A lot can happen over coffee....only if you are allowed to sit at a CCD outlet!

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 1:55 AM in , ,
Cafe Coffee Day is no more a new name for the youngsters in India. For a warm cup of coffee at an affordable price, thats where we generally go to! But more than the cup of coffee, its the atmosphere of Café Coffee Days which attracts all of us. An informal setup...good beverage and snacks...soothing music (most of the time)...complimentary wi-fi (at many outlets)...well, CCD always had a lot to offer its customers.

Photo source - https://www.zomato.com/pune/cafe-coffee-day-2-koregaon-park

For Siddhartha, coffee always used to be an experience to be offered...not just beans to be grown. I have had my job interview conducted at a CCD outlet. I have hosted and attended several community meetups at different CCD outlets across the country. I have even had my coffee dates at CCDs. Well, truely, a lot has happened in my life over coffee...at different CCD outlets.

Once, Siddhartha himself had spent his new year's eve, serving customers at a Café Coffee Day (CCD) outlet near Calcutta’s Woodburn Street and was surprised by the way a few customers never returned a smile or thanked him for the service! I had totally admired Siddhartha while reading his journey of building CCD.

Then what has suddenly changed so much for CCDs? Is it the pressure of competition from other growing coffee outlets or is it the pride of success? Why has CCD's service suddenly declined so much?

A few of us were sitting at Koregaon Park CCD this weekend. We have been hosting our community meetups at this outlet since 2011. We met at 10am, for our monthly meeting. The place was completely empty. Well, Saturday morning, 10am...we didn't expect much crowd at the CCD outlet anyway. It all began when one of us went up to the counter, to ask for the direction to the washroom. As already stated, we have been hosting our meetings at this venue for the last four years, so we knew for sure that there was a washroom, behind the building. But, to our surprise, the lady at the counter (her name was Laxmi Yalla), just rudely denied the existence of any washroom at that outlet. Surprised, my friend asked her specifically about the one behind the outlet. She replied that it was leaking and thus was closed. There is no issue about a washroom not being available or being closed. The issue was with the way she was talking to us. Using a washroom at a CCD outlet is not a crime, as far as my legal knowledge goes! So, I don't see much reason for someone needing to be rude about being asked the direction to a washroom.

We had not even spent our initial 10 minutes at the outlet when the same lady walked up to our table and in a very rude voice asked us to place the order or leave the place. I was shocked! Never have we been treated this way at any coffee outlets before. Well, we were anyway planning to get a few cups of coffee so we went ahead and placed our orders.

In the middle of our discussion, one of our team members decided to take some notes of the ongoing discussion. He went up to the counter to ask for a tissue paper. Laxmi, drove him away, saying she didn't have tissue papers! Wait, this was now getting a little uncomfortable. The way she was behaving with us, we were starting to get frustrated. No tissue paper at a CCD outlet, you want us to believe that? Well, we still didn't react and went on with our meeting.

It was not even 20 minutes since we had completed out coffees, when the lady came back and this time she screamed at us to leave the place. She said it was a rule that we cannot sit for more than an hour at a CCD outlet and cannot use this place for our meetings. This time it was too much! We all decided to leave the place immediately and never use another CCD outlet for our meetings.

This incident made me wonder, if it was just this one person or if CCD was coming up with these new rules? Was customer service taking a back seat over business? What could be a valid reason for chasing customers away from an empty outlet?

Well, not sure if all of my questions can be answered. But for sure, for a while now, I will not be visiting another CCD outlet and nor will I be able to convince the rest of my community members to visit one! Good experiences are easily forgotten...but a bad experience is tough to wipe out of memory!


My Sunday Spent with Real Angels

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 6:08 AM in , , , ,
There are those rare days in life, when you come home with a guilt in your heart...the guilt of having so much in life, but still not being content whereas, there are so many people out there, with so little and yet so happy! The last Sunday was one of those days for me.

While driving down to Sarthak Seva Sangh, little did I know of what I was about to experience there. Sarthak Seva Sangh Orphanage is an initiative started by Dr. Anil Kudia to help make a difference to the lives of unfortunate street children. Some of these children are motherless and orphans and some are newborn babies who are absolutely directionless.The place currently hosts around 60 children. As a part of Mozilla's and Mile's initiative, we were to go there and teach basics of computer and internet to the kids.

When we reached there, we were welcomed by the manager of the place (sorry for not remembering his name). He took us around the entire place, showing us the current infrastructure as well as explaining us all the future plans they have for Sarthak. A new building is under construction and once thats done, Sarthak can host around 200 children under its roof. From libraries to counseling rooms, from guest rooms to computer labs, their new building is going to have them all. This will definitely be way more than just a shelter for street kids....its going to be filled with all the facilities required to turn these kids into awesome human beings of tomorrow's world.

The new Sarthak building...under construction
After the quick tour, we started interacting with the kids. I was amazed when every kid introduced himself (or herself) in English...proper, correct English. We then started talking about computers. Again, it was not very surprising this time that almost all the kids knew what computers were. A few even knew to work on a computer...doing simple things like creating spreadsheets or writing documents or even painting. Next we tried explaining them what the internet is. What all things we can do on the internet and why it is such an important resource for us today. We even got two laptops out and made them do simple things like type their names on a document or do some simple painting on gimp.

These kids had so much life...so much enthusiasm...so much energy. They laughed out loud...ran across the building...played with all of us...enjoyed the treat of chocolate...as if they lacked nothing in life. Some had horrible pasts, some didn't have a family at all...but none of these could reduce the sparkle in each tiny eyes. Each of them had a dream, a dream to be a someone when they grew up. Some wanted to be a doctor, some a cricketer, some a boxer and some an engineer...but they all had dreams.

We laughed with them...we played with them...we taught them...we learnt from them...we ate with them...they brought back the kids in us and made us all relive our childhood.

Kudos to the people who put in so much effort in running the place, in taking such great care of these children. Dr. Anil is to be respected for all of these work, but one of his thought that totally shook me was when he pointed out that there was not a single religious items anywhere in the entire premise. He didn't want to give these children a religion. He wanted to create human beings. And the day these children got mature enough to judge for themselves, they could decide whether they would want to go to a temple, a church, a mosque or a gurudwara!

That evening, when I got back home, I was happy and sad at the same time. I was happy to have spent an awesome day. I was sad and guilty that I had so much in life...probably everything I could want from life and yet I had so many complaints against life...so much to be upset about. These children had so little but had no complaints at all.That day, these kids taught an important lesson of life....to LIVE!


A stranger made me smile today....

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 7:58 AM in , ,
This evening, when I left from work, I was a little disturbed. The last few days had not been very happy ones. The turbulence in life had made me depressed...left me lonely!

It was drizzling. The honking of vehicles and happy cheers of people, returning home, made me feel uneasy. I wasn't exactly looking forward to going home. I knew no one was waiting for my back at my empty room. I just kept walking, ignoring the noise all around. Even the slight drops of rain felt irritating today.

Too many thoughts were running in my mind. Betrayals, disappointments, heartbreaks...too many unpleasant thoughts were hitting my brain like waves of tsunami.The more I was trying to push them off, they more powerfully they were hitting me back.

Photo credit - http://assets.nydailynews.com

In between this mental struggle, when every breathe felt like a heavy sigh of distress, someone called me from behind - "Ajao. Mai tumko drop kar deti hoon." (Come, let me drop you home). I turned back. There was a lady on a scooter, calling me to hop on to the empty seat of her vehicle. I was definitely seeing that face for the first time. I felt a little hesitant to take lift from a stranger. Moreover, I didn't really need a ride. I politely denied, with a smile. She spoke again - "Ajao. Don't worry. Mai bhi usi taraf ja rahi hoon (pointing her finger in the direction of the road I was walking towards). Barish bhi ho rahi hai. Yeh rasta utna safe nahi hai. Akele mat chalo." (Don't worry, come along. I am also going in the same direction as you. Its raining and this road is not a very safe one. Don't walk alone here). This time, I couldn't deny. I hopped on.

In just ten minutes of the ride, I got to know that she owns a beauty parlour and was returning home after completing her work there. I spoke a little about my job and my life at Pune. It turned out, that she stays in the same lane as I do, just a few blocks away from my building. I showed her my place and invited her to come over sometime during some weekend. She dropped me at the gate, and departed with a smile. I smiled back, saying - "Thank you tai." (Thank you, sister).

Its strange, how we meet new people and how life shows us its beautiful colours, when we expect it least. I returned home with a smile. Not feeling lonely any more. I just befriended a stranger. 

Thats how I met my new friend today...Sangita!


Fedora 22 Release Party, Pune

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 10:29 PM in , ,
This is my attempt at bringing all details of the Fedora 22 Release Party, out live...right from the Pune Red Hat office.

10.55am - We have started our day today with a quick round of introductions...its always fun to know people!

We, the Fedorians....[Photo Credit - Suprith Gangawar]

11.05am - What is new in the Workstation for Fedora 22 and future, by Praveen Kumar.

Praveen is taking us through the Fedora workstation and the new features of Workstation for Fedora 22.

Praveen Kumar talks about the new features of Fedora 22 Workstation

Praveen is also introducing the participants to Boxes and how Boxes has made it easy for users to work on multiple VMs now.

Quick updates on Fedora 23:
  • Alpha freeze has been done last week.
  • On the feature side, for the Workstation, biggest change will be the container based application approach.
  • Developer assistant - a tool which will help a developer setup the entire development environment very easily and get started.
  • Wayland - Wayland is intended as a simpler replacement for X, easier to develop and maintain. GNOME and KDE are expected to be ported to it.
  • Gnome software application
The tasklist for Fedora 23, along with the status is available here - https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Workstation/Tasklist

11.50am - Introduction to FESCo, and Fedora package sponsorship model by Parag Nemade

After an introduction to the different ways in which we can start contributing to Fedora, Parag takes us through the criteria for sponsoring a new packager, the packaging guidelines etc.

A few quick notes:

Parag Nemad, talking about Fedora packaging [Photo Credit - Suprith Gangawar]
12.35pm - Status update from Fedora Cloud WG by Kushal Das, where he started the session with an introduction to Fedora Cloud and Cockpit. He continues by giving us a demonstration of Cockpit, from a system admin's perspective. 

To install Cockpit - dnf install cockpit

Kushal Das talks about cockpit [Photo Credit - Suprith Gangawar]

1pm to 2.15pm - Lunch break

2.20pm - Cloud group updates:

  • New in Fedora 22:
    • Vagrant box
    • Fedora Dockerfiles - example docker files for various applications.
    • Tunir[to install tunir - dnf install tunir]
    • Atomic Improvements - Atomic is a base OS, on top of which any container can be used.
    • Updated Docker images
  • Upcoming changes for Fedora 23:
    • Layered Docker Image Build Service
    • systemd-networkd
    • Could MOTD (Message of the day)
    • Two Week Atomic (project Atomic to breakout of Fedora release cycle and release in every two weeks).

2.45pm - Ways of getting started with Fedora contribution, lead by Siddhesh Poyarekar

Here is Siddhesh, explaining ARM [Photo Credit - Suprith Gangawar]


Installing Sublime Text 3 on Fedora 21

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 2:43 AM in , , , , ,

Though the process of installing Sublime Text 3 on Fedora 21 is not difficult at all, the articles available online doesn't have the correct steps most of the time. Since I had to waste a decent amount of time to find the right script and install Sublime 3 on my machine, I thought I would document the steps, saving someone else's time.

The steps for installing Sublime Text 3 on Fedora 21 are:

Step 1: 

[1] For Linux x64:

wget -O install-sublime.sh https://gist.github.com/xtranophilist/5932634/raw/sublime-text-3-x64.sh && sudo sh install-sublime.sh; rm -rf install-sublime.sh

[2] For Linux x32:

wget -O install-sublime.sh https://gist.github.com/xtranophilist/5932634/raw/sublime-text-3-x32.sh && sudo sh install-sublime.sh; rm -rf install-sublime.sh

The content of these scripts can be found here : https://gist.github.com/xtranophilist/5932634

Step 2:

su -c "sh install-sublime-text.sh"


A well spent Women's day

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 4:49 AM in , ,
On the occasion of International Women's Day, the WoMoz (Women in Mozilla) community from Pune had decided to celebrate Womanhood and technology by paying tribute to to all the women, who are working towards making a difference in the world of Open Source technology.

As per our planning, we, the organizers did gather at Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research by 9.30am. It took us less than 20 minutes to arrange the room and put up a few posters around the campus, which could give our participants, the feel of event. The event was scheduled to begin at 10am. While planning the event, we had made a few mistakes (which I have listed at the end of the post) due to which we had a really low crowd turnout. After an hour of waiting, when we were almost about to call the event off and re-schedule it, did we have our guest speaker, Manjusha Joshi walk in. It was she who motivated us to continue with the event, even if we had way less number of participants than expected.

We began with the event an hour late. There are a few events, which often make us realize the fact that number is probably a wrong metric to measure the success of an event. Quality of audience is way more important. And this one was one such rare events. Though we had just 20 people in the room, those 20 people were probably there, cause they all genuinely wanted to take something back home from the session.

We restructured the entire schedule. [The initial event schedule can be found at http://wiki.mozillaindia.org/Celebrating_womanhood_and_technology]. We decided to have only the most important sessions. Diwanshi thus began the day, introducing Mozilla. Following her introduction, we invited Manjusha mam to share her Open Source journey with us. Her story was indeed inspiring. A married woman, belonging to a traditional Indian family, could manage to achieve so much in life, fighting challenges with way less resources than what we are blessed with these days. I salute her for being an icon for all of us!

After her session, I went to the podium, to take a session on Imposter Syndrome. I guess its irony in itself that the speaker of a topic like that, herself suffers from Imposter Symdrome. Thanks to Sumana for being an awesome speaker on this topic at AdaCamp, due to which, I was not only aware of the topic, but also able to share my knowledge, further with others.

After my session, Suchita also took a quick session, introducing a few initiatives by her college clubs, before Diwanshi ended the day with a session on Privacy and security.

Though I have been a co-organizer for this event, I couldn't give the event sufficient time, due a lot of personal work I was stuck with. But, I have learnt a few very important lessons from the event:

[1] Organizing an event on a Sunday is a bad idea. Its tough to get people out of their Sunday mood and get them to do anything constructive.

[2] A lot of research needs to be done before finalizing the dates of any event. Mainly an event targeted at college student needs to be planned carefully, keeping their exam schedules etc in mind. If we are celebrating some national or international days, where ofcourse the dates can't be changed, its probably better to plan it differently.

[3] Event promotion is a big responsibility and ownership needs to be taken for this.

[4] Every event, no matter how small, should follow a RASCI model. This helps every stakeholder be very clear about their responsibilities, so as to have a smooth execution of the event.
Yes, we also had cake!


Living the dream

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 3:17 AM in ,
Since my very early days of Open Source contribution, that goes back to my early days of college life, Red Hat had been my dream organization! The reasons behind this was probably many. During those initial days of my Open Source journey, I had been inspired by many Open source advocates and most of them were Red Hat employees. Also, many of the events that I had attended during my early college days used to be held at the Pune Red Hat office.

Well, as long as I had this dream of getting the appointment letter from Red Hat, life was exciting....but somehow I never thought how would I react once I had it! 

On Monday, when I walked into this office building, I was just as scared as a child, when he (or she) is going to school for the first time. Things then happened one after the other...each one more exciting than the previous one! New people, new space, new desk, new laptop, new monitor, new desk phone...and finally introduction to some new work. Wait, did I flaunt about the welcome kit? Its like a complete package...with all the stationary one could need at office. Well, I love stationary...and as a friend of mine did rightly say, it was indeed Disney land for me.

Can't speak much about the work, since I have not done much yet....but definitely the people and the place is just what I had dreamt about! 

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