Monday, July 21, 2014

“Sujata to Ground Station: exiting ISSS for spacewalk 13 on sub-mission 2-b in 57 seconds.” Captain Sujata Rao sent a voice-message to ISRO ground station from the International Super Space Station orbiting Mars as she was about to go out on a short mission to fix a couple of mechanical issues. She’d get a response in another 25 minutes.

Sujata thought that the sun was a bit unusually brighter. She shrugged and proceeded toward the bolt she needed to tighten by 10 degrees more. She didn’t find a need to activate her jetpack as the micro-thrusters in her space-suit were adequately powerful.

As she approached the bolt, a static started playing in receiver. ‘So jarring!’ she thought, irritated. The specially designed automatic spanner registered a significant temperature rise in the bolt. Her jaw dropped when she saw the sun had grown 10 times its size. Before she knew it, the static had gone from unbearable to ‘extreme torture’, impairing her hearing forever.

A superbright flash… an explosion… a hundred thousand suns bursting into life…

Nothing… no Captain Sujata… just individual atoms floating in space…



Dr. Sujata Rao was stressed. Yes, even the world’s best neurosurgeon can get stressed. Especially when you are operating on the Prime Minister of your country.

She ran the final checks. All equipments: okay. Emergency backup system 1: fully functional. Backup system 2: ready. Mr. PM was anesthetized. As she switched the drill on, Sujata became acutely aware of the enormous weight of responsibility on her shoulders. The fate of the man who made India into a superpower lay in her hands. Literally.

Click!

Blink!

‘Huh!’ thought she after her momentary blackout. The drill was boring into the PM’s neck. She could see all her assistants panicking. Some struck paralyzed with the shock, some screaming at the top of their voice. Why could she not hear anything? She screamed. She screamed so she could wake up from the nightmare. She screamed because that was the only thing remained to be done. She couldn’t hear herself scream.

One after another, her assistants seemed to vanish in a puff of dark mist. The blood all over the operation table — seemed to turn golden before it vanished along with the table. Sujata tried to clasp her hands around her head, but found no hands to do so. What was happening? The universe seemed to be being whisked away… piece by piece… herself included. No Dr. Sujata… no Mr. Prime Minister… just mist… dark… swirling… endless.



It was a blissful spring evening. Sujata was lying on the lush green grass. Clutching a letter in her hand. She was confused which spring was more beautiful, the one on the outside or the one in her mind. After all, she had just received a letter from Rajesh. ‘Why did that stupid guy have to go away for such a long time?’ she thought to herself in mock-anger.

She opened the letter. The wind blowing intricate patterns on the grass, gently. Her heart beating, not as gently.

“Suju, I can not even begin to describe how much miss you…” the letter began. Each word turning more and more blurry, Sujata read on. She thought of Rajesh and of the extraordinary warmth that flooded her at his thought.

Was she hallucinating? Why was there a hole in the middle of the letter? Burning… spreading slowly… devouring the letter… She thought of Rajesh again. She couldn’t remember how he looked. She tried harder… couldn’t remember his voice. Harder… Who Rajesh?

A sense of profound loss engulfed her. Love had evaporated. She didn’t know why she was sad… she didn’t know what sad meant… as if feelings were something alien… why was there water everywhere? The green grass… gone. The blue skies… grey and gloomy. Sujata and her feelings… what feelings? Who Sujata? Just water. Everywhere. Salty. Lifeless. Still.



So many branches of the timeline… each more beautiful and intricate than other… colorful… winding, twisting and turning…

But one after another, those branches were vanishing into nothingness. The probability distribution was collapsing. Rapidly.

It was the J.J. Hostptal. Years ago. Sujata (you know what Sujata means? The one who’s born of goodness. The one who’s born to good[hearted people]) was floating… blissful… unaware… innocent. 

Dhak dhak… dhak dhak… her heart beat. Slowing down with each beat. With each beat, a star extinguished. With each passing moment, one tendrill was cut off the exquisite timeline that lay ahead.

In the end, there weren’t any stars remaining to bring hope. Only one possible direction for the timeline remained: the one which went nowhere.

She was being taken out of the womb, piece by piece… dead like meat and bloody like wine.

Because her grand mother deemed it extremely important for the baby to have the ‘right’ set of genitals. The probability distribution had collapsed to a single point: at zero.

Sujata wasn’t born.

P.S: While you are at it, give this a viewing: http://www.satyamevjayate.in/female-foeticide/femalefoeticide.aspx

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Here begins my experiment: just type away as my thoughts ramble and wander… letting them take me to places and times — here and yonder! I’m typing out… in the end, I’ll have to do some minimal editing and little bit of censoring here and there and boom! I have a blog post!

So yeah, this is an attempt to pen it down as my thoughts branch out and new topics emerge. I’ve always found it very hard to be on the top of a particular topic for long and the ‘very hard’ part invariably makes me think of [deleted] from where my mind travels to places like Agra. I think of Taj Mahal and how acid rain is ruining its beauty. These goddamn Agra people! So much pollution! I know, right! And why does pollution make me think of population? Is it just word similarity or is there a deeper meaning to it, I wonder.

Yeah! Wonder Woman! Supposed to be some famous comic book character or something. Nah! Never heard of her. I know Captain America, Batman, Flash, Superman, Spiderman and all that, okay! But Wonder Woman? I’m just barely aware of her existence in the comic-verse. Yeah, yeah, the universe portrayed in comic books, not like “a verse that is funny” but yeah, why not? Verses can be funny too! And you know what? There was this guy in my school, his name was Phani (pronounced exactly same as ‘funny’). Boy, was that funny! Okay, okay, I know I shouldn’t be making fun of people’s names and all that, but hey, this is what’s coming to my mind right now.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Today, we celebrate! Today, we rejoice! For me and countless other oppressed ones, this victory matters. This day matters. The Maratha reservation stands symbolic of a struggle against that which is unjust, a fight against the oppression of generations and a war waged on all that is inhuman. Let history take note of this day, it reminds us that compassion, equality, and democracy are still alive.

Yes, I belong to the Maratha community. We fought… we fought till we got what is rightfully ours and today, today we emerge triumphant!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

“Sir, pls tell me how you achieved so much. What is boring and normal to you will be inspiration for me pls guidance me…”

“Bhaiya, I am Marathi medium. Is IIT not for me then?”

“I’m feeling very bad that I did not study computer science in 11th and 12th…”

“Sir, pls tell me some inspiration. I want to be lyk u.”

I am sorry for not replying personally. If you find this post inspiring, and it shows you hope, gives you renewed enthusiasm to fight, courage to not give up, let me tell you more good news: this is nothing. I know at least half a dozen friends of mine who have much more inspiring stories to tell, just that they don’t blog about it.

Anyway, here’s a story only for you. For you, and for my bestest buddy who’s been having a lot of confidence issues lately. (Yeah, that guy whose name starts with an ‘S’ and ends with a ‘T’)

Monday, May 26, 2014

It is quite a frequent pattern in programming where before executing a bunch of code, you need to do some setup and after the code is executed, you need to do some cleanup. Examples include acquiring and releasing locks, logging profiling information at the beginning and end of a block etc. Let's use locks as a running example here.

Our goal is to write a macro to transform this code:
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/* Setup */
bool lock_acquired_now;
if (lock_held_by_current_thread ()) {
  lock_acquired_now = false;
} else {
  lock_acquire (filesys_lock);
  lock_acquired_now = true;
}

/* Actual work */
bool success = file_write_at (P_FILE (p),
                              p->kaddr,
                              P_READ_BYTES (p),
                              P_OFFSET (p));
if (success) {
  p->page_status = FILESYSTEM;
  p->is_loaded = false;
} else {
  p->page_status = MEMORY;
  p->is_loaded = true;
}

/* Clenup */
if (lock_acquired_now) {
  lock_release (filesys_lock);
}

Into this one:
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use_lock (fs_lock) {
  bool success = file_write_at (P_FILE (p),
                                p->kaddr,
                                P_READ_BYTES (p),
                                P_OFFSET (p));
  if (success) {
    p->page_status = FILESYSTEM;
    p->is_loaded = false;
  } else {
    p->page_status = MEMORY;
    p->is_loaded = true;
  }
}
Short and sweet, isn't it? That's why such things are called syntactic sugar!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I saw this video on Facebook a few days back. Seemed to be quite popular.
video
I really liked the video. It touched certain emotional chords and made me think “Yes. They are right. Hasn’t science become just another religion? Isn’t tolerance and respect the only way forward?”

Friday, May 9, 2014

There was a company called Dropbox and once they held a competition called Big Haxe: The Ultimate Stanford vs Berkeley AI battle! There was team of four… They fought with valour, with the only aim: to dethrone the evil Lord Tetris! That team, led by Arijit the first, of house Banerjee and bolstered by the clever strategies of Pararth, the king of Shahs, almost won the battle. And thus it happened that they came to be in possession of “Xbox: the one” — four of its kind. Red-hot from the forges of Redmond, those were powerful gadgets indeed. But one of the team members, Sujeet, had something much sinister in his mind: to sell the one xbox!

Yeah, yeah, I know I suck at writing! Lemme just switch to normal writing, okay?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I have turned into someone I used to dislike. Two-faced, elitist, a hypocrite. I have conveniently forgotten my roots in order to ease into a more comfortable environment — one from where I condescend, belittle, and snark.

I think it stems from my tendency to be passionate and over-zealous about my current set of beliefs and ideals at any given time. My ever-so-eager attitude to judge and to conclude fuels it. My insecurities and a certain lack of self confidence lead to a constant need to feel superior; worsening the matters.

Let me illustrate with a few examples:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Yesterday I came across this beautiful, touching and extremely moving poem “But You Didn’t”. Thought I should at least try to replicate one element of it...
I still remember the day…
     We were playing with our toy aeroplanes
     Mine broke, crashed in a tree
     You handed me yours, said,
    “You like it much more than me”
That was so sweet of you!

I still remember the day…
     It was prom night and your ankle was sprained
     Yet you came, you danced with me
     and with your one-legged funny dance
     filled the ballroom with glee
That was so sweet of you!

I still remember the day…
     When I joined aviation school,
     Ma said “girls shouldn’t fly”
     Pa said “be careful, my doll”
     You? You gifted me that toy plane!
That was so sweet of you!

I still remember the day…
     You said, “you always taught me
     how to look at the bright side.
     Today I ask from bottom of the heart,
     will you be mine, be my bride?”
     and you proposed to me a with a sunflower!
That was so sweet of you!

I still remember the day…
     You were diagnosed
     with high blood sugar
     And I with cannibalistic tendencies
     For the one last time,
That was so sweet of you!
One of the aspects of that poem I really liked was its twist ending. Well, I can only pipe-dream of writing such moving and touching content, but I thought I could at least give the twist-ending a try.

Sometimes cyanide and happiness tends to be too gross and intolerable, but it would be a lie if I deny liking some of it and getting inspired! ;)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

It's been quite some time since I wrote a poem. I looked back at a couple of old poems of mine (आँसूओंकी बारिशें, सच्चाईका इकतारा) and I was overwhelmed by the intensity of emotions. Where has the passion gone? Where did the burning desire to “pen it down” go? I wondered.

“If there is nothing going on in your life worth writing a poem about, you aren’t living enough!” kept on echoing and re-echoing in my head. I needed to write a poem. But where’s the passion? Where’s the intensity? Has life really gotten so boring?

Then I wondered, could it be the other way? It might be that I am having a poet’s block and hence things seem boring? Could it be? Maybe… And thus was this attempt to woo back poetry, my seemingly lost companion…

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Most of the times, when we talk about keeping things simple, we won’t go much far, because, almost all the time, things are anything but simple. It is surprising though how simplicity appeals us and how we try to stick to it. Case in point? SC ruling on section 377 and the various responses to it that flooded my Facebook wall.

Natural?
There are those who say “gay sex doesn’t lead to procreation, hence it is unnatural and should be banned.” Cute that you think so! Tell me more about the last time you took a flight, watched TV, wore clothes, stayed in a man-made house, ate cooked food, logged onto Facebook and so the list goes… Really, please go ahead because I am really interested in finding out your reasoning process about choosing and picking ‘unnatural’ things to do according to your convenience.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

(इकतारा is a single-string musical instrument, not ‘lone star’)

Many times I wondered how nice it would have been to listen to “Tryst With Destiny” live! Today, I feel this is a moment worth celebrating with as much fervor and as much zeal! Aam Aadmi Party’s stupendous success in Delhi Assembly elections marks the beginning of a new era and shines a ray of hope into the abyss of Indian politics. Silencing the “इस-देश-का-कुछ-नहीं-हो-सकता”sayers, it has paved the way for a brighter India through clean politics and transparent governance.

But, the child’s sad… the child that’s there inside all of us… hidden behind curtains of practicality and pragmatism… the same child which wondered “Why not just eat Vicks? And ta-da! Cold gone forever!” The child that did not understand why poor people don’t just go to bank and withdraw some money... The child that thought dead people become ghosts and ‘live’ happily ever after. In its world, simple solutions exist for all problems. In its world, bad people are invariably punished and the good ones always succeed. In its world the AAPs win elections by sweeping margin and the Delhis live happily ever after. That child is sad. Maybe, it deserves to be so… Maybe, that’s life...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

July the 19th, 2013
50th Convocation, IIT Madras.
Dear Insti,

So this is it, isn’t it? Why does saying bye have to be this difficult? This heavy? Well, nonetheless, this is the time I said bye. This is the time I told you how much you mean to me, how I have come to be the way I am because of you and why I call the four years spent with you the best four years of my life so far. I still remember the day I got the admit letter saying that I am enrolled into the CSE department…

Thursday, November 14, 2013

सुगरणीचा खोपा पाहून वाटलं चिऊताईला
आपलंही एक घरटं असावं मस्त मजेत राहायला

कष्ट करीन, घाम गाळीन, घरटं बांधीन नक्की
लगेच लागली कामाला, शब्दांची ती पक्की

दिवस-रात्र कष्ट करून काडीन् काडी सांधली तिनं
चिमण्याच्या गुलाबी स्वप्नांची सुंदर माडी बांधली तिनं

घरटं तिचं बांधताना, ती असायची नेहमी विचारांत
उबदार रुईत गोड-गोड पिल्लं, करतील कित्ती चिवचिवाट!

एके दिवशी रिमझिमणारा पाऊस झाला मुसळधार
सुसाट वारं जिकडे-तिकडे उडवू लागलं हाहाकार

निखळून पडल्या काड्या, उडून गेली रुई नि पानं
रोरावणारं वादळ की नियतीचं भेसूर गाणं?

भल्या पहाटे कसलं असं भलतं स्वप्न पडलं होतं…
बांधण्याआधीच बिचारीचं घरटं मात्र मोडलं होतं…
Translation in essence:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yesterday it was रक्षाबंधन. How could it be that it would go without reminding one of “इसे समझो ना रेशम का तार भैया, मेरी राखी का मतलब है प्यार भैया”? I imagined Snehal singing it, and wondered, “should I not sing my response back?” What then! I decided to gift her a song, my first song (if you can call it that :P) Here’s the basic poem…
Here is the original song, then follow full lyrics of my song, so you could play the original for the music and the tune, singing the alternate words. I have tried to preserve the rhythm and the syllable count of the original song as much as possible…