It had taken a lot of convincing for him to take the two hour flight. He had deliberated a lot on facing his fear. As the plane sped across the runway, he closed his eyes, and muttered something under his breath. They were in the air. He had taken the aisle seat, as he did not want to look out the window. Even as the plane attained cruise speed, he was still uneasy. Every time there was an announcement, he shifted slightly in his seat, scared that something bad was going to happen. Sensing his discomfort, a fellow passenger tried comforting him. Then the turbulence hit. He was regretting his decision to fly, when he could have taken a train. At that moment, the pilot announced that they would be landing soon. That sparked him to life. He now had hope that he would be able to set feet on the ground once again. As the plane touched the tarmac, he knew he had made it. Nearly a decade after that horrible day, he had conquered his fear. He had won.
It was an addiction. His friends kept telling him that it would destroy his life. He just didn’t pay heed to their rational advice. He needed his fix the first thing in the morning, before going to work. Even while working, his mind wandered in that direction. He was prone to lapses in concentration. He was suffering. He was not able to take control of his life. He knew he had to do something, before it was too late.
Feeling determined, he decided to do the one thing that was necessary – To click on the blue button which read ‘Deactivate Account’.
The fighting was intense. Both sides were giving it all they had. The dead were strewn across the field. It had not been a long battle, but both sides had suffered heavy casualties. Looking from a distance, one of the Kings discussed strategies with his trusted advisors. A devilishly cunning plan was born. The king commanded his heroic knight to lure and engage the chariot, who was protecting the enemy king. The valiant knight obeyed his king and challenged the enemy charioteer. It was a mismatched battle. The king knew from the beginning that he was sending his brave knight to his death. But this is war, and there is no room for sentiment. While his knight was getting slaughtered, he ordered his general to slay the now unprotected enemy king. As the crown fell from the slain king, the battle was won.
Nobody wept for the knight. There were no songs to be written for him. A handshake…that was it.
The landing crafts were very close to the beach. He looked around. His brothers were dead scared. One of them was saying a quiet prayer. A mortal shell landed on the landing boat next to them, which exploded. This was the moment they had prepared for, and had been dreading in equal measure. The gates opened, and instantly they were under heavy fire. He immediately realized that they were heading into a bloodbath. He knew he had to move quickly. He ran. He could see logs in the shape of X’s strewn apart and ran to take momentary shelter. That was the key: to run towards the nearest logs and hope you don’t get hit. He had been hit once on the thigh. So he called out for a medic, for first aid. While he was getting aid, he looked around, and the sight was gruesome. So many of his company had succumbed trying to dodge the firing from the cliffs. He was quite close to the cliff. His captain fired the bangalores and clearing the shingles that kept them from entering the enemy territory. They stormed inside. They were in a minefield. He saw some soldiers getting blown up. There was heavy artillery fire. He took out his Springfield rifle, and took out the MG-42 gunners. The path to the battlements was clear. His brave band of brothers entered the battlements and prepared for the final assault to reclaim the beach.
After a 100 failed attempts, the boy heaved a sigh of relief, as he saw the message ‘Mission Completed’ on his screen.
He had truly discovered hell. It was just like another cold, chilly November day. He had decided to seek solitude in the nearby park. It was a fine place to escape the cacophony that plagued the city that week. He had just laid his head down on the cool grass when it happened. It was a group of 4 people who pounced on him. They were obviously drunk, for no ‘human’ would be capable of doing something like that. It burned. It burned bad. There was nothing he could do to escape it. He ran to find a pool of water, which would ease the pain. Gunshots, followed by searing pain. All he could do was run. When he thought it could not get worse, a blinding pain shot through his ears. It was nothing like he had experienced before. He knew he was going to die. It was time to make his peace. He stopped running, curled up on the side. As his eyes closed, he had one last look at the colorful sky, with pink and green streaks all across the horizon. It looked beautiful.
Disaster had struck that year. A major injury had bed-ridden him for months. The dream of landing a place at the football club he supported had been shattered. Words could not explain his feelings of anguish. His “friends” at the academy had deserted him, glad that an obstacle to their prospective careers was removed.
He had but one faithful friend – the furry creature by his side. Buster became the friend the boy craved for. He watched him struggle with his feeling of failure. He listened to his ramblings about how cruel the world was. However, the one thing Buster could not do was to speak words of comfort – to tell the boy that things would ultimately work out in the end.
Years later, while cleaning the closet, an old woman happened upon the ‘furry creature’. She had not seen Buster since that terrible night. A tear glistened in her eye. Overcome with grief, she hurriedly shut the closet.
Buster wanted to tell her so much, to provide closure. But once again, he failed.
I have been procrastinating about this post for almost a month. Over that period, I have tinkered around with NoFlo and Angular.js. Earlier, I was creating components for Node-red at my workplace. However, as it is more inclined towards the Internet of Things, whereas NoFlo is more oriented towards Web applications, we started some work on NoFlo.
NoFlo is exponentially harder to use than Node-red. It is divided into so many components, that it gets really confusing to someone who has never worked on it. Moreover, as components are developed in CoffeeScript, I had to actually learn the language before starting my work.
Comparing NoFlo to Node-red wasn’t really easy. I really liked both the frameworks, but there are some things which stood out for both the frameworks:
1.) The NoFlo developers are super accessible. I used to get in touch with them on IRC, and they were interested in what we were trying to do. They gave suggestions, pointed us to the right stuff so we could solve our problems. In one particular instance, when my component was not working, they even submitted a pull request to fix our code. Now that was really impressive.
Overall, it was fun learning about Flow Based Programming, and getting to use these frameworks.
My next task involved learning Angular.js for an IDE we are developing at the university. I took some online tutorials and read some books to get comfortable with the architecture and nitty gritties of an Angular app. I was pretty impressed with the framework, as it makes a lot of stuff simple. Previously I used jQuery a lot and most of the times I used to do a lot of hacky DOM manipulations to get my work done. Angular gives a lot of structure to the code if designed properly and makes it more readable, maintainable, and testable. I experimented with writing unit tests and E2E tests using an array of tools like Karma, Jasmine and Protractor. This was my first experience with writing unit tests and I plan to write them in my future work as well.
Overall, this last month has been great for learning. I have settled well into grad school and I am learning stuff every day. A great experience so far. Until next time 😉