Live and Express

Live and Express


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A sand called me

In the sands of time, I am just a speck, an insigficant one at that, compared to the grand schemes of the windmills of God. Oh, now I sound like Sydney Sheldon, but, that’s how it is, in spite of the master plans that my mind try to weave.

This sand has been observing its mind these days, and it noticed that the thoughts (the so-called intellectual leanings) is all just a projection, like a cinema of the impressions of the past, and the fear about the future. It’s fear because no more appropriate word for the games the mind play – for survival. It’s a well played mind, no complaints, its doing it’s work in a very fine fashion.

This sand, though, has its role to play. Sometimes its stagnant, sometimes its constipated, sometimes its bursting with energy, and sometimes its wayward, but, it exists. Just by the existence, its role is defined, not by its action. If this sand is just happy of what it is, that would be ideal. If this sand connects with the other sands and forms a beautiful conglomerate, that would be great. But, that cannot be forced as the way to look at this sand, because it becomes the perception of who looks at it. And that’s not the fair way to judge this sand. It just is.

This sand is expected to run along with others, but this sand is peacefully idle without any consciousness of time. Because this sand does not look at watches, does not draw a salary to be driven by a boss, does not have big goals to be achieved on time. The never-ending, sweet, stream of being – is – this sand. The waves come and go, the people with lemonade and a book come and go, the speedboats pass by – but this sand is still.

This sand could even become a temple, for, if this sand is blissful, if it could radiate its bliss nearby, people can come and sit in its shade – like they do under a tree. The sand need not become a tree, but it could still be like a tree. Like an eternity – no end of bliss, even if the body of this sand dissipates away.


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#IRCTC woes of #India #Railways

Every grand stuff has a not-so-grand thing.

In case of Indian Railways, it’s the IRCTC’s online web-site for reservations & catering.

As a traveller and a techie, I am just amazed by the sheer negligence of the IRCTC authorities of how a simple thing of handling user traffic in their website has been ignored careless – leading to loss of revenue and discomfort of the passengers.

Recently, there was a talk in Twitter that Indian Railways passenger information is a great #BigData opportunity. The people who started the discussion were awe-ing about the new dynamic fare system introduced in some of the trains. Big Deal? Well, if I am not able to login to IRCTC web-site, what’s the point in even discussing about the features at the web-site?  Even during non-tatkal hours, I get communication failure many times.

It’s a simple matter of introducing cloud to the infrastructure. There was a time when server redundancy & traffic optimization was required.  Extra servers had to be installed, so that they can all share the traffic between them. This required buying additional servers, provisioning them, and writing the software logic to balance the user traffic.

With the advent of cloud computing, server redundancy has been moved to the cloud service provider. All IRCTC needs to do is to sign a service level agreement with the cloud service provider that the service need to handle whatever be the volume of traffic at any hour – the cloud infrastructure would do that by dynamically handling the requests with the servers at THEIR end – instead of IRCTC needing to invest in the physical servers. This way, capital investment is avoided – especially makes sense where in today’s scenario the server features getting outdated in 6 months because of bulkier hard disks, more powerful memory and processing power occupying lesser space.

Instead of investing in cloud service, IRCTC has recently launched a light-weight application, which will be launched during tatkal hours. Well, it’s a stop-gap quick-fix arrangement, but, it will also fail due to the ever-increasing demand of incoming user traffic. Also, who is going to handle the non-tatkal hours traffic which is also significant after 7:00 PM IST ?

I also saw a funny thing – one cannot register an ID between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Why is this?

To summarize, I think the technical knowledge of IRCTC technical staff who are handling the web-site is outdated, and probably 10 years old. I don’t know if IRCTC has outsourced the technical part to a software service provider, but if this is the case, the service provider is doing a pathetic job, and need to replace their architects and engineers who are working on the IRCTC part – to upgrade to new software solutions which can handle the real time situations.

I told my friend – if I have to ever curse someone, I would say that their life be dragging for ever like an IRCTC user session! Hopefully, IRCTC will fix their web-site, and get out of the situation of being a laughing stock and a subject of online jokes in Facebook & other social networking sites.


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Meanderings on a Wednesday early morning..

Today is 13th. Very auspicious to write my next blog.

I was talking to someone, and they said ‘Your are too boring! You talk about social projects, fundraising, inspiration, leadership, etc. Too heavy. I like kids :-D’.  I nodded my head, and then started thinking why am I so boring?  They love kids. I am the type who like to find out how the babies get life. Isn’t top-notch technology that I talking about – how life takes form?  It’s probably the effect of the bio-technology novel that I am reading.. Hmm..

Perhaps, I should have talked about how many Likes I put in Facebook and why. Likes of different kinds…Some Like your post just to convey that they agree with your line of thought, some Like to build a rapport with you, some Like just because they don’t have anything else to do, and there’s indeed the very serious ones who Like just to follow your post and find out what you are upto :-P.  Oh, don’t forget to Like this blog 😛

I decided to write a controversial post.. just to be interesting. You see, I am a social animal, and I am supposed to grin when people laud me, and go sit in the corner and cry when people ignore me. So, if I write something catchy, then people will be all interested and comment and keep the thread going, you know? it will be fun.

So, I scratched my forehead (lot of clean surface area these days) and started thinking. My problem is I have friends – left, right and center – capitalists, communists, moderates, socialists, new age. So, if I write something, it should not offend anyone.  For a moment, I sounded like God to myself. I can’t move even my pinky finger, because if I did, it will affect someone in an adverse way. So, my fingers stopped on the keyboard..

What else could you do really? May be we should perhaps be entering an age of understanding and awareness. People just know what needs to be done, and there is no need to even open the mouth :-P. No need for dialogue, no need for fights, no need for violence. We all just knew what’s required and we just do with love. We don’t need languages either because there’s no talk. Sadly, no need for blogs :-P.

Ok, enough wool-gathering. Off to a busy day. Tadaaa…..