Turning 25

i-cant-keep-calm-its-my-25th-birthday-10

I don’t seem to be able to stop my legs from shaking since yesterday. Don’t seem to be able focus on things at hand. Can’t think clearly or at all for that matter. I have been profusely googling for past several hours as it just might be able to tell in a snap of finger, like it does for every other problem, to the question What does it mean to turn 25?

I have always understood that time is the scarcest resource at our hand, that irreversible, unidirectional, unceasing 4th dimension that we have no control over, yet, at other times I couldn’t have cared less. At times ambition has driven me to believe that entire world is mine for the taking, while, at other times every effort seems to be facile. I have always wanted to be an individualist, yet, at times I have wished for an ideal society that I can be a part of. I have always thought that an overall life mission would have been great to make sense out of everything, yet, at other times I am more than happy with utter freedom to do what suits me best for the moment. I can gladly accept suffering for a meaning, still, I will be in denial in favor of seeking gratification. I have always tried not to be dependent on anyone, still, I hope that I can find that unassuming person and can completely drop the guard. I have always wanted to believe in happiness of a singular existence, yet, more often than not I’m trapped in dark corners of loneliness, isolation and depression craving for companionship.

At this juncture, It seems I’m more and more reevaluating my past, present and future. Sure enough, I have done few things which I’m proud of. Solved few of those challenging problems. Got published. Won few medals. Pushed myself to stand tested on my own rigorous standards.

But, is that it? What is the meaning of it all? Where does everything adds up in the bigger picture?
I don’t know man! No one else seems to know either.
They say,
Life is what you make of it.

The thing is, more than anything else, I don’t want to regret anything as my future self. I want to make good and bad decisions but, not, regrettable decisions. It feels like, I am choosing one of the roads, at a divergence, every single day without  knowing which one leads where, hoping at the end of my journey I’ll be at a desirable place.

Realistically speaking, out of total number years I’m going to live, I have already used up 1/3rd, out of which I don’t seem to remember those initial 10 in the first place! As the years keep whizzing past by, I’m more and more dreading the end game. It seems crystal clear that in upcoming few years, I’m going to peak out mentally and physically and then everything is going to go downhill. There are just too many things to try out in one mere mortal life span. This entire idea scares the shit out of me.
I thought, in time everything will just come to me but, do they ever?

Just like House says,
Time doesn’t change anything. Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were.

So, I have decided that I’m going to take things into my hands more actively. I am proud to possess this unfaltering physical form of mine so, I’m going to take care of it everyday. I’m going to put effort into achieving things that I wish no matter how absurd they might seem to myself, let alone to others. I’m going to try to create more meaningful relationships with people I admire and fill the void by reaching out first rather than waiting for them to make the first move and miss out on them all meanwhile. I’m going to acquire as many experiences as possible humanly. I might very fail miserably, but, I’m going to try.
I’m going to seek what makes sense to me and leave my mark on this world because,
I do not want to go gentle into that good night.

2014 in review


January

  • 2014 similarly kickstarted with an outing at a restaurant in Mumbai with few other colleagues from Directi. Not so rad this time around, without blackout and all I mean!
  • On track to learn proper ways to fly around in sky with birds. Progressing towards Club rated Paraglider Pilot with Temple Pilots.
  • Few birthdays around, including mine. Gotta go to them too! Ended up slow dancing after getting drunk, again? I keep imagining in my head that entire 20s range is becoming accessible to me as I approach towards 25.. If only :/
  • Hosting Ben, first Couchsurfer at home, whom I met during last December’s backpacking trip across North-East India along with another British lady. What a coincidence! Not a great hosting I feel but, Hey! Isn’t that case with all firsts?

February

  • Keeping up with the reading target set of One-A-Week. Hello Ayn Rand! Hola Jack London! I have found words in yours to describe what I thought was a mere feeling. Thank you :)
  • More flying around Kamshet area. Getting some good air time. With almost 5 hours worth of flying under belt all set for APPI club Club Pilot eligibility. Prospect of flying from top of mountains across globe is giving me chills.
  • Binge watching TV shows continues too! I realize this is becoming a addiction now and I like it too :| Statistically, I have wasted more than half-a-year worth of time ever since I started watching in Junior years summer vacation! Believe me.
  • Another project at work just got completed yet, I have this tingling feeling this is not working out anymore. I need to find another career adventure to pursue.

March

  • March is here! My, 17 day, long awaited to trip to Kahsmir begins where I eventually end up covering Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonmarg and Gulmarg.  Every place is majestic.
  • Did I mention that primary purpose here is Ski Trip and I am learning Basic Skiing skills at IISM Gulmarg. For those who don’t know Gulmarg (J&K) has world’s highest cable car to go to Apharwat Mountain (14,000 feet) top for skiiers. It’s pretty good place o find powder snow and has good facilities for HeliSkiing too. Found great people at IISM and, 2 weeks worth of time simply flew by.
  • Living amidst Avalanches, among Kashmiri people and naturally beautiful clean white snow stretching as far as you can see just makes you want to settle there. Not all is so great there though. Random people asking about my perception of the place makes me understand what ticks their inclination towards Pakistan when for years they aren’t treated like they hold similar status to other Indians.. This makes me sad just like when I see North-East people thinking they are in a different country.
  • Reluctantly back in Mumbai now. Let’s go watch Sea Turtle Hatching in Velas, a Maharashtrian village with Mumbai Travellers. Go check them out if you are stuck with indoor people or, can’t find company for trips around Mumbai.

April

  • More reading. Now onto Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy series. First book is the one. Rest 4 are okay.
  • Found Goyal to be interested in Squash and we are off to play squash on off-days. Seems like an ideal sports candidate. Lots of power, skills and exercise. Going wild. Sorry about body shots though!
  • Found Windsurfing training spot in Mumbai with a trainer for the same. Off I go exploring my water love. Standing on surface in water is way different than on ground. Took me several falls to realise the same.

May

  • For past couple of months again getting taste for contributing to open source projects. Few pull requests are merged on Github.
  • Time keeps going on with on-off outings, movies and restaurant visits.
  • Reading up books by Khaled Hosseini. They are painful experiences. Makes you grateful for being able to live with free will.

June

  • I have just completed 2 years at Directi. It just feels like a good time to take my leave from this place. I have had good time during this tenure. Accessible colleagues, flexible work, casual culture, recruitment trips made it totally worthwhile from what one would expect of a company fresh out of college.
  • I am on a big vacation break before my next job starts and planning to explore few other places that remain in India. Trip Route: https://roadtrippers.com/trips/cross-country/4036824
  • Pamban island in Deep south is fun with clear windy beaches where I spent my days Kiteboarding, Snorkeling and Kayaking upto a remote prohibited island and nights under clear cool sky on a cot! Big thumbs up to everyone at Kiteboarding India
  • All isn’t so smooth though and involves being stopped, asked alone to get down from bus and again being payed by police to buy a ticket.. Imagine that! Got sunburnt too, literally! Lesson, don’t go off wearing sleeveless in shorts under scorching Sun, cover it up and use Sunscreen man.
  • Next comes Pondicherry and, Surf’s up! Found a good club to get the first taste of Sea surfing with Kallialay Surf School owned by Spanish brothers duo.
  • After travelling a bit more around, sampling local cuisines I’m off to home via Chennai.

July

  • After almost a year, I am back home in Ranchi. Next time I don’t think anyone will even recognise me! Catching up with relatives / old friends another two weeks pass by. Off to next adventure.
  • Next up is Deep North. I’m travelling to Ladakh from Ranchi via Delhi, Chandigarh and Manali, spending brief time at each place.
  • Oh Leh, Hello you cold dessert. Every path is scenic and unique mountains like I haven’t seen before. Weather is not so cold one would expect at such height, rather hot here.. weird!
  • I have rented a Royal Enfield Bullet (350 cc) to do a road trip to Nubra Valley alone. Takes me 6.5 hours to ride 120 odd kilometres between with couple of jumps off from Bike. Followed by unique two-humped camel ride and natural hot spring baths. Totally worth it!
  • I’ve successfully attempted Highest Non-Technical Mountain in India, Stok Kangri (20,182 feet). The final summit day climbing actually pushed people to their mental as well as physical limits which included potentially life-threatening slip from the top and getting stranded for a total of 17 hours. Boy, Am I glad to make it out alive!
  • Accompanied by Gaurav and Rathnakar, we followed it up with a visit to famous Pangong Tso, saline water lake and swimming / camping there.

August

  • Vacation time is over. I’ve joined iRageCapital, a High-Frequency Trading Firm. Stay is provided in a pretty decent service apartment. I think this is a good match for me at the moment.
  • A long learning curve starts about the sector and tools of trade. Too much financial jargon. This is going to take some time to get a hang of. I’m totally immersed.
  • Finally bought a Macbook Air 11” of my own.. I like it.

September

  • Post official stay period, I have moved into Lake Homes, comparatively better society than past two, with Anuj and Shounak, found their listing randomly via Facebook groups.
  • There has been no need to wear suits at work as it’s pretty casual compared to whatever original idea I had about Finance industry offices. Learning keeps going on. I have setup Risk management infrastructure for real time monitoring and alerting.

October

  • I have always been afraid of Running. It bores me to death. So, let’s do that! Kalenji running gear is here. Let’s start running until can run 10 kilometers in under an hour.
  • Office moves from few small rooms in corporate building to a better / bigger property (Boomerang) near home. Two more extra hours per day at hand, saved from commuting.

November

  • We go live with my strategy in real world trading. It is pretty exciting to see your code run wild in the big bad market and make money or well, lose money! Battle of brains. Competition is back at work!
  • I have also started to teach C++ programming module at QuantInsti. Teaching is back too!
  • I can run now around 6-8 kms in under and hour depending on day and mood.. bit more work needed there.
  • Amazing things happening in Space has totally got my attention back. I still haven’t given up on becoming an Astronaut. Will see.

December

  • Weekend outings are back. I have bought OnePlus One. After couple of years, orphaned by manufacturer Google Nexus just couldn’t keep up no more. Also, after 6.5 years of sucky relationship and 2.5 years of roaming, I finally ditched BSNL for local Airtel connection. That wasn’t so bad. Well not calling a lot many people has it’s perks too.
  • I can well cover 10K under and hour and I’m terribly bored of running. Let’s ditch that and get a Montra Trance Pro 2015 bike. I’m looking forward to long rides on this.

PS:

  • All in all, another good year has gone by. Although, I have missed some personal deadlines set this year yet, That doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe I don’t want it bad enough? Maybe, priorities are changing as my perspective on Life, Universe and Everything is continually being refined? Time will tell.
  • I have officially started indicating that I don’t have a religion everywhere too.
  • Reading target: 30 / 52. Not so bad. I’ll try to achieve this next year.
  • Writing target : 1 / 12. Sadness. Gotta ramp this up next year.

Happy New Year 2015!

2013 in review


Brief Timeline:

  • Blacked out at a nightclub as a result of complete exhaustion post drinking and dancing all night after stag entry. Reached in morning in half asleep. Don’t remember much myself!
  • Weekend treks to interesting mountains of Western Ghats in the neighbourhood of Mumbai reaching state of saturation.
  • Got a custom domain of my own, courtesy: Directi.
  • Turned 23 years old.
  • Friday ritual of Movie + fooding out is going steady. Only thing people can be persuaded to come for!
  • Team outing with colleagues at office. First blood for actually pursuing extreme sports: Parasailing, Rafting. Feels good!
  • Friday night chill sessions at office coming with more cool stuff to witness. All good.
  • Learnt the power of reboot for a Software Developer while being on a permanent on-call. Getting vibes of possessing Brahmastra for all the bugs creeping in the systems during night.
  • Tried very enthusiastically to pursue long distance running as part of daily regimen. Finds the activity inherently boring. Sorry marathoners.
  • Bi-annual visit to home – part 1. Foundations for home continue to be laid firmly. Gotta keep sending all the money which can be spared. One final time running around offices of the pathetic administrative system of BIT. Get all documents done, applied to receive Degree by post. Pledges not to visit this place back unless he has to!
  • Almost every one has stopped doing things that we used to find exciting stating various obvious excuses. Many have left Mumbai and / or Company. Reminds himself that you’re born alone and you gonna die alone. Move along.
  • Join bunch of special interest groups via Meetup et al. Gotta find few people with genuine interests matching to mine. Finds it fascinating.
  • Starts roping down vertical face of big mountains.
  • Flew in sailplanes without engines at INR 187/-
  • Took up some light reading coupled with night treks.
  • Pushing hard at regular evening hour swimming. Gotta increase stamina for the upcoming big trip. Can swim up to half-kilometer in a single stretch. At ease with Freestyle and Breaststroke. Can float both ways too now.
  • Off to Himalayas for first Himalayan trek lasting 10 days. Went up to more than height of 15,000 feet. Stayed under awe of vast snow, slept in tents, walked till dropped dead.
  • Camped besides River Ganges in Rishikesh, jumped with just a rope attached to leg, rafted in super cold Ganges.
  • Completed a year working at Media.net. So much for my ridiculous plan of hopping jobs every 6 months!
  • It’s raining, mountains have turned to waterfalls. Gotta rappel down those waterfalls too!
  • More freshers in team at work. Feeling a little senior there too, eh?
  • Ideal monsoon season to trek few more mountains in Western Ghats. Get some more books under belt too.. yeah.
  • Everyone who made up a small group last year for doing wild things has moved out of Mumbai and / or, has lost all hope in anything other than plain old job. Gotta be motivated. Deserters gonna desert.
  • New social experiment to lure people into doing stuff. Let’s try a cuisine from a different culture each weekend. So many dishes out there to savor.
  • Can hardly find people genuinely excited about things out there. Start doing things all on own. Scary thing being, I’ve started to like it and rather prefer to go for these activities alone as opposed to trying to find people for the same, might not be able to come back to that humans being social animals shit!
  • Bi-annual visit to Family – 2. Can see almost completed bare-bone structure of house being built, cosmetic things remaining, which is gonna hog so much more resources!
  • Annual Performance Review cycle happens, finally, after so much delay. Not bad.
  • Hey, someone found a Groupon deal for Sailing. What are we waiting for?
  • No shave November is here. Stop shaving all that hair on yer face yo that you didn’t care about anyways.
  • Annual Campus Recruitment season for freshers has arrived again. More travel to all those colleges, trying very hard to hire some chicks in the Software Engineering department at otherwise green office.
  • Never getting a chance to travel the North-East man. Now’s the time. Let’s backpack all those 7 states in 7 days with just a return ticket booked to Guwahati in the name of travel plan. Turned out a bit doable but, ambitious, Made it to 4 states after using up a lot of time travelling to remote, not so well-connected, mountainy regions. Amazing things happen to you when you try something like this. Amazing people to meet, cool places to discover, weird items to eat, cheapest places to spend the night and so many things to talk about. Phew.. that was fun :)
  • What’s next on bucket list? There’s best in country places just in 150 km radius to start learning to soar in the air like a bird. Bit pricy yo, screw that man! Complete ‘Student Pilot’ rating, more to come ahead.
  • Write everything that you remember to keep track of your bucket list and plan next adventures to pursue in life ahead. Hoping things will get only better from this point.

Things I missed out in 2013:

  • Reading. I don’t know how but, I get this feeling that I’m missing out on so much by not being able to read enough books as per my personal target. Though, I read a whole lot of stuff everyday while browsing around web a minimum of 3-4 hours covering a wide variety of areas. But, there is something about those classics. Gotta try harder there to make time for it regularly.
    Target: 1+ books / week.
  • Writing. I can’t even believe that this is going to be the first and, sadly last post I’ve written in entire 2013. I’ve like half-dozen drafts stored that I tried composing at different times. Each time, I start all pumped up, write a couple of paragraphs, lose interest, covert it to a tweet or status and post it in that format! Gotta work harder there to be regular.
    Target: 2+ posts / month.

All in all, this has been a kickass year. Well, more or less! I just hope there are plenty of new experiences to last this lifetime.

Happy New Year 2014!

2012 in review


Haven’t written much on this blog this year. Still, It endures! Thank you Visitors :)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

How good is BIT Mesra as a College?


I answered this question few months back on Quora.
Recently, I’ve been asked for my opinion on various topics about BIT, college life in there, people, faculty, placements etc.
Many have pinged, mailed and, even called for insight about it. I guess, reading on web should be the easiest way to find out about it. So here is the repost.

Read Quote of Sitesh Shrivastava’s answer to How good is BIT Mesra as a college? on Quora

On a neutral note Yes, BIT is indeed one of the premier colleges in India for Engineering. It has constantly been hanging around 13-14 rank on most of the lists for some time now.
Sadly, about Infrastructure I can’t say much. After being built around state of art during initial years it lacks continuing renovation, updating. So don’t mind trying out antiques over here. Same holds true for Research Facilities too. Not much focus is given on it. Studies basically are degree-oriented to make you an Degree holder Engineer.
Best part about it are Students, coming from a rigorous Entrance Test (AIEEE, till now). One can definitely enjoy good company, at least in Intellectual sense.
Placements have also been phenomenal and is only getting better with time. Software / IT oriented firms visit in abundance along with International placements.
Another thing that holds it back is Location. Because of that, Adequate Exposure isn’t available. Hence, a lot depends on your sustainability and curiosity out of the box.

Feel free to contact me about anything (meaningful) in further detail via any medium mentioned here in that preference order and, I’ll get back to you ASAP.

I absolutely love to write back those eMails :)

Afresh


Long Time, No See?
Well, What you know.. A transition, literally, was indeed required to snap out of the moronic phase of nothingness.

Lets review how the things have been in these past months, are at present and what I hope to accomplish in near future in several fronts:

  • Enthusiasm
  • I mention is first, because this was the major factor, lack of which caused a cascaded loss of one to many of the essentials One needs to feel alive. Starting afresh at a different place, in different role, among different audience has had a very soothing effect.
    Just like Jobs says, Starting fresh took away all the burden of expectations of others, fear of rapport and worry about making correct decision. I’m again at the lowest level of Food Chain. There’s no scope of slipping down, none at all. All there is, to go up. I can make What, When, Where and How kind of decisions without worrying a bit!
    In short, I’m brimming with this new found or long lost Energy and hope to keep it this time sealed with me for good :)

  • Professional
  • Oh, Did I mention I ain’t no more a Undergrad. I’ve been a professional for last 18+ weeks, in the Software Industry now, first at Amazon and then Directi, combined.
    SDE Intern -> SD Trainee -> Software Developer.
    I’ve observed, The most important thing, People love to work in these kind of challenging jobs is because every time you take a take a look around and you know that you’re still no where near. You want to be a Ninja like ’em and that force is strong enough for the push!
    I don’t feel like sticking to my long recurring favored parts of tech no more. I’m willing to go out of comfort zone to build stuff, Learn the things for that whatever it asks. I’ve learnt a plethora of technologies, concepts and ideas in these months ranging from a huge cluster of customized software stack on Companies requirements to vastness of Open Source Stuff #FTW :)
    I’m trying / succeeding to see, what I really want from a job and reaching out to grab it!

  • Family
  • Well, This front hasn’t received much attention, I guess. Has been a sad period though. In this short term, We’ve lost two of the relatives in quick succession in a sad untimely tragedies :( People are still recovering.
    And yeah, My parents consider me a little grown up now I guess. I’m at the fore front of meeting grooms in arranging marriage of one of my sisters, definitely not my piece of cake! Says the boy, who still thinks boobs are the best feature in a chick, Don’t you agree?

  • Mindset
  • I’ve open sourced it again pretty much. I don’t shut out anything anymore. I welcome, listen, reason, analyze and accept what others have to say too. I don’t avoid those opinionated, biased, dejected ideologies but give ’em a fair chance. Or, maybe People aren’t that bad anymore? During this period of stay, have met some people with pretty cool and unique perspectives and have thoroughly enjoyed ’em.
    Well, emotionally I guess, I’ve reached the stage of Apatheia compared to Apathy from around a year ago, that’s cool right?
    Oh, another thing came out from all this is that I’m definitely not a believer even more not a Theist.

  • Hobbies
  • I always had a lots of plans before doing any of them. So right now, I’m trying out several of them and en route creating an ideal bundle for my taste.
    I’ve been trying out swimming, sports, outings, movies, reading, sleeping, fooding in various scenarios. I like many of ’em but yet to come with and ideal set for spending a great weekend!
    After completing a Golden Jubilee of TV Series, I don’t have much stuff to do there. Also, I always wanted to read stuff, not blogs etc but classics, novels, autobiography, philosophy etc in a structured way of reading. Guess what, Received a Kindle Touch, a collection of 2500+ classic Kindle Book Collection and now onto Voracious Reading.
    Also, In search of some Adventure Sports in and around Mumbai for weekends, any suggestions?

  • Surroundings
  • I’ve to agree, this has been getting better and better since leaving college. Imagine, the fantasy of being in the same pool with those babes in their swimming costumes, Girls Next Door, Office brimming of human greenery, facilities you desired in one place, all coming true. Boy, that is it!
    Courtesy of Employers, had great times staying at places viz Trinity Isle, Red Fox and Lalco etc.
    Though, Traffic has some serious issues around here. I find myself figuring out bus numbers and next station more often than I think!

BTW, These days I live in Mumbai. Feel free to ping me for a spin if you’re in the vicinity.

Rest assured, all good, in time. Let me know things at your end in the comments :)

TC,
Sitesh

Anniversary


One month short, This Blog becomes 2 year old. Being a Stats Junkie, briefly:

  • ~2 Years
  • ~50 Posts
  • ~100 Countries
  • ~5,000 Distinct Visitors
  • ~12,000 Hits

In brief, that pretty much covers its journey till date. It’s been really awesome to rant about anything, anytime in anyway I want to make it happen! I’ve come so far from the point where it all started. So much have I learnt, shared and discussed that will always be with me for lifetime.

You guys have been one of the major sources of inspiration that drives me to write. Well not only that, the infrequency of writing is driven from you folks too ;)

Just writing here has given me a platform to reach out to Junta that was very much invisible until 2 years ago. It generates a sense of pride, satisfaction and rush in veins when certain someone shakes hand out of blue and commends how helpful that paragraph was for him / her for what he / she was about to face and nailed it!

So Folks, Keep hitting, reading, commenting, sharing and criticizing (Or, recommending otherwise).
CIAO..