Author Archive

Har Har Modi

May 18, 2014 Leave a comment

I think for the first time in my life, and so many other youths and old Indians, people from rural or urban areas, people across caste, creed, religion have been so excited in any Lok Sabha elections, so much so that the voting percentage rose in most constituencies.

The sweet results of the Lok Sabha elections 2014 in the largest democracy in the world have been spectacular and historic for so many reasons –

1) For the first time post independence, first non-Congress party got a full majority
2) Most regional parties (including the major culprits SP, BSP, JDU) except, TMC and ADMK fared badly – which means people have voted less on the basis of caste,
creed, communal basis, language and have voted more for development, good governance, for India as a whole
3) People have voted against dynasty, family
4) People have voted for a stable government (since it’s a clear majority for BJP)
5) For the first time, the opposition has to form a coalition, and not the ruling party

There have been some notable, well-deserved losers – specially either those ministers who were in the earlier government, or their kith-and-kin, namely –

Ajit Singh – Baghpat – RLD
Chhagan Bhujbal – Nashik – NCP
Rabri Devi, Misa Bharti – Bihar – RJD

Pawan Bansal – Chandigarh – Congress
Kapil Sibal, Ajay Maken, Kapil Sibal – Delhi – Congress
Sachin Pilot – Ajmer – Congress
Meira Kumar – Sasaram – Congress

Ghulam Nabi Azad – J&K – Congress
Farukh Abdulla – J&K – National Conference
Salman Khurshid – Farrukhabad, UP – Congress
Priya Dutt, Milind Deora, Sanjay Nirupam – all from Mumbai – Congress

Karti Chidambaram (P Chidambaram’s son) – Sivaganga, Chennai – Congress

The winning BJP has a clean sweep in 6 states – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Goa, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and more than a couple of Union Territories. Many regional parties have been utterly destroyed – Mayawati’s BSP got 0, Mulayam Singh’s SP got 5 (only those seats where he or his family members fought) – so he can become the PM of his own family ;-), Nitish Kumar’s JDU got only 2 seats, Lalu’s RJD got only 4.

Ultimately, Indians have chosen the person (Modi) who talked only about development, and have defeated parties which talked of caste, pseudo-secularism and vilified Modi (and the BJP).

This is my small tribute to the person and the party who did the seemingly impossible task of garnering a majority in India –

‘हर हर मोदी’


कांग्रेस सरकार ने किये बड़े ही झोल
पर बेचारे ‘मौन-मोहन’ कभी ना पाये बोल

माया, मुलायम सेंकते थे जात-धर्म की रोटी
पर ‘भारतीयों’ ने कर दी उन सबकी किस्मत खोटी

लालू, शरद पवार भी बेहतर हाल में होते
पर भाजपा के कारण हैं अपने घर में रोते

सिबल, खुर्शीद और बेनी की नहीं देखनी शक्ल
पाँच साल घर बैठ के सीखो थोड़ी अक्ल

ना चली नितीश की ‘टोपी’, ना चला ‘आप’ का झाडू
अब क्या करें ‘अच्छे दिन जो अाने वाले हैं’ भीड़ू

बड़े बड़े तीसमार खाँओं ने अपनी इज्जत खो दी
अब तो ‘हर हर मोदी घर घर मोदी, हर हर मोदी घर घर मोदी’

                                                                   — मनोज वाईकर

Categories: India, Politics

Progress of nations.

November 9, 2011 Leave a comment

I came back from a tour of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The more I see different countries, the more I realize that India is tops in the bottom 10% of the countries. In all these three countries, the roads are excellent, people follow traffic rules, the buildings are made not just for housing or business but also for viewing pleasure, the lamp posts are not just vertical structures from which a street light pokes out but beautifully shaped ones, trees are cut, shapely, obviously to enhance the beauty.

So –

Christian countries are advanced (US, UK etc.)
Muslim countries are advanced (Malaysia (which is a multi racial country, but has majority Muslims), Dubai etc.)
Communist countries are advanced (like China)

Shall I then infer that India is not prospering because it is divided by various religions, languages, castes etc.?

Sigh!!! Will India ever prosper?

Categories: General


May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I used to think that most (not all) people in the society should have access to something which the government is building. But I was naive 🙂 I read this beautiful article about Macau (in the Marathi newspaper Saamna), and how it is China’s ATM. The key things to take away from the article are –

1) Even though the local currency is pataca, the currencies which are allowed in the casinos are Euro, Dollars etc. (the stronger currencies)
2) It is (along with Hong Kong) two special administrative regions of China – so one country two systems. [Even India has special provisions for J&K ;-)]
3) Even Chinese nationals need a visa to visit Macau or Hong Kong (to avoid crowding, WOW).

There is a time and place for everything and the five fingers are not all alike.

Categories: Business, General

The beginning of end for OO?

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Is it the beginning of end for OO – OO programming out of CMU CS introductory curriculum.

Well, I don’t know but after learning some lisp programming, I think other languages have far too incidental complexities – the cancer of semi-colon 😉 specifying types etc. that makes the syntax ugly and is of no help in coding. On the other hand, Lisp is beautiful, it is symmetry and simplicity combined and it would’ve done me a ton of good, if I had learnt Lisp after learning C. So at least for me it is a step in right direction and I hope other Indian schools / universities take notice.

Categories: Programming


March 14, 2011 2 comments

How about an almost 7:1 productivity gain? Well, maybe you might not call it productivity, but then what if you had to write 7 times less code? In rebuilding Racket’s graphic layer 200,000 lines of C++ code was replaced by 30,000 lines of Racket (Scheme) code 🙂 In revenge of the nerds Paul Graham mentions that Lisp is way more powerful than other languages. So, are you working with one of the productive languages or a blub 😉

Categories: Programming

While in America, do as Americans do

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Yes, among the many experiences I had in US, I also had the experience of saying good bye to my client (or vice versa) in a flat 15 minutes 🙂 We desis (unless we’ve been in US for some time) are not used to it with all the 2 months and nowadays the ridiculous 3 months notice periods, but that was it, typical US style.

Categories: General

Thank You, Microsoft.

January 6, 2011 2 comments

Dear MS,

You were THE most important ingredient of my professional life and career since April, 1998. After quitting sales in frustration because of lack of decent paying jobs coming my way (courtesy an MBA from a nondescript college), I started preparing for CDAC on my friends’ computer, which, if I am not wrong, had a pirated Windows 95 on it (as was the norm in India, back then – even now the situation might have changed slightly). Thankfully I cleared the entrance and completed the whirlwind 6 months course, in which, I just got an overview of so many things (RDBMS, VC++, VB, Java, C++ etc.) that I was good at nothing. Not to mention, the whole curriculum was completed on machines with Windows loaded on them. Finally I landed a job (in March 1999) where I was supposed to write code in VB6 (and VS 6). Unsurprisingly, I was CRUDifying (writing UI for entering data, with some logic) some business process and the UI was a desktop application (RICH clients) 😉

For the next 3 – 3 1/2 years, I was doing the same thing (though in the meantime, I got the dream chance of going to The Land of Opportunities, twice on a business visa). But by then Java had arisen and was giving you a run for your money (for programming language use and programmer mindshare) – and I was suffering the same fate at the hands of recruiters – by mid to end of 2002, there were hardly any jobs for VB6 – first because of the Java onslaught and second because you came out with .Net and C#. Not just that, but in the interviews, I, and presumably, most VB6 programmers, were being asked questions about internals of COM and I knew hardly more than IUnknown and IDispatch – not my fault, I was not a VC++ programmer so how am I supposed to know the internals (when VB6 shields me from them)? To add insult to injury, VB6 programmers like me didn’t command any respect from other (high profile – Java, C++) programmers – oh VB, it’s not even an OO language – no inheritance…

Enough was enough for me. In the past, I had tried a lot (in vain) to get into a Java project, but couldn’t. Thankfully I got a chance to get interviewed for a .Net project, and by that time, I had read something about .Net and C# and obviously I didn’t want to do anything with the words V B so I bought a C# book, divorced the company which was forcing me to remain married to V B, studied .Net and C# by myself and landed a job in C# (using VS 2000) – writing, once again, RICH clients 🙂 However, this application was getting stock market data from Reuters servers and we were just displaying it nicely – but it was a refreshing change for me – no RDBMS wow – and then I wrote another small application where the front end was Excel which was fetching data using a C# DLL…cooooolll…

But all this while I worked for software service provider companies, where managers and most colleagues derived some super-strange pleasure (unknown to me) by working overtime, and expecting everyone else to follow the norm. I was getting thoroughly frustrated with software as a career and used to wonder what should I do next and how many companies will I have to change – but then I got an opportunity to work in the offshore unit of a product based company and I happily worked for more than 3 – 3 1/2 years in this company – writing, guess what, RICH clients 🙂 first in VS 2003 and then in VS 2005 (using C#, all the time). I wrote a couple interesting applications – a code generator which used to generate PL/SQL code for SQL Server, Sybase and Oracle (but the client was not ready to use NHibernate ;-)) and compiling a code using C# code and generating an assembly and loading it at runtime…

I was also fortunate to work with a team in Miami who used, Castle IoC for their product, but unfortunately we were the only team in our offshore company using these exotic non-MS frameworks for REAL PROJECTS / PRODUCTS – so we couldn’t even ask for any help from our colleagues – and sadly, the project wound up, and with it, most of my chances to find any more meaningful work in that company.

Time for a change!!! I was again in The Land of Opportunities (by virtue of getting an H1 in the lottery) and was in for many of the shocks which only an H1 can give you 😉 – first I worked on a website (yay…thin client, no RICH clients) using Asp.Net, but I wasn’t allowed to use anything which did not come from you (so no open source frameworks), then I worked at a place where at first they allowed me to use anything I considered useful (so I used NH, and Spring.Net for IoC) but later on when they found it hard to find programmers to replace me (because I had to be with the family) they became of the view that even they should only use stuff made by you…so no open source stuff from that point on…

Then I got a chance to work on the next-gen web services framework from you – WCF (Windows Clumsy-cation Foundation) – in which, it was easy to write a few methods which could be invoked over the web – and everything else was complicated, error prone, configuration hell and hard to test. And writing RESTful services was like trying to hold your left ear with your right hand, from the back of your head (sorry I don’t know a fitting phrase) – it is like taking a lots of pain to find a good name for your child (the web method) only to call it GET later (because HTTP calls it Get) 😉

In the same company, I had the fortune of looking at the code for a heavily visited (in a EU country) e-commerce site where – on a single ASPX page, one can find using statements from configuration, to data and to what-not. I also had the good fortune of seeing an assembly where 90% of the classes had more then 90% of the methods – STATIC… 🙂

My final project on H1 was my best so far (because of many reasons) – a very good PM, a very good techie team lead, very good colleagues whom I worked with personally (not in an onsite-offshore setup) which is crucial – I used messaging for the first time (MassTransit), Resharper for the first time (and without Resharper, VS is only half as good, and you won’t believe it until you use it), Moq for the first time (for Mock testing), but here too, the application was, guess what, a RICH client, written in WPF – I didn’t know WPF when I joined the project and now also I know bare minimum of it (and for a change, for the first time in my life, there was a team of talented UI designers who built the UI for us and we were supposed to just fill in the details – read binding).

Now WPF is really powerful for building great looking UIs but it is so vast and has such a steep learning curve that I used to start yawning 5 mins. after I opened any WPF book to read, and in a true MS fashion, applications written in WPF are hard to test – there is no way to see your changes (to the UI)  without actually running the application.

So after working on so many RICH clients, I am finally bored of all things RICH. I am even bored of all things UI. And also –

1) I learnt NUnit but then you gave us MSUnit?
2) I learnt NHibernate but then you gave us (ObjectSpaces, no sorry) Linq to Sql and now EF?
3) I learnt Castle Monorail (which learnt from RoR) but now you give us Asp.Net MVC or MVC.Net?
4) LINQ is cool but functional languages (like LISP) are ultimate.
5) I hate companies who only use stuff which comes exclusively from you and nothing else.
6) Not to mention, I hated your monopolistic ways – bundling IE free with Windows to destroy Netscape, stopping work on future versions of IE, until Firefox scared the shit out of you, your super agreements with laptop sellers who only sell Windows pre-installed (%$#@)…
7) I don’t want to use any pirated OS, IDE or a database (and why should I pay for lesser quality, when a better quality is available for free).

So you see, I accomplished much and earned satisfactorily, because of you, but I am tired of using second hand stuff, and just like I love some of the open source frameworks, it’s time to show some respect to open source and embrace it fully – so even though I paid Windows tax (when I recently bought a new laptop with Win7 home premium installed on it), I uninstalled it and installed Ubuntu 10.10 with fearful heart (yes, it’s difficult to get rid of the old habits). There are some small issues with Ubuntu but that’s fine. I also have Emacs and Lisp installed on it, and finally I hope to move on to Clojure (and JVM).

So thanks for this long association and good luck to you and me on this new year.

New year, new commitments, new ways….AMEN.

Good luck (take care and be watchful),
Another .Net defector.

Categories: Programming