It’s that time of the year again

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Hey guys, I know it’s been some time. You should be so used to my pointless excuses of “life happened” by now, I won’t even try it. But yes, it’s March, the time when the burner switch is flipped back up in the heavens again, getting ready to defrost lil’ Earth for the summer. March is when kids have their dreaded board exams, whose extensive coverage reminds me and my fellow college goers that we have but days left for our own and the rush to secure internal marks follows. March madness has officially begun

I don’t really have much to say except my final project is due tomorrow so obviously I’m writing this, cleaning my room and inbox instead of any actual necessities. In my defence, I work well (and only) under pressure. We will have our internal exams next week and the mains start in April. I do feel like I have come at the edge of the forest with the solid path by now. Things up ahead are much more vague and unsure. There’s but instinct to guide in the dog-eat dog world. I had did some work to create my own personal website and design a new blog in the meanwhile, but neither are truly complete. I am excited about them but there’s a bridge I need to cross before I get there. So that’s also the reason why I haven’t shared the links yet. In about a month or so, all my academic obligations will be over I am working hard to keep it that way. It’s no fun to carry around the dead weight of a back paper, something I assert through personal experience.

So this is less of a sabbatical announcement and more of an update. Thank you for being my wonderful reader and please keep your patience for another month. I assure you, I will make the wait worth it.

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GHCI 2015 – The Days That Gave Me Wings

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No, I wasn’t ODing on Redbull for 3 days. I meant an actual pair of fluffy white wings at the Accenture booth, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.

Every year, usually in the middle of my exams, there’s this awesome women in computing conference happening called “Grace Hopper Celebration India”. Every year my mother gets to go for it sponsored by someone or the other because she’s a baws. And she comes back with a bag full of goodies that we get into fights over. This is also the time of the year when we renew our stock of cool jute bags emblazoned with logos of American tech companies.

But this time, I won a student scholarship myself and got to experience this extravaganza first hand and let me be clear here, IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT!!

 

Cuz it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

Cuz it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

On the first day, December 2nd, we reached the hotel by 12 PM. We had some time to deposit our bags before heading out for the inaugural event. Against my advice, my roomie lugged along her laptop bag for this, and most unfortunately for her, the first thing we got were two reasonably large goodie bags. We had almost 2000 odd women in attendance, all of them computer professionals and almost 200 women student scholars. The inauguration featured some brilliant talks by knowledgeable people from Intel, IBM, Cisco, and the like and I mostly slept off the fatigue from my journey all through it.

As it turned out, my power nap was necessary since we had to deal with a short segment of Hunger Games inside the dining area for a while. Not having enough plates might have been a logistical error which the organisers faced but we had a roomful of engineers and so, people came up with some of the India’s most innovative solutions to the GHCI brand of the dining philosopher’s problem.

We went on to have a DJ party to liven up the night too, which was my first interaction with a large dancing audience in any way whatsoever. And it was almost entirely female. :(. It’s a bit weird when that important lady in the stage comes down to chit-chat with you. It’s a whole lot weirder when she randomly joins the small group of people you’re trying to dance with and out dances each and every one of us, after which she says, “My joints are not what they used to be..” I wish I had a photo of that night to prove it, but I was too busy having fun to take photos.

Also, they had some nail and body paint stalls for the sissies afraid to dance outside their showers. And this is just the first day. Since this post has become waay more longer than I expected it, here’s a photo of the referenced Angel wings for reading through this..

 

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Even the Suited Angel facepalms at your stupidity

I’ll be back with a part 2 soon!

MY SOCIAL LIFE SUCKS SO MUCH, IT’S A BLACK HOLE

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Hey there, my wonderful and lovely reader, who I’ve ignored for the better part of 4 months! How are you? Now, here’s the part where I give a really good explanation about why I was absent, like I had amnesia or got abducted by aliens. But the actual answer is much more simpler : I’m a Jerk. Don’t worry, this attitude is very well reflected in my personal life as well, with a set of warped priorities.

For example, right now, I’m supposed to be studying for my important university exam tomorrow. But here I am, writing obscure articles on my blog since my brain would rather do anything else than study for the exam I’m supposed to. My personal excuse is, I’m starting my new year resolution-creating analysis about a month early.

I try to be a nice person upfront, I really do. But after 20 years of trying and nearly failing, I don’t really think I’m that good at it. I used to steal my baby brother’s milk and beat him up when we were toddlers and pick fights with girls all through middle school. I was a pint-sized piece of work. Things mellowed out a quite a bit when I was in high school. There, I became the withdrawn social recluse you see today.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a shy person, I’m a creepy person, well usually THE creepy person in any given room. I have zero problems with crowds, working with groups or making friends, all that professional stuff, but try forcing me into a personal situation, things generally go downhill.

I’m the patron saint of JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out for ye old skoolers) I check my social media feeds so erratically that I usually see them days to weeks after I’m supposed to. While I completely blame Uranus, the guiding star of my sun sign, described as ‘eccentric’, to be the cause of all my troubles, right now, I’ll give up the BS. A bunch of large nuclear balls of fire in a particular alignment relative to earth 20 years ago doesn’t affects my personality or life in any way. The responsibility of my actions are mine and mine alone.

On a personal front, this year has been terrible. I had a fight with my best friend which I see no resolution to in the near future. I found a great guy, nice and funny according to his Facebook feed on whom my experiment of human social interaction failed miserably. If you’re reading this, which I highly doubt, I’m sorry for your unfortunate experience.

If you think any of the above things have made me a sad, depressed person, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, I’m not active social participant, but I have an array of other interesting hobbies which fill up my time. I read historical biographies and books about war. I’m fairly up to date with the important news headlines around the world. I’m now a contributor to the new Fedora Community Operations initiative and my free time is generally spent on personal projects. And my professional life has been great so far, so I’m not really complaining.

I see too many people who going on and on about how they are lonely and sad and how they wish they could change themselves and become better. Well guess what? You were made by your own choices. Nobody else can or will put in the effort to make you better unless you can do it yourself.

So here I am, ready to admit that I fail at personal situations and excel at saying inappropriate comments that make people uncomfortable. I am admitting my flaws to myself and the world, as the first step, in what is, hopefully, my road to recovery. I look forward to posting in the future about milestones on how much I’ve improved on this. But right now, this seems good enough. Time to get back to that university exam for tomorrow.

I Know What You Did This Summer

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The summer. That wonderful time of the year with vacations, laziness, new Game of Thrones episodes and SO MUCH HEAT that your brain melts in your head. It’s celebrated by companies with promises of summer sales and more ads of Katrina Kaif french kissing mangoes, not to mention the burning fury of the sun which gets unleashed upon us.

Evidently, we’re being punished by the sun for not believeing the scientists and tree huggers about climate change. Every day the new record for the hottest day is being set. Well, things have become better in June, but I wasn’t going to risk a riot making fun of people stuck in the heat when it’s actually burning outside. Currently, we’re engaged in a hide-and-see with the monsoon. And this is just Kerala, so I don’t even want to imagine North India. Supposed to have come in May, the Monsoon hasn’t really arrived, even weeks later into June, much like this column. Yes, you saw what I did there, didn’t you ?

Ok, I admit, I was lazy, had writer’s block and was general ass (read : politician) giving you my word but delivering much later. In my defense, my exams were postponed by the university and are still not over.

But life moves on, and as the staple in life for anyone, it is summer class time here. Or internships as we prefer to call it. It’s mostly unskilled labour for a certificates. There are 2 types :

           One : You lounge around and get your certificate

           Two : You’re made to work like the refridgerator in summer for a certificate

In type I, things are pretty relaxed. Typically,

You download music videoes and all the latest episodes of the soap you missed

Try cusines of nearby restaurants

Piss off superiors

Bring your wonderful slobby traits to the workplace. (Arrive Late Leave Early)

Rub it in the face of the people who actually work there by reminding them how old they are

Do a little work occasionally, but usually find a way to weasel out of heavy duty.

If you’re in the second lot though, interships are a method of child labour for young people where you’re given deadlines and you’re too busy trying to figure out what you have to do to get that piece of code to work. Finally when you find some code on Stack Overflow which remotely resembles your requirements, you computer decide to throw up the most ridiculous of error message tantrums. Just great.

Levels of coding, courtesy : howtogeek.com

Levels of coding, courtesy : howtogeek.com

In the end after much pain and anguish you probably will solve that error caused by the lack of semi colon somewhere. And the immediate wave of relief washing over you will be priceless. Chances are, this will make you better in the long run. And even if you didn’t have time to stop and smell the roses in the summer, after placement and interviews, guess who’ll be having the last laugh ?

There’s a break coming

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Hey guys, it’s your admin here. Currently, my academic life is facing a slight duress situation with exams, sessionals and semester exams arriving too close together for comfort. So, unfortunately, I’m suspending this page for sometime, to deal with all those things. I do have exams all through April and the imminent threat of back papers.

But fear not, I have no plans to abandon this site. This is just a notice for letting you know about the break.

If there exists a day as May 17th 2015 when I still remain alive and reasonably close to a computer with an internet connection be sure to see a new and engaging article here. Until then, let me leave you with :

I'll be Back!

I’ll be Back!

And,

Thank You

Thank You

See you later! ^^!

The Game Of Life

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This article is part 3 in my ‘I turned 20’ series. Check out the first two at I turned 20.

In the entire ‘I turned 20’ series so far, I’ve been sharing a whole lot of personal motivation and advice more than anything else. Now, I know I’m not qualified the least bit to do that, but I felt that I had to share some of that, simply because it makes me feel good when I write it. I’ve had a lot of times in life in which I’ve been confused, frustrated and unable to ‘get my act together’, my bad mood becoming much better when I take a different view of things. Whether it may be a motivational quote, the picture of a sunrise or a talk with a close friend.

Tip 1: The best thing to do when you feel bad is to sit down and write a list of the top 5 things that piss you off. Right now. Once you’ve defined them, they become much too easy to tackle and overcome. It always works. Writing a list of things to be accomplished the next day before you go to sleep seems to be touted by a lot of people too.

Tip 2: Another trick that I’ve very recently found to be successful is using a scoreboard for those tasks that require that extra push. Instead of simply applying brute force to and pushing ourselves to do things that we really don’t want to do either, it would be much easier if you could channel your enery in the right way

Let me illustrate that with an example. In the beginning of the year like many others, I too decided to exercise daily. But it was difficult to maintain that level of motivation. I was scouring the internet for a solution when I found this method. (Nerd Fitness) I created a scoreboard with points for :

  1. Strength

  2. Endurance

  3. Willpower

  4. Consistency

  5. Flexibility

  6. Innovation

Initially I started of by writing these each in a column in a sheet of paper and stuck it to the wall. I also gave myself a starting 5 points in each category. Currently, I’m working towards my goal of 50 in each category

I started writing this blog as a commitment to myself this year, to give me a reason to read the newspaper (to get topics to make fun of) and to improve my writing.

The feeling of accomplishment is a great force of positive energy that only you can give yourself. I believe that each person needs to spent atleast 15 minutes of quiet quality time with themselves in a day. If there’s something that bothers you now, then stop moping around and find a way to fix it. Because nobody else can help you unless you’re ready to help yourself. No excuse me while I go earn some points.

If you’ve got a license and you know it clap your hands

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No seriously, give yourself a pat in the back, because you have accomplished one of the most necessary tasks a person has to endure to gain entry into adulthood. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if want a four-wheeler license in Kerala, there are two parts to it, the ‘H’ and the road test

The ‘H’ is a lot of how it sounds like, driving a pattern of the english alphabet ‘H’ through a martrix of 16 poles, each about 2 meters from the other. It’s also called as “twist the steering and pray to the poles” In my driving school, there are 5 practise sessions for the aforementioned ‘H’, in all of which I tested the patience of the assigned instructor by hitting one pole or another in some part of the turn. Looking back, I realize that even I didn’t think I would clear it in my first try but it all worked out somehow.

A huge thank you should be given to my driving instructors at the Maruti Driving School. These guys were awesome, patient, and took the effort to give me a spartan training regime to fix my flaws. Spartan being I had to reach at 7 AM for driving classes but hey, now that it’s over, I can say that it was worth it.

The basic premise for the ‘H’ is to perfect your reverse while driving slowly. It was a nail biting situtaion with the all important question will she or won’t she (Hit the pole, that it) Spoiler : She didn’t. Since my earlier atempts had been critisised for over speeding, I made sure to go dead slow this time. So much so that when I got out, the MVI said “You could have done it faster, you know” At that point I had been too busy celebrating that I had passed the first barrier to be giving notice to his critisim.

The second part was the road test. Now there are some fundamental things you need to know about roads in Kerala to take a step forward.

A) The roads suck. It’s more like the PWD wanted to make a set of pothholes and ended up accidently putting some road in between. I’m not even exaggerating here.

B) India is a land where there’s too much of the population and not enough space. Kochi is the land where there’s too little road, with what little we have getting enroached by metro constructions.

C) In the middle of this lack of space, Kerala is also the state with the largest number of sedans and large luxury vehicles. Blame the Gulf.

D) Everyon’e’s in a hurry to get away from the horrendous commute which leads to people who overtake from every direction imaginable.

In a normal day, the kings of the road would be the large red private buses with their courageous drivers in a never ending battle with the clock to take round trips across the cities. The two wheeler motorcylists fan around larger vehicles like like flies, careless of thefact that one smack from the bus would be a closed casket for the motorists

Soin the middle of all this action, little old me was there, anxiously clutching on the car cushions, not sure whether to be worried about my test or my life, considering the fact that my instructor was driving while being on the phone. As we moved away from the track I did my ‘H’ in, I enquired about the road test. All I got was “Relax, just put the indicatiors right. You just have to drive through a 4 km strech of road” On a Saturday. On the highway. In this chaos. With a policeman sitting by your side judging every move you make. No pressure.

That was not even the the worst part. No, the worst part was people rotate along this 4 km strech you see, so the car in front has the policeman and the driver. After a minute, this inexperienced person stops (In the middle of the road no less) and there’s a huge clamour in all the succesive cars on who goes next. I ended being the last car and the last driver, giving me the privilege of the home strech and the policeman’s undivided attention.

Here I was trying my best to go slow and not get hit by a private bus when the guy says “Go faster. Don’t give room to the bus. Where did you say that you were studying again?” That’s right. Here I am trying to navigate a life or death situation and he wants to make small talk.

Somehow, I mumbled out something in between “eh, ah and uh” and almost reach the end point when an idiot of a homeless person decided to walk in the middle of the road. Also, he was deaf to my horn. Ooh la la. It took almost three seconds flat for my expressions to accelerate from gaping goldfish to terrified tracy. The policeman simply chuckled. That’s right, the monster chuckled. I really don’t remember what happened after that. I believe that my stronger subconscious took control and drove me to a safe victory but I had been so sure I’d hit him that I was too numb to notice when the test ended. And it was done. Joining the ranks of crores of other Indians, I now officially hold a license too. Now excuse me while I go sleep of my near death experiences.