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Some pages flipped ...

I am just starting (on 2018.07.25) a "pinned" post to capture my reading journey. Of course, it is not going to contain all that I have read in the past; as I do not have a meticulous record of the same. But intend to try and maintain this going forward, insha Allah.

Even though such a thought may have criss-crossed my mind in the past, I owe the current inspiration to Kirsty Morgan's list here.

The kind of easy layout I ought to follow will trouble me for sure (and I'm pretty sure will see several revisions). For now, I'll stick to => [ writer — bookTitle (readDuring, location) ]

2007 (8 books) | 2008 (8 books) | 2009 (7 books) | 2010 (4 books) | 2011 (1 book) | 2013 (1 book) | 2014 (2 books)

2018 (4 books)

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Dev Anand - Romancing with Life

Quote(s) of Interest:

...While big money can help structure a big film project, with glitter and shine, it cannot give it the spine it needs to be a hit. A good story is the soul of a good film, not artificial glamour surrounding it. A great thought can be worth a million, but millions without a great thought are like so many pieces of diamonds hidden in rubble. (Pg. 138, 2011 Edition; 2018.09.10)

...Fame, power and money are three factors that make you great in the eyes of the world. The moment these desert you, you are like a particle of dust under one's feet. (Pg. 177, 2011 Edition; 2018.09.11)

...But all great works of art are born out of madness. You have to have a streak of madness in you, to break away from the shackles of accepted norms, for an achievement to go down in history. (Pg. 188, 2011 Edition; 2018.09.11)

...a thinking writer is constantly on the move, always contemplating on the theme he is focused on, always alive to what is going on around him, living every day with the hope of achieving a brighter tomorrow. As you live for tomorrow, your present is enriched too with hope and optimism; this is real living. (Pg. 213, 2011 Edition; 2018.09.17)

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J K Rowling - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Last week also saw me taking a dive back into the world of reading fictional works, after a very long time. Harry Potter (gifted by Taruna last year to the kids when we met in Chennai), that was piling dust in the cupboard found a certain interest in me. I remember having taken an unspoken vow to keep away from the world of fantasies, magic, etc. Really didn’t strike a chord within me, or so I thought.

What started as random reading sessions to the kids; I found myself drawn into Potter’s world. Don’t know how far I’d go (like other pursuits of mine that lose fuel), but for now it looks like I might take the full plunge – books and the movies.

Quotes of interest:

... to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.
... the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.

Leaf in a Journal

Adieu MapR. Ahoy StreamSets!

Having sailed the challenging & choppy waters over the last 4 (almost) years and contributing to its success, 31.07.2017 marks my last day at MapR in general and the MapR Support family in particular. Time has come for me to move on to more challenging roles where I look forward to applying all the experiences I've gained till date and continue to learn further. I will be certainly leaving this place with a lot of good memories; at the same time greatly thankful to MapR for having shaped my formative years and also for being the springboard to many a goals in my life.

It was definitely a different ball-game when I transitioned into this territory from my incarnation prior to MapR. MapR Support "trenches" were most of the time filled with gut wrenching "combats" and "fire-fightings". But I guess, at the end of the day, it was that mix of challenges and uncertainties that brought the sweet taste of glory (via customer satisfaction). That battlefield has comparatively grown colder and more manageable as the team and maturity has evolved. The nomadic spirit embodied within me miss that hustle brought in by the currently prevailing serenity. Of course, needless to say, that serenity is a much needed life-cycle for an evolving organization.

But then there are warriors who yearn for meaningful actions and thrive on the resulting adrenaline rush and I am thrilled at the prospect of exploring such a terrain through another budding and early-stage start-up — StreamSets.

MapR gave me the first taste of a start-up culture, back in 2013, with a rare combination of flexibility and work-life balance. At the same time, nudging you towards taking responsibilities on your shoulders and being independently accountable. I consider that as a rare privilege and ingredient people get to experience in the professional spheres these days. Up until then, such a level of freedom coupled with responsibility was not known to me, having mostly been confined to larger enterprises (except may be for the stint I'd with my first employer, but that was different). I simply fell in love with the place, the crew (my teammates), the work, the leadership (I'd not be doing justice to my post if I missed him and him) and the product as a result of which I never had the strong urge to seek out other opportunities.

So, why now - you may wonder? There always comes a time when one needs to give opportunity the respect it deserves. Thereby satiating that carnal desire to explore unchartered territories to try and push your limits to the next level. It is that what I am and will be seeking within StreamSets. Though it is too early a stage to color the canvas with the pros and cons of my new employer, the early vibes I got interacting with and listening to (during their screening process) Vu Trang, Rupal Shah, Jonathan Natkins (Natty), Hiro Kuwabara and Jarcec Cecho have been enlightening, educational and immensely useful. The culture (a quality that I value a lot) embodied within StreamSets could not have been better conveyed by anyone other than Arvind Prabhakar, making it easier for me to come to a final decision.

Although it was a short (almost 4 years) stint at MapR, it seemed like a long time (as perception of time was lost due to lack of boredom) and was sufficient to get oneself exposed to an excellent product, an outstanding pool of talent and a very supportive and cooperative extended family at MapR. Being a small (and getting smaller) and closely knit world, I would not be surprised (and hope to) to see my path crossing with MapR as an organization and/or with the (ex-)folks work(ing/ed) there.

Years from now, I am quite positive that I'll be able to look back at my career at MapR with pride and know/say that I was part of a success story. And that thought could not have been better reinforced through the presentation Anil Gadre gave during the CXO session on 20.07.2017 (IST time) which was my last attendance to such sessions. Definitely, the industry will be seeing colossal tidal-waves, than ripples, from the MapR powerhouse. But for now, I'd like to take leave and be part of another story; an exfoliating story that I'd like to believe has yet another success story to reveal at its core.

Wishing Team MapR the very best it deserves and looking forward to seeing a successful transition benefitting both MapR as an organization and the members who have and are toiling hard to bring about that transition.

Team MapR, it was certainly an honour. Thank you and good luck!

With love, from my fellow trench-mates!

Leaf in a Journal

Final destination ...

"Which of your Lord's favour's will you deny?" - Javed's end was quick (and unexpected I'm sure, as many a time it is).

Picture sourced from

Many of us are given exposure to the proximity of such event(s) during our lifetime; given glimpses, to ponder and reflect about our final destination and the gate to go to or strive for. Sadly, we choose to remain (and automatically programmed/distracted to believe) as onlookers thinking the end is an event prescribed for the people opposite to us and get distracted by the glitz and glamour of the duty-free shops.

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Trust ...

Trusting someone else is easier said than done. One can be foolish and trust someone blindly. But to give it thought, taking calculated risks, etc. requires courage; an unspoken willpower. The courage to be ready to be at the losing end; the courage to step forward and assist not knowing the full picture; the courage to wage your dearest as your best bet.

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Fear, struggle and crushing disappointments ...

A friend shared the following link with me the other day. A quick glance and I realized it was an intimidating read considering the length; more so, as I was trying to grapple with various other tasks at hand that had a far greater grip over my interests and focus. I know, I need to keep away from falling for that.

But as I read on, I found myself being pulled into the past; a past that my dad talks about often - of personalities and their talents. What touched me most as I read each of Manna’s response were the small interspersed incidents that showed that the larger than life aura the industry and the fans created around those entertainers indeed did have mortal beginnings; the same fear and struggle, the very same crushing disappointments, etc. that many of us are used to. But perseverance and God’s Grace saw them through to their destinations.