Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Driving in Germany on foreign soil

Finally in my third trip to Germany I decided to drive. I guess it is because I was alone not with my team. With an Indian license I am eligible to drive here but SAP requires one to take driving lessons to become familiar with the rules, accustomed to left the hand drive and familiar with the speed with which one should drive.

I arrived in Heidelberg on 8th of July and on the same day took my driving lessons. I met Thomas who was my instructor/coach. He was an English speaking German with a lot of patience and good understating of rules and regulations both in India and Germany. I drove for around 80 minutes, in the city, on the country roads and on the autobahn.

When I first thought of driving in Germany I was scared. There is a lot of difference between a left hand drive and a right hand drive but I guess when we start driving everything falls in place. It is a great experience.10th of July is my last lesson after which I will start driving my company car.J How I wish it is a BMW/Audi/Volkswagen but unfortunately I will have to manage with a FORD.

It feels great to drive on the Autobahn @180KM/HR that’s the max my ford can touch.

Make hay when the sun shines but can you Predict

This could be said about the Indian Stock Market. When I started trading the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) was at 6000 levels. I experienced good returns as the index doubled to 12500 levels.

I usually sell shares if my margin is around 20% but as the index was rising I decided to hold shares for a longer period. Everyday you see your shares increasing and the virtual profit made me fly high. I was lucky I sold all the shares I was holding when I was in Germany (just before the stock market crashed). If I had not sold my shares I would have lost all the money I had made in the last 12 months. Did I know the stock market would crash? I had no idea… just being lucky.

When the BSE fell by around 1000 points I decided to re-enter the market and bought Mutual Funds and some selected shares but lost a lot of money because of investing in an extremely volatile market with a bearish outlook. I guess my biggest mistake was to sell them after a month at a considerable loss.

Share trading is similar to gambling but we can make hay when the sun shines but can we predict when it will fall? It is time to make systematic investments and buy in small amounts every month. (Mutual funds or shares)

One night @ the call center - Chetan Bhagat

Five Point Someone and now One Night @ The Call Center and both of them are interesting stories and a must read.

One Night at the call center is a story about colleagues (Shyam, Priyanka, Varoom, Esha, Radhika and Military Uncle) at a call center and there boss Bakshi.

Some background:
Shyam's ex-girlfriend was Priyanka and he is still madly in love with her. Shyam lacks self belief/confidence and believes that he is not good enough for Priayanka. He is just an employee at the call center hoping to be promoted but will Priyanka’s mom feel that he is worth it?

Priyanka is all set to be married to Ganesh (a software geek with Microsoft, US). Ganesh and Priyanka have never met and have just spoken a few times. Ganesh is growing bald but he is rich and has a good/secure future.

Esha is 5'4" and extremely beautiful... hmm... HOT. She aspires to be a model and can do anything to be on the ramp. Had applied for Miss. India but 5'4" is just not good enough. L

Varoom likes Esha and has feelings for her. Varoom is this guy who loves to live his life... pizzas, junk food, bars and discos has had to earn to live a life style.

Radhika is married and she is a working woman. Family melodrama (the usual mother-in-law - daughter-in-law drama) Husband is working elsewhere and on his own trip.
Military uncle fought with his daughter-in-law and son... well... wants his daughter-in-law to stay at home and be a housewife. He now repents and wants to get back. Late realization L

Varoom and Shyam have created this website to help customers of Western Customers to solve most of there problems on the internet rather than calling the call center agents. Because of this site Connexion (the call center) has lost a lot of business. Varoom and Shyam are on a high and hope that this would give them a break that they deserve.
Bakshi, the boss only manages his career but is responsible for Connexion.

The most memorable Night
Priyanka spilled the news that she is getting married to Ganesh, a software engineer from Microsoft (US). Everyone was excited except our very own Shyam. He made arrangements to tap all calls from the emergency landline where Ganesh called Priyanka.

Every now and then Shyam would dream about his past dates with Priyanka. Could he compete with Mr. Microsoft? Is he good enough? All thoughts would trouble never left him alone.

Varoom planned to play the role of an RJ, called Radhika’s husband and asked him to dedicate a song and flowers to the one he loves. Radhika’s husband said he wanted to dedicate this bouquet and a song to his girlfriend Payal. This shocked Radhika… and she did not know what to do? Anuj had been cheating on her.

Varoom proposed to Esha but to his vain Esha was more interested in her modeling career. When Varoom got to know that Esha had slept with an agent to get a break in a major fashion show he called her a slut and abused her. (The agent spent the night with her and said she was too shot to be selected to walk on the ramp. Did he not know that before he slept with her? Esha was furious and felt extremely guilty)

Bakshi took credit for the website that Varoom and Shyam built. He was moving to Boston and decided to cut 40-50% of the staff.

The word of GOD and life changed since then.
Know what you want to do
Self belief/confidence
Just do it attitude and God will always be with you
Failure is the stepping stone to success

Varoom and Shyam decided to quit and start there on Web Design business, Priyanka decided that Shyam was the one she knew and loves and wants to spend the rest of her life with him, Radhika decided to divorce her husband and start her new life, Esha started to do social service in the mornings and work at the call center in the night and Military Uncle got to the US with his family. Esha and Varoom were dating.

Bakshi was screwed. Varoom and Esha sent out a mail from his computer to Esha… asking for sexual favor to promote her. They blackmailed Bakshi and got their revenge… “POOR” Bakshi had to do everything that these guys asked for. J.