Sunday, January 13, 2008

How the cookie crumbles !

Democracy is the last recourse for scoundrels is what is said and we seem to be hell bent on proving the adage right.
Our constitution is held up by the four pillars namely Judiciary who are its keepers, the politicians who are the makers, the bureaucracy who are the doers and the Media also called as the fourth estate the voice of the people, in short the reviewers. It speaks for the greatness of vision of the people who came up with the vision of our constitution to make a nation as nascent and adolescent as India when it turned into a republic, to aim for equality for all in all aspects of life. The primary dharma of each pillar is to stay true to its path and fulfill the work laid out for it. What the pillars have transcended into, in the short course of our independent existence after the imperial yoke being thrown away begets contempt beyond comparison.

More so the fourth estate which has to stand up and share in the collective sin in failing to do what it has been granted the civil rights to do. We see an occasional glimpse of what the fourth estate can do with excellent impartial coverage of an event without taking sides but then those occasions are so far and few between. Far from being reviewers of the other three pillars and the moral and social fabric, media has started to look like an extended arm of the other three. The strong voice and pen of the erstwhile thinkers are being replaced with sycophants and mercenaries which do not think twice of the damage being done to the role and the image of the pillar with their shenanigans.

When the common folks pick up a paper or switch on the TV for an opinion, they lay implicit trust in what they see and read. The connection is direct. We, the common folks do not have a direct contact with the political class, the judiciary or the bureaucracy on a day to day basis. The other three pillars work in the background as far as a common person is concerned, but the fourth estate is different. They share a bed and bug kind of relationship with the common people be it the first headline on the front page or a breaking news on the breakfast slot. Media has a responsibility to not just bring entertainment but also be the reviewer for the other three pillars. The voice of the common folks is the voice of the media, so that the other three pillars are always reminded that they are in the seat because of the silent denizens of the country.

Satyamev jayate - Truth prevails, the all pervasive motto of the Indian nation is by far the most idealist position possible. It cant get more equal than that in any aspect of life. What seems lost on the crumbling fourth estate is that, it is the “Absolute Truth” which prevails, not the make-believe “truth” that is generated by the views and opinions of a select few which sit in the editorial chairs or new desks. When a view is presented with sides already taken the viewer, if gullible is taken for a ride, and if the viewer being a thinker, is instantly turned off in both cases the view presenter not doing the dharma expected of it of being a view presenter and no more. We have not yet outsourced the decision making process to the media czars and it is extremely elitist to see some of the people who make up the intellectual chatterati of the country make a fool of themselves taking or what it seems to them intelligent position on a situation. With each passing day it is becoming more and more intolerable the way news or opinions being “manufactured” or generated in lieu of eyeballs in the vastly commercialized sphere of media in our country. A sense of elitism or holier than thou attitude also is being taken over by the so called channels and papers which each going out of the way to present a “I am better(at attracting trp‘s)” image at the cost of being upholders of our constitutional motto.

Example which beget the questioning of the media is the way some of the “elite” abetted a person to commit self immolation all but for the sake of a few eyeballs, what became of the elite no one knows maybe they got promoted. We have cases like the teacher who got framed by a wannabe “journalist” and get her career ruined to help bring news to the world. Even what is so evidently a political issue, the issue of reservations for a set of tribal converts against the non converts gets presented as a religious one as the bogey of saffron surge creates more eyeballs and wins more praise. Channels and presenters get awards not by standing up for the truth but by “presenting” the truth. The “elites” in the media take sides openly in the political spectrum to earn brownie points and maybe preferred slots for interviews, but in the process end up losing credibility which they have so painstakingly built over the period. For the media or people who make up the media, it is the credibility which is the holy grail. Just like money is for a businessperson, credibility is to the news person. If the view being presented is being done by a person who has lost trust the view also loses trust. We cannot have media barons lose the implicit trust that the people have on them by their open flirtations with power which they seem to have got intoxicated with. People are the best judge, they vote out politicians, protest when injustice is done, forgive when the need to move ahead is right and better for the country as they get more and more intelligent and more nationalist, people will start making choices on their own like the recent Gujarat elections proved and such a situation will be disastrous for the fourth estate for it will stand exposed for what mal-intent have committed themselves onto. The fourth estate having lost its way needs to take sides, not with “whoever is in power” kinds but “side with the nation and the truth” kind. There are no individual principles involved in nation building, individual agendas may be good for trp’s but are bad for the nation.

Just as Satyamev jayate being all pervasive, even the fourth estate(apart from the other three which anyways win the corruption indexes hands down) being sidelined for its unprincipled ways is not far off , it not yet too late for the fourth estate to gather up the pants that it has dropped. The truth is, if it does not, they stand the risk of having as much credibility of a American dollar in the years to come by. And that is not a good thing, not for the country after all everyone likes a cookie which is firm and crunchy not one that is soggy and crumbling.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The halwai conundrum

In a land far far away, in fact so far away that it was very near the point you started out on in the first place, only this time the opposite direction was a halwai house, an Indian Halwai House to be precise. The portly owner was justified in calling it an Indian halwai house as it did justice to both words, it was Indian in the true sense as cooks from far corners of India were employed to bring the taste of India to the fore and at the same time only a true blue halwai could claim ownership to a belly which was no less in circumference than the kadhai in which the sweetmeats were prepared in.

The fame of the halwai shop was spread far and wide and people from all over the place came over to the shop to eat to there heart’s content. Its food was equivalent to heaven and it was said that people’s normally wished for the last thing to eat on the planet before departing from the heavenly abode come from the halwai house. So much so that the halwai started contemplating opening a branch bang opposite the various hospitals and prison on the area. The halwai ran the house as a true entrepreneur would. He had the best cooks from all over the place working at his place. They all worked relentlessly in the kitchen making dishes which most of the times were eaten up before they could make it to the plates.

The fame of the halwai spread far and wide and kings and plebeians alike sat at the doorsteps trying to get a order in, children of all hue and colours made the street outside the shop a permanent hangout spot so much so that the local school was shifted to the street and the classes conducted according to the timings of the jalebies, ladoos, samosaes, rabri’s and assorted dishes making it out of the ladle and onto the display panes.

The village economy grew and all grew hale and hearty and obscenely obese. Then one day a stranger came to the shop. He looked long worn for the travel and halwai taking pity on the stranger offered him shade and water and food. The stranger from the looks of it seemed to have gone without food and devoured the food laid out in front on him like there was no tomorrow. After he was done he wished to thank the people who cooked such divine food and asked for permission from the halwai to walk into his kitchen and thank the souls who had saved his life. How was it to be known that the stranger was no stranger at all, but a servant of a neighboring village halwai who had borne the brunt of the fame of the Indian halwai house. The envious neighboring village halwai and his scheming servant had thought up a devious plan to put water to the flames of the Indian halwai house’s stove. The halwai none the wiser to his rivals plan gave permission and the wily stranger let loose his plan. In the kitchen he met all the cooks individually and congratulated them on cooking the best dish and also how the Indian halwai house was so good just because of his dish and none of the other dishes warranted so much praise as their creation.

All the cooks went to sleep with the thought in their mind that it is their creation which was making the halwai shop famous and well known. Next day early morning each one of them walked up to the halwai and told him that they were quitting and starting a halwai shop on their own as it was their creation which was the real reason for the shop to be famous and so they did not think it was really a good idea for them to work here any longer while they could shake off the baggage of the other dishes which were not so good and make even more profits as a standalone shop. The jalebi wala cook set up his shop below the banyan tree in the shade, the rabri wala cook cornered the bus stop shade while the samosa wala cook thought it made better sense to roam the streets selling his ware while the ladoo cook set up his shop outside the village temple. So in a day the Indian halwai house went from offering an assortment of finger licking dishes to a empty shell of a sweetmeat shop.

All the cooks dreamed of making it big and having their own rabri halwai shop, ladoo halwai shop, samosa halwai shop, jalebi halwai shop but it was not to be. They did sell intermittently but business was not as good as before. All the cooks cooked good but the craze was not just the same. They managed to sell food to the devotees making an offering to the temple, urchins playing marbles in the street, the traveler who had missed his bus or the loitering ruffians who sat in the banyan shade during the afternoon.

It was not the same as before, none of them offered anything better than what someone else offered, as a whole the combination of the food was unbeatable and no one could touch it but all spread out there was no complimenting each other. The kids from the school who used to drool looking at the spread of the dishes now gave the scattered sweetmeats no more than a cursory look, they all carried on playing or took to break to go home and scamper off with granny’s handmade ladoos or kheer made by their mum for dad.

It was not to be… Indian Halwai House which was the best dishes from all parts of the country no longer existed…. Only a shell was left behind by the stupid cooks who never could understand that it is never a single dish alone which gives flavor to a plate but it is the whole experience on the palette which makes people want more….. If only they knew… if only Indians knew…....

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Different story line...

Illusions should come packaged with statutory warnings, something on the lines of “Illusionary state of mind is detrimental to anyone accompanying the person in question“. Its like passive smoking, the difference being the effects are more at a mental level. Spending time with someone having illusions about himself or herself is like spending time in the gas chamber only this time the brain is getting smothered. Now think about spending the whole life with yourself when you are constantly having megalomaniac thought about yourself. Thinking of Jekyll and Hyde, Schizophrenia, Insanity, nah more like plain old stupid

So why the above rant?
I was going through my mail archives, when I came across a script or that was what it was supposed to be when I wrote it. Not long ago I had illusions about wanting to be a director. I remember the time very well, we were working on a project deadline, my colleague and best friend gaurav slogging away at the terminal doing his best to deliver on time. I too was putting in efforts to do something by not getting in the way, what better way to contribute by not screwing up things more than they already were. So as to keep myself busy in being idle, I was inspired to write a script….. A movie script no less. I could have written a kindergarten play and maybe carried it off with aplomb and little persuasion with my neighbors kids, but no all great people think big and stupid think bigger. I thought the biggest.

Also as a dedication to gaurav for his efforts to get me out of trouble by doing not just his work but also mine on our project, I decided to make him the hero of my movie.

Please proceed reading at your own risk and gau, if you are reading this, buddy I guess you missed out on your Oscar.

A Different story line...

Apna hero gau ka wt is around 50 kilo [theek hai, in movies we can add weight by making him put extra clothes]. He doesn’t have any aim in life and all day does java coding. His friend one day decides to put on weight and joins a gym and gau decided to join him just for company sake. His friend drops out of the gym at the last moment coz he got admission for onsite in US. Gau is now left alone and doesn’t know what to do. His dad scolds gau for having no weight target in life and wasting away his life on 50 something kilos.
His girlfriend... [Hmmmm I guess this is getting too filmy and the budget does not afford a heroine] ... his WSAD tool which is his first love is happy coz gau will now stay away from coding for some time and WSAD can take a rest from constant compiling and running of java and projects.
Gau’s first weeks in gym is a horror show and he runs away back to WSAD who is so very pissed off on gau that she dumps gau's programs and refuses to compile any of his programs.... gau's warrior ego is hurt and he vows to get back to gym and he now comes out a well built person and goes on to win Mr Shivaji park competition.
WSAD also finally comes around and builds all gau's projects and makes him happy.

PS: I go on to win at the Razzies for the worst story, direction, production, and all categories.
PS-1: Gau loses out on winning at the awards coz they all faint and cant watch any further so his acting goes unnoticed
PS-2: I make a lot of money [not by selling the movie... its junk, but by getting myself adopted by gau's bapu.]
PS-3: The script is absolutely new and is different, Any similarities to a movie called lakshya is a coincidence and figment of critics imagination. Any such claim will be treated with spam of more of my stories and the claimant sued for maligning my creative talents.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Leap of faith !!!!

A drop of sweat trickles down the forehead, I have never done this before. in front of me is a chasm whose depth I cannot fathom. No tape, measure, laser has been invented which could reach the end and tell the world its depth. The gorge lay there from ages, none knows what created it maybe a meteorite hit or a dormant volcano. The gorge has a reputation of being a killer, multitudes of trekker and vehicles have met their nirvana at the base of the sharp and craggy edges. I can see my whole life go past me in a microsecond., a kaleidoscope of colours and events vivid and at the same time compacted into a moment.

It is not long back that my kin had tried to dissuade me from going on this adventure, they tried their best to coax me to go to an alternate journey which was equally stressful but relatively safe, relative being the word I am stressing on here. But I was adamant on doing this, it was the monkeys paw on my back. I had to get it off my conscience, I had to complete this journey to feel like I had not given up. It was not just about adventure, about winning, about feeling like it is the best for me. It was a job to be done coz I wanted to do it so that when eventually one day I will meet my creator, I will proudly proclaim myself as the conqueror of something which only the gods could have created.

Zap to the present and my palms are all sweaty now, I cannot afford that to happen. My body parts sometimes have a tendency to rebel and act as independent principalities. I need all the senses to work as one, if I have to land safely across the gorge. At the same time the view is beautiful, I look across and the calm waters of the lake just across the gorge shine back at me, the waves rising and lapping the shores in a systematically serene fashion. I am being lulled into complacency by the beauty around. How can anything which is so beautiful be so dangerous at the same time. A lot of people before me may have felt the same but they have met their fate at the hands of the dark lord at this very spot. Nature has a way of being kind and cruel at the same time, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods hurricanes are all natures creations along with the ocean, stars, waterfalls and beaches. I struggle to gain composure. It seems like ages since I was at the edge of the chasm contemplating the most important decision of my life till now, but when I look at the watch it has just been a minute since my mind going for a toss. I look ahead, I have my aim in sight in front of me, the altar of success, the peak which I set off to conquer from my base camp. It is reflecting the sunlight off the midday sun. It looks like glass in brilliance, unreal in all respects, unconquerable and protected by a series of gorges and crevices hidden and dangerous, nothing more than the one I am facing right now. I cannot back off now. I have reached this far not to turn back.

I check my safety harness and wink at the person behind me and try a feeble joke. I double check the pick axe and the hooks which I will fasten onto the rope to pull myself across. I take a look down into the deep, say a prayer and toss the rope across. It gets entangled in a sharp projection across and when I pull the rope tight it lassoes itself tight. I give it a pull to check if the rope will hold and I am off. I cannot will myself to look down for that would mean a stare down the dark void or nether land, how many people before me have attempted this crossing I do not know, how many will follow I do not know. What drives humans to do insane things I do not know. All that I know at that moment is to get the freaking hell out of there and reach the end before the rope gives up on me. At the half way stage my hands find an opportune moment to rebel, I guess they anyways have been thinking of that for some time now but why do they have to chose this inopportune moment is beyond me, they are also successful in instigating the legs to go on strike against the inhumane dictatorship of my brains. If only my brain knew what a idiot it was for behaving as if it was the only part which could take decisions. So stuck in the middle with nowhere to go, the blue sky above me, the dark depth below, the cobalt blue lake beyond and in some distance my ultimate goalpost. What do I do, how do I get myself out of this mess. Shouting for help wont do any good. There are people around but they have themselves to care about. Its all one for themselves in these harsh surroundings and the perfect setting for survival of the fittest. I am not going to give up so close to the end, I make up my mind to get myself off this situation. My brain the devil comes up with a plan and promises new gloves and shoes to my feet and arms. This gets them moving, promises have a unique problem though no one bothers about keeping them but then that’s another story.

I make it across and clamber down the edge onto safe territory, my hands are raw and feet numb but they are happy with thoughts of the bribe which they have just been promised. I look back and shudder on thinking what I had just accomplished. This is the mother of all of my adventures, I have finally being able to break the shackles which had held me back and done something which will make me proud of myself. I see people behind me look at me with respect showing in their eyes, some were already following me in the path I had blazed for them. Soon there will be a glut of adventure seekers on this route, but I was the first, the first to be here, my name will be covered in glory, the first one to cross P2. Subsequent generations will read about me in history books as follows…
Devesh H Rao, the first to cross the pothole P2, depth - unknown on the road under construction in Powai on the way to SEEPZ.

Three legged race horse.....

Imagine a racing event with pure breeds lining the gates, impatient to get off the blocks, neighing to show off the power and in their midst a horse which looks impressive has pedigree but somehow it seems to have one of its legs tied and that too by the jockey. If at the end of the race the three legged horse ends up second will you as the owner of the horse rue the fact, that it did not win the race and retire it to the stables or untie the leg, get the jockey on your knees give him a sound thrashing as one would give an errant kid, put him back in the saddles and promise the jockey a repeat hiding, if he did anything more than move an inch in the opposite way during the race.

Think again what you would do, why should it be any different when the horse in question being India, the jockey our esteemed politicos and the race, the race to create a livable future for all and live up the ideals enshrined in the constitution.
A growth rate of 9% over the past years, trillion$ club, outflow from the country on par with the inflow of investment revenue. Anyone would be led to believe the government is leading a revolution and so it should seem considering it is being led by a globally recognized fiscal expert. Time to think again, industry having to cope with multitude of restrictions, power woes leading to almost 20% off times, infrastructure which would make a martian proud, accountability and responsibility by the bureaucracy woeful and the Indian mindset of “chalta hai, what to do its karma” aiding in underutilization of potential.

Why is it that we blame the nuts and the bolts on the politicians, why are they our favorite target practice. Good politicians do exist, who are not corrupt, who think for the betterment of the society. Then why is it that only the bad lot get highlighted. No one talks about a politician leading a campaign for social justice errrrr not the reservations, I meant equality not inequality. Why do we not cover politician setting up schools and not engineering/medical colleges. Why do we not cover politicians talking about growth and opportunity of employment through empowerment at election rallies rather than free power and free jobs for anyone who bothers to turn up to hear the poor fellow. Is there such a kind in the first place or we have seen the last of those kind go extinct along with a multitude of visionary journalists, teachers and such during the period since the 80’s.

Corruption is anathema to growth, any thing which is corrupt will corrupt the surroundings. Corruption is like a skunk in the rose bed. We know the rose bed is untainted and fragrant and looks gorgeous but the skunk will make the whole experience nauseous. This is what a few corrupt in the political class do to the image of the political class in the Indian consciences. We know there exist good thoughts and visionary amongst the people who fill up the benches, but when faced with people who do not think twice before bribing or getting bribed for crossing over parties on which they have won to a party which they poured scorn on during elections., people who will kill to win, people who will sell their souls and passports, people who think nothing of denigrating the sanctity of the hallowed precincts of the parliament by hurling footwear at each other what is there for the common folks to think of them. Even if they deserve the benefit of doubt, the doubts are just growing longer and longer over the period regarding, if these people really deserve to be put in posts which carry such high levels of responsibility and commitment needed of them.

We get to hear that we deserve the kind we ourselves are, we chose people so we deserve them. I refuse to buy that argument. Even if I buy a 1 rupee toffee I am entitled to redress and reimbursement if the toffee is defective so why is it that I am denied something of the kind when we vote in a government. A case in point being we are stuck with the mother of all inefficient governments as of today, even Nero will turn in his grave as someone has just stolen his thunder and the adage of Nero fiddled when Rome burnt to “Someone wanted Mumbai to be shanghai when farmers couldn’t afford the ticket and chose to end their journeys” kind. The power crisis has hit the roof and I am writing this in the light of the laptop screen, something which settles scores with my earlier generation which studied by the lamp light. So who says it’s the 21’st century, its still middle ages in here.

The best are supposed to rise to the top, the best filtered out from the chaff for a job, the best should survive and win a race. Think, if the winning a race was bribing your completion to race slow or you getting a handicap of starting of a few feet from the finish line or better still hiring muscle power to stop the completion from even taking off while you stutter and splutter to the finish, is that a fair finish, does the winner deserve the win in the case. Is that a race or a mockery of the people putting faith in the race to decide the best.

In all aspects of life eventually the chaff gets shorn off, the rivers cut through the stones, diamonds are sorted from glass then why should politics be any different. It is high time the ruling class needs to realize the impatience that is growing against them from the common folk. We live in a democracy and Indians always have been pragmatic when it comes to deciding their own fate. We also have a high level of adjustment factor but if and when we have been tested by internal or external forces the backlash has been severe enough. We threw out the kings when we had enough of them, we threw out the British, French and the Portuguese when they got a bit more intrusive than just playing rulers. The present day novae rulers, the political class needs to remember that they serve the constitution and their duty is first and foremost towards the country and not onto themselves. They need to get their act together and fast, India is in no mood to compromise and compromise it wont. We have a destiny to fulfill, a vision to succeed, a path to greatness great not in wealth or power great as in all living souls being happy and taken care of. It is utopian but then like the mirror is for showing the true face, the mirror is also for imagining the ideal us. The mirror speaks to us in multitudes of images, the past, the present, the future.

Speaking of the mirror throwing up many images just imagine the future, if we have the right people in the right places working for the betterment of the country, the growth will not be slave to a select few. It has the potential to be all encompassing and benefit the multitudes from the lowest of the income groups to the high fliers, from the small scale industries to the Indian multinationals. From the farmers owning share crops to huge landowners. The growth will be an pan Indian growth, if only we have the right people. If only we could untie the legs of the horse and spank the jockey back to his senses. If….

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Software Architecting vis-a-vis Engineering

To build is to visualize and create. In any core science, a necessity triggers a process which culminates with an solution for the problem which mandated the search for an answer in the first place. Since ancient times a need has driven the human kind to reach out of the sphere of its intelligence and come up with an “Idea” which is thought not possible in the prevalent realm of finite.
There have been innumerable ideas which have given a new course to the direction in which the world has moved. A wheel may be the mother of all inventions also laying claim to the earliest possible inventions known to humankind. A wheel was driven by the need for momentum and it has passed through various stages from a oblong rock in the earliest period to the composite spheres which we are now building for robots which can use them to travel on any surface.
This whole process of the solution for momentum can be segregated into 3 parts, the need which is the requirement for momentum between two finite points, an idea which foresaw motion and the engineering aspect which converted that idea to concrete elements like a wheel.

The engineering has gone through many iterations in from the ages when humans may have traveled a bumpy ride between the caves on a night out of home made beer to the work of art wheels we see today on some of the vehicles made of carbon composites and having the capacity to bear speeds which routinely break the sound barrier. What has stayed consistent though is the need which is momentum and an idea which fulfills that need.
Software as different it appears to be to the layman also follows the principle of a core science namely software architecting and software engineering. Given the need for a solution a software can be architected and then engineered. It is similar to a dam being visualized, architected and then built or for that matter an automobile being visualized, designed and built. Software also supports visualizing, architecting and then engineering. If only we get down to identifying and following the process in the true sense.

A building wrongly built is visible, a dam wrongly architected is a fatal danger, a automobile designed in an ugly fashion is open to ridicule but a software which is wrong architected or engineered stays out of the sight by the inherent quality of software which gets it treated differently.
An application shutting down on a daily basis draws at most our curses while if our car did that ahem, would not like to be in the shoes of the person who sold the defunct vehicle in the first place.
Software as we know today is patch built and not architected, we have so many frameworks floating around but not a single one stresses on the need to visualize and then engineer. We have so many unknowns in the design of an software when we start the actual construction that we end up building a system and then patching it up to make it work the way we wanted it to be built like.
Visualization is a science where we can think of out of the box solutions, ideas which can range from the unorthodox to the mundane. Architecting is like a science which runs like a dream, which is not bound by the dimensions and constraints known to us. How many times have we had brainstorming sessions in our teams when faced with a requirement which would either take too long to create and too costly to implement. How many times have we shouted down someone who had the gumption to stick the neck out and propose something radical or something too simple to be considered a solution. Some of the answers out there for questions which are hard to understand are simple in nature. We do not need the unnecessary mumbo jumbo and expressions running into a vocabulary of a 3 times doctorate holder to always solve something complicated. We pour resources in time, money and efforts solving bottlenecks without out seeing if there is an alternative to the idea itself. Imagine if human mind did not have the inherent quality to find alternatives we would still be driving vehicles on oblong tyres - ouch…

A messy rendering of a 3-Dimensional object which can only be rendered but not constructed.

Imagine trying to build everything we could possible think of, imagine trying to build the image above in the constraint of 3 dimensions, we would somehow have to wrap the straight lines of the diagonals around each other to make that possible. Is that possible in the current scheme of things that we know of? Considering that we are talking hypothetically, if we took time as the fourth dimension and any one who has read the time space theory will be quite familiar with what it means by time being an dimension, suppose the two diagonals exist in different time dimensions altogether, never overlapping each other in a particular time instance can we still say construction of the above structure is impossible? I know the idea exists but can I build it?

Similarly we have constraints in architecting a software solution, we are constrained by the lack of dimensions in software engineering. When it comes to plumbing a software we are stuck with dimensions which are less that what we would like to have. Software is heavily dependent on what gets written hence it is prone to be buggy and fall short of standards which is the expected norm in pear industries like civil, mechanical and the automobile sector. All the core sciences are governed by laws which give them a predictability of behavior. Software has no laws to govern it, hence the predictability of a software code is unpredictable. Shine a ray of light and you know how it will behave in a environment where it has been observed before, write a piece of code and run it in an environment where it has run zillions of times before in test conditions and still it may fail for all you know.

Software architecting is a core science which is analogous with architecting any thing, it requires tying to known the unknowns to such an extent before a software is even attempted to be built that the unknowns remaining when we actually start the engineering part probably form a miniscule part and end up playing no major part in the failure of a solution. Software has to mature from need - engineering basis that it currently runs on to a need - architect - engineer basis to come up with application which do not fail at such regular frequency.
Industry norm for a application or product following the processes to meet the requirements have to be replaced with the processes followed for say launching a satellite or possible a heart surgery. Imagine opening up a heart for a transplant and realizing that the size do not quite match, or the blood groups do not match or for that matter the main heart surgeon jettisoning the operation theatre in the middle and someone else asked to take over to complete the patch.

Software in the next phase will mature where architecting a solution will find its due and solutions will be thought of first and then engineered rather than patched up as in most of the cases today.
The wheel of the software is yet to be invented, till then it’s a bumpy ride on a set of oblong tyres.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Band aid for cancer….....

In all the hype and the hoopla surrounding the shenanigans of the “gods” of cricket, aka the board, players, media, agents, ad agencies, spouses, cooks, drives “falana dimka” one phrase which has stuck is “Band Aid for Cancer”.

Greg for all his follies or good at heart spirit that he may have carried, which we will never know due to our wise old men’s decision to lay to rest his legacy or lack of it whichever way to look at it, couldn’t be more apt when he quoted the above phrase…. None have hit the middle stump in summarizing the psyche of actions of the people in question more than Messrs Chappel.
Why just cricket, isn’t that how it has always been, in all spheres of our life, in all spheres of our interactions and daily needs. Band aid for cancer…. The mother of all medications. Band aid to solve all the ills. The one cure for all. A hypocritical solution called band aid for a menace called cancer.

We are governed by some of the most corrupt and inept administrators the world has known, they do not as in the old days kill you physically at least not as openly as before, if you go against them, but they sure are adept at killing you morally and socially.
If ever anyone finds the courage to stick up his hand to be counted and find the will to challenge the powers to be, the person soon enough finds himself in the minority, a minority of being the only one against the system. It’s a game of either our way or the highway. What do we do to fix the problem, elections.
Elections are nothing more than band aid for cancer, its like we have eruptions of cancer here and there periodically and all we do is put on a band aid and hope the cancer goes away. We see off a party in an election and bring in another party in the hope that this time it will be different, the only difference at the end of the term is we have been made fools of in a different way….is it not that corruption is the cancer in here and parties, just the host… Band aid for cancer.. Band aid called elections.

Obscenity is defined as “disgusting and morally offensive, especially because of showing total disregard for other people”
The morally upright society will raise to arms on the subject of sex education for the youngsters in this generation under the pretext of shielding them from the degradation of the western culture, but turn a blind eye to a kid working the roads, or eking out an existence “earning a living” in the various child intensive small scale industries out there. Is not child labor more obscene, more uncivilized than any thing the western culture has ever imported into the country.
How can anyone ever compare an educational endeavor in teaching kids the bad effects of getting into physical relations or guarding against misadventures from the scum of the society with kids working in inhumane conditions and barely making an living and say that the former is obscene while turning a blind eye to the latter.
So called protectors of the moral fabric of my culture… it not that the unequal and ineffectual opportunities to the kids, and a lack of knowledge in differentiation between the good and the bad in the society a cancer in here…… Band aid for cancer….Band aid called shielding the kids from “immoral” western influence in the guise of sex education for a cancer called hypocrisy.

Is not education a birthright as in our constitution? is it not the duty and dharma of the government to provide for the basic education for each and every kid out there?. What do we get in turn, realms and more realms of paper and time spent on discussing the moot question of reservations and making the society morally and socially equivalent to each other.
A child having his parents support his educational needs by pouring in money in tuitions and tutors, references and unimaginable amount of notes is purely at an advantage with a kid who works for supplementing his families income and reads by the light of a street lamp and still somehow manages to secure a passing grade. Does it make the kid “privileged” enough to have someone to provide for him a better prospect than the other kid. Hell no, in a world which is brutal in selection of the best and pruning of the week the latter has a better prospect of being a success, if ever the latter kid gets an opportunity to do so in the first place.
We are dividing the society on name of caste and reservation without going into the merits and demerits of the same. We need meritocracy to be supported and sustained in the world but not meritocracy as in the marks obtained in tests given by kids mugging the syllabus or by coaching factories churning out the IIT prodigies.
Merit is not winning or being the best in a given context, merit is the ability to survive and outlast the competition in the race called life.
If reservations are said to be inimical to merit, lack of equal opportunity for everyone to play the game is equally harmful to a system which needs the best to get through. After all a person starting off a game in golf gets a handicap in relation to someone who has been playing the game for long. Holding on to the handicap for life is inimical to merit, having the handicap in the first place is not.
Merit is talent, reservations should be about channeling that talent nothing more nothing less. But what do we have in its place, Band Aid for Cancer… a band aid called reservations for a cancer called a society, a socially irresponsible and biased society.

Sports, coming back to where it all this vent started from, band aid for cancer. We have a cancer called as commitment in our midst. A country of billion souls finds it difficult to find people who are good at excelling at a sport is the common lament. We hear complaints about lack of infrastructure, lack of support, officials treating international events as family picnics and so on and so forth. We keep hearing excuses of India being a poor country, ill able to afford the luxuries of the first world to support the sports.
We end up in the international games well below countries from sub Saharan areas where life itself is a challenge rather than getting selected for a sporting event. We adore half baked “gods“, we treat sportsmen whose only claim to fame being whipping the minnows for records as world beaters. We expect the moon from a person jumping on a trampoline.
I am no one to comment as I have no achievement to speak of my own but commitment is not one of them. We should believe in being committed to anything and everything we get into and expect the same for everyone else. we may not succeed always but then that is not expected, being committed to the common cause, cause of doing the best for winning is expected in all cases though. After each debacle we replace the sportsmen, while the problem actually lies at the people who are making those changes. sportsmen come and sportsmen go but what stays is the system which changes them.
It is the system which is at fault and needs to be changed and not the sportsmen. Its like feeding goats to the wolves, the problem is not the goats, it’s the wolves is what we forget, Band aid for cancer.. Band aid called as reports submitted and action taken by various committees in almost all the sport associations for a cancer called as commitment, commitment starting from the top rung.

We are a short cut country, we want to be on the fast lane to success, always wanting to drive in the outermost lane, even if we have the most run down jalopy not capable of winning a race against 2 legged competition. We are a intolerant kind, a kind which has a crab mentality, wanting to succeed by pulling others down and rather than trying to be the best by being the best.

Am I being hypocritical, am I being one of the problem rather than trying to be one of the solutions, Am I being someone who I was critical of just in the paragraph above, yes, in a way yes, but the target of criticism includes me. it is not passing judgments, it is not about being holier than thou, it is not about finding a solution, its not about being the one who has all the answers.

It is more a brain dump to vent the feeling so as to feel having done the bit …… Band Aid for Cancer….A band aid called a personal opinion for the cancer called the unethical and the immoral.