Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Krishna Gate Diaries

I have not updated my blog for a long time and my recent early morning activity pulled me out of my laziness to write this particular post. Well, what is the activity? 

4.30 AM
I hear a knock on my door. I am either asleep and put an alarm or I stay awake. In either case, I hear the knock. It could be either Pratheesh or Abhiram.
"Will ya come?" he asks.
"Of course" I would say.

Your teeth are not dirty at that time, at least not so dirty that you cannot eat anything. I dont care what I am wearing to cover my body. I dont even care about my hair style which is usually messed up. Why should I care? Who on earth will watch me at that time? I convince myself and get on with my laziness; as if people will notice me in broad daylight! No one on this earth will give a fuck about what you wear or how you appear. It is all temporary. It is your brain that matters.

I lock my door and start off on a long walk to Krishna gate with Pratheesh and Abhiram. The early morning fog will have its effect on us. But, we start to like it. There are no vehicles that make terrible noises. There are no monkeys that irritate you. Well, there are dogs though. Of course, they would not bark at you. A group of dogs just lay on the road not giving a single fuck about who is passing by. When you reach near Brahms hostel, the mystical peepul tree elevates the moody atmosphere. Large number of dried leaves lay down near the root of the tree. I sometimes feel, what if a snake suddenly pops out?
More importantly, there are no people.

"When nearly 98% of our peer group is asleep, why on earth are we walking so long to eat Pongal-Vada at this time?" Pratheesh questions. A genuine question indeed.
"It is not about hunger or distance." I would recall the fight club dialogue and spoof it.
"It is about Pongal" Abhiram confirms.

Not everyone can really become a member of Pongal department. We are a different clan altogether. I mean, there was Nithin who tried the other day. We warned him that he is really not that type, the type that thinks about world issues at 4.30 AM eating Pongal-Vada. Nithin wouldn`t listen.
"If this is your first day at Pongal department, you have to put treat" I told him and he didnt obey.
After eating a plate of Pongal-vada, he orders Idly.
One does not simply order Idly after Pongal. 
Pratheesh says, "You have to agree Nithin, atleast now that you are not fit for Pongal department."
I think he did agree for, he was absent from the next day.

Pongal-Vada is followed by a cup of Tea and may be a samosa that supplements the tea. Pratheesh and Abhiram smokes a cigarette. I dont. May be because I dont like the smell. I sit away from smoke they release which eventually mixes up with the early morning fog.

I am still not yet a board member of Pongal department but I can see that I have a good future in it. This is my last semester at IIT and I am feeling good because of this group.

It is not that we are hungry and hence go to that place. It is a feeling. It is a habit. Just like how you bath, we go to Krishna gate and eat Pongal. It really isnt about anything. It was there, from beginning. We just gave it a name - The Pongal Department.

Friday, December 9, 2011

90s was the era!

I strongly believe that creativity matters a lot in shaping up one`s life. Being born in 90s, I always feel lucky because of the fact that I grew up in a decade that has revolutionized the meaning of creativity! 
90s was the decade where art, music, cinema, dance, cartoons, video games, songs, literature have seen the peaks in terms of creativity. This world has seen amazing contributions from brilliant artists, composers, gaming companies, filmmakers, cartoonists and the like. No doubt that this has been declining since the start of the new millennium. The first 10 years of a child is very important in shaping up his/her future. Being a 90s kid, I am loving that!

I want to share some of my views on this topic in various fields that interested me from my childhood.

Books: Tinkle, Chandamama & Chachachowdary defined my reading habits. Had there been no Tinkle in my childhood, I am sure I wouldn`t be the same person that I am today. Be it Suppandi or Tantri the Mantri or Shikari Shambu or Nasruddin Hodja or Ramu and Shamu, I loved every bit of Tinkle Digest. I even sent 2 jokes and 1 it-happened-to-me article which got published. Chacha chowdary and his assistant Sabu, the alien from Jupiter - an awesome combination of mental and physical strengths to solve any problem that comes in their way."Chacha chowdary`s brain works faster than a computer" creates nostalgia. 

Songs: "Yayire Yayire" from "Rangeela" that came out in 1995 is a masterpiece movie song. The song talks about a girl who just gets a chance to fulfill her dream of becoming a heroine. Beautifully composed by A.R. Rehman, the legend combined with awesome lyrics and brilliant dance steps by Urmila Mantondkar makes this song one of my all time favorites.

 "Oorvasi Oorvasi", another song from the movie "premikudu" which again came out in the same year (1995) is yet another jaw dropping creation by the same Maestro. "Takeeteesy policy" is conveyed in this song with a simple tune that every one can hum quite easily. There are infinite other songs composed by Illayaraja, the music guru of India which will mesmerize your brain like never before! Listen to this song and try to disagree with me!

When we look at the present day songs, they are shit. Pure shit. Music dominates the lyrics. Infinite instruments are being used which just spoils the beauty of what a song is. 

Cartoons: I guess there is no 90s kid who grew up without knowing at least one of these characters - Tom & Jerry (no words to speak about its awesomeness), Powerpuff girls, Lion King (EPIC story), Scooby dooby doo, Swat cats, Popeye the sailor man (I know you are humming the title track now), Johny Bravo, Johny Quest, Dexter and many others. Creativity is maximum in all these cartoons. The 21st Century cartoons are not as brilliant as the 90s cartoons. Most of the shows are just dropped; I dont know why!
If they still telecast some of these, I would love to watch them again. I mean, com`on! do you ever get an idea to create a cartoon show where all the characters are cats? Your two protagonists are 1 thin cat and 1 fat cat - each of them expert in driving bike and plane respectively to save the city? Mind blowing music for the introductory video? I used to watch this right after I come from school :)

Dance: Micheal Jackson, this one word laid the foundation for what people understand as "dance" today. He redefined dance and created a whole new genre called "Pop". In fact, he wrote, composed, danced and released albums! Fucking awesome. Dance these days is just a flexible hero doing waves. One asshole holds his hand, the hero will go down and come up waving his butts and people are clapping. Disgusting!

Movies: 90s movies - the most important thing to talk about is "Script" which I think no one in the present day world cares about. Take the movie Nayakudu directed by ManiRatnam starring Kamal Hassan.  Read the plot in the wikipedia page here -

I bet you would cry after watching this movie. There are infinite movies in the 90s whose story makes most of the modern script writers complete dumb fuckers. Also, no one can make a comedy film better than Jhandyala!

More than 50% of telugu movies now-a-days fall into one of these categories - 

1. The hero is an asshole. However, heroine loves him just because she is heroine. There are problems between two villages. Our hero will solve them and also ultimately marry the heroine.
2. There is a big don somewhere overseas. He has large number of local mafia working under him in India. Hero makes them goats and wins over the big don in the climax. Heroine just flashes by a couple of times, sheds clothes and romances with the hero for no particular reason. Of course, we will have an item song inserted arbitrarily somewhere in the 3 hr. duration. 
3. Meaningless love between hero and heroine; No story; Issues with parents; unreal college incidents; finally marriage.

Video games: Games, though started to pick up only in the 90s were immensely addictive during this period, way more than what they are now. The difficulty levels have drastically reduced over the years while graphics followed the reverse trend. Most importantly, game-play of a video game is like script of a movie. If it is screwed up, the game is a flop for sure.
Take NFS. NFS 2 which I played in my III standard, in fact, the first video game I ever played - laid the seeds of my interest in cars as such. The latest NFS games are also good but not as addictive as these golden oldies. Moreover, there is no real 'need for speed' in these latest games. A few more games I played in my childhood that implemented the seeds of imagination inside my mind - Diablo, Blood, Duke Nukem, Mafia, GTA 3, Quake II, Tomb Raider III, Prince of Persia (the old 2D one!), Tekken III etc. etc. etc.
If I do not mention the older TV Video games Mario, Contra, Super Contra, Super Mario, Double Dragon, Tank, Tetris, Alkanoid etc., then I am not doing justice to this post!

Gone are the good old days; I have to get along with the shit.

P.S. - I do agree that there are worst things in the 90s and best things in the modern era in all fields. However, the ratio of good:bad things matters! 

Also note that by saying 90s I don`t exactly mean the period from 1990-2000. Everything I am talking here is a grayscale.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Placement dropout though not a college dropout

People keep asking me why I dropped out of placements and choose to be an entrepreneur. I am fed up answering to all your questions. So, I will share my views in this post and give this link when someone again asks me a similar question. It saves time.

Firstly, my choice was never about job vs. entrepreneurship. It is about one life style vs. another. I hate to work under some one. I hate a life which is routine and which bores me after an year or so. I hate a life which is not challenging. On the other hand, I love a job in a field that I am passionate about. I always love being myself. I love freedom to take my own decisions. I am ready to take risks and put in efforts to make my own venture successful. Yes, job is a safe and secure option but if I have to take risk, I have to take it as early as possible. Some famous saying I recently saw, "Take risks in life. If you win, you will lead. If you fail, you will guide". 

Secondly, it is about my own personality that makes me go for a completely off-beat career option. I am an entrepreneur material. I am unique in most of the tasks I do. I have the guts to create and take an idea forward. I have the guts of living life in the hardest of times. 

Thirdly, it also comes from inspiration. I am deeply influenced and inspired by two things. 
1. My father 2. Steve Jobs` Stanford speech

My father has a harder than hardest background and he worked really hard to become the person he is today. From walking miles without chappals, from working as a person who make bills in Kamath hotel near Ravindrabharathi to pay off his college fee, he became a gold medalist in M.Sc. an M.Ed. and became a school teacher in Space Central School in Sri Hari Kota and went up the level to become a college lecturer and now he established his own college! Courage and Confidence - he has these qualities in tons. For every boy, his own father is his first hero. You are a Rockstar, dad.

Steve jobs` speech in Stanford is another thing that sent down a chill inside me. Particularly the following words moved me and indeed made a significant contribution in me making this decision - 
"I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was, spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out to be OK. It was pretty scary at that time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.....
.... And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on."

About Typography which plays a great role in Graphic Design, he mentioned, "It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science cannot capture and I found it fascinating."

He continues, "Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can`t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something. Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots connect down the road will give you confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that would make all the difference."

"And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven`t found it yet, keep looking and don`t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it. And, like any other relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So, keep looking. Don`t settle."

"Your time is limited. So, don`t waste it living someone else`s life. Don`t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people`s thinking. Don`t let the noise of other`s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Finally he concludes with a simple yet striking one-liner, "Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

Another reason that I am not taking up a job is that I do not think that my skills would really help a company that could hire me. I wouldn`t be contributing to the company`s growth in any way. Nor would I be really benefiting from the work I do there. It is a waste of time, money, resources and everything for both the company and myself. Also, it is not ethical to work in some company, taking money and doing nothing.

Rohit, my other associate at Desto Creative Solutions, says, "After 2 years, I may or may not be strong monetarily, but I would be strong as a person which is possible only by doing what you want to do."

Krithika Nelson, CEO of says, "Entrepreneurs are a different clan! The good ones are very few and hard to find! It takes a lot of guts for someone to give up every comfort in life to start something of their own! The least you can do is to be proud of what they are doing, even if you don’t really understand everything about it"

I am sacrificing the comfort of having a secured, comfortable and may be luxurious life of doing a job, for having freedom in doing something on my own.

Input is primary. Output is secondary. I am ready to give the input.

Last but not the least, I believe that the world is full of possibilities. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hard Disk failure - more damaging that heart failure

When you experience the worst, you can experience any damn thing that comes in your way.

I am probably being too optimistic by recalling the above sentence. Life is playing hard on me. Problems occur to humans, not to trees - people say; but what occurred to me are not just problems. They are atom bombs, hydrogen or nuclear or whichever is most powerful. 

Over the past few years, I dedicated myself to various activities such as Graphic design, Photography, Academics, Placements etc. but never did I face so much trouble as within the last 1 week. Reason?
My Hard disk crashed.

Yes, you`ve heard it right. "You are not your hard disk" Kasa tried to console me, going the Fight club way. But, he doesn`t know that I am indeed my hard disk.
For a creative person, all his effort lies in his computer`s memory more than his own. I am not saying I am a creative person but at least I am trying to be one. I can no more show up some design and say it is mine unless I show the source file of it. Where are the source files? in my hard disk and where is the hard disk? Crashed.

Recently, I started learning Photography. Well, I did upload some pics on my FB profile but there are lot more creative ones hidden deep inside my hard disk. I wanted to share them with the world when the time comes. For example, with a tripod stand I clicked tube light and fan with shutter speeds varying from 1/3200 second to 15 seconds, and made the pics into a video and the result - a beauty and where is the beauty? In my hard disk and where is the hard disk? Crashed.

B.Tech Project - Infinite fight put in recently to develop two contact problems in Ansys. For one, a matlab code was also written. I pissed my ass off for doing these problems and all of them went into trash along with the hard disk.

3D Models - Animating a car scene - my dream. I was close enough and made a 15 second teaser for my upcoming short animation of a self-modeled, textured, animated and rendered Bugatti Veyron. It took 15 days to complete the teaser. Since I wasnt much satisfied, I waited for some free time to beautify it before showing it to the world. But, my hard disk did not wait.

Apart from these, there are many other files that went into pavilion because of the hard disk crash causing a huge loss of time and effort. For instance, I wrote a book of 110 pages, dreaming of becoming another Chetan Bhagat but now? I am the forever alone guy.

Now, this post is not to say that I had all great things hidden in my laptop and now, I am all alone. This is to stress that our lives these days are no longer in our control. It all depends on the machine in front of you right now. It can make your life or break your life. 

The fact that I am writing this post in the midst of infinite tasks and deadlines ahead (placements, Multibody Dynamics assignment - the thing that decides E or U grade in that course for me, Desto Creative Solutions, end semesters), show how much I miss my hard disk. I feel like giving up in life, but yes, probably Kasa was right. I am not my hard disk. It was me who created all the files in it. So, why cant I do them again? Put night outs in December vacation? Seems legit.

Please go and immediately create a back up of your files. I have to restart my life from scratch.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Three parts of a course - The Prestige way!

Every course has 3 parts or acts.

The first part is called "Quiz 1". The professor gives you something ordinary - tutorial problems or multiple choice questions or one line answers. He gives you this problem, perhaps he asks you to solve it - to see  that it is indeed solvable. Yeah, unaltered, normal. But of course, its not.

The second act is called "Quiz 2". The professor takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extra-ordinary. Now, you are looking for the solution but you wont find it because of course, you are not really solving. You dont really wanna know. You want to be fooled!

But you wouldnt be happy yet. Because solving a problem isnt enough. You have to earn grades! Thats why every course has a third act - the hardest part - the part we call "End sem".