IT life and a remote village
What is an IT company doing in a rural place. The company I work for.
Everybody has dreams in life.
Part 1 : History
Unlike every engineering graduate, I also wanted to work for an IT company, earn money and lead a happy life. I was trained to be "No Different from others" in life, work etc. I was not that super cool programmer who would say "I would write code that will convert caffeine to coffee". I was an average programmer. And since I had a lot of downs right from when I started my career. I was also associated to a Non-Profit Organization called FSHM - Free Software Hardware Movement, Pondicherry (a part of FSFTN) right from my late college days (though I was not too much involved).
With this background, I came to Bangalore and joined an Internship. Didn't quite go well, I was never able to make it up to their expectation. Joined another firm for a job. Learned a lot, but never actually did something I liked. I was building a solution, without even know If the problem the company stated was a really a problem. Quit the job again. For 4 months I didn't think of taking up a job, I started exploring various things in my life. That is when I really got a little more active with organizations like FSFTN, various tech and startup groups on Facebook. These 4 months changed the way I live, my thoughts, my thinking. I interacted with a lot of unknown people, talked on various things. Though my roommate and all my relatives used to persistently keep saying "Throw all these thoughts and find a job, man", I somehow didn't quite feel that is right. People referred me to various companies, I just didn't find "do something to fill your stomach and shut the mouth of the society" quite right too. I would call these 4 months the most progressive ME ever. I went all the way from working in a 9-6 job, to start a startup(tough I failed with a lot of learning) and back to nothing. In the end, the society was right. I was out of money, the feeling of getting frustrated was more. I really wanted a job. I wanted to go back to the 9-6 life. I finally realized to really do something different, you also want to be surrounded with like-minded people. Else, you just have that negative mentality surrounding you, which will make you feel like you are dumb.
Started attending interviews. One after one, I failed,I didn't make it. Finally, days came, when calls also stopped. I was clueless what to do. My mom was sick, I went to trichy. I felt it was better to take care of mom in these times, also didn't quite really have a job to do.I stayed with her in the hospital. "Nobody else in this world can give you more positive thoughts than your mom". Tough I was getting positive, what bothered me was, I was not even able to pay a small medicine bill to my mom on my own. I had become dependent on my dad, relatives... "Is this all why I graduated as an engineer ? To be a nothing."
This was the thought that was in me. My good luck, I got 3 calls the week I stayed with my mom. And this I decided I have to crack them. Went back to Bangalore, and the first interview was a failure. I didn't know what else to do except sitting in the room and cry (tough I didnt get tears :-D). That is when my roommate told, "You can't crack every interview. There are interviews meant for you. Learn from your mistakes, and give the next interview a better shot". I did, and I made it to a company called Fractalio Data. Cracked the next interview too. Now I really had to take a call in which company I had to join.
During my interview with fractalio, the founders hinted to me saying they just didn't want to be an IT company, and they will move the company to a small village called Taggachguppe. Plus, this was not a typical web development firm. They were working with "Data Storage systems", actually they were building one. For a long time I have been using and talking about GNU/Linux, and here was a real chance, that will let me really work on it. So I went ahead and joined them.
Part 2 : Geography
It's been 6 months now, me working at Fractalio, and we just moved into an extremely remote village called Taggachguppe, in Magadi Road. It is an adventure here every day.
It's a beautiful place, fully surrounded by hills, trees, cows, hens, peacocks. It's a beautiful natural scenery every morning. We can see the clouds kissing the mountains, peacocks making their beautiful noise, hens waking us up every morning. To walk from our stay to office, we come down a cement road hill. Everywhere around is a agricultural farm. You can also see some people crazy for money, bomb the hills every evening to get stones off, gun sounds killing animals (though I don't know where they shoot them). Hardly any mobile signals, I feel like mostly off the grid.
People are mostly from agricultural, carpentary etc background here. Technology has influenced the people here only to the extent of a TV and basic mobile phones (hardly any smartphones). I haven't heard of people having a computer here. People mostly are dependent on daily wages.
Being in a place like this, and running an IT company, is not as easy as running it in an Urban Center. I did not complete the whole stuff, but we are already working there, and we are having plans of making sure the people there are also thought. We haven't started anything in that front yet, but we have plans, concrete ones. We will soon start out doing one by one.
If you have read the blog till this point, you are surely interested in what we are doing. It is an IT guy, loves GNU/Linux, and also interested in hacking a few out of IT like agriculture, improvising the state of agriculture, lets talk.