Thursday, June 11, 2009

Keep-alive Post

In networking, when A and B are talking a protocol, typically, besides exchanging a bunch of information mandated by the protocol, they exchange frequent meaningless small sized hellos. This is a keep-alive mechanism. When A doesn't hear from B for a threshold time, it decides to forget all about B, and cleans up anything that it picked up from B. If and when B comes back up, it has to start from scratch and re-establish everything with A, which is expensive. This is a keep-alive post.

When i was leaving chennai, I imagined myself two months hence, standing in the balcony of a studio apartment, drinking coffee, and missing the flurry of activities that the view from my Mandaveli balcony had offered me, and the goodness of the coffee i would have been drinking back home. I was wrong on two counts. In my head, the view from my studio's balcony was a lot prettier. In reality i get a panaromic view of a grim black floored parking lot. And you do get decent coffee powder to make good filter coffee with ('Barefoot coffee', thank you).

A shoulder injury from a nasty fall i had, playing ultimate back in Jan, is keeping me out of any kind of action, which is a big time bummer. Met a chinese physio, who referred me to a chinese doctor who would refer me back to the chinese physio, so that the non-chinese insurers would pay for my treatment. Why are these things so complicated?! And the doctor's name is Ooyang. I never thought i'd have to see a doctor who called himself Ooyang. For me Ooyang would be a ping-pong player or a martial arts expert. A Dr. Ram Prasad or Dr. Sundar is more like it. I hope it all ends happily ever after with me throwing a disc or playing in the Milpitas table tennis circuit or both. For lack of anything else to do, and the relative scarcity of cubicle conferences about inane things, i actually managed to do more work in the past 2 months, than the preceding 4-5 months in Chennai. My boss in chennai is probably reading this, but i guess he knows this without my having to tell him!

Life has been as boring as this post, if not more. But i did attempt to 'do' a few things. Like watching a baseball game live in Oakland stadium (and getting terribly bored). And seeing a bunch of folks dressed in weird outfits, or none at all, and running or walking an 8 mile stretch, in what is called 'Bay to breakers'. There was so much weirdness that by the end of it normal looked very interesting. And i was wondering what drove people to do all this. Then i paid sizeable money to watch herbivores from africa like goats and cows (there was the occasional sleeping tiger or docile rhino thrown in), with a white lady working extra hard to make it all seem interesting. Since the animals weren't interesting enough, she spoke about the Jeep we were riding in, and about it's association with WWII. I could only think of the Bisons and Bears and Banded Kraits and the Elephants spotted in the wild during treks in Perambikulam and Himalayas.

In an attempt to make life better, i bought a shiny new old car in 2 hours' time(inclusive of search, 'analysis' and the actual purchase, i am pretty quick and stupid with such things actually). Thanks G for the ride and all the knowledgable questions and the negotiation.

I guess coming here as a curious excited impressionable 21 year old is a lot different from coming here as a more grounded 30 year old. When you see everything in order, working like clock work, you don't go "Wow! It's all so organized. When will India be like this?". Instead you go "Can these guys survive even a minor entropy?", and actually take pride in the presence of some coherence in all that clamour back home. And when you see the ever friendly smiles and the waving hands, you wonder if the smiles will become grimaces and the waving hands would become clenched fists when excesses turn into scarcity. I give it to them for building this kind of order and discipline, but i can't help wondering what would happen if that order is shaken up by an external event. An average driver is not equipped to handle an unexpected car that strays from it's lane. Extrapolating it to other aspects of life is scary.

I am hoping to make this a worthwhile stay, and try and live out some interesting experiences for the time i am here. Let's see how it goes...

20 comments:

Ricercar said...

i loved this post kaps. so good to hear from you again. may i quote & link to it?

Parth said...

"I guess coming here as a curious excited impressionable 21 year old is a lot different from coming here as a more grounded 30 year old. " Touche. The ineffeciencies of this place highlight itself once the initial impressions wear out. Good to see a post here :)

kaushik said...

Hey!

Awesome blog...really liked it...read all the way back to your first post :)

You are kind of like August in English August :)

Cheers!
Kaushik

frissko said...

Ricercar! - it's been ages...good to have you back...thanks...and of course you can quote and link to this...

Parth - Your post actually prompted me to wake this blog up...

Kaushik - Thanks a lot man...And if i remind someone of Augastya Sen, i am not sure if i should be happy about it or not :) (cos as much as i liked him, i thought he was doomed to remain unhappy...but i found him very endearing all the same, nearly as much as Holden Caulfield)

M... said...

dude...you think US runs like a well oiled machine - wait until you go to singapore. its like living inside freakin' disney world...i was reminded of the jim carey movie in which his whole life is a movie.....spent a week there on business and was craving for some "sanity". i think one of the main criteria to live in singapore shd be regular travel to surrounding countries like malaysia, india, indonesia etc. if not, one may lose the "edge". I heard my account manager tell me not to propose any "risky" ideas to the customer as singaporeans "dont like risk". Not a big surprise i thought - they probably dont even know how to spell it or deal with it, especially the younger generation who are used to things just working.

enjoy.

Kau said...

Thank you for this post.
I especially liked it.
Kau

symphonyofthesoul said...

happy Happy happy and then happy some more, that you are back..! :D

Trauma Queen said...

wow!

u blog so rarely but when you do it is joy to read :)

"For me Ooyang would be a ping-pong player or a martial arts expert" - careful there..such a statement might border on racist (and I am extra protective of the Chinese these days..)

Hows your shoulder doing now???

it is indeed interesting how our perspective changes from 21 to 30. Also the way USA reacted to he terror attacks pretty much justify all those q's in your head..they are fairly insecure when it comes to many things...I mean a country where shrinks and lawyers make so much money - can;t imagine how terribly insecure they all are!

gullu said...

Well, your posts and in general your 'thought train' was like looking myself in the mirror :)
Enjoyed it!

Priya said...

You sound like me five years ago. And now only magova mambazham will make me move back.

/<0USIK said...

The post is way too large and informative to be a simple keepalive :-)

Yes perspective change with age, and good that you noticed in yourself. Most of us don't and assume the place has changed!

frissko said...

M - I can imagine. Was in Jap for 5 months and they're very similar. (For us, if you need to pay someone 70, you give 120 to get 50 back. Such approaches throw them totally off guard, and confuses them no end). But to each his own i guess...

Kau - Thanks...

symphonyofthesoul - have no idea what's the ideal response to that...but thanks :)...

Trauma - chinese doctor gave me a tablet that gave me so much stomach pain that i forgot about the shoulder :)...so, in a way he helped...

gullu - don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing for you though :)...

Priya - Onakku malgova maambazhamnaa, enakku veyyil and namma oor style oor suthals...lets see...

kousik - Some protocols do send large 'hellos' (eg: isis, to pass on mtu information)...But yes, point taken, atleast with respect to the largeness part...

"Most of us don't and assume the place has changed!"

Touche!...

Tys on Ice said...

:)...what is abt us?...u can take an indian out of india but u can never take india out of an indian...we r a lot like salmon, we go back home to die...

loved the way u write...u cud have just continued and i wud have read it like a comfortable novel..

symphonyofthesoul said...

dude, are you under-estimating yourself by any chance?? :P

Princess Fiona said...

long time frissko..back with a bang! i too echo the sentiments of all here :)

frissko said...

Tys on Ice - I am going back much before that :). And thanks...

symphonyofthesoul - I stay clear of estimating myself...

Fiona - Zang you...

qwdeaddep said...

arent we all programmed to appreciate coherence only when it co existed with chaos? what's the fun seeing it occupy everything (can it?), well... lets strive to make them appreciate it better ;-)

Anonymous said...

Man, u glorifed a drink - ARRACK and ALCHOHOL(that you drink rarely in one of you posts earlier.). so you could not bring out the real enjoyment in it.

Now you are glorifying a drink - another - COFFEE(That you and your group drinks daily many times every day) so your are successful in bringing the enjoyment in this.

Any experience with chemicals. ( Did you understand ?). Lemme know if you are ready and need it?

-bored-to-death.

and one more thing. This post is not keep-alive. it's so big and you must have spent solid time in writing this.

Be frank and Open Man

popsie said...

Very well written post and thus an interesting read. Can't agree more, with your perspective!

frissko said...

qwdeaddep - we do introduce a sizeable amount of chaos...not sure if they appreciate it though ;)...i wouldn't blame them...to each his/her own...

popsie - Thanks...