Monday, October 12, 2015

My US Journey

Re-learnt the basics of life. To their Culture, Systems, Values, Freedom, Ethics - Hats off!

Donno bcz its US or its bcz of my best friend, for some reason, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Every single moment.  Not sure if my bestie hadn’t been there I would have enjoyed this trip this much, but yeah , I enjoyed it a lot.

The best thing we will find here is people. They are polite, expressive and cool. In movies you often see them saying f**** word. But I could never hear of that word one single time in my 7 weeks duration. Instead I heard them using “cool” word more often. And they follow rules. First hats off to the system. Its very nice but double hats off to people for following it. Take traffic. Everyone stops on red, slows down on yellow and doesn’t honk on green. Stop signs. Everyone literally follows it. You don’t need red signal to stop traffic in US. All you need is a stop sign. It may be due to fear of tickets or politeness, whatever, but in the end system works. After all some discipline comes with fear. The amount of respect they show for pedestrians, cycles is awesome. If they see pedestrians/bikers crossing the road, they stop and doesn’t honk and wait till they cross, if they see stop signal, they will stop no matter what. In fact cars are afraid of bikers and bikers are afraid of pedestrians though I have to agree bikers are the biggest violaters of traffic rules including me ;)

People are extremely polite. Standing in queues or way of talking is extremely awesome. They follow single line system. Before entering queue, they make sure they aren’t entering in between. Even if they get 1% doubt, they will clarify that they are in right place. Not just in lines, but everywhere. Last day while I am traveling to Salt Lake city, we stopped at few places to capture pics. At one place a old lady who is going in other direction stopped and took a U turn just to make sure we are fine and if we need any help. Few mins later we stopped again to enjoy snow fall where one guy pulled over again to make sure if we are fine. It went till an extent that we are actually scared that if we stop again, some one might stop to check if we are fine or not! Definitely unbelievable. Be it servers or cab drivers. They are extremely polite, smiling all the time to make sure we feel comfortable. They are expressive as well. Its a bit tough to talk to them given our background and accent, but once we break it, they are very interactive. Ask my friend Richa about it. One thing I liked about them is they smile at you even if they are seeing for first time in their life, say Hi/Hello/How are you back. Felt so nice.

Ofcourse , The first thing we will notice after landing in US is the place. OMG!!! Seriously unbelievable. Be it San Francisco, Be in San Jose, Be it Bay Area, Be it Monterry, Be it Jackson. Every place is damn beautiful. One thing places are very pretty and second thing, these guys know how to keep it well. Natural places like mountains, rivers, clouds are very pretty. But even people contribute to beauty. Unlike us they don’t throw garbage on road /rivers. They maintain beaches, coasts, roads very well without dumping any waste. They do maintain very well. Unlike us even fisherman places are damn pretty! Every place , they will try to maintain pretty or convert into tourist place. In the end, place looked damn beautiful.

Transportation. Its of two types. Within city its damn good and outside city its worst. Within SF, you have bart, muni, buses, Uber and as a tourist you can survive. But as a normal person, its going to be expensive either in terms of money or time. And outside city you need to have a car, orelse its better to sit at home. Caltrain etc are there but it won’t help you every time. It surprised me. Though they have billions of dollars and can construct complete under ground transport or even they have lots of place on roads. But for some reason they don’t improvise much and every person travels in car increasing lots of pollution.

Coming to roads, thanks to large area and small population, roads are vey huge. State highways, Interstate roads are very nice. Even if it rains/snows you can still drive on roads comfortably. Exit system here is very good. Even the lane system. People follow lanes very nicely. Faster people travel on left lanes and slower people travel on right lanes and when changing lanes they give signals and make sure they maintain distance while crossing and have exits at right most lanes. I liked roads very much. But only things is driving in nights is difficult. For some reason, they don’t have either street lights or enough reflectors which makes driving easy.  I was surprised with that. One thing to forgot to mention is footpaths. Footpaths are damn damn big atleast in SF. They are bigger than indian roads! Very pretty, nicely maintained. You just feel like walking on them. Lots of activity seems to happen on footpaths. While some walk, some do skating, some running. You see so many things happening.

Its not like everything is good though :P Just like they made a American Spiderman version though European Spiderman version is there, they make American versions of everything. Everyone drives right and they do left. To turn on switch you need to reverse, To brake bike you need to do reverse. Route will be called rouuute. 101 is called one-0-one. They invented American Football. So in everything they try to make their own versions. Thats a bit annoying

Food. Thanks to little girl. If not her I would have hated food like anything else. Americans by default are non-vegetarians. Many of them don’t even know vegetarianism exists! Had very tough time finding vegetarian/non-alchoholic drinks. If not for little girl, I wouldn’t have tried any food outside. But she showed me there are lots of places where we can find good veggie food. Its a bit expensive though. But being a tourist and given office pays all expenses, I tried various cuisines. Americans loooooooooooove food. They have various type of restaurants. Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Burmese. You name it , they have it. All the time Americans eat eat and eat. In fact most of tv commercials are about food only. Since they are already fair, they don’t have fairness creams like us ;)

Physical Activity. As I said before Americans eat eat and eat. But guess what they are very very fit. No tummies, huge bodies. May be its in genes as well but yeah they do maintain. They do lots of physical activity. Be it running, cycling or other activities like mountain biking or walking with pets, they do lots. They eat, they exercise, they eat and exercise. In the end they maintain really well. Unlike us, they don’t just do gym, they do others a lot.

Girls. Needless to say about them. They are damn damn damn damn beautiful/hot/cute whatever you call them. Most of US girls I have seen are pretty. One thing they are fair and second its natural gift for them for being pretty. But they maintain their bodies damn nicely. Not sure how they maintain but they do maintain. Even their brown hair, I liked it ;) In fact you would find lots of Scarlett Johansson, Christan Stewarts on roads/offices and in every lobby :P In fact many girls looks like heroines, even servers. They are damn cute!!! Don’t even think about college/university girls. No words to describe their cuteness. Its better not to think/talk about them. They give 1000% competition to the beautiful surroundings ;)

Till now I used to think Indians form majority here. But realized I m wrong. Its chinese. May be some of them are koreans, japanese. But you can see lots of that batch. Lots. Literally lots.

I was disappointed a bit with offices. I thought each office would be some different, cabins would be huge. But most of offices looks same and nothing more than computer lab. From outside they are a bit good, but inside they aren’t good :P Indian offices are better ;)

Here people follow timings. Be it baseball match, be it bus timings, people are very punctual. On time. And even one more thing I liked here it, people have lots of life outside office. Weekends they work very less. Weekdays, they come to office early and leave early.In office they don’t spend much time eating/talking/fbing. They come, work and leave. They go home and enjoy their personal life. Even on weekends, they go on vacations. I admired it a lot.

Friendship. Not sure if colleagues can be good friends here. Its difficult to make friends here. They might say hi to you without even knowing you, but going beyond that is a bit difficult. Be it in office, or outside, its not very easy to make friends. Not sure if thats age effect on me, but yeah I don’t feel they would be good friends, But yeah they would definitely be good colleagues.

Coming to Twitter. Its bigger than what I expected. Have lots and lots of food. vegetarian options are a bit less but yeah lots of things are there. I liked snacks more than actual food. Lookouts of varieties are there. Even beverages, lots ;) Lots of juices, beers, coffees are present. Though I must admit I didn’t like any of them :P and ended up with thought of drinking plain water. But the funny thing is getting plain water is a  tough thing here. They do have super cool water also but getting room temperature normal water is tough. I had to go to fountain and then drink. For god’s sake, hope it changes! Coming to the core part,some of the ppl here are really really smart. Can learn lots and lots from them. Be it asynchronous programming or normal programming techniques, they are really smart. No wonder they are able to support scale of Facebook, Twitter. Not every one is smart though (as I expected) but many are. And one more good thing is everyone is helpful. They are ready to help you always, open to share knowledge, I really appreciated it. And if they don’t know , they directly say so! They won’t go beating around the bush. One thing I felt though is not many ppl know systems end-to-end. They are very restrained to their area. May be thats how big companies work but from twitter you do expect that right ? ;) One more thing is they don’t waste time on unnecessary things. First they give macs to everyone so that you don’t end up spending time on updating drivers/battery life etc. Even if you want any gadget just go and collect. You don’t need any approvals. They hardly bother. They have lots of money, thats why they do. But thing is they don’t want employees to waste time on these small small things. Instead they want ppl to think on big things.

………. To be Continued

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

RIP - Our Greatest Teacher

Coming from a typical south Indian background, I didn’t use to have many dreams in life - except earning a good pay in a good multinational company. With the advantage of having good parents, big college name and helpful friends I earned the dream easily. Everything is going on well in life - Good job, Good money, Good lifestyle. What else one need ? Nothing … Till I happened to meet this person. Well not directly but through his writings. Never read a single book in my life before. Never. Don’t remember why exactly I started reading, but yeah, I started reading the book - "Wings of fire". And right from the first page of the book, I felt something touching the soul. I slowly started liking the book more and more. At one point, I was feeling very happy that I was reading such an awesome book and at the same time I was feeling sad that book was getting completed. I started slowing down the pace of my reading just to make sure that I can spend more and more time with the book. And finally one day book was completed. Then I started reading his other books one after one. Ignited Minds, India 2020, Turning points, Indomitable spirit and every other book I could find of. Once they are over, things got cleared in my mind and the next thing I did - Quit my relaxing job and enter the Indian startup world without thinking of anything. Success followed later under the shadow of his principles. I owe it completely to our guru.

So whats the most interesting thing of his books - I should say everything. I never used to like government offices, I never used to think that India can progress ahead (though I wanted it to - but didn’t have much hope). I never used to like politicians much. I was cynical, less confident, impatient, ever complaining about our country. But his writings changed everything. His writings gave a new hope. His writings gave new thoughts. His writings gave something magical. His writings gave new energy in life. The way how ISRO, DRDO were built, the way how we started space missions, the way how we built rockets,missiles, space vehicles with limited pool of money, talent, facilities changed the way I viewed my country. It changed the way I viewed myself. His writings pushes us to new heights, make us hungry, make us dream, make us achieve them. I am sure not just me, millions would have been inspired, enlightened, energized by his writings.

Think of a second about Indian accomplishments in space. India stands top 5 in space technologies(as of early 2000). Can we recollect any other field in which India stood in top 5 ? Thinking In terms of Software, imagine Indian company - Indian government company giving sleepless nights to Google, Facebook.Can we even dare to dream of such a thing ? How challenging it is standing top in one of the most complex and advanced fields - especially with very limited resources of talent, money and support. Space missions involves almost every other field - Computers, Hardware, Chemicals, Machinery, Mechanics, Civil and more importantly their integration. No wonder it is very complex. In a country like us, where this is highly impossible, Kalam and his Team showed us that we can do it if we dream strongly. All forces in the universe will unite and will show us the way. I still remembered some of his writings where he talks about challenges which are out of his hands and which appear very small for eyes but are complex - After working very hard for building rockets, the biggest challenge was their transportation (due to lack of resources) - Rockets used to get carried by bullock carts and/or bicycles. It tells us the depth of challenges the team faced. Inspite of all these challenges, the team won. There would be endless examples of his greatness in his real life - When he rocked European parliament by his speech, When he asked VVIPS to go back and instead asked students to come forward in his meetings, When he replied to each and every mail/message of others even when he was very successful and busy, When he opened doors of president office to public, When he rejected government bills he didn’t feel to be good, When he introduced technology to Rashtrapathi Bhavan, When he retired from office and went back to college life. The list goes on and on and on.

So What’s make him special - The way he was born and brought up - Muslim kid in Rameswaram, holy place of Hindus.The way he communicates with almighty. The way he loves and spends time with nature. The way he mingles with everyone without a second thought. The way he respects parents, teachers, brothers and others. The way he learns,shares and enjoy knowledge. The way he thinks of science and spirituality - "Science isn’t something that takes man away from God. Instead it takes man towards him”. The way he dreamt and the way how passionately he went after them. The way he loves his motherland and wanted to see her as the supreme power in every field. The way he lead, designed, architect most complex space missions in history of India. The way he remained humble. The way he likes teaching others and helps them achieving their dreams.The way he remains confident, optimistic, humourous. The way he listens to others, motivates them, encourages them to think, dream and achieve. The way even after becoming President of India, he was unchanged and opened doors for public. The way he spent his life even after his presidential term is finished. May be only he can be in that way.

Every second, every minute, every day he used to think only of his motherland. How to achieve progress. How to eradicate poverty. How to achieve complete education. How to promote brotherhood. Every single thought is about Learning, Knowledge and Wisdom. Every single thought is unselfish, filled with pure love, unimaginable and passionate. He is definitely Modern Mahatma. He is definitely Einstein of India. He is definitely Second freedom movement fighter. He is definitely someone whole India should be proud of. Its not just his honor to receive Bharath Ratna, Bharath Ratna would have been honored to be given to him. He is a perfect combination of innocence of a child, energy of a teenager and maturity of an adult.

Salute for being a Scientist, Engineer, Visionary, President, Leader, Politician, Missile Man and more importantly one of the greatest teachers of our country.

Even if I get 1% more inspiration from the legend, I feel I would achieve many many more things in my life. You might have gone far away from all of us physically and reached almighty peacefully but still you are as close to our hearts as before. I still couldn’t express how much I miss him and how sad I am feeling. Hope one day, from heaven, you will see India you dreamt of and we will make you proud, happy and satisfied. Please shower us with your blessings.

Miss you forever,
Your student.

Proud of you every moment. R.I.P. - Return if possible.

PS: I would love to give any one any of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's writings. Just fb/message/comment me once with book title, your address.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Trip to financial capital

And here comes the end of Mumbai journey. Not my first trip to Maharashtra, but my first trip to Mumbai. Unique in many ways. Well to start with, this is the first trip I actually went through my state (Andhra Pradesh) without being the destination. Its the first trip with very few friends. Its my first trip to financial capital of India. And many more firsts......

Been to Delhi before. Hence this is not the longest trip. This is not the trip to biggest city as well. Regardless its damn interesting. Actually wasnt sure till we boarded the train that we will continue with the trip since lot of friends had to drop due to various reasons. At one point even I decided to drop! But somehow we made it. Booked the cab, reached railway station and was waiting for the train - my favorite mode of communication. All set for celebrating new year in new style. Boarded the train and It was a plain train journey, mostly same as usual till we reached Khandala. I knew this name before. Its there in some tollywood movie. Got excited by it. But whats more exciting is the next moments. The train started moving through Western Ghats, the beautiful ghats I have ever seen so far. At once I remembered of my fav fav fav Goan trip. Tunnels, Hills, Curves, Trees, Scenaries ... Wooow! That's the route. That's the welcome Mumbai gave us at the first shot. It wasnt as awesome as Goa, but neverthless its awesome. Actually Before this, train reached Pune. I was expecting to see a big station. But it wasnt that big. Its normal. So shifted my expectations to Mumbai. Waiting to see a bigger station there. The train finally reached. Almost on time. For some good reason indian railways started running on time. How awesome it is if trains run on time. Isnt it ? :) Around 8:30 PM Chatrapathi Shivaji Station came. Even the name is damn awesome. To my surprise, no one is on the platform. Literally noone! I didnt believe its Mumbai since even my small home town would be more crowded and was expecting a lot lot lot of crowd in station. Thanks to Bollywood movies ;) Hence Checked with fellow passengers for confirmation and was told it is the Mumbai station. Got down and realised that its platfom 17!!! Damn its platform 17! Can platform 17 even exits. Wouldnt have believed if some one had said before. Now it makes sense why crowd was little less here. Come on, we cant expect traffic at each and every platform. Atleast not on platform 17. Got down and came to local trains platform. Maaaaaan the station is awesome. Damn awesome! Hanging bridge , nice interiors, playful crowd. Here it is ! Welcome to Mumbai. My friend told me that outside view would be awesome. Went out and saw. Its beautiful, very beautiful. Its inspired from Paris it seems. In lights, its very colorful. Took some snaps and came inside. Truly saying interiors are also good. But The best thing I liked is the local trains transport just like Delhi. It makes life a lot easier. Took a train to Dadar. From there to Thane. From there to Raballe. Waiting for fun times ahead.Finally after a long long journey reached friend's home. Its in Navi Mumbai. Got ready and started for new year celebrations. Since its very late , we first headed to dinner. From there thought of going to Marine drive. Heard it will be awesome during new year with full of lighting, fireworks. But dinner got delayed and transportation ceased. Hence had to drop off those plans to marine drive and celebrated new year at dinner place Zaffran hotel instead.....

Day 1 :  Theme is Temples. Got up next day morning. Though not a very good temple lover, heard that temples in Mumbai are very good. Hence started with Siddhi Vinayak Temple at Dadar. Have to start with Lord Ganapathi who is the most famous god not only among Hindus but among Mumbai as well. Isnt it ? :) Coincidentally its not just new year, its vaikunta ekadasi - a very sacred day for hindus as well. As expected the crowd is huge. Its damn damn huge. Its sooo huge that we can see only crowd and not temple. The queue is that huge. Almost gave up, but then thought we will give it  a try. Hence went inside and luckily god showed us a way. There is a small opening which none noticed which is a bypass to Queue ;) Since we are guests of Mumbai, didnt feel bad to bypass it ;) Joined the queue, worshipped the god in the crowd and finally came out. It was a very good experience. On a new year, first thing, that too in holiday trip went to temple. Felt sooooo good :) It became afternoon by then , so naturally , we started searching for Lunch. Here comes Zomato app. Found some prakash restaurant and had nice nice Maharasthra Lunch. It was very good. Zomato rocks! It helped us. So returned the favor by rating the restaurant so that others can also discover it. In case you went to Dadar, dont miss it especially if you are a vegeratarain ;)Must try puri, Saghudhana vadi. KothMiri vadi, piyush are also very good. Finally after having a nice lunch, came out. 

Three things you notice in Mumbai everywhere are roads, kaali pelis, buildings. Roads - They are damn damn damn good ! May be crowdy but very good! Loved them the most! Next kaali pelis . Being a  Blrian never thought autos/cabs every run by meter. But here they do! They provide a nicer way of transport other than local trains. Finally buildings. Oh My God! They are big, very big! Blr is nothing compared to it. Every I can see tall buildings. So after having lunch went to Hazi Ali. A mosque on beach. As usual lot of crowd. Place is good but its not properly maintained. Everywhere its garbage. Till now thought Hindus wont take care of their places nicely. But now realised even Muslims are same. Btw Just to add here, I am an Hindu Indian and I dont mean offence to any religion here except sharing my thoughts. Initially thought of going back, but then decided to go in since we travelled long to reach here. Went inside, prayed from outside and went to scenic spot. Rocks, Lots of rocks. Very nice view. From there saw the view of city. Its good. Damn good! Took a couple of shots and then headed to Marine Drive. Took a kaali peli to Gateway of India. Oh My God! Again its same beauty. Roads, buildings -  Everywhere , they are damn Good! Never thought I can see such places in India. They are just toooo beautiful. Though been to Delhi before, I couldnt experience this awesomeness every before. Went inside and saw Taj hotel. Yes its the same place where 26/11 happened. Now its rebuilt and you wouldnt notice any thing now. Took some pics and thought of a crazy idea. All of us decided to enter Taj and feel the experience. Yes, it will be very costly but want to see once. So convinced all and entered inside. Got to knew that we have to book table in advance. Hhuh! Disaapointed and left :( But yeah atleast we gave a try! Went for some deserts place and finally started walking to Marine Drive. One thing I forgot to mention here is girls. Boy o Boy , they are damn beautiful! Not as hot as in Delhi, but they are good ;) Didnt see many but saw quite a few . Seeing them, we walked to Marine Drive. Wow! Wow! Wow! Its amazing. Simply amazing is the marine drive. Its exactly like the one shown in movies. Roads, Rocks and beach. Its very nice ! Jealous of Mumbai. Whenever u feel low, just come here, talk a walk, you will feel amazing. Needless to say , dont miss it . Walked for some time and then went to the famous place for Dinner. Heard that place will be open 24*7. Its the famous road where even ppl in BMWs come and eat road side food. Hence thought of tasting it. Actually was expecting a loooooong road with lots of vendors on road but it wasnt exactly the same. Its a small road and few shops. Went to Bade Mewah and tasted some rolls. They are good. But more importantly one more famous place is explored ;) Now I can also brag :P After having dinner, finally started back home.....

Day 2 : Theme is food, transport. Speaking about transport - One thing not to miss in Mumbai is local train experience. Since Mumbai is a hugeee city, crowd is very high, local trains are must. You have to experience it for sure in case you went to Mumbai. Crowd will be sooo high that you dont have to board train or get down. Just stay at a place. You will be carried away by crowd! Its that heavy! Always carry a local train map in your mobile. It will very handy. Went to Chembur to experince Mono rail trains. Read in news that it started recently. So went to it. Just like Blr metro its small. Very small. Mostly looked like a tourist spot than transport just like Blr. In this case Delhi is the best. Simply the best and nothing can beat it. Metro, Girls - Delhi stands apart from other cities by a fairer margin. The train experience is good. Went through some huge huge buildings, IOCL - large large refinery and other places.

One more thing you will definitely see in Mumbai is the disparity between rich and poor. There are as many poor ppl as there are rich! There are as many slums as there are sky scrappers. Its difficult to believe but thats the case. Tooo many slums around tracks and hence naturally at some places garbage is very heavy. Felt soo bad at seeing the state. Hope one day slums will go away and all of them will live dignified life and tracks become cleaner. So after transport went to Yo King restaurant for sizzlers. Heard the name before but didnt taste it till then. But guess what sizzlers are very good. Must try if you didnt before. Completed lunch and headed for shopping. Heard that Povai (Gallerium) is very good for shopping. Hence went for it. Its very near to Mumbai IIT, the dream place for many parents in AP ;) It took around an hour to reach there. Again I was stunned by its beauty. Apparently it was  a dumping yard earlier. Someone took it and turned it into this beautiful place. Tall Tall Tall buildings, Beautiful roads, hot hot girls. Again couldnt believe this is India! Bought some gifts and started eating junk food. Btw finally bought a decent looking case for my Nexus ;) Gift collection is very good here. You should definitely try (abhraka dhabra shop - 46 or 49). From there did some road side shopping for gifts. They are really nice! Just eating , shopping, staring at buildings, hot girls. Thats it, did nothing else. Even if you dont see them, they will make you see them. Thats the power of Mumbai ;) After tirelesss, endless staring, eating started back to Marine Drive again. Its that beautiful , worthy of watching again. And its a nightout day. Decided to spend whole night at Marine Drive. Went to chowpathy. Its near Marine beach where lots of sand is present. Its very calm, hardly any tides are present. Its very well maintained. Got mats for rent and rested there. Haaaaa thats life! Near beach, in sand, exploring view of city, ocean. Can spend hours doing that! Did some crazy things there . surprise . surprise. and stayed till its closed.  Had some food and came out.  Again time for some craziness. Saw two weddings near by.  Inspired by movies, thought of crashing the wedding. Since not every one agreed, we few of them went. After going there we realised its muslims wedding. Ahhhh! Too difficult to crash into! So couldnt enter and instead stared at some hot cars/girls :P and cheating other friends that we actually crashed the wedding. After having lots of fun, we were back to Marine Drive. Unlike Blr, Mumbai have a night life. Even at 1 AM in the morning, you see lot of ppl on roads. Hence loved it and started walking. Same things again, staring at girls, walking on roads till early morning. Around 2-3 AM police came and drove us out but somehow we managed. Had some late night foods - Vada pav - the most famous food of Mumbai and started walking again. Finally at the stroke of 4, we headed back to local train station to reach home

Day 3: Theme is exploring the poshness of Mumbai. Another friend joined. Last day in Mumbai.  First went to friends Reliance office. Damn its soo big! Its like a biggg entire tech park in Blr. But its just reliance office! Enjoyed food there started to Badra. Its the most posh place of Mumbai it seems. All khans - Sharurukh, Salmans. Hence its needless to say how posh it is! Went there and again amused by roads, buildings. Went to bhadra fort and just like marine drive its also damn Good! Dont miss it.  One thing I liked here is all these places are well maintained and free of cost. Literally its free of cost! Unbelievable! Isnt it ? :P . Also one thing in Mumbai is you can get things for 10 bucks and 10000 bucks. Its upto you how much you want to spend for a give item. Coming back to fort, beach - View is awesome here. Lots of rocks. More of a ocean with tides hitting you. Really enjoed the place. Especially the Mumbai view and sky links. Its just like Loss Angels bridge. Never know/heard that exisits in India. After spending some time, started to palladium mall - the most posh place in Mumbai. Through sky links, drive is awesome! Very very awesome! Its fantastic. Welcome to Mumbai 2.0 Its a different place. Its not India for sure. Its something different. Its just too beautiful . At some places there was Goan touch - buildings and roads but widely different. After one hour travelling reached palladium mall. Yes, the most costliest mall I have ever seen. And more than anything else, its the girls that catch your attention. Honestly speaking, I dont stare at girls very much , but this is different . Completely different. You just cant take your eyes off. Simple. Its that simple. Be it ambience, be it make up, be it richness, be it poshness. They loooked damn damn hot. Felt like being 
in a different world. After bird watching, had to go to standup comedy show. Its first time in my life. Its ok . Mainly Non-Veg jokes. Non-Veg jokes is the new comedy. Even there its the same thing. Girls Girls Girls!!!! Out of all, there was one girl who stood apart. She is very pretty. Soo pretty I stared at her multiple times till I got to know she is getting married soon. Haa bad luck :( What to do , thats life :( Unfair :P Actually the most pretty thing in her is her face, smile and her tooth. Its exactly like my little girl's ;) Comedy show ended and came out. All girls whom we saw earlier came to comedy show! Something we didnt expect! And most of them we saw from far are very good. But after the comedy show we saw them closely. They werent that good. We can see layers and layers of make up and some layers are coming apart. So , not all pretty girls are pretty. Learnt the hardest part of life and came out ;) Well its both good and bad ;) Isnt it :P Had some chinese dinner and reached home quietly. Took train next day morning and started home. Nothing much interesting except the face of a cute kid!

How cute and beautiful are muslim kids ;) Some different glow to say. Not sure why, but they do have! She was there for 10-20 mins hardly. Before leaving, just said bye to her and started writing this story.......

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Developing Gnome Shell Extensions - 3.12

Gnome shell is gaining more and more popularity these days. Its beautiful, modern and very productive. If you haven't tried or used older versions of gnome and left it, wait no longer. Install it and try. Its a bit cumbersome process but trust me its worthy to try.

One of the core functionalities of gnome shell is its extension support. You can write extensions in Javascript and publish it to extensions store. Lots of extensions are already present and you can try them straightaway.

Then comes a time, when you want to write one for your needs. So you try to search online to start and end up disappointed because documentation is either not present or outdated. If you are falling under same category, read on, this post is for you.

Good introductory post . Important Note - Don't try to start from new extension. Try to use already present extensions and modify them.

A typical example of getting data from API, parsing it and displaying it  (Disclaimer - Yes its my own extension). I developed this extension using this (for XML parsing) and this (base core of my extension)

The above example uses XML Parsing. In case you want JSON parsing, here is one

Small blog about notifications (add const MessageTray = imports.ui.messageTray) at the beginning of the file. Another example of pop menu and on click runs commands from command line.

Few debugging tips

Stay tuned for more updates!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Little Crazy Afternoon

Lovely pleasant afternoon it is :) Had nice lunch - not heavy but decent and came back to apartments. Awesome weather, beautiful trees and nice breeze made me step towards the pool. Being decided to stay away from virtual world to live in a real world, walked towards children park which is empty - after all its still an afternoon. Took out my thoughts from my brain and started solving a few problems. Then came 3 girls. Little cute girls. One naughty cute girl and two sisters equally naughty. Little introductions followed but as usual don't remember their names.  But when I asked about their school, they told and felt very bad. Yes it is the same school in which that crime happened sadly few days ago :( But they immediately switched the topic and started playing. Apart from that little intro, they didn't come to me much as they appeared a bit reluctant. They started playing merry round. And me too just turned around to try going back into my world. After being for a few mins finally, they decided to play with me in their own style through  beating me and calling me uncle ;) But whatever kids do is fun. Isnt it ? SOooo innocent, cute, beautiful little girls! What can I say ? Nothing except that I requested them to call me bhayya which they rejected straightway unanimously! But I don't want to be a uncle. Atleast not now! So started calling them aunties. They smiled, shouted,  ignored and continued playing. After a bit while, the cute girl ordered  me to start rotation. Me being a bit scared pushed them slowly and they didnt like it and started shouting me to rotate quicker. And I obliged. They liked it and acknowledged it through their cute smiles. Rotated for some time and went back to my problem solving. They too left me alone for a while, played themselves and again started calling me. I went again, played with them for some time and came back again to my place. This went on for some time till I decided to take a break. Not a break from problem solving but from them ;) The cute girl ordered me to push again. I requested her for a break. Till then , she was smiling and having fun with me. The moment I said that, she turned angry and left ! Not able to see her angry went back and rotated again. Again the same thing followed till I finally decided to leave. So asked them to give some poses for pics which they readily gave and finally started walking back. Just before leaving , asked their names again though I was pretty sure that I wont remember. But surprisingly,  the girl who ordered me till then started whispering to other girls not to tell their names. Felt slightly sad but then smiled and started walking back. Walked for around 20 feet and then suddenly I heard a bigggg shout! The cute girl is running towards me. She came to me, asked my name and told back her name, shook hands with me and said bye and left towards her friends to resume her play :) What a gesture it is. Felt sooo happy and all my tiredness went away with that little gesture and then started walking back towards my room thinking

Girls are Girls!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Installing OpenCV on RHEL 7

Most often we work on either Ubuntu or Windows. Though many other Linux distributions exist, we hardly use them. But then comes a time when you have to use those distributions and end up Googling how to do each step - especially installing non-standard softwares like math tools which is complicated even on Standard Linux Distributions. Though we come across various blogs, various solutions, most of them will be outdated and wont work on new systems. Hence In this series of blogs, we will learn how to install such softwares on RHEL 7. Lets start with OpenCV

Tools/Machines Used 

AWS - G2 instance (with support for GPU and Nvidia)
RedHat - Version 7.0
OpenCV - Version 2.4.9

Fortunately Open CV acknowledged the fact that its installation is very complex and hence came up with fairly simple solution. All we have to do is run a script and it gets installed !

1) Grab the script from here and install. As you can see this repository contains scripts for installing open CV on other operating Systems as well such as Ubuntu, Arch Linux. Thats it! Open CV in installed!

2)Now that open CV has installed lets try to run some scripts.
g++ demo.cpp -pkg-config --cflags --libs opencv -o demo
If it throws any error, its because Open CV got installed in a folder and not as system wide. No worries, all it needs is a small fix. Check this

Done! Now Enjoy Open CVng :P

Advanced Installations:

Now that open CV is installed, we can configure AWS to run graphical outputs as well. AWS forwards the data to the local machine and can then be displayed via local machine

Run a script to check if it works for you. In case graphical output doesn't work just like this we might have to install and configure X Server.

First install X via

yum groupinstall "X Window System"
In new Linux Distributions xorg.conf is not needed. Infact It wont be present as well. However in case you need to tweak few things, we can create xorg.conf and the settings will be respected. Read more here. You don't need to touch any of this file for now.

After installing Xserver still you find some Xforwarding issues, follow this  and make sure that you are sshing with -X argument. So finally you are good to go!

PS: This is a guest blog written by Richa Agrawal. You can follow her here