Pre-trip Musings : Thailand #0
Just about 12 hours to go before I fly off to my first longish solo travel to the much famous land of smiles. My mind is wandering in all sorts of directions, but the majority opinion of my brain cells is - “What the hell? Don’t go Achyut!”
#5 - Breathing Again.
It has been just 19 days in 2018 and I have realised how different, surprising and unplanned this year is going to be. I left my first job to explore new things and it has been 19 days since and I have not improved my skillset even by a tiny notch. I say I took a break to get to know me more, but in reality I have not done any experiments to say that. Freelancing is not working, or rather I have not put in enough efforts to make it work. I am hardly reading any books. I started gym for a week and then have not worked out since the last five days. I got into a bit of a mix in the personal space.On the whole, I am just letting life slip by during one of the most amazing period of my life, a period which most only dreams of. But, I am just wasting it.
#4 - The New Start.
So, as always, I did not end up making this a habit. Various incidences in my life have forced me to conclude that I can never create a routine of my own. But I badly want to challenge that conclusion and therefore instead of waiting for this to become a habit and then make it public, I will be posting every journal entry on Sundays over my facebook & instagram handle. Game on, life!
#3 - The Crisis Land.
I missed writing the journal last week because of the Diwali celebrations at home. And there I am, writing this at 12 on a Sunday night.
#2 - The Week that was.
It really took some convincing to write this thing today. The only question popped up to me was, “Why should I write it when no one reads it?” But then, I write for myself :)
#1 - Why Journaling?
Yes, I love writing. But lately I have been thinking on the motivation behind it. I have been asked why I write and the best answer I can come up is, it pushes my boundaries, it pushes me to try new things in the first place so I can write about them. And frankly, that is the truth.
Is it really worth it?
Has anyone felt that sheer guilt from within?
something inside you wants to curse you,
break you, punch you and pull you down the stairs
into the infinite void till you cannot match your own sight
Let's borrow a Human : The Human Library Delhi
Living alone in a big city like Delhi gets boring sometimes, especially on the weekend when you have watched almost everything on Netflix that interests you. But for a bibliophile like me, the city has a lot to offer. Storytelling meetups and workshops to some unique(at least for me!) ideas of borrowing a human for half an hour and reading him/her. Luckily I stumbled upon one such event in Delhi and I couldn’t just miss it.
I vividly remember the gloomy evening when
I boarded Suryanagri Express for the first time.
Three large suitcases, a bag on the shoulder,
and a million scattered thoughts.
Doing Mcleodganj Solo: Notes by a Novice
For people who know me, understand how the word travelling can ignite a spark within me. For me, the only positive of staying in Delhi was being at an overnight distance to most of the destinations in the Himalayas. Three weeks into my first job, I was starting to curse myself for wasting three weekends and so hastily I booked my tickets to Dharamshala and my accommodation at Zostel-Mcleodganj. And this is how I found my north star, something that I can always go back to - the concept of travelling alone!
Why to keep a log file and how to keep it in R?
One of the first things we are taught in Programming 101 is to write a well structured & commented code. And as any newbie would, we ignore this lesson and focus on achieving the end result. Continuing the same learnings, I coded a R(the R language!) script to be run on files amounting to 30GBs! This was my first professional experience after my graduation and I did not want to fuck up. So, I structured the code, wrote all the comments and ran it on all the files. And what happened next?
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi
I have never been a big fan of memoirs or biographies. However, Bill Gate’s on Paul Kalanithi’s autobiography motivated me to give this genre a try. I remember picking up this book on a train journey, and finishing it in one go.
And We Part
And then we left for our own ways, just like we had come together after walking our own path on that sunny July 21st morning. Who knew, these four years will make us into friends, enemies, partners in crime, shoulders to cry on, faces we despise, but at the end, these very same people will make us cry while bidding our final goodbyes.
Podcast #2 - Startify : The Journey of Student Entrepreneurs
Startify has been one of the best decisions of my undergraduate life. We got this idea of documenting our journey in a form of a podcast when we were traveling with our E-Cell juniors. We had real fun while making this. Enjoy the conversation!
Podcast #1 - What If
I always wanted to record a podcast of my own. And finally, after many failed attempts, we recorded this when we had gone out for a dinner. This podcast basically consists of three final year undergraduate students(one of them is obviously me), contemplating on their journey so far. We discussed a hypothetical situation where we were guaranteed our dream career on the first day of college, and then how this would have changed our stay at IIT Jodhpur.
A Ride in a Metro
I have been to many metro cities around the world, but the energy and liveliness we have in the metros of India cannot be matched. The Indian culture of family and the way we interact is something very unique. In this every adaptive world and times when we are adopting the western culture in all ways, this is something we should always hold on to.
Powerpoints - How not to make them?
PowerPoint was developed by engineers as a tool to help them communicate in a better way. The programmers behind PowerPoint saw it as a clever hack—a way to save time and money instead of creating slides the old fashioned way. It is an amazing tool for presenting your ideas in a way that the audience can relate to! However, we, the users, have made a complete mockery of presentations. To a certain extent, Microsoft is to blame for the dismal built-in wizards, templates and clip-arts - those hideous Microsoft creations.
Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
In Power of Habit, the author examines why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while other seem to remake themselves overnight. The book is divided into three sections, namely Individual, Company and Societies. The author discusses how habits are formed in all three areas with some compelling evidences. Personally, I have always disliked self-help books due to the sole reason of them being boring. But surprisingly, Charles Duhigg has found an interesting way to present boring tips through this best-seller.
What After Graduation?
One of my major goals of 2016 was to inch closer to a particular career path that I will embark on after I graduate. However, like all new year goals, I am not even close to deciding what I want to do after I finish by B.Tech. These four years of college have been enlightening in many ways but unlike many of my batchmates, I have grown more confused about my future. There are infinite opportunities out there and with a tad bit of experience I have eliminated some and confused between some.
It is that time of year again
It is that time of the year again - the dreaded placements. The same block where once I used to hear noisy birthday bashing or the typical Hindi abuses while playing Counter Strike is now a hostile territory of men at work!
How to run automated python scripts on remote machines
I am currently working on the B.Tech Project that involves predicting flight prices. To build the models, I needed historical flight prices. Unfortunately, such data is not available and so I had to build a scraper to extract flight prices daily and save it in a csv file.
One Hot Encoding in Data Science
I consider myself a newbie for the data analysis world. What I have understood so far is that data preparation is the most important step while solving any problem. Each predictive model requires a certain type of data and in a certain way. For instance, tree based boosting models like xgboost require all the feature variables to be numeric. While solving the San Francisco Crime Classification problem on Kaggle, I stumbled upon different ways to handle categorical variables. One of the method to convert a categorical input variable into a continuous one is One Hot Encoding/ Dummy coding.
Wayanad: Four friends, enchanting forests and an epic road trip
We were failing to book a self-drive car for the last three weeks – sometimes due to license issues, or sometimes due to sheer bad luck. But not this time. We booked a Ford Figo(never book these, it will be the driver’s worst nightmare) from Zoom Cars well in advance. And since we had paid the money as well, there was no turning back. Thus, finally, Wayanad it was.
After a full week’s planning to hire a self-drive car and head out for a road trip, we finally ended up booking a train ticket to Pondicherry. I had recently bought a recording device to record my travel tales on the go so that I find it easy to accumulate it in a blog. I tried it a few times, but I find it better to write it down in Google Keep and then later decorate it into a blog post.
What I learnt by speaking in front of 120 school kids
After a long long time, today when I entered the auditorium of MPS Jodhpur (a school in Jodhpur) I started missing my school again. As we grow up, we begin to get indifferent to things from our past. But that auditorium, those young kids in uniform and those teachers shouting at them to shut up, brought back happy memories from my Vidyani days.
I had written in my earlier post, that I would become an early riser this year. I tried and I failed. It has been 2 months and 21 days and I am ashamed to share that I woke up early only for 23 days. It doesn’t mean that I hated waking up early, I loved it. The serenity, the calmness and the solitude was addictive, but it wasn’t addictive enough to wake an lazy ass like me.
Kasol : A place closest to Heaven
I woke up to the roller-coaster ride of our Himachal State Transport bus when it reached Bhunter(a small town before Manali). Last night was tough after being stalled at Ambala Cant for more than 4 hours waiting for our bus to which we finally gave up and boarded the local state transport bus. But as soon as we got down at Bhunter, the cold air brought a sense of freshness in our bodies. We had to search out our bags for warm clothes because it was damn cold. We looked somewhat like this –