Resolutions 2021


I know I am late for the resolutions party and I want to rationalize by saying “better a little late than too late.” 355 days is definitely a good number and so what if I haven’t announced yet, the plan of action was in go from day 1 of the year. This year, I wanted to be a little more careful while I chalk out my plan. Off-course to be more ambitious and push through limits is the Plan A.  My everyday planner has already been colorful for the first ten days and both of my Sundays, including today, have been working and the weekdays appropriately have been enough refreshing to move ahead. So, I hereby finally announce my list to keep up for the year, to make every day count, hopefully. 

A note!

By the way, I started having resolutions, in a proper format and monitoring since 2017 and it has worked for me positively. Here is what happened in 2018 and then here is how I wrapped up 2019. 2020 has been nothing less and here is how it went: 2020 Highlights. All that said, here is a list for 2021:

Task Set 01: Writing

1.1 Write at least 100 blog posts (around 8 per month) on itsphblog
1.2 Post 50 technical blog posts on itsphbytes
1.3 Take up A to Z Challenge in April with a theme
1.4 Participate in NaNo-Camps in April and July
1.5 Continue working as ML for NaNoWriMo 2021
1.6 Post 35 short poems on Instagram

Task Set 02: Reading

2.1 Take up Goodreads challenge and read 20 novels
2.2 Read 60 articles on web

Task Set 03: Publishing

3.1 Publish the novel – The Art of Ageing Gracefully
3.2 Publish the ebook – Between Blue and Blue
3.3 Near publish edit the book – Things in Nothing
3.4 Publish at least five ebooks through Smashwords

Task Set 04: Research

4.1 Read atleast 50 meaningful research papers and log the summary
4.2 Publish 6 research papers from various domains (conference + Journal)
4.3 Build 6 new models for Knit Algorithm

Task Set 05: Profession (Academics)

5.1 Look out for a new/similar career on high priority basis
5.2 Improve coding profile
5.3 Take up and complete 6 courses online (MOOC)
5.4 Design and propose a new elective
5.5 Build a training module
5.6 Work and aim to complete the textbook

Task Set 06: Profession (Industry)

6.1 Provide 30 meaningful internships from Knit Arena
6.2 Host 2 events from the company
6.3 Grow technically for industry (Transil and Knit)
6.4 Have the first release of Knit

Task Set 07: New

7.1 Conduct 3 workshops on various topics
7.2 Travel to two new places
7.3 Complete at least 3 new series/soaps
7.4 Do 31 days movies challenge
7.5 Exercise and continue to stay fit and get better
7.6 Symphony of words
7.7 Write one amazing article/post that I will be ever proud of
7.8 Do 10 new things

Well, That is me. More or less. What resolutions do you have for yourself?

2020 Highlights


What makes year end special, most probably, is that it is a representative day for what we were last year and the changes we want to see in the upcoming year. For some, it is a reason to party, for some an opportunity to resolute and start afresh with new beginnings, and some-some so on for the remaining rest. It’s a birthday of ‘hope’ and gives all the reasons to celebrate. I guess it won’t be wrong to say 2020 was the most unexpected year of all. Since March, we all have been hoping that things would be back to normal next month, but then, its’ December already, and the hope continues to January of 2021. We have been living amidst uncertainties.

Resolutions have been working great with me. They keep me on track and remind me of the things I have on plate. Here is a quick evaluation of 2020. I am sure that it is going to be a long post and for the year that passed by, I think it is well justified. I want to start with worthy mentions from the year first. If you want to read my resolutions that I made for 2020, you can read the post here: Going Through 2020.

The Glows and Glitters

My new year started with travels. I was at IIM Bangalore for a conference and then from there to Hyderabad for another. In February I was at Punjab for another conference. In December to Kerala for a wedding. This is what Google maps have to say. I think I did good for a Corona year.

2020 Travel Summary

The workshops I conducted, one on poetry writing and another on computational thinking, both being from diverse domains, gave me a pathway to lead and follow. Also, to build a community. I was extremely delighted to see a banner of the workshop with my photograph in the university campus and the audience that turned out for the workshop were enthralling.

poeTRY-101 Workshop

Computational Thinking workshop was part of a conference at Chitkara University, Punjab. I as well won the best paper award (IEEE) for one of the papers. I am not sure why, I was more happy with the workshop than the award.

Computational Thinking Workshop

I released out my much awaited NaNoWriMo 2016 Novel ‘i 4 you’ as a free ebook through smashwords. The ebook is available here for download i 4 you and has gathered pretty good reviews so far. Here is one:

i 4 you – review on Goodreads

My year had THE best project teams. We did a research school together. We published two papers in a conference and two in journal (the processing of journal is in progress). I could not have asked for a better one.

In the pic: Vibha, Sourabh, Tejaswini, Usman, Srushti, Vijeth, Nikhil, Rajaram and Me (left to right).

Coursera offering free courses was the best thing that happened this pandemic. Yes, I did manage to complete 103 courses and as an individual, I have grown with learning from around the world. I cannot thank enough for this.

Thank you Note

Here are the books I managed to read this year:

Year on Goodreads

This year’s NaNoWriMo was warming and soothing. I did win for the 5th time with 50K words and the ML experience this year will stay for long. It was the most satisfying season ever. There were many such appreciation comments like the one below.

Feedback from WRIMO India Group

Highlights

  • Delivered 3 guest talks at colleges from Pune(2) and Chennai(1), online
  • Attended 4 Faculty Development Programs
  • Attended 23 Webinars (with certificates)
  • Attended 1 Winter School from IIIT-Bangalore
  • I did do a 31 Days 31 Movies Challenge in August and the detailed post can be found here: 31 Days 31 Movies.
  • Successfully completed Camp NaNoWriMo
  • Successfully completed A to Z Challenge in April
  • A Family Wedding in Last week of December 2020

Summary and Stats

Following up next is the summary of the year as against the set goals.

Task Set 01: Writing

1.1. Write at least 100 blog posts on itsphblog : This is my 42nd post. I could have done better.
1.2. Post 50 technical blog posts on itsphbytes : I did end up writing 11. I Seriously need to work on technical posts 2021.
1.3. Take up A to Z Challenge in April : Done. Did two. One on blog and another on Instagram (you can reach me on Instagram at prakash.hegade).
1.4. Participate in NaNo-Camps in April and July : completed both the camps successfully.
1.5. Continue working as ML for NaNoWriMo 2020 : It was an amazing year and had the best wrimo’s ever.
1.6. Post 30 short poems on Instagram : I did make 46 posts, and I am happy about that.

Task Set 02: Publishing

2.1. Give final edits and get NaNoWriMo 2016 novel titled i 4 you published : published. Link shared above. 2.2. Revise, edit, revise, edit and NaNoWriMo 2019 novel titled – The Art of Ageing Gracefully published : I still need to work on this.
2.3. Publish at least five ebooks through Smashwords : did 4. You have to check out: I Fell in Love with an Asshole and I Fell in Love with a Geek.

Task Set 03: Reading

3.1. Take up Goodreads challenge and read 20 novels : I could complete 9.
3.2. Read and explore two new domains in-depth (Life Sciences and Digital Society) – Attended winter school and nothing much on life science.

Task Set 04: Research

4.1. Read 50 or more research papers : read only 12.
4.2. Publish 5 research papers (academic, research, management) : yes. 6.  
4.3. Build four new models related to research area : the same were published as papers.
4.4. Implement 5 workable components for Knit Algorithm : not one was in releasable format.

Task Set 05: Profession (Academics)

5.1. Design and deliver two new courses (Semantic Web and Functional Programming) : Semantic web was successfully delivered and Functional Programming was proposed and was not delivered because of pandemic situation.
5.2. Improve Coding profile (complete Basic CodeChef DSA certification) : could not reattempt the certification. But did manage to complete basic problem solving certification on HackerRank.
5.3. Take up and complete 5 courses online (MOOC) : this is where a significant difference happened. University got free access to coursera and I managed to complete 103 courses. 
5.4. Design and deliver courses in unique environment (DSA, MT, APS) : with corona, this did happen in unexpected way.

Task Set 06: Profession (Industry)

6.1. Provide 30 meaningful internships from Knit Arena : we did have 32 interns
6.2. Host Knit School 2020 : this did get cancelled because of we all know why.
6.3. Host 2 events from the company : we did host one competition.
6.4. Grow as Technical Lead at Transil (Internships, design, research, consultant, technology etc. ) – I credit the fall here to corona.

Task Set 07: New

7.1. Conduct 3 workshops on various topics : did 2.
7.2. Travel to two new places : Punjab and Kasargod (Kerala).
7.3. Cook 5 new dishes : done and dusted.
7.4. Work on building meaningful components for kids growth and development (dedicating to my kids) : started home schooling.
7.5. Start and complete at least 3 new series/soaps – Dark (All 3 Seasons), Mirzapur (2 Seasons) and Money Heist (Season 01).

Well, running off to set goals for 2021.

A to Z 2020 Reflections


2badge

This was my fourth year of A to Z challenge and that very much is the reason why April excites me. April has been the only month since my blogging journey where I post at-least 26 posts. I am happy for what April does to me. It kind of seamlessly fits into my schedule like a must-do routine. I feel the month has that vibe and zeal to keep it going, no matter what.

reflection

I have always had 8 lines poems for the challenge with different themes over the years. I continued to do so this year too. Like every year, I must say, I loved doing this year’s challenge. My 2020 theme was Metaphors and a 8 line poem for each. Looking for metaphors was definitely a challenge. I did not restrict my domain to a specific kind of metaphors. I have used them from literature, history, songs, movies, paintings etc. On few days, I had to struggle on which one to pick and other days had to pick the only available. Some days was ease and some days I kept staring at my screen.

I did fill up the end survey and collected my winner batch. Here it goes:

MissionAccomplished

I have compiled all of my challenges into a short ebook and is available for free download. Save a copy for yourself too! Yay!

a-z-2020-cover

A to Z: A Metaphor for an Alphabet Ebook Download Link 

I would like to thank all of you for being supportive through April. Every blogger needs a supportive community to sustain, survive and thrive. Thank you all for all the love.  Thanks to A to Z team for making it happen every year with growing enthusiasm.

Note:
This year I also did A to Z 6 word lockdown stories on Instagram. My Instagram id: prakash.hegade.

Zanata Stone


Z2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 26 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem.


 

Metaphor: Zanata Stone

I am ending with the most cryptic metaphors of all. Zanata Stone, also known as Zenata Stone is a Guanche origin stone with engravings. It is known to be found in 1992 at Mountain of the Flowers in Canary Islands. The engravings on the stone are said to be in Tifinagh scripts. The Zanata Stone seems to have been related to the magical-religious traditional faith of the Guanches (aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands).

zanata-stone

Some Guanches of Tenerife (island in Canary Islands) were also known as Zanata or Zenete, or “those with a cut tongue”. That puts together on why the stone is named so. The Zanata Stone is currently in the Archaeological Museum of Tenerife.

Poem:
Your worries, concerns,
Are rats at the mountains.
You opt for the rat?
Or the mountain hat?
While you collect the berries,
Your haters collect the worries,
Are you leaving behind?
Your Zanata stone?

For life is a metaphor and what we seek from it. It’s an quest into enigma and jigsaw puzzle with multiple answers. It’s upon us on how beautiful we fit in the pieces.

You’ve Got Mail


Y2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 25 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem.


 

Metaphor: You’ve Got Mail

Who hasn’t loved the movie with the casting of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? The local bookstore owner who hates the large bookstore chain owner in person, are falling in love over internet with masked identity. He later finds out, still likes her and has to fix it all. The movie released in 1998, has beautifully dealt with mall and internet culture.

Though the movie highlight is more about internet, technology etc., it can always stand for a bigger cause over time. The ‘mail’ here is an opportunity. Have you seen, identified and embraced it? For me, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ is a metaphor for there is love and everyone has got one. For, you see, falling in love without knowing each other’s real identities is something which has been our plot with changing modes and methods over time.

Poem:
There is already enough,
Suffering in the world,
The pain smiles,
The scars draw,
There are enough dying,
For love and hunger.
Opt to be kind,
You’ve got mail.

Did you check the email that asks you to be a little kinder? The email of love? The ‘oops’ moment is when it gets spammed and vanishes after 30 days!  

X&Y


X2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 24 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem.


 

Metaphor: X&Y

I have taken the studio album X&Y from Coldplay for today’s metaphor. X&Y with 8.3 million units sold in 2005 alone, is known to be the best-selling music album released in 2005.  The album has significant history before the release with respect to objectives, preparations, transition etc. The songs focus and question the philosophical view of the world. The recurrent theme with most songs of the album talk about broken, out of place, misplaced and missing things. (Do check out the interesting story behind the cover page coded in Baudot alphabets)

From the main album song X&Y which starts with ‘trying hard to speak’, I like the recurring lines:
You and me are floating on a tidal wave..
Together
You and me are drifting into outer space..

Poem:
You and me,
X&Y, in the plane,
Playing with numbers,
The plan point (0,0),
Alas, infinitely invisible,
Or, opposite and equal,
Or, either one at zero.
Will we ever be? Zero. Zero.

X is me and Y(Why) is you. Though we plan to meet at mid and that was the plan, I don’t know how many broken parts and pieces it takes to unite!

Whistler’s Mother


W2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 23 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem.


 

Metaphor: Whistler’s Mother

Whistler’s mother is an iconic oil painting on canvas by James McNeil Whistler of his mother Anna. The painting done in 1871 is also known as Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1. The painting is in 56.81 x 63.94 inches(That’s huge!) canvas and also known to be Victorian Mona Lisa. The painting is culturally popular. It’s been featured in several movies and my favorite is in Mr. Bean. It’s been used in posters, music, etc. and there has been a stamp a well.

whistlers-mother

I am inspired by the brilliance of the painting which plays with black, grey and shades of light. The image has been used since the Victorian era as an icon for motherhood, affection for parents, and family values (especially in United States). Paintings are viewed with a varied meanings as per each individual and there is always a personal level connect.

Poem:
A total absence,

Presence,
Presence with absence,
In any other sense,
And every other sense,
– family and values.
But everyone can see,
Whistler’s mother.

Everyone in the world isn’t gifted with the same. Not everyone has learnt the values of family and some never will.

Veg Out


V2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 22 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem.


 

Metaphor: Veg Out

Yes, a metaphor coming out from kitchen. It’s a slang for relaxing without any agenda or to spend time idly, passively.  “Let’s watch old movies all night…we’ll just veg out in front of the TV” from the movie Pretty Woman has caught attention of many. Basically it means to relax like a sloth and in mindless manner.

There is no authentic documentation but has known to be originated in 1970’s. The phrase derives from association of vegetables with mental incapacity; in the way that mentally disabled people are sometimes referred to as vegetables. Do you think ‘Veg Out’ has become one of our common routine now?

Poem:
While you are at it,
Vegging out,
Someone grew a garden,
One got lost in novel,
One fell in love,
Someone made a music,
Another believed marvels,
Made it all happen.

We all Veg out. We are human beings after all. The question is how often? If not me, then who will care for the dreams that I believed to live one fine day?

Unmarked Grave


U2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 21 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem.


 

Metaphor: Unmarked Grave

Like surprisingly, there are really no metaphors with U, apart from ‘Unmarked Grave’ which means something that is not noticed or observed. I find it recursive and applies to U and itself.  An unmarked grave is one, as per its traditional meaning, a grave that lacks a marker, headstone, or nameplate. Unmarked graves have long been used to bury executed criminals as an added degree of disgrace, usually. The reason could also be financial or any other like a celebrity not opting a name to avoid vandalism. Steve Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave.

With all that history, it also has its figure of speech. It has taken the metaphor meaning of consignment to an ignominious end – to be in the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening around one.

Poem:
It’s celebrating,
With joy and pomp,
It’s swaying,
In its entirety,
It’s living the fullest,
Nonsense,
Is no more in,
An unmarked grave.

It’s a tricky piece of eight lines. Do not think more. It could be nonsense. But, nonsense isn’t the under nourished anymore. It healthy and wealthy.

Truman Show


T2020

Its April of 2020 and Day 20 of A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing Metaphors. Be it a movie, song, painting, book, idiom, etc. I plan to give a perspective to it with an explanation and a 8 line poem. 


 

Metaphor: The Truman Show

Truman (Jim Carrey) doesn’t know that everything in his life is a live broadcast ‘The Truman Show’. For him, life is a huge TV set. The hidden cameras are capturing his every moves. Isn’t the plot intriguing? If you haven’t, you got to watch this movie. The ending lines of the movie is quite popular. Truman says – ‘Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, Good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight’.

The movie has a deeper meaning. The movie talks about the freedom and is the way out. It talks about the media-saturated show-off culture. It talks about how unauthentic our life is. It tries to throw light on how technology and artificial living has masqueraded as reality. It explains how free will and reality are illusions. The movie is about us all. By the way, there have been many noted incidents where people believed that their life was a TV show (delusion disease informally referred to as “Truman syndrome).

Poem
Your ears,
I don’t see them.
No, they are there.
Looks like,
You don’t use them.
I like how you run,
A useless,
The Truman show.

I am sure everyone has encountered a personality who just don’t listen. At. All. They order, command, rule, they don’t listen to anything at all!