Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 (https://github.com/zapr-oss) to explore more open source projects by ZAPR. Any feedback would be most welcomed.

 

 

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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

Holocaust

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?

Let’s burst a Myth…


A man bought a huge flat. He conveyed the news to his friends. One of the friends became too excited and decided they should party. The friend organized the party to the full grandeur, he was proud of his friend… He invited every acquaintance over the new house and partied all night.

The next morning, everybody left and friend was also pleased with himself. But the man looked around and saw the whole place was trashed, few things were broken, shoes in the kitchen, bedroom all wet. It was a total mess.

 What do you think about his style of partying for a new apartment?

Always, there’s a special attachment to our work. After all the effort, we feel a part of ourselves in it, which we may not realize but try deleting or destroying it, we feel a little empty.

God created this entire Universe with Earth, being one of the most interesting places. He must certainly feel proud of it.

Stats for Pollution during Diwali

Back-stage

And yet, on Diwali, we burn crackers, which pollute the air, create noise, and claim that we are celebrating a special occasion of God. We sought to invite God in our home by destroying the world He created. Does that sound rational?

In the previous post, I tried to stress on the importance of “Why?” and promised I would come with another tradition which has made us redundant. Earlier, it wouldn’t be much of a problem to burst firecrackers but today, planet is dying. Just think ‘why’?

How city looks during Diwali

On-stage

Air pollution in November 2012 before Diwali

Behind the stage

Before you jump on the wagon of throwing at me the routine activities which cause pollution and their contribution, at least I don’t claim I am doing for God. Just for enjoying a moment of illumination, for experiencing the thrill of playing and overcoming danger, God should not be used as a shield or excuse.

Separate the notion of fireworks in Diwali and God.

This Diwali, I would not consume much of your time, but there are lots of different ways to brighten up the planet or do something for him… Plant a tree…  Sponsor a child… Donate blood… The list is endless

Happy Diwali and Lets light up the world...

Lets light up the world…

When do Traditions make us evil?


When I watched “Gladiator” starring Russell Crowe, two things stuck in my mind:

  1. Russell Crowe, what an actor!
  2. How this atrocity was allowed?

Ok. The King was consumed with the lust of power and I can get why he revived the tradition.

But how could an entire generation of people support this AND

More importantly, could such similar traditions flourish in present day too???

Romans cheering for Gladiators

Crowd cheering for Gladiators

Was something wrong with the people?

They were builders of Colosseum… and they were common people like us concerned with their day-to-day activities, taking good care of their families, helping their friends, abiding by the laws. Everyone, simply, cannot be humanity-bereft.

If there was nothing with the people, we should have such tradition. Right?

We do have… WWE – Two wrestlers fighting in a fixed match and why not, smash the chair in somebody’s head while I am encouraging you.

Why take something of which we are simply a spectator? Why not something we are a part of? Something we are a lot closer to. Birthdays in hostel. You all must have experienced the thrill of hunting down the birthday boy and showering him with chappals, sandals, kicks, etc… Out of the million ways to make him feel special, we choose the trashing way. Why we are not satisfied and call others? If I were a 3,000 A. D. kid, how inhuman this celebration would seem?

More importantly, why is the birthday boy himself not happy internally unless he is hunted or beaten? (I have been there).

Ragging… or to give it a moral justification PDP (Personality Development). Is there any sense in creating more fear in a guy who is probably first time away from home, having difficulties in new surroundings, no friends? Because you want to prove you are superior? If one argues it opens up, the image of troll “Are you ____ kidding me?” Ask yourself, is this the only or best way? My friend, when he met his tech-daughter, he simply talked to her. Making her comfortable, listening to her, advising her (in the faintest hope of following) and she is quite open to him till date.

Why??

So, Why?

Answer lies in the question. We don’t ‘Why?’ Are the answers meted out by society accepted by my standard of logic? Think of it… Sati, caste system, widows are inauspicious…

Man, what we do is less atrocious in nature. I think we are equating two different things…

No one thinks we are ‘evil’. Everyone is righteous in their perspective. This not raising “Why” mindset is capable of creating evil without us recognizing it and even making us perpetuator and propagator. (Devotees becoming rioters…)

So…

We all are logical creatures. Let’s try thinking the logic. Let’s try thinking ‘why’ in traditions. If ‘why’ is valid, bring on. Until that, old traditions will be phased out and new traditions will be established and our future generations will realize how naïve and stupid we have been and similarly they would be stuck in the same obsolete loop.

P. S.: Think about ‘Why’. (If nothing comes up, I will once again highlight a tradition in upcoming posts.)