Sunday, January 8, 2017

My Journey to the center of the earth !!!

Well exactly speaking I would say the title is little misleading as I didn't drill down in to the earth lava core as you could have see n in the Hollowood movie with the same title. Rather "My journey to the near center of the map" would be the opt title. But I decided to keep it fancy as it was popular and well known title.

So where did I actually go? This is about my  business trip to a city called Malatya in Turkey which is almost at the center of the world map from 5th to 9th December 2016. So I am just going to share some of the challenges I faced in the Turkish city.

The request came just couple of days before the planned start date and hence I had a very short time to plan the trip. I managed to purchase a set of thermals to fight the cold weather. My travel desk shared me 5-6 air travel options and after lot of confusions I finally settled with Ethihad flight which connects Malatya through Abu Dhabi. There are 2 reasons for me to select that flight. The first reason being it's a much familiar flight for me as I took Ethihad for travelling to San Diego sometime in 2015 and my experience was very pleasant. The second reason being the fact that it has the least transit wait time and less overall travel time to reach Malatya.

I started on 3rd December night in Ethihad flight Chennai international airport. I only had about 1:15 minutes of flight transfer time at Abu Dhabi airport. It was my bad luck that the flight reached Abu Dhabi around 55 minutes late due to heavy fog leaving me only only 20 mins for flight tranfer. I had to run and catch the flight to Istanbul and finally reached Istanbul airport. This is where the second challenge was waiting for me. I was looking for my baggage for 30 minutes and finally realised that it was missing. I went to the baggage lost counter to file a complaint where I got to know that my check-in baggage got struck at Abu Dhabi as it was missed in the flight tranafer. I reminded of the fact that I only had about 20 minutes of tranfer time at Abu Dhabi. I then realized that I am yet to get a turkish SIM. So I gave them my Chennai number, went out and got a local Turkish SIM, called back the baggage lost counter and updated my local number. Good that I foresaw these kind of issues and kept one set of dress in my carry-on luggage with myself.

I finally reached Malatya and this where the next challenge was waiting for me. The temperature at Malatya was freezing cold with less than 0 degree Celsius. I felt my blood getting freezed if I stand still. Not to forget the fact that my thermals and woolen jacket are in the lost check-in luggage which got struck at Abu Dhabi. I checked into the Ramada Plaza Malatya Altin Kayisi hotel at Malatya. I received the call from Ethihad baggage counter next day and I spoke rough to them as my brother advised me and I would say it really worked. My baggage got delivered to my hotel room at Malatya the very next day all the way from. Abu Dhabi to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Malatya and further from Malatya airport to hotel room in 4th floor.

I really had a wonderful learning experience in this business trip. I got an opportunity to see a live liver transplant operation at Inonu University Hospital at Malatya and the Hospital staff explained how the Hospira infusion pumps are being used in operating rooms. I really felt happy and proud to see how my work was helping to save people's life. The next biggest challenge waiting for me was communication. Unlike our country, everywhere in Malatya is written only in Turkish. Only less that a percent of people in Malatya speak turkish with even the front desk managers at the hotel could not communicate properly in English. I missed to mention about the power adapter issue. The power sockets in Turkey are of different type and none of the Indian and US type power plugs will fit into it. I managed  to buy a adapter which converts the US type to Turkish type plug from nearby electronic mall to power up my mobile and laptop.

The one another big challenge I would like to mention was about food. Thank GOD I am not a veggie as this country don't offer much option for veggies. Everything in Malatya is either chicken or meat. So what meat ? Only the cook knews :). I sticked to chicken for all 5 days and I would say the food is not so great but I somehow managed. I used to go to a nearby shopping mall called Malatya park which had lot of food options but I settled with McD as it had its menu card written in English. Just to clarify that it was the only restaurant which had its menu card written in both English and Turkish among all other restaurants which gives only Turkish menu. Thanks to McD for its International policy of maintaining English menu favouring international travellers from around the globe.

I decided to make a local sightseeing for 2-3 hours in my free time on fourth day. But Malatya is not a place of touristic importance and there wasn't much options. I managed to visit a famous grand mosque in a place called Battalgazi and a place called Aslantope ruins where archiologists invade and uncover many ancient sculptures. I am sure these visits will remain in my memory for the years to come. One think that irritated me was smoke. People at Malatya smoke a lot to withstand the freezing cold and as a result all public places, toilets, restaurants and even streets are filled with smoke. As a non smoker, I had a difficult time to breath the smoke filled atmosphere.

So what's special in Malatya? In one word, Apricots. I see Apricots everywhere. Apart from that turkey is famous for European chocolates, Lokum and Baklawa sweets. I managed to purchase a box of these for my family. Apart from these I bought a cabin luggage in an offer price and a colorful kitty shall for my sweet wife.

Having said lot of challenges I faced at Malatya, it's time to mention some good points. The city is very clean and neat with well laid roads, beautiful buildings and well maintained pavement without any garbage spills. Unlike our country where private hospitals dominate medical industry, that have big government university come Hospital which serves not only Malatya but also other surrounding areas on Turkey. I wonder if this can even happen at India.

I returned to India on 11th December 2016 early morning and fell asleep. And that when I got call from my Manager asking whether I reached India safe. Only then I came to know that there was a big blast in Istanbul which killed 29people and it happened just 5 hours I started from Istanbul. Thank God I reached home safe and sound without any problem. So I would like to conclude saying that the world is full of challenges and each challenges makes us more stronger than yesterday. So next time when you face some difficulty while traveling, consider that as an opportunity to grow and get stronger. Awaiting more travel and challenges in the future...

Think !!! Decide !!! Think Different !!!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Traffic Traffic Traffic

This is my second blog post on Road safety. But this time I would like to highlight the important factors that contribute to traffic in Chennai city. Traffic is one the important stress causing factor in a crowded city like Chennai. Most office goers struggle everyday because of traffic congestion. People often blame the government for the traffic congestion. We cannot deny the fact that government has a major responsibility to control the traffic. But I feel that it's also the duty of every individual and self decipline which can make our city better. Let's discuss some the traffic trouble makers in our city.

1. Government Buses
        Government buses stands first in the list of traffic congestion makers. Most of the roads in our city like Chennai have very narrow streets with no more than 2 four wheeler can go side by side. Hence its important that buses stop close to the bus Stand near the pavement. But we hardly find any buses stoping that way. Most government buses stops in the middle of the road blocking the entire traffic. Having said that, we cannot blame the buses alone. The people waiting for the buses have to stand on the bus Stand pavement leaving way for the buses to stand close to the pavement.

2. Autos
           Autos are a major nuisance to our city roads. They take unexpected uturns at unexpected time causing major road blocks. In the roads 70% blocked by buses, the autos block the remaining space leaving no way for 2 wheelers. They also slow down the entire traffic till they get a ride.

3. Individual Self
      Most traffic congestion happens because of indicipline individuals. Even one person travelling in opposite direction can can block an entire road. One day I notices that an entire road was blocked because of a cycle rickshaw travelling slow in an important main road at peak office hour. Hence individuals have to act sensibly with common sense. If vehicles occupy both sides of a 2 way road, how the vehicles from other side can travel. Most traffic happens because of selfishness of individuals.

4. Government
        Last but not least, government has a major responsibility for reducing the traffic. It's a well known fact that good roads can help to reduce traffic congestion to a great extent. Instead of giving free items to people, government should strive to make the quality of life of people better by making sure that they have good quality roads, better sanitation and underground drainage system and pure drinking water supply. Government should laydown long term plans which can drastically reduce the traffic considering the increasing population and growing infrastructure.

I would like to conclude telling that it's always the duty of each and every individual self to act sensibly and cooperate government to reduce traffic.

Think! Decide! Think Different!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Idiots in the streets

Idiots are found everywhere in our day to day life. There are found at work place, hospitals, banks, government offices, railway stations, bus stands, public buildings, neighborhood, streets, etc. Not all of them affect our daily routine life. But today I am only interested in writing about particular kind of idiots whom we cannot avoid in our daily routine. Yes, they are the idiots in the streets. Let’s see them one by one.

Bungee Zombies
Bungee Zombie is a kind of Zombie in “Plants vs Zombies” game. They sneak out at unexpected times and are always a problem to the plants. Likewise these idiots always do unexpected things in the streets. They take unexpected turns and unexpected stops at unexpected time without watching the mirror like a Zombie.  At times they forgot that there vehicle got a third wheel and drives it like it were a two wheeler. Yes of course it is the Auto Rickshaw men. Gone are the Super Star’s “Batsha” movie days when auto men are considered men with social responsibilities. Today they don’t even dare to respect the rules framed by our government. In total they are simply in human, unreliable and useless even in emergency situations and are always a problem in the streets. They rank #1 in my idiots list.

Deaf Riders
These idiots are very dangerous hence we need to drive utmost careful when they are found nearby. They live in their own world unaware of the surroundings. Horn sound is something which they don’t hear. These idiots are none other than the people who use mobile phones and ear phones while driving. They think they are smart enough to drive and talk or listen to music at the same time. But instead they are not only just putting their lives at risk but also the lives of other fellow drivers in the streets.

Walker pokers
They virtually own the streets and use it as if they are inside their house. They show no respect to the vehicles travelling in the streets. Horn sound is something they don’t want to hear. Their characteristics resembles Buffalo and they are more prone in road in residential areas rather than Highways and main roads. The people who walk in the middle of the roads, Parents of kids who allows them to play in the middle of the road and those people who covers the entire road with their house construction sand in order to get them dried, all comes under this category.

Reckless rashers
They are the most dangerous of all idiots. They consider road as their playground and a place to showcase there extraordinary driving stunts. These idiots never bother about the lives of others travelling in the streets. They are the riders who does rash driving, who drives fast in the opposite direction on a one way road and those who perform stunts in a busy road.  They are the reason for most accidents in roads these days. We have no other option other than to stay away from these reckless idiots.

Disease distributors
These idiots are like a disease and needs to be culminated from our social environment as soon as possible. Like a disease they spread wrong culture to people around and makes our society a trash. They make our country a bad place to live and bring bad name to our country. These are the idiots who spit saliva and pan masala in the streets, drink alcohol and smoke in social places.  With more stringent rules, these idiots can be eliminated.

Money Diggers
I wonder if there exist a street without pot holes in a country like ours. Different departments divides the year for their digging activity and makes sure that roads stays in bad condition all 365 days. But has the Government not allocated money to lay down the road once it is digged?? I realized that they are not actually just digging the roads but in fact digging the people’s tax money. I wish to see a pot hole free roads in INDIA someday.

White Collared Beggars
I feel ashamed and sorry to include them in my list of idiots but I am left with no option. They are not the people who beg for their living at the traffic signals. They are the ones who are meant to serve people by keeping a check on other idiots. But instead they are always a nuisance to normal day to day commuters. They catch innocent commuters and beg in groups at the end of the month by threatening them with irrelevant accusation. I hope I need not mention their name. Someday I hope to see INDIA without these beggars.

This is just a basic list of idiots I felt worth mentioning here. Also please not that the objective of this writing is not to accuse an entire group of people but only to pin point those in the group who were a mess to the society. Apart from these idiots, there are numerous other hidden idiots in the streets who were a nuisance to people and commuters in everyday life. Hence it is our responsibility to stay away from these idiots as much as possible and live a safer life.

Think !!! Decide !!! Think Different !!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is this it???

Finally here I am, back with a blog post after more than a year interval. This is something which I am interrogating myself for a long time, but yet to find an answer. All through our life we are running chasing something, and at some point of time if we take a moment to stop and look back, we see that we stand where we started. Weird??? Yes it is.
      Life always seem to remain balanced. In the recent years there has been lots of technological advancement. Humans have evolved much over the years. Today there are people who live in well-furnished sky scrapers. Technology has advanced so much that today humans were able to create a living organism with synthetic DNA. But has the quality of life improved?? Are the people living today more happy than the people who lived some hundreds of years ago??  I don’t think so … We don’t get one without sacrificing another and you believe or not, there exist a balance always, some visible but some hidden to us.
        This applies to everything and everyone and I am not an exception. My very first mobile was Nokia 1600. It’s a very popular Nokia mobile, very sturdy and handy. Today I have a LG touch screen android mobile p500. Also my pay package has been increased from my initial pay. The big question is, has my quality of life improved?? . If you take a closer look, you can see that there exists a balance in everything. Nokia 1600 has its own advantages compared to LGp500 like lesser cost, better battery life, ease of use which were the primary necessity for any mobile phone. Not to forget the 3G data usage cost incurred for using Internet, Facebook and Emails in your touchscreen mobiles.  Coming to work life, it’s not just the pay which increases, but also the responsibilities and in turn the stress which increases as you go higher.
        Another typical example is the choice of bike to purchase. Higher the cost, better is the comfort and speed. But will it give the same mileage of a low cost 100cc bike? Just because you bought a costly bike, is it going to stay with you for life long? Not to forget that everything will degrade over a period of time.
         When I was studying 9th standard, my teacher said, “Students you just have to study hard for 2 years. It was these 2 years which decides what you are going to be”. I studied well and got into first group. Again in 11th standard, the teacher said, “It’s you college which determines your job opportunities. So study hard to get into good college”. So I studied hard and got into a reputed institute. And this doesn’t end there. Again I had to study well get placed in a reputed company thinking that will be the end of all sufferings. But the fact is work life turns out to be the beginning of a new mile to run.
Even today we keep chasing for better and better. But will it end someday?? I don’t know. Why are we running?? I don’t know. There were lot more unanswered questions in my mind. All that I know was, it all depends on how one defines Happiness.  Happiness is not what you can feel or reach. It is something which you have to realize and perceive…. We just have one life to live. So when you run, just remember the “balance” and you will automatically perceive the happiness…
          Life is not a ‘race’ to complete and complete at first place. Whereas life is a ‘journey’ to be cherished and enjoyed every moment. In this journey, not everyone happens to get a ‘window’ seat. But it’s the individual’s perception that makes the journey interesting.

Life is beautiful.  Just Live it!!!  Love it!!!

Think!!! Decide!!! Think Different!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My android app !!!

              Well, two years back when I stepped in to the embedded development field  , "android" was relatively a new term to me. I managed to google and found the meaning of "android" to be "A robot - humanoid". At that time, only a handful of android handsets were their in the market. Some said, its a crap mobile os from google, while others said the future of mobile technology lies with android. Today I can see that android rules the mobile world. literally, I can say "We are in an android era".   Android has became a very common buzz word today in the tech world. Today many devices starting from mobile, tablets to tv and settop boxes runs android. You can also see android even in cars and in automotive machines as a HMI in the near future. I am happy being a part of this growing android community.

 Okay, I guess its enough about android and its evolution. Lets come to the topic under discussion, my android app. Even though this is not the first of my android development, this app is very special for me as it is the first app  to hit android market under my android developer account. So I thought it is worth dedicating a separate post for it in my blog. I named my application as "Student Tracker" because it helps students to track their progress. I have made it a free app since it is meant for students. I am listing some of the spotlights about my application features below.

★ Student Tracker - An advanced student timetable and grades tracking application.
+ Manage individual semester subjects.
+ Configure timetable for each semester.
+ Customize grade points based on your current institution's grading system.
+ Easy grades assignment and CGPA calculation in one touch.
+ Add exams and schedule pre-exam alerts.
+ Easy switching between different windows with pre-defined menu shortcuts.
+ Transparent and glossy home screen widget.
+ Maintain and track the grades of your friends with different profiles.
+ Simple, efficient and easy to use glossy user interface.
+ Application movable to sdcard.
★ You can download my app from android market directly to your mobile by scanning the below given qr code using some barcode scanner application (Many are available in the android market for free).  

Though this is not the only  android application which offers these functionalities, I can say that, this is the only "free" android app with these many features.  Being the developer, it is really nice to see the download count increasing. You need to be a developer to experience that feel. After all, you get nothing other than the happyness of  helping other when you publish a free app with no add revenue. If you are a android user, sorry.. android student, try this app and don't forget to leave your feedback in the market. Finally I wish to conclude saying just one line.  

"This is just the beginning ... Lots to come !!!"

Think Different !!!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Incident !!!

      It was 27th september 2011, yet another Tuesday with normal day and normal office life. I had the usual weekly client call. I started by 9.20 p.m. from office. My project colleague dropped me at the Velachery, MRTS Railway station. He wondered, at what time I would be reaching home. I made an approximate extimate and told him that I will be reaching home by 10.45 p.m in the worst case.

      The train made it to Chindadripet station by 10.20 p.m and as usual I took my bike from the station parking lot and started my way back to home. It was here I made the first unusuall mistake. I forgot to turn on the bike headlights. I thought I could be able to reach home even before the time I estimated, But things turn out the other way.

      Few thoughts were going though my mind. Just a day before, I visited my friend who was recovering from an unexpected road accident. So I decided to remain caution while I drive and made up my mind not to drive above 45kmph. As I expected, the roads were empty as it was already above 10 p.m.

      Finally I reached, the Langs garden road, where this unexpected thing happened. There were two other two wheelers travelling by my side, one on my left and the other to my right. I was travelling at exactly the same speed as them. Neither did I overtook them, nor  I tried to slowed down. Suddenly I spotted this big ditch ahead of my path. I know I can't stop as the road was a bit sloppy and trying to apply sudden break might be risky. I could not take a turn as I have vehicles on both my side. So I decided to get though the ditch. But to my surprise, the ditch was a bit deeper than I expected. Though the front wheel successfully crossed the ditch, the rear wheel skidded, and I lost balance & fell down instantly.

      Blood starts oozing through my left hand. Both my shirt and pant were torn. As there were no nearby shops and the road was empty, I started again in my bike in hopes that I could reach home and clean up all the mess. But soon after I start, my legs started trembling. I stopped before a shop, and noticed that both my leg knees were badly hurt. I got some water packets from the shop, cleaned the wounds and called my brother for help. The rest is a big story. The funny part was, I finally reached home only by 11.30 p.m.

      Today I started wondering how it all happened. I know I was driving with utmost caution but even then I was not able to stop the approching danger. I tried to recollect the sequence of events that led to this incident.

      The first and foremost was, It was a Tuesday, which mean I had client call, and that I could only be able to start by 9.15 p.m. The later it gets, the lesser the traffic and so I will be travelling a bit faster than usual. I was travelling at around 40 kmph when I met with the accident. If I have started earlier , I could have never drove at such speed in that road because of traffic. So this was the first blow.

      Next, I missed to turn on the head lights when I start driving from the parking lot. If I had the lights on, I might have got more chance of spotting the ditch from a distance. So this was the second event.

      And there are two two wheelers travelling at the same speed as mine on either side, which prevented me from taking a sudden side turn. This was the third cause.

      I could recollect, that just a day before, I refilled my bike tyre air pressure. The higher the tyre air pressure, lower is the surface area of contact of the tyre with the road and lower is the road grip and hence more chance of bike skidding. This was yet another hidden event behind the incident.

      And above all, the most important cause was the big ditch in the middle of the main road. If there isn't a ditch, this incident coultn't have happened. The ditch may have appeared natually due to recent monsoon rain or  because of some man made electrical or drainage work. In either case whether it was natural or man made, I am sure that, that ditch was surely a gateway to hell unless taken care of by the government.

      Therefore this incident happened as a result of a sequence of unrelated events that happen at the same time as shown in the figure below. This doesn't mean that they are the only events responsible for this incident. Their could be millions of invisible events contributing to the occurence of the incident either directly or indirectly as subevents but only a few are visible and can be perceived by human mind.

       Finally I wish to conclude saying that an incident happens as a result of countless, unrelated chain of events that occur at the same time, over which we might have very little contol or sometimes no control at all. Many a time, we used to get a feel that things are out of our hands and some external power is controlling us and deciding our forture. But we fail to realize that such external power were none other than the environment and people surrounding us. Just think about it.

                            Think !!! Decide !!! Think different !!!