Monday, February 15, 2010

The Bucket List

Walking on a street, sitting alone in a metro, driving bike on NH-8 in complete solitude, sitting on a rickshaw moving slowly towards the destination, long 3AC train journeys or in a flight where you are always alone. These are the moments, I always find hundreds of thoughts crossing my mind, some arising from introspection, some inspired by others and some are those I have always dreamt about again and again. I am listing down the ones, I have felt most passionate for.

These are the things I wish to do sometime in future or things I have done and loved every moment of it or things I am gonna do very soon.

I plan to keep this list updated, keep adding stuff as I dream, and keep striking them off as I live them.

  1. BackPack India (esp. Leh, Kanyakumari, Cherrapunji, Bhakra Nangal)
  2. Settle down in Bombay
  3. Learn Cooking and prepare a complete dinner for my family.
  4. Join Gym and Hog Food
  5. Try Salsa
  6. Try Horse Riding
  7. Try guitar and maintain a good one
  8. Spend considerable time with family at home.
  9. Try Swimming and learn to breathe
  10. Work for a month in Pizza Hut or likes
  11. Bungee Jumping
  12. Paragliding
  13. Snow boarding
  14. Learn 2 foreign languages including French
  15. Bike Ride to and fro Gurgaon - Agra
  16. Practice Meditation
  17. Experience Snow Fall
  18. Pet a dog / squirrel / bird / cat
  19. Watch Avril Lavigne live
  20. Invest in Stocks
  21. Master Algorithms
  22. Visit New York again
  23. Witness a full solar eclipse
  24. Fly in a helicopter
  25. Go fishing
  26. Own a telescope
  27. Experience Love, unconditionally
  28. Learn to solve Rubiks cube
  29. Donate Blood
  30. Setup a coffee shop named 'Serendipity'
  31. Visit a Windmill Farm.
  32. Learn to play a Harmonica (Hohner Puck)
  33. Visit a volcano.
  34. Learn to juggle with 3 balls.
  35. Appear on a TV Show
  36. Get back in touch with a few lost friends
  37. Learn to play Bansuri ( Flute )
  38. Try out a Boomerang
  39. Memorize the poem 'If'
  40. Learn Sign Language
  41. Plant a tree and watch it grow
  42. Watch Steve Jobs launching iPhone 4 live at WWDC'10
  43. Train and run for 10 KM with ease - Half Marathon

Monday, December 31, 2007


I am talking about Radhika Jonty Anu and the special Malvika , these were my society kids while I was in Bombay for one year. We used to play Ring-a-Roses, Lock and key Chain, Chain Chain, and it was the first thing for which I would come back from office on time before they would head back to their homes for dinner.

They are the "cutest" reason for which I miss Bombay so much.

The bubbliest of them all, most talkative, always giggling and really cute ,Radhika, was short and would just, almost, reach my waist. Jonty was the smallest, light weight, with one front teeth missing. Anu was chubby, and golu molu, always smiling. And Malvika, she was different, with whom no one would play, because she was different than others, she walked, talked, smiled differently, and she was the dearest of them all to me.

They have made me sit and listen to their songs, see their dance which they have prepared for a society show and listen to their gossips, resolve their fights. But before all this actually began, I had to bribe them with chocolates and Gems so as not to call me "Uncle" anymore, which they used to, anytime they wanted a chocolate from me.

There have been times when I have been completely moved by their sweetness, their simplicity, the depth of their thoughts. I just loved being with them, pamper them, play with them and be the Den almost everyday in "Lock and key chain".

One day Radhika she looked at the Flat Number vs Owners Name chart in the apartment's lobby and asked :
"Which one is your flat bhaiya ?" . I replied "304" .
"But this is not your name na bhaiya?" . "Yeah Radhika I live in someone else's flat".
"Ohh to aap rent par rehte ho, fir to aap ek din chale jaoge yaha se."
(So you live in a rented flat, that means you would leave us and go somewhere else one day)

Just before leaving Bombay I brought a gift for each of them, for Radhika I got a story book and a small stuff toy key chain, which was cute looking but not as cute as her. I wrote my cell number and email address behind the story book, and she said, I know yeh computer waala address hai na, main aapko email karungi.

Jonty , as soon as he sees me, he would stand still, with his head tilted to one side and both arms raised straight in the air pointing towards me. With a sweet smile on his face, and an expression which silently asks me to pick him up in my arms, he says just one word "Bhaiyyaaa .....". I used to pick him up from right underneath his arms and move him in circles with his legs in air and me rotating with him in center.

He picked up the funkiest hotwheels car from the gifts bag, before anyone else could even lay hand on it.

Anu was a good dancer, and the chubbiest of them all. She was always smiling and pretended to be the Daadi Maa of them all, even mine. I took lots of videos of them dancing, singing, and doing crazy stuff. Anu would always take hold of my blackberry and Radhika would capture my cellphone. So one day Radhika threatened me that she would delete all their pics and videos from my cellphone, to which Anu immediately stopped her and said, "agar tum pics aur videos delete kar dogi, to bhaiya humko yaad kaise karenge."
She did not took my gift directly, but asked me to give it to her small 4 yr old cousin. She feared her mom so much, that she thought her mother would kill her for accepting the gift and actually bringing it home.

Malvika - My Real Taara. She would always complain to me "Ye log na mere saath khelte nahi hai." . And then I used to ask each one of them to treat her normally like other kids, and play with her, so it was always me and her vs others. On one Sunday, I was watching them race, and Malvika was among the last finisher every time or she would not even start sometimes. I picked her up and we defeated the all time winner Tushar by a huge margin. From that day onwards, WE never lost even a single race against them.

She asked for a kitchen set, but I could only find a barbie makeup set for her. The happiness I saw on her face, was the reason I wanted to give them all something from my side.

If you wonder why I am writing this on my blog today, suddenly, out of no where. I have just returned home after watching "Taare Zameen Par". I was absolutely quiet for many hours after watching the movie, and shed a few tears while riding back home. It has been a great emotional experience, bringing back so many good memories and times that I would like to cherish forever.

I love you kids.

Here is a video of Anu and Radhika :

Monday, June 11, 2007

How to Disallow google bot to index your house ?

Sounds weird ? Isnt it ?

But really, google with the help of its googleVan has started "indexing" streets for the new google street view.

Here are some of the example sightings :

So whenever you see the googleVan in your locality, all the ladies put on your makeups, come out of you houses and say "Cheeeeeeese".

And btw, if you want the van to just go away. Put this sign in your yard.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Minekey ! Just Launched !

Minekey , which is quite a homophone for monkey :) , actually represents mine + key.

The idea was to make an attempt towards solving the Information Overload problem which we all face in our day to day life. There are huge amount of blogs, news and articles that are being published everyday, and every morning I wonder what to read and where to read.

Well Minekey aims at mining the content out of this huge pool of information and delivering it ready and cooked to the user exactly the way he may like it to be.

Each user has its own set of taste and preferences and Minekey learns that gradually and then delivers the personalized content to each and every user according to its taste.

Each article that one reads, each link the user clicks on, minekey considers that as a set of input which it uses to train its recommendation engines and make it more intelligent for the user.

We have put in lots of effort and time in making Minekey and over the last 18 months I have seen the code being re-written, the strategies being remade and several Business models being tried out.

And after 18 months I can see it working live in the right pane of this page, responding to my each and every click, Understanding me more and more as I use it, and I hope it would do the same for you as well.

Well done Minekey Team. Wish you all the best.

Here are links to Sunshine , Kpowerinfinity and Subrat as they have tried to describe Minekey in their own words.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Do you believe in Stars ?

Do you believe in stars ?
Do you listen to what stars tell ?
Do you think predictions can be very close to reality ?
Do you believe a few lines under Horoscope could be correct ?

Well, I do. In fact, yahoo astrology has made me believe so over the course of time. As a matter of fact, I have been humbled by Yahoo astrology numerous times before also.

Its been really a "bad couple of days" for me, and the fact is that we always try to look for things like God, Predictions, whenever we are in a bad shape.

Thats what I did today. I opened up yahoo astrology to see what stars have to say about my condition. I clicked on Libra and found something relevant.

The stars give you a much needed center to operate from, especially when it comes to making decisions. Sometimes you can get stuck on being fair. Now it's time to let your critical faculties take over and do the job. Holding on is holding you back right now, so let go of the past and move forward.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A hard time with WebSense

A formal introduction to websense.

Websense, Inc. is the global leader of internet filtering and a premier provider of internet security software trusted by organizations worldwide with over 24 million seats under subscription. Websense products increase web security and employee productivity ( ?? ) through internet policy enforcement.

I think, its a good and pretty effective way to block access to lots of explicit sites either at workplace or an institution, and its certainly a lot better than simply restricting sites on the basis of keyword match in the urls.Kshitij is the annual Techno-Management fest at IIT Kharagpur, and two years back access to Kshitij site was blocked to IIT Kharagpur students because of the url keyword filter which was then recently added.

Websense outperforms all other blocking methods available till date but I was really pained to see my company being one among those worried institutions to install websense. On my first day at job, almost 90 percent of all my typed in urls were blocked by websense. And my daily surfing which includes Orkut, Netvibes, Orkut, Gmail, Orkut, Gtalk was reduced to Netvibes only.

For some days I kept track of my gmail messages through gmail feed , where I could see people scrapping me on orkut but still not able to do anything about it :-( .

I googled a lot for list of anonymous proxies and ways to access gmail and orkut, but access to kproxy, phpproxy blah blah all came under the websense category "Anonymous Proxies". A day later my manager called me up and showed me the list of all the blocked sites I was trying to access. This was a real bouncer for me and a realization as how much strict my company is over such policies.

Luckily, I had an access to a global ip and a webserver, where I can install stuff and well to my joy it dint fell under any websense category :) . I later installed PHProxy over there and did get access to my 80 % of websense categorized urls. Though its a very clean script and ready to run, but it does not support ssl/https connections. So still no gmails and orkuts for me.

My second try was a quite successful one but not the most convenient. I installed lynx ( its a command line http browser)on my global server and for a next few days I was all over orkut and gmail through ssh. SSL support is disabled by default in lynx, so as to enable https/SSL you will have to configure it with "./configure --with-ssl' flag.

Lynx was the most successful way till then but still very annonying sometimes, when the remote server is down or the bandwidth is all screwed up due to rain or clouds .

Next breakthrough was when I came across CGIProxy . No installation is required, its an amazing piece of work. All you need is configuring your webserver to allow execution of cgi scripts. Or simply put this in your cgi-bin and for most of the servers no configuration is required. CGIProxy does support https/ssl connections but you need a couple of packages on your system.

1. OpenSSL ( well most of the machines have this installed )
2. Net::SSLeay - A Perl module to interface with OpenSSL

As soon as you install Net::SSLeay, cgiproxy picks it up automatically and you can start browsing all kind of pages over the net.

Word of Caution: SSL/https is a way to secure your information over the internet, passwords and user information sent over the wire through https is encrypted at browser end and can be understood only by the server for whom it is meant.
So if you are using any kind of proxy scripts to access sites which require https or user/password login, you are risking your privacy to a great extent. Your username and passwords would be sent to the proxy server as a plain text and it would be encrypted only after that.

Gtalk, Yahoo IM can be accessed through the following sites, for those who are struck by websense, I would suggest them to go the IP way. ;-)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Problem in Installing NS 2.29.2-allinone

And I started my project work after a long break with a hope that this time I will get it done, well last time the excuse I made ( for not being able to do it ) was the older version of NS ( ver. 2.28 ). So I began with downloading NS 2.29.2-allinone pack and ran ./install. It stopped in between with a configure error and it was in the tcl module :

"checking system version (for dynamic loading)... ./configure: line
7624: syntax error near unexpected token ')'
./configure: line 7624: ' OSF*)'
tcl8.3.2 configuration failed! Exiting ...
Tcl is not part of the ns project. Please see to see
if they have a fix for your problem."

So after analyzing the configure files in the following directories I could find the culprit and the solution:

  • tcl: file tcl8.x.x/unix/tcl.m4.
  • tk: file tk8.x.x/unix/tcl.m4.
  • otcl: file otcl-1.x/

The line generating the problem was :

system=MP-RAS-`awk ' { print $3 } '/etc/.relid'`

The problem lies in how bash 3.1.x and 4.x.x parse the configure file. This will simply pass through bash 3.0.x and lower versions. So in order to make things work I changed the above line to:

system=MP-RAS-`awk ' { print $3 } '/etc/.relid`

You will have to take following steps in order to bring the changes into effect:
Remove the second last character ( ' ) from the line and do this for all the three files above. Now after changing the configuration files you will have to delete older configure file and any cache if it exists in the respective folders. After that do not forget to run autoconf from command line in the respective folders to generate a fresh configure file.

Now all I had to do was hit ./install again and I just hope with this new installation I could make some progress in my project.