Monday Nov 26, 2007

OSDB at Sun Tech Days, 2007, Shanghai and Beijing

OpenSource Database technologies such as Java DB and PostgreSQL got a lot of attention at Sun tech days in China. This blog is enough evidence of the busy times we had at the database booth at Shanghai tech days. The story was the same at Beijing with even more people visiting our booth.

China is very impressive! They have a strong and matured developer community. We do not get to see them, work with them in the communities much, may be because of the language barrier there is, but I was actually amazed by the kind of knowledge and expertise they have. It will be really nice to see more of them in the communities.

During the course of both the tech days, I interacted with a lot of people, mostly developers, marketing folks and students. I was doing a dual role at Shanghai evangelizing Java DB and PostgreSQL, as we had only one booth for both the technologies. At Beijing, we managed to have separate booths and I was mainly doing Java DB. Manyi's talk at Shanghai tech days was a great success for the kind of
response we got and the amount of interest that was shown in Java DB by the audience.

It was very overwhelming to see that the developers were keen to understand how they can use Java DB in the multi tier system. This was a very frequent question that we faced including few very focused discussions around how Java DB could be used in the middle tier for their specific design. I genuinely felt a need for more focused talk on 'Java DB in multi-tier architecture'.

Another frequent question that is worth a mention here is weather it is possible to use Java DB in consumer and mobile devices. The fact that there is more demand in china/japan for sophisticated gadgets, this was not so surprising. It was really useful to talk to many developers and understand their applications. In a lot of their applications like test automation systems, in-house group blogs and other web based utilities, I could help them understand how Java DB could be useful. Given the amount of good work we are doing at the Apache derby community, it was satisfying to see that people will benefit from its rich feature set.

The trip was a great experience and having Manyi Lu and Wei-chen Lu (who can speak chinese fluently) was a great help for me to be able to interact with people only speaking  Chinese.

Manyi also shared her tech days experience, that is available here.

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Indians are googling Java DB !!

A simple query on google-trends shows that Bangalore, the software capital of India and chennai, the next one to bangalore, are topping the list of  Java DB demand. Asia is at the highest spot among the regions and India is at the top.

hmm... Interesting !

Friday May 25, 2007

JavaDB on JavaME platform

As the consumer devices get more sophisticated, more complicated applications will run on devices and there will be greater need to manage the application data. The need for running database engine on small devices will thus be very critical.

JavaDB, a cost effective, easy to use, fully featured, pure Java database with a very small footprint (2MB), looks very promising  on small devices. I tried running it on the latest phoneME advanced (JavaME CDC) platform and could not resist the excitement of putting the details together in this blog. The procedure is very straight forward.

Prepare your setup as below, 

1. Get the latest phoneME advanced platform. Currently, it is supported only on Linux-x86 platform.
2. Get the latest JavaDB release.
3. You also need the JDBC Optional package library for CDC platform. It can be built from the source using the step by step instructions.

Now, try following on your linux box,

<CDC_HOME>/bin/cvm -Xbootclasspath/a:<JDBC_OP>/foundation_jdbc.jar 
-cp <JAVADB_HOME>/lib/derby.jar:<JAVADB_HOME>/lib/derbytools.jar

Note here that the JDBC Op package can also be built along with CDC binaries, as mentioned here. then, Xbootclasspath need not be specifed while running. By default, the CDC build does not include JDBC Op package, hence we include it in our example.

Please note that, JSR 169, The JDBC Optional package does not support java.sql.Driver. So, the 'ij' cannot be used in its typical form to connect to database via a JDBC driver. The connection in this case is established using the JDBC DataSource.

This will bring up the íj prompt. 'ij' provides Command Line Interface to interact with a database using SQL. You may create such connection directly from your ME application using DataSource objects. You can try some simple steps like below to further test this setup.

ij> create table t (id int not null, addr varchar(20));
0 rows inserted/updated/deleted
ij> insert into t values (1, 'PlanetSun');
1 row inserted/updated/deleted
ij> select \* from t;
ID         |ADDR                
1          |PlanetSun           
1 row selected
ij> exit;

Any database that may have been created by desktop Java application can be read/modified on JavaME platform and the same database can be used by the desktop application again. This can be accomplished so easily only with Java-JavaDB combination!

Wednesday May 23, 2007

Building JDBC for CDC/Foundation

JDBC Optional Package for CDC/Foundation Profile
was released back in 2004. This optional package is required on the CDC platform for any JDBC driver to work. As part of the Reference Implementation download, only source (and documentation) bundle was released. The intent here was that people who have ported CDC platform to their own platform of interest should be able to build JDBC Op Package from this source against the built binary.

The building instructions in the README file of the source bundle are some what vague and there was no clarity on this as CDC platform itself was not Generally Available. Recently, As part of the Open Source effort, mobile and embedded community was formed and CDC platform binaries (for Linux-x86 platform) are now easily available for download, as phoneME Advanced project. With this change, I believe it is more critical to have clarity around building this package.


The steps for Building JDBC Optional Package on phoneME Advanced platform are as below,

1. Download the JDBC Op Package source bundle from here.

2. Download the latest CDC Platform. Please note that currently, this platform is available only on Linux-x86. This means that you will need linux-x86 box to build JDBC Op package as per these instructions.

3. Prepare with JDK 1.4.2 binary. CDC Platform is compliant with JDK 1.4.x spec and so is the JDBC Op Package. You will need JDK 1.4.x 'javac' to build against the CDC.

4. Run following to build the JDBC Op Package.

4.1 cd <JDBC_Source>/cdcfoundation/src/share/jdbc/classes

4.2 <JDK1.4.x>/bin/javac -bootclasspath <CDC_HOME>/lib/<CDC_HOME>/lib/basis.jar -d <pathtoclasses> java/sql/\*.java

4.3 <JDK1.4.x>/bin/javac -bootclasspath <CDC_HOME>/lib/<CDC_HOME>/lib/basis.jar -d javax/sql/\*.java

Here note that, CDC platform contains 'basis.jar' file, as this set of binaries support Personal Basis profile. if you have built your own CDC from the source bundle with profile 'foundation' or 'Personal Profile', you should replace 'basis.jar' file as 'foundation.jar' or 'personal.jar' respectively.

4.4 cd <pathtoclasses>

4.5 <JDK1.4.x>/bin/jar cvf <JDBCOp>.jar java/sql/\*.class javax/sql/\*.class

I am planning to write a simple Makefile for linux-x86 platform which can be used with the JDBC Op package makefiles. Building the entire package will be just one 'make' command then. But, until I get there, this will be helpful, I believe.


added on May 25, 2007.

If you prefer building JDBC Op package along with CDC binary from its svn repository, then you need to add few lines to your makefiles as pointed out by Chris, here.

Tuesday Apr 24, 2007

Java apps on Compiz/Solaris

Thanks to Moinak, Running Compiz on Solaris is a kick, really!!

But soon, I figured that my Netbeans won't run properly only when compiz is running. Netbeans main window would be Blank, but if you try to click 'Open' on your tool bar (you won't see any buttons though, you will have to remember where your 'Open' tool button was!), the dialog box would appear fine.

Some NB experts pointed me to this Java bug, which is now Fixed in JavaSE 6_u1 (Update 1). I upgraded my JDK to this latest version and the problem is now gone.

So, Get Compiz on Solaris, Upgrade your JDK to 6_u1 and Enjoy the KICK!! :)

Monday Apr 23, 2007

JavaME session at PESIT, Bangalore

As part of the University Track and their special engagement with Bangalore's premiere college, PESIT, We were asked to do a JavaME session last saturday. The idea behind the session was to give them, basic introduction to JavaME with a presentation and followed by some hands-on with Netbeans Mobility Pack. The session also meant to provide them with the necessary information to start with JavaME projects, if they were interested. Satish Bhat and myself, we decided to share the responsibility of this session.

On Saturday, Around 55 (including 6th semester BE. and MTech.) students were present. I started with 'Introduction to CLDC' including JavaME platform overview. For CLDC, I talked about KVM, CLDC APIs, MIDP Life cycle, MIDP LCDUI and MIDlet development cycle. Other APIs such as MMAPI, Bluetooth, Location, Mobile3D, WMA were also covered to a limited extent. Satish, then continued with 'Introduction to CDC', where he covered CVM, CDC APIs, Foundation Profile, Personal Basis Profile, Personal Profile, Xlets, AGUI and he also touched upon PIM, Web Services API and other related topics for CDC platform. Both of us talked in detail about the JavaME community and presented how they can leverage this community in their project developement. The presentation was attended very well.

After the talk, We did a small Netbeans demo on how to create CLDC and CDC applications using Netbeans Mobility pack. I started with 'SMS application' development and asked them to continue that in the following hands-on session. Later, in the lab, we were kept very very busy and it was getting difficult to handle the situation with just 2 of us. Students came up with brilliant ideas for their short assignments. One group was keen on getting their password verification done and I helped them with putting the password string checks as a 'Wait Screen' task. Another group worked on adding more image resources for their version. We left some CDs in their lab that included Netbeans installers and how-to guides for CLDC and CDC.

We spent 2 hours in the lab even though we were scheduled to run only for 90 minutes. I feel, students really enjoyed their time. They were able to see their apps running on emulators and thanks to Netbeans Mobility Pack for doing excellent job by providing the simple easy-to-use tools. Feels great!

Monday Apr 09, 2007

Whats Sun doing in the database world?

This cool podcast talks about how Sun is contributing to the Database world.

While this could well be a surprise to people who associate Sun with Java, Solaris and other in-house innovations, I think it is a clear indication that the company is not only committed to open-sourcing its own products but is also comitted to open-source projects in other technology areas.

Saturday Mar 03, 2007

Reading pictures from your camera on Solaris

wanna connect your Digital Camera to your PC running Solaris ?? try gtkam!!

I own a Canon A610 and to download pictures from the camera I always had to boot into Windows (the alternate OS on my Acer Ferrari 3400), which I personally hate. Once, I tried to connect my camera (USB) and played around with the devices but didn't get anywhere.

Pavan told me about gtkam and that the support for latest Cameras is better in S11. I thought its still worth giving that a try on my S10 u3. These are the steps I followed,

1. Connect the camera to the PC.
2. Run gtkam. Click on 'Camera' and 'Add Camera'.
3. See if your Camera model is already listed in the model dropdown box. The dropdown box provides a big list of models. There are plenty of Canon Powershot models in that, but A610 was not listed. I tried 'Canon Powershot A60', but that did not help either.
4. Click on 'detect' if you can't find your model in the list. For my connection, the camera was identified as standard PTP class camera. This is a generic driver and using that I was able to see all the pictures on the camera memory card. Wow!

I believe the previous step is still worth a try because if there is a fully available support for your camera model, its best if that is used. I think the universal driver only provides basic support and I have no idea of the benefits of using the specific driver. All I needed was to get the pictures downloaded and the universal driver did the job for me.

This indeed was a pleasant surprise, I certainly did not imagine that I have all the required pieces to download pictures already on my machine. gtkam worked out of the box for me.

Later I found some interesting information on opensolaris website about this effort, which is worth checking out.

Tuesday Feb 27, 2007

JavaDB at Sun Tech Days 2007, Hyderabad

The Sun Tech Days 2007, Hyderabad saw around 10000 people this year and was probably the biggest event in its history so far. The event featured many Sun technologies over the span of 3 days. The first 2 days followed a typical Tech Days course that included talks, hands-on sessions, the pods and the last day was dedicated to Netbeans, OpenSolaris and JavaME technologies running in parallel.


Manyi Lu, presented introduction to JavaDB in the Java track on the first day. The presentation was attended by around 800 people and was received very well.

Anurag and me, along with Manyi, manned the JavaDB pod that was setup for the first 2 days. Anurag had prepared a demo showing a  catalog application using JavaDB. The classic "Derby Tax Demo" was also on display.


Total turnout at the exhibition was really huge and it was difficult for 3 of us to engage with everyone during the breaks. Students from local universities were more than the corporate representatives at the event. It was really overwhleming to see the interest shown by the corporates towards JavaDB. At the stall, we interacted with people representing government organizations (including Indian Space Research Organization), IT & ITES companies and various Training institutes apart from student community.

 JavaDB pod at Sun Tech Days 2007 

 The most frequent question we had to answer was, "How different this is from already available DBs in the market and especially Oracle?". We spent a lot of time telling people about how JavaDB is targeted for different set of DB applications (what we call them as departmental apps), explaining them about the key features of JavaDB and I believe people were satisfied as a lot of them seemed to be really keen on using JavaDB. Many DB developers were impressed to see a fully featured db engine packaged in just 2MB binary size.

Following is the list common questions asked,

      • Are there any migration tools from MySQL and Oracle to JavaDB?
      • Can we access JavaDB from PHP?
      • Are there free online courses on JavaDB?
      • Are there clustering capabilities in JavaDB?
      • Is there any in-built GUI ??

We also got an opportunity to interact with corporates who brought up their specific use-cases/apps where they can consider JavaDB. We had discussions on specific features of other DBs which they find very useful and if JavaDB supports them. I am happy to say that all such features that we talked about are either already integrated or are on our roadmap (migration tools, grant-revoke, blob/clob support). Some students and corporates were keen on being a part of the community and contributing to it.


I think the event was a great success from JavaDB perspective in terms of increasing awareness among the huge developer community in India.

Madhu posted pictures of the entire event which is definitely worth a look.

Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

Device Detection Tool for Solaris

Not sure if all your devices will work with Solaris ??

Try, Device Detection Tool from Sun's BigAdmin resources.

This is a java based tool that will identify if your hardware devices have a supported driver on Solaris. So, If you are a non-solaris user and not sure if your devices will be detected by Solaris after install, you could try this before attempting the installation. Also, more importantly, for the users who have already installed Solaris but some devices are not functioning properly because the drivers are not available, they could run this tool and check if the drivers exist with the latest Solaris version. Being Java, This can be run from any operating system. Currently, it is tried and tested against running on Windows, Solaris(ofcourse), RedHat, SuSE, Ubuntu and Fedora operating systems.

I gave it a try a while back on my Acer Ferrari 3400 and the tool identified that there is no Driver for my AC'97 Controller and BCM4306 WiFi device. I already knew that the WiFi device can only work on this system with a generic driver, which I have installed. Along with this list, the tool also identified 8 other devices for the types Network, Storage, USB, Multimedia etc. which do have a supported driver and displayed the Driver name associated for its use in Solaris.

The tool is recomended to try before Solaris installation.

Thursday Dec 21, 2006

HADB and SOA database bottlenecks

This topic on FTPOnline talks
about current challenges in SOA development in the context of Databases. The article has described the need for Highly Available Distributed database really very well. The cluster solutions today are very sophisticated, but they are not
targeted towards databases. This disconnect brings up a lot of scalability and performance issues which could be solved with equally sophisticated database implementations which are targetted for such
clustered techonologies today.

Sun has been working on this integration for quite some time now and there exists a solution which could be very useful for the current SOA database bottlenecks. The solution is HADB, the old clustra (for the folks who know the clustra DB). HADB maintains independent copies of the fragmented data on server nodes and all this is completely transparent to the Application/user. Also, HADB provides 99.999 % (the 5 9's) availbility with a clustering distributed database solution. Due to the clustering nature, there are some hardware and network constraints to this solution, but then it is targetted only for 5 9's availability and hence, it is not for small-scale business apps.

Currently Sun Java Application Server provides HADB for session failover. Mani talks about how to use HADB in his blog. The famous Honeycomb project also uses HADB internally to satisfy their availability needs.

Wednesday Dec 20, 2006

Inetmenu for a local user

inetmenu is a great tool for managing different network configuration setups. The tool manages all config file updates very well when you are moving your network configuration between office/home/wifi setups.

I knew that inetmenu does a lot of previleged updates and it was possible only by root user. I also knew that, there must be a way to get this running for any local/network user, but was too lazy to find out how and adding this to my limited knowledge of solaris system administration, it took me a long time to actually get this working. Thanks to Kini.

/etc/security/prof_attr defines all the execution Profiles on the system. When inetmenu is installed, another profile is added to this file, Ginetmenu. For any other user than root should you need to give an access to change the network configuration, just add following line to /etc/user_attr


So, root can allow other users to run some applications defined in /etc/security/prof_attr


Monday Sep 04, 2006

5 years at Sun!

I joined SUN on Sept 3rd, 2001 as a campus hire from PICT and like many other Computer Science students SUN was one of my dream companies then. I have lived this dream for 5 years now and feel that I must be a really lucky guy to have found the right place for me right at the beginning of my career.

The journey has been fantastic so far. Right from day 1, I have been a big fan of the culture here at SUN India Engineering Centre. Have enjoyed my work even more being a part of this wonderful place. I have always found the people around me and the overall environment very motivating to do more n more. I have played around with various cutting edge technologies and have enjoyed being a part of this technology leader company. The overall experience has been very fulfilling.

Its a great feeling to have reached this milestone today and I am excited about my telescope. :)

Friday Aug 11, 2006

Debugging with JHAT

Digging OutOfMemoryError in a Java application was very time consuming until I read about the Java Heap Analysis Tool (JHAT). JHAT is a part of jdk's forthcoming feature release Java SE 6.

I was recently tracking down OOMError and with the help of JHAT, I was quickly able to find out which class objects are a cause for this leak. With JHAT, all the objects created on the heap can be viewed in a very user friendly manner. In a nutshell, there are 2 steps by which you can analyze the heap of a java process.

- First, Dump the heap into a file. For java processes which throw OOME, you could use -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError option to 'java' and the heap will dumped after the OOME from the core file it generates. For the cases, where you do not see a OOME but still want to know whats on your heap, 'jmap' or 'jconsole' can be used. These utilities dump the heap into a file.
- Secondly, you use 'jhat' utility (included in Java SE 6 kit) to create a web based interface to view your heap data from the file generated in first step. This interface provides lot of very useful information about the objects such as reference counts, weak references etc.

I was really impressed with the kind of information you get from this tool. Especially, the querying tool is very useful and innovative. This tool is must to have in the kitty for people working on Optimizations and Performance issues.

For more detailed information, visit Alan's blog.

Thursday Aug 10, 2006

pics from Valley of Flowers

Some pics from my trek to Valley of Flowers in Uttaranchal state of India.

some more pics, here.

Thursday Jun 29, 2006

JavaDB/Postgres Support now available from SUN

Sun has recently announced Support for Open Source Databases, Postgres and JavaDB with announcement of Solaris10(Update2). Service Plans are now available for the customers with Solaris 10 OS 6/06 (S10 U2). While Postgres support is available only on Solaris, please note that JavaDB support is available on Solaris, Linux, Windows & HP-UX platforms.
Customers need to contact their local Sun representatives for pricing information.

The official page on the sun site is here.

Wednesday Jun 28, 2006

Essential Java Developer Conference - India

Kushal Foundation organized Essential Java Developer Conference on 23, 24th of June at Tata auditorium, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Sun was the gold sponsor for this event.

Over the period of 2 days, the audience attended technical presentations, workshops, code camps on various Java related technologies including WebServers, Portal Servers, Open Source AppServers, Application testing and other Open source products. Sun contributed with couple of keynotes and some technical sessions. Companies like Fidelity, Mercury, Manhattan associates also featured in this event.

I presented on "Next Generation Mobile Java" on the second day of the conference. About 150 people were present and the presentation went well. The audience had limited exposure to JavaME technologies and so the stress was also on the core concepts of JavaME, with the wireless web apps development talking to web services. Most of the people in the audience, I think, were volunteered by their companies. I think, there is more evangelism to do around JavaME technologies for java developers in India.

Monday Apr 03, 2006

JavaDB is now available!

Good news for Apache Derby - Sun has gotten behind Derby and is also going to provide support for it.
Sun's Java DB is now officially available for download at here.

Check out Java DB's home

Also, the article talking about how to use Java DB in the desktop got top billing at Sun.

Wednesday Mar 29, 2006

Sun's Logo : An Ambigram

Hats off to Mr. Vaughan Pratt!
SUN's logo, I think is some kewl piece of graphic design. I just love it!!

How many of you know that its a "Ambigram" ??

For more information on Ambigrams and to see other very interesting ambigrams,
please click here

Friday Mar 03, 2006

Community participation from Indian Universities

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, one of the very reputed universities in India, organized a science and technology festival in last week of Feb, Techkriti 2006. Sun sponsored "Industry defined programming contest" at this event and Prakash and me were invited to be the judges for this contest.

The shortlisted 9 projects exhibited some innovative ideas. In the end, we took the opportunity to talk about open source communities.
The next day, we met faculty members in the Computer Science Engineering department and also spoke to some 3rd & final year students.

IIT Kanpur, like many other universities, do not have solaris infrastructure in their labs for students to play with. Now, that solaris is open sourced, we can expect this to change in years to come. Linux has a huge headstart with its penetration in communities and hence it is the favourite platform for many universities to work on various projects and these projects would give the intented exposure to students about OS concepts. Students themselves have shown a lot of interest in Solaris and also have that installed on their personal machines.

These students are still not aware of community products contribution and in turn getting good exposure and another opportunity (intership, being the other one) to learn how things work in the industry. Also, they can do their final year projects with some such community, in which case, their contribution is much more visible and integrated instead of keeping them on shelves forever.
Integrating their projects into communities may not be encouraged now as probably it does not fit into the current system followed by the universities. But, I am sure things can be worked out.

I have seen many students outside india taking up something in the community. I am hoping that more and more number of students start participating and I think reputed universities like IITs in India should take the initiative here.

Friday Feb 24, 2006

The surviving instinct !!

Life is very unpredictable and you have to be prepared for the worst all the time.

Summer 2005! I was visiting SUN's San Jose, California campus for a month. It wasnt the first time in US for me and I know how things work there in gerenal. Staying in the apartment on weekends, that too in a country where there was still lot of stuff to explore for me, didnt make much sense. In fact, I was making some big plans of visiting Las Vegas.

Fortunately, A friend of mine who was currently visiting Las Vegas was ready to company me there. I had only one weekend left before I would go back to India and I made my decision to go see my friend in Vegas on that weekend. I tried to get another friend of mine who could join me from San Jose, but that didn't work out. On friday evening, I got home pretty late from work but still continued with the plan as I thought it was worth taking the risk of driving in the night for las Vegas than sitting at home.

I got all the maps that would help me reach my friend's hotel. The car that I was going to drive was a Green Hyundai Sonata with a moonroof. It was around 8-9 hours drive and I started at around 10 pm.

Driving alone at night is not recommended in US as it is eventless and fatigue gets on to the driver, but I was doing pretty well with some breaks at the rest areas.

At around 3 am, I overturned my car at one turn and then in the correction lost control of the car completely. The speed was around 75 miles/hr. The car was dragging on the road, sitting in the car, I knew it could be all dark in just few seconds. Those 4-5 seconds, I saw all the people in my life flashed in front of my eyes. It was a big shock. The car hit something on its right side and at that speed it toppled in the air. It made one complete round and landed back on its wheels. I was conscious and when the car stopped I tried to get out of it before anything else could happen. I removed my seat belt and tried to open the door and realized that my left hand (at the wrist) is badly hurt. Blood was drooling down heavily from there and saw that some flesh of my hand is lying down in the car. I saw another car stopping! I came out and sat by the road. By the time that guy came out 0f the car, I think he had already dialed 911 and was talking to them about what has happened and where exactly we are.

More than the pain, I was still in the shock. But still, I knew that I am in for a big trouble as I am alone and not a US citizen. I was worried about my stuff which was still in the car, as it had my passport and other documents which will be of utmost importance now. I went to the car and tried to get my stuff out but could not, car was damagaed at the rear end. After finishing the call that guy came to me and asked me not to touch the car. He looked horrified after seeing my open wound, but I was more worried about getting my stuff out. I told him if he could help me, but he said "you stay away, I will get it for you". He tried, but could not get it out as well. Then he got some cloth for me to put it on the wound and then asked how this all happened. It seems he saw the car toppling in the air and huge smoke around it and stopped. He was like God to me then.

Within next 5-7 minutes, the emergency help reached there. The first thing they did was to put the neck-strap around my neck. Now, this was really very irritating. I thought my neck was fine but then they said this is for your safety precaution and they do it for all car accidents. I was still worried about my bags and asked them to get it. Everyone was worried about me and hurrying to get me in the van and I was thinking about my passport. In next 2 minutes, the highway patrol car came. The officers asked me what happened and completed my statement. They finally got my stuff out and put that into the ambulance van. I was lying on the stretcher with extreme irritation due to that neck-strap. Until, I left that place, I did not see any other car passing by. I just thought what would have happened if that guy was not behind me, I didn't even have a cellphone.

I was taken to an emergency hospital. From the reactions of people there, I could make out that my hand is in bad condition. The neck-strap irritation was killing me. Xrays were taken for my left leg, left hand and neck. Finally, the doctor came and said, your hand needs to be grafted so we will shift you to another hospital. I asked him about the neck-strap, he said "put it on! its essential. You neck test are not completed yet". They decided to shift me to a bigger hospital which was about 30 mins drive away from there where I spent next 24 hours.

It is very difficult when one is alone in the hospital as a patient, There are so many things that are not told to the patients. So, everytime I got into any conversation with the nurses or the doc, I had to ask all sorts of questions to figure out whats exactly happening to me. Lots of Xrays were taken for my left hand and Neck. For the neck they found that I have survived from a hair-line fracture in the neck and it could have been a lot worse. By then, my neck was completely swollen and it was very stiff. Thats when I realized why they forced me to wear that strap.

Another nurse/trainee doc came to me after sometime and said they have found a gravel in my wound which has to be taken out. I asked if I could see the Xray but they refused to show me saying that it is on a computer and you cant be taken there. I had no option but to allow her to play with my open wound. She came with the apparatus. First, she gave local anesthesia around my wound and started looking for that foreign particle in my hand. She showed... rather educated me about all the internal things in my hand. Now, I know how does a nerve, tendent look like from inside... what happens to the nerve when you tightly hold your finger? I was seeing all that. She finally found a metal peace beneath another layer of flesh... I still have it with me. With every such incidence I was getting stronger I felt than breaking down. After that they cleaned up my hand and did the dressing. After lots of Xrays, a CTScan was done of my neck to make sure that it is completely safe. In the meantime, I called up my friend and told him that I could not reach Vegas.

At 4 am, the next morning, I was told that all my tests are now done and I could go home. "Thank you very much. How can I get home now ?". "Give us your phone number? We will call your family". "They are in India". "Ohh! So, from where were you going to Vegas??". "San Jose". "You mean San Jose up north?? how are you going to get back there??". "I dont know". After a lot of discussion, I ended up catching a GreyHound bus to San Jose. The bus started from San Beranandino at 9 am and reached L.A. at 12 noon. Another bus from there started at 2.30 pm and reached SanJose by 8pm. I travelled in that bus for about 9 hours with a neck-strap, limping swollen left leg and the wounded hand. Not to forget the other stuff like my own suitcase, a food bag given to me by one of the nurses and a laptop. I dont know how I did this, but when I saw my friends waiting for me at the bus stop I was about to break down, but didnt. My friends had called the hospital and found out that I will be in that bus.

The next day was lot of work. I had to go change my dressing and fill up all the insurance claim forms. At San Jose Urgent medical care, I found out that the dressing was done with sticky gauze and everytime it was removed it would hurt me a lot as it will take out all the skin around my wound again. huh! It was not over yet. The pain was unbearable. I had to fax some claim forms to the insurance person in India and hence went to office after my visit to that hospital. Somehow managed to complete that with only one hand in working condition and was limping aroung in the office. The doc had told me that grafting cant be done immediately and it would take 2-3 weeks for the wound to be ready for it. I had decided that I would go back to india and then do my surgery. That day, I got my flight tickets confirmed for the next day evening.

The next day I packed my bags and called home. "Dad, my work is over and I am leaving tonight. I will be coming directly to Mumbai and will stay at home for few days. Can you come to the airport to pick me up ?". Flying half of the planet could be a lot of fun, but its worse when you are in such a state. I checked in all my luggage and only kept few fruits/medicine with me on the flight. With only one hand, It was not easy to eat anything in the fight. The worse part of the journey was the stopover at HongKong for about 7 hours. I could not move around with my limping leg, had no choice but to sit in one place and avoid people looking at me. Horrible.

The flight landed on mumbai airport on time. After the custom's clearance, before I could go out I removed my neck-strap and covered the dressing of my hand. I was going to see my family now. I came out and saw my family waiting for me with smiles. I went to them and spoke for few seconds. Dad asked me "whats wrong with your neck". I didnt answer. I had to show them my dressing. Everyone was scared. In the car, everyone was quiet. I had to tell them what happened. I told them "accident". "car accident". "car toppled in air"! I knew I have done the right thing by not telling them all this from US. Now, they can see me and will take it right.

After spending that night at my Uncle's place, we came down to pune, my hometown. The next 25 days or so, I was in the hospital in Pune. A Plastic surgeon and Hand specialist was treating me. My skin grafting was done successfully. Since I had lost a lot of flesh of my hand, that part of my hand still looks very ugly. But, I have accepted it. I might do another surgery later to fix that. The neck starp was on for about 30 days. Its really amazing how body heals itself.

After every fall, one gathers more strength to reach higher. Few minutes of that incident and 2 months of recovery has changed me. I still dont believe myself when I think of the strength that I had when I was going through all that, alone. I still remember the 5 seconds when I was sitting in the car when it was out of control, the flesh lying in the car, the look on the face of the guy who called 911, the people in the hospital, the way that Cathay Pacific Crue Head lady spoke to me, my family and friends when they first saw me. I am very lucky to get away with just one scar on the left hand, it could have been a lot worse. I didnt want to die alone and I think that surviving instinct got me back my life!

I joined work after about 50 days from that night. Within a month, I performed on stage. Within 6 months, I was in US again and on the thanksgiving '05, I visited Las Vegas. I drove down with 2 of my other friends. The trip was fantastic, It has become a very special place for me now.

I cant tell you how happy it makes me to have the same life back without any accomodations.




« July 2016

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