[Discussion Forum] Career Conscience!

trust.jpg
  1. Are you in the profession of your choice?
  2. If:
    • Yes, then is there something for which you can leave your current profession?
    • If No, What is it “that” which takes your breath away?
Note:
1. I love this picture. It’s taken from Jean-François Chénier’s flickr photostream. The best thing I like about the picture is it’s name: Trust. 🙂
No relation to this post whatsoever, though.
2. This post is concerned to myself, more than anyone else.
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Rail Gaadi, Rail Gaadi… :)

Yesterday while standing at a railway crossing, waiting for the train to pass by, I realized that I love train journeys. Bus journeys are painful, and flight journeys -too short. Trains provide you enough space to move (and jump) around. People you come across are interesting. Moreover, the journey is long enough to let you enjoy your “break” 🙂

--By flickr.com/photos/godvivek/483490156/

Tonight, I’ll be leaving for home to celebrate Holi and my B’day with family after a long time. This will probably be my last visit to Orissa because father got transferred. Return journey is flight from Kolkata, but tonight’s for my loving train :). I have also realized that each time I get down from a train after finishing the journey, a sense of realization that I have failed to enjoy the journey to the fullest comes to me. I know that not everybody would be able to relate to this feeling, but what the hell! 🙂

This feeling, I guess, has a lot to do with my childhood train journeys. This is when I used to fantasize having a camera to click pictures of the changing landscapes. This fantasy is what drove me to buy a DSLR. There is also a disturbing memory associated with trains, but that’s quite personal.

Anyhoo! I don’t wish to stretch this post anymore. I posted it just to let you guys know a couple of things. One, that I’ll be on leave for around 10 days (Saturdays, Sundays included). Second, my love and fantasy for train journeys :). But there’s also one more thing on my mind, and it doesn’t have much to do with trains.

I am considering abandoning this blog. There are several reasons for this. Most prominent of them (which I’d like to mention here 🙂 ) are that I’ve never liked pouring my personal thoughts on anyone (Okay, a few 😀 ), and I don’t REALLY feel comfortable doing it here. This blog started out as an outlet of my frustrations during the final year BTech (and a medium of one sided communication to a few). However, I am not sure if there’s any point continuing it.

Secondly, I am planning to move my tech blog to my server http://projectbee.org, once I return from home, and would like to focus on it. Nothing’s decided yet. Let’s see! 🙂

Run Lola Run… :)

I was working on an introductory paper on RFC 2616 (HTTP Protocol v1.1) today, and had my free iPod shuffle plugged in. I was on the verge of finishing the paper when it transitioned from MaahiVe (Kaante) to Tere Bina Zindagi (Aandhi).

I’ve listened to this song a thousand times, if not more. In fact I must have heard it at least twice yesterday night, and skipped a couple of times. But this was something different. I had a strange feeling. Then the dialogue between Sanjeev Kumar (SK) & Suchitra Sen (SS) came in:

SK: Suno Arti, ye jo phulon ki belen nazar aati hain na ye dar-asal
arabi main aayaten likhii hain. Inhe din ke vaqt dekhna
bilkul saaf nazar aati hain. Din ke Waqt ye saara paani se bharaa
rahataa hai. Din ke Waqt.. ye jo phuhaare hain…..
Suchitra Sen: Din ki baat kyun kar rahe ho. kahaan aa paauungi main din ke Waqt
SK: Ye jo chaand hai na ise raat main dekhnaa… Ye din mein nahi nikaltaa…
SS: ye to roj nikaltaa hogaa
SK: haan lekin kabhii kabhii amaavas aa jaati hai. Waise to amaavas 15 dinon
ki hoti hai lekin is baar bahut lambi thhii
SS: Nau baras lambi thhii naa..

(just a li’ll background. These two people were married, but one fine day, the lady leaves her husband to follow her father’s inheritance of politics. Nine years later, she visits the city for a political campaign and stays in the hotel where her husband is a manager. She goes the house for a dinner, following which both take a walk, this is when the song is played and a conversation takes place. Following is just part of it.)

…and Thud! Something hit me really hard. I don’t know what it was, or why! It just made me feel really.. helpless.
May be it was simply the excitement of finally finishing the paper coupled with an emotional line; or may be just a transition from a fast paced song (MaahiVe) to this one; or may be the story of Kashmir Singh, a prisoner of war, being released by Pakistan after 35 long years was still on my mind when Suchitra Sen reminds Sanjeev Kumar of their troubled relationship of 9 years…

…Or may be it was all. 🙂

Trust me. I am not at all being dramatic. The thought of a relationship floating in troubled waters for 9 long years just because two people couldn’t sort things out… despite being in love so strong that’d eventually survive a separation so long, send shivers in me.

Uh! What the hell! Who cares? Life goes on… Doesn’t it? 🙂

…or does it?

Anyhoo! You enjoy the song 🙂
The above written dialogue is at the beginning of the 3rd minute.

[Quote] Relationships

Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people…

                                                                                                                                                                  –unknown

Reminds me of a sher by lyricist Hasti, sung by Jagjit Singh:

Jism ki baat nahi thi unke dil tak jaana tha,
Lambi duri tay karne mein waqt to lagta hai…

Sorry Honey! :(

Darling,

That sad evening when I came back from office, I knew you’d be waiting for me… waiting for me to take you into my arms and start………
Little did I know that you were sick. It was not even half-an-hour when you started showing the initial signs of sickness. We talked for around 3 hours and you felt a lot better. We decided we could work.
What an amazing night it was! We worked till 4:30 AM… and we did some really productive work. Then we both went to sleep.

I woke up a little late… around 10:00 AM. You were still lying beside me. I didn’t disturb you.
I went to freshen up, and returned in an hour after having breakfast. I woke you up… but your wireless disappeared AGAIN. 😦

ipod-linksys-bittu.jpg

I then spent the whole day trying to update your drivers, uninstalling and re-adding the hardware, and what not. Nothing would work. Neither in Windows, nor on Linux. The wireless device wouldn’t even show up in the hardware profile. I knew it was time for you to visit your family doctors. I took you to the HP Service center at Indira Nagar. They said that since the medical policy has expired, I’ll have to pay a minimum of 300 bucks, in case I didn’t want to go with the prescribed medication. They promised to send the quotation within two working days. Money was hardly any problem… or so I thought.
Those two days and the corresponding nights without you were one of the worst I can remember… Moreover, the mere thought of you being alone in someone else’s house was shivering. Anyhoo, as they had promised, they sent the quotation on the second day. They demanded Rs. 15,838.00/-. They said your motherboard has come trouble.

I knew, I couldn’t afford such an amount… and you know it too. Don’t you?

Several thoughts crossed my mind. Will I have to get a new lady! Will you never be able to talk again!

I consulted a number of people. My younger bro asked me to give you to him and get a new wife for myself. Other people, including my uncle, supported his view. However, Swenny came as a saviour in the midst of all confusions. He told me about the wireless usb modules. They could make you talk again using 802.11 protocol without any need to g for a surgery. They even cost less.

I literally ran from the office, got a linksys one for you, and bingo! Here you are completely (okay okay, almost) fine. 🙂 I am sorry honey that I could afford you a new mother board, but you do understand that we couldn’t have afforded 16K. Moreover, the linkysy thingy i just 1.6K. Isn’t it simply great. 🙂
In another news, I won an ipod shuffle (2nd Gen) – 1GB for sending an sms to the number imprinted on a packet of HappyDent White. This seems to be the first time I have won something so costly… and it feels a little…ummm… strange to have it. I mean I didn’t really earn it… or do any kind of *meaningful* work to get it.

Anyhoo! I just hope that your new body part is comfortable. 🙂

Take care honey,
Bips.

Tum Chalo… (India’s New Anthem)

Update: You can watch the show, Lead India, every Saturday evening 8 PM IST on Star One. Trust me, it’s worth your time.

I suggest that you read further only after watching the complete video, even if you have seen it in the past… even a few minutes ago 🙂


If you wish to download the video, I have a copy on my server.

leadindia_logo.gif

It’s one of the various promotional ads for the Lead India initiative (another reality show) by the Times of India group. It’s written by Gulzar Saab, music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and sung by Shankar Mahadevan. It’s being termed as the new anthem. An amazing number of people find it inspiring, and a few find it a wave similar to Rang De Basanti.

The “different” aspect, however, of this reality show is that it promises to deliver leaders (or politicians) who have the potential to lead and to change things that we all keep complaining about, but never stand to oppose. It’s unfortunate that not just other news channels, but even we have all have been ignoring, if not mocking, it. IMHO, it’s a pretty amazing move. Try to keep an eye on the happenings.
To appreciate the video even more, I thought it’d be good if people could understand the lyrics.

Falak pakad ke utho, aur hawa pakad ke chalo, –2
Tum chalo, to hindustan chale –4

Lagao haath ke suraj subah nikala karein, ]
Hatheliyon mein bhare dhoop aur uchhala karein, ]–2
Ufaq pe paav rakho, aur chalo akad ke chalo,
Falak pakad ke utho, aur hawa pakad ke chalo, –2
Tum chalo, to hindustan chale –4

Although the song has only too pretty uncommon urdu words -Falak (Sky), and Ufaq (Horizon), yet the video is so gripping that a number of people just ignore the magical web of words that Gulzar saab has created.

The video attempts to convey a very simple message –stop complaining and be the change.
It reminds me of Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lines:

Main akeyla hi chala tha Jaanib-e-mazil magar,
Log saath aate gaye, Kaarvan banta gaya!

Similarly, the lyrics of the song convey a very simple message –have a pride in your existence and your actions. Nothing is “big” enough for you. This message has a very special significance. Most of us, the Indians, have a good inferiority complex. Leave other aspects, we don’t believe that an Indian movie can be better (or may be even as good as) a Hollywood movie.

Here is a literal translation of lyrics of the New Anthem:
Disclaimer: The lines below are just translation, not a poetic translation.

Hold the sky to stand, and walk with the wind in your hands,
Be the front-runner; because when you walk, Hindustan (India) walks with you.

Lend your hand to pull out the Sun in the morning,
Fill your hands with sunlight, and throw it around,
Keep you legs on the horizon, and walk with pride,
Hold the sky to stand, and walk with the wind in your hands,
Be the front-runner;
because when you walk, Hindustan (India) walks with you.

If it doesn’t shake you up, just imagine yourself doing all this literally. Imagine yourself pushing the Sun and being the reason for the sunrise. Imagine yourself walking with your leg on the horizon, as you walk holding the gusty winds like a rope.
That’s the kind of pride and courage needed if ones wishes to change and challenge the world.
Remember, the Tank Man?

Anyhoo! Here’s another video (not from the Lead India campaign), that I found on YouTube.

…and thou shalt be Geekier!

Disclaimers:
1. Puhleez understand that this post might leave you with a feeling of immense aggression towards the author. Kindly control your feelings and remember that violence is sin.
2. A part of this post is imaginary.

Prologue
Have you ever:
1. Lost your keys and thought, “Oh! I can make a quick Yahoo! (or Google) search”, only to realize that real life entities aren’t indexed. Not yet, at least. OR
2. Looked at a marriage invitation card and said, “The layout is nice, but the fonts.. yuck!”? OR
3. Prepared a changelog of your….. new girlfriend? OR
4. Smiled and hugged a friend while trying to figure out a bug in your program? OR
5. Told you friends that you’ve married your…. laptop?

If the answer to any of the above mentioned questions is YES, then…. you are in a great trouble my friend. You’re a geek…… and there’s no turning back.

However, life, as cruel as it can get, makes you realize at times that you’re lagging in your quest for geekdom.

http://paid-to-smile.net/lydia/images/rotj18.jpg

The Phantom Menace
It started long long ago when our protagonist was born… But. We won’t go in details. The curious one’s can refer to this post. We will start our story from a latter date when he was recruited in a computer services firm, but wasn’t happy at all. This isn’t where he belongs. He was supposed be somewhere else… to be more intimately involved with computers.
He had a bad feeling about it all!

Attack of the Clones
He, anyhoo, joined the firm, but…………….. it was all a mess.
Or at least that’s what he felt initially. There were (so-called) engineers all around him who’d topped the exams in their respective colleges… but; as The Mentor says, “Damn kids! They’re all alike”.
They were like… Zombies… Parasites… Clones.

Revenge of Swen
“There’s a match for you, not matter WHAT you are”, they say.
True it was for him. He found a match in Swen.

Swen was different.
Not as good looking as him (???), but smart enough (:-o).
Dumb, but geek.
Married, but looking.

Swen soon realized that the young chap was a nerd. Swenny’s nerd-ometer had confirmed it.
…and this wasn’t acceptable to him. He gradually became jealous an started searching for the loophole which would drop The Nerd from geekdom to non-geekdom. He didn’t have to wait too long. He soon realized that the protagonist is a sinner.
He had not watched a single episode of the Star Wars.

The force wasn’t with him. Clearly, he was a non-geek, or still a padawan.

A New Hope
He was devastated… but life moves on.
Swenny left him and went to Chennai and he got involved in training and preparation of new geeks at Hyderabad. He also co-authored a book during the time… spent 16-20 hours a day in front of a computer, mostly on FOSS and security issues. This is the time when he married Bittu.
His hardwork made it clear that there still was some hope.

The Non-Geek Strikes Back
After his back-breaking tenure at Hyderabad, he shifted to Bangalore. This was the time that saw a rise in the stature of the padawan. He worked on a number of things related to Web security (education + pen testing + research ++). Recently, he also started off with PHP training. The force was growing strong….. but Oh! The harsh reality.
He still was a non-Geek.

Return of the Geek
Our very own Jedi Master (Swenny) had by now achieved enlightenment on the matters of brotherhood. He realized his folly. He travelled to Bangalore one weekend and brought with him a gift for the padawan he had once deserted.

A pack of all the six episodes of Star Wars with the following words inscribed on them:

Your path, your destiny lies within,
Discover your inner Geek.

It took only two days for yours truly to get baptised. Thanks to the master, he was no more a padawan… He’s become a full-fledged homegrown Jedi now.

Epilogue
The force grew even stronger and the Geek attained enlightenment in no time.
He realized that Geekdom ain’t no event. It’s a process. A continous quest for GeekDom itself.
The quest continues……

p.s.: I recently presented a webinar at my company titled, The Web is Broken. It’s an introductory presented to web security, and should be conceivable by anyone. It’s fun too 🙂