Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mysore Revisited

After spending quite a lot of indistinguishably boring days at GE, Mummy and Papa visited me on 26th May (Friday) and they stayed for a weekend. They reached on Friday morning via a Jet Airways flight, but took more than an hour to reach Whitefield from Airport owing to a particularly rush traffic and a poor Taxi-driver. The journey to Whitefield cost them Rs. 200/-. After keeping their belongings in my room, they left for the market (M.G. Road) while I left for my office. But they were very much disappointed as well as frustrated by Bangalore weather as that day saw one of the most torrential rains of the seasons and that too during day time. And with the Traffic Jams accompanying this, it took them the whole day to get back home. I got them a room in Kothari Complex itself for Rs. 200/- per day, as they were very tired to go and search for another.

The next day we visited GE in the morning. I had a lot of problem getting them in as the security men wanted a confirmation from the reporting manager, who wasn't there. Later, we went to Mysore, with the bus leaving at 4pm. The journey cost us Rs. 103 per head. The journey was peaceful but took more than 4 hours. We were late for almost everything and had to call it a day. We took a hotel room in a hotel called "Rajdhani Group Of Hotels", which had very poor furnishing but insanely high prices as compared to the room's worth. But my parents thought it worth as they told it was better than the others visited.

The next morning we hired an Auto-rickshaw for Rs. 170 that was supposed to make a trip up to Chamundeshwari Hills and back, and drop us on the Palace. The hill was very steep up. The hill is considered one of the 8 holiest peaks in South India. On top is a temple of Chamundeshwari Devi. There were two ways of visiting the temple; one was free entry, and the other was a Rs. 10/- "Special Darshan Ticket". We took the special ticket to avoid wastage of time, but were disappointed to find equally long line there. The line didn't move for the first 20 minutes as the gates were closed. Then it opened for 10 minutes when a lot of people ahead of us were admitted but our turn didn't come. For another 30 minutes, we were waiting in vain. Then we became frustrated and decided to leave. But as soon as the decision was taken, the gates opened and we went ahead. After returning from the temple after yet another 20 minutes, we had an argument with the Driver as he expected us to be back in 30 minutes and we took one and half hour. We argued back telling him the ordeal. Then we briefly visited the Nandi temple and then went for the palace. It was a magnificent architecture and viewing it all took almost one and half hour more. After taking lunch, we went back to the hotel room to pack for our travel back.

We took a bus similar to the one already traveled in during the first journey and the bus left at approximately at 2:20pm. We reached Majestic Bus Stop by 6:30pm and fortunately got a bus for Whitefield within 10 minutes.

When we reached near HAL, it started raining heavily. The rains continued till we reached Satya Sai General Hospital and then miraculously, it stopped. We went to Chetan Lodge where we rented a Triple Room for Rs. 450/-. While we came back to eat at Mayuri Sagar, I took my official stuffs to Chetan Lodge so I can go directly to GE the next day.

Monday, May 16, 2005

This Is Heaven

One of best things I liked about living in Whitefield is the food here. Here I, along with many of my friends have done a mess contract with a restaurant named "Mayuri Sagar" which is located just around the Whitefield Main Bus Stop. Here are the details of the arrangements.

We have to pay Rs. 600/- advance for 30 meals. As it is 30 meals not thirty days, we may wish to eat anywhere else without any money getting lost. Taking an average, it is quite easy to see that it takes Rs. 20 per meal, which is very cheap as compared to Bangalore rates.

In the food, we have one sabji, a cup of dal (cereals) and the following options to choose from:

1) 5 Rotis
2) 3 Rotis and a bowl full of Rice
3) 3 Parathas
4) Veg Fried Rice
5) Egg Fried Rice
6) Chicken Fried Rice

The food we eat is chosen daily by us from the menu card of the restaurant; hence we are never forced to eat anything we don't want. Our selection range is the whole menu card sans two vegetarian dishes whose cost is shown to be Rs. 25/-. The ones we can choose are all vegetarian dishes (approximately 15 choices) that are shown to cost Rs. 15/- or Rs. 20/-. Also, we can take all egg dishes (all of them cost under Rs. 20/-) and two chicken dishes (although chicken is allowed once in two days).

Also the food is North Indian with excellent preparations. As we eat in the restaurant, we get to eat fresh and warm food every time.

The only problem we feel is that as we eat in the restaurant, we have to wait for approximately half an hour for the preparations. Also, we first had problem with the food being too spicy in the beginning, but now as he knows us, he makes less spicy food.

To me it feels,


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Life @ Padabnabh Nagar

On reaching Vishesh Bhaiya's home, I found that he lives in a rented flat with his wife Shruti. When I reached there, his mother was also present. Shruti Bhabhi quickly offered me breakfast.

Just after completing the breakfast, my father called and enquired whether I have get the new SIM card. I hadn't enquired about it an unfortunately when I enquired, I found out that he hadn't got it yet. I somehow managed to convince Papa that everything is under control. Soon afterwards, Vishesh Bhaiya left for the Airtel office to get two SIM cards, as he wanted one for himself also. In the meantime, I chatted with Shruti Bhabhi and her mother-in-law on various topics. She showed me some of her articles that got published in the newspapers and they were really good.

We had chicken for lunch, which was well prepared. In the evening we watched the movie "Mujhse Shadi Karogi" which was "OK" sorts. We had Chat for dinner.

Next day after eating another stomach full of chicken curry, I left at around 5 pm.

I had to wait approximately 15 minutes before I got the bus (Bus No. 15A). The bus dropped me in KR Market, where something happened what I feared. I found myself totally lost in the market without any clue where to go and which bus to take. I asked as many as 10 different people but the answers they gave were inconsistent and inaccurate. I couldn't even read Kannada so I had no chance of reading anything written on the buses. I didn't even knew where to go as there were as many as 6 exits from the Bus Stop. Even more unfortunate was the fact that when I came here from Whitefield, the bus stopped in a street nearby which obviously wasn't in the bus route.

Eventually after struggling for nearly 15 minutes, I saw a bus (Bus No. 319B) with ITPL written on it. I jumped in without haste. On enquiring later I found that it would go through O-Form. I also came to knw that Bus No 320 goes to Whitefield directly. This was sufficient. The bus travel took eight rupees up to O-Form as it was a longer route, but I had no problem with such minor changes. I reached back Whitefield to find that Vikas arriving at approximately the same time as mine.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Travel to Vishesh Bhaiya

While I planned to go to Bangalore, my parents insisted that I take a SIM Card there. I opposed the idea as I felt there is no need for a new SIM as the current reliance SIM was working fine. But they were adamant and I had to bow. But I forced the condition on them that they will have to find a SIM, as I won't be having any local proof of identity.

They worked around the problem nicely by suggesting that I collect it form Vishesh Bhaiya (younger brother of Manisha Bhabhi). They found out his phone number and address from her and asked him to get one SIM from me. He agreed. I was supposed to collect it from him after going to Bangalore.

So here was I in Bangalore on 4th, with a settled life and nothing to worry about. So I called him up on his cell no. I reached Shruti Bhabhi (obviously his wife) and she told me that Bhaiya is not there and will be getting the SIM card on his back to office.

I had no hurries. My job at JFWTC left me with little time to visit the city during the night and I also learnt that it would be atleast a one and half-hour journey. So I told them to have the card and keep it till I collect it the coming weekend. Shruti Bhabhi insisted that I stay at their place for the weekend, which I was not sure to accept or not at that moment. So I borrowed some time.

Later when I told about the phone call to my father, he was very upset by the fact that the SIM card hasn't been purchased till now, but I calmed him by saying that it would have reached their place my now.

On Friday again, I called Bhaiya to find Bhabhi again with the same promise that he will be bringing it today. This time I was also taken aback. I didn't knew to trust her or not, and I showed my discontent. She told me to relax and I conveyed that I will be coming to their place on Saturday morning, to which she requested that I do it early and have breakfast with them. I accepted the offer.

Next morning I woke up early, and after having a bath proceeded for their home. I had enquired about the route and was told by Ishwar Singh (the owner of Kothari Complex) that I will have to get down at KR Market and its a very short journey from there. The place will be some 23 kilometres and it will be less than 2 kms from thereon. Shruti Bhabhi gave a slightly different account by saying that KR Market is about 7 kms from their place. As she herself was not sure, I decided to first reach KR Market and then decide on further conveyance. Ishwar Singh told me that 90% of the buses going towards Marathalli go to KR Market and it looked true as I boarded the first bus arriving. The conductor enquired my destination to which I replied "KR Market". He took 7 rupees. It was a bit surprising as inside Whitefield it took approximately Rs. 2/- per km and here he's asking even less that 0.5. The journey was very long (approximately 14kms taking 1.5 hrs) but comfortable as I got a convenient seat. I found out that everybody refers KR Market by saying "Market". I wondered if it’s the main market of the city.

On reaching there, I knew I was lost. I had no idea as to which bus to take, as I couldn't read what was written on them, and to add to the confusion, there were more than 6 ways out of market. I had to take help from locals, to which a gentleman suggested that I take Bus No. 15 to reach Padabnabh Nagar. I had no idea how big the place was as Vishesh Bhaiya's address also included the line "RK Swamy Layout" in it, which by itself can by a big place. But no one had any idea and I decided to first reach Padabnabh Nagar first.

I waited for the bus at the required place for approximately 15 minutes, but no Bus No. 15 came. I got frustrated and decided to take an Auto-rickshaw instead. I told the Auto-Rickshaw driver where I wanted to go. He insisted on going by Meter, as he was not very sure of the address. He even asked another Auto driver to confuse me even further by saying:

"There's no RK Swamy layout in Padabnabh Nagar. There is RPC Layout."

This was bad news for me. I had no option, but to make a call to Bhaiya to enquire about his residence. I found out that he himself is new to the place and doesn't have any idea of KR Market. He confirmed that its RK Swamy Layout and suggested that I take an Auto to Hill Side Hospital as I am confused. But I didn't like the idea, as his residence being 7 kms from Market would convert to at least Rs. 80/- for Auto-Rickshaw travel. But I had my options running out. Fortunately this time, luck was on my side.

As soon as I walked out of STD PCO to catch an auto, I saw a bus numbered 15A come and stop behind it. The auto-rickshaw driver saw me with confused eyes as I went behind the auto to catch the bus. The next part of the journey was very pleasant as I enquired to my delight that Padabnabh Nagar is the last stop. I got a window seat and I waited patiently for the journey to end. Around half an hour later, some 8 kms from Market, I saw a sight that caught me cold. I saw a building named "Hillside Hospital" whoosh past by the bus. I jumped to my feet immediately and made for the gate. Fortunately for me, the bus stopped just 100m from that place.

I called Bhaiya from Hill Side Hospital, only to find that he lives just behind it. I heaved a sigh of relief as soon as I reached his home.

Whitefield Funda

I was just going through my previous posts to find that I haven't summed up my wisdom in a complete chunk. This was the purpose of my blog, to give me a detailed description of the past, which I might forget owing to various factors. So here goes...

I live in Kothari Complex now, which is located in Whitefield area of Bangalore. It is situated behind Brother's Bakery, just near the Whitefield Main Bus Stop. The complete address would be:

Room No. 207,
Kothari Complex,
302, Whitefield Main Road,
Bangalore - 66

I have to go to JFWTC (John F. Welch Technology Centre), which the a GE Research Centre, located in EPIP (Export Promotion Industrial Park).

In order to reach JFWTC, I take a bus route having the following major stops: Whitefield Main Bus Stop (called Whitefield by conductor), Hope Farm Intersection (called O-Form), ITPL (International Trade Park Limited), Agrahara Gate (called Agrahara), Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (called Sai Medical) followed by the last near JFWTC being Vydehi Circle (called Vydehi).

I divide the journey into two parts as there is no direct bus service. Nowadays, the break is at Agrahara, from where I have to get down and cross over to a parallel road to get the next bus. The first part of the journey takes four rupees while the next takes two. The advantage in this route is that you get State Transport Buses running where you are more likely to get a seat as compared to the Mini-buses.

Till Agrahara, I have found that there is a bus every 15 minutes and usually is of the number 319B of 320E. As I can't read Kannada, I found a way to ascertain the fact whether the bus goes to Agrahara that such buses will have "ITPL" written on the stoppages list displayed on top.

From Agrahara onwards, any bus on the parallel route, for which I have to walk approximately 200m, going towards Sai Medical will stop at Vydehi (even if not at Sai Medical).

Previous to this arrangement, I used to take Mini-Buses. I used to take a mini-bus from Whilefield going towards Kadagudi and get down at O-Form (90% of them go to Kadagudi and 95% of them go to O-Form). There I change over to another mini-bus to Vydehi. This has both advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage of taking mini-bus is that I don't need to wait for buses for long hours. There's a mini-bus every 5~6 minutes.

But the major disadvantage that forced me to abandon was that mini-buses are always crowded with people. The usual capacity of a mini-bus is 20 passengers. But they usually carry 50 passengers. So you can imagine the rush and crowd in them. Some are even more crowded, that let alone seats people hang out of the door completely (there's always 5 people who are having just half of their toe on the bus and the rest of the body hanging out) in addition to a completely filled roof. Traveling in such conditions is hellish. On top of that, I was concerned by the fact that more than half of the bus (usually of village-like people) empties in Sai Medical (where there is free medical facilities for the poor). So every time you travel you are exposed to 3 sick people in direct contact. This scared the hell out of me and I chose the other alternative. As the state-run buses are usually not so over-crowded, I can at least feel assured that there is no direct contact with sick people.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


One of the memorable things about our visit to Bangalore was our bus travel from Whitefield to Vydehi Circle (the GE's bus stop). We changed bus in O-form to reach the destination both ways.

Everytime we boraded a bus (from Vydehi or Whitefield), we heard the conductor shouting:


We first thought that it means "hurry up" in Kannada. But later we found out that it was actually a famous place, which by chance, is the destination of bus going from both ways to O-form intersection.

So we understood what it meant, but were reluctant to leave its initial meaning. So we took up this word to man "Hurry up" between ourselves. So whenever we have to ask anybody to hurry up, we say "Kadagudi".

I have decided that I will take this word to KGP and look for its acceptance. I feel skeptical, as very few people will be able to appreciate this, only those who went to O-Form intersection in Bangalore.

Another such word I feel taking back home is "Core Load".

The history of this word is that in GE, whenever the IT person had to format the machine to install fresh OS, he says:

"I need to Core Load the machine".

We all found this amusing and took this also in our daily language. It gives another opportunity of culture exchange between GE and IITKGP and offers better promise as compared to Kadagudi as the word is regionally unbiased. Who knows someday they both will make it to the IIT Kharagpur Dictionary.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Epilogue of 6th Semester

Wednesday was preparation leave for the End-Semester exams, which started on Thursday. The first paper was Applied Thermodynamics. The refrigeration part was all right, but the main problem was IC Engines part, in which none of us knew what to study. I did most of my preparations from the html file provided by Prof. Ramanujam. Rest I left for God to worry. The question paper was divided into 2 parts of 25 marks each. I started with Refrigeration Part. Question No. 1 was a bouncer. So I jumped to question no. 2. Since then, I found that all of the other questions were "Bread and Butter Problems". I left some space for the first question and proceeded for the IC Engine part. I was anticipating another numerical, but there was not to be. All the questions were theoretical, and fortunately, there were choices. I selected the ones I knew well. The questions went like : One engine creates noise while the other doesn't, the first is nuisance to start while the other isn't. Identify which is SI engine and which is CI Engine.

Next we had the Fluid Machinery Exam on Friday. We were expecting a tough paper (on Mid-Sems lines), but all the problems were "bread and butter problems". So it was a cruise along paper. There were a few derivations, but they were so predictable that I was able to say which all will be asked.

After the Fluid Machinery Exam, we had a 3-day break for the next exam, the Design Of Machine Elements (DOME). I did nothing the first two days. I got together with Suman and Aditya and bhatted for hours together on various topics. Then, on Sunday, I realized that I am in a soup and should start studying. As I had lost touch with studies, it was a slow start with very frequent breaks. So the Sunday also went without any significant progress.

I decided that I have to go full throttle from Monday onwards. And the day went with so hectic a schedule that I can hardly remember any break, except the ones for meals.

The exam was on Tuesday morning, from 9am onwards. That paper also was relatively easier than expected, although I didn't knew answer to a question. Thank God there was choice of one question. I was able to finish the paper just in time as the bell rang.

Then, after another day's break, we had the Casting, Forming and Welding Exam. I had some advantage over others as most other students had Enterprise Integration Exam (a subject taken by Prof. M.A. Farouqi) on Wednesday, giving them less time to study for this exam. The examination question paper was really tough, vague and long, although Prof. Surja Kanta Pal gave very easy questions from the Forming part. Prof. G.L. Dutta knows exactly what things are most difficult to mug up (owing to his experience), and he never thinks twice before striking the leash.

Just next day, on the 29th of April, we had the Biomechanics Exam, in N-201 of Civil Department. The venue is spooky, to say the least. It is located in some far-fetched corner of the department where no one would suspect that a room could be accommodated. But thanks to the series of signboards, it was easy to locate.

Unlike the mid-sems, there were other exams also held in the same room. So many people from the Biotechnology department were disappointed, as they could not cheat. Some tried, but were caught by other professors. Even Prof. Dhang could not suggest any answers to the questions. The paper was OK and went well.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What a tough time...

The week starting Thursday, the 14th of April was a nightmare. There was almost one test everyday.

Starting Thursday, we had the Casting Forming and Welding Class Test. It was as vague as can be. For the first time, I didn't knew the answers to even 50% of the questions. And for the first time, I was sitting in my chair till the last second, hoping a thought will strike home. But I did miserably, only respite being that everyone was miserable.

On Friday, we had our casting Viva. There was not much to prepare. Only three experiments: M/C Study, Riser Design and AFS Sand Testing. I was well prepared for the test and it went well. Prof. G.L. Dutta took the interview and asked questions that included the considerations for Riser Design, significance of AFS Grain Fineness Number, need to shake sand for 15mins, and need to take cumulative weightage. I felt that my test was good owing to the factor that before me, Amit Prakash, Sakya Acharya, Atanu Basak and Aniruddha Mishra went, who are not much serious about studies. He must have been prepared to have a similar student, only to find me. After asking me about 4 easy questions, expecting me to falter (which I didn't), he realized that he should raise the level of questions. But it was too late. He could ask me one more question, and he asked the Cumulative percent one. I gave a more or less satisfactory answer, and my interview was over. I was delighted. But if the theory was correct, it predicted disaster for Suman, and unfortunately, it did!

On entering, he found himself on the receiving end with Professor expressing unhappiness over his thin Lab Report. He enquired:

"Is this the work of just one night?"

My God, he's experienced. Very rarely does Suman postpone his work to the last moment, and it was to be the occasion when it was observed at a very wrong occasion. Next, he was prepared with some tough questions. He started by asking the significance of 'a', 'b' and 'c' in the Caines' formula. He was clueless. Although he knew the values of all the coefficients for all the cases, he couldn't explain the significance of either of them. I believe that this was the most difficult question that could have been asked, as nobody knew the answer to it. Poor Suman. Although in the rest part he did satisfactorily well, he wasn't much happy and it is understandable.

Next, on Saturday, we had the Refrigeration Class Test. It had three questions, of which I solved the second and third, but got stuck in the first. The first problem had a Refrigeration system with Q_e and COP supplied and I had to estimate on the condenser performance. I was clueless. After the exam, Suman told me it required use of the relation. Q_c=Q_e+W.

Oh God! I even forgot this basic equation. Only god could have helped me then. I had been such a fool.

Sunday was an off day (fortunately), but the unfortunate part was that on Monday we had Hydraulics Lab Test. A Biomech Test was also schedules, but being an institute holiday, we knew it would be postponed to the next working day.

On Monday, we got up peacefully, to celebrate (actually by Suman alone) Ram Navmi. I had a good breakfast, a long bath and started waiting for the lunch-hour to go and have my grub. But a surprise awaited me. Vikas came at around 11:45am and asked me why I haven't turned up for the Biomechanics test. I was shocked. Wasn't it supposed to be postponed as it was an institute holiday? But it was not a time to argue. Suman had yet not returned from his morning Puja and the time was running out. Vikas told that if I go fast enough, I might catch Professor Dhang before he left, and maybe he will take compensatory test. I tried calling Suman, but he had left his mobile phone in his room. So I took my copies and pen (as it was an open book test), and rushed to Civil Department. On reaching there I found that the test was indeed over and Prof. Dhang had left. Dibyendy Konar was searching frantically for him as he had failed to submit his answer-script to him. Apparently, unable to complete the test on time, he asked for a minute's time to complete. But Professor Dhang left the department immediately after the test and he was left with his unsubmitted answer-script!

I immediately came back to my hall and called his home; He hadn't returned. I was left with no option but to leave everything to the fate and proceed to lunch. After lunch, I waited for Suman to come so that we can decide our future strategies.

He came around 1:30pm. He was visibly nervous and panicking. Vikas left a note explaining what had happened on that morning and many of our wing mates had read it. They found Suman in the mess and informed him about his missed exam. He too, like me, had never bunked any exam, so it was a real shock. He couldn't eat well and rushed to meet me. We decided to call Prof. Dhang again, and were dejected to find his perennial absence from office as well as home. Eventually, we decided to write him an E-mail, explaining why we missed the test, and requesting him to take a re-test on Tuesday, and proceeded for yet another test, the Hydraulics Lab Test. We didn't get any reply till late night. Suman contacted Dibyendy Konar and found out that Prof. Dhang had been to JEE cell to do some work, and had been there since then the rest of the day.

Next morning, we attended our early morning DOME class, and after it, went to meet Prof. Dhang. He wasn't there even then. Coming back to our room, we found out that Prof. Dhang has mailed us that we should meet him in the afternoon, 2:30pm. So finally our attempts to contact him had succeeded. We had another test in the evening (6pm) of Refrigeration And Air-Conditioning Lab, so we were not sure whether to study for it just then or not. But in any case, we didn't get any time for it as we had another class from 11:30 to 12:30. We went to meet Prof. Dhang at 2:30 exact to find that he's not there.

Just then, I saw Prof. R. Karmakar coming in his scooty. He immediately asked me to submit the project, as Tuesday was the last day. I had completed it long back, but he himself had been reluctant to meet. So anyway, I had to go with him, foregoing the possibility of Biomech test. I asked him whether he'll be free to see the software, and he replied that he will be not (as usual). I immediately got my Project Report signed by him and went to the office to submit it.

On my way I met Suman who said that Prof. Dhang has come! I hurried with the submission and then we went to him for instructions. He told us to sit down and first tried to corner us by saying that we haven't read the holiday notice as it clearly stated that all the classes and tests will be held as usual. We told him that there wasn't any such notice in our department, as we actually hadn't seen it (Later, actually, Aditya told us that there was one such notice, is one of the notice boards we didn't see). So he asked:

"So, what's the solution?"

Even as we were thinking of suggesting that he cancel the test and give average marks, he took out an A4 sheet and started writing question. Even as he was writing, I was realizing the impending disaster. The problem he was writing, though had been covered in the class, I didn't had any clue as that was the only class I had to leave in the middle owing to stomach problems. I turned the pages and started trying to understand how to do it. As I had coped it from Suman recently, I didn't get ant time to understand it. So I murmured to Suman, asking how the solution was obtained. He hushed back saying something I couldn't get. I started getting frightened. By then he completed the question in addition to another question on Hill's Model. He took out two sets of three A4 Sheets and gave it to us after stapling them. Then he gave me Re. 1 coin and told me to get the question paper Xeroxed, find a convenient room, and submit the answer script after 1 hour.

We were delighted. I was particularly delighted as I was clueless regarding the exam. So we went to ME-307 and took 2 seats near the window. I told Suman to do question no. 1 and started doing question no. 2 myself. It took us approximately 1 hr 15 mins to complete our part. Then I went to check out if Prof. Dhang was still there.

To our delight, he had left. So we completed the exam in approximately 2 hours and submitted the answer-script in his locker. But there was trouble on collision course. At that very moment, approximately 4:45pm, we realized that we have a test starting in 1 hour, which we haven't prepared at all. So we rushed back to our rooms to mug up everything we could. We left for the examination after half an hour of study, i.e. around 5:30pm.

The question paper was very tricky, and I answered as much as I could. Later, I return to enjoy a special dinner (the day being a Tuesday), a particularly hectic day.