Ended up at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

I recollect those days when I had just passed out of class 12 to join a university. One of the easy choice for me to pursue higher studies was at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. I believe that it was more of my destiny than the impact from my cousin sister that favoured my choice. Now when I look back, I see the perfect path that had laid out for me, making me who I am now. My life was an incomplete jigsaw back then. I was able to find more pieces to put together with so much of help.

One of the fancy sentence that a freshman hears on reaching campus is that “you have lots of opportunities”. Over time, I realized this was not just a fancy sentence. The university presented me with a variety of opportunities and possibilities. But I see most people not using/ realizing the opportunities that are right in front of them. I feel I am one of the fortunate ones to realize and use some of these opportunities

I joined FOSS@Amrita, one of the most active technical community in the campus, in my first semester. I got guidance from mentors and seniors of the club who encouraged me to aim for excellence and learn more. I wasn’t too nerdy, but commitment, regularity, and hard work helped me to start slow, explore more areas and learn new things.

Technically, I got a very good exposure with help of FOSS@Amrita. I got an internship to work with Wikimedia Foundation sponsored by Google. I flew to Cambodia, to speak at a developer conference. I flew again to Israel for a summer school to learn Machine Learning. I also became part of various events to take workshops and classes for school & college students.

Apart from the technical and academic activities, I also explored other areas as well. I got involved in most of the activities of Ayudh club. The club hosts some of the very cool activities like cleanups, rallies, celebrations etc to spread awareness and involves students to help them understand their social responsibilities. The student social responsibility project helps us to spend our vacation in a fruitful way. We, as a group, visit villages and help them in whichever way we could. Opportunities like these, to visit old age home, do social service, spread awareness etc gave some of good very experiences that would stay throughout the life.

When we had to shift our hostel to the college side, after the first year, but I opted to stay in the ashram. Ashram is a place where people live disciplined, striving towards a particular goal and follow teachings of Guru. Ashram atmosphere provides the feeling of oneness, and more often I enjoy attending bhajans. The people in ashram are kind, loving and free to talk anytime which seems more pleasing than spacious hostel rooms near the college. I go for seva, whenever I am free. I consider it as one of the smallest ways to create an impact in society. I met so many wonderful people, came to know their life stories and learned many good values. I came to know about Amma and grasped many valuable lessons from her life. Although I miss out hostel life with batch mates, pros of staying in ashram are many.

I did try many things that I haven’t thought about doing. Before joining the college, I had no idea how my future would be, but now I know what all to pursue and achieve. I was asking myself on what more can I expect out of a college?

 

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A week to remember

I attended Gitamritam camp during the first week of my semester holidays. I had interacted with many who have attended the camp before and it’s the enthusiasm that I saw in them, pushed me to try this camp. Vipin sir had asked me to attend the camp last time, but I got busy and it took me in another way. And after one year of long gap, I got selected for the camp again. I didn’t have many expectations, but I was sure that I will be having fun.

The campus is only about an hour journey from my home. It was my first time visiting Coimbatore campus and it was so vast and scenic. I absolutely enjoyed the location of the place, which was just beside the foothills of western ghats.

We had Yogasana session up on the terrace throughout the camp. The breeze of cold air with the soothing scenery of bright sunlight falling onto the mountains through the clouds makes you feel rejuvenated.

We had quite a tough schedule starting from 04:45 in the morning till 22:30. The breaks during the days were fixed. The class hours were perfectly arranged so we didn’t feel bored. To be frank, we didn’t waste even a minute during the camp. We kept ourselves away from mobile phones which gave us plenty of time to interact and enjoy the bits and pieces of the camp. I really enjoyed the workshops and other sessions which made us interact and have fun.

We learned the second chapter of Gita. I think my perspective got changed a lot for good. I could learn so many values and qualities that one should possess and to see life from a totally different perspective. I actually contemplated upon every sloka and every event that happened in the camp, with our own life.

Many personalities shared their experiences, dreams, and passion every day which became one of the highlights of the camp. I was able to learn many things from each and every one of them. Actually, we can grow a lot from others experience.

The camp was not about few people teaching us Gita, but we were ourselves learning and understanding Gita from the mistakes, experiences, and facts that were presented to us. I have lots of things to write but I can’t. Whoever is reading this should not miss the experience of experiencing the camp 🙂

Dreams are to be chased

Smile blooms on my face when I look back at my childhood days. The time, when enjoyment was the most priority thing in life, flew away. The sweet and sour moments that I enjoyed with friends, won’t wash out of my memory.

I used to say that my ambition (No. 1) was to become a doctor when I was 10yr old. I didn’t have a clear idea of what to become when I grow up. I must have had interest towards many things, but I was unable to spot one. Indeed life is a journey, which will take you where you are intended to go. In my case faith just took me and now I am here at Amrita University studying CS (which I don’t regret :P).

My dad love pets, so I had the opportunity to grow myself older with pets. We have lots of hens and I used to feed them daily. Time just passes by at home. We also had many aquarium fishes, parrots, ducks, and pigeons. We didn’t have much income out of it, but we were happy taking care of it. I used to have a small piece to land to grow veggies, on very monsoon. So like many children’s dream, I also had the dream (No. 2) of owning a farm. At least this was one job that I was familiar with those days. I would stop by if I come across any TV program related to farming and also it was very much interesting for me.

It was when I was in high school that I started experimenting with cooking. Although I started small, I was good at it. I came across few basics dishes to survive but couldn’t make much progress. I had thought (No. 3) of starting a hotel as a business, with myself as a chef and few workers hired.

Watching Discovery Channel was one of the biggest time passes. Being more specific, I was watching mostly the show ‘Man vs Wild’. Bear Grylls the survival expert created a tiny (No. 4) adventurist in me, to go “into the wild”. I always wanted to get into a remote island or forest and live with nature. I was getting more and more into nature where I felt more comfortable.

When I got into senior secondary schooling, I got shifted to a new class. Subjects were not at all interesting and whole life seemed inactive. Of which only one subject caught my interest, it was C++ programming. I was pretty good at it and also scored decent marks. With that, I decided (No. 5) to be a CS engineer. I got into FOSS@Amrita community and got exposed to various fields.

Amritapuri in Kollam, where I am studying, is like heaven to me. I was bound to the fences at my native home whereas, in Amritapuri I am able to rejoice the freedom. I started (No. 6) traveling and found it interesting. My mentor used to say that “One should gain enough experiences before the age of 30. For that, he/she should travel making enough mistakes”.

 

Evening at Oachira temple

Today, I along with Krishnan, Adithya, and my roommate Devendra went to Oachira festival. And the time I spend over there was real fun. Oachira temple is situated in Kollam district in Kerala. The temple is dedicated mainly to Para Brahma (Supreme consciousness) and Lord Shiva.

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I talked to a person who was there. He is a fisherman by livelihood and I could see that he was really happy to stay near the temple. They live in small huts covered with roofing sheets during this festival. They cook, stay with the family near the temple, and return back after 12 festival days. There was no infrastructure for the temple as such. The idols are kept under the banyan tree and the place was filled with lamps which gave extreme beauty for the place. We could hear the ‘chenda’ and ‘nadaswaram’ (musical instrument) being played nearby. Although it was little crowded, I could feel positive energy as soon as we reached over there and the ordinary smell of the burning lamps was so comforting.

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There were stalls selling bajjis, snacks, books, toys and many other things. We had few bajjis, ice-cream, and snacks and roamed around to see everything. I had always enjoyed the nightlife where ever I had been to. And this night will be always on my list of memories. I had hot roasted peanuts in my hands while waiting for the bus, in the drizzling weather. It was a good evening to visit the temple, to wander around and interacting with random people.

That moment when you wish you could SLEEP

All my roommate keeps saying that I “sleep like a log”. My mum too says this, whenever I’m at home. I don’t listen much to them and I feel “Let it be”.

Today, it’s Independence Day and I had planned to go for the celebration and the clean up drive thereafter which is supposed to start at 9 in the morning. The previous day, I had some extra work on my GSoC project and  was 3 am to return to the hostel, as usual. I had only nearly 5 hours to sleep, and I really wanted to wake up in the morning.

I remember keeping my alarm before sleeping. I woke up in the morning, looked at my phone and sadly it was 12 noon. I missed the alarm and my phone was silent that I couldn’t hear the calls from my friends.

Every night, I sleep remembering that I have to wake up early in the morning. But it had never happened,  apart few times. I wish that I could also control my sleep.

Good night:)

#trip Kochi

I went on a two day trip to the west-coast of India, the queen of Arabian sea – Kochi. I was very much excited on the trip and I wanted to the trip to be delightful. I searched for the awesome places in Ernakulam, and also hotels to try new varieties of food.  I slept friday night at Shiva ettan’s house and left in the morning heading Hill Palace.  I had to take two buses to reach the palace. The palace have been maintained extraordinary and had sufficient number of workers. There wasn’t much rush when I arrived, but slowly I was able see more and more people coming to visit the palace. I would say, this one of the best place to visit in Ernakulam. I spend about 2 hrs to see the place, and I climbed into a bus to “Menaka” bus stand from there. It took about 30 min to reach there through the busy traffic. The bus left me in front of “Penta Menaka”, the place where you only see shops selling mobile phones and accessories. I couldn’t find good veg restaurant anywhere for having lunch.  I roamed around there for 10 minutes and decided to head for Fort Kochi. I took a public transport boat which costed only 4 rupees. I was amazed to know that boat was pretty much cheaper. The boat journey was one of the best part in the whole journey. The atmosphere was calm, quite and the only thing that I can hear was the sound of boat and people whispering. I didn’t knew where to go after reaching Fort Kochi. After searching google maps, I headed to Mahatma Gandhi beach, which seemed only far distant to walk. The beach wasn’t clean at all, the shore was filled with crap things. I could see the Chinese fishing nets and the place was filled with people selling fishes and crabs. Among the crabs there were few beautiful looking crabs. I wished I could save them from being eaten. The Dutch colony street is one of the sweetest place. There were only a few in the streets and it had old buildings and few shops which sold antiques and some stuffs. I could see all ranges of restaurant, the really expensive, the expensive, the middle range and the normal ones also. I got into an average one and had biriyani. I also had a lemon tea which tasted excellent. I took some cash from  nearby ATM and took an auto rickshaw to Mattancherry Palace.

Install PhpStorm on Ubuntu 14.04

I have been using PhpStorm for more than 1 year. I love this IDE as its filled with awesome features. It provide so much of features which helps us to make our work much more easier. Here are the steps to install the IDE on 64 bit Ubuntu 14.04 operating system.

Uninstall the previous version of Oracle if you have installed previously :

sudo apt-get purge openjdk*

Installing Oracle Java 8:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Install PhpStorm:

wget https://download-cf.jetbrains.com/webide/PhpStorm-2016.1.2.tar.gz
tar -xvf PhpStorm-2016.1.2.tar.gz
cd PhpStorm-145.1616.3/bin
./phpstorm.sh

The last command will open up the PhpStorm IDE:

After the IDE have opened up, go to Tools and then select Create Desktop Entry option to create an icon to launch the IDE.  Tools->Create Desktop Entry

Screenshot from 2016-06-27 00:00:31

Select OK in the appeared dialogue box

PhpStorm desktop entry will be created. The IDE is ready to open from the desktop for use.