Saturday, May 29, 2021

CLaaS Computer Lingo as a Service

 

As we have been locked inside, let’s use this precious time for another Online CLaaS. This CLaaS is not a part of the education that has been relegated unessential to remain closed and exams canceled due to the pandemic.  This is a service to help us with Lingo: Tech jargon and terms. For those outside IT Industry it is still relevant to equip yourself with these terms as you will someday be a consumer of IT now that business transformation and online presence is as essential as oxygen levels in your blood.  So introducing our new startup idea ‘CLaaS: Computer Lingo as a Service’. We will provide users AI-driven Online system with 24/7 support to users who want to survive the cruel world of IT Language used everywhere. It is fashionable to use AI-driven in everything and as a zeroth law, you need to use terms even as in our case there is nothing AI-driven.  

Since we are talking about IT scape, we are talking across eras of Mainframes, Y2k, Dotcom, J2EE, Web-services, Mobility, Cloud, DevOps, IoT, Big Data and Analytics, Micro-Services, BlockChain and now AI/ML. Now we have thrown in a lot of terms, first rule is not to get overwhelmed by the terms. The idea is to use them left, right, and center even if you may or may not know its meaning in totality. 

But before you venture into Technical Lingo you will need to get used to the lingo of office meetings. In the days of agile sprints, you need to attend daily Scrum. Agile development is nothing but a way to keep IT people busy through various meetings and short releases of new changes of software every two weeks adding to the trouble of end-users. Sprint is a kind of race to achieve a level of disturbance in the happy life for users. Scrum is a daily meeting. There is a scrum master as well as a ringmaster. You need to add one of the following terms to each sentence you say: Synergy, Teamwork, Touch base, Raising the Bar, Think outside the box, Best Practices, Paradigm shift, the next time you feel to reach out, Empower,  Keep up the good work,  Gives 110 %,  It is what it is. Yes, it is what it is.

Then if at all you need to sound profound you need to use techno-jargon, OOPs: Lingo (this is real oops not Object-Oriented Programming). Remember the good old days of learning BASIC languages like C.  Good old Fortran (Formula Translation) was used to reserve your train tickets with Indian railways. Cobol was abled in mainframes where we thought a bad date would bring world down on night of Dec 31 1999. Nothing happened but a new language developed after C which was to be baptized as D was named as Java which created Dotcom boom and bust. Those on Microsoft soft side added Visual to Basic and C, C++.   People were also enthralled by crazy reptilian-sounding terms like SAPs and Corbas. The Doras of the world used explorers and navigators to scale the World Wide Web living on cookies and brewing Java.  

On the Hardware side, we lived on PC XTs powered by P1, P2, and Pentiums while connecting through dialup modem which created extra-terrestrial music to the nocturnal animals then. Remember these pre Broadband days. Offices had ISDN and Leased lines. Office networks were as complex as only CNN could handle. I remember someone calling Certified Novell Engineer qualification wrongly as CNN. That was the basic inspiration behind CLaaS to help people avoid such embarrassment.

Let’s leave hardware and communications as we Software users (and developers) only deal with operating systems. The mere mortal looking outside Windows –NT/XP/2000 fought with Unix elites who used command prompt to demonstrate tricks of their trades within Kernels (like dogs), telnets, and gophers.  Open-Source added its own devout followers writing their code under public LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP).  As we saw Microsoft with its .Net weapons took on Java Engines to conquer the webspace. People were fed up with these wars and introduced SOAPs (Service Oriented Architecture Protocols) to clean themselves of dependencies.  But still, people needed something different and they looked up to the heavens and then there were Clouds. No one knew what cloud was but everyone talked about Clouds: Computing on demand. Don’t invest in infrastructure, use it as you need. This was so relevant in these days of consumerism. Don’t limit your dreams by available resources. Use credit cards to pay for your dreams. No wonder an eCommerce company like Amazon invested heavily. Everyone had one cloud, Public, Private, and Hybrid: Google had one, Microsoft painted its own Azure.  Mobile devices became smart and everyone including Moms and their kids learnt coding from Whitehat Junior and started building iOS and Android Apps.

People then saw Sci-fi movies and came to the Internet of Things where devices had intelligence. Analytics and Big Data were buzzword where people believed big companies spent a lot to analyze their inexplicable user habits. People were now amazed by another language named after a reptile: Python.    We believed that Social Media was Orwellian Big Brother controlling our lives. Companies use Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing to reach out to customers.  Agile processes added its scope to DevOps. It is nothing but efforts done by companies to make developers and operations (maintenance) team work together to avoid the ‘Tu-Tu-Mai-Mai’ blame game. People then started using the read hardware term Blockchain mistaking it to be the same as Bitcoin currency.  Finally, we are now in the realm of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. These days everything is equipped with AI/ML algorithms.  These AI algorithms can be frustrating as well sometimes for example when you are trying to get your way across voice recognition telephone support calls unsuccessfully. 

Hope you like our small demo of our Computer Lingo as a Service which itself is named on Anything-as a Service model used popularly everywhere now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Art of Taking it Easy

Last week I attended two webinars one about Project Artemis by NASA Scientist and author of book ‘Art of taking it Easy’: Two completely unrelated topics.  On one side you have people who intend to conquer the final frontier. On the other side, you have people who strive to win another frontier by using Humor to take it easy and come out a winner out of Stressful situation.  But people who do try to conquer external frontiers are heroes of society while people who have tried to take it easy and spread laughter are ignored. But then do they care? No, they take it easy.

 You have Nobel prizes, Forbes lists, Business awards, Padma awards, Khel-Ratnas, Olympic medals, Oscars, Grammys, and many awards acknowledging every achievement of every trade. But there is no way society acknowledges the role played by people who have helped to relieve stress in daily lives. Maybe the best actor in a comic role or laughter champion winner is all a comedian can achieve. Apart from John Steinbeck who received it in 1962 for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception, no Humorist has ever received Nobel Prize for Literature. Even for Steinbeck, it is more for combination and not humor. Other winners have as examples have won it for their ‘condensed, translucent images which give us fresh access to reality” Or for ‘concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicting the landscape of the dispossessed. Even one of my favorite Marathi author P L Deshpande has not won Jnanpeeth Award as he depicted the everyday life of people he has used humor as a tool to point of idiosyncrasies, hypocrisy, complications of common lives.  

 Americans are derided for working themselves to the bone all week just so they can lay around in their pajamas on weekends, watching other people live their lives on social media/TV. Even in India, people work their days out commuting to be able to save money which they feel they can spend to buy their happiness through dining, vacations, shopping, etc.  Ultimately it’s all about happiness, so why not take every moment easy, resort to humor and be happy.

 Now that we are in a stressful situation during the pandemic, what has helped us: Jokes, Memes and other humorous forwards which help us laugh on plight we face? The author of taking it easy has suggested a way out of crisis to focus on the positives around and ease the situation around. To do that we need to assess the threats, accept what we cannot control, stay positive. In fact, humor is a natural stress-management tool. Coping with and minimizing stress is what humor is for. Laughter relieves anxiety, lowers stress hormones, and helps us to calm down. I can’t tell you how to find humor in your situation, but as much as we can, we need to laugh and just take it easy.

 The next question is how to create humor during stress. There are of three ways to explain simplistically. The first way as Aristotle says is a ‘play’ method. Just like kids play after studying for long, adults play with words and thoughts to create humor. The second way, Freud says, allows the expression of thoughts that society usually suppresses or forbade thus creating sarcasm and relief of suppressed emotions. A third way is 'incongruence'. The contradiction between two different things creates a neutral view of the reality around us and helps us view stressful things from a different angle.

 One of my favorite authors PG Wodehouse used sarcasm as a tool against the might of Germans in his radio broadcast though that was misconstrued by everyone.  What is the difference between Wodehouse and Shakespeare as Wodehouse himself says:

“I suppose the fundamental distinction between Shakespeare and myself is one of treatment. We get our effects differently. Take the familiar farcical situation of someone who suddenly discovers that something unpleasant is standing behind them.

Here is how Shakespeare handles it in "The Winter's Tale," Act 3, Scene 3:
ANTIGONUS: Farewell! A lullaby too rough. I never saw the heavens so dim by day. A savage clamor! Well, may I get aboard! This is the chase: I am gone forever.
And then comes literature's most famous stage direction, "Exit pursued by a bear." All well and good, but here's the way I would handle it:
BERTIE: Touch of indigestion, Jeeves?
JEEVES: No, Sir.
BERTIE: Then why is your tummy rumbling?
JEEVES: Pardon me, Sir, the noise to which you allude does not emanate from my interior but from that of that animal that has just joined us.
BERTIE: Animal? What animal?
JEEVES: A bear, Sir. If you will turn your head, you will observe that a bear is standing in your immediate rear inspecting you in a somewhat menacing manner.
BERTIE : I pivoted the loaf. The honest fellow was perfectly correct. It was a bear. And not a small bear, either. One of the large economy size.   "Advise, Jeeves," I yipped. "What do I do for the best?"
JEEVES: I fancy it might be judicious if you were to make an exit, Sir.

BERTIE: No sooner s. than d. I streaked for the horizon, closely followed across country by the dumb chum. And that is how your grandfather clipped six seconds off Roger Bannister's mile.

 
Who can say which method is superior?"  The same calamity is expressed differently. What is the better way of facing it?

 

While nothing to undermine the achievements as monumental like the Mars Mission or Man on the Moon, the resilience and importance of humor amidst a crisis is also monumental. Sense of Humor remains the most underrated quality of human beings.  

 You may remember the words of George Bernard Shaw when you try to laugh your way out of the shadow of sorrow. Life does not cease to be funny when someone dies, any more than it ceases to be serious when someone laughs

 

 


Thursday, May 13, 2021

From Normal to New Normal

 

Mr Today has adjusted to a new normal. Mr Today wants to hand over the past normalcy handed over by Mr Yesterday to Mr Tomorrow. But Mr Tomorrow is worried if he could adjust to the good old Normalcy.

It all happened last March. Two gentlemen used to meet at a popular Manhattan joint for Breakfast every day. One Mr Yesterday used to hand over its baggage and instructions to My Today. Eventually, Mr Today would meet Mr Tomorrow to do the same the next day.  This was happening since the beginning of the inhabitation of this place by humanity. There was a cataclysm one fine day thanks to a brand new virus that originated from Wuhan and Mr Today waited to hand over its baggage to Mr Tomorrow. But Mr Tomorrow did not turn up at all for many days.

Everything stood standstill, but Mr Today found his new normal during this year. Despite all odds, he found ways to survive. He tried fighting the virus through all means he had. He learnt few very important lessons. Most important of that was to be prepared for any eventuality in life. He learnt to prioritize things he needed most and live minimally.  Most of the things we mainly struggle for in life like status gains through high-end dining, big cars, posh addresses, vacations, and so on are meaningless. The key is to remain happy and positive with 'real' things like basic necessities and health. He has learnt that the real heroes are the ones who ensure continuity and normalcy in life like the utility guys, grocery delivery men, police, health workers, army, government, and banking.  Globalization was threatened and the environment had a chance to revive as he observed. And finally, he has learnt that Remote is the new normal. And having spent a year adjusting to this new normal, can he return to the old normalcy?

The most impacted sections of our society by this new normal are children and senior citizens.   Imagine being restricted to indoors forcefully (though these days many kids do out of choice) and not having a chance to interact with kids of your age. Few of them would have forgotten about old normal. The only novelty in the life of senior citizens is to interact with others. They have been asked not to do so.  It must be really difficult for these two groups to adjust to the new normal. They will be happiest to return to normal. But the question remains: What about the others?

Few people had no option but to return to the normal, but many are now used to the new normal especially on the work side. If things do return to normal are we ready to face it?

Let’s start with the commuting aspect.  In the new normal, we are now used to regularly ‘commute’ within the same house to the workstation.  You have added at least one hour to your daily life. More minutes to use for spending quality time with family, more time to do creative things, read books. Forget about traffic jams of metros, pollution, crowds. You may miss the socialization part of office life but the overall effect has been positive.

Will we adjust to actual meetings after spending hours on Zoom, Teams, WebEx’s? Imagine you would have to focus on listening to every word said or slide presented on the board. There is no escape of mute button /stop video option or new window to open or checking social media. Are you ready for that?

For students, they will have to now again be prepared to listen to the teachers in actual classes, appear for exams in an examination hall, submit physical assignments and so on

We should be prepared to give upon flexible scheduling allowed by lack of need to log physical hours in the office. To some, this facility was already there, but it is now the norm in the new normal.

We have learnt to multitask in this new normal. Many people have tried cooking food or at least prepare the ingredients, cutting/chopping vegetables etc. while attending meetings. Some have tried writing reports while attending meetings to save on time as another example. That has added few more hours to our daily lives. We have watched IPLs, Aus-Eng Series while doing our work. Forget the lighter side but it adds a serious dimension to our life.

Will those who have stopped the travel for work, be ready for those jaunts involving air /train /bus travel, Hotel rooms and inevitable delays, lost sleep, bad food etc.? Or will this never be the same again?

Though most of us agree that things will never be the same or normal again after what we went through but more concern is will be able to be comfortable with others/strangers occupying the same space as ours again in our lives. Mr Today does not have answers for Mr Tomorrow.

Socially we have tried to connect over online platforms and have even conducted events as a new normal. But many have tried to defy the new normal and have tried to return to the old normal especially for the ‘play’ side of things. We tried gathering socially, tried taking vacations at away locations, dined out, and attended events. And we have seen the impact as a result of that. We are facing another round of uncertainty.

When you look at the situation, one year and few days is not a very long time in terms of overall individual life. But somehow the impact this crisis has made on the way we live is phenomenal and the uncertainty around it is the real problem along with the medical issues. To both these problems, the only solution is being stronger emotionally and increasing the natural immunity. The importance of mental and physical health/hygiene often ignored was highlighted by this pandemic

Survival and the adaptability of humanity is being tested again and Mr Tomorrow will definitely have all the answers.

 

 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Selection Day

 

We celebrated the decade we spent after the monumental six at the Wankhede on the 2nd of April 2011. Was it the second-best day for a diehard Indian cricket fan or was it 18th Jan earlier this year when Rishabh Pant jabbed going past the bowler for three runs to win Historic test at Gabba?  Another point to debate as the famous Marathi Author P L Deshpande has said: Cricket is more a sport of talking than actually playing it.

25th June 1983 was the best day that changed cricket. At the helm was the greatest Indian cricketer in terms of talent and impact according to me: Kapil Dev. For those born in the mid-seventies, our cricketing experiences started with the sheer excitement Kapil brought on the field as an all-rounder.  This fairy tale story of the underdogs beating a champion like WI and beating England, Australia, and Zimbabwe (in that famous match) during the tournament was something out of this world. 

On 18th January 2021, we observed a change of Guard for the ‘World‘s Best Team’ tag. The same event happened on 3rd May 1995 at Sabina Park, Jamaica when Australia defeated WI by the same margin 2-1 in the well-fought series in the Caribbean.   WI team dominance of the 80s with its batsman and pace bowling was replaced on that day by the combined excellence of Australia. After the transition decade of the 90s, Aussies ruled the Naughties (the 2000s). Similarly after the transition decade of the 2010s, incidentally after the 2011 WC win, 2020’s will belong to India. And 18th January was the start date.

Let’s provide statistics of the domination of the Indian team compared to Australia in all three formats in the last decade after 2nd April 2011.  In Tests, India has won 54 out of 102 matches played, lost 30, and drawn 19 and a W/L ratio of 1.76. In comparison, Australia has won 54 out of 104 played, lost 34, and drawn 17 with a W/L ratio of 1.55.  In ODIs, out of 220 matches, India has won 136, Lost 72, and tied 5 with a W/L ratio of 1.888. Australia has played 190 and won 105, lost 75, and tied 1, with W/L ratio of 1.4. To complete the formats, in T20 out of 114 India has won 73, lost 36, and tied 2 with a W/L ratio of 2.02.  The ratios change significantly in tests after Jan 2015 when Kohli took over mid-series vs Australia after the sudden retirement of MS Dhoni.  The W/L ratio is 3.07. In ODIs after Jan 17 when Kohli took over, it became 2.28.   Indian fans have seen the dark days of rare victories amidst regular defeats in the 80s and 90s. Indian team foundation set by Ganguly in 2000s built further by Dravid, Kumble, and Dhoni has now culminated in the highest pinnacle winning against Australia in Australia that too at the famous stronghold of Gabbatoir. This has more significance than the statistics. With the popularity of Test going down, it’s not just about winning a bilateral series. It’s the handover of the mantle that makes it more historic.  

We Indians are not process-driven generally.  India now aspires to conquer every sector. This process-driven success template based on higher standards of fitness which results in better fielding, catching, and running between the wickets has taken things to next level in cricket as an example. Individual brilliance was always there in Indian cricket right from 1932. Gavaskar’s dream debut and Purple patch in 71 changed things a little bit in terms of resilience in Indian cricket but the current regime has made an impact and delivered. Thus we have dominated cricket in all formats despite ICC Silverware eluding us after 2nd April 11 (   CT13 win was significant but was not a world cup just like Bensen and Hedges in 85). ICCT20 WC in 2007 completes the Top moment’s list. Reaching top test ranking in 09 was kind of underrated as it was based on home series wins.

2nd April 2011 was significant as a tribute to the generation of Sachin, Dravid, and Ganguly, with overall brilliance of VVS, Kumble, Dhoni, Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvi, Bhajji, Nehra and Zaheer. World Cups, ODIs and T20s are at top of the popularity charts.  On the other hand, 18th January is a tribute to the next generation of Talent of likes of Pant, Bumrah, Pandya, Jadeja and an unlimited supply of a set of new backup players supported by the experience of Pujara, Rohit, Rahane, Ashwin, and Kohli. Now the next target of this world-beating Indian team is to backup this potential and convert it into ICC Silverware including the final of WTC.

Just as a leveler, like the zenith moments, let’s also try to rank the nadir moments. Despite the lack of occasion, the emotional impact of the Miandad’s six remains the lowest moment. WC 07 ouster would be the second-worst moment. The semifinal loss vs NZ in 19 ranks next as we were clear favorites.  The WC semifinal losses in Kolkata96 and Mumbai87 rank as well closer. The final loss to Aus in WC03 was kind of undermined due to winning vs Pak earlier.  CT Final loss in 2017 vs Pak and the dark away series in 2011 England and 11-12 Australia also features in there.  The dark era of the 90s created emotional trauma for fans but then we had that master blaster. He singlehandedly eased out things around him, provided a billion dreams and eternal hope during the liberalization era.

In between IPLs, we have seen the best ever cricket played by the Indian team across three formats with a depleted team, winning five out of six series. Our depth and will has been tested like never before including the infamous 36 all out, and the team somehow always came out with an answer. It’s been breathtaking. And 18th Jan 2021 sums all this up and thus selected as the second-best day for an Indian Fan.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Hall and the Knights

 

Steve Jobs has said that one has to “Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish” to be successful. Our Halls (hostels) have taught us to be hungry -Literally. Those who can survive four years of Hostel Food can survive with anything edible including airline food. Remember the scene in the film ‘2 states’ where Arjun says to Alia that you will get used to both the quality and rationing of Hostel food. I still remember hurrying up to Hall-mess to find a semblance of thickness in the Daal or to find a leg piece in curry at all. Adjusting the food has taught us to be resilient and survive. We survived on various forms of eggs served at night canteens open till sunrise for night-owls in our Halls.

What makes me remember this? This Holi weekend I happened to see the 67th National award-winning best Hindi film Chichore again.  This film based on Hall-life is directed by someone from the IIT fraternity. I can definitely associate with the concept of lifelong bonding built on those four years of Hall life as well as the Inter-Hall rivalry depicted in this well-made movie. It triggered a chain of my own memories. I relished every moment of Hall Life as those were the best days of my life as Bryan Adams would say. Forget the sarcasm of staying hungry part, I sometimes wonder if my degree has imparted me more lessons to survive later in life or was it Hall Life that has helped more.

After studying books like Hall and Knight (made famous by the E V Rieu in the same-titled hilarious poem ending with “And Knight, he winked at Hall, and they printed off the Algebra and sold it to the chaps”) which symbolize all the lessons across all the physics, chemistry, and mathematics subjects needed to crack the entrance exam we entered those Halls of Fame. And life has never been the same again.

Now comes the stay foolish part. This Learning starts in the first week of Hall-life. All the pampering done back home vanishes as you are just one of the many around you. The realization that you are ‘foolish’ than the ‘idiots’ around you starts after interacting with people with different capabilities, backgrounds, and thought processes.  The huge ego boosted by social recognition achieved just by getting admitted in the system is busted by acknowledging the individual brilliance all around. This survival among the variety of your peers then gives you the inner strength to get assimilated into any system be it Corporate, Governance, Research, Academics, and finally the Society.

Hall Life teaches you time management. You need to land up for tempo and cheering to your hall during the inter-hall competitions.  You also need to practices for events in which you are participating. Pride of Hall is of utmost importance as depicted in Chichore. Each second of sleep is very important to catch up with the accumulated sleep deficit. To reach your first lecture at 8 am you need to get up at 7 40 to gain your additional sleep. You need to manage the brushing and dressing to reach the mess, to grab something termed as breakfast, and pedal toward the lecture rooms: all within 20 minutes.  Daily ablutions are a luxury as you can use your time for that on a weekly basis. You need to chat endlessly with your Hall Mates, be entertained, and finally, you have to manage your study/assignments and academics.

Hall Life teaches you collaboration. Though I am not sure how it happens these days with everything going online. But during our pre-internet era during exams, you can pick your own subject of strength and explain it to others in a group study. With the load divided between collaborators, it was easier.

Hall life gives you priceless lifelong bonds as depicted in Chichore.   These bonds you build with your seniors, peers, and juniors are more important than professional networks (which though help significantly in professional life as well).   Our seniors were our Natural Intelligence Enabled User Manuals to guide us through their experiences across academics and beyond. We played the same role for our juniors. Thus the cycle of life continues eternally across the batches in our Halls.

Hall life also gives you the experience of dealing with unscrupulous people who are so convinced about the rat race that they don’t leave a single stone unturned to reach the top. You find such people in the latter part of our professional and personal lives. Remember Chatur in 3 Idiots.   3 Idiots was another movie like Chichore and 2 states based on Hall Life. That movie had a narrative deviating from cliché, that Nerds were heroes and not comedians. That was quite a reflection of India’s story especially in IT and now Pharma.

Finally, the most beautiful byproduct of hall Life is the lifelong quest for a reunion. The emotional aspects of reunion are depicted effectively in films like Rock On where friends separated by personal issues reunite to recreate musical magic they created during their college days.  And how can we not mention Dil Chahata Hai where the central characters vow to reunite every year. Despite Facebook and Whatsapp, we don’t connect to people with whom we spent days and nights together in those Halls.  There is one more film scene that still is etched in my mind is from the film Rang De Basanti where DJ played by Aamir says that he doesn’t want to graduate because many stalwarts in College life were lost in the oblivion of mundane life outside the campus.  Definition of success is tricky and cannot be compared on any standard scale. So when you brush aside those worldly comparisons, what transpires in any reunion is the sheer nostalgia of those magical years spent in those Halls of Fame.

Life lessons are not learned in the books like ‘Hall and Knight’ but these Halls grant you Knighthood to fight and survive any challenge in the outside life.

 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Tale of Two Connecting Rivers

 

For a Nutmeg like me to inhabit in the ‘Land of Steady Habits’ that is the Constitution State of Connecticut out of all the fifty states of the US is just a divine Connection. This is a connection defined by two rivers. One of these two rivers is the good old Mula-Mutha running through Pune and the other one is River Connecticut running through this US state that is named on this river.  To define this connect in Mathematical terms,   this is a case of linear correlation:  What Pune is to India is what Connecticut is to the USA. And it was very easy for a diehard ‘Punekar’ like me to assimilate into Connecticut culture.

Let’s start with the parallels in the History.  The name Connecticut is actually a native ‘Indian’ term ‘Quinnehtukqu’ meaning a long land on the long tidal river. Connecticut River originates in Canada to reach this state from north cutting the state centrally to meet long island sound in the south. Initial Dutch Settlers from NY traveled up here to form small colonies in and around the 1610s. The Pilgrims who had landed near Boston and later Puritans who came in after the Pilgrims inhabited the state around the late 1630s during the same time when Shivaji Maharaj entered in the ravaged city of Pune along with his mother Jijabai.  Pilgrims were the colonists from England who formed New England to seek out a new life as they were not so well-off people. Puritans came in later to form new order highlighting conservative values they found wanting in England that was then. These were well-off people. Thus they tried to form order through the order of rules. The first constitution was written here and thus Connecticut is called Constitution State. People from Pune are also famous for writing their own rules in form of boards named ‘Puneri Patya’. This is called the state of steady habits with the affinity to comply with rules and being conservative. People of old Pune were also termed as conservatives but I disagree with that tag as Pune has given the country many reformers. This state is called Nutmeg state as people in this state are eloquent, ingenious, and shrewd that they were able to make and sell wooden nutmegs.   The same can be said about old residents of Pune. Even now Connecticut is called ‘Still Revolutionary State' for its role in American Independence and after. The same can be said about Pune. Connecticut's greatest contribution to the war of American Independence was the fact that it furnished many supplies to the Continental Army.  The state of Connecticut was an essential industrial center for World War II.  Connecticut produced 54% of all ammunition for the United States during the war, as well as producing brass, rubber, and many other things.  Just like Pune is playing its role now in Covid war by supplying Vaccine to the world.

The area of Connecticut is 5543 sq mt which is slightly less than Pune District. Connecticut is located between NY and Boston just as Pune is strategically located connecting regions of Deccan to the coast.  It is a part of the Tristate of NY NJ and CT as well part of New England with Mass, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  This state along with the entire New England area turns into heaven in the fall season with fall colors same as Pune turns into heaven in monsoons.  The woods of Connecticut are very famous. The green slopes, idyllic neat villages, rich towns, lakes, forests, rivers make this area very beautiful just like the hills around Pune. This state has a slogan that it’s a state of forests and hills. Winters are harsh and summers mildly hot and sticky but more or less weather is fine due to proximity to the coast just as old Pune weather was in the past.

Before and after World War II this was a very industrialized state making submarines, engineering goods. Many products like Frisbee, Vacuum Cleaner, sewing machine, toothpaste, dictionary, submarine, can-opener were first made in the world in Connecticut. After the 90s it lost its prominence due to taxation policies. To generate revenues this state opened up policies that allowed setting casinos and till recently boasted top two of the largest Casino in the western hemisphere (surprised that Connecticut casinos beat Vegas). Though it is still a financial hub with Hartford, the state capital is called as the Insurance capital of the world. The state which gave the world J P Morgan hosts top financial honchos in the rich NY bordering towns like Greenwich, New Canaan, and Westport. Similarly, Pune became the auto and IT hub of India. The world-famous universities like Yale, Wesleyan, Connecticut College, and UConn are located here. It has a rich sports tradition with loyalties for baseball and football divided between the bigger teams of NY and MA.  UConn basketball history is the richest in the US.  Pune also is known for universities and institutions. US Navy has few big bases in CT same as the Indian army has bases in Pune.

Pune has great Food culture as Connecticut. The world’s first lobster roll and the burger were made in Connecticut. The New Haven in CT is famous for pizza. Celebrities like John Mayer, George W Bush, Meg Ryan, Katherine Hepburn, Mel Gibson, and Meryl Streep are from this state. Many rich businessmen, CXOs, have selected the rich towns of Connecticut to Reside and retire. They say if you are retired rich you are in Connecticut. Pune also was at one time a retirement paradise.

The human mind is very adaptable as it adjusts to the place where destiny leads it. My own life journey started near Mula Mutha River and has reached the banks of this Connecticut River where I have created many memories as well. Life is like a river always flowing with events leaving back memories of civilizations along its banks. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Follow Request to your Gen-Next

 

For someone who is a diehard fan of magical teamwork of Gulzar’s Poetry, RD’s Music and Kishore’s voice, it is a challenge to familiarize and further appreciate the individual brilliance of Taylor Swift on all three departments. For someone caught in a time warp at the stroke of midnight when we changed calendars into this new millennium, my sudden quest to familiarize with Taylor Swift Music has a story of its own.

The story starts from the date when we decided to spend some time in the US. From a timid pre-teen in Pune to a college-going young adult attending online classes at one of the world’s top colleges in this continent, my daughter’s transformation has been quite remarkable. But hang on this is not a typical ‘Desi’ parent boasting about exploits of his ward, though I could not avoid acting like one by telling you this needlessly.  After all, I am a Desi parent. A major part of my daughter’s transformation happened during those four years of much glamourized high school years in the US.  Though I have seen enough US films and TV myself during my own formative years and adulthood, I never had the slightest inkling of what it would be like being a teenager’s parent in the US.

But the parental issues are universal. In India my daughter was in her pre-teens, parenting was a challenge with a lot of questions. Should I be a pushing parent or a lenient one? Should I restrict her screen time? Should I get her a smartphone with social media access, should I filter contents, and so on? But having observed those years back then and now having Closely observed high school years in the US of my daughter, I have learned a lot of things to write a parenting manual for today’s Generation. The first thing to do is to a send follow request to your next-gen in order to befriend him/her.  It’s not a cliché friendship but something I mean as ‘Bruh’ one. And to become a ‘real buddy’ or’ Bruh’ you need to do certain changes in your digital and physical footprints.

·         Get on to ‘Insta’ and Snapchat: Forget your Whatsapp and Fb accts. FB and Whatsapp are the places to hangout for Uncles and Aunties. If you want to be in tune with the Next-gen, you need to be on Insta or Snapchat. You should learn how to create reels and boomerangs. You should go live once a week with irrelevant things to say. You should be snapping with you ward quite often.

·         Use Google suite:  Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides instead of Word, Excel or Powerpoint as its ‘cool’ to collaborate especially for homework/assignments and so on. Everything that happens online should remain online. Hard drives are boring. Office is for the offices even in these 365 days of mobility.

·         Load yourself with caffeine. You need to survive in this cruel, cutthroat and complete your assignments. You need that extra alertness, smartness, and that kick. Ensure that your supply chain is stacked with coffee powder or the Energy Drinks like Monster. You appear trendy with your ‘Cupp-o-joe’ in your hand.

·         Forget AM on the clock unless it crosses midnight. Start your days as late as possible to coincide with NextGen Timings the way you ensure collaboration in your onsite-offshore team. Early mornings are only allowed after a night out.

·         Load your playlists with Lofi music if you need to study anything or concentrate.  Lofi (Low Fidelity) music is compulsory for studying. You won’t get the concept unless you have that kind of music in your background. If possible have that virtual ‘Studygirl ‘as your study buddy. If your ward listens you playing Lofi with Studygirl you will be very popular.

·         Acclimatize with K POP (BTS). If you discuss the Korean Pop music brand Bangton Boys you will climb up the popularity charts.

·         Another trick to be popular with your ward is to help him/her with the hardest of study assignments. News will spread fast in the friend’s circle about your achievements in calculus or mechanics that you will be popular in the entire school/college. We Indian parents can definitely manage this. This in turn will make your ward popular and you will be definitely in the good books of your own ward.

·         Don’t be a soccer parent in front of their friends.  The last thing you need is to boss or scold or push your ward in the presence of their friends. You will lose some many points in the TRP charts that it will be difficult to regain the lost popularity unless you do any TRP scam.

·         Know as many as Popular slangs: BT Dubz is By the way (Dubz means letter W),   hmu (hit me up meaning reach me out on social media), Bruh (best buddy), Duh (wasn’t it so obvious), and so on. The list is long. There are many web resources to help you with that.

·         Familiarize yourself with Khan Academy. This is the place your kids hangout more for studying than any other place in the world. And more than lectures, YouTube videos teach you topics you have opted to learn. If you partner with your kids with a deep know-how of these two resources you will be a Rockstar.

My daughter is an ardent Swiftie. So I want to be one as well as mentioned at the start of this story.  Please note these are tips that I myself have figured out. Soon I plan to start classes on this parenting topic in the local circuit. Once I test that, this is going to be my next startup idea.  

But I appreciate the clarity of thoughts and sorted out priorities for this Gen. Our Gen had no option but to succumb to the rat race and society pressure. This gen has got no baggage and they will stop nothing less than a victory even when they can get away with a draw. Fear of failure is a history.