Saturday, August 30, 2008

the END

Prologue: Please read ahead at ur own discretion...the ones with a weak heart should leave the blog right now...lest u face the madness unleashed by the drunken mind.!!


U see urself lying infront of ur eyes ,

A body surrounded by teary faces;

In silence u stay wide awake ,still,

U see eyes bereft of life watching
Lips blackened with smoke smiling at u;

Fear deepens in your mind,
As logic starts to fail u;
In despair u look at the sky,
To see a sun fighting,
with the gripping darkness;
No birds and no clouds,
No sound and no matter;
Only an infinite space in gloom;

Your blood inside curdles,
Ur veins run dry,
Your heart cries to rip apart,
But its a cry in silence;
Your nose yearns for smell,
Only to find an arid breathe ;
Your tongue starves for taste,
Only to meet acrid tastelesness;

Slowly u realize,u feel
And u only feel
Left with only one sense,
The sense to feel;
Alive to feel the pain,
To savour the pangs of being dead;

Dry tears trickle out of ur eyes
Ur cries are silenced in a smother

As u remain in a dither
Dead with just one sense alive
or Alive with all but one sense dead

U want to escape , u want to run;but u cant-
Slowly u feel the heat engulfing u,

The fire gritting into ur body

Crashing ur bones,

Burning out ur soul;

Unbearable is the pain;

And yet alive is ur brain,

To feel and only feel;

Till its all gone, reduced to dust;

Its pain no more, its an eternal peace;

U realize He is here,

The Guardian of the forsaken

At the stairway of the unknown

To usher in a new beginning

Where nothing is beyond scope,

U live as a devil with hope;


Epilogue: Bull Shit!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

PhD conferment of Abdul Kalam by NTU Singapore

NTU honours Dr Abdul Kalam, President of India, 2002-2007, with the conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) on 26th August, 2008. The honorary degree is conferred in recognition of Dr Kalam's life-long achievements in the service of India, his international reputation in science and technology and his contributions to the improvement of India-Singapore relations.

A report on The Straits Times, Singapore local newspaper

This is the speech Dr. Abdul Kalam made on that day. Please go through it if you guys have time.

Dr Kalam's Acceptance Speech at
the Conferment of Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

21st Century University Vision
I am indeed delighted to be in the internationally reputed Nanyang Technological University (NTU) which, in a research intensive academic environment, is nurturing students from across the globe in diverse disciplinary strengths as well as entrepreneurial and leadership skills for the 21st century. My greetings to the students, faculty members, alumni, staff and distinguished guests assembled here. I consider it a great honour to me for conferring the Honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering conferred by the prestigious Nanyang Technological University (NTU). While I am with you, I wish to share a few experiences - my personal experience during my education, my personal observations on integrative approaches that have enriched the world, the creativity that is needed for the challenging problems confronting humanity and my thoughts on a 21st Century University Vision.
My first encounter with Integrated Learning environment
Since I am in the midst of students being prepared for techno-managerial expertise, I would like to give my experience with a teacher who taught me system design, system integration and system management in an integrated learning environment in the classroom.
While I was studying Aeronautical Engineering in Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), Chennai, (1954-57), during the third year of my course when I was a student, I was assigned a project with five other colleagues, to design a low-level attack aircraft. I was given the responsibility of system design and system integration by integrating the team members. Also, I was responsible for aerodynamic and structural design of the project. The other five members of my team took up the design of propulsion, control, guidance, avionics and instrumentation of the aircraft. My design teacher Prof. Srinivasan, the then Director of MIT, was our guide. After four months, he reviewed the project and declared my work to be gloomy and disappointing. He didn’t lend an ear to my difficulties in bringing together data-base from multiple designers. I asked for a month’s time to complete the task, since I had to get the inputs from other five of my other colleagues without which I cannot complete the system design. Prof. Srinivasan told me "Look, young man (this is in 1954), today is Friday afternoon. I give you three days time, by Monday morning if I don’t get the configuration design, your scholarship will be terminated." I had a jolt in my life, as scholarship was my lifeline, without which I cannot continue with my studies. There was no other way out, but to finish the task. My team felt the need for working together round the clock. We didn’t sleep that night and a few nights, working on the drawing board skipping our dinner. On Saturday, I took just an hour’s break. On Sunday morning, when I was near completion, I felt someone’s presence in my laboratory. It was Prof. Srinivasan studying my progress and the design. After looking at my work, he patted and hugged me affectionately. He had words of appreciation (he said): "I knew I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline. You have done a great job in system design”.
Through this review mechanism of Prof Srinivasan, I was injected the necessity of understanding the value of time by each team member and brought out the best from the system design team. I realized that if something is at stake, the human minds get ignited and the working capacity gets enhanced manifold. That’s what exactly happened. The message is : whatever be their specialization, the students should be trained to systems approach and projects, which will prepare them for new products, innovation and undertaking higher organizational responsibilities. A Teacher has to be a coach like Prof. Srinivasan. I am confident that the success of NTU is based on the foundation of its faculty and research tasks.
Integrative approaches transform the world
In all the projects that I have dealt with during my professional career, the time during my Presidency of my country, and even now, I have been coming across again and again how networking of individuals, disciplines, organizations, states and countries lead to innovative results and missions. We have been witnessing how complex missions demand synergising diverse disciplines and groups across the world to take up new avenues of research, be it improving the quality of life, exploration of the unknown or bringing peace and preventing conflicts. We are enjoying the fruits of technology expanding physical travel and connectivity beyond any realm of imagination in the past centuries. While the humanity can be proud of this kind of non linear growth of technology and expertise in many fields impacting the world at large, are we up to the challenges that confront us today? Take any issue - be it energy independence or environment protection or understanding the atmosphere or exploration of outer space or increasing outreach of science or equitable distribution of prosperity and wealth or dealing with deadly diseases or weaning people away from drugs or combating terrorism or preserving the family ties, they all require the creativity of best of minds from any part of the world. The question is we have to ask ourselves is whether the universities provide adequate breeding ground for such minds?
Creative mind
Inventions and discoveries have emanated from creative minds that have been constantly working and imaging the outcome in the mind. With imaging and constant effort, all the forces of the universe work for that inspired mind, thereby leading to inventions or discoveries. Higher the number of creative minds in an organization, the best results of invention and discoveries will emerge. Unique academic environment is an enabler for great thinking that leads to creativity.
Education for sustainable growth
As I greet you all in this picturesque campus of NTU in the city of Singapore, an innovative world hub for business, education and tourism, I have been picturing in my mind the revolution that has taken place in university education itself since my younger days. I have had the benefit of receiving quality education with value system from dedicated teachers. I remember with gratitude, the educational institutions and the teachers for their guidance and the life missions that they enabled me to take up. The evolving education system, and the successful accomplishments of many dynamic teams have changed the world immensely.
It is natural, therefore, the university system itself has to meet new requirements in the twenty first century. The number of universities and the number of students in universities have increased several folds. The number of international students has multiplied considerably. With the mobility of citizens from one country to another, the students belonging to multiple cultures live in most of the cities of the world. The costs of educational system have increased and funds availability also is an important aspect. The teacher-student ratio is a major issue. For want of quantity, quality and particularly research should not suffer. The universities, in my view, need to address four important criteria.
a) The education has to address the needs of the citizen for contributing to the sustainable growth in various areas of national and global development.
b) It has to meet the diverse cultural needs.
c) It should ignite the minds towards research and enquiry.
d) It has to be cost effective for deserving students to take up subjects of their choice.
Technology through communication media and internet has revolutionalised the education delivery, which needs to be used in conjunction with the direct teaching. The 21st century challenges faced by nations require the universities to address disciplinary and interdisciplinary subjects of relevance to the society. Now the question is, is it possible that university education can drive sustainable growth of a nation?
Some time back, I happened to read the Conference General report of the International Conference on Education for sustainable future in Sep 2003, which refers to central challenge for higher education for sustainability. Since it is relevant to this audience, I would like to quote
“The Johannesburg world summit for sustainable development has made one thing unmistakably clear that the political leadership the world over is incapable of rising to the challenge of sustainability. Yet, most of the hundred or so world leaders who attended have a higher education degree from some of the world’s most prestigious universities – the higher education sector is failing society by producing leaders incapable of addressing the most pressing problems. If higher education is the nursery of tomorrow’s leaders then the sector bears profound responsibilities to create a sustainable future. This implies that graduates of every discipline need a sound working knowledge about sustainability”, through their education in the university campus.
You may like to debate this view and arrive at a conclusion on the introduction of sustainable development in the teaching and research. Of course, NTU may have an answer to the above challenge.
Technology is a non-linear tool
Science is linked to technology through application. Economy and environment are linked to technology. Technology is the non-linear tool available to humanity, which can effect fundamental changes in the ground rules of economic competitiveness. The growing technological evolution in the last one hundred years is the testimony of the fact of this non-linear trend. Technology consists of stages like research and development, technology transfer, technology absorption and production of products or systems with the desired performance, quality, and cost-effectiveness Hence technology empowers nations through science. What are the future challenges facing the humanity, which needs to be addressed by the combined efforts of various nations?
New Paradigm for Science and Technology: Many challenges are going to be thrown on the sea, under the sea and above the sea. Scientists will also have challenges in bringing back a clean environment by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy from sun, wind and nuclear systems. Some of the future tasks are:

• Evolution of clean atmosphere by replacing fossil fuel by cost-effective renewable energy systems, leading to energy independence;
• Exploring the human body, particularly gene-characterization through the proteomics project for developing gene-based drugs;
• In the area of communication, a big revolution is setting in. High-bandwidth mobile wireless is in the offing. This could result in the mobile phone becoming a convergent system for multi-media applications for meeting the needs of communication in the office, home and on the move.
• Particularly for India, having 1 billion plus population, enhancing the food-grain output from the present nearly 230m tonnes to 380m tonnes by 2020 with reduced land, water and number of people working in the farms through the use of technology could be a role model for the rest of the population in the world
• A sustainable Rural Development through provision of urban amenities in rural areas (science and technology as the focus) will need innovation, research leading to products, systems and services in physical, electronic, knowledge and economic connectivities.
• Understanding precursors for phenomena like earth quake and tsunami which damage decades of development and put humanity into descent
• Evolution of Unified Field Theory, which may be the ultimate of physics, by revealing how the universe is born and how we are born;
• Evolution of an alternate habitat among the system of our galaxy for humanity by the scientific community of today and tomorrow;
• Evolution of earth, moon, mars complex to bring to the earth new material like helium-3 and other rare materials for the generation of solar power;
These are the some of the major areas of research and innovation, which need the joint research and development efforts of multiple nations based on their individual core competence. Certainly Indian Universities, Institutions and Nanyang Technological University can work on certain specific missions which are of our interest.
21st century University Vision
I have in the last ten years have met more than 3 Million University students and faculty from more than 150 universities in India and 50 universities in abroad. Based on this spirit, I wish to formulate a 21st university vision for your consideration.
• The universities have to prepare citizens of the future with a global outlook and be capable of serving his/her nation or nation of his/her choice.
• Science and technology and public policy are interrelated for mutual benefit and ushering in human kind’s development. This link has to be solidly built in the university education
• Good teachers can be in any part of the world. The university has to bring in this resource through innovative content generation in virtual class rooms.
• Technological connectivities among universities have to be pursued on a war footing using cost effective virtual class rooms.
• Cost effective continuing education possibilities are essential for citizens to be in tune with time.
• Can university education lead to sustainable development of the nation?
• With the world population increasing and resources dwindling, a mindset has to be developed for conserving and sharing the resources and look for new research for abundant resources. This calls for a “noble spirit” as well as a “research spirit”
In summary, the 21st century university education is about developing enlightened citizenship for a knowledge society for peace and prosperity of nations and the world. 21st century University has to be the incubator of world knowledge powerhouse. Based on my interaction with Indian and foreign universities, I have detected certain dynamics. Wherever there is research intensity, it has enhanced quality teaching and also the university has got a great name in the world of teaching. Universities from developed world with their vast experience of a century, have realised the significance of research as a foundation for the university. This is one dimension. The other dimension is that the student community with research focus will most aggressively ask questions. The third dimension is that the sharp gradient and accelerated development processes can give a platform for research for sustainable development. There is a large student community in the developing countries and there is an urge for higher education. Hence, we should see how we can empower them through university to university collaboration, student – faculty interaction, lab to lab collaboration, reaching out the world class quality teaching and research through a virtual reality environment with the excellent content generated.
Ultimately, education in its real sense is the pursuit of truth. It is an endless journey through knowledge and enlightenment. Such a journey opens up new vistas of development of humanism where there is neither scope nor room for pettiness, disharmony, jealousy, hatred or enmity. It transforms a human being into a wholesome whole, a noble soul and an asset to the universe. Universal brotherhood in its true sense becomes the sheet anchor for such education. Real education enhances the dignity of a human being and increases his or her self-respect. If only the real sense of education could be realized by each individual, and carried forward in every field of human activity the world will be a much better place to live in.
Once again, let me thank the members of NTU for giving me this unique honour of being conferred with the degree of Doctorate of Engineering. My best wishes to all the members of NTU for success in their mission of providing a distinctive education to the students for solving real world problems.
May God Bless you.

I have the whole world with me, but i do require the stipend!

I personally feel that having a good family to support you, good friends to stand by you and most of all an open mind to the world will make u a happier person than anything else in this world. Ofcourse money plays a major role in it. But it is definitely not all about money, I know many people would agree to that. Nevertheless it is strange that we tend to respect people with wealth more than a wise and honest man under poverty line. There is this song in tamil- "oruvan oruvan mudhalali", Muthu, which has lyrics about money and man. It goes like this-"If money is not your servant, it will be your master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him". All i have learnt regarding money till now is, when a person's stomach is full, it doesnt matter if he is rich or poor. I have never wanted money in large amounts. It was just to satisfy my basic needs, but sometimes i feel those needs are needs of a rich guy when viewed from a poor's point of view. I can have 3-4 meals a day, sitting in a lab with ac, while a person below poverty line has to work his ass off to earn a single meal for himself and his family. Now we can see why Gods(if at all they exist...) take the sides of persons with wealth. If he had created us so that we could peacefully co exist, he should have given equal priority(=money+happiness) to all of us. But then again if he intended us mankind to sort out that difference and help each other, then man he has no brains! If he wanted us that way he should have induced such thoughts in us rather than making us so materialistic and money-craving barbarians. That makes us feel that we do what we want to do going against anything and everything if need be. Man is made by his belief, as he beleives so he is. (a quote from Gita... I am not religious nor god-loving, and neither do i believe in destiny) .Not many of my friends are interested in literal money. But come on tell me how many of us wont take up a job that offers twice as much as what we get now? Though we perfectly know that we have been living with this amount till now, and we are well off with this amount, we want more. Why? What for? Money was one of the reasons that forced me to take up this PhD. These thoughts come to us only because there are different strata of people when the society is characterised based on money. People from villages yearns to live a city-bred life. People from city(In India) want to live like someone in USA. How many of us have cousins and friends married to people in USA and other countries? Why? Is it because the guy is super brilliant? No , its because he has lots of money to sustain both of them and probably their off springs too. This kind of divide came up only because concept of money came in. Why is earning money given such prime importance in this world? I sometimes wonder, we never should have interrupted nature in any way. That is a different kind of thought process, coming back to the money mindedness of humans like me...
After a long wait by me and hari, the much awaited stipend came by today. And i should say the excitement has not settled down yet. It is probably because this is the first salary we have ever earned till now. Like all, i thought i too would make a list of things i am going to buy( consumerism...), how much i will send back home and of course not to forget the social responsibility of charity. I will be very glad to send money back home. My parents are everything for me. They never denied me anything.I used to demand stuff and get it done. They have sacrficed many of their needs just for the sake of us children.. I am what i am because of my parents only (and friends of course).I also would like to help few friends whom i feel require monetary help.But i have a strong feeling i should do some charity in some sense.I always wanted to do something for the differentially-abled. My dad is massively involved in this blind organisation for quite a while now. I could do something for it. But it is not sinking in, probably because they do get a lot of attention these days. I want to do good to some portions of the society that hitherto have been touched. I want to see somebody happy(and happy is definitely not just money, it is a feeling that there are some people who care about the fact that they exist and look upon them as equals) at the end of the day, and it should be routed through proper channels. If you guys have any suggestions i am ready to take it up. Just leave a comment. Of course I have not decided on how much i will be giving, but i thought let me at least start this process... I maybe wrong in many of the views i have put forth till now. My way of thinking and analysing things might be very irritating to some people, but i know one thing for sure, being money minded is not me!. Hari was telling me that day (quoting from a book -Phantoms in the brain), being morale, kind and loving is there in our neurons, not many realise it, its there in our genes. Finally for what have i been writing about all this? I need some change in my thought process. I need to realise the more i get richer the more somebody is getting poorer. In control systems for any system to be stable(bare with me i am an Electrical Engineer), there must be a feedback, more importantly a negative feedback. Similarily in life we need to have this negative feedback, for the whole world to be stable, and that is by sharing the things you have , losing something you have more(could be money..)and being open to everything and most of all being a human!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ice Skate for the heck of it!

Ice skating is one of the things i always wanted to do. And when i had the chance i did not hesitate. 27th August 2008, an adventurous team of three headed by the ex-Nitc EEE Class rep(As always), went on to create a mind-boggling experience that sure will render in their hearts for ever! Yes, Me Hari and Ashish went for ice skating here in singapore yesterday.
The ice skating rink was not an open space but on the third level of Jurong Entertainment center at Jurong East. I had class from 10.30 to 12.30 in the morning. So we decided to go in the afternoon. Since it happened to be a wednesday, we students who had students pass got concession fee for the same. Normally it costs 15$ for 2 hours. We paid 11.80$ for unlimited time (privileges of being a student still...:)). We entered the rink with an air of tension and silence as if entering an exam hall with calculators in our hands.. alas it was not jus that,it was more than a lame exam.It was an experience and we thought we should savour every single moment of it. Nevertheless it was a hobson's choice. We gave ourselves no other option. It was like a pass\fail exam with the difference that you are sure you are going to fail it. Nevertheless we took it up. We were being men i should say! Not just for the fact that many girls were gracefully skating over there, but that we took it up! We put on the ice skating shoes and we could not stand up properly on it even in the normal floor. When we we entered the arena, the music started. :) We could see lots of people falling and skidding everywhere. There were few kids who were amazing, for them it was like playing with their toys. They were so graceful and never cared when they fell down. I think with age comes this ego where you feel uncomfortable falling in front of others. How i wished we were children again? We watched our steps, made sure we did not bump into anyone, unless it was a beautiful chick( we dint do that, although vice versa was inevitable). There were few girls who were learning how to skate, and if you happen to be close to them you sure are gonna get pulled down. It happened many a times to all 3 of us. I knew a bit of skating so i started skating properly after some time, nevertheless both hari and ashish were fast learners. They were picking up. I was trying to do different styles, turning and braking and rotating, which all ended up in me getting my bottom frozen! Although it was tiring, we took rest and continued.We started at 2.30 pm and went on till 5 pm. We would have continued if only me and ashish did not have that wireless communication class taken by hari's professor. We had to leave. So at 5.18 pm(singapore time) history was created by us, and we hope that history will repeat itself in a better way!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Madras Bashai

Disclaimer: This post is neither to hurt anybody nor to put down any language in any way.
Caution: Royal Usage (pun intended) of tamil language awaits you. Men who have not got their moustaches intact are forbidden to read further. I would suggest the females not to be too curious.
Few weeks back one of my best friends asked me the meaning of a word which I use very often. He happens to be in chennai only. I felt a bit guilty that after being so long with me he does not know proper Madras Bashai, so I thought I should do a favor to him by posting this....
Gals who did not bother to read the caution and started reading, there is foul language here, so I guess it is not Your cuppa tea...
Ok, to kick off.. My friend asked me the meaning of baadu. Now, every friend of mine knows that I use it very often to rebuke someone when I am pissed off or as a friendly gesture at times. Baadu has many meanings, for the past 3 years we machans at NITC college were of the consensus that Baadu meant DEAD BODY, until we found out its supposedly true meaning in Wikipedia (Thanks to venky for sending me that link..). I will give you the meaning later in the post, but to start off with the basics...
One of the words that i use very often is Gethu, it means superb, awesome, kickass! it also has a synonym semma, but the former being superlative. And i also use Thaaru-maaru, which literally means zig-zag, but it’s a slang for awesome! When you want to ask someone if they are ready?,you just say, ready-aa? or when you want to ask somebody Is it OK?, You say Ok-vaa?. The meaning of adding this -aa at the end is analogous to asking, is it?. Finished-aa?, meaning have u finished what ever u were doing? Pannada- I use it for swearing but it is not that demeaning. It means a person who takes the bad leaving behind the good, expected to have originated from the word pannadai in tamil which means a layer which filters bad elements from toddy in palm trees. I also use Nadaari, synonymous to pannada. But I do not know the original meaning of it yet. venna a.k.a vendru, literally meaning butter, meaning useless or dumb person. Vetti meaning totally jobless. Tharudala, again useless. Tubelight- not so shrewd person. Udhaaru-Vudrathu- to exaggerate, synonymous to reelu or gapsa. Sappa matteru is one which i use very often. It means a very easy thing to do, also synonymous to Jujubee. Sight Adikkaruthu-Admiring gals usually without their knowledge. Rousu udradhu- To show off.
Porambokku- Unoccupied, usually unusable or fallow land. Derogatively and dismissively, a person without identity, a nobody. Mispronunciation of 'Pembroke', as in Lord Pembroke, who stated that land belonging to no one would belong to the government.
Saavugraaki- Verbal abuse against bad drivers. OB adikkarthu- to waste time, OC- Free at no caost. Bladu,mokkai- meaning a person who puts unbearable PJ's. Kattai- refers to a hot female, we say 'Semma kattai da'. Kalakkarudhu- meaning to rock! Kadalai- meaning verbal flirting! Figaru- attractive gal.
Now the real and royal tamil that many use when their nerves twitch. Baadu- meaning to hold on the torch light when the king and queen have sexual intercourse. Otha- used with baadu as otha baadu. it means the F-word. Thevidiya payya- son of a prostitute. Maayiru- literally hair, but used for swearing. I guess this would do now. For people interested in more words in madras tamil can refer to wikipedia.