Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Regional Science Centre, Dharwad

June 9, 2012

During my visits to Karnatak University's Botanical Garden I'd seen construction activities but did not know it would be a science center. Dharwad Regional Science Centre was inaugurated by Shri. Mallikarjuna Kharge, Honorable Union Minister of Labor & Employment on February 27, 2012.

The Science Center broadly has two parts-
1. Center House (indoor)
2.Science Park. (outdoor)

The Center House has subject wise sections-
1. Indian Science & Technology Heritage
2. Taramandala
3. Fun Science
4. Biomachines
5. 3D Theater

The Science Park is spread out in the well planned garden. It has several exhibits pertaining to physics but the main attraction is the pre-historic animal park.

I started my tour at around 3-30PM, ticket cost was Rs.15. I started at the Center House. The ground floor is mostly occupied by Indian Science & Technology Heritage section. A scale model of Qutb Minar, Konark Sun temple, Konark Wheel, and many more monuments.

I went clock-wise around the ground floor starting with the Time Line of Indian Science and Technology followed by Technology Traditions of Indus valley, Harappans the first town planners, Glimpses of Harappan technology, Shell bangle making, Origins of Textiles, and many more exhibits related to fields of science, mathematics, medicines, music and arts.

Scenes of ancient civilization.

ancient civilization

Indus vallet civilization

ancient civilization

Capsules on various aspects of ancient Indian society.

weights and measures
Yarghu - The Portable Cannon Cleaner
Yarghu is a portable cannon barrel cleaning device designed for the Mughal army by the 16th century Iranian engineer Fathullah Shirazi. The device which was way ahead of its time in terms of technology could be run by just one ox. Fathullah Shirazi a native of Iran migrated to India on invitation from Sultan Ali Adil Shah of Bijapur. Later on Emperor Akbar's invitation moved to Agra. Besides Yarghu, Fathullah Shirazi designed other utilitarian devices such as; a portable cannon, a seventeen-barreled cannon fired with a matchlock, and a portable flour mill.

Fathullah Shirazi's Yarghu

A mural depicting ancient Indian doctors performing surgery.


Capsules on metallurgy; smelting and foundries.

This is part of the Center House connects the ground floor to the first floor. The first floor of consists of 3 sections- Fun Science, Biomachines and 3-D theater.

Center House

Fun Science gallery is a collection of interactive exhibits which make physics entertaining and interesting. You can operate & observe the exhibits and understand the laws of physics easily.

physics, maths

Regional Science Centre, Dharwad

This gallery, as the name indicates, gives an overview of the world of amazing biomachines.

Regional Science Centre

Regional Science Center Dharwad

The Science Park is a collection of models of various mechanical devices and prehistoric animals.

Path from the Science Center entrance to the Center House flanked by busts of Indian scientists..

Timings & Entry Fees

10AM – 6PM through the week. Note ticket counter closes at 5-15 PM.

Entry Fees to Science Center
Public: Rs.15
Child/Student:  Rs.5 & Rs. 3 per head for organized school/college students group

Entry Fees to 3D Theatre
Public: Rs.10
Child/Student:  Rs.5 & Rs. 3 per head for organized school/college students group

Entry Fees to Taramandala
Public: Rs.5
Child/Student:  Rs.1

Website: Dharwad Regional Science Centre


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Phir Tumhari Yaad Aayi Ae Sanam

A sweet melodious song from Rustam aur Sohrab.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

'87 vacations

Back to '87 again, this time few months before 25 years ago. We had a long break after PUC II exams until the next stage of education which would either be BSc. or BE. Results would be out some time June or July. Oh, CET was looming around but I wasn't really worried, not that was prepared well, actually I din't care. I was totally free from books and classes - that's what mattered.

Back then climate was quite different; rains would be on time. When the skies opened up it kept pouring for hours. I always enjoyed rains, not just watch but getting drenched was my sense of fun. Dad had told rain water is the purest form of water. However, rain water is at its best after the first 30 minutes because airborne dust would have cleared.

'87 I was a part of a gang of youngsters crazy about wheels; BMX, bikes, gocarts and stuff like that. The group consisted of Deepak's friends; Vijay, Suresh, Lodde and few more guys. We experimented a bit, join two bikes to make a inline three wheel contraption. The 3-wheeler could be ridden by two, but it was tricky, especially at turns for the rider in the rear. Few of us rode it expertly; double pedal-power and double-stopping power too. Big achievement! Once we went for a movie, we had a long argument with the parking lot attendant he wanted 2 bikes' fee for the three-wheeler, we argued just for the heck of it :) We had a two BMXs in our gang. We would watch BMX movies and tried imitated the stunts but none of us could do a decent wheelie. We would ride on the spectators' step-platform and jump down steps as we rode. Someone came up with robbers and cop game; we chased around and did movie style crashes. One of the days few boys were playing cricket, their bicycles park close by. Our robber-cop game got a bit wild, someone crashed into the bicycles and the rest of the gang ran over the fallen bicycles! We managed to get away from the yelling cricketers. We needed constant changes, a new game was discovered: bike football. Rules allowed tackling the ball either with the front wheels or feet. It was rough game and we did play it. It was an afternoon in August, bike football in progress and the skies opened up, it poured like crazy. The football field was holding water fast and the ball started floating, that was wonderful for us because the ball rolled much slower. Splashing water became a part of the game. The game went on  ...falls wouldn't hurt. It was one of the best games I ever played. I guess the game stopped because we were hungry. Still pouring hard, we rode home, it was as good as taking a bath while on the move. Hunger drove us and rain gave us the energy. This reminds me of a punch line seen recently- alive is awesome. My jeans and tee were washed and clean. Amma gave us a tongue lashing while Appaji was cool about our antics, as usual. I  dried, changed and spun dry my wet clothes in the twin-tub.Can't remember what mom served us for lunch.

I don't remember playing bike football again. Also I spent less and less time with the gang. Time to get back to academics. Mom decided I would be joining engineering though I wasn't for it. Anyway, I got a seat in BSMCE, course would commence October 5th.

25 year later... I miss those rains and those games. Well, life goes on and scenes keep changing...


Thursday, October 11, 2012


ಇರುವೆ, ಎಲ್ಲೆಲ್ಲೂ ಇರುವೆ

Few weeks ago I noticed a new variety of black ant had been attacking stuff in my kitchen. These ants attacked cooked food, peeled/chopped vegetables and kitchen waste. Dry items like rava or dhal din't attract these ants. I call them an impatient variety because even while I'm chopping onion and chilly they are already crawling over the chopped pieces. Other types of ants wait and attack when no human is around but these new ants are just waiting for activity in the kitchen. Mad creatures! Just outside the house, on the dirt strip between the storm water drain and the road is an underground nest. The nest belonged to the small angry red ants which attack viciously at a slightest provocation. Now the same nest is now occupied by these impatient black ants. Wonder if these black ants invaded the nest and drove the red ants away. Or did the red ants migrate and the black ants moved into the vacant tunnels?

These ants made me think of the types of ants I've seen until now. Basically they can be divided as red/black and small/medium/large. The types-
* small red - love sweet stuff, bites badly, live in cracks/carnies in walls or subterranean nests
* medium red - similar to the small red variety
* large red - can be found in trees and jungles, build nests with leaves and glue like saliva
* small black - looks delicate, not known to bite, live below stones on dirt
* medium black - described above, the impatient types, live in subterranean nests
* large black - giants of the ant world, known as Godda in Kannada, a hard bite from their mandibles can draw blood, live in subterranean nests

All ants types are duty bound, hardworking, disciplined, and united. Their building ability is awe-inspiring.

And they discovered something very interesting: when it comes to walking, most of the ant's thinking and decision-making is not in its brain at all. It's distributed. It's in its legs - Kevin Kelly

A bunch of ant quotes.


Friday, October 5, 2012

25 years ago, this day..

October 5th 1987 was my first day at BMSCE. I remember it was raining that morning; seniors had gathered in corridors to grab freshers like me. Our class room was in the ground floor of the block next to library. Some how I had managed to evade getting ragged and got into the classroom. However, seniors caught me later; ragging was alright, nothing like what we see in movies or hear in news. Inside the classroom, all the faces were new. Sudhin was the first person I spoke to, then it was Naveen, Raghu followed by Saurabh, Anand... our class of 83 students was a mix of localites and outsiders. Few days later I came across familiar faces from high school; YSS Kumar, Anil Prasad, Shankarnarayan, Sudhindra, and Prakash; Ravi and Prasanna from PU colleges.

BMS College of Engineering campus was a garden; huge trees of different kinds like Rain tree, Gulmohar, etc. covered most parts of the campus. Many of the buildings were antique- the workshop, physics lab, chemistry lab ...they had asbestos sheet roofs. The electrical lab was even older, it was a tiled roof structure. The canteen was in the middle of the sports complex; football field, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts and an indoor shuttle court. Canteen wasn't great but the coffee was fine, it was more like a smoking den. I tasted the first cigarette  For snacks we would all head to SLV, a five minute walk. Across the football field was the hostel complex; the International hostel, Main hostel and the mess. The buildings were ahead of the times- red brick and stone finished buildings were designed to provide ventilation for every room.

Initially most of us were present for theory classes. As we got familiar with the faculty, we gave more importance to practicals and less to theory classes. Few months down the academic year, we would spend more time below the trees or in the canteen than inside classrooms. Couple of times soon after the workshop, still in khaki uniforms, we went to Nandi Hills on bikes with beer bottles. Not that we only having fun, we did study too... we had drawing assignments to work on, submit lab reports, etc. Sudhin, Raghu and I spent lot of time together during first year. During vacations for supplementary exams Feb '88 I traveled with Raghu to Vishakapatnam and spent 15 days at his home. Wonderful trip it was.

BMSCE Utsav was something everyone looked forward to, even other college students. The 3 day event was basically a inter-college cultural fest- singing, fashion shows, skits, et al. Students could bid for stalls and set up shop- fun games like shoot and win, food, snacks, soft-drinks and gambling. Our gang, like the rest of the crowd had a great time. Most of us would be drunk and yelling rubbish, yeah that was fun. After Utsav, everybody's broke money even for cigarettes.

Those days we had annual exams which means we take all 10+exams in a matter of 30 days. First would be the practical exams, then came the theory. We all knew seven subjects were allowed to be carried over. Many of my friends did not even bother study tough subjects like electrical engineering or maths. Exams got over, we got the results. I had flunked in three- physics, maths and... must be be civil engineering. Some flunked up to seven!

Second year we had couple of more subjects plus our backlogs. With freshers coming in, we did rag few guys and chicks. Kavi the hostelite, did a bit of ragging and got himself in a fix. Sudhin and I went to his rescue. I was feeling the heat and had started doubting if I'll ever complete the course. Anyway, worries did not dampen our spirits during Utsav 89, we had a wild time. It was a year of fights for Sudhin, he had trouble with couple of rough characters. By then Sudhin had a reputation; he had thrashed a variety of people- students, hostel warden, auto-rickshaw drivers, bus drivers/conductors, college lecturers, lawyers, and even a policeman. We loved the way he studied- he would sleep off sitting, with a book in his hand. I just wanted to get over with II year exams. Vacations after exams was tension filled time for me. However one good thing happened- I quit smoking for good. Results announced; I had seven backlogs! Luckily I cleared two in revaluation, now its 5 more to go. Few of my friends were not so lucky. I had asked Sunil to apply for revaluation but he did not for some reason ...and lost a year :(

It was only in III year our Head of the Department Dr. K G Chandrappa took classes for us. I was determined to make Third year a all clear year. I got serious with college, spent time in library, Ravi was an inspiration. Also around the same time, I met Anish in our apartments, he was a '88 batch Computer Science student in Bangalore Institute of Technology. Anish inspired me big time, he helped me with I year and II year Maths and few other common subjects. I took special tuition for some tough subjects. This was the year I spent less time with Sudhin or Raghu. Mid III year my parents got me a Kinetic Honda. It was a great help- no need to rush, or miss buses. Industrial Tour was a part of the III year curriculum and I was a  member of the motley crew who organized the tour. One helluva a trip it was! Some where around this time, Kavi's friend Satish from Tiptur entered the scene and remained with us as though he was our classmate. He was hooked by one of our classmates :) I remained focused on studies, the efforts did pay off- I cleared all III year subjects plus the backlogs except for I year Physics.

Soon it we were in the Final year, the year of project work and electives. We were allowed to choose two subjects out of eight. I was one of the handful to choose Plant Layout & Material Handling. The other elective was Value Engineering, taught by our HoD Dr.Chandrappa. Like III year, I remained focused on academics, I spent a great deal of time with Ravi, Shivakumar, Shankara and few other guys. And Anish too, we did all-night studies with a break around midnight to get Pepsi. The cola was new to India but for Anish- having brought up in Qatar -was his favorite drink. I managed to clear Physics during the supplementary exams. My project mates were Kavi, Rajesh and Vijaysimha. In my opinion, our project was a disaster. Though different branches, Anish and I studied together. his company really helped me push through. I did well in most exams except my elective PLMH. The exam paper was too theoretical. I made sure to flunk it rather than clear it with 35 marks.

Now, officially we are ex-BMSCE. However we still had ties with Bangalore University. Soon after the exams Deepak, Anish and I went off on road trip to Kemmangundi. With the results out, I had cleared all papers, PLMH excluded. I met few of my classmates when I'd been to BMSCE to check results ...that's it! Our class- Industrial & Production Engineering 1987 to 1991 -did not say bye formally before getting scattered all over the world. Early '92 I rewrote PLMH, I was the only student on the entire II floor. Yeah, this time the paper was practical type, I cleared it and with that I got a first class in final year. Looking back, I felt, if we had been little disciplined, we would have got all clears and first classes all years. Intelligence was not an issue, laziness and indiscipline was the problem. Well, few of our close friends were still in BMSCE.. There was a quip which came out of two mathematical series by the names 'Fourier Series' and 'Infinite Series'. You might have guessed what comes next. When one cleared the course in four years it's a Four-year series and the unfortunate ones who do not clear at all are 'Infinite Series'. I've not heard of any series for the ones in-between.

Thanks to Facebook and Linkedin, many of us have reconnected and some of us are in touch on and off: Ravi, Shiva, Sesa, Raman, Vishnuchittan, Shankara, Shankarnarayan, Vijaysimha, Chandra, Anil, Sudhin, Raghu, Sunil, Anand, Kavi, Hari and Shetty. Most of us are working, married and parents  ...there are exceptions. Sudhin was the last to get married. One of us would send an email to the group, couple of days later it would be a long thread filled with all kinds of explicit content. We had few get-together, I think two at BMSCE itself and two more at restaurants. Few characters like Abdulwahab never showed up for any of the events. Somehow the enthusiasm has waned during the past six months... even when an email is sent, hardly anyone responds. Professional and family commitments take priority.

Each one of us wonder how 25 years flew away ...Ippataid Varsha Aiteno!?