What does :-* mean?

Answer by Samyak Datta:

It's a regular expression. The * is known as the Kleene star and indicates 0 or more occurrence of the previous element e.g. ab* can refer to any of the strings a, ab, abb, abbb and so on.

Clearly, the text she sent you was a short-hand to represent the infinite set of strings { : , :-, :–, :—, … }. I think she may be using an advanced form of Morse-code to communicate. At this point, we can't really be sure.

Serious Answer:
Ignore all of the above. The other answers are correct. She clearly sent you an emoticon that stands for a kiss :)

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My partner is an IIT-IIM grad and wants to marry me, but doesn’t want to earn or settle down. He has unstable career plans and married li…

Answer by Pratyush Rathore:

Break up with him, now!!

If you are of the type who get offended, stop reading now, otherwise let me try to give some reasons explaining my stance.

1. Anti-masculinism.
If a husband asks a wife to sit back at home and take care of the kids, he is anti-feminist. All sorts of people will start attacking him.
Similarly, if a wife asks a husband to do boring work so that she can have a stable life, she is anti-masculinist.
Will you be accepting if he says, "I go to work, you sit back at home and take care of the kids?"

2. You complain that he does not understand the future.
Well, nobody does.
Once again, you are horribly wrong if you think you do. Here are a few things, you do not understand.

Having an IIT IIM degree means, you would never go to bed hungry, so most your risks are covered. There is always a job waiting for you.
Two, you earn. How much money do you need to live a stable life? A top-notch B-school graduate earns enough to feed multiple families (I would guess about 15-20 lakhs per annum), you are talking about just one.
Three, if he is creative, he would figure out ways to make money. I would have rather hated if my wife and my mother doubted my abilities.

If all your risks are covered, you are going to work anyways, what incentive is there for him to pursue a 'stable' life?

Most importantly, did you even try to understand why he does not want to earn?
Some people cannot do just any work thrown at them. They will either find their passion or die trying.
Assuming reasonable logical capabilities which are quite common among IITians, I am reasonably sure, he would give you one pin point reason why he does not want to do a job. (And mostly he will say, either he gets bored or he wants to make a difference.)

3. You assign blames.

According to his new plans we will be in different cities. It’s almost like long distance marriage that too for indefinite years.

What is your plan then? Can't you get a job in the city where he lives? Why is this specifically 'his' plan?

4. You are searching for reasons to break up.
The points where you mention your parents viewpoints and your friends view-points, clearly suggest, you are seriously contemplating the option. How would the marriage last if by chance, his first venture fails.
Your parents and your friends will come telling you, "I told you so." and you are getting to let it out on our poor guy. Solid signs of a weak marriage.

5. If you assume higher moral ground, then you do not love him.
Please do not do him any favors by loving him! If you want to want to marry him, marry him because you like him.
Do not assume higher moral ground if you are think you are marrying him despite his low income. It would be equivalent to him assuming higher moral ground if you were ugly.

What would happen if he follows your word and next day, he meets an accident. Will you dump him the next day? If yes, then you do not love him. If no, then why are you waiting for an accident?

6. Lose lose situation

At times I feel a guilt that our marriage won’t let him discover things because it will need a stable/settled life and some time he will have to give for family. One more thing when I ask about the future as he is unstable and doesn't know much about future, he gets upset for asking him that. I don’t want to see him sad.

See, this is a lose-lose situation even for you. If he follows what you say, you would keep on carrying this guilt and if someday he loses his temper, he is going to remind you about the sacrifices he has made. If he does not follow what you say, you think the marriage won't work and you are going to blame everything up on to him.

Please dump him, it will save two lives, yours and your partner's. Both of you will find people according to your life plans or the lack thereof.

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The Night That Whispered…

I waited for nights… Every night.
Skies to turn darker.
Winds to get colder.
Moon to get brighter.
World to get quieter.
So that my head could get louder. My thoughts could get fiercer. My chest could get heavier. And my throat could choke sharper.

Questions. No answers. Paths. No pedals. Skies. No heavens. Dark inside. Only ravens.

The winds whispered. Whispered through the curls. Those long curly curls of my hair. Shame. It got entangled there. It tried to yell. But it was a whisper, very well.

One strange night, it knocked the door, one fine night.
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Yeah! That's me!

Hyderabad : The First Couple of Days.

If you have lived in Delhi for over 5-10 years, you might know the existence of Compressed Natural Gas powered vehicles. You get accustomed to the cleaner, less polluted air. The “greener” air. So why am I being some nature huger and talking about the CNG gas?

26th May 2014, 2 pm, Secunderabad Railway Station : Something was wrong. Something in the air. Eyes started getting irritation. And the pollutants in the air made it harder to breathe. The southern state of India, Andhra Pradesh is petrol powered. Yes. That was the first impression of Hyderabad I got. Just as any other place, a buzz of auto-rickshaw drivers came into my ear. Everyone yelling at top of their lungs to just pull you into their “ride” and take you to any place you want at of course at a rate obviously higher than the legitimate one.


I had gotten into a summer internship at International Institute of Information Technology, which is situated at Gachibowli, Hyderabad. So about 26 kilometers from the railway station was the place where I was going to stay for the next 2 months.

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Augmented Reality, “Her”, and the Story of You


The amount of time virtual world today consumes in our lives, it is no wonder that augmented reality is the next big thing.

Originally posted on Augmented Stories:

tumblr_my58njS7rs1seyhpmo1_1280Her pixel art by QuickHoney

Her is a story about people-centric technology. Spike Jonze shows us a near future where it’s all about you. This is our new Augmented Reality (AR), and it’s not science fiction.

I’ve been working with AR as a PhD researcher and designer for the past decade. The second wave of AR will surpass the current gimmickry and extend our human capacities to better understand, engage with, and experience our world in new ways. It will be human-centered and help to make our lives better. Driven by the one thing that is central and unique to AR – context – our devices will be highly cognizant of our constantly changing environments continually deciphering, translating, analyzing, and navigating to anticipate our specific needs, predicting and delivering personalized solutions with highly relevant content and experiences. Our smart devices will act on our behalf. This next wave of AR…

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Wall Made of Glass

I was sitting inside. Inside a room. Room made of walls. And walls made of glass.
She stood outside. Looking at me inside. Looking inside the walls made of glass.
She waved. I waved. She smiled. I smiled. But there was a seperation made by the glass.
She opened her lips. She tried to speak. But there was a distance inbetween made by the glass.
Her lips trembled. Lips tried to open up. Lips wanting to say, “come out, hold me now, i’m scared.”
But  her voice didn’t arrive. I sat there and just stared.
Because i was sitting in a room. Room made of walls. And walls made of glass.

Not a Valentine’s Day Poem

I sip the fifth coffee of this morning. It is seethe.
The vapour coming from the cup touches my cheek.
Makes my skin pores open up, face starts to breathe.
Chances of the infant sunlight to fight clouds is bleak.

The rain drop sits comfortably on the front glass.
I don’t turn on wiper, let it sleep and rest for longer.
It is fat, all so watery. Opacity of windshield it has.
But as the time moves, sunlight gets stronger.

There. Right there. It is there. Infront of us all.
I turn around happily, hoping someone saw it too.
The sunlight pierced the cloud. On the soil it will fall.
But not one person cared. Everyone has “work” to do.

It’s a shame, how people selling hearts roses and flowers,
And people buying them all, together, to show their love,
Do not have the time or ability to  love what nature showers.
Just now, a miracle took place. No one saw it. Its money they shove.

I ignite the engine, break the water droplets sleep. I feel the luckiest, as only I got the chance to feel. The rampage of rain, the dribbles of drops, the whistle of wind and the sound of silences. I fall in love, each day, each moment, with some magic around me. The magic could be as small as the sunlight who got to break out of the clouds, or as big as a woman, somewhere, sometime, somehow, in this huge planet, reads this, and shares the same love with me. The thing is, you will never know when the magic is happening. It is a process. It is a belief. That the big guy up there, is one hell of a trickster.

Take care. Love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!