Photo of Shashidhar Sastry

My life, in brief

I’ve had two lives and am looking forward to two more.

The first was as an engineer, born and bred in India, Pune. After ten years working for an industrial manufacturer, Thermax, I left for Australia when I was 30.

That began my second life, as an IT coder, designer, architect and finally an enterprise architect. It’s lasted over 21 years, mostly in IBM. It was also an Australian life for 13 of those years. My newlywed wife Shalu joined me in Sydney, we had our lovely kids Preetika and Tarun and lived a spiffing life. Lots of close friends, picnics, beach outings, get-togethers, weekend cricket. Splendid.

Now I’ve begun my third life — as a writer. It’s been ten years since we moved back to India for family reasons. The writing bug was inevitable, I suppose, given my long love of reading and English. For the last two to three years, I’ve been thinking of myself more and more as a writer, worldly evidence notwithstanding. There is still much to live in this one. It’s an adolescent stage.

I hope to have a fourth and final life – as a philosopher. Perhaps an amateur one, but a serious one.

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The front yard of our Sydney house

What I love

  • Reading a lot. Then writing. Then reading some more.
  • The English language. And Hindi and Urdu.
  • Western classical music.
  • IT Architecture, especially Enterprise Architecture. It’s my day job. But doesn’t feel like work. Lucky me.
  • The great outdoors. I am still deciding if I love being more in the mountains or by the seaside.
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My modest library of around 300 paper books.
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My trusty kindle. I have 100+ books here.
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Outdoors, near Bangalore
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Punting, Kochi, Kerala

My pet peeves

  • Invective. Foul language. In-person or in movies. I think those who use it are being weak or lazy in language and expression. And are being unaesthetic. The worst I permit myself to utter is ‘bloody hell’.
  • Seeing Indian migrants change their names and accents. Come on, people, have some self-respect. Assimilation is about mixed neighbourhoods, friendliness, co-operation, openness, no evangelising and such. Not about losing your identity.
  • People saying things with zero doubt. How can one be so unimaginative?
  • People asking to be taught what they can learn themselves. I believe that once one is basically literate one can and should learn anything on one’s own if one is sufficiently curious. And a bit obsessive. I am both.
  • Lack of civic sense — body odour, bad breath, oblivious noisy chewing, ditto using leaky headphones, littering, breaking road-rules. I am beginning to sound like a cranky curmudgeon. No apologies, though.

What I admire in a person

  • Integrity, as in – what you see is what you get.
  • Gentleness, especially towards juniors and the less well off.
  • Humour and wit, self-deprecating or inoffensive.
  • Quality consciousness. Attention to detail.
  • Not taking oneself too seriously.
  • At least a few interests other than work.
  • True listening, with a genuine interest in the other person.

My Writing

These are my favourite subjects to blog and write about

  • IT Architecture
  • Life, Mind & Body
  • Language, writing & reading
  • Philosophy
  • The future

I write for the pure pleasure of translating thoughts accurately into words, but also to benefit you, my reader. Either by informing you of something I learnt or entertaining you.

I imagine myself as a prism, refracting the light of thought into a rainbow of stories.

You can find my writing on MediumLinkedIn and my website Quality-thinking.com.

I’ve also published a book — In My Experience. It’s a 20 copy worldwide bestseller. But I am still proud of it. Have a look. You could be number 21.

My Website

Like any self-respecting blogger or writer, I have my WordPress website. It is Quality-Thinking.com.

It has all the writing that belongs to me that’s published on Medium, and a lot of other material. For example, there are curated lists of books and websites on IT Architecture, Classical Music and Art. Click and have a look.

If you like it, please do register yourself for updates and the Q&A forum. You’ll benefit, in some way.

My Dream

An abiding interest of mine since my teens has been philosophy. Not the academic and technical sort, but one that helps us practically to be better, happier. And to make others happy.

I’ve worked out a strand of philosophy that does this. My great aim in life is to publish it.

Why? Because I apply this philosophy every day. It gives me understanding, self-control, tolerance and peace—even joy. And I want to share it with you.

I have decided (provisionally) that I’ll serialize it in a Medium publication. Preferably one devoted to philosophical matters. But any other will do, that has a decent number of followers—at least 10K. If you know some, please tell me. I’ll appreciate it. And after I have 200 followers myself. So it can do more good—Please look out for it.

Ultimately, I’ll also publish it as a regular book — in paperback and Kindle editions.

That’s my dream. Hope you’ll be a part of it, my dear friend.


Shashi on LinkedIn & FaceBook.

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