Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Better conception = Easier Execution

Wow, I am back after almost a year and a lot has changed since.

Okay, so this is one important concept I have studied in my PM course and sort of knew that it was true. But I got a good handson today. I have my cousin’s diesel car with me for some days. But due to the monsoon, its engine gets cold if not used frequently. And then it does not start. This happened a few days ago and I had to call my mechanic to get it started. He used a simple wire to heat-up the heater coil by connecting it to the battery electrode, but charged me 150 bucks. Ya, labor in India is getting expensive.
I used the car a couple of times last week and then again it would not start on Saturday. No way would I spend 150 on a lame wire trick this time. I knew what to do, I only needed the material. I was not sure which type of wire would work, and that was the toughest part because the wrong type would even burn my hands or something else could go wrong. So I had to plan everything properly and with a cool mind. Then I remembered I had a tool kit which contained a battery to battery connection cable in my dad’s car. That would surely work. So I got it last night and decided I would give it a try today morning 7 am. I leave for office at 7.45.
As planned I tried to start the car at 7 and it did not. So I opened the hood, connected one clamp of the wire to one electrode of the battery and took the other clamp near one of the heater coils. It touched the engine covering in that process and gave out sparks. No don’t worry, this had happened even when the mechanic did it, so I knew I was on the right track. I touched the clamp to the coil and started feeling the heat in my hands. After 3-4 seconds of heating, I tried to start the car again, but no success. I knew it needed more heat. I clamped the wire to the heater coil now. And tried again after 3-4 seconds and VIOLAAAA!!! The engine came to life like when the mechanic had done it. I was so happy that I could DIY some car stuff, which is one of the wishes of a lot of us car owners to know what goes beneath that hood. Total process took not more than 10 minutes. Had my planning/design/conception been not proper, I wouldn’t have seen success.

Moral – Always take more time and effort to plan and design a project properly and it will make the execution much easier.
More examples always welcome.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Premier League

The past few months have been predominantly occupied by cricket. The ICC world cup started on 19th Feb and since then the cricket fever is rising with the rising temperatures of summer. We won the world cup on 2nd April and within a week the IPL season 4 started off. Some said it will lack the fun this year because of the recently concluded world cup and it was not entirely incorrect. The fun seems to be reducing now, since people have realized, though a bit late, that they are the ultimate losers, and the players and organizers are minting money, whether they win or lose.

But the fever has caught up with my company and the eInfochips Premier League (EPL) is in full swing. I am strongly against the IPL matches, but am totally enjoying the EPL ones, since there's not a single paisa involved....PURE SPORT HERE. My team has already lost both matches and we are out of the tournament, but another team from my department is the topmost as of today and have played really well throughout.

This is the first time I am involved in such intra-company matches...well, I did participate once, but it was carrom...so a bit small scale u know. But otherwise, matches in my earlier company used to be played at Dadar and travel itself used to be a big turn-off. But being in the heart of any city has its own advantages and so now I can be on the ground within 15 minutes from home.

I always used to think it would not be that much of an involving experience since it is between colleagues and friends. But when it comes to cricket, some people do get quite serious; whether they are playing or not. I am sure many of you will agree to this, since such people can be found in all companies. And some seriousness is surely needed to perform and stay there on the ground for the entire match, which is not at all easy especially in such a city where temperatures cross 30 deg. cel. at 7 am in the morning. Still, a couple of them have crossed the 100 figure mark already. You might think the bowling was not as good, but still to make so many runs facing overarm bowling is no easy thing. One of my friends made 102 n.o. today and I was truly stunned. He was the opening batsman and stayed till the end of all 14 overs hitting 13 fours and 4 sixes facing 49 balls...looks like the score of Gayle or Yusuf Pathan. The bowlers also did well to restrict the opposition to just 56 runs by bowling them out in 9.5 overs and the run rate has now put the team in the top spot and a secured place in the semis
(wow...I can be a cricket reporter).

I admire the players' spirit and enthu because some of them head straight to the office after play and start working. This requires true love for the game and a very strong desire to play and give the fullest. One of our colleagues has played cricket at state level and even being around 40 yrs of age, he is very keen to give his 100% on the field. I have never followed IPL but am very much enjoying EPL and the feeling of being a part of the topmost team is indeed very exciting.

Keep it up boys!!

P.S. - Thanks Jaymin for the inspiration and good captainship...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mouse Hunted

"Justice has been delivered"....these are the words spoken by the proud President of United States Barack Obama in his address to the nation, or rather to the entire world on Sunday when the most significant Mouse Hunt in US history was concluded in the mice hole of the world - Pakistan (we Hindustanis call the place something else, but thats besides the point). The most wanted mouse Osama Bin Laden was shot in the head by US Navy Seals which all of us know by now and I share my extreme happiness with all of you.

This mouse had been causing a menace all over the world for a long time now and has been spreading a very dreadful disease called Terrorism. Lot of innocent men, women and children have fallen prey to the disease, irrespective of their religion or nationality. But it is the US determination which did not forget the death of its people and finally succeeded to deliver the justice. I am jealous that they don't have "the spirit of Mumbai" which whole-heartedly accepts whatever anyone comes and does to it. Infact, such people are taken special care of and given our own food and air and water to survive. How shameful, pathetic, loserly and cowardly....

The biggest good news in all this is that he has been killed in Pakistan, right near the capital and ya I know, near a military camp. I read somewhere that he was even called as a visiting faculty to the camp sometimes to deliver some lectures on "Offense against the white arts". Today I feel really proud that Mahatma Gandhi divided the country and saved us from facing this shameful moment which has put more sh*t on their face. I would like to pray to honourable Veer Savarkar to leave his wish to get that piece of land or rather that mice-hole back in our home. The pakistanis should atleast show some wisdom, or borrow it from us if they don't have it, and hand over the where-abouts of other mice they have hidden.

And our corrupt government should now not sit back and fear when will the mice retaliate. Rather, they should hit the iron now when it's red and try to eradicate the other mice who have troubled us. I am sure our black cat commandos are equally capable of the courageous act performed by the US Navy Seals. Else, in light of the ongoing corruption charges the government is facing, people of Hindustan will sense some underworld links of the government.

The media can play a big and matured role in this regard. It was very childish and irresponsible to show some random face as that of osama yesterday, when the US had not even decided whether to publish the photographs or not. When will our media grow up?? I was happily astonished that not a single Navy Seal officer has been named or revealed and the President has himself taken responsibility of the entire operation. People might see it as election campaigning, but I also see it as the correct way to act as the Commander-in-chief. Our media
, on the other hand,
was showing live coverage of the operation in Mumbai. Grow up kiddos...

But we, the citizens, should be alert and vigilant once again, since we are still the soft targets to fall prey to the disease. Our PM is busy trying to have peace talks and I hope he doesn't get stabbed in the back again. And if he does, this should be the last time ever. It should be our time to deliver justice (nukes). I request you all to keep your eyes, ears and noses open and looking for anything suspicious.

Be safe !!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The greatest sportsman ever...

To start the blog, I was looking for a lead and found Big B's blog on bigadda.

The exact sentiment which has been coming to me from the day Sachin scored the double ton is shared by Big B. That same day, Sachin has proved that he has attained a place where no one has ever been and probably will never be. What follows now is just raising his own bar higher and higher. I have read a couple of self-motivation books and found mention of players like Tiger Woods being greatest players and how they manage to be great. They all are great including Sir Bradman, but the greatest is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.....the son of the country once ruled by another country which has never won the world cup of the game invented by themselves till now and neither do they have as great players in the history of their game. He has no extra marital affairs nor has he been involved in betting scams or flirted with any woman married or unmarried or such filth. He is the greatest sportsman on earth and an even greater human being.

During the football world cup, I was hearing accolades of how some players were so popular and were highest paid and thought if they had actually achieved anything. Sachin has achieved all these records in such a game which depends mostly on the team performance, generally. Had he been playing in a one person game like tennis, he would have made the world feel that their 10 fingers are less in number to put on their mouths or their two hands are less to bow down to him.

I sincerely feel the time is ripe and has come to award the degree of "Sir" to Sachin. But wait a minute....am I doing exactly what Big B has said we have been doing??? Yes....Sachin doesn't need a "Sir" but rather a "Mahatma" to be added to his name or something of that greater sort. And I have little doubts that if other countries manage to get good batsmen in the future they will be called "Sachin Tendulkar" of their resp. country. And every parent will feel there should be Sachin Tendulkar and in their own home (Marathi people will prolly know what I am talking about) and kids in developed countries will want their parents to call them "Sachin" like we have been calling our Sameers as "Sam". I am proud and obliged to share the same first name as the master and already thank my parents for that.

Salute to you Sachin....asach khelat raha ani jagaala namavat raha....amhi kaayam tujhya paathishi aahot.

Jai Hind....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finally, an app for Mumbaikars

During my stay in Reading, UK last year, I came across an interesting iphone app. It could tell the user the exact door to get in a particular London Underground tube rail to get out right in-front of the exit, to avoid tourist rush and exit quickly. I am sure lot of research and programming must have gone into it, considering the number of tube lines running in London. But the programmer earned some 3000 bucks on the first day itself, paying a handsome return for the efforts.

And I immediately thought, how useful it would be to have an app which tells about the local train in Mumbai, the time it would leave from a particular station I am at, if it is fast or slow, and if it would stop at a station I wish to go if it is a fast train. Sorry for the confusing lingo, but Mumbaikars will get all of this, am sure. And to be frank, I myself downloaded a coupla ebooks on flash programming to see if I could be the one. Come on, I too have good programming skills.

Anyways, I did manage to get employed with a IT company, but for my structural stuff. But a few days back, my collegue from Mumbai showed me an app called mIndicator which does exactly the same stuff I just talked about. But that's not all, it also has BEST routes and taxi and rick tariff cards. Ya...it is too good to be true. Best part is, you don't need an iphone to use it, because it is a java app, meaning it can be used on any phone with java. And it doesn't need a GPRS connection either, except to check your PNR status or mega-block details. The time table of trains also shows the trains only from the current time onwards and not from the first train in the morning. This is more than a humble little Mumbaikar can ask for. The app is created by Mobond. More details about the app can be found here.

Mobile age is very much here. Looking forward to mobile season tickets and card tickets now....like mobile boarding passes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The third dimension...

Some days back, I was surfing google maps and found a small window on the right saying "Maps" and I hovered my mouse on it and it slid to expand into "Earth" and "Satellite". To see what the new thing was, I clicked "Earth" and it asked me to download a plugin, which I did. After clicking again, it started loading, but thanks to my home internet, I couldn't achieve the end. So some time I checked back and to my amaze, Google Maps can now be seen in 3D. This is different from the street view feature and I saw Ahmedabad, but was not much excited. So I thot I will see Mumbai (thinking it won't be much different either, knowing the innovations to be implemented in the "major cities of developed countries" first) and I was surprised to see the 3D of the icon of Mumbai's spirit, The Taj Hotel. And then I also checked out my favorite structure of my city, the Bandra Worli Sealink and it was a literal virtual drive.

More easy access to the wrong social elements, I know, but its so amazing to see it. Do check out...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Being here, did it...

Hella fellas...how was your festive season?? I hope you all had lot of fun having sweets and bursting crackers. So did I, though I didn't buy much crackers. But I had lots of fun for sure, starting right after Ganpati festival.

Yes, right after Ganpati, people here in Amdavad were busy with preps for Navratri. Shops and females started getting ready for the long awaited Navratri festival (the festival of 9 nights to put it literally). Traditional gujarati dresses showed up in shops and as per each year, each female had to spend approximately 1000 bucks on clothes and accessories. Ya, accessories are important as much in quantity and price as the actual dresses. And the variety one gets to see here in both is mind boggling (and mind perverting, at times). Party plots all around the city started getting dressed up with stages and food-stalls.

And the festival began and got exciting with each passing day. I went on the first weekend, courtesy our office, but just watched and came back. Basically, I used to go for the disco dandia when in Mumbai during the college days. But here in Amdavad, they only play garba, their traditional dance which is very complicated. Or so I thought at first sight. So we went, saw and came back in an hour. However, on the second (and last) weekend, my colleague offered me passes to a club hosting the garba and they were a group of 10 or so. But I told him I would just watch as I didn't know how to play the garba.

But after going there and seeing the crowd and the atmosphere, I couldn't hold myself. I went into the crowd right away and joined the group. And it was pure fun. I played for an hour or so and could pretty much pick up the steps with the group. Then after a break of about 10-15 mins, a very interesting variety of folk was played. Its called Sanedo. Its a hot favorite among the young crowd and children here and it is sure fun. Have a look...

After this the second round started, but it lasted only for less than an hour. But it was already 1.30 in the night. So then we started leaving for home and to my surprise, my colleague asked me if I wanted to go with them to have fafda and jalebi. Ya, I had the same reaction, but he said that it is a custom here. On the last nite of navratri, people dance till the morning and then go to the sweet shops and eat fafda and jalebi. I, however, didn't feel like eating it at that hour of night, so we left. But while on our way back, the crowd at every road crossing made us change our minds. And we finally bought some of it, went home, ate and slept off.

I had never thought I would be in Gujarat, that too in Amdavad, during navratri, during my college days. But I enjoyed it fully and appreciate the people here for their enthusiasm and appetite. Diwali was more of crackers and rituals comparatively, but still enjoyable. All in all, festival season was great this year and I am waiting for the winter to set in now. And ofcourse, for the Uttarayan in January.

Coooool, isn't it?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ganpati Bappa Moraya !!

Ten days of His stay in millions of homes and crores of hearts is sadly over. And so we rightfully say "pudhchya varshi laukar yaa" so that He returns quickly next year. Because these ten days are the most waited for. He brings a lot of joy, mental strength, confidence and hope with Him. And this year he has also brought Goddess Lakshmi with him (Sensex touched 20,000 and Nifty touched 6,000 on Tuesday, His day).

But for me, apart from all this, He Himself came to my home this year. Yess, we had Ganpati in our house starting this year, which used to be at my uncle's house till last year. And my happiness had no bounds. I was not part of the preparations at home since I was in Ahmedabad and so could not join our gang to bring Him home the previous night. But when I reached home on the 11th morning and saw Him virajmaan in the makhar, khushi ke aasu started gathering in my eyes. It was like a reward to my intense devotion towards Lord Ganesh and a strong belief in His powers. I pray that He stays with me all along and bless me with such opportunities to serve Him.

So there was the much awaited modak lunch and again my hunger knew no bounds. The next day we had the avartanas as per every year and then bid Him farewell in the evening. It was a very sad moment, but the 1 1/2 days were like bliss. I hope you all too had a good festive season and may want to share with me here; so do add to the comments.

Ganpati Bappa.....Moraya!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Life time experience...

It is true that Silence speaks more than words, but not in blogs. And my silent blog has been longing for a post for quite some time now. I have been deciding to write since the day I landed here, about the revisit to memory lane, back to good ol' Cincinnati and the US on the whole. But didn't quite get down to actually doing it till now....when I am just 4 days away from going back to mera India. Laziness is the foremost reason for it, but then what can I do if my apartment doesn't have an internet connection. So, that is the main reason for the silence.

Having decided that, I will keep posting about my trip here when I return, the same way I did when I returned from UK (ya, I know I never completed that too...but there are more reasons for that, anyways). The reason I for my post today is the one amazing experience I had yesterday evening, which most of the people I know have'nt had till now in their life. Wait...don't start imagining things....I am talking about flying. Well, wait again...I know most of you have had that experience more than once, and me too. But did you fly sitting in the cockpit...alongside a pilot....and did you actually try your hands on the control stick??

Yessss... I had the privilege to do all this, all thanks to my colleague here in Alexandria, AKH. He has a license to fly and takes flying hours every year at the Alexandria airport. When he mentioned this to me and my colleague, we were both excited and expressed interest in accompanying him during his flying hours. But he was not able to find time till yesterday to do it. The weather too was good and so he planned to fly and I was to accompany him.

We reached the airport at 3.50 pm, but were in queue due to some delayed flying by previous people. So we had to wait for half an hour and we spent it talking about general flying in US. The line-up of aircrafts infront of us was quite varied from a Cessna 172 to a helicopter. There was one with floats too. And then the aircraft and the moment arrived. We headed for it and
AKH started doing initial checks of fuel, oil etc. I got my camera out only to find the batteries fully drained out, which I had anticipated. So I put it back and pulled out my LG KU990 viewty to do the work (I mean my cellphone which has a good 5 mp camera). After filling the oil he asked me to "hop in".

That was an ammmazing feeling to sit infront of the huge instrument panel and wear the headphones. I remembered all the movie scenes I had seen till then, and was so glad to enact one of it.
AKH then warned me not to panic if the latch of the window opens...gulp. I made sure its firmly in place a couple of times. He then started explaining me all the different instruments, controls and their use...lot of stuff. He then announced his take-off on the radio and we entered on the runway. He pulled the throttle full and we started speeding. What a feeling that was. And then he gently took-off and that was when I notice there was a huge lake at the end of the runway....gulp again. (Here's the video).

We then started gaining altitude and saw all the nearby lakes, went over our workplace and then started heading towards the tornado hit area near our county. He wanted to see the damage it had done. After looking around for a while, we could see the path of the touchdowns. The oak trees were badly hit and could be seen uprooted and twisted in all directions... here's a picture.

We went as far as Wadena county and then turned around. And
AKH told me to take the control stick. I was a bit scared initially but then could fly pretty nicely, since there was not much to it, as he had said. That was one experience of a life time. After about 5 mins, he asked if he could do a landing-take off cycle, and I agreed almost instantly. He showed me the location of his new house and then we landed....pretty neat work he did there and immediately took off for another quick round and came back. It was the most happening hour of my stay in US so far and to remember for my life, all thanks to AKH.

He has promised to go again on Monday, if the weather permits...so hope for the best!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gender Equality

I was catching up on J's blogs and came across this blog about Lords of the ring and thought of bringing up a strong discussion I was having with M on this past hot Sunday morning. It was all about what is expected from a guy and his family after the girl comes to his house. And also that the guy is expected to work whole day and then again help or accompany his wife in the kitchen, even though she is not working full time. If he works whole day and then says "My part is done, I am gonna stretch infront of the TV and relax while the wife will make dinner", its considered the biggest sin done by him. Then I asked M, if the girl is working then can the guy say "You work whole day, I will quit my job and make food for you and enjoy the rest of my time, you be the bread earner of the house?" she said, "no that's not socially correct". Again the same social norms which J talks about.

If gender equality is expected, which btw is only seen prominently in India, then it should really be "Equal"ity. The thing that a girl is allowed to expect whatever she wants and the vice versa is not correct is a wrong thing. But this thing is so much into our minds that when M said that she wished to contribute for the expenses of our first anniversary getaway, I was initially perplexed, since it would not sound "socially" correct. But then she explained that if by her contributing we can enjoy a much better hotel stay and gifts for each other, why not. And after some calm thought, even I felt that was the right way. It was her hard-earned money which she wished to spend for both of us, the same way I wanted to and it was totally correct. And we did have a blast.

So guys, don't give in to each n every demand. Keep in mind, girls want equality and thats what we need to give them ;).