Annual Review – What I did on 2017?

2017 was a great year for me, as all the years. Sharing here on how it went. Yes. It is too late to write this now. It is because of the few lifestyle changes I am following. Its is OK to do many things slowly and drop few things. Am I right?

Health :

I was trying to reduce my ongrowing tummy for years. in 2017, took some serious, series of efforts.

  • Joined Zumba Dance class on Sep 2017. It is a thrice in a week class. I attend 2 classes, atleast.
  • Bought a cycle on October 2017 and went to office in cycle. It was around 40 km per round trip. Cycled for 2 months, twice in a week.
  • Exercised for 10-15 min every day, mostly.

With all these efforts, my hip size came to 34 from 39. It is a great improvement. Thanks to “Dude Academy” and Master Kannadasan for inspiring.

Got fever 4 times. Those bad days reminded how bad my health is. It is time to eat good food, and siddha medicines which gave enormous immunity in my school/college days. started to have the medicines prepared by my dad.

Stopped drinking cool drinks, fried items like pizza, burger etc.


  • Viyan got into a nearby school. He is in LKG now.
  • He sent hand drawn Deepavali Wishes post cards to all our friends.
  • Nithya learnt karagam, Poikal Kuthirai dances. She is performing in various event. She wrote a ebook on Javascript. Released a video on Bigdata and Elasticsearch
  • Brother Arulalan joined at meteorology department as scientist in Noida.
  • Brother Suresh got a government job.


Office works made me keep on learning new things. Elasticsearch, Spark, Druid, Python3, AWS api are some great things I explored. Completed reading one book fully on the technology I start to work.


  • Went to Vienna, Austria for a wikipedia hackathon. Met many interesting people and blogged the event happenings of Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
  • Went to Yelagiri for Nithya’s karagam dance on a government function.
  • Went to Kothagiri for marriage of Nithya’s friend’s sister.
  • Went to Kerala with Office friends and their Family.
  • Went to Pondicherry and visited science center, bharathiyar house etc.
  • Went to Melmalaiyanur with family.
  • Went to Beaches few times in the early morning. Those are really great times.
  • Went to DakshanChitra many times for Nithya’s dance practises.
  • Went to Sriperumbuthur as Nithya danced for Sri Ramanujar’s 1000th birthday celebrations.
  • Went to Kumbakonam and nearby places with office friends.
  • Went to few resorts with office friends.

Foss Contributions:

  • IITM and SSN College of Engineering, released a good Tamil Text-to-Speech system. Met IITM team and learnt how to install in linux. Automated and released it here.
  • In Vienna wikipedia hackathon, enabled LinguaLibre to upload voice files to wikipedia commons.
  • Helped to released a telegram bot to translate strings collaboratively for the english strings in openstreetmaps to tamil.
  • Helped to released a “Send to kindle” option for the ebooks in
  • Got some interest on adding interesting places to OSM. Used cycle to roam around tambaram and added many places with the app.
  • Conducted 2 hackathons for ilugc. one for tamil computing and one for wikipedia.
  • Conducted 1 event for ebook making training.


  • Found a social team “Agaththi” in Tambaram. Participating on their market for organic formers.
  • Filed few RTI in for the issues in Tambaram and got few resolved.


Wrote 57 blog post in this blog and 6 posts in Tamil in my tamil blog. This is low. Will try to increase next year. Writing a book on Python in Tamil. Hope will release by next year. But I have read plenty of books this year. I love reading than writing. Lazy me.

Books Read:

Thanks to PacktPub’s One free ebook per day, Kindle Unlimited Plan and All authors of for providing tons of great books to read.

With the Kindle device, I enjoyed plenty of hours in continuous reading.

Award :

Got an award for the contributions on Tamil computing on 2016 from The Tamil Literary Garden, Canada. Received Rs. 50,000 as prize money. Working on creating an organization with this money to do more contributions with more volunteers. Will ask for donations soon.


Was living a simple, minimalistic lifestyle.
Quited TV, Facebook and smartphone two years ago. Still able to live without them. Prioritized the life in the order of Health, Family, Office, Personal growth, FOSS Contributions.

Thus, the year 2017 was so great. It gave me great lessons via bad experiences too. Those are opportunities for me to learn about people and world.

Hope you too had a great year. Hoping that 2018 will be even more exciting for all of us.



Build your own Story Books for kids in your Language with Story Weaver

Last week, I got an opportunity to attend a workshop on building story books for Children using

Storyweaver beta

This portal is developed by Pratham Books, a Not-for-profit organization, which is helping Indian kids to get more story books in their own languages. They started with creating story books, print, sell them, but with Creative Commons CC-By license. Anyone can copy their books, print, share and sell.

Pratham books

Now, with story weaver platform, they enable any one to create stories for kids. We can build stories or translate existing stories to our language.

I knew this platform few months ago. But did not explored much. Suddenly, received an email from Pratham Books from their blog, as they organize a workshop on storyweaver platform in Chennai. Registered immediately.

On the event day, reached the venue at T.Nagar. It was a good meeting hall with projector. We got around 50 participants. Except me, most of them are directly with children as teacher/trainer/StoryTeller.

We got participants from many organizations like Vazhai, Isha Vidhya, Katha & Ratha, Teach for India, Vidyarambam and more. Got a bunch of people from Villupuram Coimbatore too. Most of them are using books by Pratham books on their class rooms and activities.

The workshop was to explore the storyweaver platfrom. They explored the platform. We can read 4700 stories available. They support 84 languages. The portal has 7461 images to make wonderlands.

After the demo, tasks were given to create a story book or translate. I got to translate. We formed a team and translated a book. At the end of the event, the demo session was interesting. With a small introduction, people made stunning stories.

The images uploaded should be self made. We should not upload other’s work. As all the works, text and images are released in creative Commons CC-By license, any one use it for any purpose, including selling them. Hence, they are very keen on ensuring about the license of the works, text and illusions/images.

But, with available 7000 images, we can make wonderlands for our kids easily.

I invite you to explore the site, read few books and share it with the children you know. I made few books, flashcards and wordless stories to check how my kid Viyan likes them. He enjoyed them. He started to create his own stories on seeing the images. He even understood (or made his own stories) for the books on other languages too.

I was searching for books for kids in Tamil for many years. We dont get much much even in TamilNadu. All the bookshops have only many English books. One or two books only available in Tamil. Check in your nearby shop and look for the books that introduce alphabets, numbers, vegetables, vehicles, climate, animals, flowers etc. You can get all in english. Only alphabets and numbers are available in Tamil. I think the same will be for other languages too. The globalization kills all the native languages. To give new life to our languages, it is our duty to introduce the world of books to our kids in our language. Story books, flashcards are best vehicles to bring languages to kids.

StoryWeaver makes this possible to all the languages.

Let us weave more stories for our kids.

Thanks to pratham books for the wonderful platform and great workshop. Will contribute for Tamil Books. Planning to make a screencast on how to use storyweaver in Tamil. Will make it soon and conduct events to introduce it to local communities of parents, teachers and kids lovers.