Ghost Out of Shell

In this post are the thoughts running through my head nowadays. Dreams, hopes and fears. I am depicting myself to be the ghost getting out of my shell created by years of social isolation.

I am going to Bangalore. Jobless and almost empty-handed. But full of hopes, and fears. Hope that it will be the place I imagine. Silicon Valley of India. Of course not as good as SF, may be more like a pirated version of it. I am pretty scared. There are far too many "if"s and a lot I've put at risk, some pretty sexy opportunities I've ditched to keep the commitment I made with myself a while ago, and a pile of lies I imagine would be too heavy to bear if any of the "if"s returned true.

Ghost? Shell? Wtf?

I am living in a sort of social isolation for past 4-5 years. I live with my family, 90% of my villagers don't know I am a resident of this village. They know there are two "kids" in my home, but most of them think I live in hostel or something. This is abnormal. My village is pretty small. Everyone knows everyone else. I've been living a ghost like existence. Why? I don't know why. Standing in group of people bragging, teasing and sharing (almost always wrong) political wisdom never amused me. I rather prefer to sit in front of the light filled rectangle and put something amusing in my head to churn.

Why am I doing this?

I've been unfortunate to never had a mentor who could understand me and could show me a path. A guide can mean a lot. Trust me. I consider myself very lucky, and even I couldn't get much out of trial and error methods of finding a path for myself. I am talking about guidance in technical realm. All I could become by 2 years of relentless pursuit on my computer was a lost techie.

I am lucky. Things always fall in the right place for me. They do eventually. That's why I don't usually panic when shit goes wrong. But it doesn't mean there is no sense of fear or anxiety. There's a hell lot of it. Stupid belief (and a history to back that belief) that everything will fall in right place eventually allow me to do crazy things and stay with them.

Why this babbling? I was to tell why I have decided to move to Bangalore instead of staying in the city closest to my village (Chandigarh) and get a job there. Or may be freelance but stay in Chandigarh. I won't get a job because I don't want to let James go. I got into him from a stupider blog post of mine which hit HN, and have worked for him for past 5 months. I've learned a lot from him. But it's not finished yet. There is much more I have to learn from him. And he's got a vision for a great product we are working on, and I want to be the one who materializes his vision.

I can stay in Chandigarh and do freelancing. I've ditched 2-3 pretty lucrative jobs in here. But I want to get out into a tech land. I would have gone out of India if I could, but unfortunately my finances won't allow me to. Bangalore will be good enough I think.

Go through hell and die

James told this to me once. We were discussing about how near-death experience change a person's perception of life, how it fades away, and how James became what he is after going through hell multiple times; having a ridiculous debt on his head and getting out of it working every waking moment. James said my true potential will come to surface only when I am working with my life on line. I am pretty much already feeling like that; but this feeling might be temporary. Fear of change you say. This is going to be the biggest change of my life so far. I suppose being jobless in a (rather expensive) place so far from home will be ideal life on line situation. Keeping the pile of lies I've earned is an added bonus. This is a drowning feeling (although I have yet to leave for Bangalore), but I'll have to get over it, with shear brute-force if nothing else.

The pile of lies

Indian parents don't let go their children (I am 22) that easily. (Financial) security is most important thing for middle-class. So I had to create a whole plot to make my voyage to Bangalore resistance free. In this plot, I've got a job in a software development company who make software for Australian government. They pay me Rs. 35,000 pm, and I can save about Rs. 20,000 per month (send Rs. 10,000 home and Rs. 10,000 my personal savings). My parents have a thing about getting me immigrated to Australia (my cousins are Aus citizens), so it was extra sugar to keep them from having second thoughts. I have a (verbal) deal with James by which he pay me about $1250 per month and make me write whatever software for him. But what "if" something go off track and this deal is broken? I wonder what I could do to save RS. 20,000 a month unemployed. I have almost no other connections to get freelance work, and I don't know how hard it is to seek a well paying job in Bangalore. Given my meager bank balance, if James decide to ditch me, I wonder if could keep myself fed for a month.

Freelancing as a Junior Developer

Freelancing I've experienced is not as easy as it sounds for a new born developer, especially if you seek perfection and aim to have long lasting bonds with clients. There are some things which you learn only with experience. Even if you're successfully making a living freelancing, it comes with a price. Learning a craft is many times fast and efficient if you learn under the shadow of a master. I am depicting senior developers / product managers here. I am still doing this, because James play those two roles for me. He teaches me a lot, more like a personal trainer and pay me more than I think I can get on a job given my portfolio. So it's a win-win for me. If I had time I would create a place on interwebs where Senior level devs could find apprentices (to do stuff for less pay and more interest?), and (passionate?) people kickstarting their carrier could find mentors/employers to polish them. I would call it Internstine.

How am I feeling?

Excited. Scared. More of latter. I've never got out of Chandigarh and given my utter lack of sense of direction, I get lost in almost every place. In the title of this post, I am considering the "shell" I am leaving to be of protective nature rather than limiting. I'll have to worry about finding a place to live, food, clothes and all sort of stuff I never had to think of when at home. I imagine me getting lost on airport, then on taxi stand, on the place where I am supposed to get a hostel to live in, everywhere. I am excited I'll hopefully be in a community of like-minded people. I hope I'll get chances to get into them, I imagine tech meetups and hackathons to be a thing of daily life. That's one of few things I think of and not piss my pants.