Moving to Japan


So, it’s been a long time since I talked about what’s going on in my life. I moved to Tokyo in September. I came here in the third week of September and started working at Mercari from the 1st week of October.

Mercari is a C2C marketplace (mainly for second hand goods) in Japan. There’s a Mercari product in the US and UK as well. I got the job in IIT Kharagpur’s placements in December 2017. Yes, I have been fairly silent on this blog and everywhere else about the job; primarily because there were a lot of things that needed to all go well for me to actually start working here. Getting the visa... Read More

Offline Advertising - Familiarity

I read a few excellent (albeit old) articles on advertising recently. A few of them were on The Doc Searls Weblog. My main take away from these articles was that offline advertising is not ineffective because an ad run on TV is seen by all sorts of people and is targeted at a cross section of the population; In fact, it is very effective because of that very property.

I recently made a cross-country move (more on this in a later post). I wanted to select a phone contract in the new country. There were several companies and it was all very confusing. I had two references: a contract that my company’s HR people recommended and companies that I... Read More

Why I include Bootstrap in every project

Here’s some unsolicited advice: Always start any project with the inclusion of Bootstrap. There are a few reasons I insist on this. I will go into them in this blog post. There are many such blog posts on the Interweb. I figured that adding my own point of view on this matter will not hurt anyone.

Before we begin

I had a really hard time understanding what Bootstrap really was. I had some questions in mind: Is it a library? Is it a set of CSS classes? Is it jQuery, but better? Why is jQuery required if it is only a set of CSS classes? I have figured out a very simple way to explain what... Read More

My Values

My friend Kshitij Saraogi just released his website’s code on GitHub and I happened to visit it. His website had a very intriguing tab: VALUES. It immediately led me to question myself what my values were? What were the things that helped me navigate through decision making and just life in general?

I intend to list out a few of my values here. This list is bound to grow and I think I will keep adding / removing things from here.

Last updated 18th August, 2018

  1. Be decisive, without being impulsive.
  2. Lower your expectations.
  3. Do the right thing. Your experience will tell you what the right thing to do in every situation is, just... Read More

Media and Expectations - Part 2 - Indian Railway Accidents

This is part 2 of a two part series

Part 1 · Part 2

As promised at the end of Part 1, I will list the number of people who were affected by these incidents that were heavily reported on in the Indian news media to the point where I was actually wondering whether it was even safe to travel in the Railways anymore. If I had only had a look at the numbers I am going to show you, I would never have had that fear.

The full data can be found here. The sources are listed at the end of this post.

First, let’s look at the list of deaths and injuries over... Read More

Media and Expectations - Part 1 - TV v. Internet

This is part 1 of a two part series

Part 1 · Part 2

I am fresh off the Factfulness dose. The authors articulate one thing about the news media:

I cannot even see the highest-quality news outlets conveying a neutral and non-dramatic representative picture of the world, as statistics agencies do. It would be correct but just too boring. We shouldn't expect the media to move very far in that direction. Instead it is up to us as consumers to learn how to consume the news more factfully, and to realize that the news is not very useful for understanding the world 

This got me to thinking about how much I... Read More

Pune Diaries 1 - Art Gallery

For the last 5 years, I lived in Kharagpur, West Bengal. It is a town, no more no less. There’s nothing to expect there, and it lives up to that expectation. A movie theater started flourishing in my last year there. Apart from that, there was nothing to do there.

After those 5 years, and even in between during Summer and Winter vacations, I was in various cities: Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore briefly. But I never did anything that I was unhappy about being unable to do when I was in Kharagpur.

Now, I am in Pune until the first week of September. I am in the training period for a job, and my weekdays are not free in any sense... Read More

Donna Tartt

Primer: Donna Tartt is a 53-year old writer from Mississippi. She has written only three novels and she released them in 1992, 2002 and 2013. Each of those novels is nearly 600 pages long. She rarely gives any interviews.

This was one of my major goals for this summer. I had already... Read More

Landing pages on TV

One fine Monday evening, I was absent mindedly scrolling through Twitter, which was when I came across this tweet from TRAI, the Telecom Regulator in India:

Understandably, I was confused. Mainly, I wasn’t sure this topic needed such a formal open house discussion which no doubt made executives from the stakeholder companies fly to Delhi to sit in and make sure their voices were heard. So, I retweeted this and forgot... Read More

OpenSSL is extensive and amazing

Back in August 2017, I hadn’t yet dipped my feet into OpenSSL’s command line yet. That’s when I ended up finding out about a set of OpenSSL commands that have a solution for most cryptography related requirements. Secondly, it’s a great way to just explore and find out about new technologies. So, here’s a list of commands that absolutely floored me when I first found out about them:

1. openssl x509

$ openssl x509 -in ~/Downloads/twittercom.crt -text | less 

This command inspects x509 certificates from the internet. Firefox has a great certificate inspector, but for every field, you have to go and highlight it and then the value for that field... Read More