Things I would have done different if I was in first year of college again.

I think this is something that we should all do so that young ones with similar tastes as us can know when they are making a mistake. Let us just say this post might be the answer to the question, “Do you have any regrets now that you are finishing your college life?”. Then again, never let it be said that I don’t have anything to be thankful for in my entire college life. This post resembles the procedure where people use a software and report bugs. No one files a bug report saying, “Good job!”. People complain only on things that they are not satisfied with and that exactly could be what this post means. So here goes. The following might not have any specific order.

1. Not sit in the first bench.

2. Take at least five push ups every morning.

3. Never do a message offer in my mobile phone.

4. Never take an unlimited broadband connection at home.

5. Make sure I took critters.org seriously.

6. Make sure I got on stage for some program.

7. Make sure I did not compromise my beliefs.

8. Make sure I finish reading at least one novel every three months.

9. Strictly tell people to get lost when I get engaged in chit-chats.

10. Should’ve taken a good programmer’s advice seriously. My brother’s.

11. Study just one and only one subject seriously every semester.

12. Sleep early everyday unless something really important was at stake.

13. Go out for as many technical events as possible and find friends who are interested to go with me.

14. Try for paper presentations. (This is one great asset that a person can gain while being at college and I really regret not even doing one.)

15. Learn one chapter of Kernighan and Ritchie, the C programming language, every month.

16. Sit and try to solve the questions at the back with one who loves to try learning programming.

17. Get more attached to people who loved coding.

18. Never to listen to music while doing some other activity.

19. Putting academics apart, concentrate one thing at a time and never to postpone anything.

20. Think and talk to seniors about something like ABACUS. (I really wish I had the opportunities that the junior are getting now).

21. Make sure I knew two programming languages very well. (Right now thinking about it, it could be C and Python).

22. Ask and learn people who know about how computers work. (The things that happen from the moment you press the power button till the welcome screen loads, one at a time).

23. Realize that I had lots of time and take things slow and serious instead of trying to do things the quicker way.

24. Meditate and learn to think about one thing at a time.

Hmmm… I might come back to update this… But that’s it for now!

“It is hard to get you excited”

This post comes from the words of a person who has been a great inspiration for me. I think everyone reading this post will be familiar with the name of Pramode sir. An awesome teacher as well an awesome programmer, it really fills you with a certain energy each time you talk with him. And sadly, I believe that lack of interaction with people such as him is what the students are suffering nowadays.

One Saturday, a bunch of us students from NSS including me were attending his workshop on Python and embedded systems. You can find the details here. During the class, he in his friendly manner was chatting with us in the midst of which he made a statement that frightened me quite a bit. And that statement is the title of this post.

He reached the point of making this statement when he saw that after running a code that made an LED blink on the expeyes embedded device, we were all sitting as if nothing great had happened. And when he made the statement, it suddenly struck me that the curiousness of wanting to know things and the excitement of seeing something was really low for the students these days.

And the problem is that all of us are already tapped out of excitement! Just think of it. From our childhood days onwards (nowadays starting from when one is 3 years old), we’ve been continuously exposed to all sorts of excitement. And that has not been in learning but in watching TV, movies, mobile phones, songs, games, etc. A blinking light on a stupid board is nothing compared to what Neo does in Matrix as far as we’re concerned!

As for putting the blame on our parents for this, well, I won’t say it out loud for I can find a million other things that I have to be thankful for regarding my parents. One being them not having that attitude of “Harrrrrrrrrisss! You scored less markksss! WHAT HAPPENED!?”.

But now we have an option to make a change. The kids we see around us, our niece, nephews, neighbour’s kids, whoever it be, if you wish to make things right for them, then you really can prevent them from being exposed to a lot of trash instead of sitting there and saying, “Dude, the world is bad. Even if I prevent him, he will be exposed to everything from other people. So why bother? Its not practical…”. And you can make up a million excuses for ruining that kid’s life. But yeah.. Why should it concern you huh? Its not like you have assumed the responsibility of the world or anything.

So hear me those who wish to be responsible for living in this world, do not think of what others would do. Make sure you do your part right. That is, help the young ones to keep away from the TV, all the music. Talk with them, listen to all the childish things that they might have to say, make sure you control your tongue in front of them, make sure you don’t encourage and laugh when they say vulgar jokes..

I mean it really is fun to hear them say things that an adult would say, jokes that an adult would say. But the question is, is the ruining of their innocence and curious mind worth the amusement? Think about it. Start with your self.

Here is an inspiring song that I’ve heard to this effect. Its called “Man in the mirror” by Michael Jackson.

Paruvingal, Mohammed Abdul Hafiz.

Now here is a synonym for “multi talent”.

This dude, I’m both proud and jealous to say, is my cousin. Naturally, the first question is going to be, “Why be jealous of someone? You have our own skills right?”. Well, let me know if you feel like asking that question once we are through with this post.

I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year now. I’ve been claiming that I love to write and I’m writing for the sake of writing. I’ve had my fair deal of wild imaginations and stories which are already here. But whatever commitment I show now to writing, this dude had already known and proven it long ago.

Yes, you guessed it right. He is an author.

The book is called, “The Island of Adventures”. He wrote and ‘published’ it when he was studying in his 10th grade I believe. The story about how a bunch of friends gets invited to perform their wonderful drama in front of the Queen and how the mysterious¬† adventure of the hidden treasure begins after they meet the cool Mr. Collins.

He wrote this all down. Cut and compiled it to a printable page form and his dad made him four copies of it. Yes, that’s right. The world contains only four books of his and from my point of view, I must say it the “open sourcest” book I’ve ever seen.

Well, the thing is, while he was on his story, I was on one myself and I still remember we both sitting at the dining table and writing our stories (with humongous support and motivation from my sister, who is another force to be reckoned with). While he finished it and made his book, I still hadn’t completed it and to this day, the 9 chapters that I’ve written are with me waiting to be finished someday.

Well, that’s not all.

This dude, is a pianist! Even if not a professional one, that has never held him back from getting on the stage and performing. I mean, we both used to play the Piano for fun from our homes very often. But then one day, here comes this guy saying that  he has been elected for the western group of his college to play the background music! Oh man! Suffice to say, he has made his mark there too.

And hey, let’s not think that his writing has gone unrecognised. He has been the constant first prize winner in the short story and essay writing competitions from school and from college too. And surprisingly, he has made his mark in Arabic writing too!

Enough of the creative and festive parts. Those are just side dishes. Now here comes the main course!

He is a god damn super awesome football player!

I mean, I’ve seen people say that they are hardcore fans of football clubs and some players and all… But none of them have an ounce of spirit in actually playing the game and feeling the actual spirit of it. And as such, its just another case of “all fart and no shit”.

But this dude.. He is a hardcore player player as well as a hardcore Liverpool fan. You can understand his enthusiasm if you sit and talk with him for a few minutes. Even if you’re a guy who hates football, in that few minutes you’ll be sitting there listening to him in awe. His super humorous way of putting it along with his heroic descriptions really is a wonder to hear.

And football is just one.. He excels in badminton, cricket and caroms! Being one among the college team badminton players and also the inevitable player in our village team, sports is in his blood. Put him in any sport that you want and it will only be a couple of days before he masters it.

As for me personally, I’ve played all these games with him form childhood onwards. Both as his partner and as his rival. And suffice to say it wasn’t anything surprising losing to him in Badminton for 15 – 0, in football for 10 – 0 and in cricket he would score about 200+ runs in 10 overs with me bowling and I would be golden duck. But hey, my spirit was never crushed with those defeats. I would be up and at him the very next day to suffer the humiliation again! No wonder I was a stupid kid.

Now leaving all the creative, festive and sporty parts behind, let’s get down to business.

In school, his percentage hasn’t ever come below 95 (might be a little exaggerated, but you get the idea). And in college, his average is 85%+. You see? This idiot, apart from engaging in all the other aspects that I’ve said above, scores this bloody marks too! Man, my whole family must be thinking I’m a loser. Ha! But they don’t know me.

Quiz competitions, paper presentations… He is there. Is God giving him more than 24 hours a day? God knows!

I mean come on! This post is going on and on with him watching almost all the movies that are box office hits along with a vast collection of music in his mobile phone.

I think one talent that I have not seen in him is singing. He he… I’ve been told he is a bathroom singer, but I gotta investigate further on that end. Lol!

Religiously well learned and practising, he never compromises his beliefs for any of the joy and fun he has no matter what. Seriously, I can’t even imagine how he does it.

This dude has been my childhood friend. Being a “self-proclaimed” master of video games myself, I got lot of memories with this dude on lots of occasions. Thinking about it, almost all my memories has got him in it.

A civil engineer, I’m damn sure this guy is going to be one of the pillars that the world is going to stand on.

Identity.

When was the last time you were lost in a moment of thought and said, “Man… Times sure have changed”?

Only too soon, I guess.

Let’s take some time here and see what we meant by that sentence, shall we?

I bet those words came out of you on beholding an improvement around you. Well, saying “improvement” might be wrong. Let’s call it a change for now and we’ll decide whether its an improvement or not after we are through discussing.

Now, what is the change that you saw? I bet that either it was something eccentric (which will not be the topic under discussion here) or something that doesn’t blend in with the surroundings. But here, since we are talking on, “times sure have changed”, the change that you felt is based on time. And as such, the ‘surrounding’ here are the times that we live in.

In short, something that is not related to the “times” has happened before you that triggered a feeling of change.

Now, what does “time” actually refer to? It can’t be anything that is going to happen since the future is unpredictable (in the sense, the when and where’s cannot be known). So it has to be something that has already happened.

What has already happened is the past. And we have witnessed a change that doesn’t blend with the past. But where has the past’s knowledge within us come form? From the heritage and traditions that we have been following throughout our life.

The ideology of whether those traditions are good or bad is debatable. But the point we are stressing upon is that those traditions are not practices that came in about a span of 10 to 20 years. Those were followed and practised over decades and maybe even centuries. As such, those who held true to those practices were known as those who held true to those practices. And to keep it short, they had an identity.

So summing up, it is when we see something contrary to our identities that we say, “Man, times sure have changed.” Now let us keep pushing the limit and see where this leads to.

What is the change that you saw? Was it something that was readily acceptable or was it something that made you uncomfortable with its existence in front of you? In which of the necessity, comfort, luxury categories does it come under?

Well, my GATE examination time is almost up and I have to cut this short. I hope I have been able to touch upon the point of what identity means and where it plays a role. I’ll be coming back with lots of thought on the questions asked at the end.

Sayonara!

The prophecy of Amelyah.

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. . . . . . . . . .

The battle had been going on for seven days continuously. The Raikan army had held off the evil of Bola for so long. Through day and night, hunger and starvation, pain and agony, the Raikans had held them off through sheer power of will. But now the Raikans were getting exhausted, not because they didn’t have the will, but because they were humans and their body’s each and every cell had been tapped to their marrows and the Bolan army was coming at them in thousands and ten thousands. The Raikans were outnumbered.

. . . . . . . . .

The Raikan tribe was a peaceful settlement along the coast of the river Amelyah. Even though a settlement, through years they had grown to occupy acres of coastal land. They thrived there and did not interfere much in the matters of the outside world because they never depended on anyone for their sustenance. However, on the day of the full moon every month, one among them would set out on a journey to bring back whatever news they could gather from around them.

The settlement of Raikan was wrapped in God’s green beauty. If ever a soul wished to find peace at heart by the nurturing of the soil as the trees, then this was the place that would bind his soul to the essence of the murmuring green that slowly swayed with gentle breeze.

The ever flowing bed of pearls that served as the resting place for the heavenly stars at night was the river Amelyah. She would bring happiness from the heavens that she was flowing from for the people of Raikan and they always found the energy and soul of nature with her enchanting sound. She would bubble and whiz along the rocks soothing and shaping them with the hands of a skilled craftsman. It is said that the sorrows of the people were washed away by her with her crystal beauty. She was sacred and they would gladly give their lives for her.

Their beliefs and rituals did not go anywhere beyond Amelyah and mother nature. To them, she was God and whatever they had was her gift. They never took it for granted and they even preserved each and every stub of grass that would grow around them. Often people who bathe in the river of love get into a trance for a few seconds and it is said that they would behold a certain vague image of a galloping beast with a rider mounted on it. It would pass through their village bathing it in a pool of crystals and the green would hold their heads up high in great reverence and respect. The trance would end in a few seconds but within that time, they would have experienced a feeling so strong that their courage would become like mountains that hold mother Earth down.

. . . . . . . .

It was one day during the second of fall that they noticed the slight tint of black among the beautiful currents of Amelyah. It disturbed their hearts to see their God’s beauty having been scarred by the slightest of happenings. And with each passing day since then, the black currents started appearing more and more. The Raikan’s knew not what the reason for this unfortunate happening was. And their concern grew more with each passing day.

On the coming day when the moon rose up and high in his full vigour, they appointed their next traveller to seek out the cause of this ill happening. He went forth with a heavy heart of sorrow that their love had been scathed by a source unknown. However, in order to leave the Raikan tribe, one had to cross the bridge of Garand. It was the only way on foot to the tribe. If not that, one would have had to swim across the currents of Amelyah in order to get to the village. When he reached the bridge and was about to cross it, he beheld the black currents flowing ever more strongly. He turned his gaze away from the unholy sight and sped on his way.

. . . . . . . .

Two weeks of anxious wait with the ever increasing black currents of Amelyah was starting to put the people of Raikan into a state of restlessness. None of them dared to touch the currents and as such their soul’s energy was draining away little at a time. Their only consolation was the pampering murmur of Amelyah that still sounded with the sweetest of tones day and night.

On the last day’s night of the second week, their waiting came to an end with the whistle of the traveller being heard from a distance. But they knew something was wrong. The sound of the hoofs were not peaceful. The traveller was hurrying back.

They saw him coming at a rapid pace and faintly could make out him shouting something. As he approached nearer, his uttering became clearer and what they heard made them freeze. It was one word that they did not even expect to hear in their worst nightmares and here they were hearing it from one of their own.

“Bola!”

They had not seen the traveller clearly due to the night’s shadow. But once the traveller reached them, they beheld his dress having been burnt and marks of black on his entire dress. Still, they were not ready for what yet going to come. The traveller removed his mask slowly…

And there was the mark of Bola on his face!

. . . . . . . .

Bola was the evil of lands that was prophesied to come at the times of ill bearings of the world. Bola was the evil that would slaughter beauty and spread chaos among the kind hearted. Bola was the destroyer of life as it is and Bola was the binder of one’s soul to hell. Bola was inhuman.

The mark of Bola was made on the people whom they captured and wanted tortured for life. The mark once put on the person would bind his soul to the depths of hell. The chaos and flames of hell would slowly burn his soul a little bit at a time. He would feel the pain of his soul, his life burning inch by inch without even the slightest of pain to his body. There was no cure but to writhe in agony until one’s soul was completely burnt away from within.

. . . . . . . .

The Raikan’s did not care for their souls nor their bodies when Amelyah was threatened. All the fear and pain would be masked by their love for her and that was what kept the traveller on his horse till he reached back. He delivered the message and that was that Bola had already made their mark on certain places and captured most of river Amelyah. But in order to spread their evil, they needed the final part of the river. And that was the part protected by the Raikans. Bola was on their way for the final piece of their puzzle.

On hearing this, the Raikans’ blood boiled. They were not just going to fight until they stood dying on their very feet. But they were going to make sure that the Bola would never get the river completely. With this in mind, they retired to their settlement for discussions on what was to be done.

. . . . . . . . .

Amelyah was their life and death. It was the bearer of purity and love and they were certain that if they were to stand a chance against Bola, then it would be in Amelyah’s presence only. And finally, they had to make the hard choice – destroy the bridge of Garand!

This was agreed upon and the Raikans choose their strategic positions wisely with more number of people mustered at the shallow regions and lesser ones with ranged attacks at the deeper sites. They began their wait for the inhuman Bola.

They knew their weapons would not cause harm to the Bolas. As such, their mind and soul, and its purity was their only weapon. Along with the blessings of Amelyah, they held a hope of belief rather than of faith. However their thoughts were cut short with a strange happening…

The black currents suddenly started shifting towards the opposite bank bringing the pure and refreshing waters of the river nearer to them. It was as if a straight line of divide had been drawn in the middle of the river with one side pitch black and the other heavenly white. They knew it was time…

From the very distance, they could vaguely make out the faint outline of dark Bola army approaching…

. . . . . . . .

Even after the seventh day of the battle, the Raikan’s found no new hope. But as long as the Bolas were trying to hurt Amelyah, the fire kept burning within the hearts of the Raikans. But they were exhausted. The inhumans did not die. But were repelled and rendered powerless with the purity that the Raikan’s held true. But they were persistent and kept coming back again and again. Many Raikan’s had already fallen out of starvation and hunger and they knew they could not keep this fight up much longer. One more night, and the Bolas would take over the Raikan tribe.

They started to pray.

On the night of the seventh day of the Battle of Garand, suddenly the Bolas seemed to soften up. There was a deadly calm within the realm of battle. All the rage that the Bolas were attacking the Raikan’s with seemed to be sapped away from them. The humongous army of the Bolas suddenly seemed to be distracted at some strange phenomenon that was happening without the Raikan’s knowing.

The Raikan’s also started to feel a great sense of inner peace within them. A feeling that none had ever encountered before. A feeling of hope and love. They felt a new energy flowing from deep within.

A gentle breeze started to sway the green trees around. They too seemed to have been aroused by something strange and it was as if they had grown taller and higher in a few seconds.

The feeling lasted in the battlefield for a few minutes which was broken by a horrendous and fearful war cry from the Bolan army and they once and for all made a straight ahead massive dash at the Raikan army to finish them off. The Raikan’s knew the battle was lost.

A brilliant flash of light suddenly threw those Bolas in the river up in the air! There was a gush of strong wind and suddenly the clouds of the sky made way for the shining moon! Amelyah started shining and sparkling as if by heavenly magic which made the Bolans go crazy!

The river slowly started rising and behold! There emerged the gallant Water Rider from within the currents! Those Raikan’s who had the trance suddenly shouted, “Its the Water rider! The WATER RIDER!”.

Cheers of happiness and hope shouted from the Raikans. The water rider came forth with such fury with water flame sword in his hand that many of the Bolans cried out of fear. The Water Rider shouted,

“Come oh Raikan’s! Holders of purity and lovers of Amelyah! Your protector is here and your spirits and minds have been kindled with the love of Heaven! Let us drive these creatures of ill omen out once and for all!”

With this, He charged into the Bolan army causing havoc! Not anything that the Bolans did could hold the white rider back. He cut through the entire black army like a comet shining in the dark skies! The Raikan’s followed his lead and cleansed the evil of Bola.

The true spirit and love that they had held for mother Nature had won. Amelyah was back to what it was for another long years to come.