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Chennayil Oru KoduM(azh)ai Kaalam December 8, 2015

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.

Dec 2014, my dad was about to retire and we needed to move out of Kalpakkam Township, our safe haven, and look for a good abode in Chennai near to my office. Search was frantic in all online portals. We needed a 3BHK with good amenities, near my office. Many ads we replied to, had either water shortage or stairs with no lift etc.

Coincidence 1: One day, after a gap of 2 years, my friend Srikanth DM’ed me on twitter and asked for my phone number for a casual catchup. During that talk I mentioned my rented house search. He introduced me to an upscale township called Bollineni Hillside, near my office. I saw the pics, the amenities, and the area; all looked good. I searched the portals for this township but could not find any appropriate houses for rent

Coincidence 2: My friend Rahul returned from Dubai after a long time and we went for a drive, and picked up Sundaresan on the way. Sundar happened to mention about magicbrix.com for home search. I searched for Bollineni Hillside in magicbrix and voila! I got what exactly what I wanted.

Coincidence 3: I called up the owner of the house and found him to be a very nice and friendly person. The actual owner was his son-in-law who in fact was working for the same company as me!

The house ticked all my boxes, and, for the price, it was great value for money too, and we moved in after a few weeks, in March 2015. This decision would prove vital, almost lifesaving, later in the year.

This year has been hectic, in a good way. Major milestones happened in a jiffy. Moved to a new rented house in the city in March 2015, got married!! In June 2015, got promoted on the very day of my wedding, bought a car in Sept 2015. Things were going great until November 2015

November 2015, the Chennai monsoon started. Well we all know what this means. A few decent rains for one month. Much needed respite from the heat and dryness. At the max a little water logging here and there, a few exams will get postponed, worst case, a holiday or two from work, and things will be back to normal.

And things seemed to be going the usual route in 2nd week of November. But then, heavy rains started. A bit of water logging, a bit more than expected, office was declared holiday. Office was functioning normal the next day. I thought I could go to office, but when I reached my township gates, there was water up to knee level and further down water was up to chest level and hence the township roads were cordoned off. I tried two other gates of the township, all got blocked by water after a few hundred yards. Hence I returned to the safe abode of my home.

But to our horror, we were faced with 2 problems. The pre-paid cooking gas had ran out of balance. Hence cooking was impossible. We tried to go to the facilities office to recharge the gas, but the office itself was in chest deep in water. My dad tried in vain to wade through it risking it and came back when water level started rising.

Main power was off and the whole township was running on Diesel Generator (DG). Power was there 24/7 which itself was a great blessing during this kind of situation, but the voltage was so low that only lights and fans would work. The best one could do with the induction cooker was to make a lukewarm tea or warm already cooked rice. Hotels nearby where either closed or not accessible. To our luck we found that one small hotel just outside the gate of the township, from which we buy the occasional breakfast, was open. Hence this hotel became the lifeline for us. Still life was ok for us, bar this minor inconvenience. There was still power and water 24/7. Then one morning the DG power also gave up. Runnig water was still available, and at 6 PM, the main power was back too. Roads were clear and all was back to normal. Hence normal life resumed to some extent. Was saddened to know that water breached as high as 2 feet inside the house of a colleague. Nearby low lying areas still had water logging to about 1-2 feet but roads where still commutable with 1 feet of water. I would drive slowly through the waters, looking back to see how much buffer the silencer had, above water. I prayed for the people who were in low lying areas, in ground floors and hoped that this was the last of the rain spells. Little did we know that this was just a prelude to the Goliath that what would follow suit.

Next weekend, the same thing happened, but this time, they advised us to limit to one fan and one light. DG power was there 24/7 and water was there 24.7, hence we didn’t even need to stock up on water (A costly mistake as we would find out later). Gas also was there, so cooking food also was no problem. We thought the fury of the North-east monsoon had subsided and we can return back to normal.

Come November 30. Rain warnings started again, and I left the office a bit early.

Then it started. It started raining heavily from late that night. We expected that the rain would subside by morning.

December 1, morning, I woke up to the sounds of the rain lashing, moderate at times and heavy at times. I could not believe that the rains which started late night was still going strong. Hence, I could not go to office, and took leave. Later I heard that the offices were closed at 3:00 PM instead of 6:00 PM. That was the first alarm bell. If the offices have to be closed 3 hours early, then something must be really off, I thought.

Then things slowly started taking a turn for the worse. The piped gas got water logged and cooking gas flow to all houses ceased. The main power was shut down and power was from DG. Which meant no hot water, and also, the induction cooktop could not be run on full power. All it could do is, make a lukewarm tea, or warm existing dishes from the fridge.

This is where Coincidence 4 came into play. It was my dad’s birthday on Dec 1 and my dad’s brother who is staying with us, knowing that it won’t be possible to cook a birthday banquet in the morning as it needs lot of time, had prepared the banquet (Kerala Sadhya) overnight. All this had been done before the gas went kaput. Also, he not only made around 7-8 dishes, he made them in large quantities as well. Hence, we had a great meal for lunch for dad’s birthday and then the gas went kaput.

Then we started the survival mode. We would warm only 2 of the dishes from the fridge. If we used dishes A and B for lunch, then we would use dishes C and D for the dinner, lest anyone gets stomach upset by eating too much dal for example. We also targeted the easily perishable dishes like sambhar and dal first. We saved the dishes with higher shelf life, such as curd based dishes, pickles, etc. for later days. Power (although DG) was still 24/7 and water was still 24/7.

Then things started to get really bad when at around 12:30 at night, we opened the restroom tap and there was no water. Not even a drop! Having used to running water 24/7 there was absolutely no backup water except the 20 liter can of drinking water. A chill ran down my spine. This was an apartment complex and there was no well or lake inside it. I remembered Vadivelu’s dialogue – “Kudikkaradukku kooda thanni illama irukkalam, aana idukku thanni illenna asingama poidume da” (Not having water to drink is one thing, but not having water for sanitary purposes is an embarrassing disaster). This was all the more relevant because we have our 84 year old grandfather with us who is semi paralyzed and bed ridden. I alerted my dad and uncle immediately. Samuel Tayor Coleridge’s lines came to my mind – “Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink”. Then it struck us. It is raining heavily. Why not harvest the rain?

Dad and uncle went down with buckets and collected rain water from the drain pipe of the terrace. It had been raining for around 18 hours. so any contamination on the terrace floor would have been cleaned off, we surmised, optimistically. Either ways we can at least use it inside the toilets. Next 1 hour from 1 AM to 2 AM was spent in rain water harvesting.

Then I started to get worried, “Today it is raining, hence we can harvest the rain, what about tomorrow, when rain stops? How will we manage?” My wife consoled me saying “Nothing will happen, think positive, everything will be alight by tomorrow, sleep now” With her calming words, we all went to sleep, hoping for the best.

Dec 2, morning. I woke up to find that running water was up again, albeit at low pressure. Having learnt the hard way, the first thing we did was to fill up and stock up on water in all the containers that we could find. Rain had also subsided so there was no possibility of rain water harvesting.

We were yet to make breakfast, so we resorted the friendly neighborhood restaurant which was fortunately open. We brought tea and breakfast from there. Lunch and dinner too, was bought from there. We made rice with whatever power that the induction cooktop now running on DG could provide.

Then I looked up on the internet, TV etc, it had been raining continuously from Dec 1 very early morning to Dec 2 8:30 AM. Chennai and some places in TN had been hit with the worst flood it had ever seen in the last 125 years. In about 32 hours, it rained incessantly, deluging the already waterlogged streets, overflowing the already filled up to brim water bodies, making them breach. Houses in low lying areas were under 6 feet water. Even aeroplanes got washed away a few meters in the 2 feet of water on runways. My heart sunk. My city had become a disaster-zone. It rained in 32 hours, what usually rains in UK for a year (and UK itself is a rain lashed place). No amount of preparedness or DRS could be ready for such a deluge. Chennayil oru Mazhail Kaalam became Chennayil oru Kodu Mazhai Kaalam and finally it had become Chennayil oru Kodumai kaalam L

Then even the DG power went off. They announced that, to conserve diesel, power will not be available from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. So here was the plan. We would buy breakfast and tea from the hotel nearby. And with whatever power was there, we would make rice using the induction cooker if we can start the cooking by 6:00 AM. The dishes made for the banquet was in the fridge, but there was no time to warm it. That is ok, we can adjust with cold dishes, we agreed. They were made using traditional Kerala techniques, and boiled well, in such a way that it won’t get spoilt soon. Hence, that was the routine. At 6:00 PM, we would sometimes buy tea from the nearby shop or make it ourselves if we have time or if the induction cooker had enough power.

The mobile networks got shutdown. I sought the help of my good old fiend, the internet to communicate with friends and relatives, to assure them that we are safe, to know about weather, airplanes, trains, buses, etc. All eyes were on weather forecasts, all prayers were for the rains to stop. TamilNaduWeatherMan facebook page was the lifeline for all us to know what lies in store. We had booked tickets for my wife to go to Mumbai. It got cancelled. It was rescheduled. It got cancelled again.

The water and power started to get switched off earlier and earlier. 10 AM, 9 AM, 8:30 AM. We had just 2 hours to do all morning chores, cook rice, stock up on water etc. Then one dark morning, the internet also got shutdown. We were completely isolated. Physically and virtually. Almost all the gates in the township lead to water logged dead ends. There was absolutely no communication channels left. Landline, internet, mobile, 3G, all had given up. My worries started soaring. One by one, all the civic amenities where getting shutdown. I was living in a bubble, a bubble created by a not so low lying area and an upscale neighborhood with DG. But the diesel will run out. The power will run out. We won’t even be able to cook rice. We won’t even get running water. The rains by this time had subsided to a drizzle, so even rain water harvesting was impossible. We just hoped that we had enough diesel to sustain basic needs till main power and water was back. Then my dad stumbled upon the ChennaiLive 104.8 radio channel, which was doing an awesome job by giving live updates and linking volunteers and those in need, by crowd sourcing as well as typing up with some volunteers, using the power of WhatsApp and SMS. That became our only connection to what’s happening inside the outside world. Updates about which areas are affected, which areas are now ok to travel to, what help is being done, what is the weather now, what is the forecast, everything was given out by this awesome news channel whose jockeys themselves were forced to live in their studios for 4-5 days.

Then it became even more frightening. They announced that power and water will be available only from 6-8 AM and 6-8 PM. Mornings became a race against time. Do morning chores, cook rice, make coffee, stock up on water, all this before 8 AM, in 2 hours. All this became all the more challenging with an ailing 84 year old grandfather who was bed ridden due to partial paralyses due to stroke who needs constant attention, and who was unable to fathom the gravity of the situation unfolding around him. With this announcement I was convinced that we are seriously running out of diesel, and with roads blocked, procuring diesel also might be a challenged. I prayed that even if water and power is reduced to 1 hour per day, it is manageable, compared to having absolutely no power or water altogether. The radio show I was listening to was giving me hopes as, they said power and network were slowly coming back

The very next day, around 4 PM, main power was back, much to our relief. Then after 10 minutes, broadband was back, connecting us back to our relatives and friends. We immediately reached out to near and dear ones via WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and Hangout. As we surmised, they were all really worried and concerned, since there was absolutely no updates from us for the last 3-4 days. Couple this with the gruesome images of the deluge in the worst areas, all day in TV and they were fearing the worst. We assured them that we are completely safe, barring minor inconveniences.

I was glad that the city is on its way to recovery, but things were not all smooth yet. Gas was still down. So we were still resorting to the hotel for breakfast. But since now we had main power 24/7, we could use the induction cooker at full power to cook rice, make basic dishes and boil tea. We were still forced to refrigerate, re-use and save whatever dishes we have, and stretch it as long as it goes. It is today morning that we finally got cooking gas. Mobile networks are still not fully up, even as I write this.

At this time, I am filled with many emotions. Gratitude. Gratitude that there has been so many lucky coincidences to make me stay in a place where which was not affected in a life threatening way by the deluge. Gratitude that I am lucky enough to afford such a place. Gratitude towards the support teams and support systems and backup systems at my Bollineni Hillside Township who made sure that the residents felt as little impact as possible. Gratitude to all my family members who did not lose their cool and who calmed each other down, and who took strains to ensure we had enough food on the table and other amenities even in such a tempestuous time. Gratitude towards all my well-wishers.

But this is just the tip of the ice berg. We may be physically ok, but mentally very sunken. The personal fears and worries caused by the disaster is just a part of it. But I am mostly filled with sadness to see the fellow men suffer. People, friends and strangers who were not as lucky as me, who lost everything. Life, possessions, shelter, food, dignity. My maid waded through hip level water to reach my home. I stand humbled in front of her resolve, dedication and mental strength in spite of suffering so much. Places are still water logged, relief materials still not reaching them, death of 250+ people. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. I am trying to do whatever little I can, by donations, cash and kind, passing on info about volunteers needed and offered, passing on info about operable roads, keeping a close watch on weather updates and keeping everyone informed etc. but this is absolutely miniscule, compared to what some people are doing. It was heartwarming to so much strength and unity, so many volunteers who risked their own safety. Hats off to everyone who is trying to revive the victims. All we can wish and pray is to never see such an event again.

Some good online shopping websites August 28, 2011

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.

Some good online shopping websites that I am familiar with:

Exclusive Shirts & pants

T shirts, sports wears, accessories, foot-wears of all brands
http://www.yebhi.com/ (has lots of discount)

http://www.jabong.com (many premium brands)

A-Z shopping

Exclusive discounts
http://www.bagittoday.com/ (invite only)

http://www.24hoursloot.com/ (customisable)

Exclusive Perfumes (now has t-shirts, belts, accessories etc)

Exclusive slogan t-shirts

Buy products from global stores


Exclusive co-branded merchandise

Exclusive Kitchen and food products

Hand made products:


Personalized products


I think, therefore I am June 29, 2011

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

When we think of “I”, what do we interpret it as? We think “I” am an entity, a human being, an autonomous free willed organism. Oh really? Let’s see. Let’s travel, let’s start in the middle, at the organism level.  A person is a set of cells, each carrying out its own responsibilities. What controls these cells? Our brain! Is it? or is our brain controlled by the cells in the brain. So who am I? Am I my brain? is my brain controlling me? or do I control my brain? These two questions are absurd because there is an inherent problematic vague entity here; “me”/”I”. If we take that “me”/”I”  out, our questions are not that absurd. Millions of cells work together, each doing its own job, just like a dance pattern shown in World Cup inaugural ceremony. It only leads to a situation, where “me” or “I” don’t exist. We don’t exist per se. What if the cells suddenly decide to stop working in tandem, and diverge and fade away into the vast space?

We are able to perceive organisms because we are at that level, where we are able to distinguish between the millions of molecules that make up a person and the molecules in the air surrounding the person. But that’s just a convenient abstraction. At the molecular level, most things are different and exhibit different properties. At the atomic level, they become more similar. One may not be able to distinguish between the Nitrogen atoms in air and the Nitrogen atoms in ammonia. So at the atomic level, you can’t make out if this atom is a part of what molecule.

Let’s go deeper. perceive at the subatomic level. Everything starts looking similar. For that, imagine, an observer who is small enough to perceive at the subatomic level and since he is so small and limited, he can comprehend only subatomic levels.  We are sitting on top of an electron, and in a distance we see another electron. Now since we perceive only subatomic levels. we don’t know if the other electron is part of the same atom? or it’s part of another atom of the same molecule? or it’s part of an atom of a different molecule ? or it is part of an atom of a molecule of a different element? compound? cell? organism? You see, at the subatomic level, we can’t distinguish anything. It could be that we are sitting on an electron inside a person and the other electron you saw was of an atom in the air molecule, see we didn’t find the difference between person and air, we didn’t know where person ended and air started. And you see, most of an atom is empty space, the empty space could be inside a person or outside.  The observer sitting at the subatomic level suggestion seems absurd, does n’t it? No, let’s make an analogous counterpart, assume  a normal person is perceiving the sky. He sees a bright light, he does n’t know if the light is a satellite of the same planet, or a different planet, a star? a solar system? a galaxy? See!, just like our subatomic observer could not distinguish between atoms, we can’t distinguish between the location of planets, stars, solar systems galaxies etc, we can’t comprehend them. If we start  at the subatomic level, electrons revolve around nucleus, and at the top, satellites revolve around planets, planets around starts, starts around black holes, and probably even galaxies are revolving. So we see a fractal like pattern emerge.

So at the subatomic level whole universe is identical. Hence we all are a set of electrons and protons. At a high level, our universe might be a part of a universe set, at the lower level, the electrons could be galaxies themselves. Probably I am not writing this blog, my cells in my body are sick of their ‘unsung hero’ status and want to show who the boss is. I could be just a hostage to my cells, who work at their whim. But hey, why worry, I don’t exist anyways, he who executes functions on a null pointer gets an exception! Take that! you over smart cells!

Musimatics and Fibonacci! December 20, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Uncategorized.

Music and Maths! these two have always enamoured me, and more so when both of them are inter-linked.

One can write an epic on the mathematical fundamentals of music! But I want to focus on some of the interesting patterns in music.

For the benefit of people who don’t know let me touch upon the basics.

The Basics:

Let us take the 12 notes in the musical scale. If you play all twelve one after the other on the Piano, does n’t it “feel” like they are arranged like a stair-case, with equal intervals between steps? Yes, that’s exactly how your ear perceives it, “as if” it is an Arithmetic progression. But the truth is ou ears auditory response is logarithmic. Hence to give you a linear feel, their logs have to be in A.P. Hence actually, these notes are in Geometric Progression. That is, the ratio between each note is the same. What is this ratio?

Let’s look at 13 notes (inclduding the start of the next octave), say

C2, C2#, D2, D2#, E2, F2, F2#, G2, G2#, A2, A2#, B2, [C3… ] OR

Sa, Ri1, Ri2/Ga1, Ri3/Ga2, Ga3, Ma1, Ma2, Pa, Da1, Da2/Ni1, Da3/Ni2, Ni3, [Sa^…]

The 12 notes are arranged in octaves, in way that, the same note in the next octave is twice its frequency. So C3 is twice the frequency of C2, OR Sa^ is the twice the frequency of Sa. Hence all the corresponding notes in the next octave is in phase with the notes in the current octave, because the notes in the next octave are overtones of the current octave tones.

Therefore, when two people sing Sa and Sa^ together, you won’t feel much difference, because every second cycle, the wavelengths synchronise.

Now we have 12 notes in GP and Freq(Sa^) = 2*Freq(Sa).

Therefore each notes is separated by (12th root of 2) or Antilog((1/12 )* log2) = 1.0594 ~~ 1.06

So every note is 1.06 times the previous note, and so (1.06)^12 = 2.

The Patterns:

Now, I told you all these because, there are many interesting patterns based on it.

If you see, Sa and Pa are stable , that is they dont have any derivative frequencies, we can call them the base. That is why most musicians sing Sa, Pa, Sa^ before commencing the concert, so as to set the reference. But the beauty is still to come.

If you take the octave as flanked by the 13 notes from Sa to Sa^, Pa comes as the 8th note. Hmm, 13 and 8 ? does it ring a bell? yes our Fibonacci. 8 and 13 are both consecutive Fibonacci numbers.

One more!, typically not all 12 frequencies are used in a Scale,  only 7 are used, that is  chosing only one Ri, one Ga etc. So then our Octave becomes 8 notes in length. Now here Pa is the 5th note. 5 and 8 ? does it ring a bell? Oh yes, again consecutive Fibonacci numbers.

So POSITION Wise, Pa divides the Octave in the Golden Ratio, (5:3 Or 8:5)

What about frequency?

Since Pa is the 8th frequency in an Octave. So if the frequency of Sa is say X.

Pa is (1.06)^7 = 1.5 !

So, Sa, Pa, Sa^ has a frequency of X, 1.5X, and 2X respectively.

Notice anything? Yes! they are in Aithmetic Progression! So Pa divides the Octave in the Golden ratio position wise, and divides the frequency in to an Arithmetic Progression!

I can over-ambitious and say that even Frequency-wise Pa divides the Octave ALMOST in Golden Ratio (1.5 ~ 1.6). LOL! But I don’t want to :-p.

See, how many beautiful patterns emerge, even from a simple and basic analysis!

Disclaimer: If you are a music connoisseur, you might have known this already.

Easiest/Laziest formula for Nth Fibonacci number December 12, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Uncategorized.

There are many formulae for finding the Nth Fibonacci number, from recursive to non-recursive. Let me try to find the easiest laziest formula.

We know that most of the Fibonacci numbers ( from the 7th )  are in the Golden ratio. Let Golden Ratio (1.618…) be Phi.

Then F(n) = F(n-1)*Phi = F(n-2)*Phi^2 and so on.

So generally F(n) = F(n-x)*Phi^x

But we can’t write F(n) = F(1)*Phi^(n-1), because this will give you inaccurate results , because the 1st 7 numbers do not follow the Golden Ratio.

So the highest value x can take for a fairly accurate determination is n-7.

So our formula becomes F(n) = F(n-(n-7))*Ph^(n-7)

Therefore F(n) = F(7)*Phi^(n-7)

Fibonacci series goes as 1,1,2,3,5,8,13

So F(n) = 13*Phi^(n-7).

This will give a you a fairly accurate value for Nth Fibonacci.

You can get even lazier and say F(n) = 3*Phi^(n-4)

But this will magnify the error for 3 non compliant numbers and give you inaccurate resulsts, but if only it was accurate, this would be better  from a laziness perspective if you are programming, because there are only 4 special cases. Of course we can argue that computation of Phi^(n-4) will take fractionally more time than computation of Phi^(n-7), but we can neglect that :)

Disclaimer : I am sure this already in some literature, but I got this idea when I was in the restoom (a link to my previous post LOL! ), so its mine , he he ! and I could not find similar text by “lazy” googling

R-Buddies December 10, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.

I have been working in a corporate office for 2.5 years now and have made many real friends. But this is not I am about tell you now. I am going to tell about a set of pseudo buddies you make because you cannot control your body’s metabolism. Yes! Restroom buddies!

You still may think it is some people you befriend in the restroom. No! these are pseudo! Over the past 2.5, I have seen a pattern, the same set of people seem to be present in the restroom when I enter the restroom, regardless of what time I enter, be it morning, noon, afternoon, 3 PM 4 PM whatever odd time, they are there! And even on the same day, they are there everytime you go! Then you realise, that these are the people whose bodies may probably function similar to yours, may be they have the same rate of metabolism, may be they have the same bodily cycles. It makes me get a friendly feeling towards them. After all, who does not like similar people!? Something like a stockholm syndorme. But the friendly feeling is not because you see them everyday, it is because deep down you know that you may be physically similar people.

And this similarity, cannot be masked by any artifical means, it is the most basic of similarity. This is where all humans become equal. The equality here is unbelievable. I see all people from Entry level trainees to Senior Managers everyday, different ages, different ethnic groups, different regions.

It cannot get more equal than this. Irrespective the class / strata / race you are, it only means you may have similar functioning bodies, and no one can deny that or no one can change that. It gives a sense of belonging, that you are not alone.

It might seem gross , does it? Think about it! Where can you find more equality? All protocols cease to exist here. and it is great to know that “similar” people to you exists in all walks of life.

I am writing this because, I was curious to know if anyone else too felt the same way, about meeting the same people in restroom everyday and wondering if that is because these set of people have a similar metabolism pattern as you!

The amazing quartet! June 2, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Uncategorized.

Long ago, in school, when I was solving an arithmetic problem, I observed that 6^3 = 5^3 + 4^3 + 3^3.  Interesting enough, I thought, we have atleast one set of such 4 integers x,y,z,w such that w^3 = z^3 + y^3 + x^3.

Now they were all adjacent/contiguous integers. Great! I thought.

Now if that was not interesting enough, the triplet on the right hand side of the equation is a pythagorean triplet! Wow! Great!

So we have a  set of quartets {x,y,z,w} which are even more exclusive than the Pythagorean triplets, such that w^3 = z^3 + y^3 + x^3 AND z^2 = y^2 + x^2 (That is to say x,y,z are Pythagorean triplets). Beautiful is n’t it?

To put it simply, we have some perfect cubes which can be expressed as the sum of the cubes of a pythagorean triplet.

Well how frequent are these kind of quartets ? Well an easy answer would be {30, 40, 50, 60}.

But the speciality with {3,4,5,6} is that all 4 are adjecent integers. So they are unique, because, all other quartets will spread out and won’t be contiguous integers.!

Disclaimer: Some of you may have known/observed this already.

BlogAdda March 24, 2009

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
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Shall we meet? June 5, 2008

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

“Ragesh!”, a loud cry comes from outside my balcony, I rush to the balcony to find my dear friend Barath ready to shower his sharp and witty comments, as soon as I come to the balcony.. We just stand there, and talk (put mokkai as it is called now, but sometimes even profound things, like Time Travel etc, he he) relentlessly on one thing after another. As we speak, we spot Samson and Srikanth chit chatting near their house. Both Barath and I cry out their nicknames so loud across the 300 yards distance separating them, they come running, atleast to stop us from uttering their nicknames over and over again, and getting damaged in public as our voices richo- chet across the buildings and produce surround sound. he he. Soon, there would be about 6 – 7 of us there , talking away, ah! bliss…good times , good times.. This was year 2000, when we were in Std X, when we didn’t have cell phones or bikes or cars! But still friends of mine and I managed to meet almost everyday (mind u, this is apart from 6 hours of being with each other in school! ).

Come 2003, after all the tension and hype of all the +2 examnations and umpteen entrances ranging from IIT-JEE’s to an examination conducted by a small college, we are free to roam like free birds for 3 solid months. oh and what fun it was. This time it was different though, we would go around in bikes and the friends circle expanded, tearing the streets, with Suku and gang, stopping at a street corner, to eat something, do some “bird watching” and then tease each other on anything that pops up in your mind, however illogical or senseless they are.. Again as we would meet everyday.. go for a walk around the beach, go to each others home.. We were sure our friends would be home, and if not we know where to find them, and hey u are visiting about 12 friends everyday, so odds are that you will find 8 of them.. I would come home for only for food.. hee hee.. just roam around using 1-2 liters of petrol everyday, and would go out no matter how hot, cold , rainy or windy it was.. so will my friends.. Again, we didn’t cell phones, in fact not all had even land phones i guess..

Then we enter college, well, it is not that easy to catch up with all the friends during weekdays because, by the time all of us come back home, it will be about 5:30 p.m and many people went far , even in other states to study, but even then, we would catch up on the weekends, oh yes! the same roaming around we used to in 12th will continue, only difference is each of us will hav a different story to tell about the good, bad and funny things about our colleges. But this time , we got cell phones, so even if we can’t meet, we woud be sendng SMS’s to our friends through out the day till our fingers hurt and go on even after that. Weekends would be fun, some roaming around, some visiting friends houses, mostly Kalpaka’s and eating out, in some road side vendor’s shop, where we can be our naughty and boisterous selves.

And then we got jobs. All interaction reduced to chats. But if it was so, then fine, but chat we used to do in college!, till the wee hours of early morning like the long late night chats I used to have with Kalpaka, Charanya, Sandhya and Srikanth L. Now, everyones online, but almost no one is talking to anyone, (except for Sandhya, Ghanesh and Ravikumar in my case with whom I chat a lot during weekends, and have lot of fun) Why? because, most are fagged out at the end of a long tiring day of 10 – 12 hours (see, I love my job very much, but 12 hours of work and travel will make tired whoever u are), that no one is feeling sprightly enough to communicate. What about SMSs? Oh, don’t get me started! the SMS craze is over, partly because, now the operators have started charging for SMSs and we got bored of it, and if you have a phone like I do, the Nokia N72, sending one SMS will give u ache in the fingers for 1 minute, compared to the 1100’s and 3315’s we owned in college in which u type 100’s of SMS a day faster than you type on the keyboard.. The main reason is we have now got so many avenues to communicate that we take it for granted, we think , “Well, we got phone and SMS and chat and orkut and what not, we can communicate whenever we feel like”, but the “feel like” does nt come more often and we end up not communicating at all. The gap increases, all the more reluctant we feel to catch up with old buddies, Why is it so difficult? I don know..

Last week, the same 7-8 of us who used to meet daily in shcool days, had to send a thread consisting of 300 mails just to decide when and where we all shall meet together, after a gap of aroud about 4 months. This week, my friend and colleague Rajeswari spent endless hours communicating and organising over two days, just to decide where, when and HOW she and 4 of her friends(Sathya, Swetha, Priya and Swathi, who used to meet daily in college and even in weekends), can meet this weekend.

See the HOW, that is a new clause added, first it was anytime anywehere, then it was anywhere but in a particular time coz someone has n’t returned from college and so on, then it was at a particular time, at a particular place coz people come from far away on a weekend, so they dont have enough time to come to all the friends place etc. Now it is how! ya How! everyone is available, but all are busy, “how can we meet? hey I have work, next week our project release, I have a client call next week, so i ll be home at only 9:00 pm and i have work on Sunday too”, so more often , people silently come home, sleep for a day , take rest and go back.

Weekends, are different now, not anyone to hang around, it is rare, It is 2- 3 months since I went out to roam with my friends, no one is available , no one is ready, everyones just sitting around, lazing, taking rest, me too..

Unbelievable! the things we took for granted, are now precious and rare and almost forgotten.. Everyone is preoccupied, or pretend to think so, or even fool ourselves into thinking that we all are preoccupied. We fee like the “Babuli” character in Std X CBSE English text book. We would have thought “I ll never change” and here we are! Time changes us all is n’t it? It might have changed me too. I don know, I don’t have a version control system installed for my character.. LOL!

All I can say is, next time you feel like seeing ur dear friend, don’t call him/her and ask for an appointment!, but yell out her/his name in front of her house, you would n’t want to miss out the pleasant surprise on your friend’s face when he/she sees you, do you? You want to see him/her in his/her shorts and not in their make up and Allen Sollys, don’t you?

.. And if you don’t find him/her at home, don’t go back! look for her/him, probably they are sitting on the same perch you both used to share many a secret, many a joke, and many a crush, probably even thinking about you….

Play Tag May 11, 2008

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

Tagged by Ravi KKumma

Last movie seen in a theatre:

I am not enough a movie buff as to go to a theatre and watch. Yet to watch my 1st movie in a theatre, he he

What book are you reading?

Other than technical e-books or articles, not reading any book as of now.

Favourite board game:

As Ravi said, if Dias Tennis is a board game, then oh yes! DT it is!

Used to love Business game (Monopoly) when Divya and I used to spend long hours playing it..

I love playing Cricket trump cards, Rummy and 5 cards..

Favourite magazine:

AUTOCAR India.. Awesome! Vrrrroommm!. Reader’s Digest

Favourite smells:

Ravi has blown my cover, so gotta admit it, like the smell of new quality books. Then comes smell of my mom’s chicken, cologne ..

Favourite sound:

The sound of my car engine as it climbs to 5500 rpm as I floor the throttle.

Worst feeling in the world:

The fear that your achievements may go unnoticed.

When some one who you care about fails to understand you.

When you are accused of something you didn’t do..

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

Sometiemes I think “Who am I?”

Sometimes I think “I can’t get up from the bed without drawing a free body diagram and resolving all force vectors”

Sometimes I think “I am an object of a concete class, which method should be performed upon me to make me get up”

Favourite fast food place:

Pizza Corner

Few small shops where I go with my friends.

Javagreen in my office.

Future child’s name:

Mercedes if the child is a female, and Benz if the chid is a male. Only child. I do not want the world population to increase in a fibonacci series because of me ..

Finish this statement, “If I had a lot of money I’d…”

1. Elevate the standard of living of my grandma

2. Buy all the cars I have listed in “The Cars I would love to own page

Do you drive fast?

You bet! I would to like to embark upon an unending journey to eternity at the velocity of infinity :)

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

LOL, what?? Sometimes I hug my mom.. But she is real..

Storms – Cool or Scary?
Cool. Romantic

Do you eat the stems on broccoli?

Nope. Don’t eat broccoli in fact

If you could dye your hair any colour, what would be your choice?

Copper/Burgundy/Gold in different layers

Name all the different cities/towns you have lived in:

Udayanpuram (beautiful. scenic, in Kerala) and Kalpakkam

Favourite sports to watch:

Cricket, esp when Sachin is on song. Formula-1, esp when Michael Schumacher used to drive..

One nice thing about the person who sent this to you:

A typical Libran, driven by his moods, sometimes sober, sometimes light; sometimes cool, sometimes tensed; sometimes as calm as the ocean, sometimes the raging storm, an honest and smart guy who never tries to exploit or cheat anyone..

What’s under your bed?
What do u expect? 10,000$ which I earned selling my latest invention? I wish, he he.. Just the cot. he he

Would you like to be born as yourself again?


Morning person or night owl?

Night owl! anyday (I mean any night. lol)

Over easy or sunny side up?
Depends on my mood..

Favourite place to relax:
My home, if it is my current , then its in my bedroom, with my computer, else it is grandma’s place in my hometown in Kerala, the pulchritude of nature at her pristine best..

Favourite pie:

I have n’t tried, but I like pi though(3.141926…)

Favourite ice cream flavour:
Chocolate! (esp as Sundae or with lots of nuts)

You pass this tag to –



Swat cat

(If you can tag yourself that will be great too)

Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?

I think it ll be Revs, (if she gets time/access to blog), coz she writes like 10 blogs per nanosecond. her blogging rates is counted at the rate of MPPS (Million Posts Per Second), lol

Make Money from your Blog with Bloggerwave December 8, 2007

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.

Make Money from your Blog with Bloggerwave. Well ya, Bloggerwave pays you to write about them and their partners whom you can promote through your blog. Just a novel way to monetize your blog. I know coz I just received  a 10$ from them. Quite exciting. he he. Try your luck as well. Happy blogging!


Pursuit(?) of Happiness! November 10, 2007

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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I stumbled upon a video, which makes us rethink the phrase, “Pursuit of happiness”. Is happiness something that we should pursue? or is it within us which we can create? Watch the emotional, scientififc, biological and philosophical video at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/97. A must watch!

Making your Automatic car dance to your tune October 27, 2007

Posted by Ragesh G R in Physics and Maths, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

The most common complaint and comment about an Automatic tranmission car, is that “You have less control over it, there is less involvement, compared to a manual transmission car”. Agreed, you can’t dictate the car to change to any gear that you please when you have an automatic transmission, but from my experience, I can tell you, if you know your know your car well enough, and if you are able to feel what it is doing, you can make even an automatic transmission car do whatever you please (well almost!).

First of all it’s possible due to the fact that most engine management system of today’s cars are intelligent and are based on a feedback system. The car does n’t just do pre-programmed actions irrespective of anything anymore, but on the contrary, listens to the driver input, tries to gauge the intention of the driver and tries to act accordingly, producing wonderful results almost always.

Next is your talent, how much you know your car and can undestand what it’s trying to tell you.

Downshifting in an Automatic car

Apart from the obvious manual change to”L” or “2”, the modern day cars downshift when you floor the throttle (full(open) throttle), provided the current revs of the engine can accomodate a higher rev as a result of a downshift. Imagine, you are cruising along at a rather relaxing speed of 70 km/hr in Overdrive(highest gear), when you need to pass a lorry in front of you, and an intersection is approaching, so it’s a case of now or never. But since you are in Overdrive, obviously you may not have enough acceleration to complete the overtaking manoeuvre before the intersection. No probs! You just floor the throttle, the car immediately shifts down to the previous(lower) gear, u get a jolt of acceleration, the next thing you know is you have passed the lorry at a speed of 90 km/hr. No more waiting for the speed to build up and no more nervous times during a pass

Warning: Do not ease the throttle(i.e., always keep it in full throttle) in the middle of the overtaking manoeuvre or else the car will upshift and lose acceleration and phew! you don’t want that to happen. So keep it floored till you have completed the overtaking.

Upshifting in an Automatic car

Now it’s not as straightforward as the downshift because here you have got to do all the work. The secret lies in judging if the rev (engine speed) is appropriate for an upshift and playing with the throttle. Generally, an automatic car upshifts to a higher gear in the start-middle of the rev band appropriate to the next higher gear. But sometimes we need power. So to prevent an upshift untill all the revs (max revs) at the current gear is utilised and you get maximum acceleration, floor the throttle and don’t ease it until it upshifts. But sometimes at higher speeds, not letting the car upshift will sometimes keep you in a low speed gear when you want speed and not torque. For that, just ease the throttle when you want an upshift. The engine management system(EMS) senses that since you are no longer in full throttle, you don’t the need the acceleration and torque and can upshift. Once it has shifted up, you can get back on the throttle (but not full throttle, else it might downshift again), and drive away. The beauty here is you can upshift almosy whenever you want to (i.e., at whatever rev you want to) by easing the throttle. But there is a limit to it. You can use this easing the throttle to upshift only when you are in the right rev band. If you ease the throttle too early (before the rev band of the next higher gear), the car will not upshift and you will just slow down, and if you don’t ease the throttle at all, it might not shift untill it hits the red line which might be unnecessary sometimes. It’s a delecate balance between speed and torque, and it’s a wonderful feeling when you get it just right.

When the driver sensitive EMS of the car, and your feel for the car work in tandom, you can make it dance to your tunes. It’s sometimes more challenging than a manual car because, there are no explicit levers to do anything, you are just overriding the car by thinking from it’s perspective.

Car modifier for physically challenged October 2, 2007

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Update: please find govt approved modifiers at http://automateindia.in/dealer.htm

I think the “wizard” who made my dream of driving a car, come true, deserves an exclusive post. He is:

Mr. Bhaskaran

51, 2nd Street, Collector Nagar,

Opp to MMM.

Mogappair East,

Anna Nagar

CHENNAI – 600094

Mobile: 9841190690

To mention a few words about him, he is an obviously talented Automobile Engineer cum car modifier, who specialises in modifying cars for physically challenged people. He has modified more than 150 cars so far, with 100% success and satisfaction, including the top- guns like Mercedes Benz, using the Alfred Bekker system. For under just Rs 19,000 (this might be variable depending upon the car), he had fabricated and fitted custom built hand operated kit for the accelerator and brake and combined both into a single lever, which operates both, mutually exclusively, using a push-pull mechanism, which makes it fool proof. The whole process takes just about 4-6 days. As a client, I could not be any more happier with him, both as a car modifier and as a person. His work is impeccable, his manners, immaculate. He is a boon for physically handicapped people, atleast through out Tamil Nadu. He is a rare breed indeed, because, although there are many car modifiers in Chennai, finding such a car modifier for physically challenged people in Chennai, is like finding a pearl in a haystack. (Ya he is a Pearl!). Try searching cars for physically challenged, in Google and you will see what I talking about. I dedicate this post to him.

NB: Please read through the comment thread before posting your query. Chances are your question has already been answered.

Close Encounters of the C.A 2th kind May 11, 2007

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

6th sem: 31 May 2006: I got up to a new day, the day of the Engineering Economics and Financial Accounting (EEFA) exam. It was a very easy paper and one day was more than enough to prepare it well. So reached the college at 9:35 a.m, leisurely by car, with my dad, and went and sat in my usual place on a bench beside where my closest friend, Kalpaka was sitting, outside the exam hall. The exam was at 10 a.m.

Usually, she sits in the left end of the bench with her bag to her right, and I go and sit in the right end of the bench with my bag to my left. And we will be revising silently, not disturbing each other or discussing etc.

This day however, she was sitting in the middle ( to my luck actually) , and I went and sat beside her. Unlike usual days, I don’t know why but I just peered into the notebook that she was reading, and I saw an acronym. I found that strange and new, hence, out of curiosity, I asked what the expansion of that acronym was. She said something that ended with the term “Processor” (!!). I was like , what?? where the hell does Processor come in EEFA??. Still not exactly getting what the situation is I asked her jokingly, “Hey innakku EEFA exam thane? (Hey today is EEFA exam only right?)”, to confirm that its actually EEFA.

All I expected was a simple “ya of course”, but the reply I got was, “Innakku CA (Computer Architecture 2) da, enna da joke adikkariya, bayam puduthada (Today is CA, what are you joking? don’t scare me)”!!!!.

Oh man shit! Was she joking or serious? Who was joking?. The fact is she really thought I was joking. Just then I started getting what it all meant, I looked around. She had the Computer Architecture text book Hennessey & Patterson by her side. Yes, the worst possible thing had happened!! I had studied for the wrong exam!!. I mean I had only heard stories of students coming prepared for the wrong exam, but I could n’t believe it happened to me.

Suddenly, everything went blank! I could hardly hear any sound, all the people who were discussing and yelling seemed mute to me. It was like in a dream, where everything is dark and kind of intangible, an out of body kind of experience. I was not actually panicking, but my hormones, esp adrenalin started to richochet in a frenzie. It took a minute to sink in. I waited for my dad to leave, he said good luck and left. I didnt want to sadden him by saying the news and making him worried, and get myself worried in the process etc.

After he left, I slowly turned to Kalpaka and said “Hey naa innakku EEFA kku padichittu vandirukken ( Hey I have come prepared for EEFA today)”, in a non-chalant tone with an expressionless face. I was still dumb struck!. I was still numb.

On hearing this, “She was actually more taken aback than me”. She could not believe it for a second and then gave a genuine terrified, surprised expression which told the whole story. I got the exact gravity of the situation only from her face, at that time. She was like “Hey! what are u saying? how come?” She could not believe it. Now it was 9:45 a.m.

Suddenly her mood changed. She left what she was reading, and asked me what units I know. I said I know the 1st and 2nd units well, having listened to the classes, and having studied for Unit Tests. 3rd unit also I knew to some extent. So then she started frantically teaching me topics I did n’t know from 3rd unit and 4th and 5th unit. Luckily some topics in 4th unit had been taught in 4th sem in CA 1. I tried to grasp whatever she was trying to teach, but I was n’t able to listen that much. Though I gathered some vital info on some topics. Thanks to her. But my mind was wandering..

I was telling myself, “Don’t panic, be cool, that’s the key. If u start to panic, then that’s it!, you will lose it, u cant control the degree of panic. So don’t even think abt getting tensed or the consequences!. Just go and write the exam in cool manner. Think this is just a Unit Test. You like the subject very well. You have topped Unit Tests etc. You know the subject well enough to pass, but your emotions, your composure is the key. Just look at the questions, don’t think about this exam etc”..

With this resolution, I relaxed myself and went into the exam hall, with nothing to lose and no expectations… The 2 marks were easy. The 11th question was from 1st Unit, which had performance measures, problems etc all mathematics, so my favourite, wrote that well. Some parts of 12th and 13th questions were about RISC processors. Having studied that in System Software, Microprocessors and CA 1, wrote those pats somewhat decently. 14th question was little unknown for me, but from what she taught me I could manage somewhat. Another small question, I remembered having learnt that in class. Somehow I finished the paper, with having written partial answers for few questions and having left out two 8 mark questions. I was banking on the 11th question to save me.

I came out of the exam hall confident that I will pass, my evaluations told me I will get around 50-55 % in external ( so, 40-44 out of 80 + 20 internal = 60 – 64 % total). 45% was the pass mark. But u never know, this could be one of those things. There was n’t much room for comfort. Many thoughts started perturbing me. My placements were in a month and should the unthinkable happen, I could even end up not placed. Having got a clean record and 84% aggregate, what an embarassment it would be. Everyday I was torn apart between the confidence that I have done well enough to pass, and the fear of failure. The night after the exam, I told my dad quietly, “Don’t get tensed but I had studied for the wrong exam, but don’t worry I have done it ok enough to be safe”. He too was flabbergasted, but he too was cool, and I assured him nothing wrong will happen.

The comedy is that on the day of the previous exam, on May 29th, my friend Prem Anand called me up to mark topics in the CA text book. Even then it didnt strike me that the next exam is CA. I thought he will study CA on 29th, and EEFA on 30th as it is very easy. And generally people will message me about something like some doubt in a topic, or how hard it is to study , how boring etc, This time however nothing like that happened. None messaged me and I didnt message anyone. And even worst, my friend Srikanth K had called me on landline to ask some doubt in CA 2, the day before the exam, but my dad had picked up the phone, because I had gone to bathe, so he cleared his doubt from another friend.. May be it was meant to happen.

But I owe much of what I could accomplish that day, to Kalpaka. She just had a calming influence on me, to know that someone is there who genuinely sees the difficulty you are in, and tries to help you out. I thought, “Atleast for the sake of such a friend, as a tribute to her friendship, atleast for the mental tension I gave her and atleast for the time she spent for me, I should do well in the exam”.. In fact she told me after the exam that, she herself got tensed about my situation, and she was thinking how I will be writing the exam.. Trully unforgettable.

The next important reason is that CA was one of my favourite papers, especially the numerical problems, and I found the subject very easy and interesting.. In fact the reason why I thought the exam was EEFA was because, somehow it got into my head that the exam order is in the reverse order of my liking them. So since I like CA more than EEFA, I thought EEFA is before CA. (My friends either ROFL or hit me when I say this crazy reason.. LOL)

The D-Day. The day of the results! By this time many of my friends came to know about my tragedy(?) and had consoled and encouraged me. The site did not open due to traffic. My friend Abitha called me up and told results have come, and that the site is opening for her but when she tried my number, the site didnt open again. So again tried at my computer, and it opened. Prepared for the worst and hoping for the best, I looked at the screen and searched for CS340 (CA 2), and Voila! I had passed!! , I had scores 20/20 in Internals plus 39/80 (36 being the pass mark) in external for a total of 59 ( :( ). phew! what a sigh of relief. The letter “P” on the extreme right made me happier than any 100’s and 90’s I got.

Fine! Now, nothing unthinkable happened, but wait a minute! 39/80? that would mean a mere 49% in external. I knew I didn’t do that bad. and I can’t digest have a mark in the 50’s, in a subject in which I should have scored 90% (Though it’s my fault that I prepared for the wrong exam).

I had n’t got the marks I expected in few other subjects as well. So as usual I applied for revaluation in 4 subjects to get back my peace of mind, and prestige. Reval results arrived, I was so happy, I got 29 marks extra in reval, including +3 in CA 2, which made it now 42/80. Hence 20 + 42 = 62%. Hmmm not bad for studying for an exam in 15 minutes I thought… This incident has turned out to be one of the most happy , sad, proud and embarassing moments for me, but one thing, it’s unforgettable..

All I can say is, necessity is the mother of invention, when u are faced with a crisis, one will automatically get the courage and strength and the solution to it, both from within and from external sources, where there is a will there is a way, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Sorry for being so pleonastic, but wanted to share this experience.. I dedicate this post to Kalpaka and all others who stood by me.. and Revs who urged me to write a post. Love you guys! :)

PS: After this exam , the next exam was in fact EEFA on June 2 , so Ragesh G R hardly had to study, in fact he was watching Morning Raga on STAR Movies and messaging everyone to watch it, at 8:00 pm on June 1. LoL:)


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