"Some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright"- Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption. This blog is from one such bird who couldn't be caged by organizations who mandate scripted software testing. Pradeep Soundararajan welcomes you to this blog and wishes you a good time here and even otherwise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help Chandru to live his testing dreams

I give myself opportunities to meet many different software testers from Bangalore or to the places I travel. One of the ways that's been successful for me is "Coffee with Pradeep". This has brought many testers to my lives who have had a good influence on me. Sharath Byregowda contacted me for a coffee and then we work closely. He is one of the good testers and thinkers I have met. He recently moved to UK and I am already missing him so much.

Meeting Chandrashekar 

On February 10th, this year, Chandrashekar B.N (Chandru) got in touch with me and asked if I would come to meet him over a coffee. I instantly agreed because his emails were showing the passion he had to test. He seemed to give importance to improving his skills. I met him around the third week of March and this guy was silent, taking notes. He and his friend Sunil had come to meet me. Both these guys were mostly silent but took notes of our conversation. Wouldn't be wrong if I say, I liked their seriousness.

When Chandru spoke

At last Chandru spoke. He narrated his story and it was an emotional moment for me. His father died while he was young. His mother, with two kids (Chandru and his younger brother) struggled very hard to get them a basic education. Chandru didn't grow up with any luxury. They lived in a small room for the last 20 years. Chandru got a job as a software tester after his Bachelors and was running test cases. He wasn't happy. He learnt that he has a passion to test and wanted to get skilled at it. He was earning just enough to get 3 meals a day for 3 of his family.

In his situation, someone would have said, "I want to get more money. How do I do that?" but instead he said, "I want to test better. How do I do that?". That was an amazing moment for me. I shall continue to be in India just to meet testers like Chandru who amidst several troubles in life want to test better.

I started to coach him. I got him to network with testers in Bangalore who are as serious as him. He came to Bangalore Workshop on Software Testing. He was enjoying this new found life. His friend Sunil was no less passionate. Both of them didn't stop there. They made a list of books they ought to be reading and went on a book hunt in Bangalore. Chandru quit his job and took up another job with no hike in pay, just to gain more freedom in testing.

When God decided to test Chandru

About 40 days back, I received a call from Sunil and I was shocked to learn that Chandru was diagnosed for Blood Cancer. To be specific it was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - with Ph+ve - B cell - Blood Cancer. I was in Gurgaon when I got the call. I tried calling his mobile but couldn't speak to him as he was undergoing some tests. That night, I just couldn't sleep. I felt too bad for Chandru. Just when he was about to rise, he got this bloody cancer for no fault of his. I got up in the morning with the little sleep I had and then said to myself, "Should the people who care for him lose hope. Is that the way I should be? Not at all."

The next day, I was fortunate to be able to speak to him. He knew he had cancer. I didn't know how he would talk to me. I didn't allow him to speak much. I was shouting at the top of my voice, "You are a warrior and you will fight this out. You have a dream to be a good tester and you are not letting down yourself or others. That's the only thing that should be running in your mind"

When Chandru decided to take up the challenge

A few days back, I returned from Gurgaon and directly went to to the hospital. The confidence, the smile, the charm that Chandru had when he met me is one of the greatest things I have seen.


He is fighting well. Doctors say he is doing well, except to the part of the bone marrow which he doesn't have a control over. His confidence is amazing. Its one of the most inspiring things for me. I love this guy and he is my hero. I have started to strongly believe that the mind can control the way body accepts and reacts to treatment. He makes me think of Andy Dufrense of Shawshank Redemption.

Where do you come in this story?

Chandru is the only earning member of his family. He being hospitalized and his medical insurance money long depleted, he has no source of income for his treatment. With his treatment cost estimated about 20 lakhs for Chemotherapy / 50 lakhs if bone marrow transplant has to be done to cure him, he has ran out of options.
So what, he has the testing community to help him. I hope I was right in making the statement.

Help, So far

  • Parimala has donated 25,000 INR (I am so proud of her)
  • Weekend Testing funds of 12,000 INR has been donated
  • Mohan Panguluri has given a standing instruction to the bank to transfer a certain amount every month from his income to help Chandru other than sending a mailer to everybody in Test Republic.
  • Couple of people have tweeted seeking support to help Chandru.
  • Chandru's office colleagues have donated a part of their salary to Chandru
  • Some testers who saw the mailer of Test Republic have donated a few thousands.
  • Ajoy has featured this in his Testing Circus magazine
  • STC 2010 conference has confirmed that they would be announcing it during the conference and make more testers aware of an opportunity to save a testers life.
  • Dhanasekar S has come forward to help Chandru. 
  • I am trying to do my bit to such a wonderful man who is brimming with confidence when others might have almost given up. Letting him down would be our biggest sin.
  • Rahul Verma and I are going to be doing fund raising public workshops and donate the fund to Chandru's treatment. If you are from Bangalore / Chennai / Hyderabad interested to attend our workshops whose funds collected would be given to Chandru's treatment email me at my mail id which is pretty public.
Yet, we have fallen short of funds for the bone marrow transplant. So, I kindly request you to come forward and help Chandru. The best part is - he said he is going to treat every rupee that has flown in as an interest free loan and says, "I will get well, continue to work as a tester and pay back all money". For such a guy, I think, you should.

Go team up with all testers you know, talk about how you can help and get it going. The time is now.

Important links & details

Help Chandru Website : http://helpchandru.com ( Website not fully developed )

Cancer Patients Aid Donation Page: https://donations.cpaaindia.org/?projects=For%20Chandrashekhar or http://www.cpaaindia.org/casefile/index.htm#chandrashekhar
Note: Income Tax concession for this mode of transfer / donation
Important note: While donating through CPAA website, please mention that the donation is for Chandrashekar BN in the projects section

Those of you who want to do a wire transfer from India to his bank account can:
Note: No Income Tax concession on this mode of transfer

Name:Chandrashekhar B N
Account Number:218010015960
Branch:Koramangala, Bangalore
Bank:ING Vysya Bank
IFSC Code No:VYSA0002180

Chandru's Paypal account email id: daysofchandru@gmail.com
Note: Income Tax concession subjected to approval in this mode. Approval pending 

Every little help you do, matters a lot. When you donate, please email sunilkumar56@gmail.com / hariprasad.email@gmail.com and let him know the details, so we could confirm on receiving the same. If you are in Bangalore and have O+ve blood and is willing to donate, please get in touch with Sunil or Hari whose numbers you can find in the website http://helpchandru.com

Please,  Help Chandru


Anonymous said...

"I was shocked to learn that Chandru was diagnosed for Blood Cancer. "

Even when I had an idea that something was wrong when I started reading this post, I involuntarily gasped when I read this exact words..

Maybe it's because of the criticality of this kind of cancer or maybe its the memory of the old Hindi/Telugu movies of coughing blood.

But this comment will be followed by a comment (later tonight) where I will show that we testers don't just sit and break...

We also save..

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


But this comment will be followed by a comment (later tonight) where I will show that we testers don't just sit and break...

I am just waiting for it.

Prabhakar Vuram said...

I better suggest every blog reader who reads pradeeps articles regularly or often ,Please Post the Issue on your own Blogs so that other readers too of your blogs can know it.
Lets Post in our Blogs and do Propaganda to save the life of a Tester.

Sushma Narla said...

iam really moved reading this post and it is sad but true that God is testing Chandru for no fault of his

I strongly believe that he will victoriously come out of this and we all will definitely support for the cause .

Anonymous said...

As told earlier, here's my bit...others will follow..


Wonderful job Pradeep. Your message to your readers will indeed make a difference to all of us.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Every wish, every contribution, every prayer helps.


Hats off! Hope there would be more people like you. God bless you.

Manjunatha Channaveerappa said...

Normally testers try to break software to build the confidence on the product.


God tries to break his own creation to give more confidence to achieve the BIGGER goals.

Thanks to Pradeep for writing about one of the god/nature's test and providing us an opportunity to help.

Ajoy Kumar Singha said...

I have just sent 50 USD to Chandru's Paypal account. My best wishes to Chandru.

Thanks Pradeep for writing this post.

Jassi said...

Hi Pradeep,
I am doing my bit whatever I can, I had sent a mail to all my friends , tomorrow I would again send the mail as a reminder and also try to speak to my superiors if they can help.
I could just donate 1k.Hopefully would transfer 1k again next month.

Our Prayers are with Chandru and his Family .Do Convey him to Hold on, everything would be fine.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Nice of you. Amidst so many who read, you acted upon it and that's great.

Unknown said...