Category Archive Personal

ByJayanthi

PSG Tech reunion

As July 2018 dawned and dragged by, I could see a few of flurries of excitement here and there. There were subtle blips of happiness on the online radar too. Some of us were proudly announcing our itinerary to our happy destination on social media channels. We were all eagerly setting our plans for the big day and the planning committee was working in full momentum. There were invitations to be created and given, momentoes to be ordered, albums to be created, food to be ordered and oh, the list was an endless one. There were online meetings held regularly to plan and execute the things perfectly for the D-day!(Sitting inside the planning Whatsapp group was a special privilege(and one place I really managed to keep quiet! :)) and I could see the umpteen number of things that had to be done to make this day perfect and kudos to all of them to make it happen)

Where was this and what was happening?

This was the silver jubilee celebration for the Class of ’93/94 BE/BE(SW) of the alumni of PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India on July 27th, 2018. Going back to one’s alma mater is always a warm feeling for anyone, and visiting it, 25 years after graduation is extra special!! 🙂 Many of the alumni traveled from as far as the US, UK, Mexico and other countries to be together and celebrate this special day. 

25 years is a long time in a person’s life. We had grown through highs and lows of personal and professional life. Many of us had become “Sirs and madams” 🙂 in our organization and had reputations that were hard to beat. But still, we all traveled to the one place that made us feel 17 again! 🙂 We could throw all our caution to the wind and experience 1989-1993/94 again for just a day!

July 27, 2018!

The morning of July 27,2018 dawned and I was as usual late! It was 10 a.m. and I finally landed at my alma mater. Who was there? There was everyone(who had promised to come) and after a while I could recognize most of them. It was an amazing feeling to meet the entire(or almost) Class of ’93/94 in person. Even though we all play peek-a-boo on social media and see what others are doing in their life, it is a special feeling to meet everybody in person. We had changed in predictable ways and it really wasn’t difficult to identify everyone after a while. Life hadn’t changed and we were still in 1993/94, right? Nope – unfortunately not… 

For those of us who returned to Coimbatore after 25 years, the changes within the college were phenomenal.  The college had grown by leaps and bounds and there were newer departments. The bridge was absolutely new and traffic in our college was totally new to us! (When we studied, there were only a few buildings near us) Some of our old Professors were still present and it was pleasure to see them and reminisce their teachings(whether they remembered us or not! :))

The morning routine took place with precision. Sitting in the auditorium, recognizing old friends,  and whispering to my friends was a really warm feeling. Prayers were sung, speeches were given, momentoes and the batch report were presented. As the batch report was unveiled, it showed the stellar strength of our batch mates. Each and every one of us had done exceedingly well in life and some had even managed to retire! 🙂

Nostalgia took over and and as were re-living 1989-1993/94 days, we tried to see if the shops we used to visit 25 years ago were still around and we also wanted to see the hostel that housed us for 4 years(though I did not finally get to see the hostel) We wanted to see and experience all things that were present 25 years ago when the only work we had in life was to “study”! 

The evening saw the very popular ‘Tech music’ (songs sung by talented singers) and as the night progressed, it was evident that the glorious day would soon end. There were many who had weekend getaways planned to celebrate the silver jubilee reunion, but for me it was back to routine from the very next day.

As I came back home and was reminiscing the days leading up to July 27,2018 and the very day, I keep thinking when it will be when we will meet again…

On a side note, I observed that the Western world grapples with not having enough women in STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but we women in the reunion were light years ahead of our times. We, women engineers had conquered the ‘engineering Everest’ years ago and many hold high positions in the industry even today. 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Review of ‘A to Z of Mental Health’ By Arjun Gupta

About the e-book: A to Z of Mental Health tries to explore the various aspects of mental illnesses that are sometimes ignored.You will finish this book with richer and more meaningful knowledge about mental health and how it affects every person.

Review: Mental health plays such an important part in today’s life. It is heartening to see the world opening to such issues to help the sufferer. But it is even great to see such a mature topic been written by such a young author(he is only 20!) The author gives an insight into the mental health issues faced by forces in the army, navy, air force, colleges, the common triggers for many mental health ailments, diagnosis, technology and mental health and so on.

It is true that exercise also plays a huge role in healing all sorts of body ailments and and it is good to state that mental health is no exception. It is nice to see the author list the phone numbers in each city for any individuals seeking help on mental health issues.

Personally, I am not sure, if the Internet is a good place to seek any sort of medical advice for any ailment. The author correctly states that there are “no right answers” to be found on the Internet and it is better to talk your problems instead. 

A very good and purposeful book and I am sure it will help the individuals who are suffering. In addition, I also hope it motivates non-sufferers to help them and not shy away from the problem.

You can download Arjun’s e-book for free from this link:

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Writing

We writers are a lucky lot! 🙂 No, really…I mean it… what other profession allows you to don the multi-profession cape with the glide of a mouse?

Writing:

There are different types of writers – namely the medical writer, the technical writer, the travel writer, the poem writer, the master story teller but all of them share the pen that gives their thoughts a life. 

A writer can write about anything that he wants to – the butterfly, the cloud(technical and non-technical! :)) , the traffic (the web traffic as well as the physical traffic) , life of a chef, life of a programmer, life of a an engineer, the details of all the professions and so on… what a wonderful life! I have never enjoyed anything more in life than writing. It is the greatest boon to be able to write and write anything under the sun. And to think that I had never written anything major till my Master’s degree papers came along! 🙂

The difficult part of writing:

1.Unlike other professions, once you are done with writing about a particular topic for a period of time from different perspectives – I feel like “I am done” writing about the topic! And people are “done” reading about the topic too!! 🙂

For example, if I tell my son to read the other posts on my blog, after reading the one that has just been published (he follows my blog too! :)) he always says that he has finished reading them all! 🙁 

So, once I am done writing about a particular topic, I seem to be really “done”. And I think my readers are “done” reading the topic too! 🙂

The good part is that there are still plenty of topics to write about and even the littlest topic can evoke a great deal of emotions…

2. The second difficult part of writing sometimes is – that while writing itself takes a quite a bit of time with research and all(esp for my technical articles) but the reading hardly takes 3-4 minutes! 🙁 Sometimes, I feel like I should write a huge novel so that nobody can finish reading it quickly enough… 😉

Keep up with my pen as my writing adventures continue into the technical and personal fields! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Public libraries in the US

As I was reminiscing my US days, there was one place there which I still look back on fondly. Those were the public libraries in the US. Children and adults enjoyed the facilities of the libraries equally( and I am sure they still do! :))

What was awesome about the public libraries?

  1. A number of activities tailored towards kids of all ages

They had wonderful story times for children as young as 6 months of age. It was only a half an hour program but it was something that we(meaning – me and other moms and tots! :)) would never miss. My daughter was only about 9 months old that time and we would brave the cold and snow in the winter months, get our kids all dressed up, buckle them in their car seats and drive to our favorite destination. There were no rules that children had to be perfectly seated for the entire half hour. It was amazing how the kids enjoyed and the adults did get a reprieve from their adult life too! 🙂

It was also the best way for adults and kids to make friends.

2. Activities for adults

In the mood to play “trivia”?  Want to catch a free movie? Want to discuss a book that you recently read? All these facilities and more will definitely be there at your local public library in the US…

3. Free Internet access:

 There were a number of free Internet workstations for the public to use. I remember doing all of my Masters degree papers, assignments, homework in the library. It was one place I could have some “me” time and get some work done. Cafeteria facilities were always present for anyone looking to refresh themselves too.

4. How many books could be checked out?

There was no limit to the number of books that could be checked out with your membership card. However, they do carry fines which will be levied if books crossed the expiration date and are not renewed. 

Other wonderful things about the library were:

5. You could also access other online resources like e-books, e-magazines, music 

6. You could check out an iPad!(yes! :))

7. You could request books which were present in other libraries and they would be brought to you as soon as possible.

8. The library that I used to frequent also had International publications and I remember reading Tamil magazines in Michigan(though about a month late – but it was available! :)) You could access Hindi, Gujarati and all other language publications too.

How can you become a member?

All the facilities in the library are free(yes! :)) mentioned for members. How do you become a member? You just have to be a resident of that town(which can be proved by presenting your rental/mortgage agreement or electricity bill) 

If you are not a resident of a particular town and would like to access the library resources, you can also purchase a membership for an amount. 

Once you have your membership, you can enjoy all the benefits of the public libraries of the US and it will leave a lasting memory on you, like it did for me! 🙂

If you would like to visit my erstwhile library virtually, step in here……

And Happy 4th to all those celebrating! 🙂

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Review of ‘Diary of a baby’

About ‘Diary of a baby’: “Diary of a Baby” is a candid, witty take on life from a baby’s perspective written as diary entries, followed by interpretation phases of baby’s life from the author’s own parenting experience

Review: ‘Diary of a baby’ by Mahak Wadhwani is a wonderful read for all parents, to-be parents, veteran parents and parents-to-be someday! 🙂 I picked this book to read as I was sure I could relate perfectly to every word written in this book, as I am a mother of two kids. My kids crossed the baby stage long ago(my kids are 17 and 12! :)) but still I cherish every one of those memories. 

I was reliving every chapter with my own experiences. The author has presented colic and separation anxiety very nicely. Yes – they are difficult times for the parents as well as the babies. Some chapters had me rolling in laughter(you have to read the book to know what they were! :)) Sleep regression, teething, falling, wailing, bawling, rolling , anxieties  and more are there in ‘Diary of a baby’. And presenting it from a baby’s perspective is the best!!

I cannot imagine that such a beautiful story could be created for the 26 letters of the alphabet around the ‘baby theme’!! Kudos to the author for this!! 🙂

Excellently written and the chapters move along flawlessly… must read for all parents!

It is available for free only for a short time from this link.

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

TOP SECRET MISSION

Ebook 1: I take on the Baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Rashi whose ebook ‘Mansa‘ is also part of the mix. 
About Rashi’s ebook: “मनसा” अर्थात मन से उत्पन्न कुछ कविताओं का संग्रह है ये पुस्तक। इसमें कवित्रि ने रिश्ते, देशप्रेम और अपने मन की भावनाओं को व्यक्त किया है।  
 

My ebook experience/learnings:

The BlogchatterEbook carnival launched e-books that converted us bloggers into authors.The whole experience has been exhilarating one and I have received more recognition in the field of writing!

I had written a series of posts around my life in US and my e-book contains all of my posts regarding that. I thank Blogchatter and the entire team for supporting me in creating an e-book around those posts!

You can download my e-book ‘India or US? The constant struggle for educated India for free here.  

About my book:A number of individuals in their 20s, want to go abroad and once they are abroad they start missing India. These individual posts grasp the see-saw of most Indian families trying to balance Indian values and American life.

E-book 2:  I would next pass on the Baton of Blogchatter EBook Carnival to fellow blogger Rohan whose ebook ‘Annoyed Thieves Amid Darkling Armies‘ is also part of the mix. 

About Rohan’s ebook: Stir something
Be it any emotion
Joy, Fear, AngerChannel it
Towards a path
That leads a changeIn yourself
In the surrounding you live
In the society These are the words
Fearless, bold, outspoken
To stir something in you  

 

 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Review of ‘Murder in the palace and other short stories’

It is quite ironic that I am a writer but I rarely read fiction. But that may be because I do not write fiction. Having said that, I read ‘Murder in the palace and other short stories’ and this post just summarizes some of my feelings as I read it. It is written by Priya Bajpai for the ‘Blogchatter E-book Carnival’ season three. 

About the author:

Priya U Bajpai is a short story author and poet who has been published in mainstream newspapers. A versatile story-teller, she is adept at writing fast-paced and layered tales across genres. A voracious reader, Priya is a mother of a nine-year-old.

Read More

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

What is the appropriate age for kids to get a social media account?

Remember the age you got into social media? With Facebook being launched in 2004, Youtube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006, it is quite a possibility that you might have been in your 20s or 30s or older(or definitely younger! :)) Social media was a new phenomenon at the start of the new millinieum and kids born in the 90s might have established their digital footprint much before their parents could even understand this new concept.

As the first decade of the new millennium gave way to subsequent years, new social media sites emerged. What was this new concept – was the parents only question? Kids had learnt it faster and parents of young adults were lagging behind.  Was it good or was it bad?

Finally, as parents learnt the ropes of social media – they got hooked onto it(well, not all – but many did like it! :)) Social media was looked as a new way to get in touch with old peers and the very concept grew by leaps and bounds as more people endorsed it. Soon enough,  social media changed its avatars and it became evident that, it was not what it looked like on the top(which was – as a medium for sharing jokes and pictures! :)) It became a data collection tool, it became a tool for making money, it became a tool for snooping and more!

With so much going into social media, what really is the correct age for kids to get into it?

Kids observe as we parents spends a few minutes(or is it a few hours?! :)) on it everyday. They see the joy on our faces and think it must be some ultimate destination to be attained. With so much riding on it, I would think the perfect age to handle social media pressures would be around 17 years and up. At 17 years of age, kids will have some amount of Internet maturity. Further, they might need a social media account for their school and college work as well. 

Once on it, they need to be educated about ‘hygienic and safe Internet practices’ (if you are thinking what is that? 🙂 – I will write a separate post on that as well :)) This will ensure that they have a safe, good and productive social media experience. On the contrary, if they do not want to get onto social media even as a young adult, that is probably the best!! 🙂

What do you think – what is the correct age for your kids to be on social media?

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

My new e-book on Amazon Kindle!! :)

My e-book on my personal experiences travelling from India to US and back has been published!! 🙂 Buy it from Amazon today to read about our reasons for returning back, school education in India and US, the best place to return after a long US stint and so on…

Click the picture below to buy the book to read on Amazon Kindle:

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Myths about the US

As I start my writing again, I gravitate towards my pet topic of India and US again! 🙂

As I see the numbers swell outside the US Consulate to obtain a US visa, I recollect some of the myths that we dealt with when we were stepping into the US(many,many years ago!)

Shop from BigBasket!

  1. Rosy dream starts right away? Nope, the rosy dreamy takes time and patience… 🙂 I hear so much about people getting paid much better in US than in India – but that might not be true immediately. If you are in high demand states like California or New York in high demand professions like IT, it may be a possibility. But everybody goes through a settling phase of a new employer, new country, new prices , new car and so on. So, the magical six figure salary in US dollars might not arrive instantly for all.
  2. Cost of living in US is much higher than in India. Period. 🙂
  3. Even though we feel that “everybody” from India is in the US, the fact is that we cannot see “everybody” or “anybody” since everybody is in a different state and going from state to state to meet anybody/everybody is not feasible. So, in all possibilities you will see “everybody” in India, only! 🙂
  4. Will you earn better if you have a US degree? Nope, there too. It has always been the economics concept of ‘supply vs demand’ that has brought Indian professionals to the US. If you have the right skills that are in demand currently in the US, you don’t need a US degree to validate your experience(although pursuing higher education in the US is a delight 🙂 and a higher degree might prove beneficial later on in the career)
  5. Are jobs stable in the US? Nope, again! 🙂 Just as software professionals get paid astronomically they get laid off easily too. After all what is a company to do – when they themselves are sinking? And with immigration policies constantly changing, jobs are never a certainty. In addition, professionals ‘on the bench’ waiting for the next project is also a reality.
  6. “Can I start studying immediately?” might be another thought for those on dependent visas. Pursuing higher education in US is a wonderful experience but it does pinch the pockets. In order to pay for your graduate education, you may have to work as a research assistant or teaching assistant or do other eligible jobs(within visa conditions) Bottom line, US education is good but not cheap.
  7. Professionals get paid according to their location – it might not be so evident in India – but it is in the US. If you make $50K in Georgia, you need $81K in San Diego, California!!  For more information on cost of living calculators in the US, visit this link (Source: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/index.html)
  8. Health insurance is  an absolute necessity for all members of the family and for all visiting family members too. It can be quite tricky too. When living abroad, pray that you never fall seriously sick. Not only will you not have enough moral support, the physical support will be missing as well.
  9. Is driving hard in the US? Nope – on the other hand, it is quite a pleasure 🙂 One will definitely enjoy the perfectly regulated traffic and lane discipline. I know, I did! 🙂
  10. And lastly the spouses of those on H1 visas and F1 visas cannot work. This can be a real bummer particularly for women who were actively working in India.

Once you are done with all the ups and downs of finding the perfect employer and perfect place to live along with a good community, living in the US will be a dream come true! 🙂 (at least for a couple of years!)

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂