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Solitude

When considering my career options, one thought I had was to pack my bags, withdraw my dollars and go to Chennai, India, and work as a recluse until I come out with a great product.

This month I was at home, sick, for two days at first and then a day the next week. Some virus that brought down almost everybody in my team. Being alone is nothing new for me. I was alone in the in-between-time when my room mates left for another project and my mom and dad were yet to come here to Seattle to visit me. That was more than a month of loneliness. However I was invited to dinner at one of my friends’ homes or the other everyday. So that didn’t suck that much. I have lived alone for months together on several occasions. But during the days I was sick, I was wondering how productive I could be if I just worked alone for a year… I didn’t even cook properly - mostly noodles; sometimes steamed rice and dhal powder. Once I walked to a nearby Thai restaurant for chicken fried rice. I had a great sense of accomplishment when I walked all the way from my home to the restaurant in Seattle rain - but the meal really sucked.

Then I started working with Mallik on a small project. Working with another guy has its huge merits. I will give you a small example… Had I worked alone on that, I would have rushed and bought the first domain name that popped up in mind as a good choice. I think he would have done the same thing too. He resisted my choice and I resisted his choice. After a few days, I came up with names better than my original. But the process is still on… Of course there are other benefits besides this balancing out too. We brainstorm real fast. Fresh ground coffee, discussions, more coffee and coding late into the night was real fun. It is fun but not that fun when you do it alone. I fondly remembered my kernel recompilation days with my buddies Manikantan, Ramesh Reddy and Karthik Balaguru. (Arunachalam didn’t come to many of those late night recomplie-fests for some reason)

I do realize the benefits of working with another person. My earlier desire to work alone can be traced back to an experience in college where we tried to run a startup. I can honestly say that it ran aground because of non-motivated friends who just played the role of tourists. There were several other reasons too. The experience kept me from collaborating with anyone. ‘Whatever you do, do it alone and be responsible and accountable for it’ became my motto. But now I understand the need to out-grow that negative experience.

I am quite successful so far. You can read this blog to know whats happening in the ‘new ventures’ portion of my life. Chances are, you don’t give a rat’s ass about it :-)

2 comments
Jagan wrote on Mar 23, 2006:
gud da..btw ..do u chk ur mails ? or changed ur id ?
maniosai wrote on Mar 25, 2006:
have you watched the film "lockup"? Its a stallone movie. In it he is in a lockup and he spends his entire time learning something and brings back a dead car to life and all that i could think was " If i had the time as a convict in jail, by god i could do a lot of things" But what keeps us from doing things when we are in the so called free world? Lots of things that a jail convict doesnt have to do that will bring down his productivity is done by people in the free world outside.

Just my thoughts>>