Author: editor

My tribute to my Chittappa – ​​ என் சித்தப்பாவுக்கு என் சமர்ப்பணம்

 P Swaminathan 

நான் என்னுடைய சித்தப்பா பி சுவாமிநாதனை (என் அப்பாவின் தம்பி) கிட்டத்தட்ட 10 நாட்களுக்கு முன்பு சென்னையில் இழந்தேன். என்ன நடந்தது என்பதை உணர கிட்டத்தட்ட ஒரு வாரம் ஆனது

I lost my Chitappa, P Swaminathan (my dad’s younger brother) almost 10 days ago in Chennai, India. It took me almost a week to realize what just happened. Rest in peace My dear uncle.

Appa in tamil means dad, Chitappa you were no less than a dad to me. You have been such a positive influence on me I will miss you. We will all miss you. May you rest in peace and shine the light on all of us from above. 

Growing up as a child I fondly remember the innumerable trips to Chennai Royapettah house. I knew you were at that time teaching at the school of architecture, in Anna university. I would always be in awe when so many students from the school of architecture would visit you to take your guidance. 

I remember fondly your love of architecture. Your handwriting in both English and Tamil can pass for a font of its own. Growing up,   I was always fond of your stationery collection and you always let me take a few things from that like a Steadler eraser or sketch pen etc.In the many family trips we would do, I will cherish how the three brothers would sometimes wear the same color T-Shirt. There was always fun and laughter included in the trips. 

I know you came from a tough background having lost your dad at such a young age. You really set the example high for us kids by showing what can be done with passion and education.  You became the Dean at School of Architecture in Anna University which is no easy feat. 

The love you had for Chitti, your kids and grandkids is a true example of how one should live life. You were always there for our family when there was a true need. For my dad, mom you were always a key advisor, a true and trusted friend and a lovely brother.

When my wife, Arati and my kids visited you many times in Chennai after my dad passed away we always came back feeling we met our dad. You made us laugh, advised my kids on ways of life. I always remember all my life that you have wished me every birthday of mine. 

I cherish the last few calls with you when you would always take the time to talk to us. When my dad , Your elder brother passed away) you had written a hand written tribute which i read many many times. Here are the last few lines in that write up 

You said and I quote“ When I met you last time you raised your eyes may be to tell me , I am going to go soon to be with god . May your soul rest in peace in that gods presence” .Loosely translated from Tamil. 

I never knew a day would come in a few years when it’s your turn and I write a small tribute to you . May you rest in peace Chittappa. I will miss you, we will all miss you. 

Till we meet again.

Lot of Love 

Vibhu Srinivasan

Honesty And Truth – A Lesson from Life

Here is a small story from this week. A lesson that I will remember for a while.

We had an electrical issue at home and many of the switches. These are GFE switches. So we have a few of these around the kitchen. When one resets we lose power in all of them. Well, the story is really not about these switches. It’s one about truth and honesty. After trying a few times, I figured it’s time for my call for help.

Scene 1: The Complaining handyman

So I called in one of the handymen who happens to be of Indian origin ( Not sure if this data is really related). He kept hanging the phone on me. And After waiting for two days, I told him I will go with something else, he got upset and put back the blame on me, instead of telling me upfront that he is not interested as he has other things to do. So I had to bid goodbye to him and resorted to Scene 2

Scene 2: The expensive Local Electric company, Beacon Plumbing. They were extremely responsive to the call. They told me that the visit just to check with be so many dollars, then there is the hourly fee for the electrician. I got a prompt appt for two days.  However, I got a call that evening saying they have a free appt that evening. So Late in the night, i got an electrician home. He checked, opened up the entire kitchen switches, an hour or so later he told me he is not able to pinpoint the problem. The initial cost itself for the service was quite low.

After an hour it was clear he was tired as well as he had no clue. Or did he know the problem could be fixed but wanted to get a lot more out of me?

He told me that the only way to fix this is to run a new wiring two lines from the switchboard, and this would cost me an insane amount of dollars I got sticker shock. But then the next thing he said caught my attention. He said you have to pay 50 percent upfront ( I am talking lots of dollars), and if I don’t pay at the same time I may lose their schedule 

With that, I decided to just pay for that one hour fee, and their default fee. So when he left I was staring at a bill that did not resolve my problem and a large

Total time spent – 2 hours

Total Amount Spent – $$, The proposal to fix was a lot more.

Frustrated with this experience I called up a dear friend who saves my life every time I have called him.

Scene 3:

I got this friend at 1 in the afternoon. He said he will try to recommend a handyman. In 15 minutes he got a name of a Handyman who spoke only Spanish, but had a translator with him. In an hour or so they showed up. and to my surprise showed me that in one Switch there was an internal loose contact and less than 15 minutes I got the supply back.

What a wonderful person his handyman was. I am surprised when our new president called them Bad Hombres. I saw honesty, truth and credible work. After the work was done he gave me an amount which I felt was worth paying.

 

Personal Lesson Learnt: 

Always trust your close friends, don’t trust these big companies. In this case, the electrical company clearly had a bigger agenda of making $$$ from me. Bad choice

When a simple person shows up, does what you ask them to do within minutes without any  know that there is still truth and honesty in the world. I know now for any next project what not to do.

End of  Story

Farewell to my strength – My Dad

Here is a farewell to my wonderful dad, our strength

P. Srinivasan

P-Srinivasan

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6 1941 to April 15th 2015

YOU HAVE BEEN THE SHINING LIGHT FOR OUR FAMILY

I am sad to say that we lost our wonderful dad on  April 15th   . He leaves us to a better place after a month long fight with health at the hospital.

What he leaves behind is a great family that he can be proud of. Born in a small Village in TamillNadu, and brought up in Tamil Nadu, Daddy did his Civil engineering,  and his post graduate . He was a teacher at Sri Ramakrishna Mission for 10 + years. During this time he has educated hundreds of kids and led a simple life.

Married to Lakhsmi my mom for 45 years now. He told the story of how he met mom and what a great and loving couple I have seen in them.

After a lot of struggle he decided to take the risk and moved to Mumbai when he was 40 and joined Associated Cement company. He never looked back and retired at a very senior level at ACC.

He was highly regarded by his peers and very well respected . I grew up listening to sales stories of cement , RCC etc.

My brother and I have always been taught by him to face life with courage. He has been there for me and my brother at every turn we took. holding hands and showing use the way. I guess for him we never grew up. HE taught me the importance of taking risks and the best role model dad we could have asked for.

I have many memories of him from the first flight he took us on, to the time I got into trouble for taking a road trip to me getting business guidance when i started the company in India.

My wife, Arati and his grand kids have learnt what an ideal grandpa should be like. A trust worthy , caring person who always was there for us from the airport when we fly, to the exams we took.

We are so glad to have spent a lot of quality time with him, travelled around , spoke to him a lot over the last three years when we stayed in India for three and half years.

You are my star, you are my hero . We will surely live up to the high expectations you had of us to lead a credible life, educate the poor, help others and be the model dad to our kids the way you were to us.

I am so happy that you lived you life to its full till just a month and half ago, drove around the city.

May your SAIRAM take you in his golden chariot as you wished to a place where you are peaceful.

Will miss dearly dad. You are our hero.

Vibhu

 

Here is my brother Anand’s Farewell to my dad

Over the years I have come to know my dad as a person who deeply loved his family, was dedicated to his profession as a structural engineer, loved to  work for social causes and was a man of deep faith. He started his early career as a lecturer in civil engineering and continued to pursue his masters in  structural engineering. Since my grandfather passed away quite early, my dad is a self-made professional. He moved later in his career to ACC  where he reached senior management position in sales/marketing and then customer services. He won many awards at regional and pan-India level during his service in ACC. Post retirement, he was offered a special position in headquarters  due to his expertise in customer service management. One of notable accomplishments during this period,  was his involvement is  rehabilitation work post the Gujarat earthquake, where he lead the  CSR initiative for building cost effective houses for the villages which were impacted by the earthquake. I can remember the innumerable trips he made during this period to Gujarat in spite of having gone through two Bypass surgeries.

Post his service at ACC, he was actively involvement with Sri Sathya Sai College of Arts and Sciences at Whitefield and Sri Sathya Sai Residential School at Muddinahalli. He undertook projects on structural engineering in Whitefield campus, water purification  for hostel and college canteen at Whitefield/muddinahalli and sewage treatment at Muddinahalli. He has supported and guided many youth from economically challenged families for college education and coached then in personal capacity without seeking monitory gains.

He has been a role model for our family and we shall fondly remember him and try our best to carry forward the service activities in the field of education and general welfare of economically challanged families.

2013- A Year With Bitter Sweet Memories – Welcome 2014

We are a a day away from 2013 ending. I am sitting here on  a cold Seattle evening, typing this away. First I want to get basics out of the way

WISH YOU ALL A WONDERFUL AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014

It is true that we moved back to Seattle. It is also true that I am still fully associated the company I founded and work with in India SolutionsIQ Consulting. I am really proud of the team that we have in India, who are some of the best professionals that I have been associated with . I do travel often to India now to spend time with the team. I teach less in India these days, but there is no plan to close anything. We are a growing high energy company and there is still lots to do in India .

The move back from India has been bitter sweet as we have family and close friends and colleagues we had built over the years in India.  At the same time our network of Friends and family in Seattle have shown us so much love as we move back in this city. We have partied quite a bit, kids are happy back here. I really want to take the time to thank my family, and friends both in India and in Seattle who are a big part of what i am today. I got the chance to spend time with my dad and mom this year and feel that I still not much has changed . I remain a kid for them only much bigger and older.

Another big part of the year was crossing the number 40 in age bar, and crossing 90 on weight bar. You tend to really reflect back on life and wonder what you really want to do with the rest of the life in front of me. I wonder sometimes what if i did not move to Milwaukee or what if I did not join, Spider, or what if  I joined the mother ship Microsoft that many do in Seattle. But I am ever so delighted that i am doing what I am passionate about, build a business,work with sharp teams and have fun. My wife has been like a rock supporting me all along the way with the decisions and helping me do what i am passionate about. Without her this much may not have been possible.

I do have a lot planned on the business front that I hope to do in 2014 . Scale, Stability and More fun are what I can think of when i think of work.I am confident that with all the hard work we are putting in the company we are building will do well . when you work with good people, generally there is a lot less to worry about.

This year to me was really about Atul Chitnis, a  person you meet only once in a lifetime, a great human, family person, technologist and much more. To me he was just Atul the neighbor next door.

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

ATUL CHITNIS

This year to me was really about losing Atul  I am not sure if I have recovered from this yet. Atul Gopal Chitnis was  my brother in law, friend, a mentor for life. He was not only a role model for me growing up, but has been a big part of my life since 1990. Yes more than 20 years.  We lost Atul this year after a year long battle he had with colon cancer. He fought like anything else he did so many years. I am so glad he got to do what he wanted the last few months of his life. He spent time with the family. He was a people person. I think he had a checklist of people he wanted to meet before he died, and he did make sure he met every one of them. I am thankful to all who shared their wonderful life with him. From the medical staff who attended on him to all his friends and family, I am sure his thought has crossed us more than once since that sad day in June this year. But what makes me delighted is that i got to spend such a wonderful time with him. All the arguments and discussions with him always left you thinking.. There is not a day when i do not think or ask the question -“What would Atul have done or said” esp when it comes to things on the internet and technology. I do not have the guts to delete his skype profile form my list. Just hoping some day i may still hear a “Ping” from him.

I know for the world  he is technology person but for me he is just Toolz. The one I could tell anything and knowing well I will lose the argument anyway.

I can write pages about him , have thousands of reasons to thank him, but I will end with a simple thanks – Thanks Atul for becoming our neighbor in 1989 and helping me meet my wife Arati”. If she had not come on that summer vacation to your house, I would not be where I am today, wife , two kids and so many rich memories to thank for.This is to you Atul, I know you are out there wishing us all a very happy new year .

Just before Christmas we lost my wifes uncle. Jaya Kaka. This is part of what Arati my wife had to say about” Jaya Kaka – Nobody can replace you. May your soul rest in peace. You have left behind a legacy of proud family members along with your message of duty and protection. You taught us what the word “Family” means. Thank you for holding us all together.” I got to spend a good chunk of time in India with him. I really feel good that I did get to spend time a person who was such an important pillar in Arati’s life

As life goes – It is a bit bitter and sweet all the time. I look forward to coming year 2014 for brighter and bigger things for me, my family and company. I am blessed to be surrounded with the best bunch of family and friends.  I also wish all my  family and friends a Happy and prosperous New Year 2014.

Cheers

Vibhu

Thanks to all of you who made my 40th Birthday memorable

It was one of those days of my life this week when i turned 40. The best part of this was all the friends and family who made this so much memorable for me and also reminding me in a very lovely manner that I am getting old.

Many of my friends, took the time to spend the evening with me at wonderful evening party well orchestrated and planned by my wife, Arati. She did plan this really well. Generally I am good at snooping around and finding things out, but this time I was completely taken by surprise. IMAG1473 IMAG1472 IMAG1471

My engineering room mate Gautam, landed here on Sunday morning to spend the day here from Pune. Atul my brother in law opened up the beautiful lawns at this house to allow me to spend evening with friends and family.

My parents started the day by coming home and spending the morning with me. Evening went with all the friends and family. I am blessed to know that I am cared for.

To all the friends , Colleagues from work, folks on facebook, my brother, my cousin sis who always calls me one day before to wish, my beautiful wife who planned this out, my kids who kept this secret from me. my parents who are always there for me, thanks you one and all. . I am ready for the next round of 40 years now.

HP Solution Center Team – Please read this

The solution center team in HP ( I know there is one in Bangalore) needs to get this act together.

 

In software there is a term called “Loose Coupling“. Your product HP Solution Center completely defies this rule.

Problem Statement:

Solution Center does not support multiple printers. FIX THIS.

I have HP F4488 inkjet home, HP K09-a-z and a laser jet in office. I cannot use the same solution center . I have to uninstall and reinstall solution center for it to recognize a different printer.

A user should be able to use multiple printers for scanning using HP solution center by simply choosing a printer within Solution Center.

Current Implementation

Sucks

Proposed Solution

A software like solution center should not be tightly coupled to the driver or default setting etc. Instead of hard wiring the code and make them so dependent, is loose coupling using interfaces  also called as Contract first design ( this is an age old concept)

Why should the solution center product care which printer is there.

In this day and age I am even surprised software teams cant think of something as basic as this 

If you make this change I would love to hear from you at VIBHU_S AT YAHOO.COM

 

 

Inspirations for the day

This is  a post from me after a long time. Well a lot has actually happened in the year past . Work is busy. Home front things are great. Guess I could take more time with kids at home.

Happy to see my wife also get involved in the business. Lots of recent events near home that questions the whole purpose of life. How things can change over a wink of an eye.  Leaving only hope and inspirations and  brings a very strong meaning to what life actually is all about.

Along the journey today I stopped for a few moments to hear speakers like Deepa Malik who is paralyzed  waist down or a bit more than that is what she said

More on Deepa here

http://www.dnis.org/print_interview.php?interview_id=131

She spoke about her initiative called Ability beyond Disability to a large audience. This speech was surely once in a  lifetime. A simple army officers wife who got paralyzed at 39 decides to get financial independence. This leads to her learning computers, starting a restaurant, going back to her passion of biking. drove the Himalayan rally, swam over Yamuna, winner of common wealth game and recent winner of arjuna award, world record holder in Para olympics and winner of 4 limca records.

The point that struck me was when she spoke about how Yuvraj singh for one tumor was so famous , but she has been living with a tumor for all her life. She has infact said this to Yuvi.

She spoke mainly of

1) Doing what you really want

2) Working hard towards that goal

3) Persistence to get to the next best level.

4) Having a team of successful people who love you around you

5) Belief in team work etc

This surely was a energizer for me and I will surely remember her speech leaving me with no reason to complain about life. Don’t give up.

So long

VS

12.5 and Going

Today was another bit of a milestone for me personally. From having run less than a few kilometers, today I got to feel the joy of finishing at the Bangalore Ultra in which I did a 12.5 KM. The longest segment was 100 K, which I hope to achieve NEVER:). After a rather disappointing week, I would say this made it up for all and got to spend quality time with kids after a very long time today.

I have always been a runner, but only basic distances. This year a cousin of my wife pushed me into a group called Runner High which is a dedicated runners group and an initiative of Santhosh Padmanabhan, who has returned back to India to help with his dream of service. He helps with Team Asha and can run 100 Miles in a hearbeat. A coach who aims to bring the best in all of us at Runners High. It is one thing if the coach just says – Here is how you run” and one thing if the coach can run150 Km races. Some things I have learnt from him in my coaching career (Agile consulting )

1) Walk the talk.

2 ) Practice what you preach

3) Set a high bar for team, but do not push them

4) Do a structured long term inititiave. There are no shortcuts.

5) The only way to believe in yourself, is when I cross the race finish on my own.

In six months span, now I run weekly three to four times, running is now fun and enjoyable.

Some basic achievements ( baby steps )

1) Freedom Run 10 K

2) 10 K practice runs – 3 of them

3) Kaveri trail Marathon – Srirangpathan for 10K

4) 12.5 K Practice runs – 2 of them

5) Bangalore Ultra – Today for 12.5 – The timing today was rather bad.

Not to mention is the wild support I get from everyone at home and at Team Runners High.

What keeps the hopes high for me is the fact that I meet some really great people along the way. Santosh as an example. At the run today at the Ultra, one of the runners was a very old person ( more than 70 ), who has just recovered from many months of being bedridden. a traditional Indian couple who ran faster that i did, a bunch of kids who from Asha foudation, Kiran from my family who runs at a great pace.

Some day I plan to make it to the full marathon. I guess i have no rush there. I have been in US for 15 years, but thanks to Kiran, I seem to have found a nice passion which I have always enjoyed. In two years of our return to India, we as a family have had various days where we contemplate where do we belong. But days like this only make my resolve to get better everyday. Not to mention I had the energy to spend time with family at the pool.

What matter I think is these simple joys of life. Lets see what future holds.

Go Runners High:)