It is said that you can find genius in the most unexpected places. The place in question here is Chinsurah, a small town some 40 kilometers from Kolkata. Today’s story is about a young boy, who has very humble beginnings. He is also a very talented coder, with an affinity to web development. Some of his hacks have got recognition from world renowned hackers like Robert Morgan Stallman (RMS) (Richard Matthew Stallman)
Despite owning his first computer only after going to college, Saurav Modak, has been coding on web technologies from as early as his 6th year at school. And ever since, his belief for coding has been that computers were invented to make man’s life easy. And he’s building applications to do exactly that.
This is Saurav Modak’s story: a small town computer genius.
Of all the applications that Saurav has made, he mentioned a remote computing hack that he regards to be one of his best. “The idea was to control your computer with your mobile phone. There are many features that I wish to add to it in the years to come, but mainly, it does two things. Firstly, if you’ve forgotten to carry a file on your computer, you can send an SMS to your computer and it will email the file to you. Second, if there’s a file you want to download, you can send the download link to your computer via SMS and it will automatically begin the download for you on the desktop. You can go home and use it.”
Like a typical techie, Saurav quickly adds that the program is not fully complete and he modestly says, “It works.”
The application got him recognition from Richard Matthew Stallman, who is considered to be one of the earliest voices in the opensource movement. “I was looking for help in getting an open source license for this application, and Richard helped me with that. Through my conversation with him, he acknowledged me as a hacker. Coming from him, it was the biggest moment of my life!”
The startup dream
Saurav dreams of starting up some day. He says, “Anyone can do a day job, and I will admit that even I will do it for some time. But it is my dream to start a company of my own. I think the stories that you put up on your site are really inspiring and I want to do that too.”
However, he has his conditions for starting up. He says, “I don’t want to work on the business side of things. I hope I can find someone who can work that part of it. I love to build things and I want to take care of that in my startup.”
Engineering - A big word
Saurav is currently finishing his BSc. As an engineer myself, I asked him why he didn’t take up an engineering course, with the skills he had, I told him, he could have easily landed a great job. But what he said made me stop and think, “Engineer is a big word. Ideally people who do engineering courses should build new things. Unfortunately most engineers don’t do that. Working in a services company is considered as a sign of a good engineer and I don’t agree with that. Moreover, I want to do research in computer science. That’s why I’ve chosen this field.”
I think Saurav is an engineer in the truest sense. While he disagreed with me when I told him that, he did admit to being full of ideas. He says, “I have a hundred ideas in my head and at least by law of averages, one or two might even go on to become full fledged startups.”
I certainly hope so.
Say hello to Saurav here.