A dacade that was 00

Amidst the bustle of the year end, there is another decade also coming to an end. The zeros, like 90s or 60s had its own way of life. It transformed and revolutionized the world in its own language. For me, it was my college life, first job, first pay, many cities, many countries, new friends and a new life, but in the much broader sense, it had so much to remember in the years to come.

Here, let me list out a few things in my opinion, were mark worthy and will be remembered forever in history books!

  • The Dot Com Bust
  • The 9/11 Attack on World Trade Center
  • Mobile phones in daily lives of every Indian
  • Internet connectivity and WiFi for one and all
  • Tata Nano
  • India became T20 World Champions
  • Sensex at 21000
  • India ranked world number 1 in Test Rankings
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Obama
  • Economic Meltdown
  • Tsunami‘04
  • Harry Potter
  • Shoe thrown at US President Bush and other leader world wide
  • The 26/11 Mumbai Attack on Taj Palace Hotel
  • Godhara Massacre
  • Delhi Metro
  • Bhuj Quacks
  • Elections in Afghanistan
  • Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Ghajini & 3 Idiots
  • Munna & Circuit
  • Avatar
  • Dubai Floods
  • Swine Flu
  • The end of Virappan & Prabhakaran
  • The US invasion of Iraq, end of Saddam Husain
  • Attack on Sri Lanka team at Lahore
  • Susan Boyel
  • Roger Federer
  • Chandrayaan
  • Ramalinga Raju from Satyam
  • The rise of Sonia & Rahul Gandhi
  • Michael Jackson
  • USB, DVD, HD & Blue Ray
  • MP3 in household
  • Nintendo Wii
  • ……. And god knows what not…

You can add more in comments if you like! Just remember, it must be break through and must have defined something from the Jan’00 to Dec’09.

2010!

Happy New Year and a New Decade!

Report cards

After watching the movie ‘3 Idiots’ on my birthday last week, I still cannot stop thinking about the fact or the statement made by the movie. Go to college or school for the sake of learning, not for the degree. This is certain that the educational system in practice by most of the nation on the planet is based on the pupil’s ability to remember what is written in the books in those 2 hours time in the examination hall then his ability to think or caliber. The pressure loosing the 3 percent, 91% from 94%, is practically considered as a crime by many of the parents.

Sitting on the verge or time when I have to start a family of my own, makes me wonder as to how I can explain the rules of the game to my child and also make them follow their heart?

Either expect those BIG grades by just memorizing what is written in the books without understanding a word from them or doing what one wants to do. If I failed in making this balance, either I’ll be called the irresponsible parent who never made the kids finish their education or encouraged them for it or someone who just killed what was so dear to the child for his/her life or future.

This is all so confusing and makes my head go full of questions.

While over the years, considering myself as a victim of the educational system, I tried to figure out a way between.

The closest to the answer for this question came to me in International Baccalaureate, an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. IB has several schools in India and by the looks of it, it offers ample opportunities for the kids to learn and choose the way they want to be in the journey of life.

That said and researched, now come to the monetary part of it. How much is the fee? isn’t the annual fee in these schools much higher then what we paid for the graduation to the college? How many parents can actually afford it?

Leave IB, even the ICSE or CBSE schools are getting way too out of range.

Can’t we have a minister of education or a government who can seriously think of educational reformation and adopt the structure of IB into more and more schools across the country so the education gets more practical in life than just piece of papers with future written on them?

He was a 90 per center in schools, scored 80 in graduation and 78 in his masters before some MNC picked him for some annual package which was higher than his fathers entire life’s salary.

He never had friends in school, he was a loner. Whenever one saw him he was always on the way to or back from his tuitions. He got ragged in college, scored in the highest brackets, was teacher’s pet. Always an outcast, but happy to the fact that his parents were happy and proud to talk about him socially.

Sitting in his personal cabin in a far away country where his new job took him, he was crying.

Wondering what has he done wrong?

I am not going to complete this story because this is not mine and I am no one to justify someone else’s life.

My Story…

As Mr. Steve Jobs said in his speech at Stanford University, life is about connecting the dots. One cannot connect the dots of future but can join the dots of the past to see whether it was a life well lived or not.

My drawing is going good…

All the dots in my drawing are well placed and defined all the way to here. Mistakes, achievements, hopes, tears, smiles, love, pains, understandings, arguments, misunderstandings, fights, laughs, friends, parties, awkwardness, tight corners, failures, success…. It was a masala script!

I am not complaining.

I am just making the point that what if, there was a more comprehensive educational system present which concentrated on humans than report cards.

Projects, weekend, life

We are almost done with small module and another patch in the contact page in another module. QA for another project is done and bug fixes are in proceedings. One is live, another will go live EoD tomorrow and the last is slated for a 1st January release. Just don’t know what will befall after these projects are over.

I always dread it when projects get over and there is nothing substantial to look at. All these years experience tells me that in such situations all the web designers, however experienced they might be are called to design the company’s own website. This is where the darkest hour of the employment starts. The client, i.e. company management thinks they can call for of as many changes as they wish to as there is nothing of the importance is on the cards and designers must be kept busy. It is hardest to design when doing it for the management.

This is not a new thing and I have done it so many a times that it is now understood that until it is of prime emergency, the layout, however good it may be, rarely goes live. The process for the company website takes it own root which starts from the point of just-design-3-samples-and-send-over than information architecture or usability design.

This is really bad practice to do. As I said in one of my previous posts, the end result never hits the mark and makes a mess out of the situation blaming the designer for the blooper.

I am just hoping to not jump in the same thing all over again and getting my hands on some new client project where the rules of projects are written, agreed upon and settled before we spell ‘layout’!

Tomorrow, as they tell me, there is a party which is organized by Advait, Murli naidu and me for the other two’s respective weddings and my birthday. Don’t know how I got in the organizers list, but it is on. Though the party idea was initiated from another project team where I work with the developers for one specific client, I have invited my Design team in the party too.

I hope to have a good time.

Weekend was nothing much to quote of, we made fresh beans collected from my back garden and got some plum cake to enjoy the Christmas time. On Sunday, I went to see Dharmesh’s family. Dharmesh and I are friends from my Westbase days in Pune. He is now in the USA from some company in Pune and I am here in his home town.

All is fine and that’s all for now!

Aal Izz Well

This was not a perfect day at office. Initial struggles with priority sorting with more than one person in assigning channel. Then there were people to be assigned other work and discussions and agreements and disagreements.

The evening hours are drawing close and one delivery is in jeopardy due to someone has taken the entire idea of development in his own way as if the 5 screens application was something beyond 500 screens.

Readjust, realign, recheck…

Yea, this is the Christmas day and we all are at office.

Tell you the truth; I am so used to having an off day after my birthday after all these years. Tough times… will pass… aal izz well!

These words make me remind another cinematic triumph from Aamir Khan, 3 Idiots. It was a fantastic and fabulous film to watch. The education systems failure, friendship, life and one’s desire to lead a life on own terms, makes you feel and have the feeling of triumph and ecstasy.

Aamir has spoiled me of late by giving very special birthday present each year since late by releasing a movie on the very day. Be it 3 Idiots, Taare Zameen Par or Ghajini.

Ay! But who’s complaining?

Just wish to go home now; it was a very tiresome day. Hope to have a quite weekend.

See ya on the other side!

Birthday and future plans!

So the day is almost over and I am happy to be the Birthday boy. Got lots of calls, messages and mails for the day and many in office congratulated in person.

Yesterday, Priyanka went to IIM Ahmadabad as due to lake of internet connection at home, we missed the FPM application’s last date which was 15th December.

She got a cold shoulder from the staff there but it was a fantastic experience for her to be able to feel the number one institute of India. Better luck next time!

Tonight’s plan includes ‘3 Idiots’ and hope we’d get tickets for the late night show.

I have contacted the ISP Company here at Vadodara and hope to get the internet connection at home working over the weekend.

There is a lot to do in the coming years and B’ days give you tremendous opportunity to think over all the stuff and reorganize your life. And as the occasion owns it, the year also comes to the closer at the same time around for all of us.

So! What are your plans for the next year Dushyant?

Umm… Primary plan is to get Priyanka’s career on track for the PhD Fellowship thing. Second priority is getting a good bank balance this year. There are no prime expenses are in process so this must be done or pronounce it a flop.

Third priority will be to analyze if all this can be done in a foreign country.

So, does it mean that you are not happy at Vadodara?

No, this has got nothing to do with Vadodara, but it being a plan of the future since last 2 years.

What else do you mind achieving when you will be 27 or in the course of 2010?

A nice ‘Team Lead’ or ‘Head’ or ‘Manager’ added to the designation won’t hurt!

So, no ‘Papa’ addition to the profile in picture?

Don’t think so. Baby plans for 2011.

Why you are so sure dude?

I don’t know… The sure fire thing is, life never moves the way you wish it to be but making plans certainly makes one know where east is!

So! Best of luck and have a good life ahead!

Thanks dear! You are so very welcome!

B’day Tomorrow!

In just a few hours, I’ll be 27. I always thought this as a big number age wise, but to be here is so weird. I am not at all feeling like running in 28, I mean, this is just a number, isn’t it?

Oh! Come on… Stop shouting like a teenager…

Hummmm…

So, what you did when you were 26! Did that number owned you or you lived to your heart?

A freelance business, a new car, a new job, a new city, client site visit, a few new friends, a few wedding parties, holidays at new places, a new life and some new dreams.

Yes!

It was a good year and I lived it the way I wanted to.

Just cannot wait for the next year!

YeY I am happy(ier) now!

Web 2.0 – An Introduction

The term Web 2.0 suggests a new version of the World Wide Web. It does not refer to an update to Web technical specifications, but to changes in the ways Internet is used.

To take it in the right spirit, the conversion of websites from knowledge sources to knowledge sharing platform is all about the next generation of WWW i.e. Web2.0. Wiki sites, social networking sites, web-tops, blogs, forums, RSS/Atom feeds, folksonomies (cloud or tags on content) are just doing the same. Now we can not just take information from the sites but can change the original information or data and add more about any specific topic. Some of the most common Web 2.0 sites are Wikipedia, eBay, Amazon, imdb, Orkut, Blogger, Yahoo!360, My Space, and several others. User reviews, blog or article comments and discussion forums also comes under Web 2.0

All in all Web 2.0 is not about any new technology but the implementation of the existing technology in a more innovative way so that Internet can work more than just knowledge base but will work as a plate form for knowledge exchange. The Web 2.0 can also be referred as a revolutionary move as the data or information is now being collected, updated, voiced and shared by the people and for the people. It may be called democratization of the web.

The visible changes which can be seen in the current patterns of web utilization start from ratings and public opinion polls. Second major change comes as Share Point from Microsoft is taking preference as the Intranet for most of the companies. Now you can take part and voice your opinion in forms of comments, polls, ratings, blogs and wiki. The trust on the users or visitors is the key here. Though, the moderations are still there.

On a second thought, if you are looking for some information, the first thing you will do will be the Google. Here the search engine optimization of the site is more important then the URL itself. It gives the content writer the freedom to write and provide the information wherever and whatever he/she wants.

The Platform approach also gives a new way to service based sites than packaged software. Just as the Web 2.0 is about the innovation in the utilization of the web, the technology which makes it strong is also not new but restructure of the much popular old technologies. Ajax is one of the best examples for the purpose. A restructure or a new, cleverer use of Java Script and XML makes the whole Ajax more users friendly and powerful. Also the standard XHTML also brings in the new more neat and supportive base for Ajax to be crawled upon.

As O’Reilly said, “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”

The Social Circle

Yesterday I got a tremendous opportunity to attend the ND Gujrat Annual Function at Vadodara where almost all the ND families residing across Gujrat were present.

NDs from Vadodara, Ahmadabad, Surat, Vapi, Anand, Valsad and what not took part with tremendous zeal and participated in all the activities.

The function was a grand success and going-on from breakfast, Aarti, Narmadashtakam, formal proceedings, Lunch, words from the elderly, cultural program, quiz and dinner made the day as complete as it could be.

I was at the function with my wife, Priyanka, father, Mr. Mahesh Kanungo and cousin, Mr. Aashish Badole and could feel their happiness to greet and meet some old and some new faces.

The team at Vadodara organized the entire function so successfully that management was the keyword of the event. Mr. Katyayani was nominated President for the next three years for Gujrat ND Samaj unanimously.

I want to pass my heartiest congratulations and greetings to everyone who made this event successful.

This is Dushyant Kanungo reporting from Vadodara, Gujrat, India.

Avatar and Office

Howdy Life!

I am having a super busy schedule with work and family life. After return from Gurgaon, yesterday I was designated module lead for a project to enhance the current client site with additional module in .Net with team.

This is a good thing to do as the other project I am managing is almost done and there is no prominent activity to talk about.

Pure It from Hindustan Unileaver is a fantastic product as I realize now after getting it installed at home. It filters almost yellow tap water into clean, smell free drinking water with such clarity.

Yesterday, me and Priyanka were just riding on bike in the night and came towards the multiplex to find Avatar preview to start in 15 minutes. Without thinking twice, we bought the tickets and were in for a very special film.

Though it was in 2D but to tell you the truth this is not just a film, it’s an experience to have!

I can’t wait to figure out where in the city I can see it in 3D.

Later!

Another Blue Day (or evening!)

I feel so stupid at this very moment. Dead tired after the day’s work, just want to have a peaceful evening and not sure what to expect from tomorrow. The day was not like this, it’s just the evening.

This day easily can be classified as one of those blue days when your mind screams for something exciting and real cool things must happen to you.

If this is not enough, I am wondering what will happen when I’ll hit the mid-life crisis?

Oh Shut Up will ya?