Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Perfect Afternoon

I took a hot bath during this chilling day late in morning. It was 11:30 AM. Then I thought "What to do now,  being all alone and nothing else to do?" I thought of reading a novel. I starting reading it from where I had last left. Few moments later, I thought something is missing. I turned on the radio. The music was too loud. I wanted music that soothed my ears. I turned it off. I needed something to fill up that spot.

Ah! I have just the thing that will make this day perfect. I went straight to the kitchen and took out a bottle of Scotch. It was more than half full. I also pulled out a can of soft drink from the refrigerator to mix with it. I made my drink with utmost love. I took the glass and my book, took a seat in my giant sofa. I sat like Al Pacino in Godfather. I resumed reading, sipping the drink every five minutes. It was like I had been waiting for this to happen for a very long time.

An hour later, I decided to take a break. I looked around the living room. My big music system - turned off. My giant TV - switched off. And I, sitting alone with absolute silence surrounding me and the sunlight entering the living room just enough to light it up, my inner voice screamed with joy "This is what I call LIFE! Just the way I wanted it to be." 

It is celebration of Christmas for many others, but today is celebration of My Life. A drink, a good book, a giant cozy sofa and pin drop silence. Although the afternoon was short lived, I cherished every moment of it. I am looking forward to have such moments in days to come.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Wandering Mind



It goes here
It goes there
It goes somewhere
I don't know where

It doesn't know what to do
So it wanders everywhere
If I tell it what to do
It ignores and runs away

It says - I wanna do this
I wanna do that
I say - this is what it is
And please stop at that

How time is flying by

It doesn't have a clue
I let this moment pass by
Without knowing what to do

Today, it retires

Tomorrow again, it wanders
To sneak everywhere
Only God knows where

Way to bring up my 50th post! Come join my happiness. Open Gangnam Style!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Your Presence



I start my day with a warm greeting from you
It ignites my zeal to make my boredom bid adieu
I long for you when I don't see you around
When this gloomy day is letting me down

I hardly know a thing about you
Yet I feel I know a lot about you
This eternal bond is built not in a day
But I feel we met only yesterday

I wonder why you are special to me
And how you never fail to make me smile
However hard the times may be
You make my heart dance with some style

The vibe you create is so magical
It takes me to a wonderland far away
The words you talk are so whimsical
The smile on my face never fades away

When your presence seizes my mind
It leaves all my annoying trifles far behind
Feeling the surge of joy inside me
I wonder if I ever have any misery

Why didn't I find you before?
Where have you been hiding all along?
You entered my life like an angel I yearned for
To keep me happily accompanied lifelong


Monday, November 19, 2012

Hitler

My mum had bought this book and kept it in the shelf last year. Ever since I saw it during my last vacation, my mind had started contemplating about Adolf Hitler and his connection with World War II. I desperately needed a break from work and so during this Diwali holidays, I did nothing but ate good homemade food, slept a lot and read this book: Adolf Hitler by James Bunting.

There is nothing noteworthy about this one. Its more of a collection of facts. Right from the first chapter I felt negative energy radiating out of it. Its a short account of Hitler's life and, the rise and fall of Third Reich. When I read the first chapter titled "The Misfit", it was quite a revelation for me. It brought out a series of disturbing facts about Hitler's family background. His parents were cousins and his mother's first marriage was to her half brother which produced only retarded children. Although Hitler was apparently normal his thoughts were mostly pessimistic. He never blended well with the society. As a boy, he always boasted himself to be a great artist with his works of erratic poetry and atrocious paintings. He was not even a German by birth. It was during his teenage years that a professor and a monk seeded anti-Semitic ideas into his brain.  Even though these ideas were not his own, he believed in them irrationally. His hatred against Jews magnified when his works weren't received well by anyone.

As a result of World War I, Germany's economy was very badly hit. People wanted to witness improvement quickly. Hitler's highly provocative speeches about the nation's future made him very popular which eventually led to World War II. It wouldn't be a surprise to note that the Nazi regime was full of sadists; most of them with criminal records. Like his father, he insanely seduced any woman walking across the street. As the book says, since he could not accept failures, he had suicidal tendencies. He made many attempts to kill himself during his youth.


During the beginning of World War II, all he wanted was to get back all the German territories lost in World War I (Treaty of Versailles). When his attempts failed, he decided to take over the world forming Axis with another of his kind: Benito Mussolini. If you would like to know more about his madness and insanity, read the book. The book itself has many grammatical errors. Having said that, it presents an interesting fact. Hitler's biography My Struggle is full of errors and his German was not at all good.

Alright now what did I get from this book? As most of you know, arranged marriages are still prevalent in India. In the process both families - boy's and the girl's, do an informal background check on each other to get a fair idea of how good the family is: does the family has any criminal background, major health issues, are we related to them by any chance, other facts which might be unacceptable, etc? After reading this book, it made me very clear why this process is so important. Another important thing to note is, whenever someone criticizes your work, take it as a positive message. At least it will stop you from being under the illusion "I am really good!" Instead be thankful to that critic who hasn't found your work impressive and take it as "I need to work more to improve my skills" What's more? Hitler's thought process can be used as a subject to study psychology and educate people to align their actions fall in the path of righteousness. 

The last lines of this book are The greatest tyrant of out our day and age is dead and buried. Let us hope and pray that another like him will never be allowed to rise again. This made me think of Osama Bin Laden...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kane & Abel

I had heard a lot about this novel, so I thought let me pick it up. It is the tale of  of two boys growing up to become prominent men in America. Despite having troublesome childhoods, they have the will to achieve their objectives. One born to a rich banker of USA and another born in a forest of Poland. It focuses about their struggle in life and how they crossed roads with each other although both are from different worlds.


The story passes through famous historic events of the west; starting from the unfortunate sinking of the Titanic, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression of 1930, the Prohibition Era, the World War  and finally the assassination of John F. Kennedy which filled me enlightening facts. The flow of the story is rather predictable with some twists and turns. But it still kept me absorbed through out the book. While Kane becomes a well established banker, Abel establishes an empire of hotels. Their lives are interwoven by trivial incidents which become quite important later as the plot thickens causing intense rivalry between them. I wonder why this book is not made into a movie. While I read it, the images in my mind are so much similar to a screenplay of a blockbuster movie. Overall its a very good read and very gripping. Initially it may seem a little slow, but later it picks up pace very fast. Although this is my first read of Jeffery Archer, as one might expect, the climax is really good. Fifty pages spans for three to five years or more. I had to take a short break and look around me to make sure the time is - now. Apart from the main plot, one can learn a great deal about finance and commerce. 

This  paragraph contains spoiler. Read it when you are done reading the book. There are two events which touched me the most. One is when Kane criticizes Matthew, his closest childhood friend, for becoming a womanizer and an alcoholic and neglecting his work at the bank. He also finds out Matthew's irregularities are irreparable.  It is through his doctor Kane finds out about the situation when Matthew has just got three more months to live. Matthew has got cancer for over a year and he hasn't told anyone, not even his family. Another sequence of events brings out the  noble character of Alan Loyd. Kane competes against him for the chairmanship of the bank and loses. Kane hates to work under Loyd. Later, Loyd helps Kane to become the chairman at another bank and helps him to setup his family in New York. Then Kane realizes his mistake to suspect Loyd's abilities and generosity was a grave one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teacher's Best

This is yet another fun filled experience of my school days. It happened when I was in ninth grade (back in 1999). I was good in science, especially in physics. And I always scored well in science tests. That impressed my science teacher. She was fond of me for this very reason. She used to overlook all the small mistakes I did, saying "That's OK Amit, but it's not going to happen again, right?" and I used to respond back to her with my sweetest smile.

One day during her class, it was nearly lunch time and she was teaching about Newton's laws. I was partly bored and more hungry. I was eagerly watching the wall clock. It was few minutes left for lunch break when suddenly she said "I'll extend this session for 15 minutes more. I've got to finish what Newton says here" Despite the bad joke, the whole class erupted with chorus "Oh!". "Tut tut! Be quiet!" she said, in an angry tone which made the class go silent. I was sitting in the last desk and my close friend was in front of me. A minute later, I bent down slowly, made sure she wasn't watching me and then "Time is up!" I snapped. I was relieved to observe that no one saw me.

She looked up to see who it was and she continued her lesson. Then she stepped down the podium, started walking slowly, towards my desk holding a fat book in her hands. Without actually listening to her, I started pretending to be more attentive. Then instantly she lifted the fat book with her hands and swung it down with great force and  BAM! The hit came like the one from a sledgehammer on my friend's head who was busy taking notes of the lesson. "Time is up, huh? You think you're too smart enough to escape my eyes and ears?", she shouted. I laughed silently. My friend couldn't control his anger. He turned red with fury. Now, who wouldn't get angry if one gets a hit on the head? He stood up immediately and roared "That wasn't me! It's him!", pointing his finger at me. I looked up to face her feeling ashamed. Unable to accept this fact, feeling very sorry for that guy and equally disappointed with my behavior, she said "Meet me after lunch!" in a controlled tone. Feeling disgusted, I nodded.

After lunch, I went to her staff room. I was very apprehensive about the consequences. She sat behind a desk busy looking into some papers. She looked very calm and was glad to see me. When I sought permission to enter "May I come in ma'am?", she began "Ahh Amit, there you are, my best student! Come on in, take a seat. I am really surprised with your unexpected behavior today. How could you do that especially in my class? I am feeling embarrassed and very bad that I hit that poor kid. You think he'll be fine? Promise me you won't do that again. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask me, alright?" I was completely taken aback by this unanticipated turn of events. I was wondering something really bad will happen to me. I said "I am sorry teacher. I couldn't help it because I was very hungry. It won't happen again and don't worry about that guy, I'll take care of him. He is my friend", with my sweet smile :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Poetry?

I don't know how to put it, but I suppose this post will serve somebody who is looking forward to write poems. I can't believe I have already written more than ten till now. I was having this discussion with my friend and he told me to write a post about it. When I look back, the day I got inspired by poetry of my co-worker, I decided I am going to start mine. So the first thing I got is - Inspiration.

Initially it was a bit of a struggle for me to find out what my poetry is going to be. Then I had to find out the right words which give life to the idea behind it. Here is the first shot. The idea, for me, must be thought provoking. My mind has to become so restless that I will have to let it out somehow. So I pen it down as quickly as I could with whatever words strike my head at that moment. Let the write up have errors, it will eventually be corrected and tuned properly. Remember - Thought provoking.

Now here comes the main reason of writing poetry. If you read my poems or any other verses, one thing you will observe is they are very abstract. It doesn't point to a particular person or a thing. But, it still somehow manages to touch your heart because the feelings expressed in those lines are genuine. That's the beauty of it!  The best thing about feelings in a poetry is,  it can about real life experiences or imaginary. If the feelings are real, writing poetry is easy, all you got to do is construct sentences with poetic words to make it sound nice. But avoid making it too personal; don't let readers guess you are emotionally attached to the poem. The good part of expressing sad experiences is, no reader is ever going to hurt you by asking you about it :) Because my poem is just too vague for the reader to deduce anything. Beep beep - Reality!

My mind is also good in imagination. It catches hold of a person and starts to imagine what's going on in that mind. Imagination is by itself entirely fictitious. But, there will be one reader on earth with which he could relate his thoughts/experiences with lines of my poem. It may be a real life event for him. For instance, I saw a couple romancing in a park. I did not go to them and ask: "What are your feelings for each other in this place?" If I did, I would have got slapped from both of them for being nosy. Their romance ignited my thoughts and I came up with this. And guess what, most readers loved it! There are other poems by me which are sad and sick, but completely fictitious. The challenge here is to come up with lines and build a realistic context around unrealistic idea. It may be some poor guy's reality, who knows? So, no one is holding me back to write a poem which is pure imagination. Buzz word - Imagination.

The human brain is highly volatile. It wanders here and there in no time. So, maintain focus on the subject rather than drifting away to some place. It happens to me very often. Control the flow of your thoughts.  Otherwise, the poem loses its essence and confuses its reader. It creates an impression that I am not sticking to the point.

I don't write poems for the audience or for my readers. I write them for myself. I have to be happy and proud of my work. It doesn't matter whether others like it or not. That's what poetry is all about. Feeling happy for oneself. If you are trying to impress others, you are just ruining it because you never know what's on people's minds. Having said that, here is a word of caution: even if your vocabulary is world class and keeping in mind a reader with fairly good knowledge of English, avoid using words which require dictionary to be kept beside your poem before reading it.

Finally when the skeleton of my verse is looking good, its time to arrange the words and lines properly in a desired order. It must look like a short story with head and tail. Now this task is going to take some effort. In order to make it sound good, you will have to replace words with more appropriate ones which precisely suit the vibe surrounding the idea of the poem. You may also have to move the lines or stanzas up or down to connect your story nicely. Once I believe that everything is set, I read it over and over again at few times until I certify: "Yes! This is it! It is now breathing life!" It requires few finishing touches like a sculptor working out delicate details on his masterpiece. Phew! Cool, its ready to be published.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Am I the only one?

PROLOGUE
Winter of 2005, Hubli

I called my best friend when I was done with my exam today and had started preparing for the next. We are in the same class. No doubt, he is a star performer. I generally call him to share my sorrows; whining about the mistakes I did, blah, blah, blah. Then he gives his usual pep talk that makes me feel better and gives me some confidence. He doesn't have any issues with exams, because he always does well.

NEXT DAY

In the examination hall, question papers were handed over to all of us. I started biting my nails almost immediately. I couldn't make head or tail of the sheet in my hand. I read it two to three times with a hope to understand some questions and decide what to pen down in my answer sheet. But, nothing! I couldn't make out where to begin. Its a human tendency where you expect everyone else should be having the same problem. When I looked around the hall I was surprised. Most of them had started answering with their heads down holding their pens up right firmly. I felt a strange fear growing in me suddenly and I started talking to my self: "Am I the only one unable to answer a thing? I am in deep trouble! I should have prepared well. It's your over confidence that has ruined you now. You are gonna fail today. You're done. Its over!"


After a short while, making sure the supervisor isn't looking at me, I turned back slowly and looked at my classmate. His agitation caught my eyes. He was reading questions and scribbling something in his answer sheet in a strange way. Then he looked up at me. I raised one of my eyes brows: "Everything OK?" His reaction was instantaneous. He made ridiculous gestures with his hands and his mouth was full of curse words. This meant nothing but: "I am screwed up badly man! I am dead!" and he started banging his head to his desk without making a sound. Being highly satisfied, I acknowledged him with a muted comic laugh. I was happy to know we were sailing in the same boat. He understood even I was in a same situation. Eventually, I could make out that almost everyone were in our boat. All my answers for that exam were broken.

When I returned home, my mom informed that my friend had called and he would be calling back. "He called me?" It surprised me because it was me who used to call him usually. The phone rang again and it was him. The moment I picked up the receiver, he spoke in a disturbed voice "How did it go today? Man! I am so pissed! Who the hell set those questions. I wasn't able to answer even one of them properly." I was even more relieved now and laughed out loud. He asked me intently "You did well? How? Wasn't it difficult for you?". Now, I was the one to calm him down: "Just chill yaar! Everything will be OK. Everyone is screwed as badly you could ever imagine. Its not just us. I think all of us will clear this exam." I remember it was only in this exam he had performed very badly in four years of engineering. Most of us cleared this dreadful examination. I heard the evaluation was lenient.

EPILOGUE

This is one of many fun filled experiences during my engineering days. This post brings out how our funny brain works. Its not that it wishes bad for others, but it finds ways to comfort itself. If it is having a hard time, its curious to know how others are doing. If others are facing the same problem, then it won't be happy, but relieved. Otherwise, it will become restless and starts to panic! Because it knows I am the only one going down. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Me and Nature

ME

Am I lost in eternity?
Or am I still here?
The nature keeps teasing me
With its spellbinding beauty everywhere

I see only greenery surrounding me
Giving healing comfort to my eyes
I see mists floating around me
Breathing in fresh air letting me fly by

I see streams of water flowing down the hills
Mesmerizing my eyes to see it as milk
So clear, so pure and vibrant in my palm
Felt like holy water rushing through my arms

I long to be here with you always
I don't want to go back to the city
Where heartless people are living without mercy
While your harmony is being washed away

NATURE

Leave me alone as I am
My offerings are priceless to you
I will serve you selflessly wherever I am
To keep you with me happily glued

When you spoil my dwelling here
For your temporary happiness
Then you force my helplessness
To become violent and make you disappear

Don't be sorry for what you've done now
Endeavor to put me back in shape
Its never too late to take a noble vow
To save me and earth from your own race

Monday, August 6, 2012

India at Olympics

I couldn't sleep last night when it was the fourth consecutive loss for Indian Hockey team at London Olympics 2012. It is such a shame to us. Being the second most populous nation in the world, India has only won three medals in total till now. The other day when me and my brother were having a chat while watching Olympics on TV, we watched how the Indian lost in the quarter finals of Men's Singles Badminton tournament. No doubt he struggled very hard and gave a tough fight to the opponent. I don't know whether it was his bad luck, but he played against the World #1.

It no where means India doesn't have talent. But the players lack encouragement and motivation. Look at the Chinese; their sole motive is "I am playing for my country" and the country along with its Government supports them. Just imagine, in the finals of Women's Singles Badminton Tournament, both players were Chinese. What does this mean? China took away both Gold and Silver medals irrespective of who the winner was. I guess that's not happening in India. Indian players are not getting proper support in terms of infrastructure and funding. Most of us only care about Cricket. In Cricket, there are hardly 16 nations to compete with and beating them with timely effort is no big deal. Moreover BCCI is the richest Cricket board in the world. It is self sufficient. It doesn't have to depend on the Indian government. Not to forget, Indian cricketers, apart from their lump sum salary, are getting huge endorsements from various international brands. They can survive without BCCI for the rest of their lives.

Now look at the irony; decide which is a greater achievement: to win against 16 teams in Cricket or to win against 205 countries having 300 events in Olympics? The numbers will give you the answer. I am not saying India should participate in all events. Learn from China. It is using its population in an effective way.  Concentrate only on games which we are good at and prepare so well that we must be undisputed in these events. Here is another irony. Look at Michael Phelps of USA. He won 22 medals in swimming alone all by himself at Olympics. India has won a total of 23 medals in the history of Olympics. I just couldn't digest this! Here is what I think needs to be done. India should focus on 5-6 events like badminton, shooting, table tennis, archery, wrestling and boxing. Fund the players in these categories so that they don't have to worry about their livelihood and tell them: "Here is the deal: your job in the next four years is nothing but to become invincible in your game and win championship medals at Olympics." This is how China is now at the top and they have proved it. Also, past players should  not be allowed to be idle and enjoy their retirement benefits. They are required to train upcoming players who are potential winners. The central government may be providing enough funds to the players, but it may not be reaching the payers when its travelling from the top. Our national leaders also need to broaden their minds. When these leaders can present crores of Rupees as prize money and 5-star facilities to every Cricket player who played in World Cup tournament, can they not do the same thing for our Olympians? They should stop being selfish about making money. Most of us know everything boils down to corruption. Provide funds and facilities directly to the players instead through bureaucracy. The sole objective is about making India proud and to have a foresight to see India as a cut above the rest of the world. And we need achieve it no matter what it takes.

It takes time to plan these things. China had a vision: In 10 years, we will be champions at Olympics. They believed the glory in sports will spark motivation in other fields like technology, infrastructure, etc which  are indispensable in bringing up the entire nation. Above all, determination and dedication backed by will power is required in every citizen which will give the confidence that no big achievement is impossible to achieve. Honestly, since India's Cricket World Cup win in 2011, I am sick of watching Cricket. Its a surprising feeling to watch so many different sporting events which I was totally unaware of that's broadening my knowledge about the world of sports. Trust me they are much exciting to watch compared to Cricket. It is with despair I wrote this article  thinking about how pathetic situation in India really is. Encouragement and equal priority for other sports is a must. It is malfunctioning of national leadership which is leaving players devastated. Every country has its own problems. But, I believe there are more problems in India that no one could possibly imagine.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Fountainhead

First things first: I think this book is a must read for every living human on this planet. When you read this book, you will certainly feel the pride of just being yourself. You will do what you love for your own happiness in a selfless way. You will admire yourself for what you are. Then you won't care how society treats you because you just believe what you are made up of and you have your way your way to fight it.

To brief about the book, Rand has taken individualism, originality, collectivism, selfishness, ego and power, which are considered pillars of philosophy, as characters and built a brilliant story that connects these elements. Essentially the story revolves around a man: Howard Roark. A college drop out and a visionary architect, who endures in a city infested with socialists. He always desires to come up with his own original design for buildings with his own rules. He despises up coming architectures with same old standards or conventions. Instead, with his modern and insightful thinking, he is destined to design buildings which will have their own integrity. Honestly, I found a part of Howard Roark within me. I can't reveal many things about this book because if I do, I am simply brutally killing the very essence of it. But what I can certainly say is whenever Roark appears in any context of the novel, you will be the happiest and the most excited person on earth! The first 30 pages are enough to get you going. By then you would have taken a vow to finish reading this book no matter what it takes!

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

My mind got twisted when I began reading about philosophies of characters: Dominique Francon and Gail Waynand. It takes a lot of patience to understand their minds. And, I did not not read those passages just for the sake of it. It made me go back, then read slowly and try to digest the thoughts surrounding it. This is the point when one feels the story is drifting away from its plot, but rejoins the main track again. You will also find out clear evidences about controversial aspects of the story. The last part of the novel is only about Roark which takes off in fine elegance. The climax is simply mind blowing. It is something that no one expects a man can do to prove his point. The final speech he makes in the court room is overwhelming.

I have bookmarked most of the pages where I can go back and read them whenever I want to get fueled by power to keep going with the things I like to do. It gives out a very strong message loaded with power that will boost your confidence to a tremendous degree. I have heard many people use this book as a bible. Right, so I got is book as a gift from my previous company co-workers as a sign of good will. I am really grateful these people. It came as a part of two-in-one box set. The other book is Atlas Shrugged by the same author. Although this is my first read on philosophy, I consider this book as a literary masterpiece. It won't be a surprise if you stop following other books/novels in this genre once you are done reading The Fountainhead.

Further reading:
Wikiquote - The Fountainhead

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Enabling SSL for Axis2 web services

I have always had the trouble of setting up SSL based communication for my web services. I searched internet and finally nailed down the correct solution. I presume that you have a Axis2 web service running on Apache Tomcat server.

Here is what I have used:
  • JDK and JRE 1.6
  • Apache Tomcat 7.0.8
  • Axis2 WAR distribution 1.6.2 (or Axis2 stand alone distribution)
Step#1: Generate server keystore and certificate
/root/my_workspace> vi gencerts.sh

#!/bin/sh

KEYTOOL=$JAVA_HOME/bin/keytool
echo Generating the Server KeyStore in file server.keystore
# The value of CN should be the IP address or host name on which web application will be deployed. Avoid specifying 'localhost'
$KEYTOOL -genkey -alias tomcat-sv -dname "CN=localhost, OU=X, O=Y, L=Z, S=XY, C=YZ" -keyalg RSA -keypass changeit -storepass changeit -keystore server.keystore

echo Exporting the certificate from keystore to an external file server.cer

$KEYTOOL -export -alias tomcat-sv -storepass changeit -file server.cer -keystore server.keystore

echo Generating the Client KeyStore in file client.keystore

$KEYTOOL -genkey -alias tomcat-cl -dname "CN=Client, OU=X, O=Y, L=Z, S=XY, C=YZ" -keyalg RSA -keypass changeit -storepass changeit -keystore client.keystore

echo Exporting the certificate from keystore to external file client.cer

$KEYTOOL -export -alias tomcat-cl -storepass changeit -file client.cer -keystore client.keystore

echo Importing Client's certificate into Server's keystore

$KEYTOOL -import -v -trustcacerts -alias tomcat -file server.cer -keystore client.keystore -keypass changeit -storepass changeit

echo Importing Server's certificate into Client's keystore

$KEYTOOL -import -v -trustcacerts -alias tomcat -file client.cer -keystore server.keystore -keypass changeit -storepass changeit

/root/my_workspace> chmod +x gencerts.sh
/root/my_workspace> ./gencerts.sh
Note:
  • You can also write the above script in a BAT file for Windows OS. You require client keystore if you want to write a java client to interact with the web service

  • The certificates generated by the script above is for testing purposes only. The browser will report "The certificate cannot be trusted" since they are not certified trusted by a certification authority like Verisign. Free trusted certificates are provided by CAcert and StartSSL on registration
Step#2: Modify Tomcat server's default configuration
The value of environment variable CATALINA_HOME will be the Tomcat server installation directory. Edit  server.xml under $CATALINA_HOME/conf/ and make the below changes: 

<Connector port="8443" protocol="HTTP/1.1" SSLEnabled="true"
    maxThreads="150" scheme="https" secure="true"
    clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS"
    keystoreFile="/root/my_workspace/server.keystore"              keystorePass="changeit"/>

You can also add attributes with values for truststoreFiletruststoreType, truststorePass, keyAlias to the above tag.

Step#3: Modify web service's axis configuration
My web service WAR file is myws.war. When I deploy this file by placing it under $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/ directory, and start the server, I find axis2.xml is under $CATALINA_HOME/wepapps/myws/WEB-INF/conf/ directory. Edit this file as per instructions below:
  1. Comment the existing default xml tag entry for http transportReceiver 
  2. Add two entries as shown here:
    <transportReceiver name="http" class= "org.apache.axis2.transport.http.AxisServletListener" 
       <parameter name="port">8080</parameter>

    </transportReceiver>
    <transportReceiver name="https" class= "org.apache.axis2.transport.http.AxisServletListener"
     
       <parameter name="port">8443</parameter>

    </transportReceiver>
    Note:
    • By default the port parameter is 8080 for transport receiver. If you want to have two transport receivers (e.g. http and https), then make sure to add ports in both tags as shown above

    • Without making changes to axis2.xml, if you try to access the web service using HTTPS, Internal Server Error is thrown in the browser. This is a common problem which me and many others faced. Arrgh!
  3. Restart Tomcat server
  4. Now my web service is accessible on URLs:
    https://<host-ip>:8443/myws/services/myService
    http://<host-ip>:8080/myws/services/myService
And there you go, everything is set. Let me know if you face anything unusual after following these steps.  So then, until next time, happy programming!

Further reading:
Apache Tomcat 7: SSL Configuration HOW-TO

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Consolation Prize

The excitement was high and there was chaos everywhere I looked around. It was the Annual Sports Meet in my college. And guess what? I was the organizer of all the events and competitions. The "organizer" post does not come for free. It needs to take care the needs of all my friends. Everything was going on fine until one of my friends, Pakya, came to me with a peculiar problem.

"Hey man! I don't have any opponents for the contest!" Pakya said.
"Yeah? That's not good. What kind of sport?"
"100 meter running race. And I can't believe I am left all alone!"
"Oh, I see. Don't worry. I'll find few opponents for you. Gimme some time. Okay?" I said with confidence.
"Alright! Fine, I'll wait" he replied and left.

I caught hold of couple of people assigned them the job of finding athletes for this event. They searched for people in different departments and finally half an hour later, they came back with three opponents. I was glad and Pakya was beaming with confidence now. He was fully pumped up and started warming up for the race right away. So, this competition was finally scheduled, I wished him good luck and I got busy with other things.

Few hours later, the race was over and I was eager to know what the outcome was. Being sure that Pakya would have won the race easily, I looked for him to congratulate him. The result was hilarious. I couldn't control my laughter as it turned out to be a practical joke. This guy, this very guy, Pakya, for whom we found opponents to compete with, had lost the race. He finished last! It was unimaginable. And we were just ROFL. (I bet he looked like Sid the sloth from the movie Ice Age making the face as displayed here)

And during the prize distribution, a new prize was introduced in addition to the top three winners - the consolation prize. This was even more hilarious. This prize was awarded to him not because he stood fourth, but because he was the one who made the event happen. The poor guy felt awfully ashamed of himself. We teased him very hard on that day. To this very day, this comedy left a permanent mark in our memories: "You could have won the race running alone or you need not have competed at all. We could have declared you a winner on the spot!"

*    *    *
It is my brother who shared this story with me. It happened during his engineering days. I keep reminding myself of this story very often and laugh about it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thinking of you

I called my pal to hang out today
It had been long since I stepped out
Got into a pub kicking off our time to play
And began sharing our thoughts aloud

As time flashed by we had nothing more to talk
My mind started to wonder about you instantly
He understood what I am about to talk
My cheerful smile acknowledged him gladly

I made your sweet words turn into hilarious joke
Those cheeky pranks I deliberately played on you
Which made you go mad and burn out with smoke
But you knew my gags were inevitable for you

I just loved the way you reacted to my mischief
Yet you never gave a damn about how I ridiculed
We never parted from each other with disbelief
Since the understanding between us always ruled

I always admired the way your mind had got tuned
As you took lighthearted things always easy
And cared only about our friendship we sustained
Bonding it eternally to our life's exquisite journey

These trivial things about you are what I'm fond of
Making me travel back as nostalgia grows
Which lets me realize how sweet my life is made up of
Causing me to forget all my painful sorrows

Now my pal asks me "Are you guys still in touch?"
Feeling sad that you are not here anymore
I replied with intolerable despair "Not very much"
As we drifted to other talks and ordered for more

I think of you sometimes even now in your absence
Cherishing all the moments we spent in multitude
I meet you in my inner eye to enjoy my solitude
To embrace you in my dreams of your eternal presence

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One morning...



I kept on looking into a frame of glass
Feeling very strange to see a man just like myself
Rubbing his cheeks with fingers on black grass
Watching him closely to find he had lost himself

I heard my name being called out loud
Urging me to make it real quick
Soon I realized I was in a misty cloud
Waking up myself to the noisy kick

I hate to see it fully grown
As it makes me look hopeless
Hate to spend time to cut them down
Wondering why can't I grow ageless

Now there is no escape
I've to give my face a good shape
Without getting it rightly shaved
People think I am severely enslaved

Friday, April 13, 2012

Longing for a talk

Life is dead around me if I've got to say
Can't figure out what is wrong today
Though I look healthy and unperturbed
My mind is extremely disturbed

Wondering what is troubling me
My thoughts keep wandering at some place
Weary of the sad sea around me
I am desperate for time to race

Employing my mind in variety of things
My pastimes are just but couple of things
Those are the only few gems I own
Too scared to lose them when I am alone

I know you are out there
I beg you to come back from somewhere
To talk with me once or even twice
Or a million times to make my head rise

Without you, I thought there is nothing awry
Everything was pretty usual until this moment
When I went numb to admire the star filled sky
Too late to realize I am already in predicament

I know you won't keep me waiting for long
Because you know I am weak by mind and heart
Fill me with sweet songs until I sing along
To prevent me from tearing myself apart

Don't think of me as a selfish guy
Like a guy seeking you when he needs you
Please don't see me by that painful eye
Trust me darling that's not true

You should know why I yearn for you
Not only to talk to me or to be by my side
Only because you understood me well as I grew
Where no other could have known me better inside

I am stranded in solitude unable to defend
Don't be late sweetheart, time is hard to spend
A hearty "Hi" from you will suffice
To stop me from being unwise

I am asking nothing more of you
Just a few moments to talk with you
Come and make me my day
Before it passes by as just another day
Save my mind before it gets swirled
And make me adore the beauty of this world

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Unforgettable Past



No matter how pleasant the vibe is
The past keeps lurking behind
Travelling to a time that was
To experience the world of its kind

It brings happiness to some
And sorrows to many
It brings laughter to some
And tears to many

Provoking murderous outrage
Ending days with sleepless nights
Unforgiving every single thing of that age
To ignite the most bitter spite

It is noble to be in forgiving state
That's easily said than done, to be fair
Happy memories are sweeter to taste
To vanish the painful past into thin air

Now that pain is washed away
It will be back from a short break
Some things the past will never forsake
Never failing to prevail always

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wishing for Wishes

I hope I am not the only one who dislikes celebrating my birthday. Hmm, it's not exactly dislike but, it's about keeping low on this occasion. I turned off my birthday notifications in all social networks. Trying to be rational on this point, I believe that people will certainly wish me on my birthday if they remember it and if they really mean it. Those people are my family members and close friends.

I also don't want wishes from unwanted people or from those people with whom I haven't spoken to even once for a long time or from people who I hardly know. The notification on a social network will only act as an announcement: "Hey look! It's his birthday. It's your time to wish him!" or it could be other way around: "Guys! It's my birthday. Wish me!" It's like forcing them to wish me, even if they don't want to. I see some guys post their wishes just because other guys have wished me. Trust me, I have done it myself sometimes. Nobody wants to get their faces ugly. Otherwise, later that day, you might hear someone shouting: "Hey! Did you see? That guy did not wish him!"


The most obvious reason is, I am not a famous personality. Forget country or city, people don't even know of my existence in the locality where I live. So, why should I publicize my birthday when it is just another day for everyone else? Why should I disturb their routine? Even if I'll be a celebrity on that particular day, next day there will be noises around me: "Who was that guy anyway?" The most annoying part of birthday is we are clouding the fact that we are growing OLDER each year. We are forgetting this truth. And we are celebrating a day that is making us old. It's an alarm every year: "Remember! You are no longer young now!" How could anyone be happy or celebrate for that? I feel sick sometimes thinking of my age. And, I think of my age mostly on my birthday. I wish it could pass as just another day.

This reminds me! Think about wedding anniversaries. Anyone congratulating you on this occasion will be an indirect way of asking you "How the hell did you spend so many years with him/her? Are you OK? You are not the guy/gal you used to be. I am sure he/she has turned you mad!" Jokes apart, but I am happy for everyone who are happily married. I don't think I am trying to induce my thoughts into someone. I am just letting them loose.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Don't lie to yourself

A thing that I hate in you
The very thing that's got in you
Its a thing you already know
Which makes me unwell with woe

You take everything to mind
For some to be felt in your heart
I can't stop wondering why you do that
Forcing yourself to be blind

You act like a cold hearted man
A man who doesn't feel a thing
Even if you don't give a damn
You are filled with delightful things

Burning down your pleasant feelings inside
Parting from them never to seek you
Disallowing them to be on your side
Suppressing them from getting close to you

I'll be with you till the world ends
For you are as sweet as you ever been
I am the most trustworthy of your friends
For you've the purest mind I've ever seen

So tell me why you do it
Be kind enough to reward a bit
You seem to have no clue
Of how many people adore you

I am afraid one day it will take over
So never let it grow in you
Don't lie to yourself whatsoever
Not to let anything despise you

I can't see you suffer with remorse or regret
Until you're down with last drop of sweat
Open your heart to the beauty that surrounds you
Embrace those priceless feelings that cherish you
For it's the only reason we live and never forget

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Loss Without Regret

I lost you when we were kids
I was glad we were together again
Since we got back in touch as old brothers did
Making happiness surge around us in that old lane

With tremendous pride I stood by your side
Despite the vicious things I knew about you
Holding my stand unshaken even by high tide
Believing your lies blindly to be true

It was indeed awfully hard for me to believe
When you were determined to make me grieve
Being foolish to read my mind without a clue
To find nothing except my disgust about you


When the whole world was sleeping sound
You despised me sneaking from behind
It was terribly hopeless to trouble my mind
To think what was in you against me, so profound

You loathed me with shots of stabbing words
Without having an idea of what I am
And you're also the most unqualified man
To think of me as being absolutely absurd

I honestly don't regret myself
To lose a friend like you
But I'm painfully ashamed of myself
To think I was friends with you

Your betrayal was deliberate
By misusing my trust carelessly
Now I'll be foolish if I'm considerate
And feel for someone so unworthy

You will never be forgotten
To remind me of your shame
You will always be unforgiven
And I'll never be the same again

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shantaram

How often did you come across a book that presents philosophy put into practice or reality? I came across only one. That too by accident. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Probably the only happen-to-read for sometime on philosophy of life. I wasn't aware that it depicts this genre as it is expressed in a realistic fashion. It is said and I also believed that most of the events in Shantaram are real. And it describes about a man - an escaped convict, a drug addict who lands in Bombay without an objective. Then coincidentally he gets involved with Mumbaikars, experiences life of Bombay for more than five years, falls insanely in love with his dream girl, becomes a gang member of Mumbai mafia.


Some of you who haven't visited Mumbai, this book describes the city in a grand fashion. Leopold's Cafe and it's regular customers, where he finds the girl of his dreams. He visits a Northern village of Maharashtra, Sunder Village and learns how affectionate and hospitable people are. You'll also get to know how the title of the book is derived. Then comes his life in a slum. I initially thought why did he ever move to a slum. You know its the shitty place and a disgrace to the city. But, he describes the sweetness of its environment and its dwellers. The eternal bond he develops with its innocent and down-to-earth people is so vividly explained that you will fall for them. Remember, all the descriptions are from the eyes of a foreigner.

The struggle for survival of torturous & brutal life in Arthur Road prison is so deep with inhuman people and bloody environment which made me get into his shoes to feel his agony. He almost died there. The cell mates helped him survive by sharing their food despite enduring beatings from overseers. He is later rescued by Don of Bombay. Here comes the life in the underworld. The book clearly explains illegal businesses involved in it. This is one of the reasons that will make me read selected passages and chapters of it. He explains about black market currency operations and counterfeiting passports and how dangerous these businesses are that makes men absorbed in them vulnerable to death. This is also the same reason which makes me think the book is only suited for adults. Because everyone in the world doesn't understand the hero in this book does all these things just to mask the guilt of leaving his family and close friends who care for him the most. Meanwhile, he gets a chance to work in Bollywood movies as an extra. He also gets a chance to have a glimpse of Chunky Pandey on the sets of Paanch Paapi.

Another important reason which touches my heart every time I read this book is the world of romance detailed in it. It... what do I call it... as my co-worker said, provides three dimensional picture of a mind of a man when a he thinks about his best woman. It also provides a spectacular view of romance between lovers in each others' arms. I am sure there will always be a pleasing smile on your face when you read through romantic passages throughout the book. Not to mention again that I have bookmarked all these pages and chapters. I must say I got to read them again and again to bring me back to high spirits.

The last part of the book narrates about his voluntary involvement in mission Afghanistan. I believe this is the  boring part in the entire well written saga. I thought it would have been nicer if the story was cut short to skip this portion. After surviving the war, he returns to Bombay and finds the mafia council is restructured since many of its prominent men died in the war and in other conspiracies.

Overall, it really is a good read. The proverbial quotes in Shantaram are so insightful that makes me ponder over them again and again. If you are looking for a book with a strong plot like the ones in Jeffrey Archer's or John Grisham's, then you won't like this one. This is pure and original drama. It has explicit language - so, another reason: not suited for kids. The ultimate question remains: Who does "I" refer in the book? Is it the author himself, I don't know. 

Further reading:
Shantaram - Wkiquote

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Solitary Freedom



Sitting all alone on the tree
Born in this world to be free
So gorgeous that I don't have words for it
Filling my eyes with the charm of it

You couldn't be blissful to my eye
If you would be with many of your kind
Be yourself my dear bird - is what I cry
Because you are the only gem of your kind

You won't let anyone harm you
Nor you cause harm to anyone
Because hurt is a thing that is shot from a gun
That cuts your wings and agony takes you through

Built with strong wide wings
That are enough for you to fly high
My eyes caught the flocks in the sky, dancing
But you hardly seem to watch them fly by
Certain that it can bring nothing
Except bitterness and sigh

Always being happy on your own
To be in a state of unknown
Apathetic about how other birds are
Flying high every time to reach a new star
Eyes shining brightly against sun rays of Spring
Painting the deep blue sky with wide spread wings