Sat 04 August 2012 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Yesterday, I heard the shocking news of the passing away of my mentor and India's prolific Python and django evangelist, Kenneth Gonsalves, KG to friends or lawgon by his IRC nick. I had the pleasure of knowing KG for 7 years and working with him on a variety of projects.

KG was a regular (until a couple of days back) on a host of free software mailing lists and IRC channels and always had an opinion on every topic. I contacted him as a naive undergrad student in my third year eliciting suggestions on how to become a better programmer. He asked me to apply for the Google Summer of Code 2007 through the django project. I was reluctant because I had just heard of this web framework and had no idea about Python. He reassured me that if I worked hard, was sincere and wouldn't expect any spoon feeding, I could succeed. It was with his idea that I applied to the Summer of Code and he kept following up throughout the summer on my progress. After the Summer of Code, I fell in love with django and python and today that's what earns my bread and butter. Not just that, KG was also very instrumental in me landing my first job and I will be forever indebted to him.

I met him in person for the first time in 2008 (in the less than half a dozen times I have met him) after having interacted with him for 2 years by email. He was a down to earth person with dry humour which contrasted his arrogant online persona. It was during this encounter that I learnt that he was a heavy smoker. I asked him if no one in his family objected but he curtly replied that "No one argues with a lawyer"!

KG and I worked on a couple of django projects (in my spare time) and he was the ideal project manager (apart from the programmer). He always took the pressure off me and negotiated with clients to practice the code-release-repeat (fancifully called 'agile' in corporate jargon) software development methodology. He also worked as a consultant for numerous companies, migrated them to python and django and also helped in recruiting for them.

But his biggest contribution was as a 'teacher'. He travelled all over India to colleges training thousands of students on free software, Python, Django, OSM and most importantly using IRC and mailing lists to request help.

During my last meeting with him in April, I asked him why he started using a new IRC nick. He answered that 'lawgon' (his famous nome de guerre) was his nick at work and 'lawgoff' at home. I didn't even expect that it would be my last meeting with him and he would 'lawgoff' from the world leaving thousands of free software enthusiasts and budding college students mourning.

My condolences are with the family and hope they take comfort in the fact that he made a huge difference to the causes he dedicated his life to. RIP KG, you will be missed.

Relationships that defy logic

Sun 24 July 2011 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Some bonds transcend logic and blood relationships. When was the last time you experienced this?

This morning, my neighbour's mother whom I fondly called "Paati" (grandmother in Tamil) passed away. She was an active lady who cared for everyone and bore no ill feelings against anyone. She knew my culinary …

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Time to grow up

Sat 19 March 2011 by Thejaswi Puthraya

This world is full of immature kids! Kids, who might have grown up physically and hold responsible positions in society but display immaturity by posting your private conversations with them on online public fora. Conversations that are harmless, with titbits of gossip and usually forgotten in a few moments.

These …

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5 funny myths on losing weight

Tue 12 January 2010 by Thejaswi Puthraya

With the new year day past us, lots of us would have made resolutions. It's another matter that most of the resolutions would have already been forgotten by now. A couple of friends resolved to lose weight and regain their shape.

In India, where every Tom, Dick and Harry gives …

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(Hopefully) Storm after lull

Mon 23 March 2009 by Thejaswi Puthraya

(Hopefully) Storm after lull

I have been very silent on the blogging front for over three months. I attribute it to two reasons:

  • Work
  • My inability to rise early or stay late :(

Since changing schedule at work is out of the question, I have decided to rise early and blog …

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6 months with Citigroup

Tue 02 December 2008 by Thejaswi Puthraya

6 months with Citigroup

With today, I will be completing 6 months with Citigroup. Here are my observations like in my previous post:

  • I really love work, it is challenging and I get to work in something that I am passionate about.

  • Love working with the fantastic team and awesome …

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6 months in Chennai

Mon 01 December 2008 by Thejaswi Puthraya

6 months in Chennai

With today, I will be completing 6 months in Chennai. I came to Chennai to join my first job after college and here are few one-liners to recap this period:

  • I really hate the coastal weather where you sweat at any and every point of the …
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Shocked by the terror strikes in Mumbai

Sat 29 November 2008 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Shocked by the terror strikes in Mumbai

It's been a harrowing 60 odd hours for the Mumbaikars and they have shown great resilience through this period. Now that the operation of neutralizing the terrorists is officially over, the finger-pointing by politicians will soon start.

We are tired off this, every …

read more bids adieu to Webfaction

Wed 29 October 2008 by Thejaswi Puthraya bids adieu to Webfaction

As some of you might have observed (or even if you didn't observe), my site now isn't hosted with Webfaction anymore. I have moved to Gandi's VPS service. The VPS service by Gandi is quite cheap and reliable. I have been using it ever …

read more needs a relook

Sun 26 October 2008 by Thejaswi Puthraya

My viewpoint of

A lot has been said and written about I don't have much to add because these folks have already written quite a few convincing things. I really appreciate their views though some of them are very radical and personal.

I would …

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