Archive for September, 2004

Life goes on…

There are very few people in life for whom respect comes from within the heart. Your head automatically bows out of respect upon meeting them.

I remember it was a bright and sunny day. We were sitting in the computer lab enjoying the air conditioning. Suddenly some of our juniors came up with a news. Sir, there is a new teacher in the college. He’ll teach us C programming. Great! we said.

Thats how we came to know about him. After some time, the scene was repeated. Us sitting in lab and same juniors coming to us. sir, they said, that new teacher is a mechanical engineer! He has done PGDIT. How can a mechanical engineer teach us C?? This point even left us thinking for a while. But later on, the same juniors told us that he is a very good teacher and explains the subject very well.

Later on when we proceeded to next sem, he taught us OS. Towards the end of the course, we implicitly developed a feeling of respect and friendship towards him.

I remember how much dedicated he was towards the course.
I remember that he was more accountable to the labs and lectures than we were.
I remember that he was always ready to clear the doubts of students. No matter what time it was, no matter what he was doing.
I remember how he guided us in choosing the electives.
I remember how well he guided and supported me in my projects.
I remember how restless students were when he was absent from college for a few days.
I remember he proved that a teacher can be a great friend too.
I remember how concerned he was about our placement.
I remember how he survived a stampede at pragati maidan just for the sake of our placement.
I remember how he was awake all night encouraging us during the first campus interview.

He proved that knowledge is no one’s monopoly. Mere words like “branch” cannot stop someone from gaining expertise in some subject.

Today, he left the college.

Yes, life goes on, but we will feel the absence.

I attended the meeting in lecture hall today. Although, sitting at the last bench, he was not audible properly, but i know that he was sad. His future will bring him the best things in life. But our past does affect our future life to a certain extent.

Any feeling whether jolly or sad is not felt immediately. Its when you go home and think about it, it affects you most.

He is a great person, a great teacher, great friend and above all an excellent human being.

I wish him all the best for his future and can only say the following line…

“Shat Shat Naman”
Feel free to share your experiences with this great man or add something which i might have missed.


We are here

The other day, i was chatting with a friend of mine who lives in Shipra. He was in his room in shipra. He asked me whether i have Hyderabad blues 2 songs. I said no.
After some time, Anuj came to my room and said that he has those songs. I copied them from his system. I informed my friend in shipra(who was still online) that the songs are here. He asked me to mail them. I said are you serious? One song was 13 mb large. he could easily take it on a CD RW the day after. But he was very eager to listen to the song.

That’s when Gmail came into rescue. The great email service offers 1 GB of space with unlimited(ofcourse < 1GB) attachment size. I mailed him the song. Then another song and then also mailed him some softwares. Somehow from the inside, i was feeling happy. Thets what i want to elaborate in this article. We are finally using the next generation communication services! Imagine honestly. how many of you even thought of mailing a file more than 5 or 6 mb in size a few months back? But this great company changed everything. And above all, its email service is not even publically launched yet! Goggle launched the Gmail beta and invited a few people to test it. Those few elites were given some invites to invite whomsoever they want. And the chain continued. Somehow, the chain also reached our hostel to a person who doesn’t want his name to be written here. He passed on the privilage to me. For a few days, we really felt proud and differentiated from the others. Well, all gud things must come to an end. Both of us got invites. we invited many friends and now, many of us have spare invitations left! The point i m trying to make here is that Gmail, just by announcing that it would be offering 1 GB of space, shattered the roots of the major webmails in the world. Soon after, our own desi Rediffmail joined the spree and converted the accounts to 1 GB!!! following Yahoo(which now offers 100 MB space). The attachment size was also increased by a few megabytes. Hotmail has recently announced to convert the accounts to 250 MB.

In the meantime, another mail service opened. Aventuremail. It claimed to offer 2 GB spae. But again. Its registerations closed very early and are still not open. Another service, started offering 1 TB!!! But soon the size reduced to even 20 MB.

Returning to the main topic, we started sending songs and softwares to each other using Gmail(even in the hostel). Although the process was slower, but we felt a little motivated to do so. It really feels good to say to someone “Hey, i have sent you an mp3 on your gmail account. Listen to it and tell me how it was.”

So, we are finally here. in the age of next generation mail service. Where people can send files mbytes in size. But i’d also like to make another point here. Not every player had the stamina to survive in the market as is evident from the results of aventuremail and youvegotpost. Google was smart enough to increase the number of users gradually by using invites. Yahoo also made it by increasing only to 100 MB. And Rediff? it does not even has much accounts to fear that it will fall. Aventuremail and Youvegotpost took a wrong step by straight away offering their services to the public.

Here comes the jist of my previous blog. “Why do we compete?”

Google doesnt need to compete with anybody. Its mere announcement changed the paradigm. Just imagine what will happen after it launches its services for public! Rumours are that Google is also developing its Instant messenger using orkut. I’m sure people will divorce Yahoo and MSN and marry google. They really are making the world a better place to live. What did other companies do? They just increased their storage capacity and finished! Whereas, Google is constantly trying to provide the best it can to the public. That is why it is miles aheah of the rest. There are higher limits to everything than one can imagine.

Another company whose name comes into my mind in this scenerio is Reliance Infocomm. This company was concieved by Mr. Mukesh Ambani more than 5 years back. That was the time when, what to talk of mobiles, even land lines were not so common. Having a P&T telephone was considered to be a thing of pride for a middle class family. there were schedules for rates – 1/2, full, quarter and that bugging “All lines to this route are busy. Please try after some time.” Mobiles were considered a rich man’s things and were used rarely due to high rates and that too for voice calls only.

Now picture this -
At that point in time, this great man and his great father imagined a world of this time. A time when mobiles will be so common that even Rickshaw wallah, electricians and Dhobis will have their personal mobiles. They forsighted that voice calls will not be the only usage of a mobile. It will be used for DATA calls and multimedia content as well. Could any of us even think of such a thing at that time? And even if we could, we didn’t have enough money to put it in motion (LOL). But again they could forsee beyond imagination.

And yes, they have made it. The 24,000 crore Reliance Infocomm is here. With not only offering mobile services, but also offering enterprise communication, storage, and computing solutions to corporates. Evidences are that they are rolling out their set top boxes codenamed “Netway” next year. This little box will give you hundreds of channels, broadband internet connection, an IP phone and many more things which you cannot even imagine (but i can as i have read their document on Netway. If anybody wants to imagine, drop me a mail, i’ll send you the document) for a few hundred bucks per month!

Again reliance is not competing with anybody. This is quite evident from the fact that their call rates are way below the others. Had they been competing, they would have kept their rates a few paise below the others and waited for someone to drop. But no, just as Google initiated the space war in mails, they initiated the price war in mobiles.

Both the above cited examples remind me of a saying by Dough Larson i saw on the wallpaper of my friend in the first paragraph:

“Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.”

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You can also meet

After a short break. I’m back. I had planned to write about my first placement interview experience. But, i had to go home for Raksha Bandhan. I boarded the 2420 Gomti Express which shuttles between New Delhi and Lucknow. The journey changed my plan. Here is how…

I had my seat reserved in the AC chair car coach C1, birth 55. I was quitely sitting on my seat when i spotted a beautiful girl coming towards me. Oh god! please she should sit besides me, I prayed. Voilla! yes, her seat was 56! Just besides me. Thank god! It was going to be a great journey!

But as all good things must come to an end (and in my case, they should end even before they are started :(( ), she suddenly spotted the gentleman sitting right behind me. Alok(name changed) sir! she screamed. What are you doing here, Komal(name changed)? the man said. M going to Lucknow, you? Same here, replied Komal. And without even caring a damn for the nice guy sitting besides her, she requested the lady sitting with her naughty child next to her “sir” to exchange seats. The lady agreed. Some great journey it was going to be! ****!

How could i let such a nice girl go away? So, i decided to atleast hear what she has to say to her “sir”. I overheard that she is a doctor and that her “sir” is some high official in some respected company. She was talking to him regarding taking an examination. She also told him that she was getting married 2 months later :(

I realized that i was not the only one involved in the crime. There was another guy sitting next to sir who was also overhearing their conversation. His expressions told me that he was dying to tell something. Maybe it were some misconceptions of the girl about the test that he wanted to clear. So, when he could not take more, he told the girl that he has passed that test and it is very easy. He also cleared most of her misconceptions. She was impressed. So was i. I would never have spoken in the middle even if i had topped the test!

Then they started the introduction round. Both of them soon realized that they were classmates once! Heck. The aunty besides me is sleeping and that naughty fellow is kicking on my legs.

Soon, they started remembering their school days. I found out that the girl was popular during the school days also(she should be!) and that the boy was a dumbo. They seldom talked to each other in their school days.

“Ha Ha Ha Ha” came a loud feminine laughter from back. Everyone turned around. Even auty woke up and scolded the naught fellow for kicking my legs. There were some 3 extra modern girls from some mod college in Delhi. They were discussing about boyfriends as if they were sitting in their hostel room. Speaking so loudly that even the person at the other end could hear them. And they were talking all rubbish.

Komal and Abhishek(name changed) started discussing the city to which these girls would belong. “They are definitly not from Lucknow” said Abhishek. “Why not”? asked Komal. “Because Lucknow girls are not like these”, replied Abhishek. “Abhishek!!” said excited Komal, “I never thought you looked at girls like that”. Then they took their point of discussion from the girls to sex and many other things which should not be disclosed here.

“Sir” was listening quitely meanwhile. Suddenly he asked Abhishek what he is doing now a days. He told him that he is coming to Lucknow for some interview. This is his third and last try. Sir said, “According to me, you are a perfect candidate for the job! Then why aren’t you getting it?”. “They probably want money”, said Abhishek sadly. “Then give them, even if you pay them a lakh or so now, you can easily redeem it within a year!” “No sir, i can’t do that. I can’t ask my father for giving bribes.” said Abhishek. “I think Abhishek is right sir. One should never pay bribe for a job!”, said Komal. The discussion went long and the old saying “If you can’t beat them, join them” prevailed. Sir had to agree with both of them. Heck. Its aunty’s sleeping time and that naughty fellow bugging me again!

Meanwhile we reached Kanpur and two of the ultra modern girls left the train. They belonged to Unnao. I know this from their discussion. They were teasing each other that Unnao is such a ghatiya town that no train stops there. Sir assured Abhishek that he would definitly get selected this time as he is a perfect candidate and also very honest. He also asked for his roll number. “What will you do with that?” asked Abhishek. “Sir! you may also be…..” cried Komal in excitement. “Yes, i m among the interviewers and may get to interview Abhishek”, said “Sir”. “Beta Abhishek, consider yourself selected! I was checking your intentions and honesty”. I wish i could take a photo of Abhishek’s face at that moment and put it here as i can’t put it in words. He was speechless. “Sir” was like god for him. He has been trying for this job since the last 2 years!

Now consider this – Had he over reacted on the bribe idea by sir and shouted on him or even agreed to give bribe, he would lost his last chance.

There goes the old saying by Raheem or Kabeer(i don’t remember) i read in my school days. If somebody does remember it, please post it as a comment. The jist of the journey says that one should always be polite, calm and honest with people one meets in life. Who knows even god may turn up sometime!

Meanwhile Mr. Naughty had slept with his mother. But he won’t be able to continue for long as the train was pulling into the limits of Lucknow.