After College

Today is 1st May. Its the day of the year that everyone at college both dreads and waits for. Its the day our semester exams start, which means its the end of another semester. Unlike the first semester of the year, this second one lasts only four months, followed by two months of vacation time.

This year is different from the others. Its my last year in college, and boy am I glad its getting over! The last four years have been something of a roller-coaster ride. It wasn’t nearly what I imagined it would be going in. I was expecting to get to know and be friends with a large number of people, learning about the world, and hopefully finding a place I’d fit in. I was so excited to be starting a new chapter of my life.

At the end of these four years, I can say that college life is more than a bit overrated (at least in India). Here are some reasons why:

  1. You know how in movies there are these groups of people who keep to themselves, being together all the time, not interacting with the rest of the world because they don’t want to/aren’t comfortable doing it? That is the truest thing about college. There are more groups like that than you can count. I was surprised to see that so many people just stuck to the friends they already knew, maybe from school, or their neighborhood. I only thought things like that happen with people who go settle in a new country, and have a difficult time fitting in with the rest of the students. Its really sad that so many people miss out on learning about others just because they are too comfortable with the people they are with already – IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. You don’t have to be my friend. You don’t even have to like me. But you do need to give me a chance at being your friend.
  2. I was going through a really tough time nearing the end of second year (mid-college-life crisis?). There was this one guy I liked who subjected me to emotional abuse, and I repeatedly went after him, regardless. I don’t know why I did, but eventually I understood that he wasn’t adding any value to my life, so I did my best to remove him from it. Unfortunately we shared many of the same friends – truthfully, I just tried befriending them because they were his friends in the first place. I wasn’t very open about what I had been through, and not many of my ‘friends’ knew that anything had happened at all. After the final fall-out, I noticed that fewer and fewer people talked to me, eventually avoiding me altogether leaving me with maybe a handful of people I could trust. This was when I figured out who my real friends were, and they are still with me to this day.
  3. I had really hoped to find this perfect sort of guy I’d made up in my head. I’ve had crushes throughout my entire college life, and had a few almost-relationships that I got out of before they got serious. Nothing clicked, and no one matched my expectations, especially the people I was seeing. So this is a lesson for all you young 17-year-olds joining college next year – Don’t go there with the hope of finding love. There are tons of movies drilling this kind of thought into our heads. Yes, it’s true that some people do find the love of their life at college. SOME PEOPLE. Not all. Its a very small chance for anybody. Try not to get your hopes up.
  4. When you think about experiencing life, what do you think? Getting to meet different people, talk to them, traveling to new places, checking out new environments, stuff like that? I don’t know about you, but that pretty much sums up experiencing life for me. Of course, you know, its college, and you stay on campus just like everyone else, and hang out with people till 6 in the morning, your parents aren’t around to tell you to go to sleep, or do anything for that matter. That is something that college has let me experience. The traveling to new places bit didn’t happen, except for one trip in second year, which didn’t really add up to anything. I did meet tons of new people, but surprisingly, they lacked individuality, and again, thought their group was bigger than themselves. It’s really sad. But through this, I did learn to find my own individuality, and figured out what made me me.

I’m sure there are tons of things I didn’t cover in this post. Also, there are so many positive experiences in college life, but these are some things that people don’t know/think about when they join college. I would love to help out someone who’s having a tough time with it, if I can. All the best!


The Potter

What is a child?
A young mind of curiosity
Tiny body keen on testing itself
Little hands and feet, exploring
Wide eyes that absorb everything

A child is but a piece of clay
Some large chunks, some small
Some tough and some supple
They come in all sorts of colors
Bright, dark and all in between

You were clay once
Perhaps you still are
You’ve been shaped by surrounding forces
And have come to take this form

Of all forces, I wonder
Which is most powerful?
There is but one popular answer
The potter that made you from soil and water

Though a potter in reality
Has complete control of the clay
These potters we speak of
Aren’t quite the same

The potter is but one of many
Who test their hands on the clay
Although this is the case
He makes most of the indentations

This potter must spend much time
Studying the clay before he starts
To change its shape or size
For this is a crucial part

All that follows will depend
On how well he knows the clay’s ends
Too much force or too less
Will certainly make a mess

But potters aren’t all so meticulous
And some don’t grasp the importance
And thus there are pieces
Of unappealing pottery

A potter must first fathom his challenge
Be ready to work on given clay
He cannot change it on his will
With what is given he must stay

Not knowing texture or soil
This task can be surprising
He gets just one chance that is all
To make the best pottery

He must set the wheel to soundly spin
And gently handle any sagging
That the spinning may cause to his piece
For if not attended, the shape will loosen

Rightly skill must be applied
To bring out the form desired
A little mistake here or there
Takes lots of time to be repaired

The potter can’t do everything alone
So he must call for help
And make sure the piece is well maintained
While they work on it’s structure

It’s a tedious task, is it not?
Even more so! since the clay doesn’t
Take it’s final shape so quick
It takes years for it to stick

It demands all the potter’s attention
And a day ignored is hell to pay
For the clay may take arbitrary shape
And cause trouble

This clay can be a handful too
Yet the potter must continue
To work with it though it may slack
Or not cooperate just because

Yet another point to know
Is that the potter himself
Though more stable than his subject
Is clay himself.

What is a person but clay himself
Molding those around him with his presence
And being molded in return
To become the shape that he is.

Setting up MeanJS from scratch on Linux Ubuntu 14.04.1

This is a walk-through on installing MeanJS on Ubuntu 14.04.1. t took me a long time to do it, so I’m just writing it all down here so as to speed it up for someone else who might want to do the same. Please feel free to comment, for corrections, suggestions or anything of the sort. Keep in mind that this is being written in Jan’15, and some methods of installation might change as newer versions are released.

So, to have MeanJS installed on your system, you need to do the following.
1. Have MongoDB installed
2. Have Python installed
3. Have Node.js installed
4. Have git installed
5. Have Ruby

Installing MongoDB:

Run the following in terminal:

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver hkp:// –recv 7F0CEB10

echo ‘deb dist 10gen’ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb.list

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y mongodb-org

This installs the latest release of MongoDB. Refer their home page for more details.

Testing MongoDB:

In the terminal, type mongod. This starts the database. In another terminal, type in mongo which establishes a connection with the database. This is the interface to interact with the database.


Ubuntu comes with python pre-installed, so theres nothing to worry about there. If you still want to install the latest version just to be sure(not required though) you can go ahead and check out this link.

Installing Node.js:

Okay, so the first thing you need to know is that you can’t install it by putting in sudo apt-get install node because this ‘node’ is a completely different package. Instead, this is what you need to do:

curl -sL | sudo bash –

sudo apt-get install nodejs

sudo apt-get install build-essential

More information on this process is available here. As far as I know, the Node Package Manager or npm is installed with node, so we don’t need to worry about that. npm is going to be a really important part of MeanJS

Checking your Node.js Installation:

You can check whether it was successfully installed by typing in the terminal nodejs -v. You can also check your npm by typing npm -v, this extension basically lets you know the version that you have installed.

Now an important thing to do here is link the command node with nodejs. To do this, type

ln /usr/bin/node /usr/bin/nodejs

The reason why we need to do this is that many packages that use NodeJS still use node instead of the newer nodejs command to run it.

You can also update npm (recommended) using:

sudo npm install npm -g

Installing git:

sudo apt-get install git

Installing MeanJS:

So, now that we have the groundwork set, we can go ahead and build MeanJS on it. At this point, its good to know that MEAN stands for MongoDB, Express, AngularJS and Node.js. We already have the first and last bits. AngularJS doesn’t need explicit installation, its already available like how you can use HTML and CSS on any computer. All you need is a text editor and browser. If you’re looking for a good editor, i suggest you install Sublime Text. Express comes with the MeanJS installation as a whole.

Getting MeanJS is not really an installation, but more like copying files, because thats basically what we are going to do: copy files fro a git repository:

git clone meanjs

Doing this will add a new folder named ‘meanjs’ to whatever folder you are in when running this command in terminal. so now move into that folder:

cd meanjs

Theres a lot of stuff you still need before using this folder, hence do the following too:

sudo npm install

bower install

Another thing you need is ruby, so install that:

sudo apt-get install ruby-full

And that is pretty much it, I guess. now, to run this server, you need to give the command grunt in the terminal. This starts the default webpage at http://localhost:3000 you can go ahead and have a look at it.

Understanding MeanJS:

So, it took me even longer to figure out how to use MeanJS than it took to get the whole thing running. The file structure in the demo can be really overwhelming if you are new to web-dev. I spent hours searching for a good tutorial and finally found this on youtube:

MEAN Stack Intro: Build an end-to-end application

Its a great tutorial, really worth a watch if you are just starting out. I hope this articled helped you, if you have any suggestions or questions, please comment below, I would love to help you out. Happy deving!

Installing Linux Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS alongside existing Windows 7

So, I already had Ubuntu installed through VMware on my laptop, but I was required to install it alongside my Windows 7 so as to use the RAM and Hard disk more efficiently. I have contemplated doing this on earlier occasions, but the fear of losing my existing data and OS never let me. This time I decided to pull through with it. Keep in mind that I have done the installation using an 8GB USB pen-drive and not a CD. I’ve encountered some problems on my 8-hour journey of failed installations, and am writing this article in hope of helping anyone who might encounter them. I am writing this article in steps to make it easy. With each step I will describe the problems I have faced (if any).

DISCLAIMER: You might not encounter any problems, encounter the same ones that I mention here, or entirely new ones that I have no idea about. I have taken the time to write this out so that I might be able to help anyone running into trouble. I highly advise that you don’t entirely depend on this article since I don’t know what else could go wrong during installation. Take the time to go through the methods described by other people on the internet.

Here we go:


You need to download Ubuntu from their website. I have installed Ubuntu 14.04.1, so I don’t know how similar the process is for other versions, though I’m guessing there wont be much of a difference.
Download the version you want from here.


I’ve installed using a USB device, so that’s what I’ll explain here. Get a pen-drive with at least 4GB capacity. Now, you need to integrate the .iso file downloaded above into this drive. You can’t just copy it though, so I used a software called “LiLi USB Creator” and it wasn’t exactly a good experience. After some failed attempts, I shifted to “Rufus”. Its straight forward and easy to use, but I think it takes a little more time than the former software. Here are the links you can use for download:

If you don’t want to use these, there are so many other such softwares that get do the job done. I’m not providing links here, but they are quite easily available on the internet. I don’t recommend LiLi because the resulting pen-drive was full of errors, kept getting stuck and installation took too much time (more than an hour) on the whole each time. Ubuntu just kept hanging for apparently no reason.


Remove any valuable data from your pen-drive and format it to FAT32 format. formatting can be done using inbuilt Windows tools.

Once you have the .iso file and the software from step2 ready, you can go ahead and modify the pen-drive. Run said software and provide the location of the .iso file where required. Choose suitable options, and click on start. This step took about five to ten minutes for me.


Once your pen-drive is ready, you will want to make sure you have enough space on your computer’s hard disk to even install Ubuntu. To do so, search for “create and format hard disk partitions” in the start menu of Windows 7, and press enter. The corresponding window will open, showing you how your disk is partitioned, and how much space is available in each partition. Around 50GB of space is recommended when installing Linux, so check whether you have at least that much free space in any one partition.

Once you find a suitable partition, you can go ahead and use the windows provided tool to separate out that much free space from it. Important: make sure that you don’t use the Recovery Partition for this.

If you don’t have enough space and still try to separate space from a partition, it will result in loss of data. So you need to be sure of what you are doing.

You could choose to skip this step and create a partition while installing Ubuntu itself, but I felt this is an easier way to go, since I had a bit of a struggle with that method.


Now that you have a partition and the pen-drive ready, we can start the installation process. Shut down your computer, plug in the pen-drive and then turn it on, while pressing the ESC button as quickly as you can. This takes you to a screen containing options to boot from. Apart from the regular Windows and DVD boot options etc, you will see two NEW options because of the drive.

I have a hp v220w, 8GB pen-drive, so the two options that showed up for me were:
–>        UEFI: hp-v220w-8GB
–>        hp-v220w-8GB

Your laptop will show your pen-drive’s name depending on which one you’re using.Now, this part is really important. I tried using the second option for installation several times. Each time, Ubuntu’s grub didn’t work and I could only boot my Windows 7. During my last attempt, I used the first option, and it worked. I don’t really know what the difference is between the two. Maybe UEFI provides a safer installation environment.So what you need to do is pick the UEFI option there.


Once you’ve selected the option, Ubuntu will start booting from the pen-drive and two symbols (one of a little man) will appear on the bottom of the screen. Once the boot is complete, a window appears on Ubuntu, asking you whether you want to Try or Install it. If you are just installing Ubuntu because someone told you to, I recommend you Try It first, and see whether it suits you. If not, there are many other distributions available.

Click on the Install option. On the next screen, you will be asked to enter the language. After this, a requirements page come up. At the time I installed Ubuntu, it needed 6.6GB of space, a WiFi connection, and plugged-in power source. Though the WiFi is not necessary, you might want to plug in your laptop just in case the installation takes more time than anticipated. On clicking continue, you will be prompted to choose how you wish to install Ubuntu. Do not choose the second option which will erase your Windows 7 and replace it with Ubuntu.

The first option says that it installs Ubuntu alongside Windows. I have not chosen it, so I will not write about it here. I chose the last option – Something Else. This one lets you custom modify your installation. Now, you will use the new partition that you had created. To find that partition, multiply its capacity in GB by 1024. That’s how many MB of space it has. It might not be the exact number, but you can make a good guess from approximation to find out which partition it is. Select that partition, and click change. Choose the following options:

1.Reduce its size by about 14MB if you have 8GB ram in your laptop, and 10MB if its 4GB. (usually its [RAM x 2] plus 2MB for the boot space, but this calculation works fine too)
2.Make it primary
3.Choose “at beginning of the partition”
4.Choose Use as “Ext4 journaling file system”
5. Select mount point as “/”

Click OK. The formatting should last a couple minutes. Next, format the rest of the space as:

1.Reduce size by 1MB or 2MB
2.Make it logical
3. Choose “at beginning of the partition”
4.Choose “swap area”

Now, take the remaining space and format it as follows:

1.Don’t change the size
2.Make it logical or primary
3.Doesn’t matter where, since you’re using the whole thing
4.Choose Use as “Ext4 journaling file system”
5.Select “/boot”

Now, select the first partition that you formatted, and click continue. Installation starts on doing so. this installation can last anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes depending on your computer’s speed. If your computer was spacing out or hanging a lot until this point, there might be something wrong with you pen-drive or how Ubuntu was put inside it, which means that you are going to have to start from the beginning. Trust me, I know how irritating it is.


Once the installation is done, you will need to set some details like location, username, password, etc. On finishing, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Choose the restart option.

As soon as the Shut Down process is complete and the power up process is starting, the screen should switch to a purple background with options asking you whether you wish to boot Windows or Ubuntu. If you see this screen, then congratulations, because you have gone through the installation successfully!

On the other hand, if you do not see this screen and Windows 7 boots directly, then you need to Shut Down and Power Up your laptop while pressing the boot menu key rapidly. The boot menu key can be F2,F8, F12, ESC or DEL, depending on your computer. After doing so, if only the same options as before installation of Ubuntu show up, then the installation was unsuccessful, and you will have to try again. This happened to me several times before I got the installation correct.

If Ubuntu loads directly and there is no sign of Windows, then you could use the same keys as above to check if Windows could still boot. If you do not see any option to boot Windows, then something went wrong during the installation – maybe Windows’ boot loader was overwritten or Windows was erased completely, or is corrupted.


I have written a step-wise process for installing Ubuntu 14.04.1 parallel to Windows 7 after having failed multiple times in doing so. Some of the instructions might seem unnecessary to the experienced user, but I felt like they were important. If you think there should be a modification in any step, please do let me know, this was my first time installing.

I recommend that you go through various other sources, not depend on just one as a guideline for installation. I haven’t found a complete guide that takes you from start to finish without any problem, and I could have done it sooner if I’d spent the time researching a bit.

If you happen to know why certain problems occur while installing dual boot systems, please do comment below so that people are more aware of them and can learn how to avoid them.

Information Overload

In the quest to improve business with the help of new, innovative ideas, man has often put the essentials of life on the sidelines. Sometimes what’s new effectively replaces the neglected, but leaves behind an impression of said change. Is it always wise to give in to change? Is it always wise to abandon something robust and strong for something untested, radical? There is no good answer to this question. It cannot be answered unless both the possible choices are examined closely.

What did the early man do for heat before discovering fire? Maybe his body simply produced more heat. Did it? But he wouldn’t care about what he did before there was fire. Fire fulfilled his need – or needs. What happened before fire held no importance. This makes sense too. Why care about something not at all efficient when you have something that fits the job.

Now think about this. If man hadn’t ever discovered fire, he wouldn’t have made it. Imagine a world with only wild, natural fires. Environmentalists of today might have favored that. Man wouldn’t be contributing to ‘Global Warming’. Its needless to write that after the discovery, the use of fire only grew exponentially as years passed. Its been modified is ways that we recognize it in entirely different places and forms – combustion in engines, gas on the stove, burning coal in a train. Nobody thinks about the repetitive contained explosions happening inside their car while driving. Everything has become abstract and hidden from sight.

Throughout time there have been several major changes, that have revolutionized life in even the minutest way. Spoons and forks, clothes, shoes, doors and locks, clocks. These are essentials for life today. Apart from these, there are things that exist solely for our aesthetics and pleasure. Paint on the walls, fabric on the cushions, curtains. We don’t exactly need them to live, but we feel an internal need to have these things. Then there are recreational things like instruments, books, religion, music, movies, and so many other things. Most of life is filled with these things alone. They constitute such a huge part of human existence, that people can even be defined by what the do for recreation.

Basically, since everything else in life like getting an education, having a job, getting married, having kids is normal for most people, the recreational things we do are much more wide in variety and differ from individual to individual. But in recent times, even these activities have become ore common than not among the crowds. The world is becoming a smaller place each day, especially thanks to the internet. People know about things that they wouldn’t normally know about otherwise.

Remember when in the 90’s, kids would turn on the computer just to play a game of pinball? Around the dot-com boom, businesses went online and millions were spent in expanding the reach of the internet. People looked at it like the early nomads looked at fire. Something they didn’t understand, but used anyway for their own benefit. In contrast though, this wasn’t something as simple as fire, and the bubble finally burst, causing huge recession. Clearly, it wasn’t very beneficial. It wasn’t something that could always serve in a time of need, like fire. People were fooled by the shiny new toy.

I guess it could be said that something that makes a huge impact on human life either successfully makes it much easier to live, or it goes down in flames, taking everything with it. We should be careful about what new thing we allow to change our lives.

Its true that the internet is the reason why you are reading this post of mine right now. Yes, the internet can be miraculously informative. But most people don’t use the internet for  gaining productive information. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become so riveting to human-kind, that the average human spends hours on social media everyday. This is a change that is still taking place. We don’t know what its result will be.

But what we do know is that social media gives you a ton of nonconstructive information, that cannot be used to better humanity. Apparently, it does however help people start businesses that take advantage of the information you provide to produce services that you didn’t even know you needed. If anything, social media helps the few individuals take advantage of the many. All that information about the pages you like, the causes you support, the cuisine you eat, is being used to create businesses, which is one factor contributing to why there are so many start-ups these days.

We are allowing our thoughts to manifest into digital information through even a single click. We allow the internet to show us products, designs, and items that we were happy without anyway, but suddenly feel like we can’t live without them. We are allowing this change to happen. We are being targeted by those few behind the scenes of it all, without being aware of the fact that we are providing the information they need to make a profit off of us. We are being dumbfounded.

Is this a change humanity is willing to make?

The Quality Of Life

The world is a small place. The first time I really paid attention to such a statement was while watching Pirates of the Caribbean. You can imagine how small the world really is if a pirate says it. Yet, it has managed to get much smaller. For me, the size of the world depends on how much more there is for me to see in it, how many more friendly people I can meet. I wonder how other people think of the world.

We all talk about other people, try to imagine what their lives are like, and how they handle situations. Normally, this kind of information is not something you just know about anyone unless you’ve spent a good amount of time with them. Such people would be parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members. I wouldn’t go as far as including friends in this pool. We don’t really know our friends as well as we think we do – after all, we haven’t spent enough time with them. So really, except this small group of people, we just barely have an idea about how others lead their lives.

And that’s a good thing. It helps us maintain the minimum distance required to live in a functioning social environment. You can indulge yourself in another person’s life, involve yourself in their personal affairs. Of course, I wouldn’t invite such intrusiveness into my life. Yet, this is an age in which people find it harder than ever to keep to themselves. I myself have intentionally let out information about my life which I have later come to regret and felt uncomfortable with. I know some things about other people, which also makes me uncomfortable. I would have been much better off without knowing those details, no matter how insignificant they may be.

In this era, anything that you do not keep inside your head is bound to spread. Nothing is private anymore. What you say, do, eat – anything that can be seen, heard or understood by others is no longer within the bounds of your control. Literally, anything you say can and will be used against you.

It has become so easy to stay in touch with someone else. So easy that you can do it while cozily snuggling under the warmth of your blanket. It shouldn’t be so convenient. Unless some minimum amount of effort is put into maintaining contact with a person, it shouldn’t be done. Any individual’s attention is something that needs to be valued. It can’t be earned by just sending a friend request or a few lazy messages. Yet, that is what this world has come to.

So many details that would otherwise stay unnoticed are overt, out in the open. In fact, they are emphasized. I’ve tried to limit the information I have put up on social media, but it doesn’t fail to make me feel insecure anyway. Does anyone else feel that way? Even if some people did (once upon a time), I bet they just killed their conscience and gave in to what is now considered the norm. Sometimes its disconcerting to see humanity lose its essence in this way. If the condition of our race continues to deter, we will end up becoming empty, manner-less shells, lacking chivalry, courtesy and respect. For what is the world without gentle, kind, loving people?

Every time something comes up and reminds us that the quality of our existence is taking a nosedive, Captain Jack Sparrow’s voice will ring in my ears, saying

“The world is still the same. There’s just less in it.”

Teenage Life

Why don’t they understand that I’m not seven years old anymore. That I need to be left alone sometimes. That I can make some decisions on my own. They don’t get that I can’t talk to them about everything that happens to me, because they get overly involved and annoy me over the littlest things. Why don’t they let me stay up to finish a book I really want to read – insisting on binding me to a bedtime. Why don’t they understand that I don’t have to stick to my textbooks 24*7 to get a decent grade in a test.

Why don’t they take the hint that my mood swings aren’t because I’m going into depression, or that I am not satisfied with the atmosphere they created for me. Why do they tell me that I’ve been acting strange for the past few weeks, even though I’d been as normal as I could have possibly been. Why do they try to enforce their thinking on me. Why do they get upset if I don’t pick up two calls in a row, ten minutes apart. Why do they tell me that I’m not going to make anything out of my life if I still watch cartoons. Why do they think that watching cartoons is all I do?

Why don’t they understand that I need a break once in a while. Why do they keep nagging me to go study. That I wake up early, even though I couldn’t sleep at all for three nights in a row. Why do they tell me I’m wasting my time on doing something – when that something is really the only thing in the world I want to do at that moment. Why don’t they let me love the things that I love.

Why do they get upset over me not wanting to watch a movie I hate with them, then say I don’t spend time with them anymore. Why don’t they think for a second that I don’t enjoy doing everything they do? That instead, they haven’t really tried doing something I loved with me. That I have my own interests – which they seem to think are a waste of time. Why do they harshly criticize my music choices, when I keep shut even though I could say the same about theirs.

Why don’t they understand that I don’t need to be treated like a baby anymore. That I have developed my own likes and dislikes, and not everything overlaps with their opinion.Why do they think I’m pushing them away, when I really just don’t have anything to say. Why don’t they see that some days I’m just no good to do anything. That I need to sit in a corner and think things over.

That I care about them more than they could imagine. That I can’t bear it when they so much as get a paper-cut. Why don’t they understand that sometimes I don’t want to talk to them when I’m angry because I might take my anger out on them. That I’d seen those movies with them before just to keep them company.

Why don’t they get that I share the most important parts of my life with them. That they are the only real support that I have. That all I really need is their happiness. Why don’t they perceive how much I truly value the effort and patience they put into making me the person I am. That I owe them everything I have. That I would be good for nothing without them. That I can’t always tell them how proud I feel to be their child.

That I love them more than anything.