Some Personal News

Hi!

It’s been a while, I know. My blog has been on hiatus since last half of 2020 as I was relocating to California. Lots of paperwork, painful waiting times and an abrupt departure from Chennai. I’m glad it all turned out fine.

Must mention that my manager and my company have been my rock, helping me navigate through the transition with a lot of support and encouragement. Indebted to their kindness.

I’m back now. I’m also aware there are new readers here for good reasons. Welcome!

I thought I’ll ease back into product stuff after sharing some of my observations here in the Bay Area. Not everything, of course. Mostly the ones I enjoy.

This post is THE social media theme for many Indians who move to the US. I am gracefully passing up the great opportunity to remind you a hundred times where I live and how exciting my life is.

Culture

No shocks in the culture department which many Indians would experience on their first trip to the US. I have already immersed myself in many local jokes and cultural differences through Quora, YouTube vlogs and Twitter wars. So far so good. People are warm and exceptionally warm at retail outlets. Someone even went as far as asking how I was doing.

I like that people mind their own business and don’t tread into your personal space unless you have an AirBnB. (I haven’t yet seen my neighbour!) Social distancing is a systemic feature here.

Time

Back in India, I’ve never tried managing a household fully on my own. I never volunteered either. Today, I do and I feel proud about it. From learning to ferment dosa batter from the scratch to taking decisions on my own and managing my time doing something productive every day.

It’s strange. Leaving the familiarity and comfort of my home country makes me feel real. In retrospect, adulthood seems like an infantilizing experience that I could have easily avoided when I got the chance to live life on my own terms in 2017. But no regrets. Really. What happens, always happens for the best.

Life is fast-paced. I have lots of work and see myself having to engage in a corporate style of scheduling calls with friends and family ahead of time. With daylight savings that kicked in recently, it has become all the more difficult to stay in touch.

Travel

I’m still getting to terms with the abundance of land and on-demand supply of hot and cold water. Both are a big time sink.

For almost 10 years, I have been a power user of all kinds of public transports in India. Now, I can’t move from point A to B without a car.

The weather is too pleasant to miss activities like hiking. I got around to do some easy hiking at Twin Peaks and a tough one at Mission Peak.

Food

As a vegetarian who doesn’t prefer egg, milk and wheat, and who has a sensitive skin and gut issues (like it wasn’t already difficult enough), Bay Area’s food options are a real saviour!

You will find gluten-free, vegan alternatives to any food you like in most big retail shops. Dairy-free ice creams, chocolates, cheese and what not. Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market are my favourites so far.

California being the salad bowl of the country, you get high quality vegetables and fruits at a reasonable quantity and price. The soil is so fertile it supports a great variety of fruits and vegetables. I’m trying to grow a few in my patio.

Orange Tree in a friend’s backyard

Career

People work insanely hard throughout the week that I figured only their pets enjoy a great life in the Bay Area.

A lot of exciting opportunities have knocked on my doors. I’m taking my time with it for a change and not rushing to avoid a gap-toothed resume.

Alright. That’s all for now from my little, new world.

As promised, in the upcoming posts I’ll be writing:

Importance of User Research and Techniques
Interview with a top strategist from PayPal
Making the Most out of Inspect Element (co-authored by a PM colleague)
System Design Teardown of Netflix (Hopefully, a vlog)

I’m also fleshing out a doc with notes on Product Management. If you’d like to co-author it with me, feel free to comment.

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