Last week, I was sitting with a bunch of old friends. One friend asked about Caesar, my golden Labrador. They always do. It has been several years since it died, yet friends ask. In school, all my friends knew about Caesar. Of late, I find it easy to capture nostalgia mother tongue, Hindi.

मैं जब छोटा था, मेरे पास एक कुत्ता था, सीज़र| कभी कभी लेटे हुए बिस्तर से हाँथ फैलाता हूँ और सोचता हूँ कि सीज़र उठ कर आयेगा| लगता है की जब जगह बदलने के लिए उठेगा तो पकड़ लूँगा| गर्दन सहलाकर बिस्तर पे जगह बना दूंगा तो पाव में आकार लेट जायेगा| अगली झपकी खुलने पर जब धक्के से नीचे उतारने की कोशिश करूँगा तो घुर्रा कर कूद जायेगा| फर्श पे अक्सर उसे सहलाते हुए बैठ जाता था| बात समझेगा ऐसे बोलता रहता था|
आज भी दोपहर को कभी घर पे हुआ तो, वरांडे के चक्कर काटता हूँ| किसी कोने में बालों का गुच्छा हो सकता है| बड़े ही धींट थे उसके बाल, कपड़ों से छूटते ही नही थे| जिस दिन घर लाये थे, वो सोता ही रहा| आखिरी बार जो देखा था उसको, सोने की सी हालत थी| उधर लॉन की दीवार के पास जिस दिन दफनाया गया उसे, इधर दराज़ से एक पुरानी फोटो ढून्ढ कर डाईरी में रख ली थी|
रोज़ डाईरी खोलने की नौबत नही आती| रोज़ नींद भी नही आती| अकेले रहने में डर नही लगता| सन्नाटे में पंखे के अलावा उसकी हवा से उड़ते पर्दों या कागज़ की आवाज़ होती है| हर पल कुछ बदल रहा होता है मगर इतने धीरे की आहाट तो दूर अंदाजा भी नही लगता| ऐसे में कई लोगों को झुंझलाते हुए देखा है| उनको एक पल भी ठेहेरना चुभता है| मुझे भीड़ में उलझन लगती है, शोर सेहन नही होता और लोग समझ कम आते|


Wise Men

Imagine there is a village. It has people who work hard to earn a living. Among them, are men who do not relate well to the constant hustle. They realize that one does not need a lot to live. They do not need large vasts of land or hordes of cattle. The moment one owns something, it occupies equal space in mind. A mental baggage comes with keeping up with task of managing these things. As possessions grow, so does the stress of keeping and maintaining them. There is greed, envy, fear of loss and insecurity.

This changes how one thinks and act. Men who realize this decide to step away. They start living somewhere outside the village. They occupy a small “place”, eat simple and wear basic clothes. When villagers comes across them, they see a happiness that is mysterious. The lack of stress and abundance of time is surprising. These men appear “wise”. The wisdom is from the freedom they got from the perpetual struggle that others are occupied in. While villagers struggle, they are at ease.

Everyone asks “how are you at peace?” though they know the answer. Everyone wants that peace but they do not want to let go of anything. They crave a new possession, happiness. The Place begins to appear sacred to villagers. Many begin to move out of the village to start living there. With an increase in group size comes a need to organize. Rules are made to villagers who want to step out and join. Although, it began to avoid conformance,  the Place now demands it.

Many villagers want wisdom and happiness without leaving their life. So, children are sent to the sacred place. Wise men teach them. As years pass, the teachings remain same. A curriculum is established. Teachings are accepted and spread through generations. Initially, the teachings are given orally but later they are written. When speaking, a teacher can chose his own words and act a he finds suitable. Once books are introduced, teachers stick to them.

A hierarchy is established to govern what goes into the book. Changes are reviewed and become infrequent over time. So any individual that goes through this school receives the same teachings. The skill or greatness of teachers varies but the content becomes as sacred as the place itself.

If hundreds of years later someone questions these words, he will be looked down upon. He may also be subjected to violence. The schools, institutions and teachings live. So does the fear of loss and greed to gather. The teachings were set to help realize that more physical or mental possessions does not bring happiness. They have been transformed into a possession. People are threatened when they question. They think these teachings are at threat if questioned. In fact, they exist because someone was questioning when others were busy gathering food. They are threatened by questions and resort to violence. They hold the book close and repeat its words as a ritual. The ritual has taken space in their mind. Like a house to be maintained give stress. Forgetting to perform this ritual or not doing it right gives them fear.

What began to end fear turns into a reason to spread it.


Shayar (poet)

कल एक शाएर के कमरे के बहार से गुज़रा
खिड़की से देखा वो कागज़ पे कलम रगड़ रहा था
उसमे से खुश्बो की तरह नज़्म उठ रही थी
मौका पा कर मैं एक पन्ना चुरा लाया
कोरे पन्ने ने घूरा तो लगा लिखना कठिन होगा,
कुछ पन्नों के कोने बटोर लिए हैं मैंने
जिनको जेब में सहेज के रखा है
गर कभी गुरुर होने लगे खुद पर,
उनको गिन गिन कर सामने रख लूँगा


Minimal Desktop

I code on an Ubuntu VM running on Windows. The Ubuntu VM is just for coding, I prefer to keep it small, which makes cloning and snapshots faster. Too many snapshots have caused problems for me. I delete the older ones, which again, is faster for smaller VM.

So, I started creating a minimal Python dev environment. First, I thought of using Emacs only. But I like PyCharm a lot, it ships with Emacs keymap. Between several terminal sessions, I needed at least two GUI apps: IDE & Chrome.

For terminal sessions, I started using tmux, which is great. PyCharm also has a terminal tab but you can’t switch to it and back to editor screen smoothly. It is not a first-class citizen like the editor window.

Enter xmonad, which helps you get rid of all the desktop items. It tiles windows occupying the whole screen. No dock, toolbar or OS menus. Now, I manage desktop with xmonad and terminal sessions with tmux. Here’s how I set it up on Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install tmux
sudo apt-get install xmonad

Configure xmonad. The official docs are simple enough to get started. To launch PyCharm you’ll need wmname.

sudo apt-get install wmname

Now, log-off and select xmonad to log-in

After login you’ll be greeted with a blank screen. Fear not and open a terminal.
Start a tmux session:
tmux new -s session-name

tmux lets you launch multiple windows and panes. Perhaps, avoid tmux panes and create multiple session using xmonad windows, if needed. Also, xmonad allows you to configure tiling algorithms.

tmux command are followed by a prefix  (default is is Ctrl-b, configure if you want)

Open a new terminal window:
Ctrl-b C

Now, you can launch Pycharm using:
wmname LG3D && ./pycharm.sh

Create as many windows as you want. Once you’re done, use the xmonad to switch to your IDE.

The problem is getting used to different keybindings. You can easily configure keybindings as needed. Once you are habitual, you’ll stop using the mouse.





xmonad and PyCharm




खुद ही फीते बाँधनेे में जुट गया
इतना नाराज़ हो गया माँ से
फिर लट्टू लेकर घूमता रहा
कमरे से निकला
हवा से दरवाज़ा बंद हो गया
लट्टू अन्दर, बाहर डोर हाँथ में थी
बेवकूफी ने जोर लगाया तो टूट गयी

दिन ही खराब था, शायद
सुबह से डोरों से झूझ रहा था
फीते बंधे नही तो जूते में फसा लिए
दौड़ते ही निकल जाते
अब लट्टू टूट गया, बस डोर रह गयी

थोड़ी देर दरवाज़े को ताका
लॉक खोलने की कोशिश करी
फिर भगा लॉन की तरफ
मिटटी के धेले से लट्टू बनाया
नया लट्टू न पहले जैसा दिखता था
न ही घूमता
मगर टूटे तो बनाना आसान था

शाम को माँ से दोस्ती कर ली
फीते बाँधने आ गये
कमरा खुला, लट्टू जुड़ गया