Durga Puja in the Bay Area, 2017

Durga Puja is just around the corner. Here is an update on the list of Durga Pujas that are going to be celebrated in the Bay Area this year.

  1. Sanskriti – September 23rd and 24th at Newark Pavilion,6430 Thornton Ave, Newark, CA,94560
  2. Prabasi – September 30th and October 1st at Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd, San Jose.
  3. Pashchimi – September 26th – 30th at Unify Event Center, .
  4. Livermore Hindu Temple – September 20th – 30th at Livermore Hindu Temple.
  5. BayBasi – October 7th and 8th at 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403
  6. Bay Area Durga Utsav – September 28th, 29th and 30th, at 5155 Stars and Stripes Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95054.

See u at one of the Pujas 🙂 !

Cheers,
Thyaga

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CASB, Skyhigh and I

If you are one of those who are wondering what is CASB – then first familiarize yourself with it. A few years ago, CASB as a product / category didn’t even exist – but today, Gartner considers this as one of the hottest growing areas in Enterprise security. In fact, the ascendance of CASB as a critical security technology was on full display at this year’s Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit. CASB’s presence was more prominent than ever before, with Gartner calling it a must-have enterprise security technology and predicting that by 2020, 85% of enterprises will be using a CASB. There is also a magic quadrant under way – read more here about the upcoming MQ.

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Figure: Pictoral Representation of where a CASB sits in an organization

I made the decision 2 months ago to leave the comforts of Oracle to join a leading startup in the CASB space – Skyhigh Networks. So far, looking at the customer momentum and the kind of customer problems that we are solving, I am super thrilled to be part of this hyper growth startup. Sure there are challenges to be faced – but then nothing that is unsurmountable. The best part is that the leaders of this organization are committed, passionate and always willing to roll up their sleeves to solve the customer problems and get things done. In fact, some of the relentless energy spent has led to us discovering potent and brute force attacks before other vendors can pick it up – for example, read about the sophisticated attack on Office 365 high value accounts that happened and which Skyhigh discovered.

If you are interested in knowing more about Skyhigh and what we do, feel free to drop me a note – either through comments or via my Twitter handle – we can then connect to discuss. Also, needless to say, we are hiring – so, if you are interested in joining us, look at the open job positions and apply.

IIT KGP Class of 1997 – 20 year reunion

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Hello All,

We are pleased to announce the 20 year reunion for the class of 1997 of IIT Kharagpur on June 24th, 2017 in San Francisco Bay Area. We will begin the day from Fremont with a luxury bus (including Breakfast) taking us to the Golden Gate park for a nice summer time picnic. After games, fun and some yummy lunch, we will make our way back to Fremont in the evening. Night time we will blast our way to DJ music and of course, backed up with some delicious food.

You don’t want to miss this event.

IMPORTANT: WE NEED TO FINALIZE THE HEADCOUNT ASAP. PLEASE REACH OUT TO thyaga12@yahoo.com to RSVP for the picnic.

Here are the finer details of the reunion:

DATE: June 24th, 2017

LOCATION: SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

DETAIL AGENDA:

# Activity Start End
1 Bus Trip to Golden Gate Park (Pioneer East Meadow Picnic Area) 8:00 AM 10:00 AM
2 Boxed Breakfast in Bus (GoChaatzz) 8:30 AM 9:30 AM
3 Games, Boating 10:00 AM 12:00 PM
4 Lunch (Curry on Wheels) 12:00 PM 1:30 PM
5 Games, De Young Museum, Cal Academy of Sciences 1:30 PM 3:00 PM
6 Drive back from Golden Gate Park 3:00 PM 4:30 PM
7 Snacks on the bus on the way back 3:00 PM 3:30 PM
8 Rest / Get Ready in Hotel 4:30 PM 6:00 PM
9 Banquet dinner with DJ (Sakoon Fremont) 6:30 PM 12:00 AM

Durga Puja in the Bay Area, 2016

Durga Puja is just around the corner. Here is an update on the list of Durga Pujas that are going to be celebrated in the Bay Area this year.

  1. Sanskriti – October 1st and 2nd at Newark Pavilion,6430 Thornton Ave, Newark, CA,94560
  2. Prabasi – October 7th, 8th and 9th at Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd, San Jose.
  3. Pashchimi – October 7th – 11th at Unify Event Center, .
  4. Bay Area Shobar Pujo
  5. Livermore Hindu Temple – October 1st – 10th at Livermore Hindu Temple.
  6. BayBasi – October 8th and 9th at Bowditch Middle School, Foster City
  7. Bay Area Durga Utsav – October 7th – 10th, at 5155 Stars and Stripes Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95054.

See u at one of the Pujas 🙂 !

Cheers,
Thyaga

Remembering Pran – my friend, my mentor, my inspiration

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I am still in a bit of shock on the sudden passing away of a good friend and mentor of mine Pran Kurup due to a cardiac arrest. I had the privilege of knowing and interacting with Pran for the past 18 years and in all these interactions, my impression of him was that of a very passionate entrepreneur always on the cutting edge of technology and a kind human being who believed deeply in the upliftment of India and actually went about in his own way in getting that done. You could disagree to his political views but you could not but help admire the passion that he had for everything that he did.

I vividly remember that day in 1997 when he and his fellow co-founders from Bytek Designs, interviewed Anand and me in Bangalore. We were fresh out of college and they were looking for fresh IIT graduates to jump start their online training portal. The interview was more a formality as we ended up discussing the India-Pakistan (Toronto) cricket match going on at that time on TV. Ever since that day, cricket had been a very strong unifying force for Pran and I – even when we were going through tough times in our startup, we never failed to catch up on cricket and the scores and what should India do next.

Anyway – when we landed in USA, Pran was there personally to welcome us. On the way to the apartment where the company had put us up, he made 2 pit stops – one at a park where there was a cricket match going on and another at our company. For a certain moment, i had to pinch myself to believe what was going on – i was in the heart of Silicon valley overlooking a cricket match – circa 1998. I knew that i was at the right place and more importantly, i had the right company and the right boss.

Over the next few years, the company grew and of course, changed its name to Vitalect – which is still its identity even till today. During this time, Pran’s entrepreneurial spirit could be seen in full glory – never a man to shy away from taking risks, he made some great strategic and tough decisions to keep Vitalect going. In fact, it was largely due to his untiring efforts that the company continues to exist and thrive even today. That is a sharp contrast to the tough times the company and Pran, especially, had to endure post the dot-com bust. I vividly remember the day when he had to lay-off people for the 1st time – it was really hard for him because he considered every one as family. In spite of all the hardships, he still managed to sponsor more than 50% of my part-time MBA from Santa Clara – almost unthinkable even in today’s times.

Even after i left Vitalect to pursue a career at Yahoo and other companies, we continued to keep in touch regularly – either because he wanted to brainstorm on an idea for his company or because of some cricket match or lately, on how India was going to get better under AAP. We would meet on social occasions too with family. One thing that many didn’t know about Pran was that he was an excellent cook – i still remember the Sambhar, Chicken Stew and the fish curry he had cooked for us for dinner.

He was a voracious reader and an avid Blogger. A couple of months ago, during our regular chat, he had told me that he was looking forward to the book launch. He was going through some trying times from his health perspective – but he had pulled himself through and he was excited about this new venture. Little did I know that it was the last time I would talk to him in person.

As I sit and reflect back on the days that I have spent with Pran, there are so many memories to write about. But I will leave you with something that I have always treasured. Circa 1999 – Cricket World Cup in England. At that time if you had to watch a game of cricket, you had to head to Naz Cinema hall in Fremont, CA OR install a dish at home (expensive). I made a casual remark during an office lunch that it was going to be a great world cup and how I wish we could be watching in USA. By evening time, Pran had set up a Dish at home and called me & Anand for dinner at his home to watch the 1st of the many India matches – that gesture truly epitomized Pran – a person who was always ready to listen and always willing to help. I will forever remember Pran for the influence he had on me and will forever cherish the memories of time spent with him and his family.

RIP Pran – you will be sorely missed.

 

 

Weekend project – Converting an old laptop into a Chromebook

Durga Puja in the Bay Area, 2015

Durga Puja is just around the corner. Here is an update on the list of Durga Pujas that are going to be celebrated in the Bay Area this year.

  1. Sanskriti – October 24th and 25th at Smithwick Auditorium,FootHill College, 12345 El Monte Road,Los Altos CA
  2. Prabasi – October 17th and 18th at Chabot College, Hayward.
  3. Pashchimi – October 18th – 23rd at GatewayHall at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd, San Jose.
  4. Bay Area Shobar Pujo – October 18th – 23rd at Oasis Palace, 35145 Newark Blvd, Newark.
  5. Livermore Hindu Temple – October 13th – 23rd at Livermore Hindu Temple.
  6. BayBasi – October 17th and 18th at Bowditch Middle School, Foster City

See u at one of the Pujas 🙂 !

Cheers,
Thyaga