Creating Gita-Daily: Your Personal Bhagavad Gita
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What is Gita-Daily?
Gita-Daily is a non-profit WhatsApp service that shares the eternal knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita through bite-sized daily messages that contain not only the shlok but also its commentary, translation and word-by-word meaning.
I think my blog writing seems to now be only restricted to the projects I work on :_)
However, given that projects occupy a seemingly large portion of how I spend my time, it's reasonable to assume that blogging would revolve around projects. However, (however) I do intend on blogging about more abstract ideas as well, so stay tuned:) And now if that introduction wasn't long enough (thanks for bearing through) let's start off with the blog!
Surprisingly, my friend Samarth and I had built 90% of the WhatsApp bot almost a month ago in April. However, given that exams have a tendency to take precedence over anything substantially more fun in life, the bot had to take a back seat :_)
And so we waited until exams were over (not exactly since exams are still not over, but the Board decided to give a mini-vacation to students ~10 days gap lol). And finally, a few days ago, we added the finishing touches to Gita-Daily.
In essence, the bot runs on an aws ec2 instance in the backend, and uses a service called beta blaster to listen and send WhatsApp messages. In all honesty, though, the essence is well - the essence. The building process had many more curve balls we had to manoeuvre around, but if I get into those details, this would become more like a tutorial on how to build Gita-Daily (which is probably not as interesting as the story behind Gita-Daily:/) and also many people wouldn't stick around to the end. (Note for Manas who is writing this: Who even reads this other than you and some friends lol)
Ok enough of beating around the bush - and now, the inspiration.
A few months ago, I had built a version of the popular game Wordle on WhatsApp. That's when it hit me - anything could be built on WhatsApp. After all it's like a mini platform, and it runs seamlessly on iOS and Android. So as a next project, I wanted to build a bot that would send Gita shlok's everyday so that anyone could learn from it. And since the messages would be small and bite sized, it would not impose a high learning curve.
Conclusion, already? Yea, it's quite late now. And I also have to get up at 5am tomorrow to run a command that sends the shlok to users. Yes, I could not automate that part:_)
Now for the real conclusion - as always, building the bot was an absolute blast! And working with Samarth was so much fun!! I'm quite confident, we'll see an emergence of WhatsApp bots for a large number of purposes in the future - from games and books to services and perhaps even custom apps? The future is exciting and what more, I can't wait to contribute to building it!
Now if you've managed to read the blog till here - thanks a lot :] (and if you just came to see what the last line was, here's another few words of nothingness. Go back to the blog lol)
Credits to Samarth, and Aditya for ideas :]