Here’s a story I had written in January 2003. Lijoe (Chakky) inspired me to write it… :-) I dedicate this story to Chakky. He is one of my fav. kids. He is honest and has very high ethics and integrity. All the suggestions he gave such as change in shift times , shorter shift cycles , extra snacks have been implemented in our company.
The story so far
Once upon a time long long ago in Cheerikali Town there lived
two friends Bhola and Bholi. They were both B.Techs in Computer
Engineering working in the same company, Fish and Co. They were both
and loyal to the company where they worked. They loved their work
and always liked to be the best in life. They looked after many hosting
companies around the world. The challenges in life was great.
Here’s what they both did.
Work Environment –
- They used Linux as the standard OS
which is the best.
- They used KDE as the standard
Desktop environment . The other
apps used by them was –
- KMail – A neat mail client
- Konqueror – A fast browser
- ClientDB – A database with the
- ShiftDb – A database with the
- Techzilla – A database with the
- Gaim – A friendly chat client
used to communicate with
friends and co workers
Shift times –
They both worked in shifts. The shifts times were like
The shifts rotated every month. It was
a reverse rotation system.
Bhola worked 16 hours a day. Energy
and the desire to reach the
top was in abundance. The learning and improving prospects was immense.
Bhola knew it and did not want to loose a single minute in this race.
Bholi on the other hand worked 12
hours in case of emergencies
which was never. Her regular schedule was 8 hours a day.
Things went perfect the first few
months. Then slowly Bhola got
sick of the entire work. He started feeling the work was boring.
The shifts were a killer. The boss was always angry and so on….
Bholi on the other hand still enjoyed work and looked forward to
each day that she worked.
One day the boss stormed into the room
and shouted a lot at Bhola
for giving poor quality work. He shouted at him for taking many leaves.
To top it all he made some sugar talk with Bholi and went back. Bhola
was all confused with life… On one had he was working 16 hours
with no family life or social life… His clients were angry and
his boss was becoming a pain. On the other hand he had this beautiful
co worker Bholi (who he secretly admired), who had happy clients,
happy boss and a great social life… and SHE WORKS ONLY 8 HOURS
Some of the typical conversations like
Day 1 –
– Bhola you were on medical leave
– Boss, day before yesterday I
worked for 16 hours
non stop. So I was feeling really unwell. Please understand what
I am going through.
– Who told you to work 16 hours.
– There was a database we
accidentally deleted so the
client was very angry. I had no choice.
– Who told you to delete the
(thinking) – It happened
accidentally. Don’t you understand
– I do not want to hear such
excuses in future. Am
(thinking) – One you do not
understand. On top of
it you threaten me too…. God where am I.
– Sure boss.
– Bhola how could you go and
delete the apache conf
– Boss it was because I was
overloaded with work
and I did it accidentally.
– Overloaded. Shall I pull out
(thinking) – People cannot be
born like this. He
would have taken a real effort to have made himself like this. That
is redefining the word
Bhola gives out a small smile… :)
– See one you make mistakes and
then you are smiling
at what I am trying to say. Are you really serious in life.
Here are some conversations between
Boss and Bholi.
– Hi! young lady. How’s our friend
and his clients.
– Going great. Do you know they
are planning on so
many more servers. And they are planning on giving it to us. He also
asked me if we can develop some new security tool for him. I said
sure. I know nothing about security so I knew this was going in for
a new change… I’d love to sit up in the morning and after breakfast
and do some research on it. I was seeing many other companies are
also looking for similar things. I think if we work towards it we
may make it with some big timers… :)
– Cool. I am happy. Let me know if
I can help in any
– Bholi I was talking to our
friend. He is so happy
with you and your team… Cool I was so happy :)
– Wow, that is nice.
Seeing all this Bhola is more than
confused and has reached cross
roads. What should Bhola do now??? Does he quit ? Does is revolt
? Does is just get negative in life ? Just because she is a pretty
girl with a nice smile boss likes her and not me… :( Does he find
the right path ? If yes how???
Bhola thinks of all options. I want to
be better. But I really
can’t work more than 16 hours. How can one even expect that. Wish
I was as pretty as Bholi I would have surely had a better time here.
He finally thinks of going and talking to Bholi, atleast she’ll
understand more than what my Boss does.
So he goes to her and asks her if she
could spend some time with
Bholi is more than happy to spend some time with Bhola. She thinks
“finally I get to know the real
Bhola. How can one be such a
workaholic. When I was in college all the guys noticed me and now this
has no time to even call me out for coffee….”. Some people can
She says “Why don’t we meet and
Barista Coffee today evening at
4:00 My shift gets over at 2:00? “. He agrees reluctantly. He thinks
if boss knows this “He’ll start getting even more angry with me for
not concentrating on my work… :( . As if he cares anyway. Atleast
I may have a nice time with Bholi“.
Finally they meet at Barista Coffee..
Bhola spent 4 hours just
trying to get ready. Selecting the right clothes, shoes….. At 3:55
Bholi reaches Barista.Bhola as usual is late. He rushes to Barista
there he seeing Bholi and skips a few heartbeats. Now what do I do
I am late. What will she think of me.
(smiling) – Hey, I how are you.
– I apologize for getting late.
The traffic was heavy
and I had to fill in fuel and the fuel pump was crowded. CheeriKali
town is becoming like New York so crowded.
– I do not have a car so I really
can’t comment on
that.. The bus is still the same. I reached here in just 30 minutes
from office… :)
– Actually, it was not just the
traffic. Even my
bike had a problem on the way. The spark plugs were sparking… (she
won’t understand that… ;). God my conversation skills are close
to zero. Boss was right I am not good at anything… )
– I thought you had a new Kawasaki
Bajaj Pulsar …..
Definitely male…. ;) . Definitely sparking too at such an early
stage. You must let the Bajaj guys know this.
(thinking) – OMG what have I
gotten into I should
have just told the truth to her that I was busy selecting the right
shirt. Now what do I do…
– Anyway, this is all part of
life. Constant improvement
is a necessary aspect of life. Bajaj has to improve to survive and
you must let them you that.
(now guilty, trying to ease the
conversation) – OK,
madam philosophy. I agree with you… :) . Say, How do you live such
a cool life. You have time for everything. Do you ever sleep. Maybe,
I should make you my Guru. (don’t tell me it because you are pretty,
I know that… )
– I sleep a full 8 hours everyday.
BTW, do you know
the meaning of the word guru?
– So was your Bio teacher in 5th
Standard your guru?
– Yes, kind of.
(gives that know all smile) –
Actually, Guru is derived
from Sanskrit. There are two basic roots – Gu and Ru. Gu means
Ru means to dispel it. So a Guru is one who dispels darkness.
– I didn’t know that… :)
– What is this darkness ?
– Darkness is that dark state
where we cannot see
– Let’s do a small experiment.
I’ll take a box covered
from all sides. What I have inside is darkness.
– Now let’s say I have bulb inside
the box. When
I switch it on what happens ?
– There is light.
– So where did the darkness go.
The box was sealed.
i.e. darkness is nothing but the absence of light. They say the
of touching the feet of a guru started like that. When you touch
the feet of your guru you are showing your willingness to take he
path shown by your guru…
(joking) I don’t mind doing
that…. (thinks nice
(thinks)- Thank god I did my
pedicure just last week…
Ways to impress guys.. ;)
– Hey , you are a lot more
interesting that I thought
you would be… I was a bit hesitant coming for coffee with you.
I thought all we’d do is talk about our Boss…
– Actually, I am really tired with
work and am planning
on looking at alternatives.
– Oh , that is sad. Why?
– You’ve seen it all. I just over
which makes me tired. My parents are angry with me. I have no friends
now. I do not sleep well. I am just not happy.
– You think quitting would change
of this. Personally
I feel you are running away from thing.
– You won’t understand. Boss is
never angry with
you. Sit for 16 hours for a week at night. I even haven’t had lunch
for the last 3 weeks.
– You tell me if you were me what
would you do.
– Can I be frank with you.
– I feel you are just spoiling
– Let us analyze the entire
situation. When we joint
we had dreams and desires. We wanted to learn the industry. We wanted
learn technology. What all have we achieved. And where and why have
we failed when we did not achieve.
– I always wanted to learn. But I
was always overloaded
with work. I always had angry clients.
– Are they bad people. Were they
always angry. And
why are they angry.
– Various reasons. They have angry
They do not understand my problems. They do not appreciate my work…
– Why did they get angry clients.
Did you ask them.
– They generally say because
support is bad.
– Who are the support.
– We are.
– Now you sound like Boss… :(
– No I am trying to reason you.
The conclusion is
not that boss is bad… The conclusion is not found out as yet. Why
do we always find just the problems and stop. Why don’t we find
We are engineers.
– What do you expect me to do.
– We’ll go one at a time. But be
patient with me.
– What are the tools you use?
– The same as you. Linux , KDE ,
– No list it down
– I use Linux, KDE as the standard
. The other apps are Kmail, Konqueror, ClientDB, ShiftDb, Techzilla
– Do you use these too….
- Knotes – A small notes app
- Korganiser – A simple calendar and
- Kate – A simple and lightweight
- Gnucash – A simple accounting
- Karm – A personal time tracker
- Tea Cooker – A reminder
– No. I don’t use these. Why do
you need these.
– This is best explained with a
– Is it another one from the Guru
– It is a short one about the War
and Poland during World War I. Germany decided to attack Poland.
Poland had many great warriors. They all prepared to fight the Germans.
They were all ready with the best armour, the best and well trained
horses, and ofcourse the best weapons , swords , spears …. And
the Polacks were brave and were ready to give their lives for their
country. Sadly they did just that… give their lives. The Germans
– There is a lot to learn here. If
we do not go with
the right weapons at war we loose even if we have the best swords.
Now you know why we need the tools I mentioned above. You need to
check your spelling and see what you have written. You need to organize
your time and so on. Everybody gets only 24hours a day but everybody
is not Newton or Gandhi. It all depends on how well we use our time.
– Boss was telling me a story one
day about a motivation
(thinks) – Boss has all the time
to spend with Bholi…
– It was about a guy who was
taking a class. He takes
a big Jar filled with big stones. He asked the class is the jar full.
The class replied yes. He then smiles and puts in small pebbles in.
They just get into the empty spaces in between the stones. He does
it till it is full. He again asks them is it full. Now many say no.
Some say yes. He again smiles… :) He now puts in some mud which
again fills up in between the stones and the pebbles. He does it
till it is filled. Again He asks the same question. This time a larger
group says no it is not full. He say correct. He then pours in water
to fill the jar. He then asks. What is the moral of the story.
– No matter what we do we can
always squeeze in time.
– No. What would have happened if
we filled in the
water first. We’d have never put in the pebbles or the stones. The
moral is if had put the water in first we would have never put it
the stones. i.e. organize your time such that you do what is most
important to you first otherwise you’d never be able to do it…
– I never thought of that..
– Actually when I first heard it
even I never thought
like this. But now I believe doing things that matter first.
– BTW, it’s getting late. I better
be going now.
– Not wanting the conversation to
end. Why don’t
we meet again if you are free.
– Why don’t you invite me for
that. I am the girl…
– Sorry, Can we meet again
tomorrow. I really enjoyed
– I did it too… (He is so caring
and unlike the
others in the male race he has the ability to hear too… ) :o)
The next day Bhola was happier. He
worked better at work though
Bholi was always there in the mind. He somehow felt happy and worked
Again at 4:00 they met. Bholi reached
at 3:55 as usual. Bhola
was late again.
(smiling) – Hey how are we doing
– Great. Sorry I was late again
today. The truth
is just that I get confused on what to wear when I am coming to see
you so I end up wasting time… I know about the time management
lessons but it happens.
(thinks) – Small tip here. If you
would have used
the right words things would have sounded a lot different. Let’s
take for example the above sentence. “The truth is just that I get
confused on what to wear when I am coming to see you so I end up
wasting time… I know about the time management lessons but it happens.
” If I am a waste of time why did you call me again… If I were you
I would have said “The truth is I get confused when I am coming to
see you. After all as the stones come in first in the jar I just
end up spending a lot more time on just being my best… ” You’d still
be late but atleast you would could have complimented me in the
Some people never learn.
– It is OK I was just watching all
(looks at all the handsome guys
around and thinks)
– I am a fool. I could have made the situation in my favour the very
first day.. I really am a fool… :(
– Hey why don’t we just get into
the work. How do
you organize yourself and your time so well..
– You are asking all my secrets.
What would you give
me in return…
– I’ll give whatever you want.
– How about paying for my coffee
today for a change.
– Sure… :)
– OK, Yesterday we were talking
about the right tools.
Today I want to talk on one other major aspect. That is self
When we use the tools that is not enough. We need make the tools
useful to us. If the Germans knew how to drive the tank only they
would have done nothing useful with it. Maybe the Pollacks would have
won because they were brave and atleast knew how to use the
Germans had to know how to use the gun. More importantly they even
had to keep track of how much ammunition they have and how big the
enemy is. Only then they would win. So the tools itself is not enough.
We must know how to use it. Infer data out of it and then find out
if the tools satisfies the task we are carrying out. Techzilla is
just as useful as we want it to be. Do you ever see and evaluate
– I am always overloaded.
– You can’t even prove it…
– Are you trying to say that I am
not working. I
sit double the amount of time.
– I never questioned that. Please
relax, all I am
saying is that do a self evaluation on where you stand. That is the
only way you can graduate from the tank to aircrafts to submarines.
– Maybe you are right.
– Why don’t we change the topic
– No let’s just get on with this.
– OK, that’s the next point. We
must always have
an even balance in life on what all we do.
– Oh, I was not expecting that…
– :) . See my point is very simple
just sleep well,
work well and do other things you’d feel happier in life. See the
positive side of life you’d never loose…
– I must say that you are very
sensible. Before I
met you I never believed that beauty and brains go together. Now I
– Know what ?
– Oops. Sorry all I was saying was
that you are not
just beautiful but even brainy. Now that is rare.
– BTW , how many girls do you
(thinks.. OMG) – eer not many…
It is better not
to give the figure. I’ll just smile instead.. :)
– Let’s assume the smile means
– Barista is kind of monotonous.
Why don’t we go
for a movie today.
– Sure. That’s a good idea. But
you were to teach
me on how to organize life better.
(with that cool know all smile) –
Don’t worry I have
it all written. All you have to do is go through it and let know
how many of the Do’s you do and don’t you don’t…
She hands over Bhola a piece of paper.
Bhola thanks Bholi “Bholi
I am really impressed by the way you are always prepared.. :)
The paper had the Do’s and Don’t s of
- Sleep 8 hours a day
- Work 8 hours a day
- Express emotions
- Express happiness
- Express sentiments
- Express creativity
- Nature the artist in you.
- Understand and appreciate music
- Drink a lot of water
- Be physically fit.
- Do not over sleep
- Do not over work
- Do not over party
- Do not skip meals.
- Do not over eat.
- Do not remain monotonous in life.
How much of Bhola or Bholi do we have
Story – I would appreciate a
continuation from my kids so that
we can make a happy story…. Fairy tales always end with “And they
lived happily ever after…. ;) ”
To be Contd…..