Thursday, December 29, 2005

Come Back Chitrangada

Dearest Chitrangada Singh/Chitrangada Randhawa aka Geeta Rao

Keats once said, 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'. Add to that intelligence, talent and some sophistication, the resulting cocktail can be quite a heady mix. I am writing this letter under the effect of an intoxicant called 'Chitrangada Elixir'.

Let me first confess my personal feelings towards you before I come to the subject of this letter. I am madly in love with you. I don't know how, but you somehow perfectly fit into my idea of my ideal soul mate. Now, its not just your physical appearence which need no words of praise, (they are beyond praise). Somehow I am able to connect to you on a mental level. YOu may be the antithesis of traits that I desire in my lover, but I don't want to hear about them. I want to keep alive forever the image of you as 'the one' made for me.

Your dad may send the entire Indian army against me; I don't care, I can face them. Your husband Jyothi Randhawa may smash me around all the golf courses in the world but I don't care. Just allow me to worship you silently and just know that there is this young boy who loves you like he has loved no one. Thats all i ask.

I don't know from where I have mustered so much courage to so openly express my feelings, but since i have said them out, let me not repent. This will give me the courage to express my love to 'The One' if and when I meet her in my lifetime. That said and done, let me come to your movie(s). I have used the parentheses on purpose. I know that you have acted in 2 movies, Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi and Kal . I'm sorry to say this, but I have watched only HKA. I do not intend to watch Kal for sometime because I am very upset with you. Upset because you have disappeared from the cine scene after Kal. And if the journalists are to be believed, you will not return.

My Goddess, after 23 years of existence on this planet earth, I have finally found the type of films which are story driven and the heroine is also potraying a strong role with absolute dignity. i have also found a heroine who is not afraid to perform unconventional roles. I feel driven to watch your movies in the theatre. You will not believe this, but I felt really hurt and pained when theatres removed HKA, just when I had finished all my submissions and was ready to come over to watch HKA.

Please do not drive such a stake into my heart. If the reasons for your withdrawal are personal, then I will absolutely respect your privacy and decision, but if your decision is because of some disillusionment with the industry, then I request nay insist that you come back and let us have absolute freedom from the likes of Ash (ash is what she is), Rakhi Sawant, Rimi Sen, Kareena kapoor, katrina etc

Please, please, please, come back and provide the balm for a wounded heart. As of now people are comparing you to Smitha Patil, but I know that you have the potential to surpass her.But I personally want to see you establish yourself as Chitrangada, carve out your own niche.

Come back Goddess, your devotee waits for you with tears rolling down his cheeks. Come and wipe them. Make me smile...........

This stanza from the song 'Radio' by The Corrs sums up my state for you:
You are in my head
Swimming forever in my head
Tangled in my dreamsSwimming forever Swimming forever

and to quote from the OST of HKA
Bhaavre se is jahan main Bhaavra ek saath ho
Is sayaani bheed main bas haton mein tera haath ho
Bhaavri si dhun ho koi, bhaavra ek raag ho

I don't know the meaning of bhaavra. But pure love knows no language right my goddess? Lets treat 'bhaavra' as the empty letter blocks in scrabble.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Who cares! The event is over"

The last week has been a wonderful reveletion with regard to cutting edge technology in the fields of power quality and AC motor drives. 20th and 21st December saw the presence of the lovable, good natured Prof.Ned Mohan, the author of the bible for every power electronics student and a foremost innovator in the field of power electronic converters. 26th and 27th December saw the presence of the soft spoken, quiet Prof. F. Rahman who is a leading exponent on AC motor drives.
The workshop on Power Quality was a beauty because Prof. Mohan was ever so eloquent in his explanation of the various converters that are in use, the 'fundas' behind every one of them, and the best part was, he taught as if he were teaching a baby. Even 'elementary' doubts were answered and commented upon in such a way that the questioner felt that he/she was being praised for such a line of reasoning.
The other workshop on drives was literally a climb up Mt. Everest. Infact, the beauty of this workshop can be explained by saying that it was a journey to the centre of the 'DRIVES' earth. Observe this my fellow bloggers, whether you are an Icarus or an outlaw, this workshop was equally challenging.

Ah, before you think that this is going to be 'roses roses all the way and not a thorn in sight', let me assure you that since this is India, such expectations are not allowed. Mobile phones blaring away, constant opening and closing of the door, people entering and exiting, (yours truly included, but out of compulsion not out of will because I was a volunteer) were all part of the show. The attitude of some of the 'top-notchers' among the set of students here was also equally disgusting.
1. The feeling that they were beyond all work that required them to 'get their hands dirty', so to use the term. What I mean is, they were there to share credit, but when such work arose where there was some potential to draw flak, these luminaries were never to be seen, or at best, they used to 'delegate' responsibility.
2. Criticising (not constructively) some of the presentations.
3. Washing their hands off any further responsibilities once the participants had registered and had paid their fee. Specially irritating was the final comment that I heard today from the mouths of these luinaries, when some participants asked for a separate receipt for their accomodation charges, "Chalta hai yaar, ab to nahin hoga. Dekhte hain"...

My take on the issue is that these big headed luminaries exhibit such behaviour because they have a few publications or patents in their name. They are more concerned about getting things off to a start and not completing it thoroughly (unless its their own work); whereas it is ironically many fellas like me (whose research is being roasted in the fires of Mordor who need the supporting shoulders of time) who take up the job of a finisher, a la Michael Bevan. And everyone knows where Bevan ended up finally.

Ultimately I refuse to see the negative side of things. My reseach may go down the drain, I may fail my M.Tech, but I will be a good human being, a good team-man. As Varakavi Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre, (popularly known by his pen name Ambikatanayadatta) said in one of his poems "Yenadaru Sariye, Modalu Manava Nagu" (trans: Be what you wanna be, but be a human first)...............................................................................................................................................................

Thursday, December 15, 2005

'Quo Vadis' Indian sports?

Quo Vadis is a Latin phrase and translates as "Whither goes thou?". A more apt phrase cannot be found to summarise the state every Indian sport with the exception of chess and kabbadi finds itself. Whats even more appaling is that the problems that plague these sports are due to the petty politics played by the administrators. Nothing else. The players are as committed as anyone else would be in their respective fields. Let me summarise a few points:

Though the team is doing well, we can trust the five monkeys aka the selectors to torpedo a steady ship. Yes, I am talking about the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly. He has his shortcomings, but he accepted punishment with humility and proved his worth in the domestic circuit. Selection followed naturally and he was told that performance alone would count. Accepting the challenge, he played two gritty innings in the Delhi test which were vital in the context of the game. Imagine the scenario if he had got out cheaply. One, of course he would have lost his place. But secondly India would have collapsed like a pack of cards. Will the selectors care to explain their action whose foolishness was compounded by the fact that ganguly's replacement is an opener named Wasim Jaffer who ideally should have replaced Gautam Gambhir. Strange are the ways of the five monkeys!!!!

A true prince to pauper story. Countries used to fear us and envy the rich pool of talent that we had (and have even now). But again trust the administrators to make silly errors in selection, constant chopping and changing, no extended run being given to a coach....

The fact that we struggle to win the South Asian title should convey the status of the 'beautiful game' in our country. no schemes are undertaken to popularise the game and even in case it is being played, active discouragement is given. My own school is an example: we were prevented from playing footer cos the PT teachers were scared that we would hurt the girls.......beat that reason!!!!!!!!!!!!! (please don't read any male chauvinism in this statement. i am just stating the true ground realities sometime arnd 1997-1998 where my school girls played nothing other than throwball, badminton and tennikoit. )

The lesser said about the other sports the better. Its only due to the perseverance of a few sportspersons that we get flashes of recognition in these sports. Of course there is potential in fields like tennis, golf, chess...But what is to be noted is that these are sports which rely on the individual more than anything else. The real challenge is to perform in team sports. Is India in a position to give a fitting reply to the question "Quo vadis?" or will the reply be "Que Sera Sera" (whatever will be; will be).......

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lunch, courtesy Murphy

Phew!! What a day!! After a backbreaking morning of transformer testing, I went to my guide to ask for a few suggestions regarding my project. What followed there was a quickfire La Mastermind round with accusations levelled about my 'non working' and firm denials from my side to the same. Why don't these profs ever learn to trust students!!! "What an irony!!An educational institute is for students, but in India the students are treated as bonded labourers.."

As if to compensate for my 'not-working', I was sent on a few errands to the department office which was duly and punctually shut down for lunch. Along came another prof, who had a look at the closed doors and said, "Arre Bhai, pakistan ki zaroorat hi nahin hai, ham khud apne aap ko haralenge"...Good comment prof, but your time of reckoning will come someday....

The errands ensured that i was left with 5 minutes to sprint back to the 'warm' environs of my mess for lunch. The challenge was duly undertaken and with about 3 minutes left I was behind my hostel. Now, the devil himself came bafore me and laid out 2 paths.

1. Rush headlong to the hostel take the risk of missing lunch.

2. Buy a patty at the local store and have a backup in case i missed lunch.

Not wanting to bite the bullet, i chose option 2 and rushed to the hostel. Wonder of wonders, hot steaming puris and chole were waiting for me...

This just made me wonder, "Is Murphy's Law true?"...If I had not bought the patty would i have got luch at the mess? I don't think so...Do You?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Life is a Power System

Today, I had one of the most gruelling lab sessions ever in my life. Some of you might say, "Whats the problem dude? Labs, classes are all part of a student's life." What if I were to tell you that the semester ended a few days back? I know, you would consider me crazy.

Whatever you may feel, this blog is not about what should be happening in my life or what i want. This is about how one has to fight for every inch in life (in my case for every deci-Hertz). Let me explain for the uninitiated. I had to perform what is known as an Open Circuit Test on a transformer by varying the frequency in steps of 0.1 Hz over a 4 Hz range. "Whats in that?", you might ask. Well, try doing that on an Indian grid. You will face a multitude of problems

1. The grid itself is coming out of what can be best termed as a joke. So, to expect a frequency variation like that of a dead person's ECG is tantamount to expecting the impossible.

2. The frequency variation is done by using an AC Commutator motor, which obviously obeys Newton's 1st Law of Motion and also tends to ever so slowly vary its speed.

3. The instruments themselves.....

Although it was a struggle to get those darned 40 values, it was great fun, running from the motor to the meter; from the analyser called Chroma (No, you come nowhere near my comp whom I call 'Laetitia') to the autotransformer.....Also managed to coin in a few analogies...

1. Frequency never stays steady at one value. It ever so subtly changes. So is the case with life. The dynamism is what makes it challenging just as frequency control is easily the most challenging problem in power system control.

2. Sometimes, the frequency change can be good as i discovered. The drift sometimes used to get me the next required value which I most definitely would have struggled to obtain with the gear arrangement that was present. So, my dear readers, lesson number two is losing control of life is sometimes a good thing. Dont be like Sarah of Sweet November who cannot bear losing control.

3. Mechanical control can be much better than electronic control in some ways. Similarly, if u have someone to hug/kiss, please do that. Don't rely on the phone/email to exchange ur love. (of course, if its feasible only)

4. 'Plain Jane' power analysers have better accuracy than sexy, sleek analysers. So, my last message is, please don't go by extravagance. Sometimes the plain janes or jacks are the ones made for you. As one of my profs said, "Unity power factor need not be the best power factor. The best power factor is one which is 'economical' to both the utility and the cosumer"....Make suitable changes and apply to your lives.