Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 Random Facts about me

There is this viral campaign on Facebook where folks write 25 Random Facts about themselves and then tag 25 of their friends to do the same. Mainstream media like the NY Times have written about this. Four different people have tagged me on Facebook. Rather than continue the trend on Facebook, I have captured the 25 Random Facts about me in this post. They are not in any particular order.

1. I am a can-do person. I find ways to make things work. I firmly believe in "If a path does not exist, create one."

2. I hate nay-sayers. It surprises me that the first thing that many people say when posed with a task/challenge is "no".

3. Of course, I believe in being reasonable about the tasks that one undertakes. There is no sense in "biting off more than you can chew". Life is often a delicate balance between the time available and the time it takes to do things that you are passionate about.

4. I am currently passionate about the start-up that I am a co-founder of. I got involved in this after my long stint at Sun Microsystems. We are off to a great start where we have pitched to a few folks and they are excited about the concept of getting high value, personalized information delivered to them when they want it, where they want it. I cannot say much more now - since we are in stealth mode. I hope to be able to communicate more details through these channels very shortly.

5. I am truly excited about what the future holds. I have the ability to get things done and a passion for getting technology to the masses.

6. I am not a video game/computer games player and cannot understand that psyche. I think that it is simply a huge time sink.

7. My happiest memories are the dates of my marriage to Jayanthi, the birth of our older son, Akshay and the birth of the twins, Rohan and Madhuri.

8. I am a trivia buff. I was often invited to conduct Quiz tournaments in my college days. My favorite show on TV is "Jeopardy". I have run the annual "GATE Olympics" for gifted children in the Fremont Unified School District for the last five years.

9. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with co-authors BV Kumar and Tony Ng on the book, "Implementing SOA with Java EE" published by Prentice Hall. This got me invited to give a talk at the International SOA Symposium in Amsterdam in October 2008.

10. I am the Technology Chair at the Elementary School where my kids go. Whenever time permits, I help the teachers in the school with Technology issues.

11. I am on the Advisory Board in the Computer Science Department of CSU East Bay.

12. I am proud of my association with Zembly - my role in incubating the project, building the team, seeing it come to life, shepherding the creation of two deep, meaningful social applications - myPicks Beijing and myPicks U.S. Elections, spearheading the book on Zembly and building the partner eco-system for Zembly.

13. I love traveling - seeing new places and meeting new people. I have been fortunate to travel to 100+ cities in 20+ countries. You can see a complete profile of cities I have visited in the Facebook app, Cities I've Visited here (you need to add the app to your Facebook profile)

14. I am an avid photographer. In addition to a getting a good D-SLR camera (I own a Nikon D-60), I highly recommend getting a good digital photo frame (I am very pleased with the SmartParts OptiPix 10.4"). Take lots of pictures (I regret having taken just 10 pictures during an enchanting week that we spent one winter in Lake Chelan, WA) and upload selected pictures to the photo frame. Each picture has a story of its own.

15. We recently started collecting shot glasses from each city that we visited. Already, the collection is at 50+ glasses.

16. The memory that I will cherish forever is when we visited with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Read more about this in an earlier blog posting.

17. My father is the oldest of 9, my mother is the oldest of 3, I am the oldest of 4.

18. I am looking forward to my parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration this summer. Our family (siblings, spouses, children) will all be together for the first time ever!

19. My saddest memories to date are the deaths of three people dear to me - my maternal grand parents and my father-in-law.

20. I am an official USCF Tournament Director. I have helped organize large scholastic Chess Tournaments (with over 1500 kids participating). I am proficient in the software that is used to conduct large Chess tournaments.

21. I am a U.S. Soccer Federation licensed soccer referee. My referee grade permits me to officiate competitive youth games until a certain age level. I can pass more tests and go up the ladder - all the way to officiating MLS soccer games! I am also the coach of my son's soccer team in FC Fremont.

22. I am a little-league baseball umpire and often umpire games at Warm Spring Little League.

23. I was hit by a drunk driver in a road accident in Yuma, Arizona over 20 years back. Unfortunately two of my good friends, Alka Jain and Rashmi Khera, both brilliant software engineers, were killed in that accident. Since I have temporary amnesia from 1 hour before the accident until five days after (during which period I was in the ICU), I have no recollections of the accident.

24. The most frightening moment that I can remember is when our 3-year old went missing in a very crowded Chicago train station on Christmas Eve eight years ago. We spent the next five minutes frantically searching for him. Just imagine the relief when we spotted him being carried by a Station Superintendent asking, "Is anyone missing a child?"

25. The last time I remember weeping openly was when they they had to cut a dime-sized incision into our older son's shoulder to remove staph bacterial infected flesh - apparently caused by some insect bite. That was 10+ years ago!

No comments: