Sunday, May 31, 2009

First time in Mumbai?

I had been to Mumbai before, but never alone. And I was supposed to spend two months in IIT Bombay for summer training. I had got a project in Aerospace Engg Dept.

Waise I am not a good travel guide, never tried that before, but I am sure my experiences would be useful for a first timer in Mumbai. Here’s the preparation that I did, apart from the mental preparation of staying away from home for two months. This is what I packed in my bag apart from clothes: My shaving kit, toothpaste and brush, soaps for taking bath and washing clothes, my digital camera, alarm clock, cello-tape and scissor, pillow cover, laptop, mobile with charger, calculator, pen, refill, pencil, passport sized photos, ruler, umbrella, a keychain, RJ45 and LAN cables, towel, comb and most important, I took printouts of two maps that I thought would be very useful, Mumbai city map and IITB campus map, which I would always keep in my wallet. They did come handy in the first week especially. Apart from this, one may take other things like a notepad, an emergency address-book in case your mobile gets lost, itch guard, medicine tablets, etc. I had a total of three bags, one with lappy, one handbag and a main luggage trolley.

Thik hai, packing-shacking ho gayi, but you can’t leave your home until you get the necessary instructions from your mother! Like don’t eat or drink anything on the roadside and take care of your wallet and other belongings when you are travelling in local train, etc...

My uncle from Mumbai was in Goa for a few days and would be going back by car, so I went with him. It was a tiring journey of more than 13hrs. I stayed at his place at night and next morning my cousin gave me a flavour of travelling in Mumbai city. We travelled in auto-rickshaw as well as local train to reach another uncle’s place at Vile Parle. I was to stay here till I got hostel accommodation in IIT campus.

It’s been over a year now since I know to drive, and I always thought I am a good driver, until I saw the traffic here during the rickshaw ride, especially while crossing the narrow lanes and penetrating the pedestrians who walk on both sides. The pedestrians have become immune to the honking and don’t give a heed even when the vehicle is one metre away from them. I believe they have wrongly interpreted the saying, “who can harm the man whom god protects himself”.

And what do I say about the local train journey. The compartment was fully packed and we had two bags each, me and my cousin. I didn’t understand what happened in those 20 secs, yeah the train stops for only 20 secs on each station and people get out as well as get inside in that much time. I had studied long back that two bodies can’t occupy the same space. But I had also been watching Heroes where D. L. Hawkins could pass through walls and objects. I began to wonder if I too had some amazing abilities and whether I had passed through men when I had boarded that local.

The next day I went to IITB in my uncle’s car. I met the Professor Pant, who’s a very nice person to talk to and I became sure that I would get a very good experience by working under his guidance. I also met the project manager who gave me a report of the previous work that had been attempted on my project area. I grasped it quickly and the same night I had my own idea ready which I would present to the professor later. The summer interns were given a separate space to sit in the lab and of course we had high-speed net access. :)

Back to off-campus activities, I learnt how to travel in bus and local train on my own within two days. It was a bit tiring journey but it helped me get a feel of Mumbai life. I’ll always preserve the tickets of my first journey.

The traffic is pretty much unpredictable in these big cities. Just one independent variable (distance) is not sufficient to know the time for riding between two cities. A drive that can take 30 mins with less traffic can take over 1.5 hrs the next day in midst of traffic. In fact there is a 3m wide lane which connects Andheri station to bus stand, to walk 10m it can take 5min.

So I usually reached home at 7pm on an average and watched heroes until it was dinner time. Exhausted from the day’s work I would fall fast asleep by 11pm. That’s how I spent my first week here, six more to go.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How Engineers Cook

Well, this is an old collection. Just thought of sharing it here. This is how we engineers cook our food. 

First the raw material is purchased from the vendor. This involves a bid from various vendors and the best quality eggs with least price are chosen. 

Next step involves a thorough quality check of the raw materials. The raw material have to pass various tests, like in this case the viscosity might be an essential factor. Here Ostwald viscometer showed the viscosity to be 29 cP. As it was in the range 25-30 cP, the quality check was passed by the eggs.

The raw materials are put on various machines and heat treatment is given to them to produce required shape. Heat treatment is one of the crucial stages in processing as the material's strength is determined by it. 

Then the finishing operations are carried out. They take care that the product has been given proper surface finish. 

Then comes packaging and delivery. Here special importance is given to aesthetics as customer first tastes the food with his eyes and then eats it with his mouth. 

The finished product is sent to the market. 

The customer purchases the finished product and puts it to appropriate use. He then sends appropriate feedback to the manufacturer who then modifies his process accordingly if needed. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quotes and Sayings

The semester exams were over and the holidays had just begun. I was 3/4th engineer. It was time for a small get-together with all my friends in Damodars- something that had been waiting for long. So we had a splendid lunch at Hotel Anushka in BPS club, Margao. Then I had to leave, before others went to Baskin Robbins and Sernabatim beach I was told. It was a great day.

The next day, with nothing more interesting to do, I happened to open an old book of mine- a collection of sayings and quotations that I used to collect when I was in 10th Class. I had a great time going through them. I chose a few nice ones to share with you all:

1. Courage is strange; it means you must be ready to die for what you wish to live for.

2. Of all the things you have, select the best and then reflect on how eagerly they would have been sought by you, if you did not have them.

3. Some people change their ways when they see the light, others when they feel the heat.

4. Those who hate you do not win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.

5. Faith is like water- It will carry you, but not unless you swim.

6. Experience is a good school, but the fees are high.

7. The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.

8. The most unhappy of all men is he who believes himself to be so.

9. If you want others to keep your secrets, first keep them to yourself.

10. The actions of men are like an index to a book. They point out what is most remarkable in them.

11. The reason why worry kills more people than work is that people worry more than work.

12. Don't count how many moments you spent together, count how many memories each moment left.

13. Just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts, but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.

Friday, May 1, 2009

True Love

When you are in true love, all you can think is about your love. All you can see is your love, a lot of movies have used this concept. But I neither intend to discuss a script for a movie here nor am I going to write about my latest crush. [So do I have one? ;) ] Nevertheless this is a true incident that happened with me...

My cousin had been to Mysore and had uploaded a picture of a giraffe she had taken. Here it is:

It so happened that I had to answer my CAD exam the next day. I had been studying a chapter on FEM (Finite Element Method). I LOVE IT!! Actually I had also done a project in FEM using ANSYS in this semester. When I saw the picture of the giraffe I pictured a Finite Element Meshed Model of giraffe. For non-mechanical friends, presented below is FEM in two lines.

This is a model of a rectangular plate with holes. In FEM basically the whole plate is divided into a number of small elements and required analysis is done. (Now have a look at the giraffe!)

So I had to conclude that if Newton discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head, then the guy who invented FEM must have seen a giraffe when he got the idea!!

Cheers!! So Please Protect Wild Life, who knows which species will inspire the next technological reform? ;)