XEROX or Photocopy

How many of you think the thing that you do where you place a book over a nice glass screen and magically get a badly copied version of that from one of the holes on the machine you placed it on is called a XEROX? I’m sure its 90% of the Indian population. Well lets just start with its a photocopy and not a xerox, Xerox is actually a company that makes printing equipment and maybe more, don’t believe me? Here look at this, http://www.xerox.com/ , happy?

I’ve been in this auto correct mode where without realizing who i’m correcting i just blurt out

Its photocopy not a xerox 😐

And then i realize what I’ve done! Mostly with teachers, few of them actually are happy that they got over their misconception while most others give that dirty evil look. Nevertheless after being corrected by my dad few years ago i’ve taken up this as my part time freelancing!

It goes without saying that people would ask me why I am being so obnoxious and trying to correct them! Lets not discuss about stuff like that, but something happened on 9th of Feb, 2012 outside Thomas Cook, Bangalore.  I was asked to go out for a “photocopy”, well she did use the term xerox for it! I got out of the office and this is the exact conversation I had with the traffic policeman outside(translated from my bad Kannada to English for the international audience :D).

Me: Sir, is there any photocopy shop around here

Policeman: <Puzzled look> heeeh ? (typical halli way)

Me: Sir, is there any place around where i can take photocopies of my passport?

Policeman: Go straight down this road, you will find G K Vale, you can take passport photos there!

Me: <Controlling my urge to correct him> Sir, I need to take a photocopy of my passports not a photo of myself.

Policeman: Do you want a photo or no ?

Me: Ok screw it, where the hell is the XEROX shop? (Yes, i had to fall for it :/)

Policeman: Yeah there is a shop on Church Street.

Me: <Urge killing me> Sir, it is not xerox, it is photocopy.

Policeman: Screw you, do I look like a care?

What could I do! Some you can correct some you cannot, I’m not saying i’m the messenger of god who has been assigned the task of clearing the misconception that xerox is another word for photocopy! But knowing the right thing never hurt, imagine some freak like me who hates it when people say xerox for a photocopy interviewing you for a million dollar job! You don’t want that situation do you?

Next time you see a misused word let me know! I would love to improve at least my knowledge wrt to misused terms and words!

The power!

In the year 2006, I traveled for the very first time after getting a mobile phone, my Dad offered me my first recharge of more than 25.  I took it with no second thoughts, once I entered Tamil Nadu I got a call from a school friend, to know that I can be in touch with anyone on the move made me feel powerful, unsuspecting I picked up the call and spoke for 43 seconds, once I cut the call I checked my balance to realize I had been charged 28 bucks for the call! Reason being roaming was chargeable at 25 bucks a day *gonecase*, well nothing I could and nothing I wanted to, i was still excited about my first phone. Time has flown beneath our wings and we are now in an age where mobile connections and data plans are our birthright! We can still live without them but we prefer to assume that phones are more important than oxygen. Fair enough, i belong to that category too.

Recently I had been to Amritapuri, I put in a data plan for the trip that ensured 3 days of unlimited internet. Given the availability of the data plan i left home with a balance of Rs 1.43 on my phone. I knew with my phone connected to the internet I could do everything my phone does for free even on roaming. Going back a few years, GPRS the super awesome slowest internet ever costed a bomb and yeah no roaming with it. Phones that did not support most of modern web technologies and mostly it was the text display that tried showing images and stuff. The way the world has progressed and almost reduced the cost of technology to nothing is simply mind blowing, but wait if we are saving up money there then where does it go? Oh hell, i forgot we have awesome politicians, my bad!

The power that i hold in my hand is something that I rely upon and trust more than my sense of judgement, is it a bad thing to do? Well I can make mistakes but my phone wont. I navigate unknown places with maps, i find out new places with the plethora of apps that I have on my phone. Well all this still doesn’t impress the older generation, is it a sincere case of radiation is harmful or more of a what i don’t use is harmful and useless? It cannot be generalized, they are right at a few times and wrong otherwise. Well who wouldn’t love to be equipped with the latest technology! I definitely would do anything other than give my life for that.

Anyhoo for those who felt the above jibber jabber made no sense,I dint intend to, its the power of =my new Galaxy Note speaking! Haha, well I got the phone as a gift for my first job and boy am I in love with it! The WordPress app is brilliant so I thought lets make a post from it 😀 Soon I shall make a review of the best smartphone on the planet.

PS: Nokia 1100 == iPhone 4

Music on Hold

Whichever retard thought playing background music when placing a call on hold was cool. what was he thinking really!! Indian companies think it is pretty cool to play the SOOTHING music. They must be thinking,

Yay, we anyway screw up all the time, lets play this awesome shit ass music and make our customers feel jolly good about being duped by us.

Does anyone know when this stupid trend began? Even if we pardoned them for playing music, the choice of music is atrocious! Unbelievably irritating. To be honest it is something like

pa pa pa paan, pa pa pa paan

Sounds familiar? Yes it is similar to Kolaveri mid verse but that has a nice music to it! Here its more like a buffalo got stuck in a trumpet and is howling for help. Come on guys, it just makes the already pissed off customer cut the call out of horrific kolaveri! Well it sort of was the plan of the companies I guess. Few companies have the decency of giving the customer the option of turning of the music, like GoDaddy.com but most of the companies in my country pay no heed to such customer requirements.

The music they play is also not crystal clear, seriously with all the advancements in technology you cant make the music play nice and clear? The play some stupid recording, probably done on my great granddad’s broken tape recorder! It goes karrr kar karrrr kar karrrr kar. Epic face palm situations!

What prompted me to write this post? Well my recent interaction with Flipkart! I’m sure no one would ever complain about Flipkart, their service is pure brilliance except when it comes to a reverse pickup of an order cause by the idiotic payment gateway in place on their site. I had this issue regarding reverse pickup with them [the actual story of the issue requires at least a 1000 words! when i find time it will be written.], I had to call them around 10 times, and each time I requested the person who answered my call to not play the stupid music but no he won’t listen probably because he did not know how to turn the darned thing off! The last time I called, I requested the guy to not put me on hold and he did oblige. Well I spoke decently and did not shout for once. Hello people at Flipkart, any plans to remove that music from your call hold?

Few companies might have thought, why play music? Lets have a lady with a beautiful voice remind the caller that

Your call is important to us! Please hold the line while our customer care associates finish digging their noses and eat their lunch.

Why don’t you just tell us the approximate waiting time left? Probably every minute or so and not like every 10 seconds the way it is happening now! We all know you don’t give a rat’s fart about us.

To make things worse now, we also give people the option of putting caller tunes so that their dear friend can listen to some absolutely crap quality recording of a song when waiting for you to answer the call. Some operators even take the liberty to set a song for you without you asking them to.

An epic example of this would be Aircel, Karnataka. I don’t know how it is in the other states but in Bangalore this is a widespread problem. I have a small request to make to Aircel

We love Karnataka, and we would like to show it in our own way. Please don’t poke your really long nose and set patriotic kannada songs as my caller tune!

I call my friends and some old song in the crappiest recordings possible is played over and over and over! I like the old tring tring better than this stupidity!

This is an excerpt from wikipedia

Most MOH systems are integrated into a telephone system designed for businesses via an audio jack on the telephone equipment labeled “MOH”. There are also some units with built in message on hold capabilities and units designed for small businesses without an extensive phone system.

Music and messages on hold are played using either physical or virtual media.

Today, equipment that supports physical media usually plays CDs. Some older systems may still use cassette tapes (sometimes employing endless-loops), or reel-to-reel tape players. In each case, the unit loads the media into a digital memory chip to prevent premature wearing of the mechanical parts.

Equipment that supports virtual media generally plays MP3 files. Several types of units play these files. USB Flash Drive units allow an MP3 file to be received electronically, downloaded to a flash drive and connected to the player. Ethernet based remote load units connect via the network to a remote IP address. Phone line based remote load systems allow for a connection via an analog telephone line and dialing the number belonging to the unit. For VoIP phone systems, MP3s are loaded without any equipment.

Newer technology allows MP3 files to be downloaded automatically from the internet so that messages (or interesting content in the form of news and weather, amongst many) can be changed daily. The new “Online On Hold” technology makes the older technology redundant since it requires no additional hardware. All these systems allow analog-to-digital audio storage and playback.

The newest units as of 2011 allow productions to be downloaded via the Internet or played through a USB flash drive. This allows for larger files and higher quality formats.

My only request to the companies is, please stop playing music or at least give us the option to stop it! If you are really adamant please improve the quality of whatever you are playing and try to keep it fresh! Don’t drive away customers with your retarded practices.

WiFi the biggest bitch

I am a new entrant into the programming world and still in the early stages of learning, but three big conferences or events that i’ve attended in the last one year have convinced me that

You can have the best location chosen for the event
The best people to be present at the event
Give away goodies no participant would ever expect
Have the best food served

BUT YOU JUST CANNOT HAVE THE WIFI WORKING FINE!!!

This I say after attending 3 big conferences as i stated earlier,

1. Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain
2. Yahoo! OpenHACK Bangalore, India
3. DroidconIN, Bangalore, India

Everyone always concentrates on one of the sides of Internet connectivity, either the wireless or the uplink speeds. Never about both, but Droidcon was a bit different, they tried their best to get the situation under control but sadly the great Indian Tamasha had to happen!

Starting off with MWC, well the connectivity was real sad and when connected with a massive 4000 systems connected to the network on a 80mbps line, the results were expected to suck. So it did, half the time the connection was lost, and otherwise the loading took forever! CISCO managed a decent connection for all the people presenting at least so it was not all that bad or at least not a disaster. Nothing much to talk about the wifi here, it never got better it stayed the same way it started.

OpenHACK boy, imagine 600 odd programmers without internet, it was worse than looking at an Ice cream shop that did not have any ice cream! The guys assumed the hotel would have a good wifi setup but obviously they din’t cause none of us were able to connect! Like every other wifi disaster event, there were hundreds of Android AP’s, people broadcasting through their phones. I connected to some unsecured ones and started using and every time I got disconnected from one, i joined another! This went on for around 6 hours. Then the repair job started and believe it or not, the network crew from Yahoo! managed to get cabling for each and every person in that huge auditorium! Their work was unbelievable, cabled filled the floor but no one was complaining, they all witnessed something they thought they would never ever see after the invention of WiFi! The internet up link was at a healthy 20Mbps but the infrastructure was just not up to the mark for an event of this magnitude to have wireless connections. Again, the Yahoo! guys were just awesome to have cabled the whole place.

DroidconIN, this was the funniest I must say, the infrastructure was unbelievably world class! But the up link was a mere 2Mbps. Seriously? 550 computer on a 2Mbps line? As usual a 100 hot spots of which i tried connecting to all the unsecured ones but sadly no luck this time. The infrastructure was so good that I never saw less than 3 bars of connectivity on my phone or laptop at the arena. There was a huge talk about this by the organizers at the end of the event and he did mention the trouble they went through trying to get the up link upgraded to at least 20Mbps. Apparently, the manager at the venue MLR Convention Hall, Whitefield had no idea that the WiFi in the place was pimped up with the best equipment available. Super noob he must be! The organizers of the event almost bought new equipment to set up the wireless at this place, thankfully they figured the WiFi was bat shit crazy awesome. They also realised it was on a shitty 2Mbps line and they asked the Reliance guys to upgrade atleast for just 2 days but they refused, possibly stating

Indians are used to 512kbps being called broaband, they might die of vertigo if they went faster than that!

The other major players in that area asked for prices like 2L for 2 days of wireless internet at 20Mbps. Well nothing could be done here, but the effort of the organizers was definitely worth mentioning! They put up a great event against such adversities.

Well, what can we say! WiFi is the bitch of every conference. Its like an angry bird, it will always bring down the structure of orderliness you created for the big events!

First Flight: Part 3

Beautiful city with beautiful people, yes very beautiful people is how anyone can describe Barcelona. A city that runs on football and skateboarding along with cheese and lots more cheese! It was the end of the little successful stay at Barcelona. 4 of us were making our way to the airport and we all were so sad to leave the place! We wished we could stay back longer and enjoy the awesome atmosphere that prevailed. We entered the airport and it was absolutely beautiful early in the morning. Got my bags checked in and then decided to do the shopping that I should have done long back, this was going to be funny. That information can wait for another post, this one has info info about the hilarious flight back to Bangalore, India.

I was scared that carrying an extra bag full of merchandise and chocolates would get checked out during boarding but luckily nothing like that happened. I pushed in my baggage under the seat, yes I was scared someone would take away my chocolates, ok which one of you doesn’t want to get your hands on a bag full of chocolates? Moving on, i hid my bag pretty well and then dozed off till Paris, the flight was a local flight kind of, so nothing extraordinary just slept. Landed in at Paris about 45 minutes late and my connecting flight to Bangalore was about to leave in 30 minutes. I grabbed my baggage and dashed to Terminal C from Terminal A or something. Well, its like running across a city, the airport is so huuuuge! Final got into security check, had only 10 minutes to go before they closed boarding. There were a bunch of Indians ahead of me, asked them if I could cut line, all of them agreed except for one goofy middle aged Mumbai bound retard. Managed to enter the flight minutes before they closed and little did I think this flight back home would be the most troublesome ever!

To start things of in a very nice way, thanks to the delay in the flight from Barcelona, I missed my upgrade to business class and also my choice of food. Fifty minutes into the flight, the air hostess starts serving food and she never seemed to bother giving me anything, after about 1 hour of me waiting patiently she comes over and says,

Sorry sir, no Indian veg food is available, would you like European veg instead?

My stupid arse brain made me believe the trade was decent enough and I agreed almost immediately, and then came the super food. Trust me, what i’m going to describe in the next few lines may be massively underplayed.

Leaves, from all kinds of trees frozen at -2 degrees placed on a plate like it was the epicenter of an earthquake and loads of slimy stuff they call olive oil or whatever that is supposed to hold the “DISH” together. To top this, a beautifully uncooked vegetable mash that looks like the stuff your digestive system generates on its holiday. To top this all a sweet dish, it tasted like raw pumpkin!

Well, obviously I could hardly eat the stuff I was offered, I chose to tell the lady she can have her European Veg! She felt sad for me I guess and asked me if I would like a drink, I said “Non-Alcoholic please”, god knows how she did not get the non part of that sentence. She gave me Red Wine, i assumed it was not alcoholic since I specifically asked for a non alcoholic drink. Turns out nothing was going to go in my favor that evening! I put on the TV above my seat and thought i’d watch “Megamind”, well I managed most of the movie before something happened. Before that, lets get back to the Red Wine, so I take a small sip and it tasted really bad, worse than the stupid sweet they made! Like my usual practice of throwing stuff in the bin or out through the window when travelling by train or bus [remember first flight!] I searched for an opening, not found! So I thought what the hay, let me just finish this down. I gulped down the whole drink and continued watching the movie. Everything sounds good, doesn’t it? Well here is where I looked up to see the distance we have traveled on the big screen and boy oh boy, was the screen spinning around! Took me a minute or two to realize the Red wine had overtaken my senses, well what could I do after that! Prayed to god that I shouldn’t make a mess on the flight and I went to sleep only to be woken up by the thud made while landing at Bangalore! I felt pretty good and was confident the high was gone.

Was I glad to be back! Finally I could spend 15 bucks and not feel bad about it, you know euro 15 bucks is equivalent to a huge hole in my Indian pants! Well this ends my posts about the first flight journeys! My first experience and something I will remember for a long long time. Not to forget I should thank Karthik, for if not him I wouldn’t be writing this blog post cause I wouldn’t have had my first flight yet!

Cheers!

Face the book!

For some 24 year old this is his billion dollar business, for everyone else this is their favorite place to meet new people and keep in touch with friends. Yeah I am talking about Facebook, the place where

We love to say, Gosh i’ve an exam tomorrow and haven’t studied and wait for likes on the comment but won’t use the time in hand to study.

We love to sit and comment on statuses from people we don’t know, just to make a connection or while away time.

Every girl gets 20 likes for a post that is absolutely stupid, and a guy’s biggest achievements gets a like or two.

An update that has something against the college you study in or the place you work in gets more hits than updates about national happenings.

Having said the above, the place where we try to show our patriotism by posting absolute bull shit, just to make a story scandalous.

We take cheap shots at people we hate, cause we don’t have the guts to say something face to face, at times its to avoid a psycho on the other side too!

We try to make a friendship flourish when we think its dying out.

We try to make the smallest little thing in our life sound big, and vice versa.

First up i’d like to agree that I also do most of the above mentioned, and i’m pretty sure its the same with every Facebook user on this planet. Well all this sounds like super fun and cool, doesn’t it ? Like everything on this beautiful world has more than just one pretty FACE, so does our killer social engine. There have been quite a few incidents where you’ve had unwanted people getting to know about you, just because you were stupid enough to unsuspectingly click on ” Yes, add as friend ” some time back. Many a times some comment that was made in a light mood hurt you and you thought about it over and over again even though there was nothing to worry about.

Lets look at a few things that have gone wrong and a few things that could go wrong. We all have around 300 friends atleast, how many do we actually know really well? How many do we actually still meet? Not many right, so what is the probability that something has happened in their lives but you don’t know about it? More specifically, what is the probability that whatever change has occurred has a link to your life in not more than 3 people in between connecting you to the change? Trust me its pretty high.I could propose a law here that states,

The 6 degrees of seperation is a rough estimate that is 2 times more than the average value predicted by facebook!

Well not exactly, but almost every person on facebook has just 2 friends in between, try out and let me know if you find this wrong! I haven’t done too much of testing on this but found so many of my friends from school friends with people I met randomly in some other city.

I had this friend of mine, she had friends over at her place and she was just showing one of them pictures of her with a best friend and their party last evening. So all pics are fabulous and suddenly, the expression on her friends face changed . Any guesses? Her best friends current boyfriend is this persons ex boyfriend. Ok how awkward would that be? I can only imagine, anyway so what exactly did Facebook do here? Lighten our mood, or spoil it for the worse?

Family, something that is nice up to a limit, an overdose could be fatal. We love to spend time with our family like literally, but online? Really? I don’t think so! Family members have to be nosy and find out something wrong in what we are doing, well it is their pastime and probably their way of getting even with some family member, lol! Few of us are lucky that way, with cool aunts and uncles who couldn’t care less about the shenanigans we pull online cause they know we are kids and we are bound to screw up within limits.

How many of us are eagerly waiting for the next election results or the new changes in the government? I know many of us are, but the number of people who are following the changes mentioned at f8 are at least 3 fold! Well my point is Facebook has become a intangible part of our loves that cannot be forgotten. All said and done Facebook has provided an amazing platform  for showing off what u=you have achieved and also in promoting your latest ventures. The promotion bit has not worked too well in my case though, I have a project that needs votes and of the 300+ friends i got only 49 cared to vote or I shall just assume they were so lame that they din’t know that clicking on the vote button would cast a vote.

My article from Microsoft newsletter

Microsoft a dream destination for many engineering students, but realizable only to a select few was kind enough to give me a sneak peek into the world of sophisticated yet fun software development. Two months that remain and will always be the most cherished period of anyone who has been an intern at Microsoft can be described in 3 words, Play Work Freak-out.

 

For most of us it was the first time we ventured out of the house to live away, boy was the change so easy to accept. Making new friends from around the country was a real different feeling and experience. Not to mention the exchange of ideas on so many different topics from gaming to geek talk, the whole concept clicked so well. From a bunch of UG students that joined 2 months ago we leave as semi-professionals that have lived the best of both worlds over the first half of the year.

 

Interning at Microsoft Corporation has been an enjoyable experience from the first moment we entered office to get our temporary ID’s. The rapport that the FT shares with the interns who they just got to know is unbelievably comforting. Not to mention their readiness to play different sports with the interns. The environment was always so lively at work. It had the perfect blend of relaxation and fun. Work used to happen at its own good pace while the fun factor was never let to drop with constant visits to the Foosball table, pool table and TT. From amateurs to pretty good players at the end of the intern stint in each of the above mentioned was only possible by the regular practice that we got every time we took a break from work. The facility in the campus is nothing short of awesome. Beautiful sports facilities both indoor and outdoor, the Tennis court and Basketball court are up to the mark and provide amazing playing experience, not to forget the huge football field and the amazing lighting to facilitate evening games. Well maintained and well used, Microsoft gave me the perfect opportunity to develop as a sportsperson and programmer. The food is something that I was really worried about when I first came to Hyderabad but as it turns out the cafeterias have superb food at such affordable prices hence rendering the food problem non-existent. The pantry is one of the greatest installations I must say, few yards away from the cubicles; it was a quick source of refreshments.

 

The lack of timings I felt would actually never make me work, but as it turns out I was wrong. I actually made myself pretty regular at everything I did and maintained a healthy plan for everyday right from waking up early, having my daily dose of physical exercises to working when it mattered and developing my outdoor sports skills. This place made me learn that with Flexibility we assume automatic responsibility. The freedom at Microsoft is something almost every individual working in any other company would crave for. The trust that the company shows on its employees is actually an incentive for us to hold their trust in us and not violate the very few rules that are laid on us. Rules that are the bare minimum for any organization to function.

 

The fun did not stop inside the office, it just continued till late night every day invariably. The location of the guesthouse was so perfect that we were well connected to almost every part of the city, with just a bus to reach them quick. Weekends are actually a bit damp until afternoon when the outside fun begins again. Not going to office on weekends actually made a huge void in our schedule, no we’re not workaholics; the office has its own fun things to offer. It’s funny when people say they miss office, but it’s a fact when you are an intern at MSIT.

 

Overall the best experience that I have had till date and probably the best for a long time to come, a period that will remain engraved in my thoughts forever. The place to work is Microsoft, undoubtedly the best in the industry in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction.

 

First Flight : Part 2

I’m back with part 2 of the first flight adventure of mine, last time I left off at getting down at CDG. Well now that I was in a foreign land where the temperature was almost freezing and it was my first time abroad, I could hardly think. Every time I let my bag sit down, I could almost hear my dad shouting at me,

Idiot take your bag or you’ll lose it.

Well anyway I managed to hold on after that, now I read on the web that i’d have to go outside terminal B to get the bus to the next airport, yes I had to change airports. Like CDG was not big enough to accommodate another airport on a Sunday! I guess it was a good thing as I got to travel through Paris, FYI my mouth was always open in awe, how the hell can  a place be so clean! I come on to the airport floor and try to figure out where I was and which direction I had to go in, seeing my lost state a Pakistani driver asked me if I wanted a taxi, i got scared that i’d get mugged for no reason and started running away. He was not scary or anything but there were no other taxi driver inside the airport asking people! Finally I found a board that read terminal D, i was happy thought just two alphabets I don’t have to walk much! Ok how wrong was I in thinking this? Like the worst estimate I had ever made in my life, I walked for close to 20 minutes at a rapid pace before I got to terminal B gate and then finally asked the receptionist how to get out of the place. Oh and I forgot to mention, the taxi costs 122 euros for a ride from CDG to Orly airport! I was like what the, I can rent a AC taxi in India for that price and do a whole trip of Karnataka and also stay in a luxurious hotel. Well I had done my research and found out there was a shuttle bus between the two airports every half hour.

Once I got out and reached the bus stop, i saw boxes painted on the ground that read the name of each bus, i made my way to the box that read Orly. Well I got something right for once, I waited for around 5 minutes and I saw the bus arrive. Like what I do when i spot a BMTC bus in Bangalore I started walking towards the bus thinking it’ll stop wherever it wants. Well it parked itself perfectly in the box that was drawn for it, i was stunned at the precision and discipline they follow even when the road was completely empty. Got into the bus and paid 20 euros and tried hard not to convert it into Indian rupees cause I knew i’d feel like an idiot for paying 1300 INR for a local bus journey, i’d probably be paying a tenth of what i paid there here in India.

So the journey began, beautiful is a word that can only describe a fraction of what exactly transpired through my eyes. The roads are so smooth and clean i wouldn’t mind living off the streets here! The speed limit was 100 mph and the bus was travelling at exactly that speed and to my pleasant surprise even when changing lanes they use the indicator and yes even when the road is empty. Finally I reached Orly and this airport was as beautiful as CDG but really quiet and empty compared to the former. i took my baggage and tried to figure out where to go, found a English speaking police dude and he directed me to the check in counter.

Now the comedy was about to begin again, like people can’t make a guess that I’m Indian and probably wont understand French! I go up to the check in counter and there was a long queue, I din’t mind standing in. The kind of people there my god, I felt like a dwarf, most of the women there are my height and the men are at least half a feet more than me. Then there was a bunch of kids who were going on a surfing holiday to Barcelona[ yes I was going there too ! ] and they all had their surf boards all packed. Finally after around 15 minutes of waiting my turn at the check in counter, I dropped my bags on the weighing scale and handed over my passport and ticket over to the lady and assumed i’d be done without a conversation here. She said

Bonjour or born chor or whatever and something something yupwei asdkhadh cndjsfgha

I was like excuse me? French naaku telledhu! Ok that was telugu, well I din say that I just gave a stupid expression and she understood I din get a word of what she was saying. She finally translated to english and asked me if I wanted both my bags as checkin, I said yeah sure and then she says Sir that would be 15 euros. I was like what! Then she immediately understood what had happened and said

Sir you can take one of the bags as cabin baggage and you wont have to pay anything

I said, well that is more like it!

Made my way to the security check and like every other south Asian my beg was completely checked and so was I, well I surely hope this discrimination would stop someday. Nevertheless I made it to the waiting area and felt really hungry, I had my mom’s parantha but it was in the bag that i checked in, so I decided i’d go around looking for something to eat. The food stalls looked beautiful and unlike India where they have a small circle depicting if something is veg or non veg, these guys had nothing. Only non veg all around, I asked at a bakery if he had anything vegetarian and he said No! I was like oh god, please let the animals live. Went hungry for the next hour and a half and finally boarded the plane.

This plane was those 42 seater ones, small and I was pretty scared that it would crash, really such a small one? Anyway got it and I got the last row window seat and it was right next to the loo. I was a little disappointed, but that disappointment was soon going to disappear, a pretty lady sat next to me and the seat next to ours had her pretty friends. Well I did smile a bit but decided to whack that stupid expression before they noticed, again i went clicking my camera to get the beautiful air shots of Paris from the sky. I loved the pictures I took, I shall add them at the end of this post. So this lady who sat next to me soon realized I was travelling on flight for the first time, and she asked me what I was going to do and stuff. We spoke for about half an hour and the flight descent began. This flight was not that bad I must say. *wink*

Barcelona airport is so beautiful, I lost my breath for a moment, i quickly took my baggage and went out to take a taxi to the place I was going to stay there. All kinds of cars stood there as taxi’s and there was a neatly organized taxi stand and one airport authority making people get a taxi and leave. No fighting there, I stood there in a line and I was given a Benz, i was delighted and gladly sat into it and we covered a distance of around 40 miles in 25 odd minutes. The view of the streets was breath taking and I finally reached the hostel and took a good amount of oxygen in and settled down.

The next two flights were the funniest, I still laugh at what happened to me! To be continued and finished in part 3 of the series.

Cheers 🙂

 

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BattleField Version Negative 3.0

Inspiration has been something that fueled the biggest companies to develop from almost nothingness, people on streets one day and the CEO of the biggest companies that the earth has seen. What was it that made such transformations possible? Ideas and the passion to execute them in the best capability of theirs. Well I think I have found my inspiration today, sadly I know that this is not the next big thing, actually its the next big thing that people are going to laugh at. In my college for this semester we have a lab course called Computer Graphics and our instructor has given us a project requirement to complete the course. Well thankfully she was ready to let us make anything we wanted in any language and platform we wanted in. I was trying to think of an idea that is simple but would definitely make a few people notice it. So I started watching TV to get my inspiration, surely I did find my source finally. Today the 8th of September has been my day of enlightenment.

So lazy Thursday afternoon, mom at home and we decided we’d watch a Tamil movie, from a young age I’ve been fascinated by the movies that play stories of God’s, the battle between the good and the evil. What interested me most in these movies was the colorful weapons they used to battle it out. So today I sat down and started watching “Sri Kanchi Kamtchi” on KTv and began to enjoy the movie, the good jokes here and there and all the ways in which cinematography had to improvise to make animations look good in those days. After about 1 hour and 15 minutes into the movie, we had the first battle scene. A evil king gets a boon from Lord Brahma that he be killed by a living being that is not born by the union of a male and female, as usual our Lord Brahma gives the boon and smiles away to glory. Immediately this evil king starts destroying the planet and Brahma goes to lord Shiva again as usual for help and finally they synthetically develop the goddess who slays the demon king. The manner in which the demon king was slayed intrigued me and the colorful arrows clashing during battle sparked a thought in my head, the thought that i’d be implementing as my Graphics project submission.

A game made in 2D most probably using TURBO C++, well not important for now, a 2 player game. Game played over the network, each player gets to pick a god and weapons of choice.  Depending on the time of the day the game is played, each god gains or loses abilities. This is purely a bow and arrow game, each player will have a wide choice of arrows out of which he chooses 10 arrows. for each battle Every arrow type has another arrow type that it will always dominate and one type by which it will always be dominated. At every iteration each player chooses an arrow and fires. The type of arrow remains a mystery till they meet in the air and start spraying stuff or incinerating everything in its path. Over time each god gains skill such as speed, vitality and courage that will help make future fights intense. Also an exclusive GOD Shop where each god can be equipped with artillery and war toys. If you get bored with the god/characters that i’ll be putting in the game you can also add new characters by editing simple text files.

Well the idea is simple, so will the game but I am pretty sure whether the game play is awesome or not the time i spend on making this game is going to be the best coding sprint I will ever have. Anyone who wants to add features to this is welcome, I have made a Google form, please update it when ever you get an idea. I am still looking for a project partner, so anyone from my class interested let me know! Can’t wait to start coding.

Cheers

First flight stupidity

Everyone i’m pretty sure around me would have traveled in an airplane more number of times than the number that tells me my age, well almost everyone. My first time came in February this year, and to make it even more special it was to Paris, yes my first flight was also my first international flight. Well as awesome as that sounds, the kind of thing s i experienced in the plane were nothing less than the most apt qualifiers for ‘India’s funniest videos’, if a show like that were to come up. Starting from the time I entered the airport gates to coming back to India, each flight had its own way of embarrassing me. Before I get into the details, this trip was possible for me only because of one great friend of mine Karthik Laskhmanan who gave me the opportunity to work with him on one of his projects.

My dad was really worried, by really I mean the highest level to which someone can be worried about anything, he feared that I will be so bad in taking care of myself that he preferred the earth spinning the other way to me traveling alone. To start things off in the most awesome way, by the way this was one time I wished cell phones din’t exist, my dad called me for every 2 ft distance that I covered after entering the airport. He kept looking through the glass and telling me,

take a right, no take a left, ugh you went way too much to your left, move back right.

Umm ok dad, anything you say, I almost forget to be excited about my first flight! Anyway so I go over to the check in counter, ok what do I do now? Phone continuously vibrating, i know it was my dad. The guy at the counter asked me for my passport and my ticket, that was simple I thought. I still had not picked up the phone, so duh it kept ringing and vibrating, but seriously i needed to get my boarding pass here. For a moment I thought i should just run, thankfully the small brain I possess asked me to keep cool and get my boarding pass first. Ok so this guy sees that I am clueless and starts asking me questions like why I am going, he asked me to show all my documents and stuff. Well after 5 minutes of interrogation he said thank you sir and gave me my boarding pass and told me I could take my bags as cabin baggage or give one of them as check in baggage, ok pause, what is check in baggage? I’ve heard my dad say check in a hundred times but never realized what it was! Anyway I thought i knew the meaning of cabin so I chose cabin and then he gave me a look that said,

Dude please take your bags from the weighing machine and go!

Not my fault I thought it was cabin baggage and it would be delivered there! Guess not, so much for service, ok what was i thinking! Anyway i took my boarding pass and all my documents that I had kept in a neat file like I was going for a interview, well during my interview I was more relaxed than this. Not to forget I had booked my tickets late, and god knows for what reason I got a full upgrade for the trip, Premium Voyageur it was, all this din’t make sense to me until i returned back to India and traveled on a domestic flight. I take out my phone, not too sure if the display read 15 missed calls or 16, before i could call back my dad called again, and boy did i get a shouting for keeping my bags behind me while talking to the check in counter guy. My dad says

You are so surely going to lose your baggage at this rate, always keep your bags in sight. ” Few more really pleasant dialogues here “. Cabin baggage is baggage you carry along with you into the plane and store it under your seat or in the boxes above your head. Check in baggage is what you leave in that giant conveyor belt and it will be delivered at your destination airport where you can pick it up from another conveyor belt.

I said Bingo! Got that dad, and i promised i’d handle the bags carefully henceforth. Anyway I was still in his sight for another 20 m so he stayed on the phone. My dad loves me and I love him too 🙂 Finally there were these big boxes with “Immigration” written on it, I was warned by many people that these guys can throw you out if they get pissed off. So i called my dad and asked him how to go about this, he gave me a brief idea. Well then I walked up to one of the counters and the person there was a Tamilian! Well I thought this should be easy, he’d let me go easily. Not the case, he asked me questions like why who where and checked my documents twice. Finally he stamped my passport, ok he did not stand on it, he used those rubber stamps.

Anyway I assumed the process was done, for once I was right, called my dad and told him i’d sleep till the flight was announced. That was again going to be the first time wait, the pass had a gate number mentioned so I went there and waited for an hour or so. The flight was at 2 am, finally the flight was announced and there was a freaking huge queue, i went and stood in the longest as I assumed i was in the cheapest fare. Well I was wrong, one guy who saw my pass said, ” Dude you have the special entry gate for you, you don’t have to stand here!”, i was surprised and not too sure if this guy was pranking me to get me out of line. Well i took the chance and thankfully he was right, i got one of the big seats and it was so comfortable. My neighbor for the trip was a guy from Paris, he saw my excitement and the way i was looking out of the window he immediately asked me,” First time?”. I said yes, he asked again, ” First time Paris? “, i said yes and added “First time airplane!”. He gave out a laugh, lol, i laughed too.

Now for the series of comedy events that took place,

Flight from Bangalore to Paris,

The air hostesses were so freaking tall I was pretty scared they’d throw me out if I did something stupid, tried to keep calm on the surface. They started giving out dinner on the plane, me being the usual Indian thought we need to ask for dinner else they wouldn’t serve us, I raised my hand the air hostess came over and gave me a warm smile, i felt like ok they will be nice to me, “Ma’am i’d like a vegetarian dinner” and she says, “Sir please wait, don’t worry we will give everyone dinner in turns”. There went my face searching for a place to hide. That was so embarrassing, soon enough I had the dinner on my seat flap and I was wondering how to eat it, so i waited for my neighbor to start eating and I ate in the same order he had. Well food was really bad, and my neighbor seemed to like it. He left a small packet unused, I had that packet on my plate too, the label was written in French and all i could figure from the picture on it was that it had something to do with milk. So i opened it and saw hardly any milk in it, what do i do? Well i just sipped it up and thought “hmm, French don’t like milk”, they have so less. 5 minutes later, the lady comes and asks me if I wanted tea or coffee, umm ok I chose coffee and she gave me some black liquid. I had no idea what to do, so waited for my neighbor again and now he opened that small packet and poured it into this and  drank! Crap i thought, what do I do now? I just kept that coffee thingy aside and waited till someone cleared it off.

Once the flight landed i was glad that i was over with it and hoped the next few flights would not be so hard on me. I just got out of the plane and holy mother of god! It was freezing out there and it was raining, the temperature was 2 degrees Celsius. A drop of 20 from my comfortable Bangalore temperature. Well I tried to like the chill, it became fun after a while, will never forget the shiver that i experienced there. Got into the bus that takes you from the plan landing area to the terminal, yes I was in CDG! The bus kept moving and is the airport big or what! Ok this post is becoming way too long. I’ll write my next few posts each describing one flight. 3 more to go, follow the series! The funniest parts are yet to come.

Cheers