Tuesday, May 27, 2008



Some things are under our control, others are not. Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible .


Thoughts play a very important role in your life, whereas your feelings can make or break you; also affecting the lives of others around you.

We often let our attitudes or feelings govern our lives. We let feelings drive our thoughts, not realizing that thoughts drive actions, actions produce results, and results in turn produce more feelings, causing a vicious circle which may ultimately lead to loss of self-control.

Feelings are not totally controllable, as many times feelings are produced by external circumstances beyond your control, and if negative feelings are allowed to drive our thoughts and actions, then undesirable results emanate.

These undesirable results in turn produce further not-so-good feelings, and the vicious cycle continues. This is true for any unpleasant or negative feelings, like anger, envy, disgust or hatred, which tend to drive our thoughts and actions, and quickly take charge of our lives.

An analysis of other options indicates that neither actions nor results are suitable alternative drivers since they also are not totally controllable and will not always be pleasing.

The best solution is to establish ‘thought’ as the driver is because it is controllable and we can get good results. Moreover there is a matter of choice. It is in our control to think good and interesting thoughts. The happiest person is he or she who thinks the most interesting and good thoughts.

The human mind cannot totally prevent poor quality thoughts from arising, but it can choose whether or not to dwell on them. The mind moves from dwelling on poor quality thoughts by selecting alternative beneficial or pleasant thoughts to focus on.

Choosing to be driven by thoughts and then controlling those thoughts allows the best possible results. Positive thoughts lead to good performance (action), which yields desirable results, which in turn produces good feelings.

Good feelings are conducive to better thoughts and progressively this cycle facilities a high degree of self-control and feeling of happiness.

When good thoughts are combined with good potential the results can be remarkable. Thus, the very basis of self-control is refusing to allow our feelings to control our responses and dwelling instead on good, pleasant, joy-producing positive thoughts.

Develop and apply your skill to control your thoughts. That’s the key to a happy and healthy life.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.






Monday, May 12, 2008

The Sweet Chilli

The Sweet Chilli



Here is an apocryphal story, I heard long back, whose inner meaning had a profound positive effect on me :

On his first visit to India, a rich merchant saw a man selling a small green fruit which he had never seen before. It looked fresh and juicy and the merchant was tempted, and curious, he asked the vendor,“ What is this ?” “Chillies, fresh green chillies,” said the hawker.

The merchant held out a gold coin and the vendor was so overjoyed that he gave the merchant the full basket of chillies.

The merchant sat down under a tree and stared to munch the chillies. Within a few seconds his tongue was on fire, his mouth burning and tears streamed down his cheeks. But despite this discomfort, the merchant went on eating the chillies, chewing them one by one, scrutinizing each chilli carefully before he put it into his burning mouth.

Seeing his condition, a passerby remarked, “ What’s wrong with you ? Why don’t you stop eating those hot chillies ? ”

“Maybe there is one that is sweet,” the merchant answered, “ I keep waiting for the sweet one.” And the merchant continued eating the chillies.

On his way back, the passerby noticed that the merchant’s condition had become miserable, his face red with agony and copious tears pouring out of his burning eyes. But the merchant kept on eating the chillies, in his search for the ‘sweet one’.

“ Stop at once, or you will die,” the passerby shouted. “ There are no sweet chillies ! Haven’t you realized that ? Look at the basket - it’s almost empty. And have you found even one sweet chilli yet ? ”

“I cannot stop until I eat all the chillies. I have to finish the whole basketful,” the merchant croaked in agony, “ I have paid for the full basket and I will make sure I get my money’s worth.”

Dear Reader – Read this story once more, reflect on it, apply it to your life. Don’t we cling on to things that we know we should let go ( at first hoping to find ‘sweet one’ and even when we discover that there is no ‘sweet chilli’ we still continue to shackle ourselves to painful people, harmful habits, negative careers and detrimental things just to ‘get our money’s worth’ when we should let go, move on and liberate ourselves).


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Times India Pune Food Guide

Book Review – TIMES FOOD GUIDE PUNE 2007

[Reviewed by Foodie Vikram Karve] [a repost]

I believe that if you want to write about food you must actually eat it. Being a passionate Foodie is probably more important than being a competent journalist. First hand gastronomic experience is sine qua non for a food guide or restaurant review. I read somewhere that while compiling the Times Food Guide 2007, in order to give a perfect picture of the Pune’s culinary scene, they had sent out food inspectors who visited restaurants incognito to sample and rate the food in order to ensure first hand authenticity.

With its eye-catching red cover, attractive get up, convenient size [a food guide must fit in your pocket and be easy to carry around during your foodwalks], and reasonable price, my first impression was quite favourable. It’s comprehensive, alphabetically compiled, well collated, aptly indexed, easy on the eye and pleasing to read, with helpful maps at the end. All in all, a delightfully compact food guide with superb production quality befitting the prestigious Times of India group who have published this pioneering Pune food guide.

It was only when I tried to find my favourite eateries that I was shocked by the glaring omissions. How could the incognito food inspectors have missed out all time Puneri favourites like Janaseva Dughda Mandir the ultimate Puneri Snacks place on Laxmi Road, Purepur Kolhapur, Durga and Nagpur of Sadashiv Peth, Ramnath and Bedekar Misal, Badshahi Boarding, Sweet Home, Ganu Shinde Ice Cream, Sujata and Gujar Mastani House, Olympia Kathi Rolls, Radio Restaurant, East End Chinese, Kalpana Bhel, Spicer Bakery famous for its inimitable delectable lip smacking Lamingtons, Ambika and New Ambika Amrututulya Teashops serving ambrosial tea, et al? And, please tell me, have Khyber, Eddie’s Kitchen, Kabir’s, Poona Goan, Santosh Bhavan, and Latif closed down? Does Café Sunrise still exist? By the way, my all time favourite Marz-O-Rin on Main Street is certainly not a roadside joint as categorized in the index. It’s a decent respectable family place. And Manmeet too, the chaat place on FC Road, is a decent eatery with proper seating. What about Radhakrishna caterers? And Shreyas’s cozy new branch on Satara Road opposite Panchami which also does not find a mention? And the excellent restaurants in hotels like Raviraj, for example? And back of the beyond places like Thomson in Navi Sangvi for Kerala cuisine, Mahableshwar in Baner for Butter Chicken, Sadanand on the Katraj byepass for Dabba Gosht, and Babumoshai on Aundh Road for Lavang Lata and Bengali Sweets.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be critical and it is certainly not my intention to belittle the great effort that has gone into the making of this pioneering food guide to Pune, but then one has very high expectations from a publication from the highly esteemed Times of India group.

I’m glad I bought the Times Food Guide Pune 2007. It is a superb user-friendly guide covering a wide range of cuisines, and featuring many new places, especially in the upcoming suburbs of Pune. If this food guide is targeted at the newly arrived IT professionals, the high-falutin crowd of “restless achievers”, the rich hip and happening students flocking to Pune, visiting tourists, and the cosmopolitan elite living in posh suburbs like Kalyaninagar, Kondhwa, Aundh etc, it is certainly an excellent and informative compilation. But is it fair to ignore the fast dwindling diehard Punekar and the unique Puneri cuisine?

I’ve tasted better Chinese food in Kolkata, Mughlai Cuisine in Delhi, Irani, Continental and Multicuisine Mumbai, Biryani in Hyderabad and Lucknow, Chaat and Chola Bhatura in the north, Vindaloo and Fish Curry in Goa, and Dosas and Chettinad cuisine in the south, but where else but in Pune will you get the inimitable heritage Puneri Cuisine? A little more focus on traditional Puneri and Maharashtrian cuisine would certainly have made this Pune Food Guide more comprehensive and complete.

I wish that, for their next edition, the editors choose true blue Punekars with culinary knowledge, sensitive taste buds and cast iron stomachs as the incognito foodie inspectors who will dare to delve deep into the heart of the city, the nooks and crevices of the peths, and the underbelly of camp, and discover for us the best eateries serving the signature food of Pune and Maharashtra. For starters, I suggest they take a foodwalk on Laxmi Road starting from Alaka Chowk to Camp, delving into gallis and by-lanes and exploring the peths on either side. And then fan out all over Pune on a gastronomic trail. A section on Club-Food served at the many excellent clubs and institutes would be most welcome.

There is no greater love than the love of eating. Food reviews must be written with passion and candour, be exciting, and create in the reader strong gastronomic emotions. Most of the food reviews in this guide appear perfunctory and generic in nature. They don’t create in the reader the zest for eating! I feel that a good food review must mention the signature dish of the place, recommend specific cuisine, and describe the eating experience in its entirety, make one’s mouth water and trigger a zealous desire for eating, or otherwise. Take the review on Café Good Luck, for example. Surely Good Luck is not a mere run of the mill Irani Bun Maska – Chai – Mutton Masala place. How about letting readers know about the unique Mutton Cutlet Curry, matchless Biryanis, spicy yummy Tawa Goshts, and other specialties of the place. Have the writers actually savored the SPDP at Vaishali? Or relished the Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Chicken Supreme and Blueberry Pudding at Polka Dots? And remember, if it’s Bhavnagri, or Karachi, it’s the irresistible Sev Barfi!

One must tell the readers what to eat, the specialties of the place, and describe the restaurant, it’s background, and the eating experience a little bit more passionately, and enthusiastically, like has been so nicely done in the write-up on Arthur’s Theme Restaurant – it made my mouth water and I feel like rushing there right now – I’m sure the incognito food inspectors had a delightful meal at Arthur’s! Also the reviews on the bars and pubs are much more spirited – no prizes for guessing why!

As one peruses the guide one realizes that Pune is fast becoming a culinary melting pot of cuisine from all over the world. The writers need to be congratulated and commended for their excellent compilation of so many new exciting eateries, especially in the newly developing neighborhoods. There is so much new information. I was quite sad when my favourite non-veg eatery Aasra in Shukrawar Peth closed down. Now I learn from this guide that its namesake an Aasra Lunch Home exists in Chinchwad. I wonder whether it serves the same stimulating fiery nose watering Maharashtrian Mutton Rassa? Well I’m going to find out pretty soon! And I’m going to try out all the value-for-money College Canteens too – this is indeed a novel and innovative listing I have not seen in any other food guide.

This wonderful food guide is going to be my constant companion as I set forth on my gastronomic exploration of my beloved city of Pune. I strongly recommend that every food-loving Punekar get a copy of this handy and informative food guide too. Happy Eating!


Published by Ravi Dhariwal for Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. New Delhi
ISBN: 81-89906-09-7
Pages: 232
Price: Rs. 100/-
Easily available at all book stores.

Reviewed by:




Numerology and Compatibility

Numerology and Compatibility

[Just for Fun]



Let’s calculate the numerological value of my name VIKRAM [4+9+2+9+1+4 = 29 = 2+9 = 11 = 1+1 = 2]. The numerological value is 2.

Now let’s compute the numerological value of my wife’s name POORNIMA [7+6+6+9+5+9+4+1 = 47 = 4+7 = 11 = 1+1 = 2]. Hey, my wife’s numerological value is also 2.

That’s why we are such a perfect match – or are we?

Why don’t you try and check your numerological compatibility with your spouse, friend, loved one, boss, colleagues, or anyone with whom you are planning a close relationship. Just use the simple Pythagorean Table [1 - 9: A to I, J to R, S to Z (8)] and compute the numerological value of a name as above.

If you have a perfect match, it’s great. Even if the numerological values are in harmony [one divisible by the other] it’s a sign of excellent compatibility.

Hey, don’t take this too seriously – this is just for fun!







Friday, May 9, 2008

Memories of my Alma Mater

Memories of my Alma Mater


Vikram Waman Karve

The class of 1972, who graduated in1977, the first IIT-JEE batch, had organized a reunion at our alma mater, ITBHU, Varanasi, in the first week of January 2008. I had planned to go, but couldn’t make it, owing to a sudden unexpected job relocation. I’m sure all my classmates who were there revived fond memories of our student life at Banaras, so here is my nostalgic piece on my alma mater.

ITBHU [Erstwhile BENCO – Banaras Engineering College]
Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University

Let’s begin with the college song

IT BHU Chorus









Composed by:
Prof. Charles. A. King
The First Principal of the
Banaras Engineering College (BENCO)

On what basis do you judge an educational institution – an Engineering College or a B-School? In today’s world there is just one criterion – market value – the starting salaries and campus placement the students get – the more outrageously astronomical the pay packets, and the greater the percentage of lucrative campus placements – the better the institution. And with the increasing commercialization of education, many institutes blatantly compete, advertise, and focus on these materialistic aspects to attract students – it’s a rat race.

I feel the cardinal yardstick for appraising the true merit of an educational institution is the value-addition it instills in its alumni – and I’m not talking of utility and materialistic values alone; but more importantly the inculcation and enhancement of intrinsic and intangible higher values. The student should feel he or she has changed for the better, professionally and personally; and so should other stakeholders observing the student from the outside be able to discern the value enhancement.

I studied for my B.Tech. in Electronics Engineering at ITBHU from 1972 to 1977 (first batch IIT JEE) and I experienced the well-rounded value addition I have mentioned above. Later in life, being academically inclined, I continued studying, completed many courses, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, an Engineering and Technology Post Graduation [M.Tech.] at a premier IIT, worked in multifarious capacities and even taught for many years at prestigious academic institutions of higher learning, but I shall always cherish my days at ITBHU the most. I knew I was a better man, in my entirety, having passed through the portals of ITBHU, and I’m sure those scrutinizing me from the outside felt the same way.

ITBHU was amalgamated by integrating three of the country’s oldest and best engineering colleges: BENCO (Banaras Engineering College) – the first in the Orient, and certainly in India, to introduce the disciplines of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, MINMET – the pioneer in Mining and Metallurgy in India, and College of Technology – the first to start Chemical and Ceramic Engineering. Indeed these three institutions were the harbingers of industrialization in our country.

In my time ITBHU was indeed a center of excellence, an apt institution to study in, and a lovely place to live in. The vast verdant lush green semi-circular campus at the southern end of Varanasi, the largest university campus I have ever seen, with its pleasant and relaxed atmosphere was ideal for student life. And being a part of a premier university afforded one a consummate multidisciplinary experience.

It was a delightful and fulfilling experience I will always cherish – learning from erudite and totally dedicated Professors, who were authorities in their fields of specialization, amidst excellent academic facilities and ambience, elaborate labs and workshops, lush green campus, well-designed comfortable hostels, delicious food, expansive sports fields and facilities for all types of sports, the beautiful swimming pool, the unique well-stocked and intellectually inspiring Gaekwad library, and the exquisite temple that added a spiritual dimension to the scholarly ambiance. One could learn heritage and foreign languages, fine arts, music, indology, philosophy, yoga, pursue hobbies like numismatics – the avenues for learning were mind-boggling. So many of us learnt music and foreign languages at this sanctum of learning. The idyllic environs of BHU helped one develop a philosophical attitude to life.

Like all premier institutes ITBHU was fully residential, which fostered camaraderie and facilitated lifelong friendships amongst the alumni. I can never forget those delightful moments in Dhanrajgiri, Morvi, Vishwakarma, Vishveswarayya and CV Raman hostels, mouthwatering memories of the Lavang Lata and Lassi at Pehelwan’s in Lanka, the Lal Peda opposite Sankat Mochan, and the delicious wholesome cuisine of the city, and the cycle trips all over Varanasi, Sarnath, and even across the holy and sacred Ganga on the pontoon bridge to watch the Ram Lila at Ramnagar.

Way back then, in the nineteen seventies, ITBHU was a wonderful place to study engineering and live one’s formative years in. I wonder what my dear alma mater is like now!







Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Time Management


Vikram Karve

Unless time is managed properly, nothing worthwhile can be accomplished. Time is unique resource. It is indispensable, intangible, irreplaceable, irretrievable and therefore invaluable. It is equitably and uniformly distributed. A day of every one consists of 24 hours only, no more and no less. Every piece of work requires time. Difficult tasks may require ample time; after all Rome was not built in a day.

Time does not obey the laws of ordinary arithmetic. 4 minutes today and 3 minutes tomorrow do not add up to 7 minutes at a stretch. Time without energy has not much value; for instance, if one is seriously ill the time duration of illness is practically useless. Time is money. Costs are related to the passage of time, such as interest on capital. Time is also a measure of effort. Even a few minutes of time can be of critical importance. Time lost is lost for ever and yet the easiest thing is to waste time. We always tend to waste time and then regret that we are always short of time. Time management is, therefore aspect of management.

A Swiss gentleman summed up 65 years of his life as under:-

(a) Spent in bed - 26 years
(b) Spent in Office/at work - 20 years
(c) Spent in eating - 6 years
(d) Spent in waiting - 6 years
(e) Spent in anger - 6 years
(f) Spent in toilet, bathing, shaving,
laughing, scolding children, blowing
nose and lighting cigar - 1 year

(g) No time apparently spent in
thinking, planning or achieving goals

Modes of Time

There are two modes of time for every person:

(a) Either you have a very “busy” mind, effectively employing human resources like working, thinking, remembering, reading, writing, watching, discussing, listening etc., in short, fully utilizing your senses. Here you are very busy and involved.

(b) Or at the other extreme, you have an “empty” mind – for example, whilst waiting for a bus or train, waiting for a doctor or friend, when you do not get sleep or listening to a boring speech or attending infructuous meetings – activities in which you are not interested or mentally involved but perforce have to be physically present.

In the first case time flies – you would say – “Oh. My God! One hour has passed. I thought just about 5 minutes have gone by.”

In the second case, imagine you are waiting for a doctor, or your friend at a Cinema Hall or awaiting a train, which is running late, at the railway station. You look right, then left, then at your watch. You curse your friend or the train for not coming on time. It seems ages. When the much-delayed person or train arrives at last, you shout “Why are you late? I am cooling my heels for hours.” Whereas actually only three or four minutes may have passed.

For a Busy Mind: Time Flies.
For a Empty Mind: Time Crawls.

Time Management

Time can be divided into three aspects for applying techniques of managing it:-

(a) Biological: Pertaining to bodily functions.
(b) Social: Pertaining to self, family and society.
(c) Professional: Pertaining to professional activities/time spent at work.

It is essential to maintain equilibrium between these three aspects. Any imbalance may prove to be detrimental to one’s physical and mental health and can adversely affect the individual in the long run.

It is essential, therefore, to allocate one’s time in balanced manner to the extent feasible to all these three aspects.

(a) Biological Time : Adopt the golden mean of moderation among:-
(i) Sleep
(ii) Food
(iii) Ablutions / Calls of nature
(iv) Sex / Recreation
(v) Physical Exercise

It is advantageous to establish regularity for all the above activities.

(b) Social Time : It is desirable to give time to yourself, your family and for society and the general guide lines are :

(i) Self development/self time – at least one hour per day should be kept for oneself for thinking, introspection, reading and other hobbies.

(ii) Family time – strong family ties and a happy domestic life are the foundations of success in both personal and professional life. One must spend some time with one’s family everyday and to co-ordinate activities of family members. Dinner time and after is suitable for this.

iii) Social time – in order to live in society, one has to attend various social events like weddings, religious functions etc., where one is not the master of one’s own time. Social obligations may entail a substantial portion of time.

(c) Professional Time : In this aspect, if one is working, one does not really have a choice as working hours are generally fixed. The aim here is to optimally utilize the available time for maximum output/productivity and self satisfaction. It is, therefore, essential to plan one’s work and that of the subordinates in an efficient manner and also identify “Time Wasters” and make efforts to eliminate/reduce them. Examples of Time Wasters are –

(i) Infructuous meetings.
(ii) Poor communication.
(iii) Unwanted visitors
(iv) Disorganized work due to lack of clear cut priorities, “Fire Fighting”/Crisis Management, duplication of effort, confused responsibility and authority, ineffective delegation, indecision and, in general, failure of Management of Work.

The basic cause of time wastage at work can be classified as follows:-

(a) Over-staffing is common cause of wastage of time. Since most of the people do not have clearly defined work for the whole day, they often obstruct each other and create unnecessary problems. According to Peter Drucker – “If a Manager or Supervisor is spending more than 1/10th of his time on human relations, on disputes and quarrels, it is clear indication of over-staffing”.

(b) Time is wasted on account of faulty organization of work. Work is not planned sufficiently in advance.

(c) There is enormous wastage of time and effort due to various meetings often at various locations, which are not properly directed and drag on interminably.

(d) Time is often wasted because the relevant information is not readily available or the information available is inaccurate. Similarly collection, storage and dissemination of unnecessary information is wasteful.

Though one has to evolve one’s own technique of time management depending on the circumstances, the three cardinal principles are –

(a) Span of Attention
(b) Provision of time in adequate chunks.
(c) Concentration.

(a) Span of Attention : There is a natural limit to how long one can concentrate on a particular activity or task. This is called span of attention. For example – One cannot obviously work continuously for a long duration without loosing effectiveness. Working beyond one’s span of attention becomes counter-productive. Work begins to suffer badly. In planning work, this requirement must always be kept in view.

(b) Provisions of time in adequate chunks : If any important work is to be done, time must be made available in sufficiently large chunks. For example – If a job takes 20 minutes, it is of no use to allocate time at the rate of 5 minutes a day for 4 days. Time used in such driblets is utterly wasted. For important work one requires sufficient time at a stretch.

(c) Concentration: Concentration is essential for effective utilization of time. This as a matter of practice is necessary to avoid all interruptions. It is also necessary to focus attention on one task at a time.


Time Management is essentially a matter of self-discipline, though it is affected by external factors. The aim should be to identify and minimize both internal and external Time Wasters to the extent feasible. One has to cultivate the art of enjoying essential both work and leisure. It is essential to maintain equilibrium between biological, social and professional time for improving one’s effectiveness. In short Time T = X + Y + Z, where X = hard work; Y = play or rest; Z = keeping one’s mouth shut i.e. “Silence” for “Introspection”.







Tuesday, May 6, 2008

NLP - The map is not the territory




“The map is not the territory!”

What does this mean?

Liehtse’s famous parable of The Old Man at the Fort is perhaps apt to illustrate this concept:-

An Old Man was living with his Son at an abandoned fort on the top of a hill, and one day he lost a horse.

The neighbours came to express their sympathy for this misfortune, but the Old Man asked, “How do you know this bad luck? The fact is that one horse is missing and there is one horse less in the stables. That is the fact. Whether it is good luck or bad luck – well that is a matter of judgment.”

A few days afterwards, his horse returned with a number of wild horses, and his neighbours came again to congratulate him on this stroke of fortune, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is good luck? The fact is that there are more horses in my stable than before. Whether it is good luck or bad luck – well that is a matter of opinion.”

With so many horses around, his son began to take to riding, and one day while riding a wild horse he was thrown off and broke his leg. Again the neighbours came around to express their sympathy, and the Old Man replied, “How do you know this is bad luck?”

A few days later a war broke out and all the able bodied men were forcibly conscripted into the army, sent to the warfront to fight and most of them were killed or wounded. Because the Old Man’s son had a broken leg he did not have to go to the war front and his life was saved.

This parable drives home the lesson that there are no such things like good luck and bad luck. What disturbs you are not events but your attitude towards them. You must learn to distinguish between facts and your attitude or judgment towards those facts. It’s all in the mind. Facts are like territory – ground reality. But the way you interpret or judge those facts, your attitude towards them, depends on your mental map.

This mental map is formed due to your values, beliefs and experiences and you tend to view the actual facts or events (territory) through mental filters based on your values, beliefs, biases, prejudices and experiences which form your mental map.

Remember, just like the actual physical geographical territory exists on the ground and its map is drawn on paper, actual facts and events happen in reality and each one of us interprets them depending on the different maps prevalent in our minds.

Events, by themselves, don’t hurt you, it is your attitudes and responses (mental maps) that disturb you and give you trouble. It then becomes your paramount duty to introspect and continuously redesign your mental maps to develop the correct attitude and responses towards external events.

When something happens the only thing in your power is your attitude towards it. We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them. The secret of inner calm lies within you, in developing the proper mental “maps” and the correct attitude in your mind, so that you are not disturbed by the vicissitudes of external events which are akin to the outside “territory”.



Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.




Friday, May 2, 2008


Visit blogadda.com to discover Indian blogs


Title: EMC for Product Designers
Author: Tim Williams
Elsevier [Fourth Edition, 2007] 498 pages
ISBN – 13: 978-0-75-068170-4
ISBN – 10: 0-750-68170-5

Most of us consider a number of factors, exoteric and esoteric, while designing [or selecting] our homes and in the configuration of the numerous modern technological devices and domestic appliances, most of them electrical and electronic, therein. Recently I saw a programme on TV where a Vastu Shastra expert was advising viewers not only regarding the various aspects of designing and building living environments that are in harmony with the physical and metaphysical forces but also specifying optimal locations and layouts for various electrical and electronic appliances and devices in both residential homes and workplaces. I listened with intriguing interest as he gave precise directions and specified exact locations for positioning of Televisions, Computers, Communication Devices, Microwave Ovens, Music systems and other appliances, and fascinated by the congruence between principles and aspects of Vastu and Electromagnetic Compatibility [EMC] and wondered whether the expert in reality was actually an EMC Design Engineer in addition to being a Vastu Shastra Specialist.

When you design or select or configure your house or office I am sure you consider various aesthetic, architectural, financial, utilitarian, geographical, interior and exterior design and other practical aspects, maybe even incorporate the principles of Vastu Shastra and Feng Shui, but do you give even a fleeting thought to EMC? In today’s world with the increasing use of electricity and electronic technology we are under continual exposure to Electromagnetic Field [EMFs], both inside and outside our homes and workplaces, radiating from radiating from electricity power lines, household wiring, microwave ovens, computers, monitors, televisions, communication devices, cellular phones, electric and electronic appliances and “Electropollution” is an increasingly serious form of Environment Pollution and merits serious consideration. Apart from hazards to our health, Electromagnetic Interference [EMI] is detrimental to the proper functioning of most electrical, electronic, IT, ITES, communication and technology-based systems and may cause malfunctions and even potentially disastrous and fatal accidents.

The book being reviewed – EMC for Product Designers by Tim Williams – is one of the most comprehensive reference books I have read on the subject. Comprising sixteen chapters arranged in three parts [Legislation and Standards, Testing and Design] the author lucidly covers most micro and macro aspects of EMC Management in meticulous detail. The logical sequence of topics, clear diagrams, tables and illustrations facilitate easy understanding of this complicated subject. The Design Checklist, interesting Case Studies and useful mathematical formulae in the appendices and the extensive bibliography add value to the reference book.

Whilst the earlier chapters provide an excellent understanding of the EMC Standards and the basic theoretical principles of EMI / EMC, the “meat” of the book lies in the chapters on Systems EMC and EMC Management which encapsulate all relevant facets of EMC in a holistic manner. I wish the author had included a detailed chapter on Electromagnetic Health Hazards and mitigation techniques. This vital topic concerning all of us humans seems to have not been accorded the due importance it deserves and I hope the author includes a comprehensive chapter on pertinent aspects in the next edition.

I commend this book – it is an excellent reference book for designers, students, practising professionals in the field and a useful addition for all engineering and technical libraries.






The Art of Living. The Importance of Understanding






Whenever I want to unwind and relax, I pick out one of my favorite books from my bookcase, settle down in my easy-chair, put my feet up, and open the book to any random page, or thumb through the pages, and dip into whatever arrests my attention, and as I begin reading I experience a soothing feeling and a calm tranquil sensation of absolute and perfect relaxation. From time to time, I let myself drift off into sweet slumber, and when I come around I begin my relaxed reading again. So the cycle continues till my mind recaptures the harmony it has lost during the hustle and bustle of daily life, and my inner self feels soothingly nourished.

The book is called THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING and is compiled by Lin Yutang, who is more famous for his magnum opus THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING, the classic seminal philosophical masterpiece on The Art of Living [ do read my book review on the links below ] :



or somewhere on this blog of mine].

I’ve got a hardcover copy of the book, published by Heinemann London in 1961, which I obtained, by a stroke of luck, from a raddiwala a few years ago. The book comprises translations from the Chinese. There are essays, reflections, poems, ancient wit and wisdom, literature, writings on The Art of Living, Enjoyment of Life and Zen, parables, epigrams and proverbs. The writings focus on the simple joys of living and distinction between the practical and the poetic vision of life.

There is wit and subtle humor throughout the book. Here is a story titled “Prohibition” from the chapter on Ancient Wit and Wisdom.

In the time of the ruler of Shu, Shienchu (third century AD) there was prohibition on wine on account of a drought…There were people who were arrested for having vats and distillery apparatus in their houses, punishable in the same terms as those actually caught making illegal liquor. Chien Yung was driving in the country with the ruler when they saw a young man.

“Have that man arrested,’ cried Chien Yung.

“What has he done?” asked the ruler in puzzlement.

“He is going to commit adultery.”

“How do you know?”

“He has the organs of adultery, just as those people have their vats.”

The ruler broke out into a loud laugh and ordered that the people arrested for mere possession of vats released.

The meat of the book is the section on “Home and Daily Living” which encompasses a wide range of facets of the art of living and enjoyment of daily life.

I’ll end with an epigram of Yuan Chunglang – Beware of the man who has no hobbies. If he is not sincere in loving what he loves, he is also probably not sincere in hating what he professes to hate.

Dear Reader. First read The Importance of Living and then read The Importance of Understanding. And I’m sure you will see your life from a different perspective.







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Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Art of Living. The Art of Happiness

The primary aim of philosophy and spirituality is to help ordinary people live a life of happiness, fulfillment and tranquility. Every day you ask yourself - How do I live a happy life? Is it simple to be happy? What is the art of happiness? Let us see what the Taoist philosopher Mingliaotse has to say: " The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild."

You know that whenever pleasure is present you are happy - this is a fact that cannot be denied - for a pleasure is an enjoyable event or delightful emotion which is bound to make you happy, at least for that moment.

Highfalutin philosophers and spiritual gurus may prescribe various impracticable esoteric paths of renunciation, asceticism or sectarian precepts eschewing enjoyment and pleasure as the sine qua non of happiness, but the fact of the matter is that to the ordinary person happiness and pleasure are inextricably intertwined.

Discovering simple enduring pleasures which you can easily and regularly achieve, realize and enjoy in your day-to-day life will produce contentment, fulfillment and happiness.

No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but wanton pursuit of pleasures is counterproductive as it leads to over-indulgence and excesses which bring with them disturbances which are detrimental to our happiness and well-being.

In your search for happiness you indulge in extravagant parties, unrestrained consumption, thoughtless shopping, limitless spending, expensive entertainments and try to enjoy everything at once, instant gratification by over-indulgence in wining, dining and dancing, stretching yourself to the maximum limits possible; at first you enjoy yourself and feel happy but when you come to the point of satiety you begin to feel a sense of repulsion, and if you overdo yourself, next morning wake up sick and feeling miserable with a sense of sadness rather than happiness.

Grandiose, complicated, ostentatious, lavish, unrestrained and intemperate indulgences which you think will ostensibly make you happy , in actual fact, render you stressed-out, unhappy and cause you harm and misery in the long run.

There is no need to overdo things in order to be happy. Just keep your pleasures mild. Enjoying a simple, tasty and healthy meal with your loved one's and friends, or just sitting quietly and leisurely reading a good book, taking a walk enjoying melodious music, enjoying your work, leisure, hobbies are some mild pleasures which will make you happy and keep you healthy too.

It is simple to be happy. The first thing you must do is to introspect and list your most pleasurable activities - things that give you true joy, happiness and satisfaction - in all aspects of your life. Make your list as exhaustive as possible and from this list select those "mild" pleasures that you can enjoy every day or often. And then fit them into your daily routine.

See what happens. Experiment. Delete those "pleasures" that you thought would give you happiness but actually made you stressed-out - things you think would be satisfying but turn out to be unrewarding. Do not be hesitant to add new items to your list - you can always remove them if they fail to produce the desired results. Fine tune and religiously practice your list - and experience happiness every day.

This prescription of keeping your pleasures mild will enable you to structure your life in way where your happiness will be in your control and you will find greater joy in your life. It will be feasible and within your control to ensure that you enjoy these mild pleasures daily or at least fairly regularly and, with only so many hours during the day, these enjoyable events will begin to crowd out the neutral, unpleasant, and irrelevant activities in your daily life and make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Dear reader, start today and discover the art of happiness, the art of living.

And do let me know your experience - did keeping your pleasures mild make you happier?

Try to discover which are those mild pleasures that make you truly happy and joyful.

It is simple to be happy, isn't it?