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I was 21 when I wanted to become a product manager.

I was a software engineer in Chennai, India, working for a company that manufactured HVAC systems. As a fresh college graduate, I wanted to understand how what I was working on was making a difference to the world!

One year into my job, my team hired a product manager. He used to talk to building operators and site managers who were actually using my software, and pass on real, human feedback from them back to my team. …


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Photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash

I discovered Shel Silverstein at the ripe age of 28.

I was at Moe’s bookstore in Berkeley and came across Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein. I read a few poems. They were deceptively simple, and grabbed me by the heart. I brought the book home.

I was at a point in my life where I’d just achieved a major life goal — graduating with a masters degree from my dream university. Surprisingly, graduating didn’t make me feel happy or calm. I felt oddly deflated.

That’s when I read The Search.

I went to find the pot of gold
That’s waiting where the rainbow ends.
I searched and searched and searched and…


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Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

I am chopping mushrooms for dinner. Asian style noodles in coconut milk. The groceries were delivered just a few hours ago, by a man in a mask.

It’s 2020, and the virus is at large in San Francisco.

My kitchen is sterile. Spotless.

Chop, chop, chop. Dice, dice, dice. One perfectly smooth mushroom after another pops out of a shrink wrapped plastic container.

It has been three months since I left my neighborhood.

Yet, I have miraculously stayed well fed.

It’s expensive. I just paid $103 dollars for fruit and vegetables.

Perhaps I should grow food.

I looked up “potting soil” on Amazon the other day, and learnt there are several kinds. …

About

Ashwini

I write about books, product management and whatever else the fuck I want.

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