The story so far……
Here is a fast (?) summary of my life so far. As I know that I will be boring you with all those mean details, here is a warning! Do not read further!
Born to middle class parents, I completed my early education in various schools owing to my father’s transfers. When you are too young, though you know it’s fun, but you always want to grow up fast, become an adult, in short be on your own. Alas! You realise that being an adult is no pleasure only when you become one. Unfortunately there is no turning back!
There is a poem by Smt. Balamaniyamma about the care free, hassle free childhood. If you can understand malayalam (I bet you can! I don’t think this site will ever be invaded by a non-malayalee!), here is a snippet from her spelled in English
"Ingini ethathe poyoren balyathin
Mangiyora nizhal kanmoo njanum
Balyam en jeevitha vasaram thannude
kalyam, kalithabhamaya kalam"
Let's get back into the thread again. After passing out from Holy Family Boys’ High school, Cherthala with somewhat flying colours (read as school topper), I joined for Pre-Degree course at St. Michael’s College, Cherthala. Education in Kerala is in the 10+2+3 pattern for normal degree. It becomes 10+2+4 in case of an Engineering degree. I had chosen to study biology group for my Pre-Degree course simply because most of my school friends were there. I did take Mathematics as my fourth optional subject. Pre-degree course went rather peacefully. I visited other places more than classrooms. Mostly bit of boozing the good old country beverage –Toddy with spicy fish curry, smoking Kerala Dinesh Beedi & playing cards under the cool shades of cashew nut trees were the major time pass activities of first year pre-degree course. The only subjects that caught my fancy were physics & mathematics. Then came exams & somehow I managed to get myself fairly through. As expected I had very good scores on mathematics & physics. If you belong to that particular year (1988), the physics paper was rather unusual. Soon my name was noted by some studious girls & they initiated me into what we popularly call as "pancharayadi". My rough exterior gave way for smoother texture! Though I was not in a position to capitalise my newfound timepass option, I enjoyed whatever titbit came in my way. Towards the end of the course I did develop an infatuation, but didn’t have enough guts to come out in the open! Okay I could have said that after much thought exercises I discarded the idea. Then it would only be eyewash. No, I did think of the practicality of the situation & answer came negative but the real reason was that it was too late!
The came the Entrance "Mahamaham". Every student back home wanted to be a professional those days. The word professional might be misleading as only engineers & doctors fitted the bill! Me too wrote those entrance exams. With the fourth optional maths in my bag I was free to write both engineering & medical entrance exams. Strange enough, I got through. Initially I was allotted B.V.Sc & A.H. (That’s an offer to get trained in Veterinary Sciences) in the medical stream. The idea of Animal Husbandry evoked a vague feeling of playing husband to an animal (Holy Cow!) did not go well into my head. Later when vacancies came up I was allotted a seat for M.B.B.S. at Calicut medical college. By then I had already joined College Of Engineering, Trivandrum for Applied Electronics & Engineering. Anyway with my fear towards blood & bloodshed I would never have become a good physician. Moreover I hated mugging up things. I thought I would put some of my creativity into work if I choose engineering stream. (Little did I know about routine maintenance chores in a power plant).
CET was a place where I spent 4 years happily. Hostel was filled with young, fresh & creative talent. The best part about an engineering hostel is that you will get company for anything that too at anytime! Before long I earned the name "Theri / Therikkuttan " which remains with me even today. I am trying hard to keep the name meaningful!
We had umpteen strikes, got involved in normal politics, formulated & presented many a drama at various festivals, boozed to our hearts' content, did all kinds of destruction & construction, in short had nice time. Academics were normally neglected till exams knocked at the door. Trying to get exams postponed was the first reaction. If exams become inevitable, then dug into books, shared what one found out in groups & managed to get not so ugly grades. Ultimately passed out (or should I say pissed off?) from CET with an aggregate of 79 % to join the elite group of unemployed professional graduates!
Luckily a job at the college as a guest lecturer was offered. As the dictum says, something is better than nothing, I went for it & "served" my alma mater for 2 months. However the seriousness required for the profession was yet to be mine. So assignments were valued in company of my friends & grading was done rather on the "face" value. My job was to ensure that nobody receives less than 65 %. Ultimately got bored with it because I always accused teachers without sufficient industrial exposure who used to teach advanced process instrumentation to us & now I was doing the same! Luckily I never handled those papers. What I dealt with was purely lab sessions & a module on elementary electronic circuits.
Rested a while at home applying for various jobs. SPIC offered a job in their Manali chlor-alkali plant near Madras. Jumped for it & I found myself staying in Alwarpet in TTK road near to Park Sheraton hotel. I had a classmate of mine for company. Pay was bad & rent was eating most of it! Sooner the classmate ( A.S.<watchu> Prasad)made a job switch & I was in soup. Again the damsel called luck smiled at me & I was given an appointment order from National Thermal Power Corporation.
For the first time in my life, I went out of south India into the capital city of India - New Delhi. The training consisted of one year of frolicking around different parts of India! From Delhi, I went to Agra, Singrauli in Uther Pradesh, Kota, Anta & Udaipur in Rajasthan, Korba in Madhya Pradesh etc etc. Needless to say while having fun around, learned a thing or two about power plants too. Finally I came to my present place of posting that is Talcher, Orissa in the eastern part of India. Power plants are normally located in isolated areas away from the main land. This is basically because of the huge land requirement of a fossil fuel based power plant. I do enjoy the serenity it provides but to say the least, IT SUCKS! I am missing the busy world & its hassles very much. If you live in the fast mad rat race city life, you probably be wondering about it. You only realise how much you enjoy it when you are in a place like mine. So any kinds of "job exchange" offers are welcome!
I was promoted into the grade of a Senior Engineer in April 1999 though it does not make much difference in the work. I was working with the Boiler Protection package for 2x500MW units. Subsequent to my promotion I was looking after the maintenance aspects of Distributed Control System for the same. The power plant I work for has country's first Once through Tower type Boiler (towering to the height of 100 meters). Hey why tech stuff here ?
Come 2002, one more promotion was given to me taking me to the rank of Dy. Supdt. Now i was given the responsibility of Turbine, generator and its auxiliaries along with Ash handling system. The job is becoming more demanding! After the marriage, so has become the personal life also! Presently, with the new born coming into my life, i am damn squeezed for time. I think the same story goes with many of you out there!
In 2005 yet another promotion was due & i was lucky enough to make it! I am now a Supdt. in NTPC Ltd. Recently company has gone public and as it is entering into different avenues of power sector other than thermal power generation also, got the name changed into NTPC Ltd. On the personal front, my wife got a job with Government of Kerala & shifted to our home place. A baby girl was born in August 2006. I proceeded to Delhi for pursuing a post graduation at Indian Institute of Technology. I enrolled for an M.Tech in Power Generation Technology in July 2006.Mail me if you read the whole story! I ought to get to know YOU