Skip to main content

Posts about hyderabad

Org-mode Workshop

Well, I'm not sure if it's worth writing about. I conducted my first org-mode workshop along with Prof. Venkatesh Choppella at IIIT-Hyderabad. It was a 3 hour demo+talk kind of a thing, with a small audience of about 20 people, most of whom were new to Emacs.

We covered almost all the aspects of Org-mode after giving a brief introduction to Emacs. Outlining and note-taking part was simple and easy to understand, but the audience couldn't really appreciate the part of keeping TODO lists and agendas and other stuff. I'm hoping, the reason was not me taking over from Venkatesh.

I think the workshop should've been more hands-on and we should've asked people to try out stuff on the spot, instead of showing off the things possible with Emacs. They probably would've appreciated a few things better, that way.

Hopefully, we will be doing more workshops on Org-mode and there are surely somethings to take away from this one. I hope at least one of the participants, gets hooked to Org-mode.

The talk outline is here.

To Ananthagiri

I had been to Ananthagiri, near Vikarabad for a 2 day ride. It was a fun ride. Thanks to Atlanta Foundation for renting the cyles. Hi-fi to all the riders who made it to the ride. A detailed report is here.

The Bus, its Ours!

I hadn't been much in the City for the past three years. I've had a little trouble recollecting the exact routes and corresponding bus numbers. I Googled for it, with little hope, and the results didn't surprise me. There wasn't much info in this regard. On the occasion of World Environment, when the focus is on promoting the use of Public Transport, this isn't a very encouraging sign.

I was wondering if the Bus route info can somehow be integrated with Google maps or the like. This will be a good thing to do, since people who have access to internet (the higher rungs of the society) are the ones who are most aware of the threats to the Environment and also the ones who least use public transport. This could help them do some planning and encourage use of public transport. Later on, may be the Buses could have some kind of a GPS sytem that could be interlinked with the maps, giving people great power! I'm not sure if this already exists elsewhere in the world, but seemed an interesting thing to do.

On a different note, just wanted to share this different perspective my mom was giving to my 7 year old neice. We were on a bus and my niece wasn't very happy about the crowd and the Bus journey. My mom, then said something, probably to amuse the kid and distract her for a while. But its an interesting way of looking at things.

You should be proud that you are aboard a bus that costs around 15 lacs, something we wouldn't normally be able to buy. And that too for a small sum of Rs. 5. You are being driven around by a chauffeur employed by the State Govt. and you needn't bother yourself with the routes and other headaches of driving you'd have if you used your personal car…

The kid wasn't convinced or even amused by this, but I liked the interesting observation. Some food for thought, My mom travels for an hour and half by bus to reach her work and she's been doing so since I was a kid of 5 or 6. Now I know why she's been able to do it for so many years, everyday!

CET-ting their Lives??!!

Phew! I'm back home after one of my worst semesters so far. [there have been only 4 upto now!! :P] {Also, not one of the better ones grades-wise, but otherwise?? anyways.. forget it.. } From today on, the lives of 2,27,483 young boys and girls [with the exception of a few thousands] (in that part of the World called Andhra Pradesh) will never be the same again. The so called verdict on their lives (yes, the verdict of their lives!!) has been pronounced at 11:45am today. EAMCET-07 [Engineering, Agriculture and Medicine Common Entrance Test] results announced. This is no more a matter of anxious students checking out, how they fared in comparison to others of their age. It's no more a matter of getting into Under-grad to come out a Grad in a chosen discipline.

"The Hottest Topic" in town. Nobody's left out of it. Young or Old, Rich or Poor, Stout or Slim, Tall or Short, Theist or Atheist, Engineers or Doctors, Black or White. "Black or White"?? How could I and those around me be left out?

Here's a little from what i see… [Is a little exaggeration allowed?]

  • An ad on the FM… "ee karyakramanni samarpinchindi… engineering vijethala mata.. bata.. Sri chaitanya.." [This programme is brought to you by… Sri Chaitanya.. the voice and choice of Engineering Winners!!]
  • Another ad. Neti EAMCET phalitalalo kooda atyuttamaina vijayala tho… Narayana.. [With the most wonderful victories even in this time's EAMCET, Narayana] {Sri Chaitanya and Narayana are two very popular Junior Colleges here.. with hazaar franchises.. all over the State}
  • A : How did your neighbor's cousin's friend's daughter's friend do? [ob exaggerated] B : She didn't do quite well. It seems she didn't study the I yr syllabus properly!! {How did he ever get to know that?!!?!?}
  • Me : Where's A? Why's he so late? J.H : His sister's Medicine results are out. She scored 700! A local rank of 10! She'll get into any place she chooses. Me : That's cool. So that guys gone for a party or what? J.H : No he's consoling his sister! She's weeping for she expect to score a rank close to 300! Me : Oh c'mon!!

Why the hell is the whole state dragged into this? Can't the guys n gals be left alone? Why is that a little thing as a test that allocates various grad seats to the students, blown out of proportion? Do we need big Corporate giants fighting for the ranks and cash of aspiring students? Why all the hue and cry??

Isn't is possible for these people to have a normal life, where these CET's are just a part of their lives and not their LIVES themselves? Can't they be doing other things along with preparing to get into a good grad school? Do we wish to have Engineers and Doctors who, all through the best couple of years of their lives, were busy grinding, swallowing and puking out heaps and heaps of books just to get one seat in a Grad School?

Will things ever be normal again? When will kids "here" start being kids? When will the parents and teachers and all the zillion others understand that their kids need to be given everything in life, exposed to everything. Not just dumping in gallons of formulae and tons of equations. Will people ever give CETs just that much attention as it deserves, and not make it a big issue all over the state? When will the EAMCET stop being the lives of college students and start being just a part of their lives??

[I have tried my best to portray the situation, in this part of the World. But it is quite possible that I didn't do it well enough….]

Every time you wake up and ask yourself, What good things am I going to do today? Remember that when the sun goes down at sunset it will take a part of your life with it – Douglas Adams

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live. – Richard Bach