Rich God, Poor Man

These three little boys are extremely curious about everything in life and wandered into my gated house searching for my six year old dog. The oldest is 10 and is the responsible big brother and the youngest notes, “Even I am 6 yrs old“, when I tell him how old the Scotch is.

As I sit them on the sofa and bring them an apple each, they stare at all the gadgets in the house with awe.

How much is the TV, akka? Must be very costly no? Oh! Small computer! Oh! It’s called an iPad? How much does it cost? Must be a lot of money no? Nice mobile (cell phone). Look! I managed to unlock the phone. How much does it cost, akka?

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I fend off their inquisitiveness with answers that I believe are appropriate for their age. As the oldest and the youngest pet Scotch and enjoy their apples, the middle one wanders off to more apples kept at the puja area.

[It’s customary for most Indian households, especially Hindus, to have a little temple in the house; a collection of idols and pictures to bless the house. These idols are traditionally worshiped by lighting lamps and incense sticks and with offerings of flowers, vermilion, rice flakes or money.]

He carefully stares at the many colorful idols on the various sections and his eyes eventually rest on an idol that has been recently worshiped on. He fixates on an idol that sits smack at the center of a small podium, and has mounds of Rs. 5 coins lying around it.

Why is there so much of money put there, akka?“, he quizzes me, while settling back on the sofa.
It’s for the God. My mom must have done a puja with the coins.“, I respond.
But, God already has so much money. So, why are we giving him more money?“, he retorts, catching me off guard.
Umm…I…don’t… How old did you say you are, again?“, I ask my quizzer.

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I am 8“, he responds, ” and Mani anna is 10. My mama came home drunk last night and threw quite a fit. It was very funny, you know!” and he continues to munch on his apple.

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Nine months in a month

It had been a preparation that had lasted for over a month. We had collectively gone through each and available test prescribed and review suggested, to make sure that nothing new popped at the ultimate moment. We wanted to be covered from all angles, when it was destined to happen.

I had slowly but steadily learnt to accept the lump that was growing within. I guess people around me eventually learnt to accept it as normal too. If they had to see me through this, it was a part of the plan for them to be comfortable with this. I researched extensively on this subject, read about past experiences and learnings from them, anything to keep myself ready and armed when it happened. However, pretty soon, the realization struck; it dawned on me that all this was only making The task seem more daunting than normal. I stopped immediately.

I had heard about the possible of this scenario and expected to be prepared for it. But when it eventually happened, my heart sank, and somewhere someone within me died. They were right, no amount of technology or predictions could anticipate the exact date. As each set date passed by and a new deadline was set, the anxiety grew. With each missed date, we grew edgy. We wanted to get done with it, stomp through the entire process and let the results do the talking in public. It had stretched beyond expected timelines, it had become a tan that lasted too long to turn into an undesirable itch. We had to be done with it and move on.

When I woke up that day and smelt the air, I knew it was going to be it. There was that strange smell of foreboding and the numbing headache that had begun to develop did not help either. Each passing minute through the day got us inches closer to the final fate that awaited. Friends and near ones lent a distanced hand of support; It is a tough time to lead through; We hope it all goes through well; You are a big girl, know you will do fine. . The silence that comes when these wishes subside is suffocating and it was indeed getting harder to breath.

Was it really going to be OK? What if I did not live to see the tomorrow that lay ahead? Did I make the right decisions so far or was this the worst decision that I had made? Should I have listened to God and gone ahead to school? Or should I have gone with what Goddess suggested and gotten married first? Hell, there was no turning back and what had to be, had to be.

The turmoil began at the exact strike of the bell, as if it nature had its plans crisp and clear. With each ticking minute our nerves tightened in preparation; all we were waiting for was a wail or a cry that pointed out that things weren’t going normal. Operation abort! There were experts huddled around, studying the rise and fall of mere lines to portend an imminent failure. Every few minutes we walked by the Specialist, to read his face for distortions. An extra sweat and we’d know the tide was high.

But truth be told, none of what I’d imagined in my nightmares really happened. Dreams after all! The minute came, the trigger was pulled and we moved over from not-having-it to having-it-and-loving-it. A few cursory checks and there were glimpses of a smile beginning to form on a few faces. OK, “a few cursory checks” is an outright understatement, considering the few hours we spent validating through every available test. We ran through hundreds of available reviews and controls, auditing each success or failure points. It had been one of the most thorough scrutinies I had seen in a while. And yes, the smile was all worth it.

We took more than a few minutes to let it sink in. We had done it, again, and had walked through to the other side, super happy. We had just deployed a little over a 100 items into production and the system remained stable during and after it. The load test conducted through the night, simply confirmed what was already known.

The latest production release was a success, indeed!!

: P