Wednesday, March 12, 2008

If this is life, what is death?

Following is one of my favorite dialogs from the movie, Lage Raho... Munnabhai. The dialogs for the movie were written by Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Doshi. Dedicated to my best friends.
शहर की इस दौड़ मे दौड़ के करना क्या है? जब यही जीना है दोस्तो, तो फिर मरना क्या है?
पहली बारिश मे ट्रेन लेट होने की फिक्र है। भूल गए भीगते हुए टहलना क्या है?
सीरियल के किरदारों का सारा हाल है मालुम। पर माँ का हाल पूछने की फुरसत किसे है?
अब रेत पे नंगे पाव टहलते क्यों नही? १०८ है चैनल, फिर दिल बहलते क्यों नही?
मोबाइल, लैंड लाइन - सब की भरमार है। लेकिन जिगरी दोस्त तक पहुचे ऐसे तार कहाँ है?
कब डूबते हुए सूरज को देखा था, याद है? कब जाना था, शाम का वह बहाना क्या है?
तो दोस्तो शहर की इस दौड़ मे दौड़ के करना क्या है? जब यही है जीना तो मरना क्या है?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cactus

Another wonderful poem written by Dr. Harivanshrai "Bachchan" Srivastav. This poem makes your realize that it is not a sin to not be famous in this world. Here are the lyrics in Hindi:
रात एकाएक टूटी नींद तो क्या देखता हूँ,
गगन से जैसे उतर कर एक तारा, कैक्टस की झाडियों मे आ गिरा है

रात एकाएक टूटी नींद तो क्या देखता हूँ,
गगन से जैसे उतर कर एक तारा, कैक्टस की झाडियों मे आ गिरा है
निकट जाकर देखता हूँ, एक अद्भुत फूल कांटो मे खिला है

हाऐ कैक्टस! दिवस मे तुम खिले होते
रश्मियाँ कितनी निछावर हो गई होती तुम्हारी पंखुरियों पर
पवन अपनी गोद मे तुमको झुला कर धन्य होता
गंध भीनी बाटता फिरता द्रुमो मे, भृग आते घेरते तुमको
अनवरत फेरते माला सुयश की गुन तुम्हारा गुनगुनाते

धैर्य से सुन बात मेरी, कैक्टस ने कहाँ धीमे से
किसी विवशता से खिलता हूँ, खुलने की साध तो नही है
जग मे अनजाना रह जाना, कोई अपराध तो नही है?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Judging Experience

Today, was one of the transition days for me. I have been a regular participant in programming contests since my undergraduate days. I have participated in different types of contests, including onsite contests, overnight contests, and online contests. I had a amazing team with one of my best friends, Mr.D@BADBoyz. Our team of two was wonderful and it is evident from the fact that among all the contests that we participated together we won all of them but one (in which we came second to a team of software developers - we were students then). Later we were joined by Mr.A@BADBoyz to make a team of three, for the ACM Asia C/C++ programming contest. We did not do any wonders in that contest, however, it was the best performance by our school team, and we were 18 out of participating 127 teams. Our team's name was BADBoyz@IET (and BAD was an acronym that I coined by picking up the first letter of each of our names). Anyways, this post is not about what all I did as a participant in a programming contests. This post is about my transition from a contestant to a judge.

Today, I was involved in organizing a small programming contest in my university along with few more enthusiasts. It was the first time, when I chose to get to the other side of the table. It was not that I did not get the opportunities to organize the contests earlier. I had got such an opportunity earlier during my undergrad as well. However, I was always more interested in participating in the contests then organizing it. This time along with organizing the contest and selecting the problems, I was also supposed to judge it. First time, did I realize how it feels to be on the other side of the table, when you are judging the solutions. I felt how bad it feels when you are telling someone that their solution is incorrect, their program is wrong, their logic is incomplete. I understood how difficult it is to explain your logic to someone, who has understood the problem in completely different direction. The thing that I missed was the excitement of cracking a problem and then waiting to find out if it was correct or not? For a programmer, this feeling is incomparable. This is something that an artist feels after giving a live performance.

Where do I go now? I will continue to participate in the contests, be it a judge or a participant. For me both are a different kinds of learnings, and I do not want to miss any of those.

I am with them, who keep their back straight

Following is a very good poem written by Dr. Harivanshrai "Bachchan" Srivastav. This poem tells you about the importance of standing for what one feels is right. Here are the lyrics in Hindi:

मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

कभी नही जो तज सकते हें, अपना न्यायोचित अधिकार
कभी नही जो सह सकते हें, शीश नवाकर अत्याचार
एक अकेले हों, या उनके साथ खड़ी हो भारी भीड़
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

निर्भय होकर घोषित करते, जो अपने उदगार विचार
जिनकी जिह्वा पर होता है, उनके अंतर का अंगार
नहीं जिन्हें, चुप कर सकती है, आत्ताइयों की शमशीर
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

नहीं झुका करते जो दुनिया से करने को समझोता
ऊँचे से ऊँचे सपनो को देते रहते जो न्योता
दूर देखती जिनकी पैनी आँख, भविष्यत का तम्चीर
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

जो अपने कन्धों से पर्वत से बढ़ टक्कर लेते है
पथ की बाधाओं को जिनके पाँव चुनौती देते हें
जीनो बाँध नही सकती है लोहे की बेढीं जंजीर
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

जो चलते है अपने छप्पर के ऊपर लुका धर कर
हर जीत का सौदा करते जो प्राणों की बाजी पर
कूद उद्दादी में नही पलट कर जो फिर ताका करते तीर
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

जिनको यह अवकाश नही है, देखे कब तारे अनुकूल
जिनको यह परवाह नहीं है कब तक भद्रा, कब दिक्शूल
जिनके हाथों की चाबुक से चलती हें उनकी तकदीर
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़

तुम हो कौन, कहो जो मुझसे सही ग़लत पथ लो तो जान
सोच सोच कर, पूछ पूछ कर बोलो, कब चलता तूफ़ान
सत्पथ वह है, जिसपर अपनी छाती ताने जाते वीर
मैं हूँ उनके साथ, खड़ी जो सीधी रखते अपनी रीढ़
Here is a translation of few of the paragraphs (I understand that this translation may not be able to bring out the beauty of the poem, as the original lyrics; please let me know if there is a more appropriate translation):
I am with them, who keep their back straight

Those who cannot forget, their rightful rights
Those who cannot tolerate the injustice, just by bowing their heads
Irrespective of whether, they are alone, or they have huge crowd with them
I am with them, those who keep their backs straight
I will try to update the translation later.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Indians and Time

I wonder what is one thing that most non-Indians feel is common to Indians? What is it that all Indians must feel bad about and try to improve? There will be few contenders and one of them would be time - our habit to assume that whatever is to happen will happen only after we are in. Our habit to feel that what's the big deal in delaying things by a few minutes. No, there is no big deal in delaying events, if the reason is valid; if the reason is important; if the reason is unavoidable. However, what if it is possible to do something avoidable? What if it is possible to follow a schedule? What if it is possible to have a time limit? Why it is that we do not feel shame when others call that we will follow desi time or IST or Indian Standard Time (which is actually GMT + 5:30, however is understood to be GMT + 6:30, i.e. a delay of an hour).
I feel that some of us do believe that it is bad, and we try to avoid delays. However, usually when we have to deal with fellow Indians, (who are too busy with things that cause usual delays in their lives) we succumb to them. We start stretching our schedules to meet theirs. Usually we do this, just to avoid conflicts. But until when?
Let us try to follow the clock. Let us try to avoid delays. Let us try to change the ill-name that we have. Let us try to avoid those who do not want to follow time and we keep following it. There would be problems. There would be troubles. There would be hurdles. However, we will try to surpass them. We will try to get a new meaning for desi time.