Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Day: Wednesday
Time: 8.43 a.m
Location: Intermediate Ring Road, Bangalore

Have you ever cruised along a 3 km stretch at 60 kmph on Bangalore’s increasingly crowded roads on any working day? No, I’m not talking about the numerous peripheral roads leading out of the city, but arterial roads well inside city limits!

It’s any city dweller's dream to start at 8.40 am from home & reach office before 9 am! Unless you’re rich enough to live in a posh neighbourhood near your sprawling office complex or your office is located on the terrace of your apartment for want of realty space elsewhere :)

And if you’re taking the IRR (as it’s fondly called), you know you belong to an elite group of commuters! The IRR stretches from the Airport Road flyover and winds its way south, passing through Domlur, Ejipura & Koramangala. The road’s very wide, by Bangalore’s standards and between signals traffic flows smoothly along. The best part of it is the stretch between the Ejipura signal & Golf Links Business Park where it passes through a golf course and grassy vegetation. The cold morning breeze and the bright sun are refreshing. And the evening sunset of course! (It makes a great picture). And you can see luxury cars, BMTC buses & bikes whizzing along. And then there’s this Ejipura signal that turns red with unfailing regularity, every time I approach it [I haven’t been able to break this jinx yet :)].

Yes it does have its share of problems too! But putting aside a few potholes and that occasional generous spray of water from a passing vehicle soon after the rains, this road is a blessing! For it makes your commute a little better.

Everytime I pass that reflective green board that proudly displays ‘Intermediate Ring Road’, I do feel thankful to be taking this road everyday!

And you’ll all agree with me on this!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Meshes for Riches?

Wireless in Automation is becoming commonplace now. New developments in communication infrastructure arena are increasingly & almost immediately being adapted for the industrial automation domain. The latest addition to this list is the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for low power wireless networks. We already have live examples of this technology running, albeit on an experimental basis.

Mesh networks are ad-hoc networks built using sensors that also double up as wireless data relay points. That is a sensor & a wireless access point combined. Media access is defined by the underlying 802.15.4 protocol stack while the physical layer is wireless-over-air. As with any wireless network, attenuation of radio signals especially in harsh plant conditions is always a concern. This partly is overcome by the basic architecture of these networks; short hops for data from node to node instead of one long haul. Moreover, usage of the well established ‘frequency hopping’ technique also mitigates this problem. The architecture is self healing, i.e. the failure of a node doesn’t bring the network down. Data immediately takes a alternate path to reach its destination.
Add to this the encryption and check codes for ensuring data security & integrity, and you have a truly functional wireless infrastructure in place. Saving on cabling costs and short up-times make these more viable. Wireless HART has been one of the first technologies to be built based on this standard. Once the ISA100 Working Group freezes the final specification for the standards on 'Wireless in Industrial Automation', we can expect to see a revolution in the way we set-up automation systems.

I’m eagerly looking forward to the standard’s release and the deluge of products from all leading automation vendors then on!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Clutter & Din

Amidst the all the clutter & din on what life is & how it ought to be lived, there’s one underlying fundamental truth… It shapes the way you want it to! And it’s all in your hands!

We’ll don’t ask me why I wrote this post. I’ll start writing more interesting ones some day. Until then, this is corporal punishment for you :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Evolution I

Its been 5 years.. It was early December in 2003.. I was busy with exams for my Masters degree at CEG, Anna University, when the telegram arrived. I was selected to join SAIL as Management Trainee.

With no second thoughts, I took a break from study & headed for Bokaro, Jharkhand for the induction ceremony! It was the first time I was going away from home so my parents wanted to ensure that I would be comfortable with everything there.

Things were on a roll there. There were about 300 of us, raring to go! The induction programmes were eventful! Corporate jargon from the distinguished speakers & personal anecdotes from my colleagues seated beside all day. Evenings were reserved for a walk to the ‘Sector’ market, always abuzz with activity! And for that occasional sumptuous dinner at the Sher-e-Punjab! Late night activities included singing bouts & volleyball matches..

Imagine… Winter Nights, Floodlights &Volleyball!

Conversations used to be energizing and I made a lot of friends there; more than the number I had in college! Dinner time used to be the most eventful! I hated thoses parched rotis & aloo sabzi(potato curry) that we used for dinner! I still remember the bewildered look, that little boy who used to serve us food, gave me, when I asked for a chashma(spectacles), actually wanting a chammach(spoon). Those were early days for my spoken Hindi! P.S Thanks to Kamleshwar for all that Hindi vocabulary he taught me in quick time!

Then came the most interesting event of all; The Personal Introductory sessions! We were all required to introduce ourselves & perform on stage. I chose to sing Venmathi Venmathiye.. (Minnale), the first half in Tamil & the second in Hindi! I was glad people liked it. Moreso because my Hindi diction was pathetic! Those were early days for my singing too!

15 days flew by thus! Truly memorable times!

Then, we had to move on..

Heading the other way..

Stop for a moment!

Forget the task at hand, the lunch you ate, that late evening target you’re working at & the weekly work plan you’ve made for yourself..

What is it that is drives you? Bonuses? Recognition? Job Satisfaction? Or that possible on-site assignment?

Well having something to work at is really good! But does that have to come at the cost of YOU? Have you ever felt the need to slow down? Have you ever felt the need to get back to those people & things that have magically transformed you in the past, every time you were down? Then this is for you..

Terror & Tribulations!

What went on Mumbai last week was terror at its lethal best!

A cynic plan executed ruthlessly made the world freeze in horror! Blame it on our politicians who are more concerned about vote banks than terror bands, or on our neighbour which is still a fledgling democracy, the truth is that terrorism has managed to transcend religion & nationalities and is beginning to establish an order of its own! Whilst the news is filled with accusations, investigations & resignations, the country shall never forget all those brave souls who laid down their lives, taking the fight to the terrorists!

May their souls rest in peace!