Response to 'How is Life?'

I was asked “How is Life?” over chat by someone and I thought of responding with a letter.

Hello :name-retracted:,

I am sorry it took me so long to respond to you. I was travelling. The same winter vacations, 30 days, and the curiosity of what to do with it. It’s astonishing for the old-me that I have no tech goals this time. I have been learning Guitar for a month and hence I tend to practice daily. On the other hand, I have goals of losing weight (lost 6 kgs in 45 days) and hence I’m determined to maintain the daily calorie deficit. One of my cousin sisters at home (in :place-name-retracted:) gave birth to a little girl yesterday and I’m planning to spend some time with them too! So yeah, this December it’s mostly about being with close people and few goals which I’ve wanted to achieve for a long time.

Lately, my thoughts have been revolving around this particular letter[1] of Feynman. In which he says, “No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.”. Reading this letter gives me tremendous relief because it settled down some of my uneasiness about something which relates to KGP itself. The general idea of MetaKGP as a group, for me, is a solution to the problem we have in KGP of closed societies and very little collaborative nature among a majority of people. (Of course, it means more). While I understood this problem very clearly, there is always more which have been troubling me since my first year. I still do not understand all of them, but few are “the troubled hierarchy and senior-junior relationship in our halls and societies” and “lack of human interactions about life and work both”. I always have so many people with whom I am able to talk about technology and so many other people with whom I am able to talk about philosophy, but I only have two or three friends with whom I can freely talk both at the same time, which in fact is the real me. And I always believed, for this to take place, we will have to do more than meeting online. (I am literally shaking at this point but this does not reflect on the words I have written so far. That’s why I love human interactions more, where more senses are at work than just reading text)

At this point in time in my KGP life, I am certain that it is so much more helpful when you have good seniors with whom you can meet occasionally, curious peers with whom you discuss the questions. I have been blessed to get all of them, the likes of you and :name-retracted:. But this does not happen to everyone. I firmly believe there are people (like me) in my batch, who did not meet enough [insert-an-adjective abstracted by ‘good’] seniors (like I met) and now they come around and call a fellow friend “stud” while I just wish to join them and not create boundaries and levels between us. One of them ended his life ten months ago. And there are probably more living with the following thoughts. Just to add, I am absolutely not asking everyone to become a tech guy and get seniors who do open source. Few of the best people I have met in KGP do not belong to tech. And it should be like this.

BUT, here is an interesting fact. A majority of my friends who are responsible, who try to understand about life, who are really enjoying this journey are associated with Collaborating in groups and/or doing Open Source software. And I believe this has to be one of the solutions for (some) people and could really help them. My motive to create a closed group of people who understand this problem and are willing to help others, the initiative of KWoC, the sessions etc. are just a bigger picture to my very small zeal of increasing more human interactions in KGP. It’s disheartening when a lot of my friends do not understand the efforts or simply do not care.

Excuse me for some arrangement of words which can be put together in a more readable manner and losing my brevity. But I have not talked about this to anyone, except :name-retracted: and that too only once. It will take time for me to organize these thoughts.

So, How is life?

[1] http://www.lettersofnote.com/2015/10/do-not-remain-nameless-to-yourself.html?m=1


Response from :name-retracted:

Hey, Thanks a lot for writing this, the pleasure of receiving a letter isn’t something I get often. So, How is life for me?

Such broad questions are easy to ask and way hard to answer, that’s why I mostly receive the answer “good!”. Right now I’m listening to Blackstratblues, in another tab I have django documentation open which I have to use to complete to order to complete the screening process of Toptal [1], and I have been thinking about ways machine learning is wrong I have attached a writeup. I just finished this book called “The Black Swan” by Nassim N. Taleb you should totally read it, on surface it is about limits of knowledge but I find him to be very profound and his philosophies connect everything in life and universe. He isn’t a I know it all pundit rather he talks about what you don’t know, what you cannot know and what can you do about it. Of course, as with any book and any author you don’t have to agree with everything or even anything the author says but the book will give you a new perspective. I was about to say this perspective is “helpful” then I remembered my own writing on :blogpost-retracted:.

The days just after quitting the job were pretty stressful, my parents even convinced me take back my resignation at one point, but now I’m glad out of it. My biggest fear at job was that I’ll get trapped in it, sure I didn’t like it, I found it to be boring and whatever, but I know myself and I know that I adapt to things slowly as weeks turned into months, months would have turned into years and I would learned to like the job the way it is, extra money, suits, the “prestige” I had started to develop a taste for them. After sometime that fact that this job was something that I never wanted would have faded way and I would have accepted the most boring parts as part of the parcel, thinking what better can I get. Though it might not look that way from outside, quitting the job was REALLY hard for me, in conventional terms it was the best job I could have got, though I was very clear that this job was not something I wanted but the question was if not this then what? I saw no natural transition either, I interviewed with :company-name-retracted: for tech lead and they didn’t take me. One day I was pretty frustrated, I thought if I don’t quit now then I’ll never be able to quit. I thought about the reasons I should stay, none of them were strong enough, so I resigned next day.

About opensource, I don’t have much to add to add to what you said. Just as you are glad to find us, I’m glad to find you. As you did, sometimes I look back and realize that I have really really lucky. Things would have been way different if I didn’t meet :name-retracted: and :name-retracted: in school, things would have been way different if I, :name-retracted: and :name-retracted: wouldn’t have been my wingies, things would have been way different I hadn’t discovered :name-retracted:’s blog before coming to KGP which lead to me to discover KLUG. There are many many such lucky things which have happened. Of course there are people who are luckier than me, but there are so many others who aren’t. I think it is our responsibility to share this luck so that others can get a chance to get lucky like we did.

[1]: https://www.toptal.com/

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