as it was mostly being distracted my the curious girls (owner of the Safety Pin) who come to the last bench and see what these guys are playing with the Safety Pin.Hence, the games mostly resulted in NO RESULT due to Kadalai ( putting groundnuts) sessions that lasted as long as the CCA periods ( Co-Currivular Activity periods on Thursdays).

Anyway, none of these forms of book-cricket nor the most basic form of book-Cricket now exists.Thanks to Video Games and various other factors…