Chacha 80 year old with a heart of gold. #Faces

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Name: Nadir Khan aka Chacha

Location: Rann, Gujarat.

Occupation: Retired, caretaker of a tea shop.

If you’ve ever been to Rann Of Kutch, Gujarat you would immediately associate this place to the wild west due to its rustic charm and desert ambiance. Surrounded by the mighty Thar desert, there is no dearth in colour. In the midst of the arid air, we encountered a warm hearted individual with a twinkle in his eye, we call him Chacha affectionately named by the locals around. I would say Chacha sits at a small tea shop  just about 5 kms before entering the desert and serves just the kind of refreshment you need before stepping into the desert – a piping hot cup of chai( or tea).

Chacha, a 6.5 foot tall 80 year old gentleman instantly makes contact with us enlightening us with a broad welcoming smile. I walked upto him and instantly greetings were exchanged. He tells me he is enjoying retirement and is now the caretaker of this tea stall owned by his two sons who are gazzetted officers with the Government.

In conversation, I came to know that Chacha is quite a celebrity.  He  worked as a darban(gatekeeper) across major cities in India and sternly believes that home is where is heart is, right here in Kutch. Interestingly,he tells me that he was featured in various documentaries & had short roles in few Bollywood movies. Politicians & superstars know him well as they stop by at his tea stall on the way to the desert.

He is an ardent fan of Modi and thanks him profusely for Runn-Utsav for bringing job opportunites to the desert laden region of Gujarat.He informs me that religion is unbiased, everyone welcomes each other’s faith and lives in peace and harmony with barriers and casteism.I was curious to know his secret to health and happiness, he answers me “I see truth, speak the truth, listen to the truth and then eat the truth” There is no fooling around with this kind of assertiveness for sure.

In the intensity of meeting a man with a heart of gold in the midst of

our conversations varying from politics to life and enjoyment, we hurriedly forgot to pay him for the tea he generously served us. On our return journey from rann-utsav, we asked him why he did not remind us to which he politely says he did not want to stop us after we said goodbyes and all in the name of Rs20.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.

 

#AIBRoast #Buzzfeed et all.

It’s about 5 pm on a Wednesday evening and I just woke up. I had a party last night that carried on till the wee hours of the day, pretty good time!. Oh! wait!!! this post is not about the party or my alcoholic preferences, this post is about something more captivating over the past week that has gripped the whole country to debate about rather impose on freedom of speech. I get a feeling that us, Indians, at least the ones who spend endless hours on the Internet are too busy deciding and defining this freedom of expression and end up morale policing our limits. Neither am I a saint, as somewhere even I was in a heated debate with couple of my friends all over twitter. The controversy in question is this #AIBRoast controversy.

What is AIB?
Now, there are a bunch of stand up comedians earning a fortune dwelling on vulgar jokes and critical verbalism [IMHO] in front of an audience who rates their comedic intelligence. In view of such boorish, the makers were asked to knockout their views barring them from so called freedom of speech.

This #AIBRoast controversy
I think most of you know about it so I rather STFU.

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My Take
At first I thought this demeaning not just for society but the participants on whom jokes were being made during the event and was criticized on twitter for similar remarks. Forgive me, it took me sometime to realize it was just a show where everyone was expected to take it in good stride. Eventually, they decide if they like or dislike the joke. So if Deepika criticizes KRK & TOI over twitter & enjoys all jokes during #AIBRoast its her personal decision. We have got no business about it.

Buzzfeed & others
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WTF is wrong with the world? Why does a site like this exist even? It took me sometime to realize that on a multi billion Internet user base its all about taste and preference. I am sure they have a large audience following the post which to me is idiocy and its a matter of choice, you like it read it else don’t. Also those sponsors & investors pouring money to buzzfeed and other sites see value in it.

Conclusion
We are in a free world, with freedom of speech [1, 2] where you and I are not the ones to decide what is good,bad or ugly. It is all about choice and a matter of taste where you like it then read it or else do something better.

#PEACE #BEERS #CHEERS
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Notes from Nepal trip

Apologies for procrastinating this post, but I guess its better to be late than never. So today’s post is on the insights of a trip I took to Nepal. Last May,I visited a beautiful place Kathmandu, capital of Nepal mostly on work & had the luxury to convert into leisure. This was my first trip to Kathmandu although I have been to Nepal before. I usually visit this place called Janakpur which is close to my hometown that is situated on the Indo-Nepal border.

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Here are a few pointers about my trip that I would like to share with you:

1. The people here seem content,happy and kinda laid back but warm and welcoming.

2. Nepal is still a developing nation, trying to stabilize its internal politics as a new constitution is being penned.

3. Several startups in Nepal are emerging where one entrepreneur is always supportive of another. It is overwhelming to see that the business model runs with no bitterness or adverse competition towards it competitors. I was amazed with the unity & helpfulness of such small startups. These are even seed funded by very well established entrepreneurs.

4. As a devotee of Hindusim, I was delighted to explore and visit century old temples & palaces.

5. Nepal has some of the best non-vegetarian cuisine anywhere in the world. For proof, you have to check my Instagram feed to really devour some tasty food.

6. Last but not least, I left Nepal making some really amazing friends, hoping to come back and meet them soon. I truly appreciate the spirit of these people,working hard to make Kathmandu a startup hub.

 

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One Last Thing

If you are vegetarian or PETA activist don’t get mad at me after watching this video. I was trying to something crazy[Need of the hour U Know]

But who is responsible, teachers or students or college?

I am not bragging but i am not happy with our education system. I was out on a recruitment drive 2 weeks back in a so called tier 1 engineering college in Bangalore, India.

I expected these final year computer science students to answer these below mentioned questions on web technology but unfortunately most of them were not.

1. Web caching

2. How web hosting works

3. DNS

4. What are web crawlers how search engine like google works.

5. What are logfiles for, real world use case

6. API : what is it?

7. How internet works

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.36.12 AM

Who should i blame?

Students: Because they have time to spend on social media but not in understanding these basic technologies?

Teacher:   Because the only task they have is to finish the syllabus?

College/University: For most outdated syllabus or ZERO innovation?

Tell me what do you think?

 

Technology as we saw in 2014.

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I know i am little late in posting this, but wiseman said its better late than none. 2014 was year with announcement all around technology.  It had some surprises as well & biggest of all MSFT taking .Net to open source.

  1. Cloud Foundry foundation announced. This announcement will add more value/credibility to overall project. Other vendors/enterprise will happily contribute to it as its no more under Pivotal`s control.
  2. Microsoft open sources .NET core I get a feeling this move is too late, i would still hope if this gets people to Azure platform.
  3. coreOS announces its own container technology.  Its always good to have choice we will see where rocket project goes in 2015.
  4. Docker adds more battery to core
  5. Octablue gets acquired by Citrix Citrix master stroke, this gets their foot inside internet of things, i have high hopes from Octablue project. Let see what happens after the acquisition.
  6. Eucalyptus gets acquired by HP Eucalyptus is dead & HP gets customers for their private cloud.
  7. OpenStack gets more mainstream Even with wide contribution and popularity a lot needs to be worked on especially the networking i.e neutron project.
  8. Microservies We will see more advocates talking about microservices.
  9. Nodejs is forked Let see what we get from the fork & if every other project adopts/supports the fork. It will be interesting project to watch in 2015.

A driver i met in Bhuj. #faces

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Name: Ganni Bhai

Location: Bhuj, Gujarat

Occupation: Driver

Story: I met Ganni bhai through his brother who picked me from the bus stand and drove me to my hotel on (date) at (time) of the night in Bhuj. Ganni bhai picked me at 9am the next morning for a trip to the white Rann of Kacchh. That was when we started talking.

Ganni bhai has two daughters and he wants to educate them so that they can do well in life. He is also taking care of his father who has been in a coma for over 2 years & stays with him.

His family lost a lot of their assets during the Bhuj earthquake of 2001. Yet Ganni bhai never stopped smiling, which is something that is very rare these days. Those few days that we drove around Bhuj and the Rann, Ganni bhai was my guide and friend. He ensured that I tasted a variety of sweets from Bhuj while providing his terrific company.

We got talking about the state government and Ganni bhai was all praises for Narendra Modi. Modi’s idea of a “Rann Utsav” for the region has attracted a lot of tourists to the city, thus providing a source of livelihood for many like Ganni bhai for those three to four months.

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Here i am for final sign off from Bhuj & Ganni bhai dropping me to bus stand.  If you are planning a trip to Bhuj, Rann of Kacchh let me  know i will give you his number.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.

 

 

Notes from James Altucher, TEDxSanDiego

I am a big follower of James Altucher & yes it has changed my life in a better way. Its a 12 minutes video i would strictly recommend everyone to watch the same.

I have made a super small note for the talk, James talks about 4 things :

Physical Fitness
laugh more
eat well
exercise
sleep well
stay away from computer screen when not needed.

Emotional 
stay with friends/family/stay-happy

Spiritual
gratitude
empathy

Write 10 ideas everyday
Its a brain exercise, share it with others & don`t expect anything.

 

If you find this talk helpful, pass it to atleast 5 person you think needs to watch it. 

Tibetan superstitions

I bought book title “Folk Culture of Tibet”, I am done finishing first few sections which mentions about known superstitions prevalent tibetan culture,  some of these seems similar to hinduism.

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I am adding some of the crazy/funny/interesting ones here :

1. A man born with tail [really] is regarded auspicious, considered closer to homo sapiens.

2. Never marry a girl whose front two teeth are separated by an empty space, it is believed they will not make good wife & affect your lifespan. mehh..

3. If your palm itches it is believed someone is back biting you.

4. Wrong news about death of somebody increases life of that person.

5. It is considered auspicious if while starting your journey you see dead body carried for final journey.

6. It is considered inauspicious to leave someones house by having only one cup of tea, one should have at least two even if its just a sip.

7. It is believed food cooked by machines is less tasty rather cooked by hands.

8. Tibetans tame cats because they keep  away mice & rats.

9. Howling of jackals and dogs considered very inauspicious.

10. To break a cup is unlucky incident.

 

 

 

#Faces : Ordinary people with extraordinary efforts.

 

mehh

 

Before I begin, credit for this goes to my friend Jugal Mody It was his suggestion while i am traveling i should make notes about interesting people i meet in my overall trip.

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The route map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During this 20 days trip I met over 7-8 people, who are amazing in there own ways. I am going to add individual post about each one of them. I will also add why they are awesome. So just Stay Tuned need to add few more here, will do it in coming days.

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Ganni Bhai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isa Ismail
Isa Ismail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chaca

 

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Deepak bhai

 

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Mahesh Bhai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krishna
Krishna

2014 passed, 2015 welcome!!

Happy New Year to everyone to start with.

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Year 2014 been amazing in following ways :

1. Joined The New Stack, working on building community & writing occasionally.

2. Sister got married to one of the smartest kid I have met so far in 20+ odd years of my life.

3. Moved to Bangalore after staying in Mumbai for over an year.

4. Made few amazing friends & lost some others.

5. Traveled to over 20 cities across 10+ states in India.

6. Finally made trip to Kathmandu to meet awesome entrepreneurs in town written a post on same here 

7. Read over dozen books which helped me in finding answer to “what i really want from my life?”

8. Most of my friends either married or blessed with kids.

What I learnt from 2014 :

1. Its about happiness – We are so busy with so many external needs that we totally forget about our happiness.

2. Love yourself, life depends on it – I read book written by kamal ravikant a must read for everyone. The book tells you one thing, love yourself, your body, your mental well being.

3. Money – It is not everything, it will come and go.

4. Empathy – Before jumping on any conclusion understand the situation of one sitting on other side of table.

5. Love/Relationship – It will never happen the way they show you  in bollywood or in fairytales.

6. Time as a healer – All it takes is some amount of time to fix everything.

7. Do what you love – Don’t live in this world/job/relationship/agreement for sake of it. Move on, get out of it if you are not enjoying it or its only for your EMI or 5 star hotel bills.

8. Mentors – I am lucky to get few awesome mentors who are always there to help me when i am stuck with any difficulty.

9. Ask for it – Last not the least, this i learnt after following  posts, books, podcasts of jamesaltucher You need to ask from them what you need without counting on probability of success or failure.

Plan for 2015

1. Stay happy 🙂

2. Love myself & take good care of my health. If possible loose few kilos.

3. Continue with my traveling spree.

Last not the least 

Trying to eat a raw crab like that man vs wild folk!! Enjoy watching!! 🙂

 

I hope 2015 brings more happiness to everyone’s life!!