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What I learned from Justice League​


A few days back, I watched Justice League movie. Now, I am a big DC Fan. I have read Flashpoint, watched entire Justice League Animated Series, watched Season 1 of Batman Animated Series, Nolanverse, CW-verse. Yet, I didn’t like it. Strange, because, fans have a lower bar for their heroes, even put on a good spin on their flaws.

Initially, I thought it was because they crammed too many new characters, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. In rush for speed, they ignored character development time.

A few days back, I was watching Captain America Civil War again. I observed that it also had 2 new characters – Spiderman and Black Panther. I would count Antman as I haven’t seen him yet. The film seemed coherent.

The above theory of too many new characters was wrong. What could be the reason?

I came across more reviews. Another point which came out was the darker tone. It is true that audience generally doesn’t prefer dark movies. But critics do and this movie was smashed by critics too. Also, Nolanverse was also dark. There had to be something more.

Let’s go back and see How was Spiderman introduced? He was not introduced typically as bitten by Spider and indirectly responsible for Uncle Ben’s death. But as a normal teenager who doesn’t know what to do with his powers. Before taking him under his wing, Stark asked him “What gets you out of your twin bed every morning?”

What the story made clear was the motivation of Spiderman. This is very critical. Because we connect with WHY? We are emotional beings. We connect with each other with emotions. I can parrot a bunch of superpowers but ultimately, it will be the story in which you will be interested in.

“Why” doesn’t have to be positive or altruistic feeling. It can be a negative feeling like Black Panther’s revenge for his father or Joker’s motivation of watching the world burn.

Momentarily, we can be dazzled with visuals, but if we want to get deeply involved with something, we need to know “WHY?”

Another thing which bothered me in DCEU was in Man of Steel. When young Clark reprimanded for saving his classmates by pulling a bus out of the water. He asks,

“What was I supposed to do, just let them die?”

Superman’s parent taught him to always do the right thing. Not just when suited to you. Same concerns for Batman. One of Batman’s core value is that he doesn’t kill.

Origins and portrayals doesn’t affect. In fact, origins and portrayals are different across different adaptations. Core values are something that cannot be changed. Core values define the character irrespective of its adaptations.

The learning here is that we need to define our core values and know the motivation. Things will keep on changing, and at an even faster pace as time progresses. It can be any work or oneself. If we have those, it will be relatively easy not to get lost and perhaps, our story will be worthwhile.


How Atreyee Dey redefined both Big-Data problems and Gender Norms

Atreyee Dey has worked in Tech R&D for more than ten years. Now she’s solving complex Big-Data problems at Zapr Media Labs, and profiling media consumption at a scale that’s never been done before. As a female software engineer, she is pushing the boundaries of data search and retrieval in an industry where women have had lesser space so far.

I’ve been with Zapr a little over a year. I wanted to see what a startup culture feels like and how I can contribute. I had almost 10 years of experience in research and product labs, but I felt there are a lot more dynamism and freedom in the way we shape our products here. At the same time, a lot of urgency and constraints come into the picture since we’re dealing directly with clients. Additionally as a startup, we want to be frugal in our design choices when we…

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Opening for open source​

Open source has always been a fascinating concept to me.

Open source is basically giving out your entire work for free to anyone. Not just free to use but free to look into internals too which includes architecture, design, code, etc. We are not only talking about some minor work, but also projects of large complexity and scale.

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to have discussions where he would advocate it and I would argue against it.

My arguments:

  • Sure, you can create something but it wouldn’t be at par.
    To be honest, most of the points were limited and derived from Windows/Linux experiences.
  • What is in for people to open source?
    There is no money.
    Neither will you be recognized.
    In fact, you could be criticized if there is some silly mistake.
  • Leave an individual. What is in for a company?
    Won’t it lose competitive advantage?
    Why waste its time on non-consumers?

Why? What’s in it?

Needless to say, I was mistaken.

When I joined ZAPR Media Labs, it opened a vast world of different technologies for me. Most of them are open source. They are huge, complex and of amazing quality. Developers around the world are collaborating and investing their time and energy, apart from work and home, to build such stuff. Wow!

As time progressed, different tools and technologies used and it became natural to use them. On hindsight, I feel that we probably took a lot for granted.

Once there came a project in which Druid, a database, had to be queried programmatically. The process was cumbersome. We banked on our usual answer: Let’s look out for an open source solution to ease it! (mark the difference in attitude). We didn’t find anything which suited our need so we built an in-house module. As I talked to the other team members and Siddharth (VP Engineering), we realized that it could be a very useful for others in the team and also for everyone out there.

I guess something kicked inside us. Nihit and I started developing a separate, generic library that can be used by anyone, anywhere. Those who have worked in a startup would resonate with the feeling that you are always scrambling for time. Time is something which you don’t have in abundance. So, we worked at it on weekends and whatever empty patches of time we had on weekdays. Also, since the code would be public, there could be no shortcuts which meant no hacks, no avoiding unit test cases, no skipping documentation.

Atreyee (Technical Architect) helped us out for some prerequisites for open sourcing, guiding us on structure and nitty-gritties, reviewing and verifying if everything was in the right place.

Finally, we released it

Open Source Man

Open Source Man

It was a surreal feeling to me. That night, I open source sat and enjoyed the moment. First, from being a non-believer to being a part of such ideology. Second, there was always this feeling that it was the work of big orgs or super intelligent people. But it is basically for anybody with something valuable to offer.

The question still remained: Why?

Not all returns are in tangible form and neither they come externally.

There is a builder spirit among us, which just wants to build stuff and is happy to see someone using it.

There is a feeling of gratitude and giving back to the community. Thank you everyone out there for providing us with the base on which we could grow our tech and business and not just reinvent the wheel.

PS: Check out our Github ( to explore more open source projects by ZAPR. Any feedback would be most welcomed.



My First Encounter with the Majestic Himalayas

Core spirit of travel in words…

Tales of a Hodophile

Travelling. This word didn’t hold any meaning for me until I saw the movie “Into The Wild”. Alexander Supertramp made me think about my life and where was I heading. Before that, I was a lost soul with thinking of a herd mentality that to be happy and successful, one needs money and to earn money, you need a high-paying job, and to get job, you need to study hard and so on and on. But today I can say proudly, it’s not the money that matters but the memories that we make, the exquisite pleasure felt in living, the adventure, the days that we can remember in our old age matters.

And then I decided to trek into the Himalayas, I asked some of my friends if they wanted to join me, most of them were scared of the idea and no one was ready to join me, I…

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So you think there is God??

The world is fair.

Hitler killed approximately 6 million people just because they belonged to a particular race, people affected by Chernobyl nuclear disaster reached tens of thousands. People are shunned due to their sexual orientation. Some get opportunities simply because they are sons or daughters of someone. In our personal Life, some of the most capable people are left behind but jerks we know rise to a higher level.

Corpses of prisoners are seen at Buchenwald concentration camp after the liberation in April 1945. The construction of Buchenwald camp started 15 July 1937 and was liberated by US General Patton's army 11 April 1945. Between 239,000 and 250,000 people were imprisoned in this camp. About 56,000 died among which 11,000 Jews. On the 4th of April Patton's army liberated the Buchenwald sub-camp in Ohrdruf, where they only found about fifty corpses of prisonners. The 9000 Buchenwald commandos - hundreds of Polish, Russian, Yugoslavian, Italian and French, some Hungarian and Russian Jews, and gypsies - had been forced by the Nazis to march 80 km on April 2nd from Ohrdruf to the main camp Buchenwald. Most of them were evacuated again April the 7th to Dachau and Flossenburg. Much died during this ordeal. On the 11th of April the International Committee (created in August 1943 by the prisoners), who managed to obtain and hide arms during previous shelling, gave the order for an insurrection which pave the way for the US army.(FILM) AFP PHOTO ERIC SCHWAB AFP PHOTO


So much for the fair world…

There is God.

Argument: When you see the sunset or sunrise, you can’t stop feeling awe, you can’t stop feeling just.

It’s certainly one of nature’s wonders but at the same time, Earthquake, Tsunamis, etc… are also part of that same nature.

Argument: Believing in God makes people better human being.

Worshipers start following the path of God. We are encouraged to donate, take care of our fellow beings, stay righteous, and believe in the Supreme Power. Satis, religious riots, discrimination, if you are gay, and endless more are also the by-products. Atheists are equally benevolent, helpful and humble. Warren Buffet to be named.

Argument: Miracles and all the stuff which Science is unable to explain. A baby falls from the second floor and survives.

First, let’s take miracles. Good, bad, extremely good, horrifically bad, all of these happen in Life. Duality is a part of nature. If there were no miracles, then it would have been an abnormality. Second, there’s a plethora of phenomena that science is unable to explain but science is learning, growing. One day, we may get that answer.

Argument: Why did this happen to him and not the other guy? Concept of ‘Karma’…

He lost his leg. God has punished him. I think there is a long list of people who should be punished before going after some people who had an accident. Regarding Karma, if I inflict harm on some people, something bad will happen to me. Ok. What about person who received harm, he must have been harmed because of his earlier bad actions. If that is what he deserved, I am doing God’s work. 🙂

Argument: If value of any scientific constant is changed slightly, Life would be erased.

Fine. Something else will be there. Another form of Life, another phenomenon which is out of our imagination. Out of 859 planets discovered, we have not been able to discover Life in one of them. Some are purely in dark. It’s not that perfect.

Argument: Where did all of these come from?

Alright, there is a Creator.

So, why do we believe in God?

I think because believing in God provides the “pattern”. We, as humans, always look for a pattern. We want to know as much as possible of what comes next. We fear the next unknown in the series.

If we were told that we are governed by laws, we are at ease because we know what’s next. Never mind, its good or bad, but we know. What if we were to be told, there is randomness and there is no certain response for our acts. Good will not always return good. It’s scary not knowing the consequences of our actions. It’s all for the “pattern”.

On an ending note:

Recently, in a riot-strife area, a woman had just given birth to a baby. It was a beautiful baby drenched in blood. A group of people barged in and asked does it belong to A or B. They didn’t ask if it was a boy or a girl, just which group it belonged. The nurse, horrified, remained silent. On seeing the silence, one of them picked the baby and threw it out of the window.

Related article: Why I Raise My Children Without God

Why I hate our Topper?

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental (or intentional).

Guys and gals, we all have reasons to love our topper and apparently more reasons to hate him/her. Let me add one more to that reasons of hatred. Here’s the incident, which aargh:

Bookworm chased by pesticide

That was one of my wishes…

It was Second Semester in College. I loved a girl. This one was special. You know, since childhood, I have been against girls, but when I looked at her for the first time, all those years of hatred and resistance simply crumbled and God only knows how I take my eyes off her every time I look at her.

We were part of the same friend’s circle. One day, our group decided to go to the movies, “Harry Potter”. Not remotely interested. When she asked me, I was about to say no but… then I thought it’s AN Opportunity. I get to watch a movie with her. I had to control my excitement from her. “Yes, Why not?”

Now, the real hurdle for me was to sit next to her. The guys in my group knew it and so, they would sit accordingly. Girls… the ultimate problem to mankind. Then, Girl1 knows it. Girl2, nah, Girl3, nah. Its going to be tough. Throughout the way to theatre, I was deeply thinking of ways to sit with her. Even she remarked, “You are unusually silent today”.

Finally we reached. We were all settling down. Then, I saw her take seat with Girl3 but no one else on the other side. “God is great”. I practically leaped to The Seat. But before that, Mr. Topper sat down. “WTF??” I cursed inside. I told him through our eye-language to get up as I want to sit with her. But lo karlo baat, he didn’t understand.

“What?” he enquired with confusion spread all over his face.

The lights went off and reel started rolling. Everybody started shouting, “Sit, sit, movie’s about to begin”

I marched off to the extreme corner. Damn it, there was the opportunity, there was luck, everything was in perfect place but now due to that $**#@ I am stuck with a movie I am not at all interested in, blown hundred and fifty bucks and sitting with some random stranger on one side and a girl who was so deep into the movie that if disturbed, she would “Avada Kedavra” me. 😦 😦 :X

movie and sleeping in theatre

You may be wondering I could have sat after the intermission, but that was also a tragedy. That’s for another time. Till then. Take care.

A 60 second story…

It was the cold winter evening. A beggar with his 5-year old son was hungry. People tend to walk around less in winter. They had nothing to eat since morning. He knocked on a door. The owner, furious at the audacity of beggar, shoved him backwards.

They covered themselves tightly with their tattered cloth. “Sir. Can you spare us some alms?”

The owner refused.

“Sir, we have not eaten anything since morning. Please give us some food?”

The owner’s face grew more crossed.

“Even leftovers would do? Anything?” He was worried about his son.

The owner refused again.

“Any old clothes?”

The owner refused again.

“Sir, Can you give me some sand from your garden?”

The owner seemed surprised at the request. He agreed. He went and brought him some sand.

The beggar blessed him and started going away.

The owner, still perplexed, called him. “Why did you ask for sand?”

“Because, it will teach you to give something.” 

A plant just planted in garden

I am not encouraging begging.

My interpretation is Things begin with small, seemingly irrelevant acts.

What’s yours?