Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Cheating!

I like people who dont cheat. And I find that its difficult for Marketing/MBA people to stay away from it.
After all who will by a "standard" product. Everyone wants more and more features.. And the marketing dudes advertise the product such a way that people get fooled and get wrong notions about the product..

I dont know how far their claim is true but Pest Control of India has a nice brochure which at te least educates the consumers about the technicalities of they provide..see for yourself .. its somewhat enlightening.... after all who thought that there were so many varieties of so many pests in mumbai! (i dont know about the copyright issues involved in this but since they were mass distributing the brochures for free I suppose there wont be any problem withme scanning and putting it up for everyone else to see... beside its even more free advertising for them.. see what morally correct advertising can earn you!!! - still more publicity!)



Sunday, December 3, 2006

Some More Assorted stuff...

These were all accumulating up, so today i have decided to write them down here.. before they are lost in the oblivion...

Lonavale Trip

On 9th september, the dude and dudettes of our batch at L & T EmSyS, Mumbai went for a picnic to Lonavale..


The Bushi Dam was all dried up so we climbed up to the waterfalls.. the actual source of water to the dam.. A few minutes uphill walk took us to a small waterfall, where we all cooled off. But it wasnt fun enough so some of us went even higher up to another waterfall. This involved trekking thru virgin land. The whole route was actually a sort of rivulet and it was so much fun making our way up further, higher up to the better tub shaped cavity in the big rock into which the water was flowing. Me, Jithin, Saurabh,Biswadeep,Bhagvath and Joseph were the first ones to get there. Many of the other people why were trying to get there had got bored and had turned back from the half way point. But we kept moving one. And it was worth it. We spent 10-15 minutes there having fun in the cool water and taking pictures. Then we decided to get back as there were other part of our gang woh was waiting in the bus and probably worried about us (read "getting agonized"). But then again while getting back, we came across himani and shweta (shirali) who had came back to look for us, and it was just a matter of a few seconds before they had coaxed us into take them back there again. Its difficult to keep up with squirrel like antics of himani. You cant hold her back. She just hopped here and there and moved up the rocks even before you knew it.

The whole experience was invigorating. Specially since we needed a break for so long. All that trekking with friends actually made me feel good. Those experience wasnt "life threatening" and we never held each other's lives at the end of a line but still it fulfilled my wish of mountain climbing with friends to some extent. So atleast i know which guys do actually like adventure sports...mazaa aayaga tha..

While returning to mumbai, we made a stop at khandala .. some park where there were lots of monkeys... there i was trying to pick up shweta.. and dropped her.. she could have hit her head hard on the railing there.. and it would have been smashed open (himani and other guys caught her in time).. all because of my stupid over confidence.. (ek haath se uthane chala tha....himani ko ek haath se uthaya tha na pehle .. but of course she is halki phulki)... Well aaj tak jo bure marks (exams) ne nahin kiya tha woh dostone kar dikhaya.. they actually cured my over confidence.. (if only to a certain extent).. but what a price to pay.. sheesh.. i could have killed her.. and the stupid girl doesn't even realize it!! bhagwan bachaye logon ko mujh jaise doston se..!!

Railways..

If you have traveled by mumbai suburban trains then you are likely to have noticed a few things.. there are a lot of things strewn on the railway track.. especially at the stations.. These mostly include footwear.. and all of these are one of the pairs of slippers or chappals which have slipped off the foot of many of unfortunate commuters.. And they are found always in singles .. only one of the pairs... Either because only one of them slid off the foot of the owner or the owner might have thrown it on the track.. having lost the other one at the previous station!!

Then there is the rose line along the track... The red line created by the spit of the paan chewers.. (see MTV's campaign website http://www.dhartikelaal.com) .. I was wondering many people die by falling off the train... most of those who fall off the train are those standing at the door hanging outside.. and most of these people are paan chewers.. who obviously want to spit out the red when they are thru with it... i say if they don't die by falling off the train, they would surely die because of cancer... so no point feeling bad about them...

Customer Service

It always pays to be loyal.. I have had a hutch (which was formerly "orange" and which in turn was formerly "maxtouch") cell phone connection for past 6-7 years.. right from 11th grade.. and so after 2-3 years of service they activated STD for free without deposit on my fone and now i have got them to activate ISD too and they didnt charge me a thing...

..then there are the HDFC people... the other day i requested a DD and there was they misspelt the name of the beneficiary... some error due to incompatibility of netbanking with the firefox browser...and even though i used my moms account to conduct the transaction, they fixed the DD without her being there just because the lady there knew our family well.. Thats what you call Personal Banking!!!

Mumbai Radio Station and Autorickshaw Drivers

I had an idea the other day... we all have heard the song "yeah mumbai shahar haadson ka shahar hai, yahan zindagi hadsoon ka safar hai, yahan roz roz har mod mod pe hota hai koi na koi hadsa.."
Our city really lives up to it:road accidents, train blasts, bus blasts, floods etc etc...
And then there are road jams.. and during the road jams, the people stuck in there could actually use some real information about their city.. the information of the kind that isn't available thru newspapers or TV or timetable or poster.. but thru word of mouth.. and what best way to get it other then from the people who traverse the length and breadth of the city everyday: the BEST bus drivers and the Autorickshaw drivers..
The FM radio stations of mumbai are really sad, the RJs call up dumb people who aren't entertaining enough and usually don't know what to say. Its actually not their problem, because common people seldom see much action every day. But it would be really great if these stations could give a few Auto drivers and BEST bus drivers cellphones. Auto drivers normally are mast people and these dudes usually just stick to a particular area of mumbai. A few drivers in each particular areas could be given cellphones. The Radio station could call them up once anytime during the day and ask them for the latest updates from their area. This would really be better as the drivers would actually give eye witness accounts of the various "hadse" in mumbai. Same is true for the BEST bus drivers/conductors. They ply on the same route again and again everyday and have information of all incidents happening on those routes. Actually many of the incidents/hadse happen in the BEST buses themselves....

Clinical Compromise

Many people are really lazy when it comes to taking medicine. Its really shame that so much time, effort and money spent on medical research goes to waste because of these people. But more than the time, effort and money, its the lives of the fellow humans that these people put at risk by not taking medicines on time or by leaving the recommended medical course incomplete.

Whenever we visit the doctor to course some microbial sickness, he/she prescribes us certain medicines to be ingested at particular times during the day for a particular number of days to ensure that the microbes causing the disease are completely eliminated. Many people leave the course half way and stop taking the medicine. They think that since they are already cured, they don't need to take the medicines anymore. But this is a very wrong perception. Usually even when the symptoms are gone, some amount of microbes still remain in our body. Taking those medicine for a bit longer time even after we seem to have been cured ensures that even those left over microbes are killed and the disease is completely gone. If we miss out on the final doses, it may happen that the remaining microbes might mutate and become resistant to the medicine. If this happens, the person might fall sick again and this time the medicines wont work on the new resistant strain anymore. In fact if this guy passes on his disease to any other person, he too will get sick and the medicines will have no effect on him either. This is called clinical compromise. So by not taking the medicines properly as per doctors recommendations, we are not only putting our lives in danger but also those of our fellow men and women. We have absolutely no right to do so, therefore we must act responsibly and take our medicines properly, on time and completely.

Cause and Effect

Yes, we are being taught crap in colleges in India... Yes i screwed my acadmics to gain a bit more insight on the practical side..(eventough i still keep forgetting how a transistor works).. and Yes, many people have said many things on how to fix the system... but whats the use...

Lets see what one of them wants to say.. : Sudheendra Kulkarni - Why India needs to learn how to teach

Now what this guy says is truly correct, its the right way to fix the system, but its hard to visualise how to actually go on implementing those "renovation stunts". I mean the stuff presented in the article is simple enough to be understood.. you dont have to be a PhD in economics/engineering/psychology/sociology to understand what the dude is saying.. but there is no way a simple common man can come up with actual implementation plans for this. I look at people now a days.. they dont have the bloody time to think anything... You tell them that we have a problem... you even go ahead and tell them that this could be the solution .. but still that isnt enough, because they wouldnt know how to implement the required plan of action. We know that bureaucracy is a big killer, but if you ask a commn man on how he would propose to eliminate it, he wouldnt have a clue.. so why talk about only the abstract part of the solution, why not tell people specificly what to do... Prof. Gadre has a better take on it..see:




This article appeared in EFY a few quarters ago.. and I was into robotics and had already got my HAM license by then.. and thats when i first mailed him. I know him ever since.

Getting back to the topic, when we read Prof. Gadre's take on it, we actually get to understand what we could do actually do about it.. Get a hobby: Robotics or HAM. This is simple enough for people to understand. Common people can encourage their children to take up such hobbies.. and the plethora of technical event held by so many colleges (no matter how sub standard and no matter how much MBA giri they involve) can really sustain their interest in such hobbies..

But has any one thought of the root cause of the whole damn problem???????

The problem is that in India and other such developing nation, we still have to "FIGHT" for our daily living. Earning enough money to run our families isnt something we do pleasurably but some thing which kills some of us. Look at the people in Mumbai for instance.. The roads are crap, the autorickshaws have no suspensions, Buses and trains are jampacked and arent comfortable enough and lead to physiological pains, the offices and homes of the worker classes are never located nearby and so the whole damn mass of people have to travel so many kilometers in those crapped up modes of transportation that no one has time to think freely...

All this stress uses up all the RAM and processing power of your brain. You hate your work because your family didnt have any money to allow you to pursue your dreams of a career that you liked or you didnt take up the job of your choice because they didnt pay you well there.. Engineers turn themselves into MBA just to earn more money... and then end up sad internally even though they might have enough money for a prosperous life... Why????? because you see that the people with lesser money suffer a lot... but then look at all these people.. when it comes to travelling everyday to work and back , none of them is any better.. yes the rich people have cars of their own and they dont have to suffer the fists and elbows of the crowded trains and buses everyday.. but they still get stuck in traffic jam.. You call this civilised??? I dont..
Even if you have more money, you cant spend your time in your car while transiting from office to home thinking up new ideas, there is nothing inspiring to look outside the window to get the ideas from (we are talking about Mumbai here).. You just get ideas for stupid anecdotes for your next presentation (remember the dudes with the umbrellas doing the morning business under the kurla flyover on eastern express highway??).

So wasting hours just trying to stand up straight and breathe in those trains and buses is tiring to the core.. so when do you think up new ideas to be a better human, a better society, a better nation???

So when even after fighting so much, a person's basic physiological and safety needs are just satisfied, how can you expect him to focus on higher needs? see Maslow's hierarchy of needs

In Delhi there is another reason which impeads free reasonable thought. People are just too trying "jugaads" to earn more money (by hook or by crook) to show off!!... and yeah they "HAD" the transportation problem there too.. But with the setting up of the Metro Rail, that is solved to a very very large extent. In fact Metro is a great leveller. Its no longer cool to take out your brand new merc to travel from one end of the city to the other when you have a sexy air condition Metro Rail. Besides Since it moves above the ground in most places, a ride in one of those is actually pleasant (you can enjoy the scenery/landscape) and people can actually spend time reading or thinking about the next big thing while travelling.. so whether its the rich or the poor, both pay up the same amount of fare and both travel happily... and so feel good and think nice thought while doing so.. thats being civilised.

There are some people (including myself) who can think perfectly well in even in the crapped up transportation of mumbai too... but by the time they reach home they are just too busted to write their thought down and propagate them... and thats the reason why i get very little time during which my mind is fresh active and free to actually write them down properly enough...today is one of these days..

Today in the afternoon, while returning from dadar, I couldnt find a working Coupon Validating Machine at Dadar station so I looked around to buy a card ticket to Andheri, but the lines were so damn long that i decided to travel without a ticket.. and i was ready to bore the consequences if caught. And it happened. The TC caught me at Andheri station and fined 250 rupees. Well thats why they say time is money... In case of travelling, i would rather sacrifice money and reach the destination comfortably and early rather than standing in long queues and allow people around me more time to pass me their infectious diseases by sneezing without covering their faces... You cant think free thought when you are really really sick.. and The Air conditioner at the office only makes it worse... I wonder how fast they can build the metro in mumbai...

We were ruled over by british for 250 years and 60 years later, we still arent free.

My Boss Mr. Bhupendra Bhate (SBU Head, L &T EmSyS, Mumbai) had narrated a nice observation to us during his intro speech.. He identified a region (parallelogram shaped) on the world map that included the United Kingdom and the surrounds. He said that more than 70% of the discoveries and invention had come up in this region. Why? because the environment around them had forced the people to innovate.. eg. the Holland people built Dikes to "keep the sea away" and so became good at construction ... and he went on to give many more examples... but one think to realise is that there was another factor in all this... the dudes in those parallelogram also conquered the rest of the world and created frenzy all around while maintaining peace and civilisation in their own homes. This way all the basic needs of the people in their own land were satisfied and they created new things and came up with new ideas. The rest of the world couldnt do so when they were ruling it (Imperialism - the fine art of conquering the world). The Americans were the first to get freedom and hence become prosperous first and hence became civilized earlier than the rest of the world...
And hence came up with so many inventions...

In India, besides the fight for basic needs, there are always terrorist bombings and criminal activities going on.. and still some stupid leaders call us an IT superpower... right now we do IT only for a living... we can do a million times better we didnt have to worry about whats going to happen tomorrow...and with terrorist activities increasing everyday... we dont even know if we would make it thru the next day alive!

What s the solution to all this?? IT companies (or any other companies for that matter) should make it a point to setup new office very close to residential areas and should make sure that their employees are happy by providing them help (by means of loans or subsidised rents or by actually constructing apartments) in obtaining a resediantial place very close to the office... That way they dont have to tire themselves out by travelling so much... of course there are a million other ways to help in achieving a higher level of civilisation .. you can think up more ways during the free thinking time that you get after you have shifted to a place near your office!!!

Why is soil brown?

Some quarter years ago, while sitting in a bus, i just wondered:"why is soil brown?".. a pretty common question...
its common because the subject involved is common... but we seldom stop to think about such things..
A scientist/engineer would know why things are coloured:
There is a photon associated with each wavelength of light.
Light of different wavelength are composed of photons having differnt energies.
The lights of different wavelength are perceived as lights of different colors by our eyes.
Hence the different colors of light, are thought of as representing photons of different energy.
Now object on which white light falls, are composed of molecules or ions in a lattice. The electrons in these materials can only move between well defined discrete levels. And while doing that these electrons
absorb (lower energy level to higher energy level) or emit (higher energy level to lower energy level) photons. Since their energy levels are discrete, they can absorb only those photons which have energy higher than the difference of the two energy levels between which the electron transits. If a photon has a higher energy, the extra energy appears as the kinetic energy of electron which has now reached the new higher energy level.

If on the other hand, the electron transits from a higher to lower energy level, it will emit a photon which has energy which is the difference between the two energy levels.. this will form the monochromatic light which appears to be "reflected" from an object when a beam of white light (having photons of all kinds of energies) is incident on it.

There are two ways of producing a color as seen by our eyes:

a) shine a light of a particular wavelength on our eyes so as to produce that color

or
b) shine light of different wavelengths having different weights (intensity) to form the same sensation in our rods and cones as the single wavelength light above.
But there are some colors like purple and brown which can only be produced by method (b).

The reason for this is as follows:

consider the "Normalized typical human cone responses (and the rod response) to monochromatic spectral stimuli" chart given at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_vision and also given below:




We notice that there are certain overlapping regions between the "band pass filtering" type spectrums of the three different cones. Light of single wavelength in these overlapping regions of sufficient amplitude would produce a colour perception in the same way as the lights of two or more different wavelengths (and having appropriate amplitudes) appearing in non overlapping regions of the three curves. Purple for example can be created with a mixture of wavelengths in both the red and the blue. Brown requires a more complex mixture of wavelengths.



L M S are the different kind of cones in our eyes. See the above two links, (especially the wikipedia link) for more info about how the colour is perceived by our eyes. By the way, our eyes are more responsive to green color because our very first food were plants..which reflect green light!.. and why are plants green? .. aw! we know that one...They taught us in school..: Because they have chlorophyll! and according to http://www.pa.msu.edu/sciencet/ask_st/081496.html

"It turns out that eons of evolutionary design have matched the absorbance of chlorophyll to the actual color of the sunlight that reaches the leaves. Sunlight consists of primarily blue and red light mixed together, which are exactly the colors that chlorophyll molecules like to absorb. Light is a form of energy, so the chlorophyll is able to harvest the sunlight with little waste."

Getting back to topic of soil, its probably brown because of the lots of diffrent kinds of stuff mixed in it (dead or alive). See the Image on the left side : I dont remember where i got this article from , but it gives a bit more insight as to why soil is really brown.. For more on Maillard Reaction, see wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction

This is like another one of those natural cycles... as for me , I think the soil is brown because its has lots of stuff in it which can reflect light corresponding to different areas of color wheel. Its like water colors, now matter how much or how many colours (except for black color) you dissolve in the water, you always get brown color!

Similarly there so many things in nature which have different colors.. bright yellows sunflowers... green leaves... pink roses... red hibiscus.. orange oranges and mangoes etc etc..

All of these colors eventually mix (dead or alive) to form the soil....

In fact humans, who eat foods of different colors (omnivores) are also brown colored!!!

So when we die the brown of our skin mixes with the brown of the soil... ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO DUST..


Talking about brown colour reminds me of one last thing.. a PJ..

Haldi (Turmeric powder): a single word which when uttered during the lunch time among my friends who know this joke can make them lose their appetite. I asked my mom what is the function of turmeric powder in our food.. she said she didnt know any major reason except for the flavouring and the antiseptic properties. Now the antiseptic properties have nothing to do with the haldi being used in food and as for flavour.... i am not sure it has one anyway...

So the only reason the chef uses it might be to warn the eater....

You see, when in the morning we are sitting on the sacred toilet (i say sacred because sitting on it has become a ritual and most rituals are sacred... and things which are sacred bring peace to our hearts (in this case, our stomachs)) we observe that what we excrete is brown in color, almost similar to the color of haldi (yellow). So in a way haldi in the food reminds you of the eventual food you are going to eat. Mostly this haldi is used in spicy foods, which is only fair... people need to be warned of the consequences of eating too much spicy food by reminding them of what they would have to deal with the next morning..... in this case the daily ritual would be painful but seem truly "sacred" later on!


Life+money+Engineering/R&D+consumerism=Cycles

There are cycles in our biosphere.. Water Cycle, Carbon Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle and then there are theoritical Cycles eg. Born Haber Cycle. Then there are the season... Similarly there are cycles in our socio-economic lives...
Most are chains of cause and effects.. I just realised one of these cycles: I as an engineer am working currently to develop a new product. This is involving one of those field sensors which is used in factories. I am working on creating a generic design (hardware/software) for those. This design could be used to make a field device for measuring any specific physical quantity. I am getting pay me for doing it.
Later on, we expect that an external client/company will give us a contract to design a specific product
using this generic thingy. They will pay our company for it.
They will then mass manufacture this product and market it. Customers will pay for these to use in their own factories which in turn mass manufacture some other product. This is probably an intermediary to be used in making some other product.
The company who makes this other product will pay the company making this intermediary for it. Finally the distributors/shopkeepers will take the final product to the market for consumption. And people like us (Engineers are human too!) will pay for these thereby completing the "money cycle". Come to think of it, the main function is to keep everyone busy.
People get paid for stuff and then they use this money to pay for other stuff. There are many small small money cycles like these and together they forme a larger money cycle. Those who have larger cash flows and larger cash outflow form the richer section of the society. They are the people who are a part of a larger number of these small small money cycles. They therefore can buy and do buy more kinds of "stuff" in to play with. Greed occurs when people want to be lazy. Being Lazy is easy. You dont have to do anything. But to do that you must have large reserve of money. For a large reserve of money you have to work hard and/or cunningly (read illegaly). But i wonder why people do that. Being lazy/greedy isnt being "civilised".

Talking about civilisation.. I rememeber a chapter from my 11th grade book... it was an excrept from a book "The story of Civilization" by C E M Joad. He says that civilization is not about beauiful palaces, bountiful riches etc etc... they make you happy, but after some time you get bored with it. Its neither about being able to buy anything... you cant buy too much of anything.. .. you would get bored this way too..

"Being civilised means making beautiful things, thinking freely and thinking new things, and keeping the rules, without which people couldn't get on together. Grown-ups call the first of these things "Art", the second"science and philosophy" and the third "political justice, and ethics"

I suppose there is nothing civilised about amassing lots of money... you get bored of not working anyway... and empty mind is a devils workshop...

There are some people who are just plain stupid..but still other plain people like them...

Take Shah Rukh Khan for example.. he goes around telling people that Amitabh Bacchan is a great man and no one can match him .. not even SRK himself. Yet he goes around doing things that Amitabh Bacchan did.. SRK is now doing the same advertisements that Amitabh Bacchan did, SRK did a remake of Don and now SRK is going to be on Kau Banega Crorepati.. come on give us a break, why are you making our lives complicated ..............

Let's pretend : The world's oldest game... how to play? simple... pretend to be someone else!!!... its too much simple... its too much fun... The whole film industry is a commercialization of this age old game.. (atleast they haven patented it!!) .... They make money by enticing us to watch them play it... And its so stupid of us to pay them to see something which we can play ourselves...Of course many of use cant do the stundt they can... with help of computers of course..

Anyway.. SRK is pretending to be the Big B... its like a Let's Pretend game within another Let's Pretend Game.. ""Game mein Game Parag Game""

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Switch switch switch

the wall socket connected to the ...extension board and extension board connected to the.... monitor....
and then there are switches!!
theres one on the wall, theres one on the extension board and then theres one on the monitor...
(the switch on the monitor is a simple microswitch which turns on the high voltage section via a bigger (more power handling capacity!) solid state switch - DP904C (POWER IC PWM Samsung Power Switch ))

So whats the big deal about the switches??... yeah , yeah you have heard many people tell you that they are the most under respected components.. and they are the most important... but simply said.. they have LIFE!...

Or in more technical words, "Mean Time Between Failure" ... The datasheets (the technical documents provided by the guys who make 'em) specify these numbers in number of cycles... ie they specify the number of time you can switch them on and off before they fail... of course these numbers are just a rough estimates...
and they probably don't factor the varied load conditions that the switch might experience in its life time..
so some switches give way earlier than others... while some last longer...
Common wall switches in humid places (Mumbai) get screwed beause of the corrosion of their terminals.. while the same ones in a dry place with extreme climate (Delhi) get screwed due to daily cycles of extreme temperatures (the plastic starts to crack)...
So what the hell do you do to avoid any inconvenience?.. simple:
1) connect many switches in series, some of these switches will be the ones inside and accessible from the front panels of many instruments.... use those ones in the chain most frequently which can be easily replaced... keep the other switches in the chain always on..
2) if there are more than one easily replaceable switches in the chain... use both equally to get double the MTBF..

so heres an example.. consider my computer system.. or rather just the monitor... there is a switch on the wall and then one on the power strip and then one on the monitor..
I used to use the switch on the power strip as the "main" switch... ie this was the first one to be switch on or off and was responsible for cutting of the flow of power to any equipment. What i mean to say is that i used to tun on the power to the system using only this switch while all other switches (one on the wall and computer) remained on. Consequently the electric arc that formed when i used the switch to cut the power eventually got the best of it and it gave way.. i had to open the power strip and i soldered thick wires across the switch effectly isolating it and shorting it out. The power strip was now permanently on! Now I had to use some other switch in the series to turn on and off the power to the system... The wall socket switch was it next!... but during all this time i used to use the monitors front panel switch to turn it on and off whenever i had to leave my computer un attended (while downloading, burning dvds or just going to the loo).. its a good idea to turn off the monitor while away to cut the power consumption.. monitors, especially CRTs are the main power consumers in the computer system. But turning off the monitor physically is not a good idea, because you are using up the precious number of cycles between failures of a switch which is in accessible for you to replace easily.. and on top of that its a semiconductor switch...not easy to obtain and solder back. So what do you do?? just set your monitor to blank out after 1 minute through the power options page in control panel. I suspect that virtually turns off the semiconductor switch; but not fully... its a PWM switch so probably the duty cycle goes down and it doesn't have to switch large currents instantaneously to do so. So in this way we probably preserve the life of those inaccessible switches. (I screwed my DP904C inside my Samsung Syncmaster 793s before i learnt this lesson fully!)

As for using the wall switch, well I will use that one to switch the mains power on and off to my system... arcing during turning off and humidity will probably get it long before its estimated MTBF .. but then what else have i got two spares for?... and plus i can easily replace those myself... heck ! even my grandma can replace those!.. you dont need to be an engineer for that!

so all contacts arc when seperated under loaded conditions (ie you see a spark when you turn off a switch)
and its this sparking that can cause whole load of damage,
Go thru the following video to see how bad and mean an electric arc could be. (go thru the rest of the page too, its quite informative!) http://205.243.100.155/frames/longarc.htm#500_kV_Switch

Talking about life and switches, all electronic components have the following characteristic life curves:




taken from:
http://www.torinoscienza.it/lab-vr/agilent/laser/index01.htm

These are called the bathtub curves... because they resemble one!
I believe humans and many other living/non-living things follow this curve.. When we are young there many factors which can cause our lives to terminate. Barring attacks by predators, disease or non-natural accidents, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) http://sids-network.org/facts.htm
seems to be a major cause of child death. It seems SIDS is like the having your brand new computer failing with the first week of its purchase... (I have heard the story of brand new computers failing the very next day many a times.. i have one of such experiences myself!)
In case of humans, there isnt much you can do, atleast not yet, but in case of electronic components, there is something called a burn in test, wherein a manufacturer operates each products that rolls out of its assembly line for a few hours at a testing facility and catch as many infant mortalities as it can. The thought is that since the device failure probability is very high during the start of its life, its better to have the device failed at the manufacturers end than at the customers end so as to save time and money wasted in transo=porting a "to be" defective piece of equipment to the customer and back; not to forget the lost goodwill of the company!

See page 909-910 of Digital Design - Principles and Practices by John F Wakerly (3rd Edition updated) for more on this bathtub curve!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

nanhe munhe bache pechan kaun!!



This picture was taken on 22nd January 2006 which was Elecrama 2006 Day 5 . The MUSN team went to watch a stupid hollywood movie "Just like heaven" at Inorbit mall malad. This hollywood movie turned out to be worse than a stupid bollywood movie....
The restroom featured above is the one inside the multiplex at Inorbit mall.



This picture was taken on 27th March 2006. The location is Juhu Circle... The circle has been broken now and traffic lights have been put up; but people still call it Juhu Circle. Pleople who are new to Mumbai get confused with this... they keep asking where is the circle. Even more confusing fact about it is that it was maintained by Lokhandwala Builders, so some used to call it Lokhandwala Circle (there was a big signage "Maintained by Lokhandwala Builders" on it. This lead to total confusion as there is an another circle just outside "Swami Samarth Nagar" which is popularly known as Lokhandwala. So just to avoid the confusion, the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai broke one of them (Juhu Circle)!!...
Anyway, the above picture shows how a person can extensively influence the minds of millions in just a few minutes. Kudos to Naveen Prabhakar for achieving such a feat. Laughter is the only way to win the hearts of so many in so few moments!! He created an instantaneous fad in India. Its some what like the fame that Bill Gates has achieved. Everyone uses Microsoft Windows. And everyone knows Bill Gates as the founder of the company which made Windows. And surely each Indian has initiated atleast one phone call to his/her buddy with the phrase "Phechan Kaun?".. And everyone knows it was Naveen Prabhakar who said it on Worldwide Television First!!

NP is a dude!!! Waise Raju Srivastav bhi koi kam nahin... Thats another guy who has a good imagination!! He has an uncanny ability to personify non-living things like tubelights and candles into actual living beings. And his comic narration of Marriages leaves one laughing like a mad man...

Laughter is the universal binder among all living beings. Thanks NP and RS for making this world a merrier place to live in!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

el lamington road kaminos!

ADSL Splitters Gallery.........

This is what you get with your ADSL Router when you subscribe to MTNL Triband:



This is what you get for 225 rupees from a supposedly "trustworthy" shop in Lamington Road (we bought Deepti G's computer from this shop!! and thats working pretty fine... although her monitor was a wee bit off.. but we got it fixed for freeeeeeeee)... bloody piece of shit this splitter turned out to be.. wasted 225 rupees.. that to from my first salary... One measly inductor and one capacitor... WTF is this world coming too??.. I hope the guys who sell such stuff get Gonorrhea or Syphilis :



This is what you get for 110 rupees... sexy chinese stuff.. works better than the black box which you get from MTNL. Got this one from Lamington Road too. From a shop which specialized in telephone components. When in Lamington Road, its pretty hard to figure out whom to trust and whom not to!



Oh and why do we need a splitter?:
(following taken from http://www.adslguide.org.uk/howitworks/splitter.asp)

What is a splitter?

Everybody uses splitters on their telephone lines. If you want to connect up more than one telephone into the same socket, the chances are you're using a splitter. When you're connected via ADSL, you need a special type of splitter which contains a micro-filter.



Why do we need a micro-filter?

There are two reasons why they're required. The first is to stop the ADSL signal interfering with the voice part of your phone line - this sounds a bit like 'fast clicks' when it happens. The second reason is to ensure that the ADSL line is terminated correctly. Without becoming too technical, an unmatched termination can cause reflections back down the line. This is a bad thing and can cause errors on your ADSL connection. The above graph shows the frequency range that your phone (POTS) and ADSL occupy. Don't worry if you don't understand because it's not all that important to the end user.

for a bit deeper info see... http://www.ja.net/development/network-access/adsl/technical.html

finally! Mumbai will have its own metrooooo!!


Thursday, September 7, 2006

AVR Workshop at VESIT – A Report

The Electronics and I.T. Departments of our college had organized a workshop on Embedded System Design Using AVR Microcontrollers. The workshop was held on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th of September. Professor Dhananjay Gadre from NSIT Delhi was invited to conduct the workshop. 45 Students attended the workshop.

Professor Dhananjay Gadre is a certified AVR Consultant and has written a book on the subject together with numerous other articles in various magazines. It was one of these articles that prompted me to contact him via email. From then on I have in constant touch with him. I had let him know about Robocon and how our college had been faring in it over the years. Since he was in Pune at the time of the competition this year, I invited him to look at our robots during our stay at MIT, Pune.

He met our guide Professor Abhay Kshirsagar and it was then that the idea for conducting the AVR Microcontroller Workshop came around. On returning from Pune we immediately set towards organizing the workshop. Professor Gadre has quite a lot of experience in holding such workshops so organizing it was a breeze. We were constantly in touch with him via email and phone. He had developed 2 kits for such workshops and had agreed to bring those for the participants to work on.

The following are the details of the workshop:


Day 1 : 1300-1900 Hrs, Thursday, 01 September, 2005

On the first day Professor Gadre taught us the basic principle of designing an embedded system. He threw light on the various constraints which a design engineer must take into account before designing a system. He started right from enumerating the differences between a microcontroller and a microprocessor and went on to speak about topics like Real Time Processing and Hardware/Software Partitioning which lie at the core of the subject. He made the atmosphere lively by sharing anecdotes and practices followed by the industry in this field.

After the Tea break, the kits (PCB and components) were distributed. The participants were divided into groups of 3 each and each was assigned the task of soldering a kit. The idea behind getting the students to solder the kits themselves was to let them get the feel of the microcontroller system before they went on to program one. The whole exercise took on a totally different track when all of us soldered the wrong resistors on the PCB. From then on it was what one would call an “Organized Chaos”. Students had to get on to de-solder the wrongly placed components and put in new ones in their place. Such an incident helped the students become more aware of the problems which one might face when creating an embedded circuit and how they could prevent those by carefully paying attention to each step involved in the process.

In all, the first day turned out to be a fun exercise.

Day 2 : 1300-1900 Hrs, Friday, 02 September, 2005

In the morning, before the workshop, some of us took on the tasks of rectifying the errors which the students had made while soldering the kits the day before and we were able to fix all of those kits before the workshop began.

Professor Gadre spoke about the features of AVR Microcontrollers. He also spoke about the instruction set in brief and at the end he assigned us the task of controlling the brightness of LEDs using the technique of PWM by writing a simple program in assembly language. Some of us completed this exercise on the same day while the rest of us were successful in doing it by the start of the next day.

Day 3 : 1300-1900 Hrs, Saturday, 03 September, 2005

In the morning we took Professor Gadre to Lamington Road where he bought some components for future workshops. On returning back for the workshop, he explained more about the AVR Microcontroller series and the onboard resources available on these microcontrollers.

He explained about implementing serial communications by giving us an example of how one could design a system similar to the voting system used in the television programme “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. The idea was to use the RS-485 Communications protocol to carry out broadcast and unicast commands on the same network.

After the tea break we made a list of projects that we would make for presenting on the Technology Day. Each group was assigned a project and we set to work on them.


Day 4 : 0900-1900 Hrs, Sunday, 04 September, 2005

We spent the whole Sunday completing the projects which we had taken up. At the end of the day, all of us were successful in finishing the project with much time to spare.

At the end of day 4 we had a photo session before the official end of the AVR workshop. We thanked Professor Gadre for spending his valuable time to teach us the basics of the AVR Microcontroller.


Technology Day: Monday, 05 September, 2005

On the Technology Day we presented our projects to the college staff and students.

The projects which we had made during the workshop were:

  1. Brightness control of LEDs using Pulse Width Modulation - The brightness of LEDs were varied by changing the on and off times (Duty Cycle) of the square wave applied to them.

  2. Real Time Clock - A Real Time Clock was designed using the onboard counter and timers and the computer terminal was used as a display. The microcontroller communicated with the computer using the onboard USART.

  3. Inter-Microcontroller Communication using PORT pins - A running LED pattern was implemented using total of 8 LEDs; 4 each from two different microcontroller boards. The microcontroller communicated with each other to display a continuous pattern spanning all 8 LEDs

  4. Digital Oscilloscope - The onboard Analog to Digital of the AVR Microcontroller was used to sample the input voltage and the waveform was displayed on the computer terminal using USART

  5. Displaying Patterns on a CRO - A Microcontroller with 2 attached DAC was used to control the electron beam in X-Y Mode to display any pattern of our choice.

  6. Electronic Dice - An Electronic Dice was made by using seven LEDs and the on board counters. The random nature of the time elapsed between two key presses by the user served as the randomizer for the Dice.

  7. Multi Counter - A counter which was able to count in binary patter or Gray code pattern or Excess-3 Pattern was made. The counting mode was selected by input from computer terminal via USART

  8. White Line Detecting Circuit – A circuit was made to detect a white line from a dark colored background.


We received an overwhelming response from the staff and students. The first year students were particularly enthusiastic in getting a first hand look at such projects. We told them how they could go about making such circuits. We promised to provide them help in the future for organizing such workshops and any projects that they may want to take up.


In all, the AVR workshop has been a pleasant experience and we have learned a lot from it. Thanks to Professor Gadre’s insight and experience, we were able to achieve more than we could imagine. Due to lack of space, we could only allow the fourth year students and the VESIT Robocon 2005 Team for this workshop. We hope to hold such workshop again in the future for the second and the third year students also.


Anurag Chugh

D16 04



Monday, September 4, 2006

lost my religion

What is religion?
- a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny
- an institution to express belief in a divine power

What is god?
The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being; however, there are other definitions of God.
For example:
Many religious and philosophic systems consider a God to be the creator of the universe.
Some traditions hold that the creator of the universe is also the sustainer of the universe (as in theism), while others argue that their God is no longer involved in the world after creation (as in deism).
The common definition of a God assumes omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence. ...

In brief , religion is a belief system and God is a symbol to represent it. How wierd can that be, you cant see or touch or smell belief.. and you cant do that with god either!
If God is supposed to be the symbol of belief then we should be able to see, touch, smell or atleast feel "him"

Many people believe that God exists.. others believe that he doesnt!

As for me... I believe he exists... he/she is the creator of the universe...
How can I prove his existence?
Simple, just because something exists, therefore there must be a creator, hence just because the universe exists, therefore there must be a creator... we choose to call him/her "GOD"

But my definition of god is rather limited. I just see him only a "creator".
And because god exists, hence there must be a God's God too!! (Hint hint: Stephen Hawking style!)
By limiting the God's role to only being a creator (and maybe an observer... the creation of the universe was his experiment and he is busy noting down the observations!)
I mean to say that man is actually the creator of his own destiny.

Consider the whole universe as a big experiment being conducted by an experimenter called GOD. Now for every event that takes place, GOD makes a note in his notebook. Every event could have been triggered by either of the two causes:

(1) GOD was being too curious, and that curiosity led him to interfere with something and that led to that event happening place

(2) The event took place as an outcome of the "natural" interactions between components of the universe
(by "natural" I mean the set of rules or mathematical model which forms the basis of GOD's experiment!). Man is a component of the universe.
(After thought: Woman is also a component of the universe (heheheh). We consider men and women to be the different sexes of the same species. But another way to look at them would be to consider them as two different species having a symbiotic relationship... they both need each other to flourish and "supposedly" prosper!.... for more on this read Dr. John Gray's Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006016848X?v=glance)

getting back to the topic..

Most people believe that (1) is the case with the GOD's experiment... GOD is just to curious.. and interferes just too regularly... so they try to attract his attention by praying and stuff... so that he would interfere in their lives and somehow make them happy! he would interfere not to make them happy but out of mere curiosity of knowing what would happen if such and such thing was done to such and such "components of the universe" (read men)

I believe in (2). The experiment that GOD has started is has features diverse enough that he doesnt need to interfere. All events happen because of the natural interaction between the components of the universe and GOD is kept busy just noting down the observation... he doesn't have time to interfere in its working!!

There is one funny aspect of this ridiculous theory of mine, most people believe in (1); and most of these people who believe in (1) also believe that ignorance is bliss...
So if you believe that ignorance is bliss and also believe that GOD can interfere in your life, then you must also believe that GOD is curious!

ignorance is bliss and curiosity... both opposite ideas!!!

my theory sucked anyway!

Coming back to deciding our own destiny, let me first reproduce here, one of today's top news story:

--->

Sydney- Zookeeper, film star and environmentalist extraordinaire Steve Irwin died as he had lived: getting as close to, and personal with, Australia's most dangerous creatures. It was as if the zany 44-year-old showman had devised a way of death that both summed up his devil-may-care attitude and had an eye to how it would look on his tombstone: Speared through the heart by a stingray while diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Irwin was a jumble of contradictions: an astute businessman who liked to pass himself off as a village idiot; a self-made man who actually inherited from his parents the money-spinning Australia Zoo on Queensland's Gold Coast; a nature lover who seemed obsessed with stalking and taunting wild animals.

Irwin was set up for a life of danger by his zookeeper parents. They gave him a python on his sixth birthday and by the age of nine had him catching deadly saltwater crocodiles with his bare hands.

Or, at least, that's the way Steve the charmer liked to tell it.

With the catch-cry "Crickey" and togged out in khaki shorts and shirt, Irwin won worldwide attention as the Crocodile Hunter. The television series boasted an audience of 500,000 and spawned merchandise like Crocodile Hunter dolls and led to a feature film.


He was at once shocked and delighted by his instant and amazing success as a filmmaker.

"It's insane, mate," he hollered at the Sydney premiere of the 2002 feature film Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. "I'm bigger than 10 bears. I reckon you'd be pretty right if you said I'm the best known Aussie in the world."

When United States President George W Bush visited Canberra in 2004 Irwin was on the guest list for a barbecue at the prime minister's residence in Canberra. Characteristically, Irwin turned up in his trademark khakis to greet the most powerful man in the world.

The muscular bloke with the bleached hair and the ragged clothes had a penchant for exaggeration. Everything in his hyperactive world seemed larger than life.

He famously declared Prime Minister John Howard to be the "greatest leader in the entire world" - injudicious remarks about a political leader that raised hackles.

A knack for self-promotion and a business-savvy American wife led some to see him as having grown too big for his desert boots.

Said Irwin's business manager John Stainton: "It's what happens in Australia. You stick your head up and you've got 10,000 shotguns pointed at you."

Worse was to come for Irwin. In 2003 he was left defending the indefensible after cameras caught him feeding chicken to a hungry 4-metre saltwater crocodile with one hand while holding month-old son Bob in the other.

Pictures of a stunt performed in front of a paying audience at Australia Zoo flashed around the world and had viewers wondering whether the madcap bushman was simply mad.

Australians, in letters to newspapers and in comments on talkback radio, were universal in their condemnation.

Stuart Hastings, writing to The Australian newspaper, noted the logical inconsistency in Irwin's declaration that little Bob's life was never at risk: "If his baby was in any danger from the crocodiles, then Irwin was guilty of gross dereliction of his parental responsibility. If there was no danger from the crocodiles, then the whole of his crocodile feeding act is a fraud."

Irwin took on a much lower profile in his homeland after the episode with baby Bob.

He leaves a wife, Terri, and two children. Bob is now 3. His sister, Bindi Sue, is 8.

Sting ray gets its name from the razor-sharp barb at the end of its tail, coated in toxic venom, which the animal uses to defend itself with when it feels threatened.

Attacks on humans are a rarity - only one other person is known to have died in Australia from a stingray attack, at St Kilda, Melbourne in 1945.

"Stingrays only sting in defence, they're not aggressive animals so the animal must have felt threatened. It didn't sting out of aggression, it stung out of fear," Dr Bryan Fry, Deputy Director of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne said.

"Steve came over the top of a stingray and the stingray's barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said the ebullient Irwin's longtime producer John Stainton, who was with him at the time.

"It's likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don't think that he ... felt any pain," a tearful Stainton told reporters

<---

Another great hero, lost! Yes I like to think of him as a hero! He was my kind of hero.. I would have given anything to be in his place! His passion for nature was and still is like a communicable disease. Just watching him on TV, one would feel like as if he/she was actually there with Steve doing what he did best: getting up close and personal with the wildest and the most ferocious... ok ok .. I know I sound like thepromo for The Crocodile Hunter!

But the fact is that its much too painful to know that he is gone forever! His family would miss him a lot!! The whole world would miss him a lot!

Why did i like this guy so much?? What was so great about his act? How was it any different from the guys who tried to break records buy swimming naked in sub zero waters for seconds?

Consider this... there is a beautiful and intelligent girl which is the most eligible bachelorettes of our time...
What would this girl think when he sees two men on TV:

One is the guy who is trying to break a worlkd record by swimming the ongest in subzero waters and the other guy is Steve Irwin who is trying to rescue a crocodile from some dirty marsh..

what would go on in the girl's mind?

"The first guys is probably stupid, what do I care about under sea swimming at sub zero temperatures?.. we are never going to do that!!.. and probably half of that guys' reproductive system might have got screwed by now after spending so much time in sub zero waters!... i dont want deformed kids!!

but look at this Steve guy, crocodiles apart, this guy is fearless and is quick witted. He has nice muscles and probably knows how to survive in nature.. If the ice age was nearing, I would probably marry the first guy... but before that happens, I think we would be under threat from our own selves .. some one would probably blow up an Electromagnetic Pulse Bombs... The ones used in the Matrix movie series to fry the electronics of any machine. (Detailed: http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/kopp/apjemp.html)
Very few people would die of such a bomb instantaneously, but its after math would be real bad... crippled economies, no food or hospital services, no electricity, no water supply... Skills of 95% of the worlds population would be rendered "ZERO" , Getting 90% in your university exam wont help you in dealing with things to follow, So I would rather go for Steve. He would keep me an my kids alive even when the industrial world crumbles under its own weight! We would flee to some forgotten of the cost of Australia and live happily ever after!".

Stupid hypothetical situations apart, the fact is that I really beieved in Steve.. So what if he fed a hungry croc with his baby on his side... Maybe I would have done something like that too!!... I am equally insane.. He had a passion ... a mad passion for nature... He lived that passion and thru TV made it possible for all of us to share it with him !! HE WAS A FOUNTAINHEAD!!

He lived life dangerously.. no he wasnt a fraud... he knew it was dangerous and that someday he would have to pay for it... he forced luck on his side and never got killed before until this once... stupid stingray...He is the only other person to have been killed by a stingray...

I believed in Steve for his passion. I believed in Steve in trying toshare with people his passion for nature. I believed in his craziness. I feel sad for his wife and kids... but they should be proud to be Steve's family. He and his wife Teri were a perfect match.. If you want to know the meaning of "MADE FOR EACH OTHER"... well they were it!

Today also happens to be the Birthday of my dearest friend Shomika. One of the most influential girls in my life. She could stay calm in all situations.. one who held her head high above her shoulders and had a courage which never faltered.

If all this about God, heaven and "afterlife" is true, then I have no fear of death.. because I know that I will meet my dearest friend Shomika on the otherside.

I learned a lot from Shomika. It was many days later after her that I actually came to know that she was gone.. I coulndt believe it.. more than 2 years later and I still cant believe that she is gone.. Whenever I pass near her house, I always rememeber seeing her standing at the bus stop every morning in her uniform waiting for the bus. I remember her too well. We both knew eactly what our friendship meant to each other. In that sense I dont have any regrets. But what I do feel sad and helpless about is the fact that I wasnt there with her during her last moments. And the fact that I came to know about this so many months after she was actually gone only makes it worse.
It was because of her that I could make my way through worst of the days.. I would remember how some people around her mad her life sickening for her... and how she dealt with it so smoothly..
I always thought if she could do it, so can I..
She was one of me role models... just like Steve

I believed in Shomika.
I believed in Steve Irwin.
I had ultimate faith in them.

They were a part of my belief system; my religion.
I lost Steve, I lost Shomika, I lost my religion.

Shomika was the first person to fill up my scrap book.. her is her entry:



Here is a pic of me and shomika at the 12th Std Farewell party :



Here is a picture of me, shomika and ayush s .. at the 12th std farewell party:


Monday, August 7, 2006

The Last Question

Recent floods (previous year's 26 july 2005 and the ones happening around today) evoke one to think about the fate of human race... Remember the movie "The day after tomorrow"? .. Maybe we are screwing up too much with our environment??? But then again maybe thats the way its supposed to be?
The second law of thermodynamics states: "The entropy of an isolated system not at equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value."
So one of the logical outcomes of the second law is that the human race will continue to exist as long as it manages to increase entropy of the universe at a rate greater than what it would be if it were extinct. So all the nonsense we do actually enables us to survive longer as a race... Imagine.. all the hot soupy particles of the solar system came together to form the sun and the planets (decrease in the entropy!?!) just so that we would be born - and the universe will have nice candidate to help facilitate its own extinction.. The ultimate state where all energy will be distributed evenly and finely over the whole universe..
Its called the Heat Death theory. It makes a nice read .. e specially on bleak windy and rainy days when you are trapped indoors. Well if you are trapped indoors, then a better idea would be to read Isaac Asimov's The Last Question.
Where will you get a book on a rainy day when you are trapped inside your house?
Well, just buy or borrow the book and wait for a rainy day!

UPDATE ON 2007-12-25 21:50 +0530:
You can read The Last Question here: http://www.multivax.com

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Radio/TV License

I can't believe that we were required to have a licence to own and use a Television for Receiving Broadcasts. Indian Posts and Telegraphs used to issue such licences in India. Some countries still require users to have these licences (See Wikipedia Article on Television licences)!!
I found our old TV licence stashed somewhere in our house. I scanned it and put it up here. Imagine the waste of time, standing in line, to fill up forms, submit documents and getting this license - so much effort, for just being a lazy couch potato.



Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Genesis and Metamorphosis

Diary Entry for Saturday, 25 February, 2006

       Many people write books. Many people read books. Any kind of books. Authors spend time thinking and re thinking everything that goes into it. They take utmost care into what goes into it. They think 10 times before putting down a single sentence. Hence there is always something artificial about books. The thought process has been adapted to be very lucid for the reader to follow. But what if we write about the birth of an idea from its inception (when it takes birth in a human mind), and follow it as it matures in the mind of the same human.
       I endeavor to do that here. It might not be just one idea. It might be many ideas. You can call this a diary entry. If you ask me why I didn’t blog this out? Well I just don’t care that’s why. Its just a piece of document, which I felt would be a nice way to record all the emotions that my heart and mind experienced as I make this journey thru life. I am not going to care about grammar here. Spell check is the maximum. I wont be editing any sentence that I put down before any of the last few sentences. I might not even read them again ever. Not unless scrolling down affords me a few glimpses of the same.
       I write this for the people who know me well. People who have seen me grow.Grow: in terms of understanding the world better. A few handful of friends belong to this category. They would be the only people who would understand what I feel while I write some of the things here. Maybe some day I would do some thing great. Or something impulsive. Some thing good. I wouldn’t care if the whole world knows that I did something worth dying for. The goodness of what I would have done would depend on only what these few of my friends think. They have touched my life in ways more than one. They are a part of me. Whatever I do or would have done , they all have played a part in it. They have been with me long enough to leave some part of themselves in me. If I do something good, they would probably be proud of themselves for accompanying me thru a few walks in life. They would believe more in themselves to have done something right in being a friend of mine. I would be the happiest then!
       Like Richard Feynmann said : life is like gods playing chess and we are just observers who don’t know the rules. We observe their game and try to figure out the rules and just when we are about declare the completeness of the rules we have thus far formulated, one of the players does “castling” and its back to the drawing board for us. A new phenomenon requires a new theory to explain it.
       Why cant we just record such phenomenon as exceptions to the existing theory and move on?... probably because man hates uncertainty, or better still, because we feel the need to do something about them (the exceptions)!.. scientists wont like to be jobless either.
       So lets begin at the beginning… I would like to pick up a point in my life so as to spilt in a sort of A.D. and B.C. kind of fashion… The best ..probably the best.. would be to mark the completion of my reading of “the fountain head” as that origin point. Lets split my life into BFH and AFH then…
       There are many thought that come to peoples mind. People form religious groups, orkut societies, discussion forums, blogs, news paper columns, TV shows etc etc.. to try to discuss various ideas on a single or varied topics in an attempt to “understand” it better… I believe that the word understand is a misnomer.. all that these people are trying to do is to look at a given topic with as many viewpoint as possible… if that’s what is called understanding then its good… but no one told me or confirmed with me on this before so I am just assuming it.. .. Its like you formulate as many theory as you can about a regular event. All these theories will have some exceptions some where… ie they wont be able to explain everything about that one thing… so when you discuss, you exchange theories and when the time comes we use the theory which suits the best..
       Sneha calls me a pessimist.. maybe I am. Would like to die a slow painful death someday. I wouldn’t want another human to be the cause of my death and I wouldn’t want my body punctured in anyway… the kind of death that I love best would be the one caused by trying to stand up against nature itself. It would happen while I am in a forest like the amazon or on one of the poles or something like that. The situation would test my physical and hence mental endurance to the max. I would be just one man against nature. There would be only two ways out.. either I endure long enough till nature takes pity on me and spares me only to get me at some later time.. or if my time has come and my body fails me and nature overwhelms me.. I think of death often. I remember Shomika often too..
       I could go on forever and ever before I pen down my current thought.. after all there has to be the seed somewhere.. what’s the point preparing the ground if you aren’t going to sow the seed .. I watched Rang de basanti with Sneha… She and I were the only one in my class who hadn’t seen the movie. She was the best friend I could have watched the movie with. Not sure what makes me say that but given a chance I wouldn’t have watched it with anyone else.
       Immediately after we watched the movie we weren’t that much impressed by the movie. We both like it but couldn’t understand the fuss about it. We thought it wasn’t worth watching twice. Sneha and me still think it isn’t worth watching twice. But after thinking about it more and more… I have increased my liking for it. I had been waiting for some instrument of inspiration like this for quite sometime now. “The fountainhead” came close but it wasn’t powerful enough to be it by itself. RDB adds to its force. Both things.. the book and the movie, are unrelated, but they teach you recognize what’s probably the right from the wrong and do something about the wrong. I still am not sure how exactly to define right or wrong .. maybe anything which helps us to flourish (read reproduce to increase our population and still at the same time be peaceful).. for example: kill corruption to kill poverty to enhance the lives of the poor so they can too can reproduce fruitfully (healthy progeny with lower mortality rate.. due to lesser diseases.. etc etc)… long chain seemingly leading to lesser chaos but actually leading to more randomness when looked at it from the “whole universe “ point of view. What’s the logic? simple: more humans means more entropy creators and …..
"An important law of physics, the second law of thermodynamics, states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value; and so, by implication, the entropy of the universe as a whole (i.e. the system and its surroundings) tends to increase."

       As I think about it (RDB) more and more everyday, I find better ways to understand life.. (formulate more theories although each will have some exceptions).
       Thanks to my mummy, Smita and Sriram , I now have at least a nice understanding of the meaning behind the phrase “Rang De Basanti” .. Basanti refers to the saffron colour in Hindi. Saffron is one of the colors of our national flag. It stands for sacrifice. Hence the name of the movie. In Hindi basant ritu means spring season.. spring comes after autumn .. autumn is the time when old leaves fall from the tree onto the ground and turn brownish (saffron!) and decay. The decayed leaves serve as manure for the trees both old and new.. they make way for newer green leaves in the spring time.. they sacrifice themselves for a newer generation to take over them…Maybe this is how the saffron colour came to be associated with sacrifice…
       I don’t know how far this is true but I don’t really care if its true or not.. this explanation brings out the emotion associated with the above phrase in the most complete manner .. “Expression Completed” is what I would say to Deepti while explaining this to her.
       In the fountainhead, we see that Ayn Rand has divided the world into different kinds of people…. Each of them have some single distinguishing feature in their personality. In real life, people in general can be (maybe?) described as a weighted sum of these basic components of human nature… In the fountainhead, Ayn Rand has split the human nature into its basic constituents .. in a way a prism splits sun light into its basic colors..
       Coming to sun light, I often wonder what true worship means?.. is it just people traveling to places called pilgrimages to just do some predefined set of acts which their parents taught them ? or maybe it’s what people do when they go to a temple when they are sad ? do they do it just because they have to ? do they actually feel good when they do it? DO THEY ACTUALLY DO THE ACT WITH ALL THEIR HEART? On one of the Elecrama days… while coming back from Bombay Exhibition Centre, the bugging auto driver asked me which god I believed in.. I said none before he went on to explain why we should have faith in some form of god.. I thought I wasn’t listening to him.. but now I have realized that there should be something we should have faith in .. and I found that idols and temples are just the symbol of that faith.. faith in life.. that tomorrow will be a new day.. Its when I realized that it was really important to choose a symbol for your faith in the “Future”. I had already chosen my symbol long back and that to without realizing it. It was the “Sun”. Everyday while going to school or college.. I saw and still see the sun rise.. I see it spreading its light over the earth .. in summers and winters. It fuels life. Everyday looking at suns from the window of the bus makes me feel that yes everything is alright. I feel grateful. I feel proud to be alive. I feel the physical warmth being converted into a different kind of warmth. The kind that touches your heart. I look at the sun straight on and in my mind I bow to it. I feel all this with all my heart.. In winters and summer.. even when the sun burns me as I walk along the streets of my city.. I think is what is the true meaning of worshipping something.. something which is immensely more powerful than you are… I still don’t believe in the concept of God. I don’t even understand it.. But I really don’t care anymore.. If anyone asks I would say: “The Sun is my God, I worship the Sun”. I don’t get to see the Sun on days when I am supposed to be sitting at home studying for the exams.. I don’t feel good on these days.. Maybe this is one of the reasons.. why I hate sitting at home trying to study for exams.. If I was a marine on a sub marine.. I would be probably be dead sick by now without the sun…
       After I saw the movie (RDB) Saurabh asked me how I liked it and what was the message I got from it/ what I thought about it. I said that I have a very high probability of doing something like that too.. but he said that’s what we shouldn’t be doing.. ie we should not be impulsive.. Is it really so? Another thought entered my stack for background processing.
       As I traveled to college the next day, I felt the sun making things clearer for me.. Just night before, after talking to Saurabh, I had also spent time chatting with Deepti. I felt that the company which we wanted to start needed something special.. it need a special kind of “weapon” to get thru to people.. I remembered Ellsworth Toohey from The Fountainhead.. he was the well read guy who had spent time reading philosophy and making himself powerful by telling people what they wanted to hear and when they wanted to hear it.. he wanted people to live for others and hence cut out all innovative thoughts and reduce human life to a dull boring mundane thing. He tried to gain power over people by using a particular approach.. Gail Wynand, Ellsworth , Keating and Roark.. all had some successful times in their life.. what if one of each of these kinds of people came together to fight against a single cause (Roark once said to Gail :” I would die for you but I wouldn’t live for you… in such a case since their aims would be the same, they would also live for each other..). The single cause would be to clean the world of all the corruption and allow the innovators to come up.. we would help them to do so.. Sriram liked the idea about what our company would do.. he liked that the different personalities which we (Saurabh, me, Sriram, gautam and nandu) had would help the company to persuade people to help us help them. I realized that all of us were different really when we all had interpreted RDB in a different manner. Saurabh thought that the movie warned us against impulsive thinking (this thought was still in y brain ka stack) .. I was more touched by the trust and friendship which were unbreakable among the friends. Such bonding and trust would allow them to achieve whatever they wanted to.. I longed for friends like those.. maybe Saurabh Sriram and Mithil could be cone of them? I expressed this in the only way I could.. I printed and give them on copy of:
Very closely associated with the beauty of the mountains are some special emotions which the highest and wildest peaks provoke. I feel a special excitement when I look out over thousands of square, miles of untouched country. I feel it again when I walk where only a handful of men have walked in, the history of the world, when I explore some hidden ridge or crag, or when I make the first track across a great unbroken snow field. Again I feel a special excitement to be alone in the high silent places of the world tucked close under the sky. Such things are worth a little insecurity and sacrifice.
Speaking of aloneness, this brings up two other important values which I find in mountain climbing solitude and companionship. Paradoxically the mountains provide both.
The companionship provided by climbing together is almost universally valued by mountaineers. The friendships established are lasting and irreplaceable. When you have walked the feather edge of danger with someone, when you have held his life at the end of a rope in your hand, and he has later held yours, you have an almost impregnable foundation for a friendship. For the deepest friendships spring from sharing failure as well as success, danger as well as safety. There is really no substitute.
Indeed, this is one of the regrettable trends in our present civilization. Real friendship is increasingly - difficult. _How often do we see even our best friends? Once a week? Less than that? If we hardly see them, how can we really share joy and tragedy with them? I think men are made for a deeper sort of friendship. If they miss it, they miss something very important in life. Men are made for the close warmth of a friendship tested in danger and adversity.

        I hope they understood what I wanted to say.. I knew they would.. There are too many things I want to do before Death comes.. But I don’t feel like doing it alone. Maybe I wasn’t made to do anything alone. Maybe I haven’t yet like above. Only the time can test such bonding between two people and when it does test , it would probably be a time when one of them lost something .. something important..

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

       Last night while trying to persuade Ranjit to watch RDB (he doesn’t believe there can be such friendship between two people), we came to talk about the physical damages which we had inflicted on people.. of course unknowingly.. he had cause a hand fracture in some one.. and I had cause a split upper lip I Ritesh Mehta.. Ritesh Mehta - a guy who was always prone to getting hurt.. his face is all covered with scars left by cuts and bruises.. Ranjit tried to explain that by saying that some people just don’t have the basic body defense mechanisms in them..
       The next morning it made me think that if the body’s defenses are anything important.. it would probably prevent people from doing things which might hurt them.. things which seemed right on impulse but after spending a long time thinking on it seemed to be a bad idea.. A fire which if started needs fuel.. just like a impulsive thought in a man to do something about some wrong done to him.. even though he might perish trying to fight against such injustice. If prevented from being impulsive, he would have more time to think about the consequences of his actions and his body’s self defense might render him to not carry out his plan once he is released. This would douse the flame which burnt in him initially. It had no fuel to burn on anymore and hence it died out. That’s what spending time in jail did to revolutionaries (“political prisoners “). But Azad and his friends kept chanting slogans and hymns of victory against injustice and that kept their fire burning brighter and stronger than ever… it allowed them to sacrifice themselves without hesitation for a cause which was greater than themselves. Maybe to achieve something larger than life you needed to be willing and able to give up life itself.. If it wasn’t for impulse, no kind of revolution could have ever happened. Impulsive action (shooting the archbishop) started the World War I (??) and has also caused may people to commit suicide and do other bad things.. but impulsive ness is also necessary to bring about a change for the good…
       Coming to one last thought today.. before I make Deepti read this.. she is the only one online now who would understand all this..
Gandhiji once said “ why doesn’t man feel good to see another man?”.. well we should flourish peacefully and so this is probably the right question to ask.. but having seen just too many star trek episodes.. I think the better question to ask would be “Why aren’t we proud enough to be alive?.. why don’t we just feel good to be alive?” forget being an Indian; forget being an Asian; forget being a human even !Just be happy to be alive…
       One last thing that came to my mind is what Mr B Shailendra Said to Saurabh today: “ Degree (as a proof of capability) is something only those people want who don’t want to work.. people who want to don’t care about it“ This is exactly my philosophy … just amazed to hear it coming from seemingly the most improbable person to say that.. maybe I didn’t understand this guy well enough.. He said something which is comparable to another piece of wisdom which I think of as the greatest and the best guiding advice ever:

“What a man can be, He must be!”



A highly non-linear rainbow day

Friday, 09 March, 2006

March 9 was a weird day. It rained on this day like it never rained before. I use that hyperbole because march is supposed to summer time!.
It started raining since morning.. and off course cool breeze was blowin’ too. This the best climate I like.. few showers after long long dry spells. The smells generated when rain first contacts with ground is the best smell ever. All this put me in a really really nice mood. I messaged Deepti about it. On the way to college I could see in a distance that there was a hole in the cloud cover through which the sunlight came through. And as it did, the sunlight was scattered by the clouds or the rain drops and the whole scene was like a halo over the Gilbert Hill. It was mesmerizing. In college all the “Elektorama” people and “Roboticon” people had to assemble in the newly created “Development Lab” . We spent the morning stuffing the stuff from their cardboard boxes into the cupboards. We threw the extra tables and empty boxes outside. All this time Kirti’s job was just to take out things and then put it back.. heheh. As for me, I like arranging things in a neat efficient order. We had proper sections in the lab for soldering, practicing for Robocon, mechanical work, cupboards for storage, computers, displaying certificates and off course displaying out projects!. We had a “Dabba” break in the science college’s canteen. It was fun. Chinmay Barve had bought rajma. I had bought same old same old parathas. After this break we continued arranging and cleaning the new lab. Then for sometime we had to go outside the lab as the staff had to cleaning it up.. sweeping and mopping happened. All this time we were sitting in the easy revolving chairs outside the lab. It was fun. We played truth and “truth” and bugged lots of people. Kirti was the “thing” which was rotated to point to the next victim. This was fun. After truth and truth we went to the canteen. We meaning me , Kirti, Sneha, Smita, Sanket, Barve.. We had lots of stuff to eat: dosa and dosa and masala dosa, fried rice, cholle bhature and noodles and etc etc. It was nice because after so so long Kirti and me actually had a chance to spend some good time together. We couldn’t stop pulling each others legs.. After canteen we went back to the lab.. The usual faltugiri followed. Me and Kirti went to library to find out the next shows timing at Cinemax Sion. It was 9 2 11 at 1615 hrs.. but the sneha, smita and hase spoilsport incorporated ne hamre idea pe paani pher diya…so we returned to work.. Then kirti and sneha started cribbing about shweta and charuta and richa etc not being there when the they themselves were working on getting the project to run..
Waise merui gaalis ka ko asar shweta and company pe hota to nahin but still kirti and sneha feel the need to come and crib about those people every now and then which is okay.. atleast for a change it is someone else (and not me ) who is complaining and cursing kuttegiri and gang.
Then Prerna came and I had to help her solder a new relay PCB.. Relays are the best!!. Mr Santosh Ramani had made such a complicated circuit for her to solder.. it was really sad.. why do you need capacitors to drive a relay?.. Tea break followed.. uske bad me and sneha went to “keval arts and crafts” shop… we had to make our way thru the mucky and narrow paths of konkan nagar.. We rarely looked up, there was much too many dangers to look for on the ground.. the wet dirty roads were really a disaster waiting to happen. At the shop we bought oil paints and stickers and sparkle glue for Snehas slam book. When we returned to college we saw everyone standing outside the college.. looking at A nice big Rainbow. It was the best site ever, we took fotos. It was the largest rainbow ever.. We could even see the second maxima clearly. It was really a breathtaking site. It felt as if our sole purpose of life was full filled. And then the rainbow faded out and we went inside. We got a tub and poured water in it. And then used oil and oil paints to try to make that marble paper which didn’t turn out so good but at least Sneha got the idea how to do it! Maybe she could do a better job than me! suddenly there was a commotion outside and when we came outside, we found out tat Kshirsagar sir had met with and accident. Our college had hired 3 cars for accreditation work and kshirsagar sir was in one of them. They had a really bad accident on a bridge. The car was really crushed and kshirsagar sir was really in pain. One of the other cars had bought him back to college from where he took a taxi to home. Two of the staff accompanied him to his house ..After that we tried decorating a few more paper using sparkle glue .. it was fun!! Then we used the ubiquitous hot air soldering iron the make a few more pages of her slam book by burning patterns in paper. During this time parag and barve were trying to get the central machine … parag tripped over it twice.. looked like the machine was still cursed! After are faltugiri was over we went to tastings in Sajjits car where we encountered a Nepalese waiter boy who had tough time remembering our order.. So our dinner was a bit delayed .. but we had lotrs of fun.. and all this time my mummy, brother and mama mami and cousins were having fun at Inorbit mall! After our visit to tastings, me and kirti took and auto.. kirti dropped me at the bus stop.. it took me 50 mins to get home.. it was cold and the wind flowing into the bus was making it even worse.. I don’t mind the cold but the thing is that you cant sleep in the bus if its cold.
Over all 9th march was really a weird day.. mostly because it rained when it shouldn’t have and we saw the rainbow too.. Like Kirti said .. it was a special day only for me and her.. I will allow her to punch in a few words here and there to make this more complete.. Life is beautiful!


Kirti’s account

Well well well……….it really was quite a special day for me as I had the pleasure to have all of anurag’s attention for a change……….and instead of me hitting on him, he seemed meherbaan on me…………guess the 2 aurat’s influence is waning finally.

The reason I am adding on to anur’s already long account is becoz he seems embarrassed to write all the very romantic things that he said……for eg,

He said “tu icecream kha le kirti, main samjhoonga ke maine hi icecream kha li”

Thnen another bouncer, “the 2 of us will go for a movie , baki log nahi aaye to chalega”
Phir who mera haat pakadta hai aur kehta hai ki yaar ab main haath nahi chodoonga.

Finally he wrote out “kirti” on a sticker and said he would stick it on his t shirt near his dil………talk about mushy……….

So yes it was an unconventional day becoz for a change, I was getting wooed and to confess, it felt rather good.

But then I do know that anur’s attention is going to be rather shortlived and his new found affection for me will soon wane ………… becoz I really think I wont b able to match the 2 auratein……………..

Yet I will cherish my only romantic evening with anurag…………kya pata …….kal aisi khushi mile na mile.