Swift Programming Language by Apple is funny in patches

I was going some learning videos of Swift and I laughed out loud when I came across its white-space balancing part.Β Almost all languages I have cared to learn so far don’t care for white spaces around their operators or variables. But Swift is particular that one must balance the white-spaces around the operators. What were they smoking when they created this rule? Their OCD forced onto others?

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Our family our backbone

I was looking at this commercial in the TV the other day. It is from HDFC Life :

It was such a touching commercial about how a single father encourages his handicapped daughter to learn Kathak, a dance form. It is like a complete film that has been shot in 3 minutes. It took me through my own journey when I was growing up.

I take pride in how self-reliant our family is. I wouldn’t be modest if I say that I am the most self-reliant person for at least 10 blocks around my house. I don’t have a problem cleaning our house windows myself; I haven’t seen anyone around changing their car tire themselves; I haven’t seen anyone making a wooden table or shelf for their house; I do the dressing of the wounds that my sons get now and then; I cook; I garden all by myself without the help of any garden worker; I can repair plumbing on my own; I wash clothes ( not in a washing machine), I wash kitcheware; etc. I can go on and on. But it seems like there is nothing I can’t do on my own. Sorry folks, this is not my most modest post πŸ™‚

But if I think about it how did I become like this? It comes from my parents. My mother always had a maid for washing clothes and washing utensils. But she made us wash our under garments ourselves. I was very reluctant at the beginning. Why must I be washing my clothes when there is a maid coming, I’d say. But she never let go of it. She always insisted that we do it ourselves. And it became a habit. After taking my bath washing my under garments would become a habit for me. Another habit she inculcated in us was to wash our plates. After eating our food we had to wash our own plates and keep them for drying. It became a habit and has stood me in good stead. Whenever the maid doesn’t turn up it is me who does the washing of utensils at home, these days πŸ™‚

My Dad was another avid Do-It-Yourselfer (DIYer). Β He would keep me occupied during my weekends with his errands. He’d keep the weekends for servicing his scooter. I had to be with him and help him in getting the tools he asked for or for tilting the scooter suitably so that he could tinker underneath it. If some electrical equipment at house broke I’d again be beckoned as a helper to him to keep up the supply of tools he’d be asking for. We even white-washed the entire house with a spray paint attachment to our vacuum-cleaner once! And whenever he wanted to do gardening I would be the one who’d be digging the ditches and the vegetable beds. When our house was getting constructed he’d drop me at the site in the morning and come and pick me up in the evening. I used to be overseeing the work. This is how I spent my summer vacations. All these, I’d be doing reluctantly because I didn’t see any of my friends indulging in the same activities. They’d be happily playing their cricket. But when I think back the self-reliant person that I am is the result of all this I went through with my Dad and Mom.

This day I thank them for making me what I am.

Interstellar – A journey into the miracles in store for the stellar traveller

Yes, you guessed it right. This is my take on the movie Interstellar.

By some quirk of fate all of the family was at home mid-week today. And we spontaneously made this plan of watching this highly rated movie on the big screen. We thought Rachna doesn’t dig sci-fi and Gautam doesn’t understand such hi-fi movies, anyway. So it might be a good idea for Sid and me to go for it. But the rest of them protested and they were promptly included into our plans. And, boy, did we all come home satisfied! It’s one of those movies which we come out of with more questions than answers πŸ™‚ Each one of us had numerous questions and the others would chip in with their understanding and then promptly they ask their own question πŸ™‚

Until now we had movies where the movies were entirely science fiction like Star Wars and Star Trek or movies like Gravity which borders on sci-fi and reality but doesn’t scratch profound theories of interstellar physics like worm-holes, time dilation or black holes. I am amazed at how my 12 year son, Sid, has a grasp of such profound theories of interstellar physics. He has nothing to learn from my knowledge of black holes or concept of time in universe. More on him later πŸ™‚

Here are some things that bamboozled me about the movie(spoiler alert, if you haven’t watched it already);
1. Cooper sees gravitational anomalies at his home due to which they find the co-ordinates of the super-secret NASA center. Which in-turn eventually triggers his selection to captain the space flight to discover new habitable planets. Which in-turn leads him to get stuck in a black hole where he is able to see his young daughter and communicate with her in morse code. Which in turn leads to the co-ordinates of the NASA center being given by Cooper. This leads you to think of this as a cyclic chain of events which don’t have a start, you see?

2. How does Cooper manage to transmit the data of singularity to the seconds hand of the watch given to Amelia? And how does it keep replaying? Does it even keep replaying? These events seem super-natural, at best. It is hard enough to communicate profound concepts of physics in pure english and think how hard it must be to convey it in morse code!

3. How does a person come out of a black hole, even if he is not crushed to a small ball? What is a tesseract? Reminded me of Thor πŸ™‚ Black hole, afaik, is a ball of infinite mass which attracts anything closeby to its core. Not even light escapes its attraction.

4. On earth can you create conditions that would make time dilate? That is go slow with respect to the time outside the test area? Scientists have spent billions to create the particle collider at CERN to create god particle. This can be another project they must consider πŸ˜‰ A person walks into the test area and spend a few minutes and walk out to find that his children have grown up πŸ™‚ Wow!

5. And, boy, where does god fit in these scheme of things? Is he the one who creates the worm holes πŸ™‚

6. Last, but not the least, we think we know a lot about the universe and, particularly, the solar system. It looks to me like we have hardly scratched the surface of the things yet to be discovered in the universe.

Once again we get to see a power-house performance from Mathew McConaughy. He might be in for a back to back Oscar this year! Loved the moview, as you might’ve guessed by now. Not to be missed if you are a science lover.

A beautiful woman called Rachna

I don’t consider myself as a very lucky person. I have never won a lucky draw in my life and god knows I’ve participated in MANY. I have never won in gambling(no, I have never been a big risk taker to participate in big gamblings – I refer to slot machine gambling here πŸ™‚ ). Never won a lottery, either. I am so unlucky that when we need to drop our name for a lucky draw I get it written by my wife in her name and then drop it. But whoever is watching over me has made sure that I am lucky wherever it matters. Rachna, my wife, is a result of one such stroke of luck. Not her being but her being my wife, that is. And I strongly believe that ending up with a compatible and a good person as a spouse requires some serious luck.

We’ve been married for 14 years, so far, and I think I can tell confidently that I know her, pretty well. She will be turning 40 on 2nd November. Oops, they say that one mustn’t reveal a woman’s age. But who says that she is a woman…hang-on….she is a super woman!(this must be the kitschiest lines anyone has ever said:D but what the heck? I don’t write so often about her too πŸ™‚ ). And this post is a tribute to this super woman who happens to be my wife. And, pray, why must I write a tribute about her? Well, I think that it is only appropriate for a person to, once in a while, take some time out to sit calmly and reflect on people/things that have been a positive effect in his life and thank the lord for it.

Well, I am not going to talk about how we met. You can read it here with my other comments about her which made sense at that time πŸ™‚ Well, what more can I add over what I have already talked about her? For one, nothing of that has changed πŸ˜‰ But we together have been through around 5 years of entrepreneurship. And I have seen her work on her writing assignments, in awe. When she is at the computer she has a single-minded dedication to finish the jobs that she has lined up for the day. She might be travelling or feeling unwell or terribly sleepy but she will finish the job she has promised her client to finish for that day before she retires for the day. Among the over-crowded world of writers she has created an incredible niche for herself, with her writings on her blog. So, everyday,she is not only finishing assignments given to her by clients but she is also creating beautiful posts which influence many people in a positive way. No wonder that customers seek her out rather than other way out like how it works with lesser mortals like me πŸ™‚ One can safely say about her writing is that she is changing the world, in a positive way, one post at a time. I wish she had known some programming then I’d have such an awesome co-worker for my projects πŸ™‚

Did you just laugh at the super-woman comment I had made about Rachna, way back in this post? What else would you call a woman who handles her professional duties to the utmost satisfaction of her customers and also attend to two very demanding children? No, make it three extremely demanding children, if you include me πŸ™‚ She has to take care of their food, practice with them for their exams and help them complete their homework. Did I forget to add that we are a family which is extremely fond of its food? And we take tremendous pride in eating a lot of variety of tasty food everyday over the week. Needless to say that Rachna is a great cook who keeps our taste buds ever so happy. Add to this her vast knowledge of nutrition and what do we have? We have a great cook who keeps us healthy too. She knows which food contains carbs, which food contains vitamins, which food contains protein, etc. So, the work of giving us a balanced food is all hers. Before marriage all I knew if which food I liked and left to my own devices I would kill myself by having only the things I like. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t know that I required appropriate proportions of various foods to keep us healthy. Such is her influence that even my little sons know about nutrition(my elder son, Siddharth, might know more about nutrition than me) πŸ™‚

From what I have written so far it might seem like she is an extremely nice person only for the family. No sir! It would be a great disservice to her friends if I forgot about them. She is an extremely loyal friend too. Not only is she close to her batch-mates from MBA but I am very envious of the fact how she has kept in touch with even her school batch-mates. Not only is she close to her friends from her schools/colleges but she has made some wonderful friends in the writing world too. I must write here that I too find myself very privileged to know quite a few of them. She takes comfort in the well-being of all people she knows. And I have seen her agony if something happens to any of her friend.

If I have to summarize about my beautiful wife in one sentence, I would say this: Rachna, you are a person who is a complete package and I am lucky to be sharing my life with you.