Saturday, January 7, 2017

Step off that Crazy bandwagon, will you?

I love to run. It comes naturally to me. After girls, (and hence) into troubles, sometimes towards goals. Always, away from responsibilities. And being asocial as I am, away from people. Well, a certain section of people. Ones who happen to be self-professed “Da Crazy people”! I think they just like to flatter themselves with such fancy titles. And by the looks of it, they suck at that too, if you ask me. Anyway, if you are one of them, you are probably not going to like what’s coming next. But I would still like you to give it a read. It’s the mirror you needed to see before it was too late and my Facebook wall got flooded with your fucking idiotic posts. It’s about people like you, who use words, in all the wrong contexts, without understanding the actual meaning and significance of those words. It’s about people like you who throw around words in social settings. It’s about people like you, who are nothing but a bunch of fucking phonies.

Every decade or two brings in its own generation. The hippies of 60’s and 70’s, the geeks and nerds from the personal computer era. It was all fine. At least it wasn’t empty. Frauds would exist, but they would not make the whole population. And most importantly, you could not just dismiss the whole concept. It stood for something. The hippie movement with its motto of “Peace, love, harmony, freedom, and community” bringing with it the pleasures of weed, pot, an overly liberal a sexual orientation and what not, stood for something. The nerd era with its own collection of Star wars, Star Trek, DnD’s, computers, chips, stood for something. But what about this “crazy culture generation”? What does it stand for actually? Stupid pictures, updates, and statuses? Pictures with a bunch of people sticking their tongues out? And if that wasn’t enough, captioning it “Me N Mah CraZy FrIeNdS”Mah? Seriously? So does crazy stand for this weird shit? Really?
To explain why do I sound so pissed off about all of this, let’s just take a quick detour into the history to try to know more about the legend of the word crazy. Let’s go back to late 1800’s. Nikola Tesla comes up with these inventions and ideas like the Alternating Current, wireless energy transmission, radio among many others, that not only challenge the status quo but laugh in its face. Tesla was regarded as one of the greatest innovators and inventors in the history of mankind. He was called crazy. 1905. Einstein comes up with this relativity theory that turns the laws of physics on its head. He and his theory are called crazy before it was proved to be true. A man, going by the name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, through his sheer will and determination and ingenious ways of protests, not only wins his country its independence but inspires a whole generation with his idea of nonviolence. Early 1970’s. Two ordinary guys named Steve (Jobs and Woz) come up with the idea of personalizing computers. They are laughed upon. Called crazy. They go on to found a billion dollar company, Apple Inc. 1997. This word captures the imagination of people everywhere when Apple(founded by those very ordinary folks named Steve) comes up with the advertisement “Here’s to the crazy ones” which is basically an ode to the crazy ones, who changed the world. And there’s one recent example as well. An advertisement by Coca-Cola, in which among many portrayals of craziness, the epitome clip was a man offering his beverage to the guard as he is coming out of the restaurant.So now that we have learned about the legend of the word, am I wrong in being disappointed by the usage of this legendary word, in all wrong contexts? Those pictures are just weird and the people are just weird. And phony! Nothing more! Not crazy! Period!
So my two cents to these people, even though they are too busy making weird faces, posting even more weird status updates:

"Not everything that glitters is gold. Not the people you see on your wall feeds. Not you!"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Desert Diaries: The Journey Begins

Hello there!

It's been a reaallyyyy (please don't be mad over this!) long time since I last wrote anything. To be honest, it's been a really long time since I last did anything worthwhile, as I had been too busy, just goofing around, waiting for the session to start. Should start going for running! Will do once I have settled down. Should start doing Yoga! Will do once the session starts. Should start learning cooking! Will do once.....oh never going to do that! And it's been ten days here since I arrived here in Arizona and the status quo remains. Ah! Such true love for procrastination! A curse in disguise!

In my defense, I would say the last three years were filled with a lot of hustling and jostling. Hectic work schedules, mean co-workers, horrible bosses, preparing for exams, application processes, job switches and what not. It was just a little too much to have on my plate. And I felt totally exhausted by the end of it. Tired even to devote myself to my other interests such as music, literature and running. All I wanted to do and pretty much did was sleep, play FIFA, catch up with friends (enough to make them wish that I had left sooner), fall sick and visit all kinds of doctors. Pneumonia, Piles, Asthma, Wisdom tooth Removal, Root Canal, you name it, I had it. So in a way, there was still a lot on my plate, just different cuisines! Anyway, that phase is over now. And hopefully, over for good. Ever since my undergraduate days, I had wanted to go for Masters and here I am, a Computer Science graduate student at Arizona State University. Not bad, eh? This is a new start, something that is completely going to change my life, I am sure!

So with the start of the journey, I wanted to restore something in my life that I had given a miss over the past few months; Writing. It has always been something that comes to me in spurts. Comes fast and furious , and then disappears. (no pun intended! ) . And it doesn't feel perfect. (Again, no pun intended). Part of which is down to me trying to achieve perfection. I end up taking a lot of time and giving my everything and when I finally finish up, I feel totally exhausted and empty. Devoid of any ideas or energy to attempt another one. (no puns, trust me!) So from now on, I will just write and restrain myself to only a couple of editings. If it's good by then, fine. If not, then so be it. As they say, deal with your own shit!

I intend to maintain a journal over the duration of this journey. Can't commit to an entry-a-day, but I promise I will be as regular as I can. After all, I am sure this is going to be one hell of a ride and can't afford to miss living it and capturing it in my journal. So here's to the new start. Here's to living the dream.

Here's to, The Desert Diaries! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Internet: The Stuff of Fantasies

I remember the day I watched the first Harry Potter movie. Stuff of fantasies, I thought. With a wave of wand, and not just some fancy prestidigitation, mind you, you could do anything. From flying objects, to unlocking doors, from creating things out of thin air, to killing someone flat. Anything!
And watching my fantasies come true on the 70 mm screen, the desire to see these fantasies turn reality grew stronger. Perhaps, sometimes, desperate. Subsequently, whenever I had to get up in the middle of a movie, or a television show to get drinks or snacks, I always thought how it would be so much better if I could, without lifting my lazy ass off the couch, just yell "Accio Drink" and watch the refrigerator door open and the bottle of Pepsi, flying through the air, make its way towards me on its own, in my oh-so-grateful hands. Life could be blissful, right?
And I would always imagine Draco Malfoy scoffing at this stupid thought.
[Scene set against the backdrop of a temple]
Draco Malfoy: Mere paas wand hai, pure blood hai, magic hai. Tumhare paas kya hai? (I have the wand, the pure blood race and the magic. What do you have?)
I wouldn't have a reply. How could I? After all, it's just a fantasy. Is it, though? What if I said....
Me: Mere paas................. Internet hai. (I have Internet.) [Sky thunders with a roar]
Internet, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic we have. And it can do wonders way beyond what Dumbledore with his Elder wand could do. Way beyond Harry Potter could ever dream of doing. Don't believe me? Here's a tale played out from two parallel universes.
[In Harry Potter's Universe] Gryffindor is playing Slytherin late evening. You decide to catch the action at home. Leaving office in jiffy, you rush home, as your office files close automatically and rearrange themselves neatly in a stack on your table. "Alohamora", your door unlocks. You run to the television. Remote, where is the remote? You can't find the remote. "Accio Remote". And comes the remote flying in your grateful hands. You sit down and start watching. But something's missing. "Accio Beer". "Accio Popcorn". Life is bliss.
[In a parallel universe, our universe] 5:30 P.M, your clock shows. Your phone calendar notifies you about the Gryffindor Slytherin Quiditch match. As you leave office in a jiffy, your computer synced with the calendar, shuts down, closing all the files and making a sticky note of the task to be done the next day. Meanwhile, your phone rings.
You are out of Beer and your refrigerator has ordered 3 bottles for you. Please enter your password to complete the payment.
The smart refrigerator. Synced with your calendar, it knows about the game and has been programmed to know your need for "Chilled Beer" for the game. It checks if there is "Chilled Beer". If not, it places an order, of which you are notified when the payment password is required on your phone. You type in the password and done! You reach home, so does your order for "chilled beer". This, ladies and gentlemen, is Internet of Things.
""July 30, 1991", you speak at your door step. "Click", the door unlocks, your voice, once authenticated. Bio metric Door Locks at your service. You run for the TV. Remote, where is the remote? Who needs that! "Switch on the TV". The TV turns on automatically. "Quid Sports". Match is on. Smart TV, everyone. Life is bliss.
And that's just not it. Remember Dumbledore's pensieve? Yes, that bowl used to review memories. You pour in the memory vapor that you want to review and dive into the pensieve. Memories can then be viewed from a non-participant, third-person point of view. How do yo achieve that? Virtual Reality, my friends, along with the Google Glass, the in-fashion Wearable computing technology. The google glass, becoming an extension of you, lets you capture your experiences and store them onto the cloud for later reviews. Throw in your Virtual Reality Headset in the mix (something like Oculus?) and boy, do you get to relive your life in its entirety or what!
What else do can you think of? Marauder's Map? Google Map. Flu Powder? Teleportation. Owls at work? Drones at work. I can go on and on and on. This Internet, I told you, is something. It's our deathly hallows. And with it turning dreams and fantasies into reality, who's to say if the future generation would be saying "Why we don't need Harry Potter". I just hope they don't....

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Ten Commandments - Being In Office

1. Thou shalt always remember you're getting paid to work. And only work!

Socialize. Learn. Have Fun. But never forget what you're getting paid for. Because if you ain't working, you ain't good for nothing.

2. Thou shalt not lick their soles.

You can get all the fame and the money that comes with it, but getting it all at the cost of self -respect is just not worth it.

3. Thou shalt not be a pervert.

No one likes to work with someone eyeing them places all the time.

4. Thou shalt not be a bitch.

Back bitching ain't going to take you anywhere. Also, you must have heard of a bitch called Karma. My advice, stay safe, don't try this!

5. Thou shalt not stay back just for the heck of it. 

Your home has a culture. Your workplace has a culture. Let's not ruin both by staying back unnecessarily.

6. Thou shalt always remember the words: Privacy and Professionalism.

This ain't your street homie! Neither it's your home. It's office! Remember to behave appropriately.

7. Thou shalt strive to go up the hierarchy of management, not asshole-ness.

Enough said!

8. Thou shalt let your work show who's the boss.

Nobody is irreplaceable in the corporate jungle, but hey! if your absence means a few days of headache for your boss, well done!

9. Thou shalt strive to write more and more lines of better code, not mail. 

When you have no work, you write mails. When you write mails, you're not doing any work. You have already read the commandment # 1. Need I say more?

10. Thou shalt not let your work affect your personal or social life.

Work is never going to end. But your life is. And so is your boss's life. Make sure you always remember this, and so does your boss!


Post Script: The aforementioned views are author's personal opinion. If you find the article disturbing or in disagreement to your opinions or worse, you happen to be the author's boss, you can just go and burn in hell. Thank you!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Corporate Story, Inside Out ( Part 1)

We were running like hell. Sweating, panting, tongues out, running. It was a typical July morning, hot, humid. Our shirts were drenched and we were stinking like hell. But we had other things to worry about. Already 30 minutes late, our destination was still far. We knew we were dead. We were just so dead. We just ran and ran, my friend and I. We could have given Usain Bolt a run for his money that day. Finally, 15 minutes later, we were there.

Guard at the Entrance: han sir, boliye kya kaam hai? (Yes sir, tell me the purpose of your visit.)
Me: bhaiya , aaj pehla din hai. (Sir, today is our first day.)
Guard: acha acha. Idhar sign kar dijiye. Fir seedhe chale jaiye. Left se dusra kamra. (Okay okay. Just sign here. Then go straight. 2nd room on the left.)

45 minutes late, we headed for the door, ready to be beheaded. Before entering, we just stopped for a moment to compose ourselves, if at all it mattered. We had surrendered to the fact that we were going to be thrown out in the next few moments.

Pushing the door with all my might (pun intended), I entered first. And there, before us, laid a vast sea of eyes scanning us from top to bottom. Never in my life, had I felt more exposed. But we deserved every bit of this attention, I can tell you that. Shirts half out, trousers falling down, drenched in sweat from head to toe and wearing that stupid-ly confused expression. “Look at Us” was stamped on our foreheads that day, in red, in caps. Then, a lady sitting there finally broke the silence. 
Lady: Yes? May I help you?
Me: Oh yes, we are the new joinees.
Lady: [Surprised] Do you know what time is it?
Me: [Nervously] Ma’am, we’re really sorry, but actually, we got lost while coming here.
Lady: What do you mean by lost? Where had you been?
Me:  Everywhere, but here.
At this, the whole class burst into laughter.
Lady: Oh! No worries. Please enter. Have some water and….. Welcome to Eftarn &Waengsow.

6 months later, the memory of that day still lingers on. The first day at E&W. Feels just like yesterday. So much happened in these 6 months. Made new friends (still not a girlfriend, damn!), learnt the tricks and trade of this I.T. industry (still learning), fell in love with this job, then broke up (not even friends now).  And most importantly, became free, independent. There was so much to tell, so much to write. But surprisingly and disappointingly, the last blog's date stamp shows that it’s been more than 5 months since I last scribbled on this window side. 5 months is a long, long time. Not that I didn’t miss it. Over the course of these 5 months, countless drafts were written that unfortunately, could never see the light of the day. Some went straight to the bin, some got lost midway and some vomited and choked to their death. Those which did manage to avoid these tragedies, were brutally rejected (murdered) by my wonderfully heartless friends, being dismissed as “too much shit to be posted.”  Until, this attempt. So finally after 5 months, here I am, to tell you the complete inside out story of life at E&W.

Okay so from where do I start my so-far-so-shit-corporate story? After the unforgettable first day, the following week was spent trying to know more about the company, its culture, its people. And the more I got to know about the company, the more it disappointed me.  The company (its infrastructure) is painstakingly pathetic, the culture, uptight. You know, when your company boasts of being more than 20 year old, being well established, you expect some decent infrastructure to support the tall claims. And, here you make your first mistake.

Infrastructure: a Glance

1. Machines

Expectation: As a developer, the first thing you expect is a good, updated machine to work on. After all, you don’t want your machine to give up (before you).

What you get: 20 year old desktops. My home desktop could easily beat those. 10 applications and down goes your machine on its knees, pleading to stop the torture, or in the worst case, drops dead.

Verdict: Disappointing!

2. Internet

Expectation:  If you are an IT professional, internet is your oxygen. A good internet connection is such a positive boost to have at your workplace. After all, in order to code fast, you have to google faster.

What you get: Absolutely 3rd class internet. Even a BSNL connection can beat that hands down. And on top of that, all the social networking sites, e -commerce sites and every 3rd site has been blocked. And here I was thinking the college days were behind me.

Verdict:  Incredibly depressing!

3. Cafeteria

Expectation: After your workstation, cafeteria is the place, where you spend most of your time. So a big, well lit, cafeteria with some good food is a bare minimum expectation. After all, only a quality time off leads to quality time on work.

What you get: Small, cramped place where people have to wait to get seats during lunch time. Is it Starbucks or what! Food is nowhere good and the ambiance is boring.

Verdict: Just not up to the mark!  

4. Recreation Room

Expectation: You know there should be a place in the office to unwind. A place to de-stress. A place where you could play games like table tennis, carom board or chess. A place to where you could watch television. A place where you could play music maybe. A place to just liven it up.

What you get: A table tennis table, 2 carom boards and nothing else. Also, the table and the carom boards are accessible only after office hours.

Verdict: FML!

5. Location

Expectation: Well, you expect your office to be easily reachable. And you want a decent public transport connectivity to/from your office.

What you get: A campus in the middle of nowhere. No transport, no nearby hangout places.

Verdict: Upsetting to say the least!

6. Transport

Expectation: Since the office is located in in the heart of the city (pun intended), a good transport service is a must. Imagine paying to go to a god forsaken place, everyday!

What you get: Not the from-the-door pickup, but the bus service provided at free of cost, by the company is just fine.

Verdict: Just about Okay!

7. Medical Facilities

Expectation: A sick room with a nice warm bedding, in case you are not feeling well, in case the hangover from the last night is still there, in case you are feeling sleepy, and in case you just don’t want to work. And oh, not to forget a well stocked first aid kit, always at disposal.

What you get: None of the above mentioned. All they have is a little box going by the name of First Aid Kit.

Verdict:  Downright Ugly!

So overall, the verdict is that the infrastructure provided just sucks. Big time! And what’s worth noticing is that most of these are a matter of applying sense rather than money. Think about it. A good internet connection, less blocked sites, good machines, a separate recreation room, a spare room with a bedding, how much would all that cost? Surely not an ortho lot for a company of this stature and resources. But what can we do about it?

Anyways, I think I will call it an end here, but it’s not finished yet. Yes, it’s not finished anytime soon. In the coming articles, I will cover some of the most distinguished people I met, girls who impressed, the culture and the life in a day at E&W. So until next time, ciao!

                                                                                                                              *To Be Continued

Post Script: So how is your company fare in all these areas? Would love to hear from you guys. As far as the rest of the articles are concerned, they will be out soon. Till then, keep an eye on this window side. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just Sleep It Away !!

It’s only 11 in the morning and the spirits are already crawling..
It’s only 11 in the morning and the heads are already falling..
Not listening a word what they have to say,
Here we are, sleeping the class away!!

Into the distant lands, our minds are sailing...
Those exotic places, our thoughts are trailing...
I so wish we could spend the day some other way
Damn! Here we are, sleeping the class away!!

Oh outside, it has started raining,
And we are trapped here inside, a matter of great mourning.
Omni suit , Omni this, Omni that,
Ah! Complete disarray!
But let’s not worry about that,
For now, let’s just sleep the class away!!

It’s evening now and in the last eight hours, there was so much to listen, so much to learn...
But we, we just watched the ceiling.
First benchers, last benchers alike,
All through the day, we were just sleeping.

This routine is going to continue for another month, as they say,
But days like today, we can take hope from,
We will always remember that there were days when our spirits crawled,
There were days when our minds stalled,
But despite all difficulties
We never panicked, never a hint of dismay,
We just continued with our way,
And slept the class away!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Ten Commandments - Being a Good Friend

1. Thou shalt share the same ideals and ethics (or the absence of them).

You became his friend in the first place due to this, always remember this.

2. Thou shalt be your friend's Partner- in- Crime. 

By crime, I mean crime. You have to help your friend execute every one of his pranks and plans. If you won't, who will?

3. Thou shalt be your friend's support on the last night before examination.

 If he isn't studying, why are you? Don't be this selfish man!!

4. Thou shalt hurl abuses towards your friend in his achievement (in case he manages one) 

People congratulate. Parents congratulate. But not friends. They abuse, vent out their justified anger (for reason: refer to commandment # 3), compose themselves, and put down the phone.

5. Thou shalt accompany your friend outside the classroom, ALWAYS.

 Will Can you let your friend have all the fun alone? Tell me, can you?

6. Thou shalt not pay for your friend. 

Why you should pay:
  • You have extra money.
  • You have less expenses of your own.
Why you shouldn't:
  • You don't want him to feel indebted to you. 
  • You want to him to know the ways of the world, where each man is for himself. 

7. Thou shalt put all the blame on your friend whenever possible.

You are no God-Man. You are just a human, and unfortunately his Friend. Better act like one.

8. Thou shalt understand your friend by the squint of his eye. 

 If you can't, then tell me what right do you have to be called a friend?

9. Thou shalt talk shit all the time, that makes no sense at all to anyone around you.

If you exhaust the quota of sensical-talks with your friends, then what will you be left with to talk with your parents huh? Right? Oh c'mon! You can thank me later!!

10. Thou shalt not let your friend do dope, drink, ALONE!!

 No matter what you are busy with, just throw it aside and go join your friend who's in need of some good company. Remember,
A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Post Script: The aforementioned views are author's personal opinion. If you find the article disturbing or in disagreement to your opinions, you can just go and burn in hell. Thank you.