Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The 8th November Story

Startups always have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Yesterday, I sat up all evening and night to place an order on "Republic Wireless". At around 6:30 pm, the site went live to take orders, the servers couldn't support the traffic, and the site crashed at 6:31 pm. Noone could place an order. At 8:30, it goes live again, only to crash at 8:32. Obviously, they must have increased the server space on the cloud at least by 10 times. It then got me thinking about how the developers would be feeling at such a company. Your project finally goes live, and crashes within 1 minute because of the incoming traffic! Electrifying! You increase the limit on the cloud, and it crashes again!
That's the power of new technology. If people think your product is going to change the world, and has a business model that nobody has ever thought would be possible, even you cannot predict the expectations people have. I'm sure these guys must have heard a lot of "You can't change that, this is how it is!". But these guys did just that, and managed to come up with a really innovative idea. And the public loved it!
What actually kept all of us waiting for the Android Phone was the audience in twitter and on facebook. The comments and puns were all very interesting, and even republic wireless cracked a few jokes to keep us going! Loved it! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dreams !! Dreams.... Dreams ???

Today, all of a sudden, I was thinking back to the time when I was a five year old. Well, not all of a sudden, but let me continue anyway. So when I was a five year old, and had absolutely no worries whatsoever in the world, I wanted to be a cop (We all did, didn't we?). I thought back then, that it was the best possible thing to be in the world. It was my dream. So I went and talked to my elder cousin about this, and she told me that cops get shot at every now and then, and it might even be fatal. The last thing a five year old wants to think of is that. She instead said I could be a traffic police cop instead. My dream changed, and overnight I wanted to become a traffic police cop. So I started learning the signals the traffic cop at the junction next to my house made (I did have all the time in the world!). A few days later, my younger cousin was home, and I told her this. She had a different way to look at things. "But Praveen, road accidents do happen right? What if a a car went over you?". I was like damn, people always keep doing this to me.
So I went over to my dad, just like any other kid would in a tough situation, and said, hey dad, everyone keeps saying something or the other about being a cop, and they scare me. So, what are you anyway, you seem to have a safe enough job. So my dad goes like, "Oh, I'm a doctorate". Kids learn fast, but they need to be taught stuff first. I just assumed he was a doctor. Well, it sounded like doctor. So, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a doctor? That red plus sign! So I ran off to make a small red coloured plus sign, and stuck it on his door. I would have said "Voila!" if I knew what it meant. My dad saw me sticking it, and said "What are you doing?". I'm like "Well, you said you are a doctor, people should know about it, how would they if you have no red plus sign anywhere?". "Well, you see, I'm not that kind of a doctor". "Ok, what kind of a doctor are you?". "Well, I've done my PhD., I'm a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering". That was too much to process for me. I was like why do people confuse me so much?! So I didn't want to be a doctor - to begin with there were two types, and I didn't understand what one category of them did. Life moved on, and I wanted to be something different each day - a bus driver to accountant, from an engineer to an artist.
So when I was 17, I followed the public junta and partially my dream (I had too many of them), to become Engineer Thothathri. Things moved fast, and I came to do my masters. After coming here, I first used to think "I'll get into a huge company with a hundred thousand people for my internship". I then started applying to smaller companies, but those with an idea that I thought could change the world. My dream changed.
Yesterday, my mom called me up, and asked me my plans. I said I think I cook well, so I want to be a chef at an awesome restaurant. "But then why did you do your engineering and get into the technical side of things in the first place?". "Well, I'm an engineer, and we do creative things. Engineering is pure application. I'll apply my engineering skills towards food, be creative and I'm sure great things will happen. You can't tell an engineer not to be creative, its like telling a bird not to fly, or fish not to swim, that's how we are, we've learnt to think out of the box during our undergrad years!".
Have you ever had a feeling when you think the other person on the line is listening with utmost interest, but in reality they hung up on you? Yup. Same thing.
Anyway, the point is, people change, and so do their dreams. The only thing is to always have a dream! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What the convocation and BIT, Mesra mean to me....

It's official! In a few days from now, most of my friends would have got their degrees from BIT, Mesra. Me? Well, I'll get it 'In Absentia', probably a week later. I thought this would be a good chance to write about my undergrad university, and what BIT Mesra means to me.
I came to Ranchi on the 23rd of July, 2006, with a huge trunk and a suitcase, not knowing one word of Hindi,or anything even close to it. I would never have imagined the next four years of my life would be the best; and that life itself would change so much over the period. The very same evening, a few of my friends and I thought we should go to the 'Insti' and write down the timetable for the following days. Today, I feel that was the best decision we ever made. We didn't get to copy down that time table, but we did get to meet some very interesting seniors. So here's how it started : We left hostel 6, and were on the road near hostel 5 (old), and a senior asks us 'Freshers ho kya?'. I didnt know what to say. I think I stammered. I had heard stories; crazy stories of how people in hostels were asked to pee on immersion rods, and loads of other similar stuff. None of that happened. But either way, it was the only thing running in my mind. I was like "OMG... We are soooo screwed!".
Nothing happened that actually 'crossed the limit'. It was all fine, but they did make sure all of us cried most of the time. They asked us questions, and if none of us answered, we had to do something called a '90'. One of the things I was asked was what UPS stands for. I promptly said 'Unlimited Power Supply'. Can't believe I said that! Either way, after the session, all the seniors have been so helpful, and I've always considered myself very lucky to be one of the first few to have had such an experience.
Things moved on, I got to know my roommate better, and before we even knew it, the first semester was over. I think it was in the second semester when I started realizing that studies wasn't everything. College wasn't just about books : It was about having conversations on politics, ideas, GK, movies, drinking tea at Sharma Dhaba, and everything else you can imagine. The remaining years just flew by, and though a lot of crazy stuff happened, it was finally all over.
I miss the whole experience; those four years were absolutely awesome. BIT has taught me to think differently, to have hope, to always think big, to work hard, and to have a lot of fun. The convo is in less than a week, and I won't be able to go and attend it. I just want to go and see how things have changed, and relive those four years in the few hours scheduled for the convo. I sometimes feel if I had worked harder, I could have got that gold medal from the college. Naah, I wouldn't trade the fun I had those 4 years for a gold medal.