Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chennai - Kanchipuram - Gingee Fort - Chennai

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After buying my 100cc motor bike, this is the longest drive so far covering approximately 300kms, in a single day.

There was no plan to go on a trip to Kanchipuram until the day before the trip. My friend had come from Bangalore to attend his classmate’s marriage. The marriage was on Friday. So he had Saturday and Sunday to spend in Chennai. On Friday night we planned to go to Kanchipuram to see some ancient buildings.

So on Saturday morning we started from my house. I’d fueled my bike on Friday itself and the tank was 3/4 full. On Friday morning I’d seen the Google map for directions also. Our first target was to catch the GST road in Vandaloor. Before that in Kelambakkam high way, we had our breakfast. I always have the effect of appreciating most of the food, my friends find bad. I don’t pretend. But most of the time I feel this way. There is a wide band of food varieties I like. So I’m hardly disappointed by any recipe. The same thing happened during breakfast. My friend shared that he felt the food was bad. But even though I didn’t like it very much, I hadn’t disliked it.

Before this breakfast some funny thing happened. We caught the Kelambakkam highway from Mambakkam highway. But when we approached the kelambakkam highway from Mambakkam highway, we had a confussion on should we turn left or right. I regretted not printing out the map with me. Anyway we asked a man in a shop in the corner for directions. He directed us to go left. We turned left but after going some distance, my friend noticed some signs saying that Kelambakkam is few kilometers away.

He was shocked. Because we suppose to join the GST road in Vandaloor. The Kelambakkam highway connects Vandaloor and Kelambakkam. So we were going in the opposite direction. Then we stopped by a bus stop and asked another person. He confirmed that our suspecion is correct and asked us to take a ‘U’ turn. After taking the ‘U’ turn we reached back the spot where we wrongly turned in Kelambakkam highway. That spot is Mambakkam. There only we found the restaurant to have breakfast.

So after this breakfast we started again and reached GST road. I realised when I asked for directions for the first time I asked the person how I could reach GST road. He must have misunderstood GST for OMR. OMR is another highway where Kelambakkam highway joins. Eventhogh GST and OMR doesn’t sound similar, for a person who is doesn’t know english and not familiar with GST and OMR, both should be confussing. Anyway I should have asked him directions more specifically to go to Vandaloor.

After catching the GST road, its a long stretch until we reached Singaperumalkoil. Here we took a right turn (As I've seen in google map). Eventhough its a short cut, the road condition was very poor. My average speed was just 25kmph. After a long and tiresome ride like this we reached SH58 (State Highway). It felt like heaven to ride in that road.

Just before reaching Walajabad, in a road side shop (its a temporary shop with just a table, and the shop keeper always stands) we had "Kepai kool". "Kepai" is a kind of cereal. I dont know the exact english name. Its very cheap, as it can grow in very little water. To prepare this "Kool", they mix the flour of this cereal with water and boil it to cook. Then salt is added. That's all. While serving the shop keeper mixed curd and some raw onions with this. And to spice it up, you can take chillies fried with salt. It was an energy boost for us.

After that we didn't stop anywhere. We went straight to Kancheepuram. First we visited god Visnu's temple. The architecture was awesome. Unfortunately when my friend tried to take some photos, his camera battery was dead. That's it, we couldn't record anything to share with our friends. After this we visited god Siva's temple. Visnu and Siva are the two major gods worshiped by Hindu's. Well everybody won't worship both of them. There are two divisions in Bhramins (These people devote their service to spirituallity and decipline), those who worship only Visnu and those who worship only Sivan. In ancient times these two people fought on the superiority of their gods.

When compared to Visnu's temple, Sivan's temple was very old. And there has been a significant amount of differences in the way these two have been built. Eventhough Visnu's temple and Sivan't temple are basically constructed with different pattern's, the methods used to build would be the same. But in this case these two temples were entirely different. We haven't checked the time when these two had been built. But the monuments themselves were markers in the timeline.

At this point that was around 1p.m. Because of the "Keeppai Kool" we didn't feel hungry. Eventhough we planned to visit the museum in that city, we couldn't find one. We shouldn't have collected more information before starting that trip. That left us only one choice, return back home or visit some place nearby. My friend told me that the Gingee fort would be near by. So we decided to go to Gingee fort. Little that we knew about the surprises we're about to face.

We asked few people inside Kancheepuram city for directions to Gingee (in Tamil its pronouced as "Senji". The information we collected was that it was a 3 to 4 hour journey to Gingee from Kancheepuram, and for directions we needed to reach Vandavasi and then ask someone there for directions. Point should be noted that upto Kancheepuram was the plan we had the day before. Whatever happening hence forth was a completely unplanned travel.

As suggested by the people we started off to Vandavasi. Just after crossing 1 or 2 kms we felt so much thirsty. The water bottle we brought from home was empty. So we thought of stopping by a "Karumbu saru kadai" (Sugar cane juice shop). On the way we found one and had sugarcane juice. We were recharged again and started the journey.

Just before reaching Vandavasi we felt thirsty again. So we stopped by a "Illaneer Kadai" (Tender coconut water shop) and recharged ourselves again. Then we reached Vandavasi. There we asked some people for directions to Gingee. They offered two routes. One was to reach Tindivanam and then head for Gingee. Other was to reach Chetpet (this is different from the place Chetpet inside Chennai city) and then head for Gingee. We choose to go to Chetpet and then head for Gingee. As per the suggestions, both the routes are more or less same distance.

Then we headed for Chetpet and reached it in a single stretch. From there we headed for Gingee. On the way we stopped by a shop and ate water melon. The price was very cheap when compared to Chennai. One piece of water melon was just Rs. 1. And you could make 8 pecies from a melon with an approximate diameter of 20cm.
Sunset from home
Sunset from home
We reached Gingee fort at last. It had too much to explain in this article itself. It deserves a seperate article. Eventhough we were not allowed to go inside the fort, as the time has crossed 4.30p.m., after seeing the fort from outside itself we felt that the trip was worth coming. It was one in a lifetime experience (just to see the work of history sculpturing that grand fort in time).

Then we had the fear of reaching the city before midnight. I called one of my other friends in Chennai and he told me that the trafic inside the city, as Prime minister Manmohan Singh and Cheif Minister Karunanidhi were opening the new parliment building in Chennai. But we thought by the time we reach Chennai, the traffic would have improved. And we reached Chennai faster than we thought. And the traffic was not so bad. We had our dinner near Vandaloor itself.

The thing I regreted most was that we couldn't take any pictures. Apart from that that was a wonderful journey. My bike did great here. I didn't feel any pain due to long trip. I will visit these places again with more planning and post more details of the places we'd seen in this trip.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Office Politics for Dummies

If you're a job going person, you'll definitely talk about the bad things in office and label it as office politics. However politics is defined as "Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions" in wiki. Being a job going person by myself for the last 3 years, I've also been expressing my frustrations about bad things happening in office as "politics". If you're suffering from "Office Politics", the following 10 tips can help you out.

1. If you're afraid of something, learn about it. Darkness brings fear. Enlightenment is the cure. Learn politics.

2. Learn the art of saying "NO". Most of the time we overload ourselves by saying "Yes" to so many things. We lift the expectations up so high that we couldn't meet them.

3. Commit LESS and do MORE. Its not cheating. Its value adding.

4. Accept that people are gossiping about you, but don't gossip about others. You'll build trust among your colleagues. They'll feel safe to share you critical information, which may save your job.

5. More the friends you have, Less is the chance that you'll be fired.

6. Spend more time with your family. They will help you in hard times (at least emotionally).

7. There ain't no free food. If you're appreciated by someone, appreciate them back for whatever small help they've rendered for your success. You'll build good relationships.

8. If you ask, you'll get it. Even though you bear greater responsibilities and dependency, you won't get a promotion unless you ask for it. This is true for 99% of the times. Don't have over confidence that you'll be so lucky to fall under that 1% of exceptions.

9. Lead by inspiration not by authority. Authority works only in your presence, but inspiration works all the time.

10. Be the change you want to see. If you don't like how things are run, run things by yourself. Start a company.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

iPad For Artists

By now you probably would be familiar about iPad. Its a new product line introduced by Apple in Tablet PC industry. Simply put, its a jumbo version of iPhone. It won't fit inside your shirt pocket, but you can carry it where ever you carry a diary/notepad/journal/planner.  For a digital artist, how helpful this technological innovation can be? Let's assess the possibilities:

There is no software comes bundled with the device to use it as a drawing tool. But there are few applications which can be downloaded from the iTunes app store. The iPad SDK being released already, we can expect more applications to come. There are some applications for iPhone like MotionInk, Brushes, Colors and Layers to name a few. As per Apple's claim, these applications should work with iPad also. Let's do some comparisons.

Classical Paper drawing vs iPad drawing:

Pros of iPad:

1. Won't get clumsy with too many tools
2. Can undo if something goes wrong
3. Storage of the work is easy and safe
4. Share easily
5. If digital output is expected, iPad is productive as you don't have to scan the drawing and give finishing touches seperately
6. Easily create wonderful effects
7. Save paper, go green :)
(... It may sound awful to compare paper drawing with a product like iPad. But its good to know the points anyway)

Cons of iPad:

1. Can't feel the texture of paper or the tool
2. Though the display is bigger than iPhone, still its limited when compared to paper
3. If paper output is needed, its hard to determine the output

(...The pros out weigh the cons after all)

You may raise a concern like "The digital artists are saving paper already with other pointer devices like laser mouse, digital pen or digital pad etc. So what is the point?". You're absolutely right. We need to compare classical pointer devices with touch technology in iPad. Let's see that now:

Classical pointing devices vs iPad touch:

Pros of iPad:

1. Like paper you get a perfect feedback on what you sketch
2. Few limitations on expressing your creativity can be lifted
3. The setup is simple
4. With an accelerometer the possibilities are more: you can put a drop of ink and shake the device to spread the ink in the paper... and more

Cons of iPad:

1. The display size is limited. With a classical pointing device you can use a bigger display
2. Processing power of the CPU is limited (1 GHz in iPad). So some complex filter may be slower.

I think in this case the pros may or may not out weigh the cons, depending upon the need of the artist. I believe if I get a chance to lay my hands on this device, I give more points.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Theory Of Relativity - Where Did Einstein Go Wrong?

Time Dilation - The gist of this phenomenon is that if two observers travel in different speeds their clocks also run at different speeds. The clock setup taken up to prove this phenomenon is shown below (simplified diagram):


In the diagram, the lower rectangle represents a light source and light detector setup, and the top rectangle represents a mirror. When this setup is stationary, let the time taken for the light to travel from the source to the mirror and back to the detector be t1. And when the setup is moving, let the time taken be t2. According to this phenomenon t1 < t2. If t1 or t2 is taken as the basic unit for the clock, then its clear that the clock will run slower when its in motion. Refer this link for detailed explanation on how this is working.

Lets take a look at the following setup:

Well as you can see the clock setup has been tilted by 90 degrees, otherwise this setup is perpendicular to the previous setup. And if you calculate the numbers you'll find that the Lorentz factor is different for these 2 setups. We clearly know that there have been a lot of technological improvements since Einstein had given this theory to the world. This light emit, reflect and detect setup for a clock is pretty much primitive.

Let me ask a question: Why are we not using the sand glass for keeping our time? Well you can give hundreds of reason. Why are we not using pendulum clocks? There are some environments in which it won't give the accurate time. Why are we not using crystal oscillators in GPS satellites? Same answer.  I am asking these questions to reason why we can not accept the theory of relativity anymore. I'll explain this philosophy with an example.

Lets take a circle. We can very easily mark the center of the circle. Lets take a triangle. We can apply some geometric calculations and still mark the center of the triangle. Now lets say for a long time we only know about circles and not triangles. And we know that there is only one geometric shape that is a circle and we know how to mark the center of the circle. It has been established that for a geometric shape the center is from equal distance from any point in the periphery of the geometric shape. Remember we know only about circles; no rectangles; no squares; no triangles. Now after lot of experimentation and exploration (????) a mathematician discovers about a new geometric shape triangle. Now he knows from his past experience that the center of a geometric shape is from equal distance from any point in its periphery. The mathematician traces a new shape as shown below.

Now as per his discovery the center point of this new geometric shape is  another shape. Some may immediately disagree with this and some may have confusion if there is a possibility that a center point of a shape could be another shape. This can not be true due to two reasons.

1. The proposed shape for the shape of the center point of a triangle depends on where we started first. If we have started outside the triangle we would have gotten a completely different shape. So the shape of a center point may not change based on where we start tracing the center point from.

2. A point is a one dimensional entity (though it may be given different dimension co-ordinates to identify its place). But here the point becomes 2 dimensional function. The fundamental assumption itself becomes wrong in this case.
Now try to compare this example with time dilation phenomenon. 1. Lorentz factor is the main output of this phenomenon. But that itself changes when we change the clock setup. So this can not be true. 2.  Time is a single dimension. You can not confuse it with other dimensions because you can not measure time correctly. You can not bend distance and other dimensions because your clock runs slow when you speed up. You must build a clock which runs the same in all the speeds.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Do Humans Responsible For Climatic Change? Part II

It has been a long time since I've posted the part I of this article. If you're new to this article be sure that you've read http://vibgy.com/2009/10/do-humans-responsible-for-climatic-change-part-i/. Now we'll continue to explore if humans are really responsible for climatic change.

Continuing on the first hypothesis "Human growth is responsible for sensing climatic change", the facts are abundant enough to prove that humans have grown to create devices to measure and sense the climatic conditions of this planet. So we can very well conclude that the first hypothesis is true. Let's move on to the next one...

Human growth itself has caused climatic change:

This hypothesis is a very sensitive subject everywhere and so I tried to be unbiased as much as possible. If you see any biased perspective, please provide your valuable comments. Those who decline the charge that humans are responsible for the climatic change, put forward the claim that the relatively less amount of time humans spent on earth (which is 4.5 billion years old) couldn't possibly destroy it. The claim is somewhat valid. The activities which we believe to be changing the climatic conditions of this planet are only 200 years old. This is after the industrial revolution after which we started emitting huge amount of carbon  dioxide into the air. Global warming is something which causes all these climatic changes. And in scientists there are 2 groups one which support that human activities are responsible for the current global warming and the other one deny that we have very less contribution towards climatic change.
I was going through piles of data and theories about climatic change and found the below graph depicting the temperature record of the earth from millions of years ago. You can read more on how these records have been measure by going through this article : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_temperature_record.
Temperature Record of Planet Earth
Temperature Record of Planet Earth
From the above graph we can observe that the earth has experienced pretty hot weathers millions of years ago. And as per predictions, there are traces that living organisms existed from 3.7 billion years ago. That's quite a long journey actually. Its evident that life sustained in this planet through these major changes in the planet's climate. But what we're really scared of is if it could support humans during this climatic change. Let's investigate further.

Please go through the following images:
Global Temperature History
Global Temperature History
CO2 Emission History
CO2 Emission History
Population History
Population History
Now from the above statistical records I've created an image overlay to see the correlation between them. Please check below:
Image overlay showing correlation
Image overlay showing correlation
Hope you can see the clear correlation between these 3 graphs. This is a pure probability that human population is a major contributor for the global warming. Another thing you must observe here is that the slope of these 3 curves go out of synchronization before 1975. This can be an evidence that heavy industrial activities contributed to global warming. So this concludes that the second hypothesis "Human growth itself has caused climatic change" is also true. The reason why I compared the temperature rise with the population growth instead of CO2 is that CO2 is not the only thing which is responsible for the global warming. When human population increases so does the population of the species which needs to support human life (crops, poultry, catle etc. etc.). Though the plants eat up CO2, they release a significant amount of methane when they are digested by earth. Methane is more effective green house gas than CO2.

There are so many things which some people agree and disagree. But we can not deny the collective effect of human population on this planet. What if we didn't have all these technologies, medicine and farming techniques? Could we have exploded like this in population? How long can earth support human life? How many years will the resources in earth last (leave fossil fuels how about water)? Do you think the huge amount of sea water would be enough to support the human population increasing in this rate? There are so many questions we're not knowledgeable enough to answer or not mature enough to digest the answers.
Now I want to raise a question will the "Go Green" efforts taken by countries, organizations and societies has anything to do with decreasing the effects of "Global Warming"? I'll answer this in my next post. Thanks for reading. Give your valuable comments to improve the future posts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do Humans Responsible For Climatic Change? Part I

Today I was extensively analyzing my plan to follow "Raw Veganism". I was analyzing the various nutritional data for food items which can be consumed raw. I will give this report shortly. But in this process something else strike me. The very reason why I should become "Raw Veganism", "Do humans contribute to climatic change?".

Before explaining this I will explain what is "Raw Veganism". This is about consuming vegan diet without cooking. Vegan diet is nothing but eliminating all the animal products from the diet, including milk, egg etc. Check this Wikipedia link to know more about vegan diet.

Doing something without proper reasoning is like driving with your eyes closed. You'll go fine up to the road is straight (unless you turn the wheels in the middle assuming something). But for driving fast we may have to limit some of the reasoning (assuming no one will cross the road without checking both sides of the road, the probability of the brake to malfunction is negligible, etc., etc.). We make a lot of such assumptions in all part of our lives. Waiting for facts without making any assumptions will paralyze us. But after going some distance with an assumption, we must stop and ask ourselves whether the assumption we've made was right or wrong. We can correlate our failures to that assumption and conclude if it is OK or NOT.

Humans have come a long way, multiplying rapidly growing faster than our environment. But the burning question is, "Do humans responsible for climatic change?". This question has importance because this is something big enough to grab our attention. I want to split it into to two hypothesis, "Human growth is responsible for sensing the climatic change" and "Human growth itself has caused climatic change". You may comment on whether formation of this hypothesis itself is right or wrong.

"Human growth is responsible for sensing the climatic change ?":

Without distracting the topic we'll analyze if the human growth contributed for detecting the climatic change. So who else can detect a climatic change? There is a long going debate between researchers on whether animals can detect natural disasters (mostly earthquake) prior to humans. But whether animals can detect disasters or not, they certainly can not detect a climatic change. They may detect it by genetic intelligence. Here I mention the term "Genetic Intelligence" in the sense that intelligence of the gene system. In other words the intelligence of the evolution process originated in earth (no information is available so far to check if the origination of the evolution process in earth is the first or very late - this can be verified if we find any living form outside our world with better intelligence and their planet is older than ours). Gene is a peculiar vehicle which takes the living organisms in earth to a better level through evolution process.

So how the animals detect climatic change through genetic intelligence? They change themselves into something else through the evolution process to adopt to their environment. Environment changes when the climate changes. Desserts change to rain forests. Sea deeps change into mountain peaks. So the living things are forced to evolve to exists. I've a big theory behind what is considered a living thing (apart from things that consume food and breath) and why they try to exist and the link between the two. We'll discuss it later. Now coming to the point, the living things try to adapt to the changing environment by evolution. If the evolution is slower than the change in the environment (something like asteroid attack), the living things go extinct. I've already discussed this in my previous post http://vibgy.com/2009/10/shellfishes-make-a-difference-for-atleast-one/.

Living things include humans also. So humans also have the evolution process and we are already undergoing a change. But can we detect the climatic change exclusively? Yes, we've found lot of ways to detect the climatic change. We measure the changing size of the ice cap, we measure the ozone layer density changes, we measure sea water temperature blah blah blah... etc etc.  (to be continued... sorry people I've already spent 4 hours reading and thinking for this post, will provide more valuable information in my next post)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shellfishes - Make a Difference for atleast ONE

I read a post in my friend Balan's blog today. You can read it here... http://poothabalan.blogspot.com/2008/12/something-to-think.html. What I understand from his post is that we should not get satisfied that we don't have the problems of our neighbors. We should prepare ourselves to avoid or handle the misfortune, if we have to face it tomorrow, and WE SHOULD HELP THEM if possible.

Every species in this world has a mechanism of adapting to a challenging environment by mutation. But this mutation happens very slowly (takes millions of years). When the challenge develops faster than the mutation process, that particular species becomes extinct. This is the point where humans differ from all other species in the world. We have the intelligence to change our challenging environment to our convenience. Without fire we couldn't have survived the carnivorous predators. Without farming we couldn't have supported the exploding population. Without clothing we couldn't have survived heavy weather conditions.

Apart from all these things how we differ from other species is that we create cultures. We can organize things in a higher intellectual order (ants are also organized but it is in their gene, not in their brain). Simply saying, we help each other. Our parents help and support us even after we become parents. I don't think any other species do that.

I'll come to the core of what Balan says: There is a story, one person walks along a sea shore. He picks up and throws the shellfishes lying in the beach dying, into the sea. One man asks him, "There are thousand of shellfishes out there dying. You can't save them all.". Then this man replies, "I can't save them all. It's not going to make any difference in the whole population of these shellfishes. But for the one's I've thrown inside, it makes a difference". We can not help all the poor people, but if we help some, their life is not going to be the same again.

Everybody should include this into their life's goals. Happy helping...

My First Game - Plan Ready

I've always loved playing games. I can live without seeing anyone and doing nothing but just play games for hours (even days). I've read a lot of debates about whether playing games is good for mind or not. One argument against playing games is that they don't improve any mental abilities, but people with good mental abilities play games. I would partially agree to this. The thing I don't agree about this argument is about not improving mental abilities. Actually games serve as a training ground to sharpen our strategic skills (I like Age Of Empires much, so this point came out. But other games sharpen other skills). It's more like an expensive simulation researchers do before actually building something. We must agree that simulation is coming into almost all the industries. So what if I can simulate a 10 years of war in an hour? what if I can stimulate a life time of business development in a tycoon game? Well games give us ground to make mistakes quickly and safely to learn from them and apply them in reality.

But many people stop with just simulation. They never move to build anything in reality. Today morning I was going through a term called "Analysis Paralysis". That is doing too much of analysis and doing nothing. Or spending more on analysis itself without making any real profit (I remember my college days when I spend hours to prepare the study plan before the exam and not studying anything). So I started thinking about implementing these strategies learned to real life (well imagine about a general who has triumphant in 100s of battles and has 1000s of years' experience in war and managing cities). This is the point when I decided that I should do business and create empires. So what is the first step?

Well apart from the too much of involvement in playing games, I like computer programming also. Programming is not something I do for living. It is my passion, fun, life... etc. I remember the numerous C programs I've written to simulate the fancy curves I've studied in engineering studies. So I thought of combining these two passions together to create a new passion, game development. Game development is not new to me. I've created games from my school days. Some in C, some in VB some in Java, but I've not completed any. To get an idea of what I mean by not completing, I'll give an example. In 12th standard (12th grade or High school), I've started creating a car race. In that game the car will not move, the background only will move. When I started the game the background moved, but it seemed like a plane flying. At that point that game was dropped. So like these I've created half baked games.

But I'm not a small boy anymore, I must create real games which others can enjoy and get trained in some skills (blah blah blah....etc... etc...). After a long day's thinking and lot of scratching in the notepad with my ball point pen, I've arrived at a perfect plan to create a game. I don't want to break the suspense by explaining about the game now itself. Most importantly, when its fully baked, it may be totally different from the whatsoever explanation I would have given now.

So keep up the suspense... I will release it soon...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New York goes Hybrid - Where are we?

New York hybrid turbine driven bus under testing
I was going through a couple of articles in digg.com. One is about the introduction of significant amount of hybrid buses to the New York city fleet : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/automobiles/autospecial2/22BUS.html. Another one is about test run of bus with turbine engine, to be introduced to New York fleet shortly : http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/mta-tests-sleeker-bus-with-turbine-engine/

Hybrid vehicle is the buzz word in the eco friendly community. They have both a fossil fuel engine and an electrical motor to run the vehicle. Authorities claim that in New York the hybrid bus goes 4 miles per gallon (1.7 km per litre), whereas a conventional diesel bus goes 2.75 miles per gallon (1.2 km per litre : significantly lower than Indian buses running 3-4 km per litre, almost 9 miles per gallon, 3 times better, ofcourse they have air conditioning needs). Apart from this what New Yorkers concentrating is the drop in SOOT (diesel particulate emission) of 97% and nitrogen oxides emission by 58%. They care about the lungs of their children. And these hybrid buses cost $1 million. But due to the high demand the cost dropped to half. In Indian rupee value it is almost 2.3 crore. Can you imagine a middle class family people riding a bus like this? Of course they are going to blame the government for the ticket cost rise. I have a point here to mention about our society. Before that I'll tell about the next plan the New Yorkers are having.

The turbine engine is a revolutionary method to propel a vehicle. A turbine engine is used to propel a electrical generator which in turn runs the electrical motors. The authorities say, "It has no starter, no transmission, no water pump and no engine radiator, which should help us significantly reduce our maintenance costs. When you have an inspection every 3,000 miles, you do not have to drain the oil or drain the transmission." They further said that this bus was the only bus in the authority’s fleet that met the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions standards without the need for exhaust after-treatment.

So what are we going to do? Are we still going to complain about the 1 rupee raise in the bus tickets? You may ask a question. What will poor people do? My answer would be to visit the MTC website http://www.mtcbus.org/ and check the link "Concession Fares". A school student can travel for just 15 rupees for the whole academic year any distance (home to school). And lot more. So what's the point? you may ask. The point is, Are we working hard enough to improve our children's future? How are we improving our life styles? Improving life style doesn't mean that we prefer luxurious life. Its about eco-friendly. It costs more to be eco-friendly (initially but it will pay back). Let's work hard to go eco-friendly (for our future and our children's future).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bike Ride To MEPZ Office - A Lesson Learned

Few months back my work location was changed to office inside MEPZ (Madras Export Processing Zone). This is one of the Special Economic Zones in Tamilnadu. It houses big exporting companies. My company exports software. So we are also inside this. This post is about the things I thought while riding my bike while coming back from office today.

I was turning that right turn immediately next to my company as usual, after leaving the office. It's a 4 road junction. So while turning I used to focus more on the right side of the turn. After completing almost 80% of the turn I saw a glimpse of a person requesting for a ride. At the time I saw him, I'd gone about 5 feet away from him. I didn't stop for him for no reason. Usually I will stop for people asking for a ride. Actually this MEPZ area has only one gate, only through which we can enter this area. I must travel about 1.5 Km to my company from this gate. There are many companies in this area and people have variety of transport options to reach their respective companies from the MEPZ gate. Some use their own transport and some use the shuttles arranged by their respective companies. People who don't have the above 2 options must walk the distance. Even though this walk can turn out to be a pleasant one, due to the tight schedules people mostly can't enjoy the walk. Walking would seem like a highly time consuming process (10 to 20 minutes), during peak office hours. In order to reduce this time (and effort), instead of walking, people used to ask for a ride to many of the vehicles crossing this area. The poor fellow who didn't get a ride from me also, must be one them.

When I first moved to MEPZ office, I never gave a single ride to any person. I usually like to walk a lot. So I never saw a reason why people avoid walking and ask for a ride. But after some time I started thinking about how it would feel to walk every time coming to office. Though it would be a very healthy activity, when I'm rushing to office this activity would turn out to be very straining and frustrating. So I started helping the people who ask for a ride. So today's event was very strange. After crossing the guy and reaching 40 Kmph, I tried to realize why I left him. I thought that he should have come little bit more into the road to grab my attention quickly. But this is highly risky for the safety of that person. And then I thought that his gesture was not bold enough to convince me to hit the brakes. I realized that this could be a valuable reason. Because after crossing that person, to give a ride, my subconscious mind expected that person to run to the bike and mount. But that person was very tired. His gesture to ask for a ride was so weak that my subconscious mind thought that he wouldn't be able to run to the bike and mount. My subconscious mind expected an active person and encountered a weak person. But the controversy here is that a person who is too weak to mount a bike definitely won't be able to walk that distance.

The thing I learned from this event is that I needed to train my subconscious mind to give priority to people who were weak when offering some help. I remembered the words of Jesus. A doctor is needed for a sick person not a healthy one. That poor fellow I ignored might have waited another 5 or 15 minutes to get a ride. But only if I had waited few seconds for him to walk to my bike and mount slowly, I would have helped a weak and tired man.

You may think that I'm putting the blame to my subconscious mind like it was completely a different person. This could turn out to be a completely different article. Subconscious mind is something which is not in our control. It's like reflexes. We realize what we have done during reflex action after a long time only. It's like 2 people inside one person. It's not physical, its psychological (may be spiritual for some). Even though we can not control the reflex action taken by the subconscious mind at that very moment, we are responsible for it. Because we only train the subconscious mind. Things we feed the conscious mind trains the subconscious mind. Is it anyway possible? I'll explain in my next post.