I’m back in Palakkad again after a few days here at the end of April for my daughter’s 28th day ceremony. We’ve named her Rithika.
On April 25, 2017, Dhanya and Pradeep became proud parents of a baby girl. The delivery was done at the Thangam Hospital of PRC in Palakkad at 5 PM. We had the 28th day celebration of the baby at Praseedha, Palakkad.
The hospital refers to the child as B/o Dhanya (Baby of Dhanya).
The ISRO will launch the GSLV tomorrow carrying the South Asian Satellite on board. ISRO calls it the GSAT-9. It will carry Indian transponders that will be used by India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The Wire has a short video describing the significance of the launch and some prior history.
I think this launch will be important for India for two things. One is to prove, further, the reliability of the GSLV as a launch vehicle capable of regularly delivering communication satellites into orbit. This improves with each launch. As this reliability improves, it brings in business in communication satellite launches as well as reduces India’s dependence on foreign launch vehicles. The second is to improve availability of transponders for users on the ground. Indian transponders can thence be leased and commercialized after meeting India’s requirements.
It would be interesting to see if the use of the transponders by some of our neighboring countries provides them with sufficiently good experience that they will continue using Indian transponders or even ask for multiple transponders. This would make it important again to improve the reliability of the GSLV and the GSLV Mk-III to put enough communication satellites into orbit to service these future requirements. Could then India wean off South East Asian countries from American and European transponders to Indian ones?
Interestingly, this satellite also carries with it an electric propulsion experiment. This satellite is expected to stay in orbit for 12 years. Communication satellites usually last around 10 years. They have to carry as much fuel for what is known as station keeping. The satellites begin to drift from orbit like kites that we fly. We tug at the kite to keep it at one place and prevent it from drifting too far away. The satellite has no strings attached and hence the satellite will have to use fuel on-board to reach its orbit as well as to stay there.
Using electric propulsion completely for doing station keeping would reduce the amount of fuel the satellite would have to carry. This means we can add more transponders which in turn would mean fewer satellites could meet the requirements. But, this is an experiment and hence ISRO is still carrying the fuel it normally would had the electric propulsion system had not been there. I am also delighted to hear that the GSAT-20 mission flying next year will also carry an electric propulsion system on board. The lessons we learn from the experiment on the GSAT-9 would be incorporated.
Possible spoilers alert.
Example, is a great way to teach others how to live. Nivin Pauly’s character is a student politician steeped in the ways of modern politics. His image is a façade of good while he indulges in political manoeuvring using unfair means. His plans for subterfuge of a fellow comrade who seems to be in his way towards higher posts in the Party. His plans come to naught when he is asked to donate blood to a Comrade in ICU.
The Comrade’s friend begins the story of the Comrade’s life who launches agitations against the tyrant tea factory owners in Peerumedu. Once this agitation is a success, agrarian workers of the zamindar approach him. The Comrade agitates by working on the fields. Success leads him to further agitation. The Comrade teaches by example to his comrades in the Party by leading from the front, showing how to lead agitations and how to organise workers. Later, as we learn of The Comrade’s home life, we learn he teaches his daughter by example as well. The movie shows us of a time when idealism and a certain political philosophy was needed to end oppression.
Cut to the present, the tea factory is not working due to various issues including labour issues and profitability. The Comrade, urges a wealthy friend to purchase and run the tea factory to help the people who could not migrate from Peerumedu and forced by hunger into prostitution. There he faces the hoteliers who have illegally built on Company land. It is while fighting these land sharks that the Comrade is stabbed and in hospital.
The Company wins a case in court, with the news that the land sharks have been cleared and will become operational again. The movie asks, rhetorically, if the political philosophy that ended oppression in Peerumedu would work in this new world? Is that idealism, rekindled, the need of today?
Communism was a tool that was once used to transform a highly stratified society into one of the better states in India. It addresses only one part of the equation, though. It works only when there is an oppressed and an oppressor. The lines between these two has blurred and one wonders if, as the movie asks, it is the right tool for a polarised society we live in today.
(Watched on 15/04/2017 at the 8 pm show in Inox Cinemas, R City Mall, Ghatkopar, Mumbai)
I limit my introductions to the fact that I work in a public sector bank and don’t go beyond that. People who know me from meeting me at different junctures know me for the various interest I had had when they met me. I have moved on mostly. Currently, just working in a bank and my family keeps me occupied enough to prevent me from doing anything else.
No, that’s not entirely true. I have gotten more and more lazy and hence have not found the time for any of my other interests other than reading. I have, hence, been below the radar.
This then confuses the new people that I meet as to why I am there.
We left Mumbai for Coimbatore on a Jet Airways flight to leave Dhanya at her maternal home on 27 January, 2017. It was a long time since Pradeep’s father and mother had left for Coimbatore after their retirement. So, our first stop was changed from Kochi to Coimbatore.
Our flight was delayed an hour but we got a warm welcome from Pradeep’s parents and brother. We went to Pradeep’s house in Kovai Pudur and then spent a day there.
We went to Dhanya’s house on Sunday afternoon and left in the afternoon for Keralassery. At Keralassery, we went to Sree Koottala Bhagavathy Temple and Ayanari Ayappa Temple. After spending the night there we returned to Dhanya’s home on Monday for two days of pooja. We took the oppertunity to go to Dhanya’s ancestral temple at Pazhayannur Bhagvathy Temple. We then returned going to the Puthukulungara Bhagvathy Temple. In the evening, we went to Pradeep’s maternal grandfather’s favourite temple, Thrippallur Siva Temple.
We then stayed a night in Palakkad. In the morning, we went to the Manapully Bhagavthy Temple. The next day we went to Pradeep’s father’s ancestral temple at Thenur Moodarumpetta Bhagvathy Temple across the railway line. We then returned to Kovai Pudur.
On the next day we visited the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Annaikatti.Pradeep’s father then made the decision to visit the queen of hill stations, Ooty. We booked a car to take us there which was a nice decision in hindsight as the ride was gruelling at more than 3 hours each way. Both ways, we stopped at the Sree Annapurna hotel in Mettupalayam.
Pradeep left on Sunday back to Mumbai.
Mahafreed wrote on her blog sharing her writing on Wikipedia in The Times of India in 2010 brought back memories from my good days in Wikipedia editing. In the story she shares my quote too. The original article is here.
After the early days of Wikipedia editing, things reached a head with the Wikiconference India 2011. Things got subsumed by politics like many other things do in India, if the group is not careful. I left offline activities of Wikipedia and stick to one off editing online. I even changed user ids I used for editing.
I watched Dr. Heather Ford talking about a similar curve on a TEDx talk. She ends the talk saying that Wikipedia needs people to change it from within and with more people participating in the editing to expose it to more points of view.