Salvation.

He lied down to sleep. But he just couldn’t. The reality of the situation sunk within him slowly inch by inch and he felt every second of the pain. There was nothing that he could do about it now. The time he had was over. He had wasted it. He had ignored his duty and had fell prey to the luxuries around him and at last, only when the day came to an end did he realize he will have to pay for his irresponsibility.

He tried to close his eyes but their hulking figures punishing him mercilessly came into his mind and it was almost as if he really felt each blow that he thought of. He tried to think of other things to just fall asleep but alas! Reality’s grasp was too much on him. They were going to get him for sure the next day. What hope was there? Absolutely none.

He lay there listening to the pitter patter of the slight drizzle outside. He wished the world to end just then and there so that he wouldn’t have to suffer the cruel humiliation the next day. Death seemed like a better alternative for him. His heart beat was rising and the agitation took away with it all the sleep he had.

He lied listening to the music of the rain outside. But there was no enjoyment in it for him.

He suddenly heard his alarm ringing and the time was a bit into morning already. He had slept off somehow. He jumped up from his bed and for a brief second said, “Oh please God…”.

Then he heard vaguely the maid speaking to someone over the phone. He couldn’t make out what it was, but he hurried downstairs.

“Lucky kid!”, the maid said, “They just called and said that you don’t have classes today as there is a function for your senior students and teachers on short notice. You’ve got a day ahead of you.”, she ended with a wink.

His name was Shareef. He was in 6th standard.

He hadn’t done his math homework.

He stood there for a while at this news, looked up with a smile and went to get the day started.

—————————————-

In the memory of our school days…

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Talkers are losers.

If any of you know Razor Ramon, you must know “Smokers are losers” was his punch line. But this post is not about Razor Ramon or his punch line. Read away!

I think you already got the point. And there are thousands of them all around. They will be sitting there minding their own business and when someone proposes to do something, these people just burst up with full of energy from God knows where and starts to put forth these “brainstorm” ideas! Some even go to the extent of inviting Obama for inaugurating an half an hour seminar of one of the students!

The usual questions and remarks are

“Why do we have to do it like that?”

“Let’s do this”

“Let’s do that”

“That hasn’t got the punch” (Soon they’ll be getting a punch!)

“Just that? Nothing else?”

“That won’t work man”

“Why plan something that is going to be a flop?”

“Nobody is going to notice it”

“Let’s take that program and route it via this one and set up a multi dimensional hologram so that the aliens passing by might see it and attend” (For goodness sake!)

You must hear them mouthing off all these “brilliant” ideas. And when you tell them, “Hey, let’s stick to the things we can do” they get all touchy and emotional as if their “stupendous” opinions weren’t valued! Oh my God… It would be nice if you could tell them “STFU”. But why make enemies? So we put that in mind.

And not only that, these guys are worse than lawyers! They spot all the tiny weeny things that weren’t upto their expectations and go on griping about them. But hey, let’s look at the bright side. Its one thing all of us programmers find really useful. Debugging! Okay, let me dub them “The Debuggers”! Less offensive too right?

Now there is one category of people who is just full of team and group spirit when talking to but when you ask them for support and participation for a venture that you’ve taken a bit trouble to organize, they come up with this bull-shit excuses of having “Exams” or a certain ‘sudden’ mood to study the second paragraph of some third chapter.

Getting things done is the beauty. Not organizing a group together so that you can sit and gossip about the things happening around you. Instead of sitting and saying, “I hate everyone and everything around me”, try to give it a shot so as to make things right. You don’t have to go to any extent of making everything right. Just start off one small piece with a few friends of yours. And just like an open source project, talk to people to pick up on the idea. Not everyone will co-operate, but some people are there who can be convinced. Some souls who just needs the tiniest bit of motivation or push. But unfortunately, since gossiping is way much easier and does not need any strain, they join that club pretty easily.

The first sentence of the last paragraph was the advice Shalin Jain gave me when I tried to “talk” to him about these “great” ideas that I had. And that was the best advice one could give I guess.

I may not truly and wholly be right in what all I’ve just said. I’m a human too. But I believe I have the right to say what I’ve said.

The Minstrel Boy.

Its a poem introduced to me by my brother. If you hear it and read the lines, and then you don’t feel something inside, I know not what to say. Your cause and your beliefs are sacred. Hold true to them.

 

 

THE MINSTREL BOY by Thomas Moore

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone

In the ranks of death you will find him;

His father’s sword he hath girded on,

And his wild harp slung behind him;

“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,

“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,

One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,

One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

 

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman’s chain

Could not bring that proud soul under;

The harp he lov’d ne’er spoke again,

For he tore its chords asunder;

And said “No chains shall sully thee,

Thou soul of love and brav’ry!

Thy songs were made for the pure and free,

They shall never sound in slavery!”

Having fun with gcc.

I actually stumbled upon this idea quite a awhile ago along with my friend Sunil. I don’t exactly remember what we were trying to accomplish back then but here is what I got from the little hacking time we had.

This is about how you can mimic commands. You use the commands cd, ls, cp, etc, right? What if you want something of your own like that? For example your name as a command? Ha! Let’s do that itself.

I did this on my Ubuntu 10.04 distro and I have the gstreamer plugins for mp3Β  files downloaded and installed.

Let’s assume that you have a song called rockthee.mp3 in your /home/<yourname>/music/ directory.

Now what we are going to do is this. We are going to manipulate a few things such that when you type in your name and hit enter, totem movie player will open up and the song rockthee.mp3 will start playing. And we are going to use the system() command to accomplish this.

For this, go to any directory you wish and open up a text editor. Type in the following code there:

#include<stdio.h>
int main()
{
system("totem ~/music/rockthee.mp3 &");
return 1;
}

Now save it as filename.c and quit the editor.

Going back to the terminal, compile the code as follows:

gcc filename.c -o <your name>

(Replace “<your name>” with your name)

In my case, it would be

gcc filename.c -o haris

Now if you do an ls, you will see that your name is there. Typing ./haris will open up totem and play rockthee.mp3. But that’s not how we want it to be, is it? I mean this is just like executing a C program from the folder it is written in! We shouldn’t use that ‘./’. So what do we do?

Ah ha! We have two options. Either (1) add the path of the current folder (got by executing the command ‘pwd’) to the PATH variable or (2) simply copy the file having your name into any one of the locations given by $PATH.

We will explain both here. But first, try executing ‘$PATH’ in your shell (terminal) and see what comes. Those are the directories which will be searched for when you type in a command at the prompt and hit enter. If you try

ls /bin

you can see many familiar commands including ‘ls’ itself. So when we type ‘ls’ and hit enter, our system searches all the directories specified in the PATH variable and only if it finds ‘ls’ in any one of those locations will ‘ls’ be executed.

So let’s try method (2) first. It is simpler. Run the following:

sudo cp <your name> /bin/

You’re done. Now close the terminal, open up a new one and try simply typing in your name and hitting enter. Viola! There comes Totem with your song! Now to remove what you copied, do

sudo rm /bin/<your name>

Now let’s go to method (1). In order to permanently include the path of your current folder in the PATH variable, you have to edit a file called “.bashrc” in your home folder. But first execute ‘pwd’ and remember the output. Now open up .bashrc using any text editor.

gedit ~/.bashrc

And add the following two lines to the end of that file.

PATH=$PATH:<output of executing ‘pwd’ earlier>
export PATH

In my case it would be

PATH=$PATH:/home/haris/music/ (assuming I wrote and compiled filename.c in the ‘music’ folder itself)
export PATH

Now save the file and close it. Close your current shell (terminal) and open a new one. Type in your name and hit enter and see the wonder works! Also now try executing ‘$PATH’ and you will see that a new path has been added to it.

You can make it a bit more interesting if you add a few printf statements in that C program before the system command saying “This software is created by haris and its version is 0.xx” or something. You can show your non-linux user friends and mess with them.

You can try system command for many things. Here are a few examples:

system(“firefox gmail.com &”);

system(“evince <path>/filename.pdf &”);

system(“gedit <path>/filename.c &”);

Try playing with it and I’m sure you will get more and more ideas.

All the very best!

How many Fathers do you have?

One? Guess again! I bet you’re disgusted in reading that title. But hey, don’t take it literally.

One day when I was on my way to college from home, I had the privilege of being accompanied by one of my good old friends who goes with the name of Jasim. A jolly fellow. Tall and well built. We sat together in the bus and started a casual chat about how things were going for each of us personally over the past few years.

In the midst of the talk, he put to me the above question. I was like “What!?”. He gave a hearty laugh and gave me his mobile phone and told me to browse through the contacts. And there it was!

Vappa1 – 1234567890

Vappa2 – 1234568790

(Vappa means father)

Even though the way he put it was hilarious, it certainly was food for thought.

It is a common practice these days among most of us to keep taking sim cards one after another. I know one of my juniors at college who takes a new sim card each time he wants an Internet connection.

He takes a new sim card, which are nowadays free and you can get them by just filling a form and submitting your id proof, uses off its Internet offer, throws it away and then submits the next proof, takes the next card and so goes on his story…

He must have at least 50 sim cards in his name by now.

However, there is something scary about this business. A son of my Dad’s friend was to leave for gulf. He went to the airport and was going through the formalities over there when some error was found in his documents. I do not know what sort of errors were those but it so happened that he was required to undergo a police inspection suffice to say his journey was cancelled.

He returned to his home and the police inquiry was going on. The next day or after one or two days, the police came to his home with a report Β and he was taken into questioning under the fact that he had 5 different sim cards under his id! He had no answer to the question why he had so many different sim cards and what were he using them for.

As such, him having multiple sim cards was filed as a police case.

This maybe the case of one in a thousand or maybe ten thousand. But if anything goes wrong with you, this is a solid proof to show that you’re upto something criminal in nature. So be careful and think twice before getting into a kick of taking sim cards.

Drop the “Ha ha! Sim cards!! I want more! GIVE ME MORE! I’m the Powerful! Ha ha he he!! SIM CARDS!! PILE ‘EM ON!!!” attitude and be content with the one that you have.

Also don’t get more logical fathers, mothers and siblings than you already have. πŸ˜‰

Our Engineer’s day. (In the memory of 15th September, 2008)

When Afaf told me to blog about this day, I really did not think I would. But then I realized I can read this again some day later which will bring back a few moments of lovely thoughts…

We have completed 3 years of engineering. 3 years of college life. We have seen and learned so much (of course, not academically!) But philosophically regarding life and relations. Some of us even have learned academics pretty well.

I remember the 15th of September, 2008. I came to the hostel directly with my mom and dad early in the morning. There was a lot of hustle and bustle as the confused freshers were trying to get a grip on what the heck was going on. Suffice to say we had to wear Hawaii slippers, we couldn’t fold up our full sleeves, we were not allowed to tie watches, we couldn’t put anything in our shirt pockets and oh sweet lord, we had to run all the way to the college gate (from MH) with hands raised and books in our hands!! These were the unwritten laws of our beloved seniors at our beloved college.

But thank God Hashim was there whenever I needed to talk to. I love him. May God bless him. πŸ™‚ I’ve wrote about him here.

Back then I used to almost curse each day morning. Time would really slow down when our running starts and it will be a lifetime before we reach the college gates… But now.. Now that we are fourth year students, the first year happenings are the only common things that we can sit together, talk about and laugh… πŸ™‚

I mean even today when I ask, “Hey da, do you remember how we shot each other with the drafter” or “Dude!! The push ups on the grill!!” or “I jumped higher than you during those mech salutes”, to my friends, there is this sense of having lived life… What I mean is, the things that didn’t used to make sense once are now making the best of memories I will ever have.:) I believe what happening today that drives me crazy will make sense tomorrow when I grow up… πŸ™‚

I have seen many people change in this course of time including me. I’m not the kid that used to simply sit in his seat without doing or saying anything. Frankly, right now I think I’m overdoing it. πŸ˜‰

My sister advised me to never put smileys while writing. I’m trying to follow it hard (stupid sms habit. Just won’t go away) but this post deserves some. πŸ˜€

I go through my diary and see what all has happened. I mostly laugh at everything written over there. I’m sure I’ll laugh until I cry some day when I go through it after a long while..

Hey, next year this time? We won’t be here…

Those were the best days of my life. πŸ™‚

Here is my most loved song ever. No dedications. Anyone who has enjoyed their college life even a bit will surely appreciate this. Whatever be said, I really am going to miss this life a lot…

Yup, I AM going to miss it…

Wolverine fan!

Lately I had a talk with one of my friends on how to sort things out in life. Well, me being a great fan of the guy above, I put forward the ways how he deals with things. Hey, its simple. Lashing out or withdrawal.

Given a situation, either it is total carnage or else he won’t be even anywhere near the place. But I guess that’s pretty irresponsible way to live. So I told my friend to take the path that lies in between. To withdraw when you need to and to compromise when you need to too. That, unfortunately, is the hardest way. But this post ain’t about life’s philosophies!

Wolverine is a mutant. A mutant can be vaguely put as someone having an ill-fashioned gene. However, the story is that we are now homo sapiens right? One more stage of evolution comes where homo superiors get born. They have this extra gene which gives them all sort of superb powers and stuff. Wolverine is one of them.

His power is his accelerated healing factor. Wound, shoot him, hurt him, he laughs them off. The kicker is, his mind too gets healed. If there are any memories of his that hurt him, he heals over them and never remembers such a thing happening. As such, he doesn’t remember his past at all. He is always in search of it.

For a long while I’ve wanted to watch a cartoon or movie where our man really sheds some blood. But till now all the cartoons and movies shows him stabbing, cutting and all but none of them have the slightest amount of the violence this bad ass is really capable of. Not a single drop of blood. There are a lot of comics in which the massacre is there but not a single cartoon or movie.

And mark my words, for a dedicated Wolverine fan, Hugh Jackman in the X-MEN movie does not fit the bill at all! He is tall, handsome, well spoken, and all… A good guy basically. Whereas the real Wolverine is short, bulging with muscles, hairy, and doesn’t usually sit down for a chat to get information unlike Wolverine with Gambit in that movie.

I mean come on!! Hugh Jackman only uses the word ‘bub’ twice (or maybe thrice) in all those four movies together!! Each and every sentence of Wolverine’s usually start or end with ‘bub’!

So here it is folks. Marvel has finally come out with something my heart really yearned for all theseΒ  years. A real Wolverine cartoon! I never get tired of watching it again and again just to see him shout and shed some blood with those claws of his. And as for his attitude, no one tops him.

Have a nice time watchin’ bub. He is the best there is at what he does. But what he does, isn’t all that nice.

Hope you’re psyched!