I was born in Hyderabad, India at a hospital close to the HAL campus where my maternal grandfather was stationed. As soon as we were able to travel we (mom and me) moved to Bhubaneshwar to join my dad who had just started a new job there working for a company that was making PC XTs. During our time there, I was surrounded by kind, caring people who of course showered affection and gifts on the new kid. Thanks to my dad's job, we also got a PC XT at home, now for the late 1980's this was cutting edge stuff. For me, it was the start of a love affair that has lasted over 23 years.
After a few years, around the time I was ready to join the education system, we moved back to Bangalore and I got encountered the first of many lucky accidents in my life. My dad's friend who had gotten me into a Kindergarten school had registered me for UKG, not realizing that I was supposed to join LKG. Well, I never did do LKG and have always been a year ahead of most kids, since then. But alas, our stay in Bangalore was short lived as we moved to Kochi in the state of Kerala, India where my father had just been offered a position as the head of a brand new electronics manufacturing unit.
My four years in Kochi were awesome! My school Bhavans Vidya Mandir had a large airy campus that was a kid's dream and excellent teachers who gave me a flying start to my education. We also took numerous trips during the summer to some lovely sightseeing spots around Kerala. I learnt to cycle, play cricket, guitar and the keyboard. I had a fantastic teacher who was patient, experienced and persistent. Well his hard work and my practice paid off when I won the Kerala State Music Championship (Guitar) for my age group on a beat up old Electric guitar which my teacher had given me. I still have that guitar today (18 years later), though I haven't played in a long time. I haven't kept in touch with any friends from my time there but I have many fond memories.
As I started 5th standard (or grade) we moved back to Bangalore and thus began another phase of my life, this one lasted eight wonderful years. I began school at Sri Kumarans Childrens Home (C.B.S.E) and stayed there till i finished high school. Over the years, I made a lot of friends, had fun, learnt a lot and grew up like most Indian kids with the aim of joining a good college so I could get a good job.
I am lucky to have learnt from some wonderful teachers who laid a great foundation for my knowledge. Many of my friends from school are still good friends today, though we have scattered to the four corners of the globe, we still keep in touch. They are such a huge part of who I am, that I can't imagine who I would be without them.
When I was in 8th standard, my dad took a job as the head of a manufacturing unit near Jakarta, Indonesia. But because the education system in India was way better than Indonesia, and my father's own company in Bangalore, my mother and I stayed back in Bangalore. My father's company used to fly him home every quarter so he could spend a few weeks with us and even better, used to fly my mother and me to Indonesia every summer so we could spend a couple of months there during my holidays. I used to love my summer holidays in Indonesia, with stopovers in Singapore. My curiosity for new cultures had been piqued and I continue to explore this even today.
The second lucky accident in my life was the introduction of the AIEEE exam as I prepared to join undergraduate life. My senior year at high school, like most Indian kids, was spent trying to get into IIT for my engineering. However, that was not to be, as I failed to get a good enough rank in the IIT-JEE Main exam which has a less than 0.1% acceptance rate if you wanted to do Computer Engineering. This however, turned out to be the best failure yet, as I joined National Institute of Technology, Karnataka for a B.Tech in Information Technology and spent the a fantastic four years in a college that boasts a 52 year history of producing world class engineers and is one of only two university campuses to have its own private beach.
My four years at NITK, were my first experience away from home, but fortunately it was shared with some of the best minds in the country in our age group. The friends I made in college are for life and like any close friends they helped shape who I am today. During my time there. like all undergrads everywhere, there was no end to the complaints and groans of how horrible our college was. But like all parents, mine listened to these rants with a smile on their face. They knew something that I have realized since leaving college, all the the rants stopped the day we graduated and our college became the best place in the world. I still itch to go back to the campus even if it is for just a few days. Those four years at Surathkal gave me the strength to be independent, confident and the ability to live anywhere. It also resulted in my landing my first job.