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Written by sujai

October 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

Posted in life

Books 2010: Nine Lives

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This week, India is making its best attempt in hosting an international event.The effects have been mixed so far.
But I hope its great we came this far and hope to see good things about the CWG this week.

9lives_dalrymple I thought it would be good to share about a book I read about India this year!

Nine Lives was a surprise find of this year. I usually run away from authors like William Dalrymple thinking its for the literature buffs and not for a casual reader. But the introduction on this book was quite interesting. It is about a certain sales manager who gives up all he had, Christopher McCandless style to lead a very different life.

It took me several months to complete the book .But I was quite  impressed with the characters depicted in the book. NineLives chronicles the life of 9  religious people and how religion is still thriving in India inspire of the several changes happening in India .

A Nun’s tale‘ is a very good account about Jainism in India. It is about Prasannamati, a nun who has taken up sallekhana – ritualistic  fast until death.While the vegan food habits of Jains is well known,  the Jain nuns follow a stricter ,self effacing way of life .The author makes a good account the nun’s initiation or diksa and how the nun practices her fasting ritual every day.

The other characters in the book are fascinating too. The Singer of epics is about the Mohan Bhopha ,who is an illiterate and yet could recite the entire 4000 line verse of epic of Pabuji just from his memory .

Then there are stories about a Tibetan monk who renounces his oath to fight against the Chinese and
the  sthapati’s of TamilNadu who build statues as per ancient Hindu rituals and direct descendants of those who built famous temples of South India..

On the whole, characters depicted are very interesting and the narrative is pretty tight. Its a well researched book and some of the local knowledge which the author brings out about India will not be known to Indians themselves!

At the end, I have become a fan for William Darlymple writings. Next in my queue is his ‘In Xanadu’.

Written by sujai

October 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

A day to remember.

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6-June is a very special date for me.I started my career on this day 8 years ago with Motorola.  Just like 2008, 2002 was difficult year for the software industry and things were quite uncertain .  My joy knew no bounds when I got my joining date, asking me to join in very short notice.

The past 8 years have been nothing but incredible. I’ve been fortunate to meet some great people,visited some exotic places and made friends with many.. few from other countries too!

Here is one email which I sent long ago and still cherish and one of the  happiest things I told my friends.


Written by sujai

June 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm

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3G in India.

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I was pleasantly surprised to hear the news. 3G has finally arrived in India!!  The news brought some nostalgic thoughts in me. The first project  in my career was an application for a 3G telephone !

This was  circa 2002 when phones were still 3 line displays in  India. Our company was planning to launch its first 3G device with VideoTelephony.  We had just launched a   ‘camera phone’ and the obvious use case on a camera device with connectivity was Video telephony.

Our team was tasked with developing UI for the Video telephony app. The feature had pretty dense specifications catering to several use cases and error scenarios. What made the project more interesting was there were no
counterparts to refer to and there were lengthy discussions every  night on the use cases.


Our team had a major part in developing this UI above.  The coding was done and things were pretty silent for a very long time.  But then came the real deal. A build was prepared to demo the application   to the chief of a prominent 3G operator .But the phone crashed right after  the app was closed. The issue was root caused to a module we had developed!

I still remember the days that followed that.That week was my initiation into  a career that filled with nigh outs and firefighting.  Nightouts, email escalations ,hourly updates , RCA , TIGER/SWAT team. I learnt  all these  terms that week!

After about one week,we identified the root cause of the problem. A build was made and world order was restored!

My first project was not just about night outs. After several weeks, our team simulated  the first 3G call over 2 Anritsu boxes in our labs .It was the first time (ever) that a live Video call was demoed at our labs. That feeling was surreal!!

Technology  has caught up so fast … Video Telephony is a reality in India today. If you happen to use Motorola A835 or any other 3G video telephone device of Motorola (non Android) , I have a part on it 🙂

Written by sujai

May 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Tribute to a Mentor.

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Our first interaction with Prof.MR was with Audio Engineering. A subject that fellow  colleges would have give up as ‘yet another irrelevant subject of the past’ . My perception of the subject was the same.

Professor MR came up and said that he would not be completing the complete course and we will not have enough time for that. It was surprising because all he had was 5-6 tattered  notes’ with him. But the days progressed and one could sense the depth of this subject. My respect for the ‘tattered notes’ grew .All he needed was a glimpse of the notes and he could speak at length for hours combined.

Ideas from Kinsler & Frey could be deciphered only by MR sir! In the end ,MR made us respect the engineering in the mundane cone speakers and why they are so popular. Audio Engineering was not a remnant of the past, MR made us realize its relevance for us.

Then came another ‘dry’ subject Antennas and Wave Propagation.And guess who comes to decipher it for us .Yes it was MR again and back with his ‘diary notes’.

With Communication Engineering, MR had saved his best lectures for the end! I vividly remember many things he taught during this course.

Inspite of his knowledge ,MR kept his head firmly on his shoulders. His enthusiasm for the subject  never diminished even after talking about these for well over a decade.

It was a rude shock when I came to know that he was admitted to hospital with serious complications.  A wave of emails ,and prayers from alumni from several parts of the globe followed. But God had a different plan for him. Our beloved MR sir passed away on August 28 2009.

My alma mater has lost a great mentor. His endearing smile and his ken will be sorely missed.I pray for great strength and better times for his family and the repose of that great soul.

Written by sujai

September 5, 2009 at 10:13 am

Posted in life

A total experience

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People in our country witnessed a Total solar eclipse today. Watching any celestial event is quite fascinating  I have seen a partial eclipse back in 1999 and could remember it very well.

Solar Eclipse This time, the sky was overcast in our city so  much of activity outdoors. But thanks to the media I had my hearts content of seeing many occurrences of the total solar eclipse  across India and several parts in China.   The defining moment for me was when it became pitch dark for almost a minute at Taregana . Though the sun was not visible there due to the monsoon, going dark suddenly was quite fascinating and for few seconds the correspondent covering just took a break from his  reporting and was watching the spectacle in awe!

The visual from China was fascinating as well. The eclipse lasted much longer there  and  the Sun’s corona was evident in that place.

Trivia:  Helium was discovered during one such total solar eclipse by  astronomers watching it from  a field in Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

Written by sujai

July 22, 2009 at 7:56 am

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A trip Northward

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I have visited few countries and several cities over my short professional career,but all my life I have never been to Northern India. The farthest I have been was to Goa .

The opportunity finally came last month when I had to attend a personal dissertation for my Graduate studies.Ever since I came back I wanted to write about what I felt about the place . Here it is finally!

I start with a disclaimer that the views are mine alone and based on rather brief visit to these places.

Delhi My journey started on a flight from Hyderabad to NewDelhi.  I reached Delhi in the noon.   The Delhi airport is pretty huge ,much like the Hyderabad airport.  It was a sultry day and I was told to  take a ‘prepaid’ cab to ‘ISBT – Kashmere gate’ As someone accustomed to the   ‘sir taxi sir..sir hotel sir‘ calls by drivers  outside Hyderabad the environment was quite different. I finally found the taxi stand and a hesitant driver took me in.

Driving in Delhi requires guts and a certain among of harshness. If you are someone  who puts brakes at each pothole and slows downs for each speed breaker, better not try it in Delhi.  The person behind you does  not care and would drive though the holes,speed breakers  with impunity.

Cantonement,Chanakyapuri,Daula Khana,Dwarka,Karol bagh, Mahatma Gandhi marg  the names reminded me of my history lessons,of Mughal dynasties .  I finally got down at  Kashmere Gate of ISBT .The ISBT was not as what I expected it to be. It was  not the urbane terminal ,that you expect at the National capital.Rather it was  a mundane bus station .An enlarged version of the normal Mofussil bus stations you see in towns.  I looked around and found the Jaipur terminal.

In accordance to the universal law that governs us, the bus I was to  board had ‘just left’.  The next bus was at 10:00 pm in the night and I had 5 hours for that.  That was lot of time for me to roam around the streets of Delhi.

Chandni Chowk I had to go to the Fathepuri ,near old Delhi railway station to board the next bus .That is  where the private buses start. Thanks to the benevolence of some Delhiites ,I was shown the wrong route . I meandered and finally was walking on a very busy street .After few steps I looked at a board in  English.It read – ‘Chandni Chowk’. I’ve heard about this street quite a bit .Though I lost my way,  I was quite happy to be around one of the oldest streets in Delhi.

Among other shops,what amused me so much was the enormity of chat shops through the road. The connoisseur in me was curious to see the so many varieties of road side food. Kulfi, Faluda, Tokri ,Kachori, Masala Soda,Aloo Tikki and some more items that I see for the first time.  That  street is a haven for ‘Delhi Chat’. Quite overwhelmed with the choices available,I went into  a big shop in that zone.

rabri_faloodaI finally zeroed in on a Rabri Faluda as that looked the quite exotic,especially its preparation.I’ve not seen that back in Hyderabad.

I walked across the length of Chandini Chowk for almost a  kilometer,before  I concluded that I was shown
the wrong route. After much deliberation I finally reached Fatehpuri and the private bus stands. I waited for another 2 hours before  started my journey to Pilani,Rajasthan.

Pilani is a unique place and the BITS campus was quite unlike what I had expected it to be. There is lot more to my 3 day sojourn to North India.I will post about them pretty soon.

For the curious: The private bus stand was just a 100 meters to the left of Old Delhi railway station ,while I  walked almost 2 kms to the right to realize that.

Written by sujai

June 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Posted in life

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