Friday, November 28, 2014

In which they all said Good Bye!

A few months ago I had tweeted that a potentially difficult decision was waiting for DYPC's fate. What it would be, even I didn't know at that time.

Couple of curious friends asked me about it. I didn't answer. They didn't ask again.

The answer was given last week: DYPC would be shutting down by end of November. It was greeted with same question from everyone: Why? Wife was even more surprised because only couple of months ago I had spent several nights updating a lot of code to simplify the process and make it more automated. What could have gone wrong in such short span of time? It was not a straight forward answer. It had taken me weeks to select between opting for a simpler directory model and discontinuing completely.

DYPC was not my brain child. It was Ankur's but I gave it my everything: time, passion, money (it wasn't very needy but whatever little it needed for hosting). Every few months some or other friends or volunteer would pitch in with an offer to help and some would even help for a few days. But it remained a lonely journey more or less for almost ever.

Every completed donation was a morale boosting affair. The "Thank You" mails from requesters would make all the time spent in mailing donors and requesters and even multiple followups seem worth everything. But lately the number of followups had increased and many times the conversation was getting stretched for several weeks (even months at times!) resulting in donors losing patience and ultimately donating PC to someone else. After doing everything, to be quite honest, such thanklessness on part of requesters was extremely demotivating. To be honest, this problem had become a norm rather than exception. Even after I updated code and made sending reminders easy enough process with warning of stricter actions it didn't help.

I guess it was the monotony. And probably the fact that DYPC became a pretty much thankless service. It was just existing and without any motivation (and support, if I may use that word!) it was not growing in any manner. Fatigue has started seeping in from quite some time now. Greeting e-mailers on special occasions had already stopped. Our blog was never exactly buzzing with activity but the occasional post was now limited to only occasional mention in media. Mails to the DYPC Google group (which went unresponded most of the times) too were discontinued. And nobody ever asked me why! To me it seemed that it just didn't matter to anyone. Maybe it did, maybe I was wrong. Too bad, we will never know. (Yeah, I am behaving like a child who is sulking because nobody would play with him!)

I will be blamed for not diversifying DYPC operations, not distributing the tasks, not forming a team, not continuing with an idea that was so novel that it is still not replicated. May be I will never plead guilty or may be it WAS my fault. Did I try hard enough or was I just plain unlucky? Again I don't know.

For that matter I don't even know whether to celebrate 6 year run of DYPC or mourn the loss of a venture that was so close to my heart. Even writing these words is reminding me of all those initial days when DYPC was in a nascent stage.

I will be moving on to other things but DYPC will always be something I will always love and remember fondly. I just hope atleast someone else does too!

Good Bye DYPC.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This blog just got a new post!

And now I am blank.

As I was trying to recall when was last time I blogged, I realize that I don't even remember how does my blog even look! And there was a time when I blogged quite often, had more than 1 active blogs, used to follow other blogs and commented on them (in more than 140 characters), even attended a blogger meet.

And now I don't even remember what my blog looks like! How did things come to this? I am desperately trying to find the reasons (to be able to put the blame on someone, anyone!)

My last post on this blog was on 27 November 2012. The post on my 'technical' blog was on 30th May 2013. My last tweet was 2 hours ago. The same was probably posted on my Facebook. May be somebody has already 'liked' or 'commented' on it.

Do I blame Twitter or Facebook for being dormant? Yes. Why write a 300 word article keeping language and grammar in mind, wait for comment notification mail, check for the number of hits to see how many people have read it, keep on waiting for comment notification, visit some other blogs and leave comments on them in hope that they return the favor, lose all hope in humanity when they don't, finally get a comment only to find that it reads "Latin ladyboys labyboy pics transvestite sex tgirl freeshemale.cum transexuals movies on Dhoni demands Motera pitch to be laid in every ground of India", kill yourself.

Instead write some witty shit in 140 characters, ignoring any semblance to what may seem like a normal english language sentence, if you can't think of anything yourself or if your wit is limited to 'Kejriwal izz Pakistani Agent. @bdutt #ChorMedia Modi izz Indian patriot. #GayForModi' (ok that last hashtag won't be there, but you get the idea) nick someone else's tweet or Whatsapp message and get instant gratification of getting RTd (Pro Tip: If you want to be RTd by Subramanyam Swami or any of the gazillions of Modi-tards use the tweet given above!)

However if your luck was forged in lead like me, you will not be able to do even that and then Facebook is 'just what the doctor ordered' (this phrase is a creation of Ravi Shastri, see I don't nick things off just like that!) Here the likes and comments are mutually exchanged, as explained to me by my wife!

But then the biggest hurdle is a word that starts with 'pro' and ends with 'ation'. No, I am not talking about procreation. Yeah, I did that once and the result is a little human who has just discovered that there is a power button on laptop which can shutdown everything but somehow it is lesser fun than trying to scratch out the keys on the keyboard. And that trying to wake me up by putting fingers is in my nose is more effective than an alarm clock.
The little human proving that none of my blog posts were eaten by her.

I actually meant Procrastination. They say practice makes a man perfect. You see I have been trying to procrastinate since forever and finally I think I am there!

So if you are reading this (really, you are reading this? yet?) I thank you very much. I hope you will leave a comment or like or RT or whatever it is that Google is forcing us to do these days through Google+. I will see you in another 15 months.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dhoni demands Motera pitch to be laid in every ground of India

It seems defeating India in India is going to be distant dream for visiting teams now. Captain M S Dhoni believes he has ironed out final crease from his winning plans! He revealed his plans in a press conference yesterday.

Blaming the curator of Wankhede Stadium for 'not understanding his instructions' Dhoni said, "My instructions were to make a pitch that offers turn from first day but was like Motera in all the other aspects. Wankhede pitch was not only turning but also had some pace and bounce which helped English spinners."

In response to questions that now that English batsmen have successfully negated Indian spinners what is his plan for next two tests, Dhoni said, "We have decided to not put our trust in the curators of other venues and  will carry Motera pitch to wherever we play."

When asked how can this be possible, how can a pitch be translocated Dhoni said if trees and houses can be moved then why not a pitch. He asked BCCI to train curators to make pitches like Motera as well translocate them when needed. He said BCCI should negotiate with other boards to allow them to play on the Motera pitch when India tours abroad.

When asked about defeat in what has been named as 'revenge series', Dhoni said, "Let them (English team) come to Motera, we will give them a taste of their own medicine." Gautam Gambheer and Virendar Sehwag seconded this opinion of the captain.

Dhoni stressed on the point that Cricket is not just a game where you need to bat, bowl and field better than your opponent, you also need to make wickets which suit you better than opponent. He said sole reason for Wankhede defeat is that "we missed in the last department".

When scribes pressed on the point that both bowling and batting failed, visibly irritated Dhoni said,"Itna tension lene ki zaroorat nahin hai. Bade bade deshon mein chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rahti hain".

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Is KBC a chat show now?

Like millions of Indians, I too have always liked watching KBC (Even when SRK was hosting it and even though  I hated that 'Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls', the phrase which Indigo's Flight Crew seems to have picked up.) and tried to be on the show (all those SMSs coming to naught!)

For me the star of the show was not Amitabh Bachchan but the content (Senior Bachchan is omnipresent on the TV anyways!). It were the questions. The fun of testing one's own wits against that of the contestant. The thrill of knowing whether the answer was right or wrong. Gloating when it was right and nodding somberly ("Ahh, I was thinking of that one!") when you got it wrong. That was the fun.

In previous season, even though KBC threatened of being an extension of UPA's poverty eradication programs with virtually every episode featuring contestant who seemed to be screened after a look at their bank balance (and perhaps their 'Below Poverty Line' certificate) and being a showcase of their sob stories (I admit, some of the sob stories were touching), the show worked because the content was strong. There was no compromise on quality and quantity of questions.

But this year, the emphasis seems to be on chit-chat of the contestants with Mr. Bachchan. There is so much conversation that there is hardly enough time for questions. We know that contestants want to spend a lot of time with Mr Bachchan and talk to him, pay their (and their family and extended family members' and their locality's) tributes, express their love and admiration and talk about how they are the first person/boy/girl/woman/(any other gender) from their state/district/city/town/village/block/mohalla (thankfully we don't have any foreigners or aliens else we would have 'first person from Bhutan' or 'Neptune') to 'reach this stage', but there is only these many times when one can watch some one gushing over 'Sadi ke Mahanayak' and how they have already won a crore just by meeting him. (Curiously the contestants of 'Ghar Baithe Jeeto Jackpot' on the show give precisely this reason whether they play or don't play for the jackpot question!)

The fact that almost all the contestants seem to be competing with each others in indulging in what can only be called extreme flattery doesn't add to the watchability quotient. Add to this the sob stories which seem to have been concocted just to fill in the template of the show.

In a 90 minute episode of which perhaps 40 minutes (or what seems to be atleast 40 minutes!) are dedicated  to ads. Sony is the only network whose HD channel has as long ad breaks as its SD counterpart and what's worse is that the ad breaks on HD channel show only the trailers of its own now-pretty-much-horrible shows.

Unfortunately KBC-6 has become a two-way chat show questions and answers thrown in, rather than the quiz show it was intended to be.