The festival of Diwali

The festival of Diwali

Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated in India 21 days after Dusshera, that is when Ram killed Ravan. Diwali celebrates the return of Ram to Ayodhya after his 14 years of exile. Lamps are lit everywhere and the festival is celebrated with fireworks, symbolising all the negativity inside us burning along with them.

Ram was the son of Dasaratha’s first wife, Kausalya. Dasaratha’s second wife, Kaikeyi had a son named Bharata. When Kaikeyi saved Dasaratha’s life in battle, he granted her two boons, which she chose to use later. So when Ram was declared the new king of Ayodhya, Kaikeyi, under the influence of her chambermaid Manthra, used her two boons to declare her own son, Bharata as the king, and to send Ram into exile for 14 years. Ram respectfully listened to his father and agreed to go. His wife Sita and his brother Lakshman followed him into the forest.

In the forest, while Ram and Lakshman went hunting, Ravan the demon king captured Sita and took her with him. When Ram hears about this, he goes to find her along with Lakshman, Sugriva and the monkey god Hanuman. He finally finds Ravan at Lanka and kills him, which we celebrate as Dusshera. He then returns to Ayodhya, his exile being completed. Legend says that it took him 21 days to walk from Lanka to Ayodhya, hence Diwali is celebrated 21 days after Dusshera.

When Ram returns to Ayodhya, everyone celebrates by lighting lamps and distributing sweets, which we follow to this day. This year, Diwali falls on the 18th of October. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Diwali.

Heartbreaks and how to deal with one.

Heartbreaks and how to deal with one.

Everyone has dealt with a heartbreak at least once. Its the most traumatising experience you can get, and you feel like you’ll never recover from it,like all hope is lost and nothing is right with the world anymore. The birds don’t seem to chirp.The sun is always covered by clouds. You have multiple bad days at work. You can’t even get up from bed in the morning.

The pain is real. Scientists have proved that a heartbreak can cause serious health issues. You either get really fat or really thin. Your body is full of stress hormones. You enter into depression. Your brain thinks you’re physically hurt. You can even get borderline personality disorder, which is when you don’t know who you are anymore.

Heartbreak is usually caused when you lose a loved one,probably to someone else.It’s the worst feeling on earth. So how do you recover from one? Allow me to be brutally honest here. From personal experience, I can tell you that you never really recover from a heartbreak. Somewhere deep down, you will always have that feeling, that huge question of “What If?”. The best thing you can do is to suppress it as much as you can. Here’s how.

  • Try and fall in love with something else. It can be anything, maybe food, or your work. Anything to keep your mind off of it.
  • Delete and get rid of all memories. Although you will always have that one special picture which you just can’t throw away, get rid of everything else. This is so that you dont get reminded of those “good” times.
  • Work. Work like you have never worked before. When your brain is focused on your work, you wont have time to think about anything else.
  • Start living for yourself and loving yourself. Do things that make you feel happy. Skydive. Go for car races. Take a swim in the ocean. Start discovering the fun parts of life, rather than that stupid person who hurt you.
  • Eat cake. Lots and lots of cake. Trust me, it works. Personally I prefer chocolate cake, but any kind of cake will do. More cake=more happiness.

All the best to every brave man and woman out there who dealt with a heartbreak. It’s a brand new life now. Go live it.


Vistara Hackathon 2017

Vistara Hackathon 2017

India’s largest aviation hackathon, the Vistara Hackathon, was conducted on the 7th and 8th of October 2017 at Delhi NCR and Bengaluru simultaneously. I participated in the hackathon along with 4 other members from my FOSS club, with the group name “The TechnoCrats”. The theme was  #DisruptionInAviation. It was my first hackathon,for a total duration of 30 hours,which sounded intimidating at first,but it wasn’t so bad. The venue was the KStart office at Bengaluru,a beautiful place to work. We found ourselves a cabin and got to work on our project.

Our project was called Track and Travel(T&T). It was a web application on the Django framework. Let me explain to you how it works. Imagine you have a flight to catch and once you reach the airport on time, you get to know that your flight is delayed by 2 hours. Sad,isn’t it? Had you known about the delay while you were at home, you could have used those 2 hours more productively. That’s where we come in to help you. If your flight is delayed, we notify you about it beforehand, by tracking down the flight on the air network. Thus, you can know when your flight is late. We show you where your flight currently is on the map. We also tell you when to leave your current location to the airport, after analysing the distance and the traffic along the way.

But all this seems pretty normal right? Anyone can do this. What’s special is that the whole process is completely automated. All you have to do is sign in with your Google account. As soon as your flight ticket reaches your email, we take the information from your inbox, build your itinerary for you and tell you everything you need to know about your flight. It’s as simple as that.

We made it to the final pitching round, which consisted of the top 20 teams, but we couldn’t make it to the top three.We’re not disappointed,though. The whole experience was fun and fruitful. Looking forward to more hackathons.

CIR WebDevelopment RTE 2017

CIR WebDevelopment RTE 2017

I was a part of the Web Development workshop conducted at Amrita University. Two weeks before the event,we had a briefing session on why it was important to attend such workshops, and how it would help us in the future. That is what motivated me to join. This was my first time attending a full-fledged technical skill workshop, and I found it very informative and interesting.

I was part of a group of roughly 12-15 other first-year students, most of them from CSE. We were working with HTML, CSS, JS and Python, mentored by Chirath R, one of our third year students, who is also the head of the Web Development team at the FOSS Club, here at Amritapuri.

It was a two week program, organized by the CIR team to improve our technical skills, thus making us more marketable for job providers. We started off with the basics of HTML, adding simple text and a few user interface components. We quickly moved on to CSS and JavaScript, in order to make our web pages more efficient.

We were soon introduced to Python, to run the back end for our websites. The final aim was to create our own blog, complete with administrative privileges. Django was going to help us in achieving that.Django is an open source web framework written in Python. Although most of us had a bit of a tough time understanding Django and Python, our mentor was extremely helpful and was never hesitant to clear our doubts, no matter how small.

As the days went by, we started becoming more familiar with Django, and before long we had a fully equipped blog site in our hands. It felt good to have built something we could call our own. We hosted it using PythonAnywhere , a free web hosting service. In the end, even though my short summer break was cut short even further by this workshop, I was glad I joined.

I also had the good fortune for being selected to join the FOSS Club at Amrita. It was a golden opportunity to improve my technical and communication skills, being mentored by the best. Overall, things turned out well. 🙂

My Internship Project  FOSS@Amrita