At the airport – at an interesting junction in life

Not just another birthday!
For the last  18 months or so my life had got into a rut , and was feeling like just "another brick in the wall" . Life was comfortable and fun – it was a Microsoft job after all –  but something just didn’t feel right.  On my 25th Birthday (4th Feb 2009) – this was ironically the time MS was having its first set of layoffs – and at a point of time when everyone was only too worried about keeping their jobs the only thing which really scared me was being stuck with mine for eternity .  I think I figured out my priorities , and gave myself a self imposed deadline , that my next birthday really needed to  be different . It needed to be a turning point in life and a transition for the better . And if not anything else , a more adventurous phase.  Sitting around in meeting rooms , filling up the same reports  , and in fact even the sheer predictibality and regularity of my paycheck – this was all a good learning experience – but it was definitely time to move on to something new.
And so I began the planning phase . I wanted to make sure I shipped the product I was working on and fortunately , that was going to happen pretty much around the time I  would turn 26 . And now , it’s all happened so quickly .
29th Jan – Last day at Microsoft
2nd Feb – Flew to Los Angeles  ( Met Baby Mia , very important !!) And took a look at the uber cool stuff is upto ; Thanks Tim !
4th Feb – I turn 26 as a free guy !
6th Feb – Back to Seattle , arrived at 6:30 pm in the evening. Important lesson from the Los Angeles trip – Virgin America is a Damn good airline. And priced like all others !
7th Feb – Can’t believe it , zooming off to the airport at 4:30am in the morning , time to say a final goodbye to Redmond , Babar (my roommate) and the comfort zone which I had become so used to for the last couple of years. In fact , now that I think of it , my whole discomfort of the last 18 months or so has been the fact that I was too deep in a comfort zone too early in life .
Okay , I’ve said enough about leaving Microsoft and Redmond .. and about heading back to India . What exactly is my plan ?
Some stuff of my own ; and some super cool stuff for a Los Angeles based startup , And given that I now have my destiny in my own hands and pretty much no one to pass the blame onto … that’s a lot of motivation !
Both Microsoft and the United States have been an amazing experience in terms of learning , fun , travelling and what not. The American way of life is just too easy to get used to , and you know what , for the most part I think it’s pretty nice .  
With the available resources and given the restrictions of being on a work-visa status, going back to India seemed to be the logical thing to do.

Moving to India Checklist . 

Now that I’m sitting to check off all that I did – I realize it was a LOT.
– Selling of my car . This was my biggest headache and sometimes I felt like giving myself a tight slap for buying an expensive Beemer. But selling off my 325i was not too bad an affair and I convinced myself that I owed this to myself to compensate for so many (self inflicted) agonies in life since the beginning of the decade – Jee > IIT > Overload at IIT > Fighting to get a good job … etc etc .
– Handing over the apartment lease . This turned out to be the task which caused me a good deal of tension for the last 1-2 months. I could have lost a lot of money here . Fortunately I got someone to takeover the remaining 5 months on my lease in the very last week.  Sigh of relief …
– Money management . I was too lazy to open half a dozen investment accounts , so I had been transferring this straight to India for the last several months. Lazy thing to do , but in hindsight very sensible , because now I don’t need to go through the ordeal of extracting money from my 401k ( which I was too lazy to sign up for 2 years ago 0 .
– Packing.  Dumping stuff , throwing stuff , shipping it off , and finally only to pleased to check in an overweight bag at SeaTac half an hour ago. Some one else can take care of my headache – that is , till it arrives at Delhi , and I’m again solely responsible for chugging along some 60 kilos of stuff.
– Bank Accounts – I’m just going to change to address to my home address .
– What did I feel bad about not having space to fit : Sob sob , my remote control plane and helicopter 😦 😦
All said and done , I’m at ease right now , but I’m also not too happy with myself for having kept a whole lot of stuff completely unplanned right till the end , despite knowing a long time ago that I was going to do this .
But I’m also happy that I Shipped Sharepoint 14  (almost) !!!
Off to the boarding gate now.
All that stuff was written at SeaTac – and I’m already at Newark . Staring at the sunny skies outside and wondering whether to put my 5 hour stopover to some good use by going into Manhattan . But no , I might as well just hang out at the airport . The ordeal of going through the security gates again is not very appealing.
I just paid 8 dollars for 5 hours of Wi-Fi internet access and I’m wondering what exactly is there in the Web  that I just can’t live without it .
This entry was posted in returning to india , entrepreneurship , Leaving Microsoft , startup , Bookmark the permalink.

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