Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A man whom legend turned into a god !

A few months back my friend chota bada was reading a book named "The Immortals of ..something". I wasn't interested as I am no book lover. So all day he was roaming here and there, but gripped in his hand, remained that book. Well I asked him what's so interesting in the book. He didn't answer, just lent me the book and told me to read it for an hour then he'll come back and grab it again. Well I started reading the book and then when he knocked after an hour I was so busy turning pages that I didn't open the door.

Oh by the way, the book was Shiva Trilogy 1: The Immortals of Meluha written by Amish Tripathi. Well he is an IIM grad so don't expect it to be much of literary value, but it definitely has something in it which made me blog about it. It is a true masterpiece when it comes to concept, logic and philosophy. Everything is so well justified and thrilling that reading it was a journey in itself. Well I am not writing a review .. you can read a good review here.

In simple words it is the story of an ordinary man whom legend turned into a god.

Altough I would like to share few passages from the book :

Ayurvati kept repeating, " Om brahmaye namah. Om Brahmaye namah."
"What happened? Is it serious?" asked a worried Shiva.
Nandi rushed in and noticed Ayurvati on the ground.
"What happened, my lady?" asked a startled Nandi.
Ayurvati just pointed at Shiva's neck. The neck shone an eerie iridescent blue. Nandi collapsed on his knees, " My Lord! You have come! The Neelkanth has come!"
- He has come! [Pg 23]

"But what was the system that Lord Ram set up?" - Shiva
"The system is simple. As we agreed, the best society is when a person's caste is decided only by his abilities and karma. Not by other factor. Lord Ram created a practical system that ensured this. All children that are born in Meluha are compulsorily adopted by the empire. Once the child is born he is then put into the Meluha Gurukul. Every single child receives the benefit of exactly the same education system. So every child, whether born to a brahmin or a Shudra, would get exactly the same treatment at the Gurukul. Thus every child has the same opportunity to succeed. At the age of fifteen, all the children are given a comprehensive examination. The results of this examination decide which varna or caste the child will be allocated to - Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra."
- Vikarma, the carriers of Bad Fate [Pg 97]

one of my favourite passages ...

"You know what is the most powerful force in a man's life?"
"It is his intense desire to impress the person he loves most."
"Just out of curiosity, what do you think is the most powerful force in a woman's life?"
"I think the most powerful force in a woman's life is the need to be appreciated, loved and cherished for what she is."
- Love and its Consequences [Pg 153]

and this one reminds me of 300 ...

It took less than an hourbefore the vikarma(carrier of bad fate) brigade was marching out of the camp. The sun was high up in the sky and practically the entire camp was awake, watching the soldiers set out on their mission. Everyone knew the terrible odds the vikarmas were going to face. They knew that it was unlikely that any of these soldiers would be seen alive again. The soldiers, though, did not exhibit the slightest hesitation or hint of fear, as they walked on. The camp stood in silent awe.
Drapaku was at the lead, his handsome face smeared with war paint. On top of his armour, he wore a saffron angvastram. The color worn for the final journey. He didn't expect to return.
- Empire of Evil [Pg 333]

And I think you never pondered over this fact ...

"The destruction of evil? Wouldn't you say that is a very important reason?"
"These people aren't evil. They're just different. Being different isn't evil." 
The Pandit's face broke into his typically enigmatic smile.
"Exactly, you have realised it very quickly, my friend, a lot earlier than the previous Mahadev."
"Lord Rudra?"
"Yes! Lord Rudra."
"But he did destroy evil. He destroyed the Asuras."
"And, who said the Asuras were evil?"
"I read it ..." Shiva stopped mid-sentence.
- The question of Questions [Pg 391]

It is an awesome book worth a read . Hope you will grab your copy soon :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

IIT - सुन्दरता के दृष्टिकोण से

Well I visited IIT KGP during my counselling session.
Then I came to IIT K. 
A year later I paid visit to IIT D.
And today I had a chance to pay visit to IIT M.

Well the location was quite similar to IIT D , near a fly-over.
The entrance quite similar to IIT K.
But what it lacked, I would say .. was professionalism.
It looked more sort of IIT D + 300 acres of forest.
Trees covered with dusty leaves.
Playgrounds having no grasses.
Well the indoor stadium kinda reminded me of ours.
Chital in IITM is synonymous to Nilgai in IITK

Hostels were pathetic.
Poor supply of good drinking water coupled with No Water Coolers even in a place like chennai .. :O
No food court.
Even lesser gals than anywhere else. ;)
+1 for in-campus bus service.

Overall सुन्दरता के दृष्टिकोण से रैंकिंग  कुछ इस प्रकार है :

१ - भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान (आईआईटी)  कनपुर
२ - भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान (आईआईटी) खड़गपुर
३ - भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान (आईआईटी) मद्रास
४ - भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान (आईआईटी) दिल्ली

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Toroid Under Pressure

Here is a simulation of a Toroid Top Inner Surface under uniform pressure load.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cantilever Under Uniform Pressure

Here is a simulation I made of a Cantilever under uniform pressure load.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Internship Hunt - Act II Scene III [ITC : My First Interview]

Previously  : Act II Scene II [ITC : Fire]

In about 10 minutes I was about to face the first interview of my professional life. I was very tensed because I had not prepared even a bit due to Takneek. I had scheduled Blackbox finals the next day which worried me even more because I was not sure whether I could cope up with my mental state after the interview.
I entered the room.

"Hello Maam. Hello Sir."
"Please, take a seat."
A drowsy official was sitting in the middle. The pretty HR Lady to his right and another enthusiastic official occupied a seat to his left.
The lady was going through my form which I had filled earlier. Then she kept it aside. It was a clear signal. I was about to face technical interview first.

Tell us about yourself ?
I am Ankit Mahato. I did my schooling from Jamshedpur. I topped state that year. Currently I am pursuing Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and I like programming.
Well in any interview this is the most crucial question. Your reply to this question actually decides the flow of the interview. I forgot to mention any of my qualities around which further questions might have been built. I ended my reply with 'programming' which made them think that I am emphasising on it. Unknowingly I gave them too few options to build further questions.

So how many programming languages do you know?
Sir, I know C, C++,Java, PHP  and [after a brief pause .. ]Python.
Well their reaction was not that pleasant and their eyes had the kind of expression similar to an amalgam of OMG and WTF. The look they had simply demoralized me.

So why did you not take CSE?
Hmm.. I couldn't get it, but I like my branch.
Well if you are really interested in knowing the ideal answer it is as follows:
Sir, my interest lies in mechanical engineering. Programming is just my hobby which helps in development of my analytical skills. Even if I would have got a better rank I would have taken this branch.
This cold and brutal lie will definitely get you past the HR.

Sometime back someone from iitk made an app related to auto-rickshaw pooling system ... 
[and even before he could complete his question I intervened ]
I smiled and said - Yup my friends Kapil and Debi made Tempool for that purpose. But I am not into app development.
I should have controlled my natural instincts of intervention.
Later when I was talking to Kapil he told me that this person was talking about some other app which was made by his senior which was released when we where in first year. Obviously none of us knew about it as we had no laptops in first year.

How can your programming skills benefit us ?
Sir, I can do optimization of product design.[Period]
Well if you are thinking that I could have said more then let me tell you that for me a code is just like an art piece. I never draw keeping in mind whether it will sell or not. I simply paint my imagination. And at that time I had zero idea of optimization. I had just heard its name and that it is some field in my dept which involves computation. Neither was I familiar with the finite element methods nor I had a clue of computational fluid dynamics. Yes but I definitely hated my professors for sticking with fortran.

Seeing me bit tensed up they finally decided to change the flow of questions.

What is your favourite subject?
Engineering Graphics.
Any other subject?
Engineering Design.
Hmm.. any other subject you find interesting?
Yup, currently I am doing an elective Integrated new product Development, I like it.
They asked me the same question three times and I messed up in getting the hint. If you are asked this question, do what your seniors say. Tell them your favourite topic is Fluid Mechanics or Thermodynamics. This is all they want to hear. Never ever listen to your gut feeling. Don't be original. Simply sell yourself.

Okie tell me about that course ?
It is about the way you approach any new product. What are the processes involved. How you perform the market analysis. How you identify the needs. And how do you come up with a brand new product that could sell.

They looked quite impressed.
Then I was asked about Value Proposition Curve, Product supply chain, etc. 
I gave pretty convincing answers.

They told me to call the next person in.
I thanked them.
When I came out I was happy.
They way it all ended seemed I had nailed it.
Everything was perfectly fine.

I was waiting outside for my upcoming HR interview.
My face had a big smile.
I waited, I waited.
I was never called inside.

Up Next : Most probably the epilogue. Because writing this post was probably most difficult for me. It reminded me how these 20 minutes used to replay in my mind everyday for 4 months, everyday trying to figure out where I went wrong. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

One woman who looked at me a little more closely

I had a wife.
I loved her.
Just wait. I really loved her.
We had a tiny room with hardly any furniture.
We even ate dinner on the floor, because we had no table.
I was a junior researcher in a physics institute.
I was developing one of my ideas.
My wife had to work three jobs so we could make ends meet.
Long story short, I invented a new
tunnel diode.
It's hard to explain.
At work they congratulated me...
...gave me a 50-ruble bonus
and proposed I work on a new project
So I went home with the result of three years' work:
Fifty rubles.
My wife gave me a look like you'd give.
A large foreign company offered to buy my patent for a lot of money.
But I said no, I wanted it to be used here, in my country.
I offered it to various places.
They said "It's great".
But nobody needed it. Nobody.
I began to drink.
I began to drink terribly.
I lost my job, my wife left me.
I only cared about drinking.
Morning, noon, and night.
I was dead drunk from morning to night.
It was awful.

One day I sensed I would die soon.
And the thought even made me happy,
It didn't scare me at all.
All I wanted was for it to be soon.
I began to look for death, I really did, I looked for it.
I would fight with police, bother people.
I got beaten up and cut.
I slept on the street, in and out of hospitals.
I was beaten to a pulp.
But I'd pull through and crawl back out.
At home I'd lick my wounds like a stray dog and then crawl out again.
My only fear was jumping under a train or out of a window.
Don't know why, it just scared me.

One day I was on a train, dreadfully drunk.
I was filthy, I stank.
The train was full
I was bothering everyone: Yelling, cursing.
But I looked at myself and I was glad.
My vileness made me glad!
My only wish was that someone would take me and toss me off the train so I'd bash my brains on the rails.
But they all just sat silently.
They looked away, but they sat silently.
Except for one woman with her five-year-old daughter.
I heard the little girl say:
"Mama, that man's crazy. I'm scared".
But the woman said:
"No, he's not crazy. He's just very, very sad".

I sold my invention to a foreign company.
Today it's used in almost half of all cell phones.
I work there.
But that's not important.
The woman is now my wife and the girl is my daughter.
We also have a son. He's 4 years old.

Is that it?
No, there's more.
Me, I should have died in the gutter.
But I didn't.
Because one person, just one looked at me a little more closely than everyone else.
And didn't let me remain...
...in my lonely wretchedness.

#Adapted From A Russian True Story

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Internship Hunt - Act II Scene II [ITC : Fire]

Previously  : Act II Scene I [ITC : Cigarettes]

It was a tiny Group Discussion (GD) room accommodating Arihant, Pawan, Hunaid, Abhishek, me and three others.

All Eight of them looking at each other,
With tension brimming on their faces. 
Wondering in which accent should they speak,
Whether to make valid arguments,
Or shout and subdue others.
None of them had a clue,
What the topic would be ?

Soon the three judges entered. I don't remember their names.
All I remember is that one was old, one was bald  and the lady was very pretty.
We were given 2 minutes to read the topic and next 18 minutes to discuss and reach a conclusion.

The topic was as follows :
You along with your 7 other friends have just experienced a plane crash. Nobody is injured. Your plane crashed in a tropical rain forest and it rains often. All you have are the fifteen items given below :
Plastic bags
First aid kit
Cigarette Lighter
Vacuum Flask
... and three more

Our task was to rank these items in the order of importance individually and then discuss and come up with group ranking as we can carry only half the number of items out of these in order to survive and come out of the forest.

"Your time starts now!" - the pretty lady stated with a smile. All the three judges occupied a corner each. They had score sheets in their hands which made the atmosphere even more tensed.
"Okay friends so we are here to discuss and rank these items in the given scenario." - Hunaid all set to take a lead.
"Wait, first let us read and rank them individually." - Everyone blurted unanimously.
Hunaid was disappointed. He scored a negative for making a wrong move.
2 minutes passed ..
3 minutes passed ..
I was scribbling all points which were coming in my mind.
Recalling all survival strategies taught by Bear Grylis in Man vs Wild.
Confidence started to sink in.
4 minutes passed ..
Each one of us was looking like a hungry wolf ready to charge when Abhishek said, "Okay, friends we are losing time so lets start discussing the group rankings."
"We can divide the items into two categories - Survival and Path Finding. And then proceed towards ranking them." - he continued
We quickly started dividing items into the two groups, iterating over each item.
Path Finding - Radio, Compass
Survival - Machete, Anti-Venom, Plastic bags, First aid kit, Knife, Gun, Rope, Vacuum Flask ..
Our divide and conquer strategy failed miserably as this categorization was not helping us to reach our objective. Soon we realized that we have wasted more than 4 minutes over it and there was a clear consensus to chunk this idea and start afresh.

Our next strategy was to suggest an item each for group ranking. Finally we were on track nearing our objective function.
Rank #1:
Abhishek [First Aid] - "To avoid minor crash wound infection."
Hunaid [First Aid] - "It is currently useful and will also be required."
Me [Compass] - "It is mentioned that nobody is injured. So I think our priority should be finding the route to head back."
Abhishek - "But it is a plane crash and logically speaking there might be minor injuries."
Me - "Okay, fine." 
Others settled in for the first aid kit.
So each one of us marked : Rank #1 - First Aid Kit

Rank #2:
Hunaid [Compass] - "We need to find our way out of this jungle."
Abhishek [Knife] - "We need to make our way so we need something to cut through shrubs and bushes."
Me [to Abhishek] - "Then why don't you suggest Machete."
Abhishek - "What is a machete ?"
Others had the same puzzled look
I started explaining them that it is a long toothed knife which will make our task of cutting through the jungle much easier than the knife.
Inside my head I was happy - I scored some points for knowledge :)
After discussing for a few more minutes, we concluded our discussion on 2nd rank.
So each one of us marked : Rank #2 - Compass

Rank #3:
The affair was getting messier as we moved towards this one. 
Each one of us suggested a different item backing our claim.
I suggested - "Cigarette Lighter!"
"Aise samay mein kaun cigarette pene ki sochta hai." - Hunaid [who later told me that he ranked the lighter on number 13 in his list]
Others laughed.
I said -"We need it for fire. Fire was the turning point for humankind. It will help us in cooking, protection against wild animals and lighting our way."
The bald man standing in the corner smirked. I had a strange gut feeling. This one statement of mine will get me through.
Everyone agreed. 
So each one of us marked : Rank #3 - Cigarette Lighter

After a few more rounds of discussion we ranked Anti-venom and Vacuum Flask at fourth and fifth position respectively.
The pretty lady announced it was time to conclude.
Abhishek summarized our entire discussion.
Arihant and Pawan not even uttered a single word, just like what had happened to me in my first GD.
We moved out for the next group to come inside. 
And deep down inside my heart I was happy.
I knew I had nailed it this time. 

Internship Hunt - Act II Scene I [ITC : Cigarettes]

Previously : Act I Scene II [HUL : Restraint]

"Yaar, Its already six. Hurry Up!" - Amit shouted.
"Coming, just a second."
After tying my shoe laces, I sprayed some deo, looked inside my folder. Everything was there - a pen , few torn sheets of paper, a hardcopy of my resume. Amit was waiting for me on his bicycle. I locked my room and rushed to mount on his carrier.
On our way to the Lecture Hall Complex we were cursing HUL which had come to our campus before and hoped this time we would make it through, afterall it was the next best industrial internship open for our department.
There was a huge rush in L-17. It was a internship-cum-placement talk. The entire lecture hall was packed to the last seat. I was holding a bookmarked Revolution 2020. Took the corner-most seat and continued reading my book. Back in my mind I was sure I wouldn't make it through the GD again.
The PPT started. HR officials introduced few IITK passouts currently working in the company laying emphasis on the fact that they are leading a 'happy' life . To cut it short the PPT wasn't about soap or food manufacturing, but all about "cigarettes". They took pride in making those sticks and why shouldn't they? After all they are providing benefits to so many farmers. With their programs such as e-Choupal I surely started respecting this company.
Who knows whether it is just for publicity?
Is it that well implemented ?
But surely it is a step forward.
What's the point of profit worth billions if you don't give something back to the society.

Up Next    : Act II Scene II [ITC : Fire]