Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

A father’s wish…

1993 – February

I was a lot thinner; polite too. Certainly not the trigger happy, fat badass I have become. After three year of hunger, ambition and walking the edge of what was computer science then at FAST, I was all set to change the world.

On the stairs and under the shade of a Neem tree that is now long gone, Kheiri, Amir Khan and I debated the right way to build and train a BAM (a Neural Network for the less technically inclined). I spent hours tweaking my C code on the UNIX terminal and spent hours more training my network on KSE stock prices, trying to dig out the gold hidden inside predictive modeling. I wrote operating systems with microcode simulators in my spare time (ok, a little exaggerated), line detectors for class projects and copied the compiler code from Fawzia so that I could hack every game in existence and make turbo C do things that Borland never intended it to do.

I wasn’t a God, but I was certainly surrounded by them at FAST. I was just a thin, lowly geek, all set to change the world…

15 years ago, on this day, I turned my back on the road less travelled and sold out for 8,000 rupees a month. It was the easiest decision I ever made.

And my father said, “Baita (Son), you are better than this. Strike out on your own and you will do fine. It will be difficult but you will do fine”

It is funny how the easiest decision in your life, leave so much on the table; the difficult agonizing ones are the ones that really change your life. And how fathers are mostly right…

2008 – February

I met another father and son team, a dozen women, two of them mothers, seventy dreamers, a Harly rider (sorry Adnan) and seven individuals who feel that their changing the world is not enough; everyone else needs to do their bit too. Together we corrupted young minds beyond belief with naughty videos (you missed them), naughtier advice, really really bad food, a healthy dose of caffeine (hot and cold) but most importantly hope.

Hope that Baita, you are better than this. Strike out on your own and you will do fine…