Friday, May 28, 2010

Converting Bangalore into one of the World Class cities of the Globe

Well Bangalore is already a world class city but it should be developed and fine tuned better. Let us basically identify atleast ten characteristics of a world class city in modern terms. World class could mean many things to many people but I have tried to bench-mark them against certain standards that might come from common sense as against achievements of other cities of the world.

  • Any world class city in my opinion must have a low cost of living. It should not be the other way round. Low cost of living means food and shelter is available handy at low prices. This is a challenge of sorts and the ability to maintain such a system stems from many conditions that prevail.
  • Any World class city must have a transit network for people round the clock and must have an inherent ability to handle working population and their travel demands. There must be well defined parallel options for people to travel to work and back. This means a judicious mix of MRT, Train services and Bus networks not to mention private services like taxis. Such a system exists during the day time in many cities but must extend into odd hours of the night too. The lone traveller who reaches the town in the middle of the night should not feel let down and a cost effective travel and transport solution must be open for him within the city.
  • Any world class city must have adequate scope for the development of arts both performing and the script. Art is what creates heritage and any world class city must create an heritage for itself. Some public stage of some kind must be built where thetrical performances and the like must be held once atleast almost every week. This enlivens the spirit of the people and gives a city a much needed fillip on a continuous basis.
  • Any World class city must have a low rate of crime. Crime can range from pick-pocketing to murder. Every city has a share of incidence of crime. Largely with the growth of contrivances like the mobile telephone crime by itself is on a down swing. Lack of education in any community is what fuels crime. Nevertheless intelligent policing is a pre-requisite for any city to prevent crime and deny oppurtunity to criminals who perpetrate crime and use it as a means of sustenance. Defanitely crime rate in Bangalore is on the wane. Prevention and not punishment must act as the most important detterrent to crime.
  • Any world class city must have a largely green environment. This means there must be a large number of un-obstructive trees and plants in the vicinity. This is what gives a city natural glow and ambience. It is important the ideal kind of trees that suit the topography of the land be planted in a planned way at all feasible points. Trees are a natural resource from nature and must be planted in abundance largely along highways and roads improving overall environmental conditions. Every city must post a disciplined effort in this direction.
  • Any world class city must have a very supportive public service network.The public service network would cover telecom services and call centers;postal and courier services; police srvices; travel services and many related services that form a city. These services largely refer to the services provided by the Government and its agencies. Here the yard stick is a random traveller who reaches the city at an odd hour and is in dire need of some information or support. How well the city and its systems react to such eventualities is an index in the direction of how committed and prepared the city is.
  • Any world class city must respect the aged and their needs. Ageing population of any city must be handled with care and not treated as a liability but as a information resource. This means they deserve respect and consideration in public utilities and places. Help must be provided to them at times of need. The city must have some kind of a data base of the elderly for proper follow up and action
  • Any world class city must have large scope to expand in all directions- It is this factor that would drive world class cities of the next generation. Many cities of the world have problems in this sphere considering they are constrained by the sea or a hill range on one side preventing expansion.Such a situation leads to uneven expansion or extensions creating operational problems for the city. A great city expands evenly on all fronts there-by evenly sharing the burden of growing needs and population.
  • Any world class city must have scope for spiritual development of its populace. This means there must be an adequate number of places for religious worship of all relegions within the precincts of the city and each not creating any form of menace for the public or each other. Development of the spirit of the people is as important as anything else and the constituents of the city must develop a mutual respect for all relligions and this brings in a special kind of social stability. Any city without relegion is destined to anarchy and social disintegration in the undercurrents which must be steadily given less scope. Places of religious significance must be conspicious and it is the hallmark of a great city that all religions find a place.
  • Any world class city must have its share of sky-scrapers. Sky scrapers give a city recognition in relation to other cities of its kind. Sky scrapers must house offices of business organizations and they must be evenly distributed around the periphery of a city. There are many modern technologies around which they may be built. I think a city could have atleast two of them and not more and both of them dispersed from each other. They should act as jewels in the crown of a city. More the jewels more gaudy a crown looks and the jewels must be just adequate to give the crown its significance and demeanour.
  • Any world class city must be occupation and oppurtunity friendly. This means any inhabitant of the city must find it easy to find a job or vocation of his calling with ease and be compensated for the same adequately above basic living standards. This means there must be scope for entrepreneurship and other economic investments. Also the person seeking an occupation must have many agencies that could provide genuine support for the same and could be contacted readilly at times iof need.

Bangalore as a city must generically said develop on all these fronts. Bangalore needs two sky-scrapers. But the question is where ? Before sky-scrapers are built necessary high speed transport infrastructure to the place must be ensured.On all other fronts Bangalore is not totally found wanting but needs improvement.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Marattas and Bangalore City

Even to this day in Bangalore is a place called "Shivaji Nagar" which had baffled me for long. Only further research showed that this Shivaji could largely refer to "Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj" whom the Marattas revere and so do every Indian. It is a very difficult task to peice together fragments of history but i have tried and will continue to try every now and then only to depict to the larger world how we are interconected with each other by the past.

The story starts with Shahaji Bhosle who had two sons Shivaji And Shambhaji both of them trained in the art of war and Shahaji and his ancestors were free lance soldiers providing succour to any one who outsourced their services. Note that the Moghuls; Adil Shah and the Golconda regime were the largely dominant empires of the time and the southern part of India held by many nayaks in fragments that resulted from the Vijayanagar empire. The name Shahaji seems to have sufi origins.

Shahaji and his entourage made the difference in many wars during the time and if some records are to be beleived pathans were recruited by him too in his war efforts. Largely they fought alongside the muslim rulers who solicited their support. In 1638 a effort by the muslim sultanates assisted by Shahaji Bhosle beseiged Kempe Gowda III the ruler of Bangalore and defeated him and Bangalore was given as an independent domain to Shahaji to rule upon. Thus the advent of Marattas into Bangalore. The sons of Shahaji namely Shivaji and Shambaji had their rearing in Bangalore in parts and the rule descended on Venkoji one of the offsprings. Much of the later activities of Shivaji thereafter revolve around modern day Pune as he found it a central point of concern in establishing a Maratta kingdom . The maratta kingdom though short-lived had a formidable influece on India at one time encompassing almost the entire stretch of the country. It could have been largely shortlived due to the increasing influence of Europeans and their more formal and better trained military organizations.

Bangalore must have come under the large-scale influence of the Marattas for nearly 100 years starting from around 1638 and the kingdom to my view largely encircled the modern areas of Malleshwaram to Guttahalli to Mekhri circle and into Shivaji nagar. They were probably diminished in importance in this part of the world by HyderAli and his son . Hyder Ali had a dislike for Marattas and their style of functioning and at the earliest oppurtunity must have made things difficult for the Marattas in bangalore. The name of the offsprings of this Marati trio of Shahaji- Shivaji and Shambaji by the name of Venkoji springs in Thanjavur later. Please note that there is an imposing statue of Shivaji on one end of Sankey tank near Malleswaram and there is a fort like structure and it is possible in times of the past the Kings came to this point just to enjoy the splendid view of the Sankey tank and only God knows what name they had for this pond now resplendent with gardens and boating.

Thus Bangalore has a Marati connection and every time one visits the Shivaji nagar bus terminus please be reminiscent about the marattas and "Chatrapathi Shivaji" and like in Mumbai(bombay) this terminus could also un-officially be called by this name.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Messes at NIT Calicut

There were five messes operating at REC-NIT Calicut of our times. They were the five messes attatched to the five hostels namely A; B ; C; D and E.; Today I think there are many more hostels at NIT Calicut.

Something briefly about the various hostels at the institute. Basically during our time the rooms in the hostels were insufficient to handle and accomodate the entire student populace comfortably. The A and B hostels were three seater hostels but upto seven freshmen ware accommodated during the admission season thereby operating at more than 200 percent load. Though the fact of the matter was so I had found life in such settings amusing considering that there are lot of people in the room to interact and converse with. There was problem with water especially in the second floor as water from the taps were a rare sight to be seen only in the very early mornings. I think the situation must have largely improved now with other stand-by arrangements in place. Note that the D and E hostels were single seaters and the C hostel was a three seater and some times used as a two seater. My favoutite hostel at NIT Calicut is the C hostel and especially the top floor where I experienced a rare calm and some times at mid night looking at the ever desolate main road from this hostel through the window panes was a rare delight. The street lights reflected merrily by the gleaming tar of the road accompanied by silence barring the whirling sound of rotating fans to me seemed like an infant yelling and crying all day suddenly dozing into a slumber- a much awaited peace and tranquility.

NIT Calicut has a very unique water supply system. We have an in-house water purification plant near the hostels. Water is pumped from the river which is around four kilometers from the campus to the treatment plant and then possibly pumped to overhead reservoirs for supply to the various outlets. This formed in modern language a "supply Chain" which must have had its own hiccups considering the nature of the system and the time elapsed. I had visited this water treatment system once and has a technologically complex apparatus found working round the clock. The person who designed and conceived this system deserves praise as on one extreme it looks far-fetched and on the other unique. But still considering the water requirement at the campus and its forecasts some supportive systems for water also must have been envisaged- especially considering the large pool of engineering knowledge available and the readiness with which it could be applied. I think some ten bore wells pumping water into few over head tanks with sufficient head could have acted as an alternative and support to the existing system. Even digging a bore-well for individual hostels with contingency planning would have sufficed in large measure to supply clean water on a 24/7 basis some form of which must have been implemented by now. Water is a very essential input and considering that in places like Kerala where un-polluted ground water is available few feet into the ground , a blessing which must be made use of.

Barring the C hostel mess all other messes served non-vegetarian dishes. Students could choose any mess of their choice. I have been largely associated with the C and D hostel messes and remotely with B and E hostel messes. The messes were largely clean and well maintained. Each of the messes had six tables with three chairs on either sides and the chairs were wooden ones and of a special design and resembled a mini-wooden throne. I enjoyed dining fom these chairs and the general comfort it provided.

Breakfast , Lunch, Tea and Dinner was the routine at the messes. Break-fast largely revolved around bread with jam and butter and for an extra charge an omlette made from two eggs of a fowl. This omlette used to be special and it provided extra energy to be withered during the morning in activities both purposeful and remorse. The lunch was a typical Kerala one with boiled rice and accompanying kerala curry. The evenings had tea with biscuits or sometimes boiled banana or the like and the same menu of lunch to be served for dinner. Dinner sometimes had chappatis and poories. The food at the messes were really good though we used to complain about it then, but now having seen the larger world have no words of complaint but only contentment.

We could be out of the messes which means any student choosing not to dine at the messes where-in the papachchan hotel or the canteen were used for dining. Many a times students joined the messes mid-way after such a routine finding the chore of walking to these destinations exasperating and appreciating the comfort of the messes at their door-step. Note that there was a guest system where a diner could invite a guest to dine with him in case some visitor happenned to visit the institute.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Engineering and Bangalore

Bangalore has a vast history of distinction in Engineering and possibly far surpasses many other cities in the country on this count. The Vidhana Soudha is a standing example of the capabilities and strategic intent of the people in this city. There is no other state in the country which envisioned and built a gargantuan structure like the Vidhana Soudha to run the administration of the state and bespeaks of the dynamism of bangalore and its genre and the reality that large sums of money were made avaliable and expended for this purpose deserves praise. Even today the city basks in the glory of this structure which is aesthetic, charming, imposing and formidable. I have visited the internals of this structure along with my brother as a child accompanied by my illustrious father who at the nick of the moment gave the reference of a defence person to gain entry. This structure for ages to come will serve as a bedrock for all progress in the city and will make an average person contemplate distinction.

vidhana soudha

The Vidhana Soudha was possibly constructed by the contractors in Mysore by the name Boraiah basavaiah and Sons who distinguished themselves in the construction of such structures in the past and the confidence and rhythm with which the task was executed considering that we were a fledgling country at that point in time is noteworthy. I dont think in the modern world any structure of this kind would be built afresh in the first place that combines oriental aesthetics and modern needs. I have had a faint belief that Shri M S Ramaiah a illustrious son of this city must have had a imposing and domineering hand in conception and execution of this structure.

The engineering skills of Bangalore and its neighbourhood is largely exemplified by this structure and is a reflection of the maturity attained in engineering activity quite early. "Government work is Gods Work" is an inscription prominently displayed on the facade of this stucture and many a employee seated in the premises may be deterred from doing any wrong having seen the statement almost daily. What Iam trying to pin-point is that none of the cities and states in the neighbourhood have any structure on these lines.

Massive engineering activity was rampant in this part of the World. Bangalore is a city that has already "Arrived" and can be of help and succour to many a city that would like to "Arrive'. This is in large due to the splendour of engineering that this place had as a heritage and later inherited by future generations. It must be pointed out that as early as 1908 Bangalore had Electric supply and South Parade the modern day M G Road had street lights and resembled a village street with a mud road. How different the place is now? This was MG Road in 1908. Please bear in mind that many of the American cities got electric power around the same time if not later. Iam not sure if AC or DC was used for electrification but the power must have been drawn fro the hydel plant in Shivanasamudra some 80 miles from the city.. It is likely that AC was used and note that use of AC was a new technology for the day and possibly a 60KV line was brought into the town . My strong suspicion is that the Electric Power station seen near Subhedhar Chatram road was a possibly the distribution center and few privileged house holds were given electric power apart from street electrification in the nights. Also note that Bangalore was the first city in the country to get Electrification around this time largely due to the hydel plant that came handy.

Walchand Hirachand group strated the modern day HAL factory somewhere in 1942 for maintenance of Aircraft and also maybe for the production of the same which has become a flourishing enterprise of late. This means there was expertise not only in conventional engineering practices but also in advanced and more complex engineering area of the day like Aviation. To my opinion there must be a plethora of aviation talent hidden in the city which needs to be un-earthed. Co-ordination of some kind must be undertaken to harmonise talents across these sectors so that abilities of people are not wasted but channelised to quantum good for the world community. Iam looking for the day where large passenger planes would be assembled in the vicinity of this city which does not seem to be a mere fascination but can be a reality anytime considering the kind of talent that exists and needs to be escavated. Aviation is one line where Bangalore can contribute in a big way in the future in the building and selling of Airplanes and can do so cost effectively.

On these line permit me to castigate modern day Engineering education on few counts. The irony or parody is that there is no Engineering any more in our Engineering Colleges and no one who studies engineering really wants to do anything with it. May be it is the sign of the times but Engineering in its pristine form needs to be revived.There seems to be the phenomenon called "Perfection of Means and Confusion of ends". Engineering education confines to sylabbi and a perfunctory and speedy journey carried through them in which the prospective student comes out dazed and is resigned to a reality which is mis-leading and confusing. Engineering education today is seeking for some ideal. We built the IIT's and other institutions to promulgate Engineering but it is the same story everywhere and a student of engineering dragged through a set of chore all of them definitely not un-purposeful but that which would serve short term purposes. Engineering needs to be brought out of this rut. Engineering and Engineering education badly needs to be given a elevated ideal atleast in principle so that prospective undertakers have an idea of what they are into and what would transpire. I have seen engineering graduates misused by the business community in being made to do menial jobs which is an abrogation and needs to be set right. Well engineering and the applications of it have changed with the times but some of the essentials and rudiments must be preserved.

Let me explain what I meant in the earlier passage. The two wheelers in bangalore city are from HONDA. The buses of the city are increasingly becoming "VOLVO'. These two vehicles enjoy merit in their product design. Why are Indian organiztions not in a position to engineer such a product is a pointer to the wrong orientation or lack of a defined direction in our practices and preimses of engineering and engineering education. Every time I sit in a VOLVO bus I can feel the engineering difference. It is not a good sign of our times that notwithstanding the engineering culture that some of our cities and more precisely Bangalore possesses that we lag behind  in the ability to design new and better products from within our corporations both engineering and business.

We have built a large number of Engineering college that strikes awe in the developed world too. I was once talking to Edward Proctor of the University of Chicago and he had praise for the large number of engineering colleges that we built. Even otherwise engineering course is the best education one can aspire considering the various subjects both theoretical and practical one is exposed to and the natural graduation of an engineering graduate into managerial positions. My only hope is that engineering education does not forget the crux of engineering ;its orientations and aspirations and does not only focus on generating better paid labour but would evolve instantly into a higher platforms of focusing on creating new and better things for which engineering was basically slated.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My syndactyle right thumb

Iam different from most humanity in that Iam born different and may not strictly fit into the legal definition of a man in the sense I have a syndactyle right thumb with two fingers for a thumb adhered to each other and very similar to that seen in Hrithik Roshan. I became concious about it as a child as I was a point of discussion for many and the elderly around took a fond passion in feeling my fingers which Iam somtimes amused about myself. Sir Garfield Sobers the legendary cricketer had something like this.

My mother used to be a very decisive woman.At birth the doctor at the hospital was of the opinion that the finger could be operated upon but my mother was very firm in stating that "nothing doing"- she had the temerity to over rule the observations of the doctor. My son has an extra finger and not one less and please leave him alone and dont tamper with it. In retrospect I think my mother had taken a very apt decision which many a woman would not take with the kind of firmness needed by the hour. I was born at the Fathers Hospital in Cherukunnu a village in Cannanore district of Kerala. This is the only thing I know about this place as I have never stayed at this place for all practical purposes.

Please note that strictly speaking all the laws of the land do not apply to me as I do not figure perfectly vis-a-vis the legal definition of man and could be a moot argument in situations. I think the law should take efforts to encompass within its ambit people like me who are extra-social. I have met few people in life to be precise "two" during my course of life who share the same condition but there are very few of them around. The other I have only seen is Hrithik Roshan.

Have I been different from people around? I think very much so. I have always lived with a faith system that very often defies conventional logic and reasoning. The ability to see light when every one says it is dark. This I hold the most distinctive feature of my value and thinking system and I think to a large measure it is good. Iam personally autonomous as I look at situations in my own light and do not wager easily into the collective. This has given me problems of various kinds but I endure them.

I was barred from joining the Navy for this condition. I find myself distinct from others in being compassionate to fellow beings a shade more than many around and i dont mind breaking a few laws to be so. The ability to imagine is a trait I have observed to have in abundance so much so that the only thing I do is imagine and may not be to the liking of many around who constantly engage themselves in some made-work. The faith system that I said I possess has not always served me right but I still hold on to it with ever increasing firmness.

I have a word of advice to parents who may have such children. Do not operate or do any kind of surgical interference into such conditions which can be counter productive. Leave the child alone and never in the least force such a child into any surgical procedure for reasons what-so-ever without the complete consent of the child. I think some laws must be brought into force to protect the rights and priveleges of such children.

Rakesh Roshan must be listening.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CALICUTCITY:Calicut as a City

Name the city that has a " heart made of Water". It must be Calicut also called Kozhikode in the vernacular and now the official name of the city. The "Heart of Water" refers to the Mananchira found at the center of the city. Chira in malayalam refers to a temple pond. It is possible that there was a prominent temple close to this Chira in the ages bygone and also could have been the seat of the palaces of the Zamorin. One of the Zamorins' immolated himself in the fire he set to the palace fearing dis-honour in the hands of Hyder Ali who was progressively ravaging this part of the world and subjugating the populace and sometimes conducting public circumcisions. The maurading army of the Mysore sultans could have demolished the temple en-route on their entry to Calicut is a possibility.

There are no traces of many of the ancient edicts anywhere in the vicinity today barring this pond which merrily basks in glory in modern Calicut left untouched by the generations and a mute witness to many a happennings and a huge maze of vehicles that circumscribe it today from large vehicles to cars to two wheelers and auto-rickshaws not to be left behind. There is a park adjacent to this pond where few revellers could be seen in the evenings and on a closer look among the trees and plants is a statue of the stalwart of Calicut of modern times "Krishna Menon" gazing in a direction but cornered for all practical purposes and needs to be made conspicious. Very early morning reflections by the water in the pond of the street lights that adorn this place is a treat to watch.

Calicut was called calecot by the Arabs who descended here for trading for many centuries and have praise for this place mentioning that there was no theft of goods and merchandise that was left at this place and the ships were very safe. Tax was collected at the port and they describe it as a friendly city. Many of these travellers found the coast of the Arabian sea a lucrative proposition for trading starting from manjarur-the modern Mangalore and progressing southwards buying and selling goods on their way during which they encounter Elimali-the modern day ezhimala; Cannanore for which the arabs had their own name and to Calecot to Cochin and possible to the coast of Ceylon and back. Elimali or Ezhimala for them was a natural port because their ships were protected from winds by mountain ranges that jet into the sea. Historical books say so and I am yet to verify this fact.

The people of Calicut to me were not an unfriendly lot like in many cities I have visited ;and guide you with integrity when in a fix. You see scores of people dressed in white mundu and shirt across the length and breadth of Calicut. Buses these days have become jam-packed unlike during earlier times and Malayalam is the language largely spoken but a good section of the populace comprehend English and hindi. At some points in Calicut you see traffic jams these days. Calicut grew in leap and bounds after the international airport came up at Karipur some thirty kilometers from the city. The weather is largely sultry during a large part of the year and it rains heavily during monsoon.

Vasco Da Gama landed at a place called Kappad some 18 kilometers to the north of Calicut in 1498 with fellow sailors and a fleet thus officially Europeans gaining access and entry to this place. There were many conflicts between the Zamorins of Calicit and the Portuguese. Not much of Portuguese remanants can be seen at this place today but they are an unerasable factor in the history of Calicut. Subscequent events and the lack of tolerance on the part of the Portuguese across various issues possibly made it impossible for them to gain a long term foot hold at Calicut and with the advent of other europeans gradually drifted to other pastures. I have myself not visited the kappad beach and this beach needs to be marketed as a tourist spot as it has an important footprint in history. The portuguese government of today can also partake in some small way to make this spot a heritage site and coduct some event here on an yearly basis to commemorate the landing of Vasco Da Gama. It is possible that a good section of people at Calicut have not visited this site and not an encouraging phenomenon. Historical antipathy of the people of Calicut towards the Portuguese could be the reason but it is time that such animosities be buried at once by the modern world for a better future.

Calicut has a beach which is around four kilometes from manachira pond and a pleasant place to watch the evening sunset from among many people who make a regular visit here every evening. The beach is clean and well oriented for the public. There are some restaurants in the vicinity and a well maintained road called the beach road that runs alongside the beach. There is sufficient parking space here and the beach road by itself is not a prime road line and is largely devoid of heavy traffic. It is important to note that another semi-port exists even today near calicut called Beypore port and is a place even to this day mini ships are designed and built using wood from coconut palms that are chopped down for this purpose.It is beleived that this tradition could be many centuries old and exists even to this day. But these places need to be devoloped and the access to them augmented. Beypore beach must be some eight kilometers to the south of Calicut beach.

Cannanore; Trichur and Wayanad are places close to Calicut and each of these places enjoy merit for their own reasons. Calicut has a government bus stand which is small by modern standards on mavoor road around half a kilometer and walking distance from Mananchira.(The private bus stand is also close by). You find buses to almost every place from this small bus stand including chennai and pondicherry. There is a football stadium at Calicut towards the end of M M Ali road where international level foot ball matches were held in 1986 and also Ranji trophy cricket matches were held. Important educational institutions at Calicut are the NIT Calicut; IIM Calicut and the Medical College Calicut. New private educational institutions have burgeoned at this place of late.

Lodging at Calicut can be an important issue and travellers must make it a point to search for a good lodging facility. The lodging facility near the bus stand are below par but there are good hotels at the other spreads of the city.Auto drivers can be banked upon for a focussed search which would lead one to a decent place. Food is clean and hygenic at most places and the general costs are much lower than at many cities. Rachna Shah I A S a celebrated women I A S officer from Delhi was the Collector here for some time and remember speaking to her over the telephone on some issue and found her very receptive ,polite and responsive.

Rachna Shah

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Our Final Year Project at NIT(REC)-Calicut

The final year project at REC was a special learning experience. We were divided into batches of four and were matched against 12 projects and was an issue of chance. My batch mates were Narayan Kumar Anantha; Sudansu Mohan Jena; Srirangam Rangarajan Sampath ( S R Sampath) and myself P.O.Subash. We got the project "Data Processing using Electronic Spreadsheet and Data base in Electrical Engineering" and so did another batch of girls only two names I recollect in Chitra Sukumar and Sheela Furtado. Dr. S Thiruvengadam the then head of the department and Dr. K P Mohandas were the guides. Dr. Vekataramani was also involved in the planning of the projects. REC of out times had many senior faculty with many years of academic experience.


We had an year to do this work and were assigned the lab in the first floor of the Departmental Building and had fairly free access to this facility. It must be pointed out that REC had a mainframe computer during this period ; we were working on a PC using the software Super Calc 2 (SC2). Our project is basically based on a paper written in Electrical Engineering by Nuttaki D Rao of some American University. We were so PC illiterate that most of the time we were searching the keys on the key board but improved very fast.


Something about the software SC2. It was a very user-friendly DOS based Spreadsheet software and one of the best I have worked on. I liked the simplicity of the software and the ease with which it operated. Even during that time there were many Spreadsheet softwares in the market like Visicalc . These softwares gave way to Lotus 123 and eventually to Microsoft Excel which we use today.


It must be pointed that we had two parts in the project; one with Supercalc -the spreadsheet software and the other with Dbase III. I think I made valuable contribution during the project and enjoyed the march from the hostels to the labs at odd hours planning and doing some work related to the project. Switching on the PC and waiting for it to boot and seeing the cursor was with baited breath. I discovered during the project that I liked working to sitting in the class rooms or writing examinations. You can be creative at work and not in the other two settings.


I must thank the Dept for having given us this oppurtunity to work on a PC earlier on and creating a comfort level with the PC. The project report we made is still lying somewhere in my house. Making the report was pure team work which we batch mates enjoyed in the room of Sudansumohan Jena in the E hostel. Sometimes the work would stretch upto 3 AM and in the thick of the mid-night we used to go to Hamza's hotel in Kettangal for omlette and tea. The night used to be deathly quiet and Kettangal looked forlorn.