May 19, 2020

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

This book review is going to be slightly different. 

There are some books which can be explained, and some which needs to be felt. This one falls into the latter for me. 

So, if I try to explain this book in words, that will not work. But, if I do try to show you what this book entails, that just might work. 

’Tis a funny thing, reflected the Count as he stood ready to abandon his suite. From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family.
Sometimes you just do not know when you are going to be thrust into a situation which you have no idea how to handle! 

"But the Communist Party was not a “State of Nature.” Quite to the contrary, it was one of the most intricate and purposeful constructions ever manufactured by man. In essence: the hierarchy of all hierarchies."
This book offers a whole lot of perspective into the Russian communist times, though answers very few questions you might have around it.

"Yes, he continued in his thoughts, how fine almost any human endeavor can be made to sound when expressed in the proper French." 
Some of the references in French are beautiful. So, if you understand French, it will bring a smile on your face.

“Manners are not like bonbons, Nina. You may not choose the ones that suit you best; and you certainly cannot put the half-bitten ones back in the box. . . .”  
I am a stickler for manners and especially table manners, which brings me to love the etiquette which is spoken of here. 

"Nina coming back and with a small girl to be entrusted into his hands... Not something I saw coming. Makes it all the more interesting!"

"As a parent who has been thrown into being one, the Count has picked up so many innate things which parents naturally do. Many things which come as a part of being protective and an inherent love that you see for them." 
The relationship between the count and the girl is one which is filled with beauty. The parent role he has played to this small girl will make you believe that learning and parenting are mutually dependent once you become a parent.

"Surely, the span of time between the placing of an order and the arrival of appetizers is one of the most perilous in all human interaction."
Some wonderful anecdotes which will leave you in peals of laughter! 

Now if, as a rule, the Count generally avoided drinking after eleven, he absolutely never drank after midnight. In fact, he had even found himself quoting his father to Sofia on the subject, asserting that the only things that came from the practice were foolhardy acts, ill-advised liaisons, and gambling debts. 
A peek into the fascinating world of aristocracy, Russian aristocracy.

This is a book I enjoyed and would gladly give this one a 5/5.

October 1, 2019

You cannot always get what you want.

3 months back, there were many thoughts running in my head regarding relationships and how it seems to be getting the better of me. It seems to render me neither happy nor content, but tensed and resulting in a dull aching pain at my temples.

As Rolling Stones said - You cannot always get what you want.

Then, what do you do?

If you are faced with a situation which gives you immense pain, but you are choosing to accept this situation then how do you ensure that you are happy irrespective of the situation?

You choose to look at the pain as transient and decide that instead of assuming the many facts, just try to find the happy areas for you. And that is what I have tried to do also. Look into myself and find those pockets which truly make me happy. And keep the rest as requirements to be met. It seems like a project to me, much less a life. Having said that, if it does help in bringing in my peace and tranquility, why not?

I am a person who tries to avoid confrontation, and that is not a good trait, I already know it. And many times, the letting it go, ends up at immense frustration or an eruption of sorts which might run back to the original problem which I was anyhow trying to avoid.

Talking of not good traits, one of the other wrongs that I see within myself is the blaming myself attitude. I think if someone complaints of a problem, I seem to take it personally. This is not going to get me to solve the problem, nor is it going to help me have a neutral/ good relationship with the person involved. This again goes back to building unhappiness within me.

How do I solve these issues?

It is a very complex issue in my head, and I wonder whether I can solve them without changing a host of things within me. I keep thinking of these things, and when nothing comes out of all the thinking I am at a loss to how to change myself to suit the needs of my daily life.

Truly a loss of time and thought.

July 25, 2019

AWS Cloud Practitoner Study Guide

Recently I completed the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification, and I am mighty proud of picking this up and seeing it to completion. More so, as I have always been the one to be far away from the technical bits of technology and keep in line with only the business highlights. And somewhere down the line, I realized that there needs to be a more deeper understanding of what I am moving into. With the everlasting buzz of work, I needed an approach which would give me a clear path and an understanding of how technology is moving ahead and the why behind it all. 

Here I shall detail how you can go about pursuing this certification in a thought-out, logical approach.

Step 1: Read the exam guide. It is very short, and frankly you should start off by understanding where you are headed. This is your goal. One of the key things to remember is that there are 2 kinds of questions in this exam, multiple choice and multiple answer.The multiple answer questions will have only 2 valid answers though.

Step 2: If you have no background in AWS, or very limited knowledge about regular AWS terms, then start off with the Business Professional course. This gives you a birds eye view of the entire world of AWS, starting off from regions and AZs to VPC and subnets. You are required to create a certification account in AWS and then register for this course. Once you complete this course, this also gives you a digital certificate confirming you as a AWS Business Professional.

Step 3: TCO and Cloud Economics. One of the key aspects of the cloud is the Total Cost of Ownership and how you can trade your capital expenses for variable. How can you perform a detailed TCO analysis, and how do Cloud Economics work. This course can be found at the second position under recommended progression within the Business Professional path. 

Step 4: Once you have an overview of the AWS world, now move on to the Cloud Practitioner Digital course. This is a free course, which you can register for, in the same way as you did for the Business Professional course, using your certification account. 

Step 5: Now, take a look at the sample questions which are provided by AWS in relation to this exam. This will detail out the level of questions which can be expected for the exam.

Step 6: As a final step for preparation, there are 5 whitepapers which AWS suggests in the exam guide, and these whitepapers cover specific areas of the course content. These might take a while, as they are detailed, so in case you want to start reading these during your digital course, that could save some time. Or you can do this parallel to the sample exams so that they work as revision and re-affirmation of concepts.

Step 7: Sample Exams - I used a set of 6 sample exams from Udemy by Neal Davis, which worked for me to revise and check on my weak areas. There might be various sources which can be used in this step, so any inputs here can be added on as comments to this post.

Hope this helps, and if you need any specific information, drop a comment..

June 17, 2019

A Murky Path

In any relationship, there is a period of adjustment, how much ever you wish for two people to accept each other, or for two people to be perfectly sculpted for each other.

The question is how long does this period of adjustment last? When do you realize that some things will never change, and might just always be the same? There are some facets which are so ingrained that they are difficult to change. They might over a long period, and in some, they might never change. Would it be wise to just wait for that change or accept that this is the way it is.

And if you decide to accept the inevitable, as it might seem to you... are you completely accepting the inevitable? Or you are just choosing to ignore till you find an alternative? And would it be one of those things which you will keep repeating every chance you get.. ' I have accepted, then why can't you?'

This brings us to the question, "Can you really accept? "

There are many thoughts which have been tormenting me, and to know what is the true solution, and not to just deflect the situation.

Is it right to either of the two involved to be in such a relationship?

One who is never happy and one who is told innumerable times about how things are not right.