Drinking And The Generation Gap

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मुसलमान औ’ हिन्दू है दो, एक, मगर, उनका प्याला,
एक, मगर, उनका मदिरालय, एक, मगर, उनकी हाला,
दोनों रहते एक न जब तक मस्जिद मन्दिर में जाते,
बैर बढ़ाते मस्जिद मन्दिर मेल कराती मधुशाला!

What else can be a better way to start the topic, with other than the above stanza from the incredible poem “MADHUSHALA” by Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

I don’t think I can fully translate it into English right now due to my tiny understanding of it, surely I will update when some wise person explains it to me, but according to my small amount of knowledge(please correct me if I misunderstood using comments):

People following different religions get separated due to their believes, but Tavern does not differentiate and treats them equally“.

 

THE BACKGROUND

From the dungeons of memories, when elders used to come up with different names for the the same old yet invincible drink(essentially alcohol, wine etc.): The WINE. Every few weeks a new name was coined with different excuses but all in the same context: The WINE(beer was not so popular). These excuses, as I understood later, were just a way to nullify the arguments with the female members in the family or society. Back then alcohol was not as open as it is now a days; probably it was considered taboo or at least to females in almost every community. I still remember those frequent fights, almost every alternate day, between a married couple in the locality. Children were hapless seeing their parents fighting on the same thing every day.

 

THOSE DAYS

Despite all these problems, it was quite fascinating for us to sit and observe the elders drink, eat and discuss. The elegance and the decorum that was maintained were among the most noticeable things. The way a glass was filled, the way they “Cheered” up their glasses and also the new member in the group, all of it. The lemon, the nuts and some other snack and also the jug filled with water. I always had an eye on the nuts. The way they talked to each other in between the drinks, the youngest in the group filling all the glasses again(a way of showing respect towards elders), the silent person in the group and their plans, everything seemed very interesting. The room used to get inundated with a different aroma all of a sudden. Many times they sat together either to celebrate or to solve a problem, which sometimes got fruitful too.

 

AND NOW

And the time!!! and it has changed now and so are the habits and perceptions. Going to temple or remembering God has become rare occasion. Drinking has become prevalent and happens without occasion. People sit together on drinks more often then going on a holiday or journey or adventure or even going to office together. Now its not possible to recreate the same environment again, but there are several thing that still have not changed, like the youngest(or the host) filling the glasses again for everyone. Also there is still that one person in the group who is silent. Generally it would be the non drinker. Now drinking is no more considered a taboo, does not matter what community or gender you belong to. The discussion are girlfriend and boyfriend oriented and of course the future life. Beer are the most common ones until somebody in the group is extremely rejoiced or resentful. Get to listen some music too and information on different drinks. But we still have those snacks which the non drinker eats up. Now used as a peripheral to reduce stress but helps only for 3-4 hours or at most a night and after that back to the same problem again.

 

TO SUM UP

Things and generations will keep changing but to sum up all I can say is again from MADHUSHALA:

अपने युग में सबको अनुपम ज्ञात हुई अपनी हाला,
अपने युग में सबको अदभुत ज्ञात हुआ अपना प्याला,
फिर भी वृद्धों से जब पूछा एक यही उत्तर पाया –
अब न रहे वे पीनेवाले, अब न रही वह मधुशाला!

which translates to something  like:

Everybody finds the wine in his time incomparable.
Everybody finds the wine-glass in his time fantastic.
But whenever I asked the old people, I got the same answer –
the drinkers like the ones in his times are there no more, no more is there a tavern similar to that used to be there in his time !

P.S. : “Rivals can sort out all glitches and friends can become BFF or lifetime rivals, just over a drink”.

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Why I Hate Software Developers

Being a Software Developer I know how slow and counter productive developers get with time. Its not that we don’t get time to meet the deadline(although exceptions are always there), it is just our thought of thinking ourselves as highly efficient and over qualified.
We always hate testers since they put us back to work and make us clean up our own mess. But it is just their job to put developers on job and guide the software development on a right path. Sometimes I feel, it is the testers who put the developers on the right track.
But wait, sometimes even testers get lazy too. The code in alpha and pre releases gets their nod to be released but when the code is in production suddenly some tester would raise a finger on a very trivial issue that should have been found during the pre release stage.
This time I as a developer think how stupid and lazy the tester was for not to find this trivial bug, but eventually this thought comes back to me as a boomerang asking why on earth did the developer not notice such a blunder. At this time I feel serious identity crisis for myself.

 

The Dream:

There is a saying “Good developers write their own code, but the best developers utilize already written code“. Now having said that I must admit, almost every coder has a dream to right the code from scratch and never wants to manage and clean up someone’s mess.
Apparently very few lucky ones get that chance, rest of us have to cope up with the situation. The situation gets even worse when the code has already been changed by more than four or five different people. The person currently working on the code has to somehow understand and manage the coding styles and thinking of coders before him.
The best thing is that the current developer will surely manage to get the code working. This situation remains almost every time the developers change their jobs. There is a worst thing about this: no manager will let you get away with this silly argument, even though they themselves understand the situation very well.

 

What exactly did you do? This is just a minor change; This is a general question asked by several managers. The problem gets worse if the change is related to UI. The developer has to take care of several others elements nearby to move one simple button from left to right. In the outcome(from a user’s or manager’s perspective) it is just a re-positioning of a button, but it is the developer who knows the pain behind it.
Yes it is true that a good coding practice can reduce the amount of work, but don’t forget that the code has already been modified by several other developers who are not in the project any more, so the current person in the developer’s cap has to bear it.

 

Despite of all these things and situations we somehow learn to “MANAGE” and not to break any existing functionalities of the software. With time we get mature and acquire better skill sets to provide better solutions to problems and sometimes you get appreciations too for that. This little piece of appreciation helps developers a lot to again start thinking themselves as a better creatures, hence the cycle of fall and rise continues. We don’t get out of it and that’s why I hate software developers or more specifically myself.

When the Middle Finger and the Thumbs Down were locked out

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So here is how the situation goes:

One day the Middle Finger and the Thumbs Down were accidentally locked in a room. Tried everything to get out of the room but no help. Frustrated, tensed, and abject. They found themselves all alone with nobody around.  Thinking of their ego and superiority over each other none of the two was ready to work out for a solution or a way to get out of the room. Eventually fell into a spat accusing each other for the situation and finally, they agreed to have a conversation about their superiority and the less superior will have to look for the solution.

Below are some portions of that conversation. Now some of the readers might ask if they were alone, how did I manage to hear their conversation!! Well, if you have read the above lines carefully you should notice that “They found themselves all alone”, which doesn’t imply they were actually alone. I was just wandering there with my friends and happened to listen their talk. So just don’t ever lose your hope or you will find no way out of the problem. Also I tried to use short version of their names, so here is how I will be referring them:

MidF for Middle Finger and TDow for Thumbs Down

Now here is the conversation:

MidF: I am the new favourite of the world and you are just an outdated and OLD guy of which nobody even thinks. How are you superior to me? What have you got that I don’t have?

TDow: Well, you just said that by your self.

MidF: What did I say that makes you better than me?

TDow: You just said OLD guy.

MidF: Yes I said that, so what? How does that make you better?

TDow: Well, my friend, I accept I am OLD, but don’t you think being old means I am used by large number of people and that too for a long time span, which eventually makes me more experienced. Don’t you think so?

MidF: Aaaaah(what have I done)!!!! Okay fine, I accept you are more experienced. But do you know I am one of the most rapidly spreading gesture to show “dislike of ones actions or thoughts”.

TDow: True my friend, you are surely among the most rapidly gestures being used these days, but!!!.

MidF: But!!!! But what.

TDow: But, does it ever bother you about what the other person thinks about the person(using your gesture)?

MidF: Why should I care about what other person is thinking.

TDow: Exactly. You Don’t CARE. Lets me rephrase it for you a little “You are careless about others feelings”. This can lead to bad relations between people and sometimes even ruin them.

MidF: Aaaaah(again I did it again)!!!! So what??? What about you? What do you do to care about others feelings?

TDow: Not much. Showing a “thumb down” makes the person think a little about their action. For example, What was the reason that people didn’t like my act or speech?. 

MidF: Is that all you have got or do you have something else to add?

TDow: Nothing much, as I said “thumbs down” does not hurt others feeling, its not provocative to be displayed in public, unlike You(Middle Finger) my friend, who can be interpreted as provocative and vulgar by general public and cause a big chaos.

MidF: Okay Fine Fine….. I accept all these charges on me, but my friend don’t forget there is always another side of the coin.

 

To be continued….

English And My First Computer Program : How I learn(ed) them!!!

Back in mid 2007 I just started my graduation in Computer Science. Prior to that I had not much knowledge about several things related to computers. If I compare myself(of that time) to some of my classmates, truthfully I have to give myself negative points in several fields whether it was computers or it was about English language like speaking, writing, listening or English songs. In fact before one of the cultural events in my graduation college, I didn’t even know about the existence of English songs. In that event one of my classmate sang an English song, and I was awestruck by the performance and at that time I was feeling the most illiterate person in the whole auditorium. The reason might be that I didn’t belong to English medium school. This reason is the last resort of almost every Non-English school students who can’t speak English as good as others. All this lead me to listen and memorize some of those songs. I am now able utter few English songs too. I had to do this because the college had only English as the official language.

Now in case of computers I at least had no doubt about their existence(as in the case of English songs) as I myself had heard and even seen some of them. I liked them very much. I specially remember the one that one of my relatives had brought to our home. I as a high school student was not allowed to touch it; but I was quite fascinated by it. By the time I got admission in my graduation college I had only done some painting using the then favorite MS Paint. I also knew about how to play with the screen savers; putting my name on it and trying to rotate it randomly.

Having said that the foremost question arises: why did I choose enroll for a Computer Science degree without any good prior knowledge of computers. As I said above I was very keen in computers and was not allowed to touch the computer brought by the relative guy, I had decided at that time, to have my own computer someday. So that fascination drove me and I eventually landed to a Computer Science degree.

We had a period of programming lab with the most famous one: the C language. I still remember the first day in the computer lab. The instructor expected all of us to have some knowledge of basic programming, but for me(I am sure their were few others too) a “LANGUAGE” of computers was completely an alien idea. By my good luck I had a friend who had done some programming earlier too. I was so relived just by that fact.
After entering the lab we were asked to write a program that produces the “sum of two numbers”. Just after listening the instructions I thought to my self “What!!! How stupid is that!!! Why the hell do they need a computer and a program to sum two numbers??? Addition is a very simple math to do. I can do that even on my fingers.”
This thought really bugged me for a while, but finally I went up to my friend and asked him the same question. He smiled and said we need to do it and tried to abase my curiosity, but whatever he said all passed above my head.

But as days passed, I wrote programs to identify the leap year and program to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit. Slowly I got to notice that these programs are just the minimal things that a computer can do and were there just for the demonstration of programming languages. We got to know about Internet and Orkut.com by the end of the first semester. Things went good and I learned(although I still struggle in them very much) C and Java and the HTML and JavaScript languages a bit and finally I got my degree.

Since then I still get amazed by every new language I encounter. Similarly the English language makes me very nervous when a good English speaker is in front or when I have to write an official email. But at the end of the day I feel a little satisfaction and happy in my heart as I know that learning is just a continuous and parallel part of life which can’t be avoided and there is know life without learning.
So I just learn them(some day very little and some day a good amount) everyday will continue to do so as I progress in my life.

Have a happy learning:)