Archive for January, 2010

when your lover gets married.

Jan 31, 2010

This is for JK, who wrote the following in his comment on symptoms of being in love a while ago.

I really want to know what are bhOndOO’s views on “When your Lover gets married”.

I again consulted bhOndOO and he came up with the following symptoms. I had expected a humorous response, but the symptoms have taken a mostly serious turn.

When your lover gets married,

  • first you cry a lot, and then you start enjoying life.
  • initially, you feel jealous of her spouse. Later, you feel compassionate.
  • you feel like ending your life, some of us try it. Those who succeed at the attempt, leave others in sorrow; those who don’t, get good wives.
  • she asks you to continue to be her friend, and you feel it to be an offer of demotion.
  • when she gives you the marriage card, you almost feel like getting slapped.
  • you manage to find several reasons for not attending her marriage. Strangely, nobody asks for them.
  • when you meet her after the marriage, howsoever moody, comic, tragic, serious, mawali, heroic, charming, notorious you are, you behave like a perfect gentleman.
  • when you meet her children, you are watchful whether the children call you Chacha (paternal uncle) or Mama (maternal uncle).
  • when you see her name on your mobile display, your mind goes through a complete era before picking up the call.
  • when you receive an email from her, you look for all the reasons for not replying.
  • suddenly Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm stops outputting a path that goes via her hostel/house.
  • the frequency of your friends asking you to go for a movie/picnic/trek suddenly increases and that of you agreeing suddenly reduces.
  • when you both are attending the same function, you make sure you are at the farthest point from where she is.
  • you try several times to delete the folder of her emails and fail miserably every time. You succeed, when your marriage gets decided.
  • you don’t want to get drunk in front of your wife, because you are unsure what you would speak.
  • if your wife does not know her, you make all the attempts for them not to get introduced to each other.
  • you start sympathizing with the movie actor, howsoever stupid he might be, who does not get the heroine in a love triangle.
  • despite hard attempts, you cannot forget her mobile number.
  • if you have to pay for her coffee, she does not make any attempt to pay you back.
  • your favorite singer changes from Mohammad Rafi to Kishore Kumar or from Kishore Kumar to Mukesh.
  • you try for an hour to compose a mail on her birthday and cannot decide whether to start with “Dear”. You end up not mailing her.
  • despite what happens, you never hate her.
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thanks to the drunkards.

Jan 30, 2010

Dear drunkards X and Y,

I am unsure whether you remember, but on the night of Jan 29, 2010 around 23:45 at tea-board, we were seated at adjacent tables. I realized your presence when I smelled something. I saw X smoking and asked you to go out of tea-board. X said nothing, but Y started arguing — in a ‘slow speed’. The speed made me realize that you both were drunk.

I had seen both of you around, hence I knew you were students. Incidentally, I was accompanied by a Students’ Council’s Steering Committee member who immediately gave a call to the SC Chairman, who suggested him to ask you to leave the place as an SC member.

Yours fortunately, you were accompanied by one of your friends Z who was not drunk and who understood the gravity of the situation and took you out of tea-board, since you were not even able to stand without support. The situation ended without much trouble.

In retrospective, I feel scared that the issue could have easily taken a serious turn at any point. I personally like drunkards — I feel they are the only people whose words could be trusted. Additionally, I feel compassionate towards them — because according to me, they drink for not being happy with themselves. However, had Z been not there with you, we would have called the SC Chairman and the event would have taken a formal turn. Had I been not accompanied by the SC Steering Committee member, I would have asked the security guards to remove you from tea-board and would have been forced to lodge a complaint. Worse, had I not remembered to call the security guards, I would have dialled 100 on my mobile. Having a criminal record is one of the worst things to happen in anybody’s life — unless you want to become a politician. The record follows you till your grave and life gets miserable at every step.

I myself would have felt bad for being responsible to affect your future. I am thankful to you and Z for not letting this sensitive matter go out of hands. Drinking and smoking are your private matters, and I don’t want to preach you to stop it. But I would like to suggest you to be a bit more careful in public places, because, if something happens, you will always find yourself in minority.

May God bless you.

bhOndOO.

bhOndOO at yahoo! hacku.

Jan 28, 2010

Day -4.

“Hi bhOndOO.”.

bhOndOO turns back, involuntarily smiles and exclaims, “Oh! Hi.”.

They start walking towards the department.

“You are coming from outside?”.

“Yes, I had gone to Malleswaram to buy an iPod.”.

“Oh! Got one?”.

“No actually. It was a bit costly for me. I came back without buying it.”.

bhOndOO feels bad.

Day -3.

bhOndOO mails one of his classmates during BTech, “Hey Butti, how are you doing? Long since we met. Come to Bangalore some time.” and then finds nothing to add. To please Butti, he writes, “But I keep track of the happenings in your life via your facebook/orkut updates and your tweets.”. To end on a light tone, bhOndOO adds, “So, when are you getting married? Do you still follow ‘her’? — bhOndOO.”.

bhOndOO receives a one liner as a reply, “bhOndOO, my latest tweet has a link to my flickr album where I have uploaded my daughter’s photos. — Butti.”.

Day -2.

bhOndOO, Gullu and BenJi in Computing Lab. Gullu is complaining about the latest version of the LANCE framework not compiling in the current Ubuntu version.

“Man! Why don’t they keep versions backward compatible! It was working in the older version 9.04. I just reinstalled Ubuntu 9.10 and it started giving these errors in LANCE 2.0.”.

“Have patience, Gullu. Just see what those errors are.”, BenJi.

“I have been trying since last night. This is just ridiculous! I have a conference deadline coming and I need to run my experiments. These versions are going to kill me.”.

bhOndOO snaps in, “Isn’t this versioning system designed to help us?”.

“What do you mean?”.

“You at least know that your program does not work in a particular version and works in another. Without proper versioning, things would have been much more haphazard.”.

Gullu is not at all in a mood to listen to philosophy. He stares at bhOndOO for a while and declares, “If you decide, you will also version our lives!”.

bhOndOO laughs, “Relax man, relax.”.

BenJi gets thoughtful, “Actually, at least our daily life on internet is already versioned.”.

“What do you mean?”.

“The traditional world wide web is called Web 1.0. It contained some sites belonging to companies. With social networking and user-generated content like blogs, we are currently in Web 2.0.”, BenJi’s profound knowledge.

bhOndOO, “Then what would be Web 3.0?”.

“Ah! We are not there yet. But people claim that it is going to be about the semantic web. For instance, you could ask your computer ‘I want a cheese pizza right now and then I want to go for 3 idiots in Vaibhav Theatre.’. The system will order a pizza wherever you are, pay from your credit card, book tickets online and may arrange for your taxi to the theatre and back to IISc campus — all on its own.”.

“That would be amazing!”, Gullu.

“Actually not. When we all would be in Web 3.0, we would take all those things for granted. What happened bhOndOO? You look worried.”.

“I am not sure whether I would like the system to pay directly from my credit card.”.

Day -1.

BenJi and bhOndOO in Computing Lab. BenJi sends a forward to all his friends. It is the description of a fashion show and how one model manages to twist her ankle while cat-walking on the ramp and falls down.

“BenJi, you are an idiot. You sent only the story. Where are the images?”.

“Come on bhOndOO. Just google for Lakme Fashion Show 2010 and you will get enough images and videos. It is as simple as that.”.

“Then why didn’t you do it before sending the mail!”.

Day 0.

Yahoo! HR and Developers announce the start of Yahoo! University Hack at IISc. Each participating team gets 24 hours to code the hack which would be evaluated the next day. The winning teams would receive iPods. That is the sole motive why bhOndOO wants to take part in the competition. Hence he goes in without knowing what he is going to do.

The HR person Chilli asks each team to describe its hack. The Yahoo! Developers then give their expert comments and suggestions for implementing the hack and how Yahoo! technologies could be leveraged to finish it in one day.

Every team talks about its idea. Adi and Bindi talk about image search using image as a query. Viki and Vini describe how emails could be better visualized. Abhi, Bhavi, Biggy and Debby talk about an evolutionary search engine combining Yahoo!, Google and Bing searches. Finally, the HR person Chilli comes to bhOndOO who is seated in a corner listening to all wonderful ideas, “What is your hack, young man?”.

“Ummm… I want to… I would… like… to do something… Actually it is not clear to me yet. But I would like to improve the Yahoo! mail system to show me tweets of the person while I am composing a message to him, I would like to extract semantic information from the mail content to be able to do useful tasks like automatically adding flickr images to the mail that would enhance the reading of the mail… and so on.”.

“That’s nice. Keep it up. Are you alone in your team?”.

“Well, …”.

“No. I am with him. We are partners.”. bhOndOO looks at his partner and smiles, involuntarily.

Chelli continues, “Great! So teams, we have heard the descriptions of all hacks. Please start your hacks now. If you need any help we are around for the next 24 hours. We will evaluate your hack tomorrow the same time. All the best.”.

bhOndOO turns to his partner, “But you are busy with your Rhythmica practice. You will waste a lot of time in this competition.”.

“bhOndOO, I think I know why you are taking part in this competition. And in this effort I cannot leave you alone. Don’t feel bad if we do not win. What matters is trying together.”.

bhOndOO missed a pulse at the last word.

“And don’t think I will waste my time here. The time I spend with you cannot be counted as waste.”.

bhOndOO does not know what to say. He manages to follow his partner to meet the Yahoo! Developers and gets some tips about the implementation. They then go to the Computing Lab and start their hack.

Day 1.

Amidst javascript debugging with alerts, parsing text issues and slow network, the teams spend the night and the next day coding. Some people get frustrated and leave. bhOndOO’s team uses OpenAmplify to get semantic information from a written mail, uses Yahoo! word extractor to get keywords, gets tweets of the receiver using wget and adds flickr images based on tags. The implementation is brought to life on bhOndOO’s CSA webpage. They name it Enrich.

24 hours get over. Everyone assembles in CSA Seminar Hall. The teams look half asleep, half hungry. bhOndOO and his partner are at the entrance of the Seminar Hall. The evaluation by the judges is about to begin, when bhOndOO hears something.

“bhOndOO, I had a nice time working with you. You are a wonderful researcher. Just be confident of yourself.”.

bhOndOO forgets to react.

“I am sorry, but I have to rush to Students Activities Center for Rhythmica practice. I will meet you later.”.

bhOndOO is forsaken before he tries to stop his partner. He enters the room and settles at a corner.

The hacks are demonstrated. Judges ask questions and evaluate the hacks. Chelli declares the result.

“And the winner is Enrich.”.

bhOndOO goes to the stage and receives two T-shirts, two certificates and two iPods: white for him and black for his partner.

In the night, bhOndOO meets his partner and gives a T-shirt, a certificate and, you guessed it, white iPod.

bhOndOO is looking down and the awkward silence makes the situation tense.

“bhOndOO, you want to say something?”.

“… Yes…”.

“Go on.”.

“You are a wonderful partner. Just remain the way you are.”.


Thanks to Adway for pushing me to write this story. The tweets shown at Enrich belong to Sudhira and I have used those without his permission. Sudhira, please don’t sue me.
I should clarify that there were actually three winning teams without order: Geo-targetted ads on Yahoo! IM, What’asZat and Enrich.