Driving in Mumbai

•June 8, 2007 • 1 Comment

Got a post on driving. Its kind of long. Read only if you want to. It discusses some stuff I thought should have been done while learning driving and some general stuff on drivng. I give my view on driving schools and the way they teach.




•June 7, 2007 • 3 Comments


            I scanned some mechanics journal diagrams drawn by a friend and printed them on journal paper. Unfortunately 1 diagram was not editted properly. Editting involves erasing stray lines, marks, colour contrasts and smudges. The person correcting it saw this discrepancy in the diagram and quickly pointed out I might have done a colour photo copy. He asked me to get an eraser and started to see if the diagrams were done in pencil. Thankfully the Masters student who was correcting my journal was kind and told me we also used to do G.T. (glass trace for those unaware) in our times. No problem, you are off the hook for once. I got 6 diagrams corrected.  

            My first year at college and this is an art I have become good at a small scale. It is a subject (not taught in college but practised there) I have a decent hold on after the first year. 

            What do you think when you think about forgery? There are various levels to it. Earlier they had people forging land certificates and sell a plot they did not own to some unsuspecting person. Now you have people selling the paper on which the certificate is printed and making millions. Guess the name of the dude who forged stamp paper and blew 3 million (30 lakh) rupees over his favorite bar girl in a night. Wonder what’s happening to him. Hasn’t been in the news lately. There is this other category also who do things on a lesser scale. People selling fake tickets to the Liverpool, AC Milan final on the day of the game to the hordes of Liverpool fans who poured in the day of the game. Ah! I forgot the rate, 3000 euros. I could go to New York and back thrice with such sales. Inspiring people. Motivate me to try new things. Guys inform me when there is an India, Bangladesh match in Mumbai. I am up for it. G.S. sahib  could probably get me some sample tickets to work on. The guys selling the tickets did get caught eventually. The name of the bar girl fanatic is Telgi.           

        What about selling tickets in black? The guy who sold me tickets on the first day to Lokhandwala made a 50 rupee profit. We could start a portal with all these blokes registered on it. We could book your tickets in black on the day of the show. Charge a 10 rupee commission on every ticket sold. Blokesinblack.com sounds decent. Rock bottom rates on the tickets with agents at almost every decent theatre. Don’t expect some guy selling black tickets at the theatres on Lamington road. They look like sheds. One gets the feeling that one is entering some abandoned building while going in. B-grade theatres as Sunny and Aditya (from 4th year mechanical) call it. Incentive to visit Lamington road.            

          It would be cool to do cards. Fake cards for some undisclosed purpose. No, not  credit cards. Not debit cards either but these would be the eventual goal. Did a few signatures previously. I am reminded about a great incident that occurred at school and is worth mentioning. A few friends got suspended for inappropriate behaviour and excessive mischief at school. So as usual principal writes a note to their parents in their hand books asking them not to send their children to school for a couple of days. These guy sign on behalf of their parents in the hand book. They prepare a form or somehow convince their parents about some school trip and manage to get some 400 rupees each. What do they do? They go to Water Kingdom or Essel world on the days they were supposed to be at home repenting their actions. Leave home perfectly in school uniform and come back home on time. Parents think they went to school and came back. It makes you wonder, may be they did deserve the suspension without the water park visit thrown in.           

         Talking about cards. The magnetic strip in each card would be cool to forge. Each bank would have its own unique code in the strip. Another challenge but less complex would be to duplicate the electronic keys hotels have. Most large hotels have these. These keys are programmable and each time a new guest checks in they are programmed fresh. So you have programmers for these, making the job more convenient. Also in many cases the key is programmed with the date the guest checks in and room number.           

          Some guys in some European country managed to rent a place and make an actual fake A.T.M. of some bank. So people walk in, you give them cash they want to withdraw in exchange for their card number and pin. They too were caught. Sometimes it makes me wonder are do people really get away with this? If so what are the odds? Well I wouldn’t have heard of the ones who got away successfully. No news people to report them. Railway coupons seem like a soft target. Print about twenty Rs. 5 coupons on a page. Cost price is Rs. 5 for high quality printing. Profit= S.P. – C.P. Reminds me of profit and loss from school. Profit is Rs. 95. Sell to all of V.J.T.I. which is a ready market of at least 1000+ people to dump your defective good on. Give them a buck off each coupon. Incentive to buy. People don’t buy anything but P.C.B.’s from me. Also don’t ask me to buy a ticket for a movie for you people.           

           A nice one was this thing in France. Some guys somehow tampered with the barcode of vintage wine worth $500 and above. They changed the barcode to $20 and checked out with it. They could have replaced the existing barcode with that of the cheap wine or kind of figured out how the stores barcode system works and made their own tags.

             I was thinking, why not some 15 people pool in around 1000 rupees and buy a projector. We need a decent place to use it. That’s 1000 rupees each. A hostel room with a white wall should suffice. Its like our theatre experience. Probably could throw in some cheap surround sound system. Watch around ten movies there instead of the theatre and you square off your investment.

             There are bigger frauds like corporate ones such as Enron and others. If you have any suggestions or opportunities please feel free to contact me. If the business model is exciting enough I am up for being a business partner. My actions are not worth mentioning. I expect Gaonkar sir to come online and read my blog. May be he would put it on a feed. 

Letter to director of my college

•May 11, 2007 • 4 Comments

Respected Sir,

            The purpose of my letter is to express my view about the institution I am a part of.  I might be right or may be wrong but this is my opinion at this point of time. Further being a first year student having limited exposure to the institution the views are restricted to experiences in the first semester. I will talk mainly about two things: the syllabus and the paper pattern.

            First lets begin with the paper pattern. Consider the subject Chemistry. If you have a look at the first year paper pattern, we deal with basically a few problems and major part of the paper is theory. The theory involves questions like state the properties of lubricants or like state properties of polyethylene. Personally I feel there is no application in these type of theory questions. Even the problems involve a monotonous approach such as problems of the same type and nothing different. There seems to be no application of what we have learnt.

            Let us compare this with what I have heard from a few friends in different institutes such as IIT, Powai. Their chemistry paper involves no theory. It involves only problems. So it involves some logic. I see no logic in learning the properties of a plastic without even understanding them. One may understand them if one wants to but one even gets marks if one states them without understanding a single word of what they mean. I see no application in this.

            Our aim would be to improve as much as possible. I feel that it is necessary to have application of what we learn to a much greater extent.

Same applies to physics. Theory is practically the same but there is something to understand in physics as compared to chemistry. Secondly problems involve those of the same nature being asked repeatedly. There could be some variety and application of what you learn. After all ultimately we would have to apply what we learn. Life does not throw the same type of problems every time. I suggest paper patterns, syllabus and teaching at IIT’s be studied so that we can improve from that.

            Another question is that if UICT can get so much accomplished since it became autonomous why can’t we do the same. UICT if I am not mistaken has a tie up with MIT and with Purdue. There are about 15 seats for exchange students in the chemical engineering department. We do get students with higher marks in the entrance examination in a few of our branches ( at least two branches ) than students doing chemical engineering in UICT. Why the difference? If UICT can do it we should be able to do it. They might have an edge because of their specialization to branches related to one subject: chemistry. Further their syllabus is changed significantly as compared to what it was before it became autonomous. I do not imply that our syllabus also has to be changed. It may be changed only if there is a need. It is necessary that we find out whether there is a need and in what subject.

We might not even need to spend time and effort to form our syllabus. Why can’t we lift the syllabus the IIT’s have? This is only a suggestion and the practical problems of implementing this have to be considered.

Another issue is that why can’t we water the grass in the football ground or the cricket ground. I bring this issue up because when students play dust flies up from the parts where most of the grass is dead. When more than a few people play a large amount of dust rises in the air. It would be harmful to the lungs of those playing to breathe in so much dust. The ones with ailments like asthma will suffer even more. We could install proper water management devices. I think watering a lawn using water straight from a pipe cause significant wastage and excess watering. We could add adapters to the pipes, which reduce the water, flow and spread it out in all directions like a sprinkler. So the lawn can be watered by a person using minimum water. If I am not mistaken lawn can be watered every alternate day.

Another thing the students are discontented about is the lack of transparency in the evaluation system. We would like to know how exactly we are given the points (from 0 to 10) and on what basis. I think a lecture on how the system works is essential. Further it costs Rs. 500 for re-evaluation. Most students feel this amount is ridiculous. I feel Rs. 100 is an appropriate amount.

Further an ironic thing is that a friend had a grade of 4 in one subject. On re-evaluation it was increased to 8 which is a dramatic increase of 100%. I feel it is rather strange that such an incident occured and such discrepancies exist.

Thank you for listening to me. There are other things that come to my mind every day but these are the most significant things I can recall. My opinions are based on my first semester here. They may not be based on the larger picture as I have not been here long enough.

Yours faithfully,

Inconvenient Truth

•May 10, 2007 • Leave a Comment

It is hard to give you a feel of what this documentary is about as its nature its such. Quite a strange thing to describe.

 It’s a great movie. Worth watching at least once. Watch it twice if you really want the grim reality to really sink into you. Get hold of an original copy or a pirated one but go watch it. I think that’s what the aim of the director Al Gore is. I doubt he made this film for any profit. He only made it to get his point of view across. Even if he made some money I think it would be given to a charity or used for research purposes. I recommend this as a must watch for every person. It is an Oscar winning film directed by the former vice president Al Gore of U.S.A.

It is on how we turn a blind eye to the serious problem of global warming. Also he blasts his own nation for contributing the most to green house gas emissions.

One of the most impact generating parts is where Al Gore’s father stops growing tobacco. Go watch the picture to know why. The message through this incident is that we don’t really bother about things unless they actually hit us hard, right in the face.

Google in Black

•May 10, 2007 • 5 Comments

As noted, an all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts. I thought I would do a little math and see what could be saved by moving a high volume site to the black format.

Take at look at Google, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let’s assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. Assuming that users run Google in full screen mode, the shift to a black background will save a total of 15 (74-59) watts. That turns into a global savings of 8.3 Megawatt-hours per day, or about 3000 Megawatt-hours a year. Now take into account that about 25 percent of the monitors in the world are CRTs, and at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, that’s $75,000, a goodly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few color codes.

Check this out and try to make it your home page.


Source for facts:EcoIron blog.


Hello world!

•March 28, 2007 • 1 Comment

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!