Happy Ending

Hey people, this is my last on this blog. It was I say pretty successful I guess. About 7500 hits, it ran for a long time. The heading tags are the ones I kept on the very first day.

Most of you guys would be knowing that I have got a domain as http://www.iraghu.com which will be my current blog now on. I hope to see you guys there as well. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood Raghu Nayyar

 

WordPressed

WordPressed

Its been 4 days I have been working on my WordPress theme now. Its been some 30 hours of CSS and some PHP as well, that is now making me share my thoughts with you. I remember my love for WordPress began last year, but then due to lack of interest in learning PHP, it restricted me to style.css ONLY.

Now also, I don’t count myself an expert in PHP, but I guess, I am eager to learn PHP for experimenting things here.  A few stupid things (That’s what one calls errors after getting the solution..) on which I used to waste a lot of time earlier are somewhat resolved now, making things faster.

I will mention a list of things I did this week, that may be very common to others, but are new to me, at-least for now.

  1. Making different styles for individual pages (on the same style sheet).
  2. I had a good look to one of the best plugins available for WordPress, including some 10-15 image sliders, some contact forms as well.
  3. Customizing footer areas, basically widgetizing them. Though its styling is still left I am yet to o but I guess, the tough part is done.

One thing needs a special mention, I have tried working on several WordPress frameworks, but nothing, can be there as compared to Bones, it’s simply amazing.

As the theme is under its way, I also have started to save for buying the domain. Probably, I will be buying in the 2nd week of March. Let us see how it works out.

Photoshop Text Effect

Photoshop text Effect

Photoshop Text Effect

It took me quite some time to use text effects as a part of an image background in Photoshop. I remember the first time I encountered such a problem was in September, when I was very much into tutorials and all for learning it. Making this image, or logo you can say, taught me a lot of things that many people think are obvious, but are extremely important, while doing such  typographic effects in photoshop.  I will list a few of them :-

  1. The background font should be very thick.
  2. Prefer using different colors to the foreground fonts, instead of repeating with the same one.
  3. The most importantly, DON’T stop yourself from peeping into tutorials available, even when you start to think that you can manage Photoshop well. Remember, mastering Photoshop is mastering design, which is not possible.

I was searching a similar tutorial that can help you make you such an effect. Click Here for the tutorial.

StartUp Weekend – Bangalore

StartUp Weekend Bangalore

 

I still remember the doubts me and Kushal, my college friend, had before attending StartUp Weekend, when all of our friends had dropped the idea. I had heard about it  through my friends in Delhi, but it was Kushal, who pushed me to be a part of it.

The event was in the Microsoft Office, Bangalore which was THE BEST office (I dont know if I can call it even one..it was something better than just an office.) I have ever seen in my life. We were one of the youngest ‘students’ who had registered for the event that too, without an idea in mind. Basically, we had just come to gain some experience from the event. We met really cool people there, who had some or the other weird ideas in mind.

The Pitches

Undoubtedly, the best part of day one. People who had start up ideas, were up the stage and were giving the details and telling the crowd about their requirements. Ideas like Mistakopedia,  Narial Pani Stalls and life on a roll grabbed  a lot of attention for being funny or you can say totally random, but trust me its the weird and random ideas that implemented properly make successful start ups.

Once the pitching was over, every one got a chance to vote their favorite ones, and hence 15 out of 54 pitches were shortlisted. Now, the fun part, the team formation. One could see people rushing here there looking for the designers, developers and business guys they wanted. It reminded me of the vegetable stalls in Delhi, where some one was shouting out for their needs.

By the way, to see all the top pitches you can Click Here.

Our Idea Our Team

Me and Kushal were a part of the LocalBills. Most of the contestants knew us for the three Raghus. The  idea was pretty simple, LocalBills will pay the bills ( be it electricity, water or telecom) for all those who didn’t do it by themselves. Initially the idea seemed to  be nice, till the time it was questioned by the mentors present there to help the contestants. It wasn’t that we got a lot of criticism, but the idea may not be successful in the long run.

The Fun

The stay at the Microsoft office was brilliant I must say.  After a really long time I got my hands over pool, that I left long back in school days. The food was brilliant too, especially the Dominos pizzas and the Lavazza coffee in the canteen. I almost got addicted to the coffee there.  The place was very clean despite the fact there were some 100 contestants there in the small auditorium. The organizers were good too. It was fun to talk to a few of them.

The presentations

Well, I hate Kushal for taking the bu ticket which was supposed to leave at 7 45 PM on day three. It make us miss the best part of the 3 days : The presentations. The teams had to explain their ideas to the judges and they would select the top three of them. The most memorable presentation was by Sharewell (The second last one I saw there..). The way it was presented was brilliant, and the way they had made their website was awesome. The best part was the project was coded on Go lang and Google App Engine , that know one else there knew.

The Experience

I am extremely lucky to experience something like StartUp Weekend, Bangalore. It was something that is tailor made for people like me who want to code but had literally no pressure on you. The 3 days or 54 hours. I spent coding and learning. The concepts about CSS and Javascript became more clear and I regretted not knowing PHP, SQL and Ajax to an extent. These are now on the priority list of the semester, and enthu for learn them is really high.

My Experiences with Death..

After apologizing to n number of people for my last post, I had to write something to cover it up. I did start writing something but had to pause, because of the recent nightmares I got of what happened two years back. So, I had to take a bold decision on writing something which has been disturbing me for the past two years now. No one knows about this apart from my family.

This incident, though disturbing, is very close to my heart and is something I cant forget ever. It was my first experience with death..

Every December, we have a family union, when I am back from the college and my Chachu, with his family, visits. This time we had planned a family outing to Amritsar. Everyone wanted to visit the golden temple (and as usual, I had Punjabi food on my mind..my sole purpose of going there.) The best option for reaching there was certainly Delhi- Dehradun Jan Shatabdi Express, that starts from the New Delhi Railway Station early morning,

We reached the railway station an hour before the train (following the Nayyar tradition of reaching places hours early.). While everyone was busy clicking photographs, I went for a stroll along the platform seeing passengers who too like us had reached pretty early. One of them was a very old couple, may be in there late 60s who had come to meet their married daughter (as it seemed from the scene.). Everything seemed really happy and bright, tiny tots bidding there grannys goodbye.!:)

Soon i realized i had spent a lot of time admiring the happy family and  rushed back to where my mates were, to board the train. And to my surprise the oldy couple was sharing seats with us. They were just sitting next to where I was.

As we set off with our train journey, uncle seemed a bit uneasy, he was coughing bad. Though it was kind of annoying in the beginning but i too began to worry after a little while when he started breathing heavily too. I could now see something dripping down his face. I could notice his wife in tears while she was cleaning it off . In sometime, everyone around had a reason to worry, as he fell unconscious.

Thankfully, a medical intern was there who rushed to check him. We all knew he had passed away, but no one could dare to tell his sobbing wife. My dad was busy calling his daughter from uncle’s cell. Even worse, the emergency chain present in the train too wasn’t working, neither in our coach nor in the neighbouring ones that further infuriated the people around who almost beated the train ticket collector for it. The train was finally brought to hault by buzzing up the train driver. The doctor there, was trying hard, sweat dripping down her forehead in despair.

Every desperate soul there wanted to do there bit, but helpless as they were, couldn’t do anything but be a silent spectator to what was happening around. The gushing train too had crossed a couple of Delhi stations by then. After a wait of some 15-20 minutes, someone from railways authority picked up the uncles body, out on to the railway tracks. The helpless lady went along too.

I can’t exactly say what happened next. Probably poor aunty had to wait for someone, along the railway tracks, with her husband’s body by her side, from her family to come and take them along. She too might have realized that he has left the earthly world for heavenly abode up above.

  Our journey continued…. but it did leave a very strong impact at least on my mind. I couldn’t forget the face of the person I saw so happy with his family on the platform, who sat next  to me and passed away right in front of my eyes. I don’t know why I had to right on this, but as they say.. someday, it had to come out. May the departed soul rest in peace..Amen!

A Really Long Time..

 

September 13th, I guess was the last time I published something on my blog. I don’t know what has stopped me from publishing my posts since then. I wrote one while traveling to Mumbai, in a super fucked up Volvo that was nothing worse than a passenger train. I wrote a blog while coming back well, particularly to show my anger on the people who get 20-30 burgers from McDonalds and then puke throughout the journey. Probably, the worst traveling experience I have ever had.

Anyways, currently, I am in Delhi. I too wanted to come here after a horrible semester, needed a break from the not so hectic schedule from college. I don’t what changed in me this semester that I became quite disinterested in a plenty of things I loved a lot earlier.  Instead of listening to music, I now preferred reading a biography (on Steve Jobs), and also the love for the junk food has gone drastically down, which I feel is good. I had brought a plenty of games for myself that I wanted to finish off during this break, but didn’t even start it. In short, I don’t know what has happened.

The only thing that didn’t change  was the passion for the theme I was working on, and the illustrations (or to be specific logos. ) I was trying to make for a certain restaurant. I guess I wont be discussing on that over here.

I guess 5th of January will bring an end to this randomness that now prevails in me, and makes me more subtle. By the way, the date marks the beginning of the 2nd semester of my 2nd year at college.

PS:- I don’t know what made me write this post.

A Night To Remember…

After a long time, I finally get to write on something that I have always loved most… performing on stage. Though, it’s a work of fiction, but yeah, I still can’t figure out what makes me love this one so much… I guess you guys too like it.

Part 1-The Background…

After a week of practice, the day has come for the guys to show their talent on the stage. For Nikhil, this event is always been more than just a competition. Finally, he will get to sing his heart out in the middle of some 2500 people, who most probably will be booing at every band (or group performing…). Nikita, who is a dear friend, plus the second lead singer, who always been supportive of his idea of dedicating the song to his girlfriend, too, is now worried about the performance, and not to forget, the audience reaction. Nobody apart from a group of 5 people or 5 friends, or the 5 performers knows about the plan, just because she doesn’t get a hint.

Part 2-Last Practice…

With just a few hours left for THE performance, the performers, Nikhil, Nikita, Mandeep (on the drums), Aditya (lead guitarist) and Kushal (rhythm guitarist) everyone’s busy practicing. Nikhil is happy about the fact that now everyone is serious about their performers apart from just him. Looking at his Ipod, he notices that he has listened to the song more than 100 times, so the lyrics are in his blood. They still are facing problems jamming together pretty well because someone or the other forgets his/her portion. That’s when Nikita stands up to control Nikhil’s frustration. He has already fought with Neha several times, because he wasn’t able to give her enough time because of the practice (making every possible excuse). This has added up to his nervousness of screwing up the performance, but he travelled a lot, and he feels he will make it

Part 3-THE Performance…

Nikhil, where are you? Its time…” Nikhil hears Nikita shouting outside while he is in the washroom, washing his face again and again. With some confidence he walks out where he is welcome with a hug from Nikita ”Don’t worry, you will rock it.”, she says. He can hear their band name shouted, and the huge roar from the crowd. Ironically, he is now confident, pretty much ready for rocking the stage (as Nikita always says it…). One final hug to everyone, they are on the stage. Neha sitting in the first row (as a part of the plan) sees Nikhil as he starts on with the song with dedicating it to his girlfriend. She has tears as he sings, completely synchronised with the claps from the audience that later turns into vocals from them. Unlike every session, everyone is able to jam properly. The crowd pushes Neha on to the stage, where she joins Nikita, on the vocals (distracting Nikhil.. but he manages it…). Everyone thoroughly enjoys the moment, as the song ends with, a tight hug between everyone on the stage…as they congratulate them and each other while leaving the stage. The song “Two is better than one” , which has been Nikhil’s favourite since long, proves more than being just another favourite song for him, for them, for everyone…

Part 4-The Results…

Though the performance didn’t fetch them any prize, but yeah, Nikhil got a standing ovation from the audience (and not to forget a kiss from his girlfriend, backstage).  No one of the group regrets the fact that, they didn’t win, because, their performance was for a greater purpose

MY India: Two Face…

 

The theme of the post is a work of friction, but the post is solely based on my ideas, my reaction towards Indian society. I am not writing this post to play with anyone’s emotions (if by any chance, my writing even affects someone), but I am only writing this post to share my feelings with the readers, my readers.

 The following note was retrieved at Sanjeev’s house on investigation by the police after his corpse was recovered from the highway. A clear case of suicide according to the police, and the cause of death was apparently, intake of excess sleeping pills…

Well, let’s start off with the formalities, yes it’s me JUST ME who is responsible for MY DEATH, no one else (I am writing as if even anyone cares!). I don’t know to what extent (if it does so) this note affect the people, not saying the people, because that’s a generalised term, but yeah, if it does affect the reader, my job is done. I am Sanjeev, Sanjeev Kumar, who lives in a place, where more importance is given to the sir name than the first name in any field, be it anything. I seriously don’t know, what my mistake is/was/has been that I was NOT born in the so called ‘minority caste’, but yes, after my death too, I plead to God (if he exists) that if he wishes to bring me back to Earth, please don’t choose the country as India, or please make me born in the minority society. At least then, I will be assured of a secure future, and will be given a preference somewhere. It’s just that I am tired of proving myself again and again seeing my friends rise, in this two faced country (Please don’t call me weak, prefer calling me reluctant).

We live in a country where is caste is placed above credentials, above talent, rather above everything.  I guess whatever I am writing, everyone knows that its true, given the fact I am NOT one of THOSE, even my name won’t be there in the newspaper because no one really cares when people like us die. I seriously don’t know, why I am writing all this, why I am blaming the entire society for my death, maybe it’s just a way to take out all my frustration and I guess there is no reservation for showing your frustration….or is it???

Sanjeev Kumar

General Category

Shaitan …My Verdict ….

 

After watching the first day first show of Shaitan, I realised one thing definitely, Bollywood is changing, and changing for the good. Now, new directors are coming in, who are not star kids, but are well educated people who choose direction as their career. No more importance is given to the Khans, they prefer making movies low on budget, with a decent, rather new star cast. Shaitan, produced byAnuragKashyap, lives up to the expectations in every way, be it the direction (debutant director BejoyNambiar), dialouges, cinematography, music…rather every field.

Shaitan is a thriller about a group of youngsters who are into drugs, drinking and reckless driving (their gorgeous Hummer surely grabs eyeballs…). They are spoilt brats but are loved by their rich parents, a lot. One night, they kill two innocent people in a road accident and to hide their crime they have to bribe a cop for Rs25 lac, for which they fake the kidnapping of one of the member of the group, Amy (played by KalkiKoechlin), who has some issues with her mother. Expectedly, their plan goes out of control, bringing out the inner Shaitan of the youngsters.

The performances of the cast are fantastic, especially by Rajeev Khandelwaal (the good cop) and Shiv Pandit (as DC …the so called leader of the group). A few moments, like the girls asking for KaalaKhatta/lichi flavoured condoms from the chemist, the divorce sequence of Khandelwaal and his wife are memorable. The music is brilliant, it’s not something one can generally play on the music system, but it goes every well with what is going on the screen. O yaarais undoubtedly the best song of the movie.

With the running time of somewhere around 2 hours, the movie deserves the length, and is very gripping, because of the detailing of the characters by the director. The ending of the movie is dramatic, the only drawback in the movie that I felt. Overall Shaitan is a must watch, it will make you think when you will come out of the auditorium. Watch it for the direction and the cast, especially Rajeev Khandelwaal…

I go with 4/5 for Shaitan…so go and discover your Inner Shaitan…

Confessions of a BITSian mind

As Aniket and Kshitij are standing on the Vasco railway station, I move out of the group, for a stroll. Roaming here and there on the railway platform, with my earphones plugged in, my mind starts thinking about the place from where we are coming, our college, where we just completed our first year. Suddenly, a group of small children, enjoying with each other comes to my sight that takes me back to the initial days of the semester… when we not only found friends, but in fact discovered friendshipand understood its true worth….

Me, Aniket, Chaitanya, Kushal, Leo, Ardra, Dishin, Rhea, Saloni, Maneesh and finally the photographer Nikhil; finally a destination is set, ARAMBOL (a beach + a lake,some 60km away…) after fighting, for over a day, with we guys hiring 2 cars and Kushal and Maneesh being our drivers. It took us somewhere around 2 hours to reach the place, courtesy Kushal and Maneesh’s superb driving and not to forgetmy phone’s GPS. With Nikhil and Kushal busy with the photography and Maneesh showing off his talent in swimming to rest, I preferred to sit in the corner seat of the shack we had come to, following my favourite hobby, thinking. Out of nowhere, everything started coming to my mind, my best friend who shifted home, long back, the girl I liked (history now…), and the topics I usually run away when being asked, my interests. Probably the best trip of the year according to my friends, for me, this trip was something more, I finally started realising I can see my friends in them.

I spent most of my time this semester, probably in Aniket’s room, looking at his laptop while he was doing stuff that I didn’t used to get initially till I the time I myself developed an interest in it. Aniket being an excellent and more importantly a passionate web designer/developer developed an interest in me also in this field. It was then I started going through my NIIT notes I had got there, accidentally though, and got my hand over HTML/CSS once again. Though I am not at all a good designer at the present moment, but yeah, I guess I can try to be one, with time.

One of the most memorable moments of the last semester were with Chaitanya, with the walks that we used to have around the campus, talking about everything from girls to booze to drugs, but not academics. Interestingly, this was something different for a guy like me, who always used to bring in acads/CG everywhere, I guess I have realised by now there are things that are beyond that. Also to include, Leo, being the only girl with whom I spent time here (I don’t know but still I still haven’t developed a way with women…), Ardra, with whom I couldn’t spend much time, but yeah …she is a dear friend…and loads of time left for us to pass out.

I am really happy that I finally got a closer, be it a little closer, to a group of people after my eighth standard. I don’t know what life has in store for us, but one thing for sure“YE DOSTAANA MAI KABHI NAHI BHOOLUNGA”…

P.S. – Sorry I couldn’t include much stuff about Kushal, Chauje, Khicha, Kshitij, Maneesh…but I love you guys a lot… Thanks for being there…