Amidst so many D-Days!

I know I-RIX post is still due but that will take time. Meanwhile here are few things that I am upto
CST on 30th Jan. Yeah day after tomorrow! Ghanta preparations! I have given up even on making it into above 50 percentile category. Anyways if I get less score I can always say that I never wanted GU you know…but still! It’s seriously one of the best and cheapest (yeah..30k per year) MCA institutes in India and I am Paani Ferofy on it!

Also, when I am in tension, I start eating street food! The other day went with Rohan at Padmavati, our regular joint to eat Tandoori Chicken and man…it wasn’t the way it used to be! No taste at all and this time we had ordered a full tandoori chicken! Btw they are my relatives and known as one of the best caterers in town but still, this sucked! I noticed the changed cook and was expecting it. Never mind, another eatery next time.

Tandoori Chicken at Padmavati Restaurant-Ponda Highway!

We (almost my entire class) are answering MH-MCA-CET too which is on 6th March and this should be fun. Especially the train travel part but wait.I checked the availability and <100 seats were remaining…guys are we going really? I don’t want a bus ride this time to Pune!
CST first, internals next and project submission (which is still ready in my mind and nothing on paper as of now) will keep me busy. Also there is TEDxBITSGoa and my birthday in between all this activities.

Life before I-RIX

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I have mixed emotions about how this December went inspite of dedicating it a special post titled with one of my favourite LP number. It was awesome, scary, panicking, adventurous, victorious, sad, painful and accidental!

After DoctypeHTML5-Pune, the most happening event was that I met with an accident!

Yes I did and will skirt the details since it wasn’t my bike. The reason was I applied breaks all of a sudden as a Wagon-R ahead of me did so. And I applied the front breaks and it was an Activa which I was riding. Result was bike skidded and hit the rear bumper of the Wagon-R. I fell on my face but thanks to the helmet otherwise my jaw would have changed its orientation by now. I got bruises on both my palms and some minor bruises on knees. I was totally panicked. The issue got resolved without any cops intervention as it didn’t do major damage to the Wagon-R.

I was on my way to Mapusa to attend X-B, the techfest of St. Xavier’s College. Me n Trisha won in debate, Pranav and Pravin won in Debugging while Parnaksh n Mereeva won in Project Your College.

With this injury, I had to stay back from the last ever FOSS.IN happening in Bangalore. But over next two days, I recovered pretty soon and took a coach to Bangalore and reached NIMHANS to attend the last day of last foss.in. There was TRDP again but I couldn’t dance like last time due to injuries.

Reached back to Goa on 19th Dec. and after bit refreshment at home, joined our team who was participating in NOESIS, a tech fest by rosary college. Individually I performed very badly and didn’t get any prizes but team finished second on the list. Everyone was charged up and thus idea of having our own tech fest was born.

I am alive!

I know it has been a while since I last blogged! Nothing to worry, I am alive, kicking, tweeting (with reduced frequency) and been overworking! Since December, things have been happening at very fast pace and each and every incident requires a separate blog post.  Few things are

  • My class suddenly wakes up, participates in a tech fest and wins!
  • I meet with an accident
  • I go to Bangalore to attend the last day of last #fossdotin
  • We rock another tech-fest
  • Dept. staff agrees to organize our own tech-fest
  • I leave for North India tour (and the series of events that took place there-after)
  • I-RIX 2011 happens in a grand way!

Literally if you ask me, I am exhausted. Now 15 days ahead of me, is my D-Day for which I have been waiting for almost 2 years now ie CST 2011, or say state MCA entrance exam. I am almost finalized on the fact that I am moving out of Goa for further studies but still I just want score this to prove a point. Also, my college project is due to be submitted on 31st Jan which I have ignored completely in last month or so. I’ve heard people saying that the dates have been postponed to 14th Feb but why take risk?

So I have so much to blog (or crib) about but that will happen as and when I get time from these two things. BTW got my sem 5 university result and secured a decent first class. Decent because I wasn’t sure of clearing it, especially after answering Networks paper which went terribly bad! But now bit relieved. Next sem will <stress> try </stress> to hit the distinction bar.

I-RIX was great! 20 days and we put up the most grand event that has happened on our campus in recent years! A team of 40 odd volunteers working days and nights to make sure everything went smooth and lovely supporting staff. And yes Murphy did struck us, just 3 days before the event! Will blog about it in more detail in coming posts!

Actually I had thought of taking an indefinite sabbatical from social life on internet but given my instincts, I can hardly resist not doing things that I love. But I promise to reduce the frequency of it! So sayonara as of now but will be back with incidents that have turned into long lasting memories, all in just a span of one month!

DocTypeHTML5 Pune by HasGeek!

Pune

HasGeek’s DocTypeHTML5 was happening in Pune, and after confirming with jace (kiran) that it wont happen in Goa, four of us packed our bags and jumped onto a bus which dropped us to Pune. Oh wait…it wasn’t that easy! This was a learning experience in various ways and mainly in travel management for me.

While I was spending my days in panjim for IFFI, I booked four tickets to Pune at Panjim counter of KTC out of which two were supposed to be boarding from Margao and other two were from Ponda. And inspite of telling the counter fellow repeatedly about our boarding plans, the guy still wrote our boarding point as Panjim. Consequence of this was me getting Pranav’s call saying that their name wasn’t there in Margao passenger list.  Moreover when we boarded the bus from Ponda, mine and Ankur’s name wasn’t there in the list too and this was turning out to be a mess. We came to Panjim and now there was more chaos. A fairly young couple having tickets with same seat numbers as that of me and Ankur boarded the bus. First of all, the bus was running an hour behind its schedule as it was stuck in traffic at Old Goa feast. People were pissed already. Sorting out the issue with the couple took another 40 minutes and the TC made them seat on 13-14 seat nos. instead of 23-24 that belonged to me and Ankur. When bus reached Mapusa, another fairly old couple who had actually booked 13-14 boarded the bus. More chaos! TC requested the young couple to take the seats that were behind us ie 27-28 and these stubborns wouldn’t agree to that. They either wanted 13-14 or 23-24 and I was firm on not giving up the seats. Finally TC came up to me and asked me to change the seats instead. I reluctantly did just because the bus wouldn’t have moved further and we wanted to reach Pune on time.

When bus stopped at Kolhapur, the stubborn young couple realised that they have boarded the wrong bus. They were supposed to go to Miraj and instead landed up in Kolhapur at 3 am in the morning. Seriously..WTF? They disappeared well before they could face everybody else’s agony.

We reached Pune quite late as expected. Ramrao uncle was in pune with his MCA students for their industrial tour/placements and we went to his room to freshen up. After that, we took a rick straightway to CoEP and marched at canteen. The rick fellows were surprisingly nice and I didn’t even feel like I was in Pune until we met the rude Canteen guy at CoEP. This was our “Assa Puneri” welcome and now I was feeling normal. Finally, it’s not Pune if people aren’t rude to you!

Sessions were nice but technical glitches like poor audio, quite dull LCD projection played a major spoilsport. The post lunch sessions by Dhaval Trivedi on Geolocation API and Vishal Parpia on Multimedia Kit were the highlights of the session, and IE bashing did happen inspite of MS being the platinum sponsor for the event. Not to forget, Ravi handled the event nicely and sprinkled hell lot of fun and laughter when required.

The organisation is really worth appreciating. I might not have attended many such events but I guess this was a Community event in true sense. Community was involved in suggesting speakers, adding content of their choice and that is what I liked about HasGeek. Hope they come up with many more such events in future.

Pranav, Me, Vailancio and Ankur at CoEP

IFFI Film reviews-Gei Oni and Naukadoobi

Gei Oni

A scene from Gei Oni

The story of “Gey Oni” is an historical epic which interweaves the story of the first wave of Jewish European migration to Palestine, at the end of the 19th century, with an unusual love story between Fania, a young Russian immigrant, and Yechiel, a native Jew. Fania has a secret about herself which she keeps abstracted from Yechiel until the climax and then they live happily ever after.

I guess we should officially declare a film genre called “immigration films” because there are just too many of them and each one is equally a learning experience for history lovers like me. The film effectively showcased cultures of the parts of earth abstracted from us. It also invoked me to read more about the Jewish migration and the atrocities they faced from other communities and that was saddening.

The film was a drag and passive at few times. It doesn’t tell a tightly bound story instead portrays effect of the social upheaval on the relationships among the characters in the film.

Boatwreck/Naukadoobi

A scene from Naukadoobi

Naukadoobi, is based on Tagore’s novel and adapted by Rituparna Ghosh into a full-fledged feature film. The protagonist Ramesh who is in love with a girl named Hemnalini, agrees to marry to another girl chosen for him by his father who is a complete stranger to Ramesh. While they are returning to their village after Ramesh’s marriage function, the boat in which they are travelling gets drowned. Ramesh survives from the tragic incident while his father is dead. He finds himself besides a girl Kamala, who is draped in wedding attire. He brings her home as his wife.

But his original love for Hemnalini doesn’t let him rest and while he tries to keep his marriage news secret, he asks Hemnalini to marry him. Later his secret is revealed by Hemnalini’s brother and this mentally affects her and the marriage is cancelled. Ramesh decides to start a new life with Kamala after moving out from Calcutta.

Hemnalini, with her father, goes to Kashi for a sabbatical where she meets a doctor and starts liking him. Here, Kamala while glancing through an old newspaper comes to know that Ramesh wasn’t the one destined to marry her! Will she find her real husband? What happens to Ramesh? To find answers these doubts, watch the film (which I hear will also be dubbed in Hindi and released on 23rd January).

The story is awesome and the cinematography is also a visual treat. The performances by the actors are also superb. Rituparno always reveals the acting potentials of his actresses and this time its Riya Sen here. Didn’t expect her to be so expressive through her eyes(and not anything else :p) and a totally different portrayal compared to her bollywood flicks. Only issue was the movie proceeds at slow pace and looks dragged at the end. But as they said, the film was ready the night before the premiere, it can be excused. I still expect Rituparno to edit it more and make it more gripping like his other films.

IFFI needs a shake from bottom!

I wouldn’t have cared to write just another “lets crib about government” post which almost every other blah-ger is supposedly blogging on the interwebz. I have more useless and unworthy issues like my life but still, here it is! My complaints about IFFI and the way I see it should function!

I haven’t been to any films as of yet but had a kinda bitter experience at the registration kiosk itself. Sadly I couldn’t be in Panjim to collect my delegate card well in advance before the actual festival starts and having an experience of last two years, I knew it wasn’t a big deal to make a special trip to Panjim just to collect the card. So I landed up in big queue totally out of the campus at Old GMC building and it was a mess. There were four counters which I thought were 4 separate counters for collecting the cards but no! I just forgot that behind the glitter and glamour of IFFI, that it’s a government run festival and conceptualised by sarkari babus! There had to be something that defied common sense notions! The first window was JUST to verify your registration. The girl would verify the registration number and send us to another window. There we had to JUST pay the money and then go to another window to collect the card. And lastly, you had to walk inside the INOX campus totally towards the other side and collect the delegate kit. How thoughtful of you organisers? You really think people here come to stand in long queues instead of watching films? And why can’t we get things done at one window instead of 4?

For those ESG organisers who bragged about IFFI going high tech with online booking and registration and what not, why the hell payment receipt was written manually? All info filled in the receipt was there in our registration database, adding one Print button and underlying few lines of code was SO hard to NIC guys? Also how practical is for you to print card for each delegate who has registered? Instead why couldn’t you just print cards in ad-hoc mode as in just those who actually show up at registration desk, print that card! There are machines available to do that! If you are unaware, please come to my college, I will show you! Last year 2000 cards were unclaimed..what a waste of resource?

This is my third year in a row at IFFI and instead of watching it grow better and organised; things are degrading year by year! The ticketing system was introduced year before last and was so well implemented right at the first time, and I was like Goa has reached! But same system, next year was the biggest embarrassment due to total mismanagement and I am yet to see how it has been doing this year!

Talking about your e-ticketing software, its bullshit! NIC guys have lived upto their standards and produced a bullshit web application to reserve tickets! First of all I haven’t received my PIN number to create an account for that system. From what I heard from other delegates, they have received a notification email about e-ticketing except the PIN. Hats Off! Also I tried searching films on the site and it didn’t return anything. It’s either you haven’t entered the names of films in database (as of one day before the festival starts) or your searching algorithm is goofed up like Ajay Devgan’s inaugural speech. But again I am not disappointed by that software since NIC guys are known for their complete ignorance about UX and usability issues. Have a static database where the whole schedule is put in, use AJAX to asynchronously get the names of the films as user types in the name or go learn CS101 course again!

Only reason why I care about proper organisation of IFFI I want it to remain in Goa for my own greed to watch films from other side of the world. It sustaining film culture in Goa is all secondary to me. Goan delegates have lots to learn about how to behave at film festivals. Most of the goan delegates register here just to brag about it, watch otherwise ignored celebrities like Gracy Singh and Aftab Shivdasani and walk out of every damn film after 30 mins realising that they can’t understand what’s going on the screen!  The behaviour of Goan delegates (not all but most of them are wannabe) that I have been observing for last three years can make up for one hilarious post!

People need to note that Bollywood celebrities have nothing or very little to do with IFFI! A general notion amongst Goan public while they decide credibility of each year’s film festival is they only consider which bollywood celebrities show up at IFFI. Bollywood is just a tiny part of Indian cinema and there are quality films being made in hills of North east India, way better than Bollywood! And I never get this obsession from organisers also about bollywood celebrities! Last year Padmini Kolhapure (yeah, she is alive but you needn’t give a damn about it) was given a red carpet honour while our own Goan filmmaker Laxmikant Shetgaonkar who brought international laurels to Goan regional cinema was denied entry for screening of his own film.  Real heroes of Indian cinema like Paresh Mokashi (director of Harishchandrachi Factory), Vishal Bhardwaj (you know him!) weren’t considered worthy enough for Red Carpet honour but Padmini Kolhapure was! That’s NOT justified…