Monday, March 30, 2015

Let's Go Digital

The new government in India has started many positive and useful campaigns like “Clean India” (स्वच्छ भारत), “Make in India”, “PM Jan Dhan Yojana”, etc. All these campaigns have a good purpose, and huge potential if implemented appropriately. One such initiative is “Digital India”.

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India is still under developing country. Many parts of India are yet to be connected by strong telephone networks, lack regular power supply, proper infra-structure. Work towards Digital India will also push for improvements in these aspects.

When the era of computers started, many opposed to it fearing computers may replace human work, may take jobs away. This is true partially. Computer will replace human work which is redundant, will only take jobs of people who refuse to learn and update themselves.

If we look at the larger picture, computers have only helped mankind in achieving accuracy, efficiency, greater scientific feats. The industries that identified the benefits of automation, are now flourishing.

Take the example of banking today. A customer has many ways of accessing and transacting on his account like internet, mobile, twitter (surprising, but yes) that never existed before. A quick alert on a mobile of every transaction, a mini statement from ATM enabled him to be informed and aware of his account without having the need to go to a branch to update his passbook. Moreover he got the freedom of not having to go to a branch for almost all possible banking activities.

Earlier customer depended on the bank, and was required to go to the branch and stand in queue for everything. With technology coming in picture, the scenario has changed to be customer oriented. Due to the heavy competition by private banks, even the nationalized banks are forced to be techno savvy and customer friendly. The banking is the best example of what technology can do to empower both the customer and a service provider.

The same needs to happen to the biggest and most important sector in India, The Government. Like banking, people heavily depend on government for many things. From birth certificate to death certificate, identity documents, property documents, tax documents etc. all major aspects of our life on paper is issued and monitored by government.

We elect a government; they hire people, to do things for us, to serve us. We pay tax to help them run the nation. But unfortunately we don’t get the (well deserved) friendly feeling in any government office. We have to wait long for the smallest of things, to get answer for simple questions. Even though we comply all the rules, complete our documentation, we don’t have a certainty of getting things done in reasonable time.

That’s why we go to unofficial agents, who have contacts and promise to do our work in lesser time, and charge hefty commission for it. To save our time, we ignore that we are becoming a part of corrupt act.

Technology can change all this. E-Governance can bring in many necessary changes in the way government and related services function. It can make it more reliable and efficient. Taking government digital will automatically promote and increase digital literacy in India, and fulfill the vision of Digital India.

Here is how it should work and benefit:

Computers are obviously way faster than humans in certain things, and this brings efficiency in work. Things that usually take time in government are communication within departments, horizontal communication within peers, or vertical communication in hierarchy for approvals can work faster, and help getting results faster.

Software works on logic and clear decision framework. If you input 2+2, you are bound to get 4.

So, in many offices you will see government officials seating on files with various proposals, applications with no logical reason. Clear framework and guidelines enforced by system will ensure faster decisions.

When person applies for some certificate, or a contractor submits a tender, if he has satisfied all the conditions, he should get it in stipulated time, and not wait for mercy from some officer.

Statistical reporting is one of the areas computers are best at. When a carefully detailed database of all the activities and transactions government does, is created and maintained, computers can generate all kinds of reports.

So it will be easy to generate reports of running projects, deadlines, pending projects, stuck projects etc. So is applicable for all applications pending in government offices.

Access to Information
Anna Hazare fought for and won the RTI act for public. But it is still a tedious and time consuming task. With technology, it will be easier to access and provide required information faster.

People will be able to monitor all small to big government projects. They can ask for the status of road construction in their area, its budget, name of contractor etc. If they find any irregularity they can report it.

Now there is an app for everything. Imagine an app, where you can take photo of potholes on the road, a leaking pipeline or uncollected garbage, and send it to relevant department. You will get a ticket number for your report, and sent alerts on progress.

When a good e-governance system is implemented, it brings transparency in decision making. It is easy to derive why a certain decision was taken, why something was selected over the other. There is no place for nepotism in e-governance.

Less Corruption
With all above, it is obvious that e-governance will help reduce the corruption. Like I explained above, in current system, you have to bribe to get things done faster than usual, or for legalizing illegal things. When things will be done transparently, efficiently, and in friendly manner, people who are forced to bribe will choose to avoid it. People who love to bribe will find it difficult.

Good Implementation is essential

Image Source : Wikipedia
When a promising initiative like Aadhar (providing unique identity to citizens) struggles to be accepted by people, I feel sad. A unique identity can turn things around in this country.

It can save a lot of documentation; it can help government identify individuals and their assets. To identify people who are earning enough but not paying taxes will be easy. To identify people who (really) need help will be easy. This will help generate more revenues for government, and providing aid only for those who really need it.

Image Source : Wikipedia
Though a man like Nandan Nilekani, was involved at top level of this project, it was the staff who mishandled things at ground level, which caused the issues like corruption to get the Aadhar Card, delays and duplicate records in a database that is created with a purpose of providing unique identification to citizens.

But the scheme is gearing up now. Aadhar card is widely demanded and accepted as important documentation. With Aadhar card, and linked bank accounts, central government successfully launched the PEHEL initiative to transfer the LPG subsidy directly to eligible customer accounts.

Like the benefits I have listed above, this will reduce the subsidy leakage in the system, i.e. wrong use of subsidy. This also enabled Government to ask rich people to stop getting subsidy, and many came forward in response to this. The response saved crores of rupees for government.

So it highlights that only having good schemes or initiatives will not be enough, we need people to understand its importance. By people I mean both who implement it, and who participate in the change. So that, implementing people will be aware of the impact they will create, and do it sincerely. Also we will get less complaints from the people who are supposed to participate in and benefir from the scheme. Only then we can hope for the fulfillment of the purpose of starting an initiative.

I realize that this post is getting longer, and may seem like a campaigning material for government. But I really see the potential in technology to do good for our nation. I feel really passionate about this topic.

It is good to see companies like Intel ( also share this passion. Intel is committed towards our government's vision of a Digital India. Through its ‘Digital Skills for India’ and ‘Innovate for India’ initiatives, Intel has been fostering technology as the enabler for creating a digitized India.

As a software engineer, I can visualize the positive change e-governance can bring to India. I want to be a part of #DigitalIndia. I expect the same from you. Let's go Digital.

This post is my entry in the #DigitalIndia contest by Intel and +IndiBlogger 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Break It Fast

I am a Software Engineer and so is my wife. We both go to work at the same time, and work all the day. We travel by the company bus, and the timing is fixed. If on some unfortunate day, we miss our bus, we have to travel by pathetic public transport of Pune, and get late to our office.

So naturally, in the maximum window of 2-2.5 hours in morning, between waking up and getting into bus, there are too many things to do. Waking up (must), brush up (must), flush up (must), exercise up (it’s a must, but one can happily and lazily miss it sometimes) getting ready up (bathing is must in summer, and can skip in winter) etc.

In addition to this, we also need to cook one meal, to take it in lunchbox. Many people prefer eating in cafeteria to avoid this morning rush, but we try hard to have as many homemade meals as possible.

I have a tendency to gain weight easily, and loose it is really tough. Even now I have enough of excess weight to shed. Cafeteria food though eatable, it usually tends to be oily, unhealthy, and with lots of fats. A full course meal in office always comes with a sweet dish, and you need tremendous self-control to resist the temptation to eat the dish you like more and more. With a lunch box, you are restricted to eat only what and how much you have brought.

So for us, a lunch box is also a must. Now the challenge is to also manage to prepare something for breakfast. Typical Indian (to be precise, Maharashtrian) dishes for breakfast need at least 15-20 minutes to prepare. We don’t have that much of extra time more than often. So many times we end up skipping breakfast at home, and eating something once we reach office.

There are two problems with this. First, it is too late to have breakfast; the ideal breakfast time is gone. Second, the breakfast food in office is even oilier than the lunch in canteen. So, this is unhealthy option.

It is not good to be ignorant about your breakfast. Dieticians often say “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. So you can see how important your breakfast is.

A wise man named W. S. Kellogg solved this 100 years ago. His company with the same name started preparing corn flakes, which is a very instant and healthy breakfast solution. You just have to mix it with milk and its ready to eat, and offers a good nutritional value.

Although it is a very old and popular product, it took time for Indians to get acquainted with it, to get used to it. Nowadays it is a household name in common Indian market and families.  

We started having Kellogg’s corn flakes a while ago. It is awesome. You can prepare and have your breakfast in no time. Breakfast means to break your fast (since dinner to morning, around 10 long hours), and with Kellogg’s corn flakes you can break it fast.

I love corn flakes, but if you eat the same thing each and every day, you most likely can get bored with the economy. Thank god (and Kellogg’s) that they invented many flavors, (and also using wheat and rice) in addition to the classic one. For aspiring (weight) losers they also have a diet special.

But even with all these flavors, it is still the same dish. And if you are supposed to eat breakfast like a king, what kind of king has only one dish every day? That is why we need innovative ideas to make interesting combinations with cornflakes, and other tasty stuff.

Although, all such recipes are available at facebook page ( ) of Kellog’s, we Indians love it and believe it if we can see it, feel it, taste it. If somebody we know tells us to do something, we accept it more easily.

That’s why like everyone else in the above video, I want to go for breakfast at Guptaji’s place. Mrs. Gupta has mastered the art of making delicious dishes for breakfast using corn flakes. I want to taste all those dishes, and learn how to make it. Because I am eager to try all those at my place, and be a king of breakfast, and to break it fast.

This post is my entry in "Kellogg's Waale Guptaji ka Nashta" activity by Kellogg's India

Smart and Smarter

Using smartphone and being smart are not the same things. :P Well a smartphone enables you to do a lot of things in smart way, but you need to be smart to identify its potential and actually do it.

One of my friends was first among the group to get an expensive smart phone. We often used to tease him, "dude, may be your phone is smart, but you are definitely not." :D I'll tell you one incident, for why we said so. 

Soon after that, we went for a Goa trip. We used navigator in his phone to reach places, but almost every time, some other guy would take his phone and gave directions. Once he himself was navigating us, and was simply reading the instructions. Take second left, third right, etc. Instead of looking up and see where we are, and tracking the same location via GPS, he was only reading instructions.

So at one point, he read "take second left". And after that we skipped a turn or two, which were too short and leading in some small alley, which wasn't likely to lead to our destination. So when we reached a turn that seemed to be the right one, we asked him, should we turn now? He said "Take second left". We asked again, but do we turn now? He said, "I don't know, it says take second left". Irritated with this, another friend took his mobile and opened GPS tracker and led us in correct direction.

See? The point here is, a smart phone cannot make you smart. But you need a smart phone to do many things in smarter way.

That is why I was keen to buy a smart phone within my budget. Motorola launched an awesome phone in India, called Moto e, providing all the wonderful features, a good camera and within budget of common Indian people like me.

I couldn’t do so yet, but as there is a saying, “everything happens for good.” The good thing it has done to me is, the 2nd generation of Moto e is launched now, and I can go directly for the new and improved Moto e.

Image source
When I have a smartphone like that, I believe I’ll have a power to do a lot of things on the go that I cannot today.

The thing that makes a smart phone work is the range of applications it provides. People can get hardware (camera, simple phone, I pod etc.) separately, and all the applications (office, mail, organizer etc.) separately. But the USP is to have it all in one device.

The applications in mobile phones were initially limited to self-organizer, music players, games etc. When people realized the potential a good smartphone can provide with its processing power, they also started developing application for stuff you couldn't imagine you could do it on your phone.

There are many things I want to start with my moto e.

Start banking
Many people are still scared of doing internet banking. I find it liberating. I don’t need to go to branch, stand in queue for transferring money, issuing drafts etc. I can do it all on my PC. But with my moto e, I don’t even need to go to my PC; I can do it in my palms from anywhere. Almost all banks provide android applications today.

Start Connecting
I love to be on social media. I love to connect, and stay in touch. I can install all of Facebook, google+, twitter and every social media application on my moto e and connect with my friends.

Start expressing
As you are reading my blog, you can see I love to express. My favorite blogging platform blogger also offers a mobile application, and a future post on my blog might have been written on my moto e.

Start Reading
I am a proud bookworm. I have read a lot of Marathi and English books, and my family boasts of a pretty good library of books in both of these languages. But purchasing hard copy of a book and taking it to places can be difficult sometimes. Moto e has a pretty big screen and I am sure it will help me continue my hobby and read eBooks anywhere I go.

Start Selfies
Photography is my hobby. I have taken training for it and I am passionate about it. After a long wait I got myself a new DSLR recently. No matter how much I love my DSLR, I have to admit it’s difficult to take selfie on a DSLR. With the front camera on moto e (only in 2nd generation), I will be taking a lot of selfies.

Start a new life
When I am starting so many things in addition to what I have already listed, it clearly means, with new moto e, it will be a different and better life. I believe I am a smart (not smartest, I am honest ;) ) man, and I want to be smarter. I am starting a new life with moto e. What are you going to start?

P.S. : To check what all you can start check out this link.

This post is my entry in #ChooseToStart contest by Moto E and +IndiBlogger 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Battery Recharge Trip

Have you seen PK? The film was about an alien (Aamir) who lands on earth for research on human beings. He gets into a lot of trouble due to his curios questions about mankind, our culture, ironies in the customs and rituals we follow.

A young journalist helps him out to find some answers, and get back to his planet. She learns a lot in this endeavour and once when she is depressed and sad, the alien teaches her a battery recharge dance from his planet. The message is that dancing (or read: such activities) relieves you from stress, and get you back in mood.

I have one more activity to list here which can also recharge your batteries. It is to spend some time with the people you love, people who you admire, and people with whom time flies very quickly, and you create memories you cherish for years to come.

It may be your immediate family, your relatives or your friends. Getting them together and doing things you love to do together will definitely recharge your batteries.

I and my group of friends go on a trip to Alibaug and Nagaon beach every year. I call it our battery recharge trip. It is just a weekend trip, with no big activity, just relaxing hangout.

It all started few years ago. I joined my first job in Mumbai, and along with me there were around a dozen of fresher students. We had basic training for a couple of months, in which we bonded really well with each other, a friendship that will last a lifetime.

We started hanging out with each other in city almost every weekend, for movies, shopping etc. One long weekend, we thought of going for a picnic, and decided to go to Nagaon near Alibaug.

We booked a cottage for ourselves, and reached via a very enjoyable ferry ride from Gateway of India to Mandva. At lunch we ate at Fulora restaurant, which is best for seafood. Everybody just loved the food, and ate a lot more than normal.

We reached at our cottage in Nagaon, and had rest in afternoon. We spent all the evening on the beach, played water sports, gave each other tips on swimming. We got back to our cottage, and had an all-night session of drinks (of individual choice J), singing and chatter.

We followed the same routine the next day, the next year and every year after that. It was so refreshing, that the hangover of this trip lasts for weeks to come. We go on various other trips or treks, but we feel bound to go to this trip.

It’s been four consecutive years of the same plan being executed again and again, with same enthusiasm, participation and fun. Our families, other friends laugh at us for doing so, but we don’t mind.

For us it is very important. Over time almost all of us changed jobs and work for different companies and are divided in different cities.

Long trips to other destination needs more planning, and faces more hurdles to ensure everybody makes it. This is one fixed plan that is easy for everyone to follow. This is our best chance to get together and meet everyone, and we make the best of it.

We don't do any extravagant thing there. We just spend time on beach, chat with each other, make fun of each other, debate on any personal or national topic, go for a walk any time of the day, play with each other.

It recharges our batteries for the rest of the year, and by the end of the year we look forward to go for it again. The next battery recharge trip for us is coming soon. When are you planning?

This post is part of #together activity by

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


We often here saying everyone is born with some unique personality, unique skill set and unique destiny. I agree.

They say, everyone grows up in different environments, everyone gets different lifestyle, and their personality and nature is result of all these. I agree.

They also say, everyone has some basic character, own nature, and one behaves according to it. I agree.

This nature includes some qualities, some habits. Old habits die hard. I agree.

But when they say, one can change anything but his nature, I don't agree.

As we can change (i mean improve, for good) our clothes, our style, our living standards, we can also change the aspects of our personality that are creating problems for us.

And when I say this, it is not a theory. I have tried to do it on myself, and in my opinion, I was able to bring changes that I thought were essential in my progress.

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I was an introvert from my childhood. I wouldn't open up with people so easily. It took me time to make friends, to take them to my inner circle, and start sharing with them.

All my relatives, friends, teachers considered me as a very shy and quiet boy. I wouldn't mix up with guests coming to our place, or when we used to go to other places.

I loved to be alone, and to read. I would sit reading alone for hours. I don't regret reading; books are very useful friends you can make. But you also need real human friends in your life.

It doesn't mean I was not interested in other activities. I was actively participating in many extracurricular activities. But those activities like writing for school magazines, drawing competition were not social in nature.

When some good orators of my batch would impress entire school with their speeches, I used to envy their skill and influence. The content of speech wasn't my problem. Thanks to my reading hobby, I would come up with a lot of good ideas. But to deliver and convey it effectively was something I lacked at.

I decided to change this. I started to talk more, interact more. I tried to engage people in conversation. I also realized how listening is also very important in communication.

I joined a short personality development course. We used to practice debates, group discussions, and public speaking. As I said, I never had the problem with thoughts or ideas on any topic. So I was good at coming up with new points to discuss, but with practice, my speaking skills, and more importantly speaking in English was improving. 

I won a prize in one public speaking competition in my institution. And when the institution was celebrating its anniversary in annual function, our mentor gave me a chance to anchor a part of this event.

While graduating I also participated in many paper presentation competitions. I remember one competition of web design, where I and my partner presented our website in a technical festival in another town. Local teams of that college had created bulkier web sites, using every possible technology and cool technical stuff in web design. 

But I was able to convince the judges in my presentation, that web design is not about displaying technical prowess of its designer, but its purpose is to broadcast information about the organization for which it is made. And our website even though using less technical stuff is delivering all information effectively. As a result, we got ourselves a runner up prize.

Metamorphosis is a term used to describe when a person undergoes a drastic change, and turns out to be a completely different person. I went under such metamorphosis. I won't claim to be an extrovert now, but I am certainly not an introvert any more. The closest thing I can relate to now is being ambivert.

I led myself to a completely new life with this change. I was given more and more opportunities to speak. My opinion was considered and respected. I discovered a leader hidden within myself. I was chosen as a president for our student association. I am happy with this change.

One should not change himself just for the sake of it. But we can identify the part of personality that's causing us more trouble than use. We can decide and find ways to change it.

Newton's law states, that every object continues to be in its state of rest or in motion, unless it's course is altered by some other force.

I believe our nature is that object which will stay as it is, unless some other force tries to change it. This force can be our friends, our mentors, our parents, or we ourselves. Sometimes a bad situation acts as that force. But why to wait for it, when we can do the job for ourselves?

Change is good. Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant thing in this world. Go ahead, and embrace it. #StartANewLife.

This post is a part of #StartANewLife activity by 

Monday, March 9, 2015


नुकतीच अमिताभ बच्चन यांची एक सुंदर मुलाखत पाहण्यात आली. चक्क अर्णब गोस्वामीने अमिताभना या मुलाखतीत बोलू दिलं. :D

या मुलाखतीत अमिताभ यांनी त्यांचे वडील (महान साहित्यिक) हरिवंशराय बच्चन यांचा एक किस्सा सांगितला. एकदा अमिताभ काही समस्यांमुळे त्रस्त होऊन वडिलांकडे गेले. आणि त्यांना तक्रारीच्या सुरात म्हणाले, "बाबूजी, जीवनमे बडा संघर्ष है"

त्यावर हरिवंशराय यांनी उत्तर दिले "जब तक जीवन है, तब तक संघर्ष है". 

अगदी सहज त्यांनी एवढं समर्पक उत्तर दिलं. संघर्ष हा जीवनातला एक त्रासदायक टप्पा नसून आयुष्यभर असणार याची जाणीव करून दिली. 

आपल्याला नेहमी भरपूर अडचणी येत राहतात. कधी घरात, कधी बाहेर, मनाच्या, शरीराच्या, माणसांच्या, तंत्रज्ञानाच्या अशा कितीतरी प्रकारच्या अडचणी. अडचणी आल्या नाहीत असा माणूस मिळणे अशक्य आहे. 

आपल्याला काही श्रीमंत, प्रसिद्ध लोकांकडे पाहून वाटतं, यांचं आयुष्य किती सोपं आहे. कसलीहि अडचण नसेल. पण श्रीमंतीची आणि प्रसिद्धीचीसुद्धा एक किंमत असते. 

श्रीमंत माणूस अनेकांच्या डोळ्यात खुपतो. त्यांना खंडणीसाठी धमक्या येतात. व्यवसायात अडचणी असतात. आपलं वर्चस्व, धन टिकवण्यासाठी, वाढवण्यासाठी त्यांनासुद्धा झगडावंच लागतं. किंबहुना बराच संघर्ष करूनच ते त्या पदी पोचलेले असतात. हा संघर्ष आपल्या नजरेआड होतो.

स्वतः अमिताभ यांचच आयुष्य बघा. त्यांनी सुरुवातीला अभिनेता म्हणून स्थान निर्माण करण्यासाठी तर संघर्ष केलाच. तो तर प्रत्येक अभिनेत्याने केलेला असेल. तरुण वयात असे संघर्ष करण्याची ताकद आणि धमक माणसात असतेच. पण शिखरावर असताना आपल्या काही व्यावसायिक चुकांमुळे ज्या माणसावर दिवाळे निघण्याची वेळ येते. त्यातुन जिद्दीने आणि मेहनतीने पुन्हा बाहेर येउन शिखराकडे जाण्याचा जो संघर्ष अमिताभ बच्चन यांनी आयुष्याच्या उत्तरार्धात करून दाखवला त्यातून खूप काही शिकण्यासारखं आहे. आणि त्याला फिनिक्स पक्ष्याचीच उपमा द्यावी लागते.

आपण सामान्य माणसांच्या संघर्षाची यादी करायलाच नको. ती कोणीही देऊ शकतो.

संघर्ष हा शब्द ऐकला कि लगेच मनात एक त्रासदायक भावना येते. त्या शब्दाशी आपण त्रास, अडचणी अशा गोष्टी जोडल्या आहेत. आपण जोडल्या म्हणण्यापेक्षा त्या संघर्षाच्या व्याख्येतच आहेत.

पण जर आपण या संघर्षाशी जोडलेल्या काही छान गोष्टींचा विचार केला, तर संघर्षाची किंमत कळेल. उदा.. शिकवण, आठवण, मजा, आनंद. काही चुकलं का? या गोष्टींचा संघर्षाशी काय संबंध असं वाटतंय?

प्रत्येक संघर्ष आपल्याला काहीतरी शिकवूनच जातो. आपल्या अनुभवात आणि ज्ञानात भर घालतो. काही संघर्ष न करताच सगळं काही मिळायला लागलं तर कसली मजा? जी गोष्ट संघर्ष करून आपल्याला मिळते तिचाच आपल्याला जास्त आनंद होतो. तीच गोष्ट आपल्या जास्त लक्षात राहते.

तुम्ही आतापर्यंत चित्रपटगृहात जाउन कितीतरी चित्रपट पाहिले असतील. पण जो चित्रपट पाहताना सगळ्यांसाठी तिकिटे मिळवण्यापासून ते वेळेवर तिथे पोहचेपर्यंत तुमची धांदल उडाली असेल, तीच मजेदार आठवण जास्त लक्षात राहते.

बाकी कितीतरी वेळेस अगदी सहज तिकीट मिळून जातं. जाताना येताना काही घडत नाही. चित्रपटात काही विशेष असेल तरच त्या गोष्टी डोक्यात रेंगाळतात, पण बाकी खास आठवण म्हणून काही राहत नाही.

आपल्या कामातसुद्धा काही अडथळे न येता काम चालु राहिलं तर ते आपल्याला हवंच असतं. पण खूप दिवस तसं झालं तर त्या कामातसुद्धा काही आव्हान राहत नाही. तोचतोचपणा येतो. काही लोक तर पैशापेक्षाही आव्हानासाठी नोकऱ्या बदलतात.

जेवणाच्या ताटात गोड पदार्थ बहुतेक सर्वांनाच आवडतो. पण म्हणून आपण फक्त गोडाचं जेवण करायला गेलो तर त्रास होतो. आपल्याला काहीतरी चमचमीत, तिखट हवंच असतं. संघर्ष हा आपल्या आयुष्यातला मसाला आहे. तो नसला तर अगदी सपक अळणी असं आपलं आयुष्य राहील.

संघर्ष हि आपल्याला खूप काही मिळवण्याची संधी आहे. एखादी गोष्ट सहजगत्या मिळेल त्यापेक्षा संघर्ष करून मिळवताना आपल्याला बराच फायदा होऊ शकतो. एखादी समस्या सोडवण्याचे नवे मार्ग समजू शकतात. आपला कणखरपणा वाढू शकतो. काही नवी कौशल्ये आपल्या अंगी येऊ शकतात. आपण एखादी गोष्ट करू शकू असं वाटत नसतानाही त्या संघर्षापायी आपल्या हातून आपल्यालाच अशक्य वाटणारी गोष्ट घडू शकते.

आपण जाणूनबुजून संघर्ष करावाच असं नाही. पण कधी संघर्ष वाट्याला आला तर त्याचा ह्या दृष्टीने विचार करावा. त्याने आपल्याला काय काय मिळतंय हे डोळसपणे पाहावं. त्याची चव चाखावी आणि लक्षात ठेवावी.

कारण… जब तक जीवन है, तब तक संघर्ष है…

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When I learnt how to C

Some times in life, all you can see around you are problems. In every part of your life, you come across some problem and struggle to find a solution, as if it is hidden somewhere in dark. If you manage to solve even one problem, it is tremendous boost to your psyche. It opens a window for light, for fresh air, and gives you hope that the way you solve this problem, you can solve others too.

This happened to me also. When I passed out of 12th standard, I was going through a lot of difficulties. First was the choice of graduate course (which in turn is a choice of career). To make it difficult than it was, I had scored low in my 12th standard, and entrance exams. It wasn't due to lack of potential, but due to lack of focus. I couldn't get rid of the guilt of not living up to my potential. 

I can't say that I would have made it to IITs, had I studied hard then, but I can definitely say that I could have entered a better ranking college. 

With the limited choice my scores permitted, I got an admission to a computer engineering course in MIT Aurangabad. Out of engineering branches my interest was always inclined to computers. So I was feeling better to get that branch.

In an engineering course, the first year is common for all branches. The syllabus for first year includes subjects to introduce all branches of engineering e.g. traditional civil, mechanical and modern like instrumentation, computers etc.

In the first semester, we had nothing related to computers. Some of the subjects like EEE (Elements of Electrical (or Electronic) Engineering) were touted to have caused mass failure in every batch. 

The style of teaching and studying for these subjects was exact opposite of what we had been doing for years. The spoon feeding was suddenly stopped. We were actually supposed to understand the contents, think on it. Although it was welcoming change for me, it did nothing better to prepare for our first semester exams.

I have a natural flair for mathematics, and subjects having some math in it were not a problem. But I was scared of few subjects which were purely theoretical. I thought I will feel better after exam was over. Actually it was even worse. In my opinion I had done so badly in 1/2 subjects that I was bound to fail.

For first time I did not just hate my syllabus, but I was also scared of the results. But it was due in a couple of months, and in our university, it always gets delayed. 

Meanwhile our second semester started. I don't remember why but I missed college for initial few days. I was also bored of engineering college.

But the positive change in this semester was the C programming subject. C is a basic and legendary computer programming language. On my first day in second semester, I attended practical for C.

The task here was simple program to produce addition of two numbers. I had missed few basic classes and also first practical. So I was doing a lot of mistakes. In coding, the logic is almost same in any language. The challenge is to fit your solution in the grammar and syntax of the programming language you use.

I remember our lab assistant wasn't keen on answering my doubts. My batch mate +Pushpendra Chavan helped me out with my first program. But when I ran the program and it finally generated the output, I was very much excited. 

I immediately wrote a program for subtraction, division, multiplication. After having written first program for addition, this required very little efforts. But still seeing your code run and generate expected results gives me a joy even today.

I purchased a copy of "Let us C" a best seller on C language. I started studying this language on my own and solving all the programming tasks in the exercise section. I was enjoying myself doing all those programs.

Though I ignored all other subjects for few days, this got my interest back in engineering. I believed in myself, and felt confident that I would do well in computer field.

Due to my interest to solve problems by coding, I participated in many programming competitions and performed well, won some prizes.

I think performance, praise, confidence etc. are not isolated things. They are all related. You start with one and start a cycle of such things. It may be positive or negative. When I learnt to C, I broke out of the negative cycle (vicious circle) and started a positive one.

I am a computer engineer now (good one ;)), and I love what I do. All days are not same in job though, some tasks are interesting some or not. Whenever I get some interesting task, and I am able to code it and see my code running, I still enjoy it as much as my first program.

Programming languages or the tools I use have changed over years. But all this started when I learnt to C. 

This post is written as my submission entry to an activity organized by +IndiBlogger and