APRIL 2009 1
Child Labour. Humour. Snaps.
Pages 4,5 Pages 3,6 Page 2
Poems. Picture Puzzle. Featured Blog.
Pages 7,8 Page 2 Page 7
Benchmarking 2009. the various services available to the stu- public to the Centenary Celebrations in locations across campus, encouraging
Hello and welcome to this year’s edition dents on campus on various parameters, the Institute. people to participate in the survey. 197
of Benchmarking! For those of you who the notable ones being satisfaction and Hosted by www.kwiksurveys.com, people participated in the survey, which
tuned in late, Benchmarking was a con- frequency of utilization. Various ser- the survey was opened to the public at a rough estimate is approximately
cept that the Voices Team set rolling al- vices were grouped based on similarity for a week from 6th to 13th March, 10% − 20% of the Institute’s student
most an year ago, the aim being to rate of nature and with additional questions 2009. Broadcasts were sent out and population.
designed to gauge the reaction of the posters were put up at the most visible
Star Ratings of All Services. Participants’ Proﬁle: Among the student respondents, as we saw last year, the greatest number
None ***** of people were from among the Ph.D. candidates enrolled in the engineering faculties with 31%
Tata Book House **** of the participants coming from this group. These were closely followed by the Ph.D. candidates
Campus Xerox centre (TMC) **** from the science faculties, the exact percentage being 24%. These are then followed by the M.E.
Campus Xerox centre (TBH) **** students, the M.Sc. students, the Integrated Ph.D. students, the M.Tech. students and the M.Des.
State Bank of India **** students in decreasing order of number of participants with the M.B.A. students bringing up the
Gymkhana **** rear with 4% of the respondents.
Health Centre ****
JRD Tata Memorial Library **** Services Overall: One of the queries in the survey asked the respondents to rate the qual-
SERC (Computing Facility) **** ity of services in IISc in general on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the worst rating while 5 represented
Hostel Mess **** the highest. The average answer to this question was an ’Average’ rating with the mean numerical
Juice Centre **** rating turning out to be 2.964.
Medical Store ****
Stationary store **** Highly Accessed Services: Interestingly, food appears to be the one thing that’s topmost
Jaybee Travel Agency **** on every research student’s mind since the top 5 spots in the most accessed list were bagged by the
Watch Repair Shop **** various cafeterias on campus with the Hostel Messes coming out on top with an Access Index in
Tailor shop *** excess of 94 points, followed closely by the Tea-and-Coﬀee-Kiosk. The two services are the only ones
Thomas Cook Travel Agency *** which have been rated as being visited Highly Frequently by the respondents. The ones making up
Varsha Travels *** the rest of the top 5 are the Juice centre, Kabini canteen and Gym Cafe. What is interesting is that
Faculty Club *** Nesara makes an appearance only at number 10; apparently the attractions of better hygiene and
Gym Cafe *** ambience have not been able to oﬀset the higher prices. The F&H coﬀee-shop and the CEDT can-
Kabini canteen *** teen appear much lower down the scale, being used only ’When Necessary’, going by the rating-scale.
CEDT canteen ***
Nesara *** Star Ratings: The data from the survey was converted into numerical ratings based on
Cycle repair shop *** the answers to the questions by a simple algorithm. We gave a numerical value (E.g. 4 for Excellent,
Grocery shop *** 0 for Very Poor and so on) to all the options in the survey questionnaire. Thereafter, using this
Hair Saloon *** index we computed a weighted average for each of the services. The computation did not include
Janata Bazaar *** the people who did not evaluate that particular service. Then, we scaled the number to 100 to
Laundry service *** get the rating which has been used as the metric to evaluate services. To present the results in a
Canara Bank *** more readable form, we resort to a star-based system with each service being awarded stars on the
Academic Section *** basis of the numerical ratings, comparisons being made meaningfully within each group of services
Admission section *** (***** means Excellent). As observed from the table, no service has been rated as 5-star or
Alumni Association *** 1-star. We refrained from using percentile ranks in order to let the service providers of 4-star rating
Complaints cell *** know that there is scope for improvement.
Foreign travel grant section ***
Scholarship Section *** Quality of Services: Tata Book House and the Juice Centre came out on top, with nei-
Hostel Accomodation (regular) *** ther getting an ’Excellent’ score however but being ’Good’ nonetheless. Next was the General
Guest Accomodation *** Computing Facility in SERC which also scored almost as well the former two. Near the end of
Placement Cell *** the list are the Guest accommodation, Schemes section, the Cycle Repair Shop, Varsha Travels,
Schemes Section *** the Campus Development Centre (Estate Oﬃce) and the F&H coﬀee shop. Firmly in the ’Poor’
Security Services *** category as rated by us, is Tea-board; which ranks almost at the top in terms of number of footfalls.
Students’ Council *** Incidentally, last year’s results show that Tea-board was the highest ranked service in all of IISc on
Campus Development Centre (Estate oﬃce) ** the basis of Satisfaction levels.
Fresh and Honest **
Tea Board ** Check out more detailed and interesting results regarding reasons behind slow PhD
None * and how to improve services, at http://www.iisc.ernet.in/voices/.
Mukta (BIOCHEM), Sudhira (Alumnus, CES), Arun (CSA), Maneesh (MECHENG), Deepti (MRDG) with support from Voices Team.
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by authors in this newsletter do not necessarily reﬂect opinions, beliefs
and viewpoints of the Voices or oﬃcial policies of Voices. However, this does not apply to articles contributed by the Voices Team.
APRIL 2009 2
Secret Feelings. Sorry!! interpreted in another manner; again tion. People don’t realize that they
the beautiful or rather powerful word are not using it for apologizing but
Language is a mode of communica- comes into the picture and you say “I as a habit. It has come to the state
tion, which provides you with a means am sorry, I didn’t mean it that way.” where you hit someone in an accident
to express yourself (your thinking/ Aah!! Single word, multitasking. (for instance, broke his leg) and say
feelings). Use of language is deﬁ- The word “sorry” literally refers to “sorry” sweetly and move on. What
nitely an art. However presently, apologizing or feeling regret. an easy way to run away from the
where a combination or rather a Somebody has deﬁned it beauti- troubles caused by our mistakes!
mixture of diﬀerent languages are in fully as:- To conclude, learning is better
use, we heavily depend upon some S- Sincerely than committing mistakes deliber-
words without which life appears a O- Oﬀering apology ately. If you accept your mistake,
bit diﬃcult. R- Right from my heart nothing is better than that. The eter-
Imagine a scenario when you are in R- Realizing my mistake and truly nal feeling and realization of your mis-
your dream world thinking of some- apologizing to take can actually make the change
body, making plans for the future Y- You, with a promise to try not to rather than simple bland usage of
and you suddenly realize that you commit that mistake again. words. It is not bad to say sorry
are lying on the ground surrounded but there should be a sense of hon-
“What is your feeling from this by a bunch of people because you The idea is that now it has become esty about it. If, even after saying
picture?” is a picture puzzle by have banged into a cycle coming from the easiest and cheapest way to save “sorry” you repeat your mistake (cau-
Vinod E. M. (PHY). Do convey the opposite side. Now what would your skin. Even if most of the times tiously or incautiously) the whole pur-
your thoughts to Vinod. Psychol- your reaction be? The ﬁrst word you really meant it but because we pose is lost. “Remember, an apology
ogists use such pictures to extract which comes to your mind is “sorry” are using it so often that it has lost is a good way to have the last word”.
internal feelings of patients, which and then the series of explanations to its meaning and essence. So , the next time when you say
often even the patients are not move out. Just think for a moment, in a com- sorry, look at that person in the eye
aware of. Okay, let us visualize another sce- plete day how often you came across and say it with a ring of sincerity and
nario when you were talking to your this word or have actually used it. conviction.
His other picture puzzles best friend and suddenly by a diﬀer- Secondly, of these instances how many
can be enjoyed at his blog ential usage of words to explain, you times is it actually meaningful instead
http://vinodasala.blogspot.com/. realized that what you said is being of just avoiding a troublesome situa- Deepti Abbey (MRDG).
Featured Snaps. CPDM Featured.
(Source: Anaska (CPDM).)
The photos are from IISc Gallery. One is by Sravanth Kumar H Bangalore Mirror of Mar 11, 2009
Voices thank the owners for sharing (MBU), Two by Mahua Das featured various gadgets devel-
those with us. The theme (Alumnus, MRC), and oped by CPDM professors Amaresh
is One To(o) Many. One signiﬁes Many by Vishwanathan A. Chakrabarti, B. GuruMoorthy, and
Solitude, Two signiﬁes a Couple and (IPC). Compiled by Saleem Ahmed along with their stu-
Many signiﬁes a Group. Vinay Shirhatti (CEDT). dents Surbhi Pratap, Lalit Singhal,
Jaspreet Singh, Pulin Raje and oth-
ers. The gadgets included Rickshaw
Car, Wrinkle Smoothener, Cell for
Women and Mobile Washing Ma-
IISc to study
safety of railway bridges.
(Source: TOI, Mar 15, 2009.)
IISc will study the condition of rail-
way bridges in the South Western
division to help the Railway decide
whether bridges can take additional
load. A sample of 10 bridges has
been selected and it would cover
Hubli-Arasikere, Tumkur and Man-
Research, to beat recession.
(Source: DNA, Mar 15, 2009.)
Addressing students at a Distinc-
tion Award Ceremony at PES Insti-
tute of Technology, Bangalore, the
Director, Prof Balaram said, “It
is tough to ﬁnd placements these
days. To overcome this, students
should go for further studies. We
must convert recession to an oppor-
tunity.” Many problems in the area
of transport, power and water could
only be solved with Technology, he
GATE not necessary for
Candidates with BE/BTech/MSc
or equivalent degree who may not
have qualiﬁed in the National En-
trance Tests will also be considered
for PhD(Engg). Short listing for in-
terview of such candidates is based
on their academic performance in
the qualifying degree (upto 3rd year
in BE/BTech, or 1st year in MSc),
and their performance in 10th and
APRIL 2009 3
Game called Football. your rescue even before you rise from tive ideas are necessary to improve the but never get a chance to kick the
Twenty-two players — in red and yel- your quiescence. quality of the game, needed to shrink ball. Not only was I solely in control
low shirts, running on a green ﬁeld, I, however, was hurt. I was going such alarming possibilities that a per- of the ball for some brief moments, I
under an open blue sky after a black to show these blokes what stuﬀ I was son spends a whole lifetime playing had scored a goal. I had scored my
and white ball — with the only goal made of. I was going to be the ﬁrst football, but never managing to kick maiden goal in my debut match. I
of their life to ﬂail a poor ball with player to be chosen for a team next the ball. was a hero ! I was the next captain of
all their might, while trying to yerk week— no, I was going to be one of I had enough of the game by now. the team!
it into one of the two netted grot- the captains picking the other play- Huﬃng and puﬃng, my dream of be- Something was wrong. Was it
toes at either end of the ﬁeld. You ers for my team; the insult of being ing the next captain of the team com- cheering that I heard from my team-
got it right, my friends, I am talking amongst the last ones to be picked pletely shattered, I sat down near one mates, possibly... but it sounded more
about... a game called Football. was masticating me. Still dreaming of the goals. I understood that our like abuses. I looked back at the goal-
When I joined my new school, I my exploits in my maiden football chunky goalkeeper had seen enough of keeper... a tubby fellow, still chew-
was informed that football was a very game, I was boisterously startled by a life to know that it is better to happily ing at his packet of imli. I realized
popular game here. Good schools al- herd of wild angry bulls rushing past spend your time under the tranquiliz- my blunder. In my excitement, I had
ways believe in balanced development me... sorry... they were a just a herd ing cover of the goal, than face the pushed the ball in the very goal I was
of the students; hence, we were enti- of maniacal boys going berserk at the harsh realities of life chasing the ball. supposed to defend !
tled to one ”Sports” class per week to football. It was time for action. I I saw in myself the making of a great My team-mates were running af-
go with eight classes of English, eight darted after the ball, desperate for my future goalkeeper. ter me, and, I supposed, not for any
of Hindi, ten of Science, ten of Math- share of kicks. I ran from one end to The game went on while I awaited angelic beneﬁcence. I decided to run
ematics, twelve of Social Studies, to the other end of the ﬁeld for ﬁfteen the end of this eagerly awaited for it. I was fresh from my recent
add to one even on General Knowl- minutes, following the ball (or rather ”Sports” class. Occasionally, I would repose, much faster than those tired
edge. following the players in control of the hear some excited shouts when a goal souls who had been chasing the ball
ball); but, never even once did I come was scored: the players would con- for the last forty minutes. It was
I eagerly awaited my ”Sports”
within ten yards of it. And kick I did, gregate to congratulate each other, or the school bell that ﬁnally came to
class, and in due time my patience
but only got angry glares in return; frown at their goalkeeper; and then, my rescue, signaling an end to this
was rewarded. I was thrilled to know
that was understandable, it is not a the game would resume. ”Sports” class.
that we were going to play Foot-
nice feeling if a player decides to kick I had got very bored of all this
ball — a sport I had only heard of. Even football has its advantages:
you instead of the football. The ball and decided to take a nap. I dreamed
We lined up while the two suppos- in which other game can just a tat-
was a mirage... more I tried to reach of myself playing Cricket; I was in a
edly best players unanimously elected tered old ball keep twenty-two fami-
it, farther it went.... ﬁelding position at mid-wicket. The
themselves the captains of the com- lies at peace for hours at end, their
This is what I hate most about batsman taps the ball at me and runs
peting teams. The teams started mischievous kids busy pounding the
football: one ball and too many play- for a single, the ball speeding towards
forming as the two captains alter- ball out of shape. However, such illog-
ers. Tennis and Badminton have me. If I ﬁeld it properly I can score
nately selected players from the rest ical rules are uncalled for: If I score a
much better ball-to-player ratios. In a run-out... everybody is shouting at
of the class. Eagerly awaiting to be goal, how can it be added to the tally
Cricket, the ratio turns out to be the me, encouraging me, cheering me, and
inducted into a team, I was made to of the adversarial team? In Cricket,
same as Football, but at least it al- the ball is shooting at me. The ball,
wait till the very end. Finally, one of does a hit to the square-leg bound-
lows only the bowler to bowl the ball, however, looks bigger than a cricket
the captains called out my name, and ary fetch runs for the bowling side be-
and only the batsman to hit the ball; ball... oh no! It is a football.
I was transformed from a mere mortal cause hits to long-on and to the mid-
and everyone gets a chance to be at I was aﬀrighted out of my dream
to a preternatural being — a Football wicket fetch runs for the batsman’s
least one of them — a time when they to a football coming straight at me.
Player. team? What matters is the player
take control of the ball. Think of it: a I remembered the football match.
”Ignorance of raw talent”, I felt who scores, not where the ball goes!
player can spend his whole life playing The football was actually speeding to-
insulted at not being picked early. Football, while never getting a chance wards me, away from all other players As I was compulsorily made to en-
But, to clear any doubts, I was not to kick the ball ! It is surely not so running after it. Now, this was my dure the ”Sports” class every week for
the last one to be picked; I, in fact, diﬃcult to imagine; I had been p-l- moment. Now, I was to be in control my all round development, I decided
beat two of my classmates — one, a a-y-i-n-g football for the past ﬁfteen of the ball. Now, I can show my abil- to follow the footsteps of my stout
plump lad, who looked more inter- minutes, not having come within ten ity. The dream of becoming the next friend in the goal rather than rough-
ested in chewing away at a packet yards of the ball — let alone kick it captain ﬂoated back... ing out in the open ﬁeld. Since he
of imli (tamarind) that he had just — and, I had already abandoned any I surveyed the scene; I searched for was not ready to vacate his ”oﬃcial”
bought, and the other a thin, pesky, such hope even if the match continued the goal; I made some rough calcula- goalkeeper position (and I must ac-
bespectacled dude, who looked more for the rest of my life. If appointed tions. I could see the goalkeeper wake cept his size was an obvious asset as
suited with a fat book than a fat ball. the chairman of FIFA, I would surely up from his slumber and stare at me a goalkeeper), I appointed myself the
The referee blew his whistle and work towards improving this ball-to- with wide-eyes. I could see him search oﬃcial “assistant goalkeeper”. And I
the game began. The portly chap player ratio; maybe initiate football for help, but help was far. He tried to did turn out to be quite a success —
had ﬁnally joined my team, and had games with four balls, every group block the ball, but I was too cunning somehow, the players had more suc-
been given a very important position; of ﬁve players having their own ball for him. I faked to kick the ball left, cess hitting me rather than the goal,
I could see him sitting content inside a (the goalkeepers don’t need a share but neatly pushed it right, sliding it though every single time, the sole ob-
goal readying himself for a small nap of the balls; they are content angels past him into the goal. Yeeeesssss... jective of my every single dive, had
— he was our ”oﬃcial” goalkeeper — — happy taking a small nap, or nib- I jumped in ecstasy. I was not go- been to evade the ball.
the ball seldom comes to you, and bling away at their imli, rather than ing to be among those people who
even if it does, other players come to increasing the competition). Innova- spend their lifetime playing football Subhajit Roy (CSA).
Ghonchu travels by train. them and developed a ﬁerce liking for the com- replied yes causing Ghonchu to switch loyalties
Ghonchu had traveled by train many times in the partmentalization concept. After getting rid of again.
past. Having seen the movie ‘Jab We Met’, he was the undesirables, he sat back trying to decide However after this ‘breaking-of-ice’ conversa-
always hopeful of meeting a ‘Kareena’ to whom he which one he liked the most. After some thought, tion the three of them studiously ignored him.
could be a ‘Shahid’. But as luck would have it, he he chose the middle ‘Kareena’. But then sud- Ghonchu wasn’t perturbed; he felt 24 hours was
had drawn a total blank in all his previous jour- denly the left ‘Kareena’ smiled and the right ‘Ka- a long enough time for a person of his capabili-
neys. On prior occasions the closest he had come reena’ laughed in quick succession causing Ghonchu ties.
to a ‘Kareena’ was the girl in the next compart- to become dizzy and murmur “left, no right”. The train now started moving. Suddenly,
ment who had refused to talk to him since he was in Suddenly, he realized the three were looking at three ‘Shahids’ entered their compartment and
another compartment. Ghonchu resented compart- sat down pushing Ghonchu to the corner. The
mentalization. Why was it that only people from six of them chatted freely while Ghonchu looked at
the same compartment could talk to each other? them with a sinking heart. Suddenly one ‘Shahid’
However, another opportunity had presented it- (looked more like Amrish Puri to Ghonchu) turned
self. This time he was going from Bangalore to to him and asked, “Hey, we are a group but my
Bombay and back. Being an incurable optimist, seat is two compartments away. Would you mind
he went to Yeswantpur station with a smile on his switching seats with me?” Ghonchu, even though
face humming the tune ‘hum jo chalne lage’. He an incurable optimist knew that he was beaten.
reached the station ﬁfteen minutes before depar- “Too many ‘Shahids’ spoil the broth”. He accepted
ture. On entering his coach and after ﬁnding his defeat and said yes to Amrish Puri. After all, there
seat, Ghonchu was pleasantly taken aback. There was still the return journey to come.
were not one, but three Kareenas’ sitting there and PS: During the return journey, his compartment
gossiping. No one else was there. Ghonchu kept consisted of an elderly couple and three fat men in
his luggage and thought to himself, “jab Bhagwan him maybe because he had been staring at them their forties who kept chewing paan.
deta hai, to koi kanjoosi nahi karta”. for too long. To avert embarrassment, Ghonchu Arun R. (ME, CSA).
After sitting opposite to them, he observed showed great presence of mind and asked, “Are
some other people passing by and lingering in you all going to Bombay?” The middle ‘Kareena’
front of their compartment. Ghonchu glared at
APRIL 2009 4
Editorial. Black, White and such a certiﬁcation would hold any the wheat come from if we stand on
value to anyone would be to get more moralistic principles? A classic opti-
What are dreams made of? Everything in Between... of them - more degrees, more titles, mization problem - the morally right
Floating thoughts, snippets of Black and white, dark and light, more fellowships, more alphabets on solution vs. the best possible outcome
courage, cartloads of intuition, and a whole range of greys in be- your visiting card, more publications, for the greatest possible number?
palette of colors, day and night tween. Cloudy shadows that stand more whatever... Our system is such Closer home, most of us spend a
of hard work, blank pages of neither here nor there. Try to pin that it gives a better chance only to signiﬁcant part of our scholarships at
creativity, brush of technology; them down and they’ve switched those who spend longer times within tea-board and other similar places on
graphs, pie charts and bars; and allegiances before you can blink. it. But, and this is the most critical campus. The prices here are as low as
a sprinkle of reality! Stand wherever you like on the point, it is the only one we have. they are purely because of cheap and
Voices found a new tune, trav- scale, some issues never fall in line,
How many of us understand what loyal labour that children, who don’t
eled a new musical note to mark they’re always on the other side,
money is really about? And how get about so much, provide. Do we
another noteworthy year gone eluding capture and deﬁnition and
many of us have really known what realize that the average darshini out-
by. We do not want the ideas solution.
it is to have none and not have a way side campus is about twice as expen-
to stagnate, we do not want the Elsewhere in this issue you will
out when you need it the most? I read sive as our canteens and still employs
pages to lose color, we do not read articles on the fate of child
this on a blog, that it takes one or children. Do we realize how much
want the virtual world to wrap labourers within the institute and
two dreams given up for want of re- more things would cost if we asked
our divergent thinking, we do not the wrongness of the situation.
sources to realize the true importance canteen owners to take complete re-
want to set easy benchmarks, we That there are children who have
of money. Every one of us has asked sponsibility for the education and up-
do not want to get complacent, never known a childhood, existing
for freedom and independence at some keep of the children and employ oth-
we do not want to be consistent, alongside and serving a generation
point in our adolescences but what if ers to take their place? And would
we want to work harder, do bet- of researchers who will go on to try
the same independence was your one we be responsible enough to deal with
ter, strive higher! and pull our country out of imprison-
shot at breaking out of a sordid exis- that? A price hike of 1 Re. on Coﬀee-
The result is for you all to see. ment by standing, above all, for the
tence, your one chance at something board coﬀee due to obvious economic
This is a journey that will tell prevalence of knowledge and modern
maybe only a little more tolerable but concerns at all their outlets across the
you how students have rated the thought over every regressive thought
more tolerable nevertheless. Further, city saw protests on campus with peo-
various services on campus, the and action, is positively laughable. A
what if that little nest-egg was your ple going as far as smashing cutlery
2nd edition of the benchmark- reminder that lays bare the hollow-
only route of escape from a fate that just to make a point. And how do we
ing exercise carried out by new ness of all our attempts to make the
only gave its worst to you every time, expect these same people to behave
Voice-ians with lan. Thank you world a better place, a slap in the
an escape for you and a loved one from when everything suddenly turns twice
IISc-ians for your valuable re- face of every sign that says that we
sure destruction to a slower route to or thrice as expensive? How many of
sponses! Child labor is an is- are shedding our third-world origins
oblivion? Would the issue still be as us can aﬀord the economic outcomes
sue of concern world wide. Every and moving on. One of life’s crueler
clean and cut and dried still? of moral decisions? A Pyrrhic victory
story has its shades and Voices ironies then. But are things as sim- then?
attempts to uncover those sepia ple as they appear? Are there fac- The previous lines may sound a The only feasible way out then
tones. Taking no stance or judg- tors under the surface that we miss little emotional and something that must be to provide a child with educa-
ment, we provide reﬂective pieces through a vision conditioned by a life someone fresh from a viewing of Slum- tion ALONGSIDE his/ her job (with
on this issue. of comfort? I of course go on record dog Millionaire might say but I at- considerate timings of course) in order
IISc in its’ oxymoron duality is saying that child labour is WRONG. tempt to make a more coldly logical to give the child a reasonable chance
presented through a conversa- I do not plead the case for such a de- argument here. Of what use is an ed- of survival in a school. Again, I make
tion! Talk on football, the holi fendant. I’m in no hurry to be ac- ucation that asks a person to spend it very clear that child labour ought
celebration and the debut per- costed and lynched by an irate mob a minimum of 14 years before he can not to be encouraged at all, in any
formance of IISc Dance Club - of human rights activists. All I’m pass a matriculation exam that will form. But the issue at hand is a del-
‘Thirkan’ that inspired more IIS- trying to do is try and understand teach him nothing of what it takes to icate one, a double-edged sword per-
cians to pose the question,”Shall a phenomenon that against all odds get a job immediately? Less melodra- haps. It will take inﬁnite wisdom for
we dance?!” Humor is a satire and in the presence of all possible ad- matically, what I mean is that while a person to take a stand and a deci-
on reality; reality is a satire vancements, continues to survive, nay it is indeed a noble thought to get a sion on the issue, there are lives and
on existence. Our Bhondoo in- thrive, and shows no signs of slowing child out of a job and into a school, futures at stake, after all. Morals
spired a Bhondoo tale from an down. Surely there must be forces at we must do so only under the realiza- aside, one must be extremely cautious
ex- Voice-ian; while one spoke work stronger than public opinion and tion that for education to really em- and aware of the implications, steep
with J. N Tata, the other did moral arguments? power a person, it must be allowed to though laudable, in deciding to take
salsa. Ghonchu is from Bhon- I see the children every morning. run it’s full course; that is 14 years of a child out of a job and put him in
doo’s lab and has made his initial I miss mess every morning and stand schooling and maybe a basic degree a school on the promise of a better
footmarks in Voices with his ro- in the queue at tea-board with my from a college. There is nothing as future and a midday meal. There
mance on wheels tale. Insomnia blue tokens and grumble and whine dangerous as a good intention with- are, after all, others in the background
and a verse on coconut tree add at the wicked system that punishes out commitment and we must know of this picture who are dependent on
the punch of poetry.Lesson on me and holds me to ransom for wak- that when we say ﬁnancial support the same child’s earnings for not only
etiquette, anagram to wrack the ing 15 minutes too late. I realize we mean support for a span of time their midday meals but every meal of
brain and some picture(s) perfect this child will never know the feeling as long as 20 years or so. Else, all theirs...
complete this issue. The regular of waking up late, taking a holiday, we’ll have here is a system that oﬀers
aspects like featured blog, letters Maneesh Kunte (MECHENG).
etc. But such is life. Inequities ex- a child two choices : a. study geome-
to the editor ﬁnd their space too ist. An inhabitant of Pandora’s box try and optics and organic chemistry
in this Pandora’s box. So open it According to www.childlabor.in,
possibly, but it appears all men were and geography at his/ her own cost the term ‘child labor’ means ‘work-
and re-discover Voices! certainly not created equal, irrespec- after giving up a job with a regular
We present to you our new look! ing child’ or ‘employed child’. Child
tive of what any faith asks us to be- pay, however exploitative and meagre, labor is any work done by child
First ever tabloid version promis- lieve. The diﬀerences between people on the promise of a better future. b.
ing more pictures, varied writ- for proﬁt. Child labor is a deroga-
are often too large to ford and like I continue working at a job that atleast tory term which translates into
ings, a dash of color and whiﬀ of read recently, a half-hearted or mis- brings home the bacon everyday, how-
gossip! While we paint the cam- child exploitation and inhumanity
calculated attempt to bridge the gap ever insuﬃcient. The lure of a secure according to sociologists, develop-
pus red, we await your reactions by glossing over diﬀerences only high- present is often much stronger than a
and look forward to many of you ment workers, medical professionals
lights them at times. But since this future that has never been seen... and educationists. They have iden-
joining Voices! is not really the point of this article, Looking at the macroscopic pic- tiﬁed child labor as harmful and
I return to the theme now. ture, a large part of the forex coming
One amongst us... hazardous to the child’s develop-
Children must be in school. There into the country is from the outsourc- ment needs, both mental and phys-
is no doubt about that at all. Calcu- ing brigade. Which is a ﬁckle source. ical. According to the statistics
lus will deﬁnitely not feed a mouth or The smallest drop in costs elsewhere given by Indian government there
save a life but the only point of edu- in the world sends contracts ﬂying are 20 million child laborers in the
cation often is to convince a potential there. What option does an indus- country, while other agencies claim
employer that someone else has done trialist living at the mercy of such a that it is 50 million. Children em-
the groundwork in screening a can- system have but to look for the cheap- ployed in part time work like
didate; education acts like some sort est possible labour, i.e. children? Lest learning craft or other skills
of a clearance stamp on a passport people burn me at the stake for this, of a hereditary nature are not
that proclaims to everyone concerned may I remind everyone that the same called child labors. The same
that the person in question has been forex and the taxes on the said capi- work translates into child labor if
vetted by another body of authority talist’s tainted income go into running a child is thrown into weaving car-
and is deemed ﬁt to do whatever is the welfare system we have, however pets, working into factories or some
asked of him. Done. Signed. You’re ineﬀective it may be. A newspaper other employment to earn money to
through. But what of a system that headline screamed recently, ”26 lakh sustain self, or family - without be-
has so many countless people passing people in state to get wheat at Rs. ing given school education.
through its portals that the only way 2/kg”. Where does the money for
APRIL 2009 5
A puzzle on an IIScian. a problem can easily be veriﬁed to be Hard, meaning it is as hard as solving All this would take a maximum of 10-
An easy puzzle to solve. First 3 clues: correct or wrong in a known amount B. 15 years time with the current state-
of time (call this polynomial time). Another implied meaning is that if of-the-art technology. Then take the
1. I am (relatively) new to IISc, I (iii) If the particular problem under we can solve A in a known amount of child back into IISc as a child laborer.
am not the IBM Blue Gene. question can be solved quickly (in time, then we could easily solve B by So, I can transform the NP-
2. I can be found at atleast three polynomial time), then every other using the reduction step above. How- Complete problem of Poverty into the
places inside IISc, I am not the NP-Complete problem can also be ever we know that B is NP-Complete. problem Child Labor at IISc in a
Artocarpus Heterophyllus. solved quickly. Hence we cannot solve A easily. known amount of time. Hence, if I
3. I can see, smell and produce However the fact is that though Now I extend this deﬁnition to could solve Child Labor at IISc easily,
sound, I am not the Canis fa- the candidate solution can be veriﬁed another well-known social problem I could easily solve Poverty by using
miliaris. quickly, ﬁnding such a solution is not Child Labor at IISc. I have a way the reduction step above. However we
easy in the ﬁrst place. Indeed such to show that this problem cannot in- have known since ages that Poverty
Found the answer? if not, try the next problems (of suﬃciently large size) deed be solved as quickly as we think. cannot ever be solved in India . So
3 .. take millions or trillions of years to Taking cues from NP-Hard problems this implies Child Labor at IISc in-
4. I look bright in the morning and get solved with the present day super- of Computational Science, I can prove deed is NP-Hard social problem. So,
dull in the evening, I am not the computers. Any standard text book that I can reduce the well known NP- people should leave it to the hands of
sky. on Computer Algorithms talks about Complete social problem of Poverty the Almighty and go do their work in-
5. I am assumed to be never tired, these problems and the reader can to the unknown problem of Child stead of wasting time on such a hard
browse through such books for more Labour at IISc in a known amount of problem. Shall we?
I am not the heart.
intuition. time. But how?
6. I am young, I am not the newly
I thought of extending this deﬁni- Consider our country which suf- P. Balamurugan (CSA).
constructed Hostel Block.
tion to Social Problems. Similar to fers from the NP-Complete problem
Got it? ok, i give u 3 more.. the above deﬁnition, for these social of Poverty. Now, take a small sample
problems: of population Q which is BPL (Below
7. I can clean, I am not the broom- (i) There are only ﬁnitely many Poverty Line).
stick. Letters to the editor.
solutions. (ii) A solution can eas- (i) If the population Q contains an
8. I along with my likes can be cat- ily be tested if it works or not. (iii) eligible child below 14 years of age, Dear Voices Members,
egorized into a family, the fam- If such a social problem gets solved waste no time in bringing him/her to
ily is not part of the Darwin’s quickly, all other NP-Complete prob- IISc and employ the child in one of I could see the Feb. 2009 is-
family tree. lems faced by the society could be the various places like the Juice Cen- sue of voices only today and it has
9. I don’t belong to IISc, but solved quickly. ter, Tea Board, Kabini Canteen, Xe- come out very well. I would like
(alas!!) I am at IISc. However ﬁnding such a solution is rox Shop or the various ”unnamed” to appreciate the eﬀort made in
the toughest thing on earth and one construction contracts happening in- it. If I am not wrong I think as a
Ok, now for the last one: People do would take a very long time to ﬁnd a side IISc. (ii) If the population Q does regular issue it is the biggest one,
raise Voices for me, but the Voices solution. not contain any eligible child, then content wise. Surely it is spirit of
are never heard, atleast at IISc. When I thought of such social check if Q has a recently married cou- team members to make it better in
problems, particularly in our country, ple. If one exists, we need to wait for every new issue. A request which I
Answer: The Unfortunate Child I thought Poverty could be classiﬁed some 4-5 yrs from now to ﬁnd an eli- have, if you people can look at the
Labourer(s) in IISc. into such NP-Complete problem. You gible child laborer. Again this is ﬁnite diﬀerent amenities/ refreshment
can easily see why I say that. time and we can indeed wait for that, centers of IISc, so many kids are
P. Balamurugan (CSA).
Now we can see another class of because IISc will exist after that many working even at school timings and
problems, NP-Hard problems in Com- years and commercial establishments from what I know, they don’t go
putational Complexity Theory. These inside the campus will exist at that to schools. They might be happy
Child Labor Problem problems have the following charac- time and there would be no problem after getting a few rupees after the
in IISc is NP-Hard. teristics. Consider the problem at in ﬁnding the child a suitable job in- day but my worry is about their
Computational Complexity Theory hand as A for which we do not know side IISc even at that time. (iii) If growth. if you people can make a
deals with the measurement of time if we can ﬁnd a solution easily in a you don’t ﬁnd any such couple, i.e., report on it then I will be able to
and space for solving problems us- known amount of time. the sample only contains aged people, put some eﬀort to place them at
ing a computer. A class of problems (i) Take a known NP-Complete then through the stem-cell (or other appropriate and better places.
are labelled NP-Complete. For such problem B and transform it into A in related) research going on in mak-
problems, the following properties a known amount of time (again poly- ing an embryo through external tech- Thanking you
hold: nomial time). This is called Reduc- niques, make an embryo in IISc from
(i) The solution to the problem tion. This step is often done cleverly the life cells of some people in Q and Brijesh N Bhatt
comes from a ﬁnite set of possibili- and carefully. (ii) If such a reduction grow the embryo by some means until Co-chairman
ties. (ii) A candidate solution to such can be done, then A can be called NP- it reaches an eligible age of 5-6 years. Students’ Council
Discussion: Child Labour. food. 4. Most important, this should Any direct ﬁnancial help will mostly
be continued and promoted by our go to the parents! Even in the pres- It’s all mixed up at IISc.
Following are the excerpts of the A frustrated friend says to me, “Had
juniors who join the institute until ence of hostels and free stay, educa-
discussion on Child Labour in IISc a bad rotting time!”
these unfortunate kids complete their tion etc, many parents are unwilling
from IISc Students’ Council Ya- I advise him the following, “Midnight
education or training. 5. A policy to let go of an ’earning member’, or
hoo Group. We thank S. Su- at tea board!”
needs to be carved out in IISc’s books someone to take care of the endless
darshan (CSA), P. Balamurugan
that no child (below the age of 18 yrs) kids being born. On average there are My friend reminds me, “Hey,
(CSA), Arnab China (MCBL) and
be employed by anyone within IISc atleast 3-4 kids even in the poor fam- You forgot a Slack meal at the C
R. Saraswathi (MBU) for allowing
in the future. 6. Adopt and strictly ilies. And condoms are NOT expen- mess?”
us to use it here.
enforce the policy forever. [...] sive. So the onus is on the parents I respond in style, “Oh Yeah Mate!
according to me. [...] Helping them Gym Cafe’s all set to rock us!”
P. Balamurugan (CSA). straight oﬀ may lead to more depen-
[...] It is not that nobody cares.
dence and a vicious cycle. Finally, An old friend comments, “Gee!
People who indeed care don’t know
one can give extra tuitions to kids Artistic thesis!”
what to do next or are too busy [...] a year ago I wrote a mail to the I reveal the secret, “IISc is the
with their work to concentrate on director and registrar regarding this who ARE from the street or are poor
such issues. I have personally come and speciﬁcally mentioned the usage and assist them in learning, and teach
across kids working in Tea Board, of under 14 children in the canteens them to become independent. There Somebody criticizes me, “You –
Kabini Canteen and in the main li- and also in some construction work are many schools that do that.One YOU!, why is that you are still a so
brary. I have even seen a small boy which was going on that time in the can join them and take some classes. bored and wise achiever ”?
who carries coﬀee to people in the Biochemistry department. But I have Some examples for these are Orphan- And I hear the ’words’, “’Raise your
campus. [...] 1. Make them join a never received any reply nor did they age schools DonBosco and i-volunteer. voice - You’ll be heard !’ - and this is
school (if they wish) or a vocational take any measures, as we can all see Teach India program. According to what we say to you.”
training institute where they can be even today. [...] me this is the solution.
I can hear you shouting, “What on
trained for things (other than remov- For the starters, one has to en-
Arnab China (MCBL). earth does all this mean?” There is a
ing plates, lending coﬀee,etc.,) which force the law on the shopkeepers who supposedly interesting pattern hidden
will really be useful for their future. [...] One sure has to blame the are using cheap labour from vulnera- in the sentences that you just read. If
2. If money is the biggest problem for employers for taking ’cheap labour’. ble kids. [...] you haven’t noticed it yet, it is the fol-
them, then I think we could provide Helping these kids with ﬁnancial help lowing. ’In each pair of sentences in
necessary ﬁnancial help to sustain might not work, as it is usually the italics , the second sentence happens
their educational growth. 3. If food R. Saraswathi (MBU). to be an anagram of the ﬁrst!!’
parents of these kids who drink away
is the cause for their employment, I the family earnings and beat them up Now you know why it is titled this way,
guess we can aﬀord to pay for their or force them to work or worse, beg. don’t you?
Arun R. (MSc, CSA).
APRIL 2009 6
bhOndOO goes to salsa. trayed bhOndOO. He feared that the heard a gruﬀ voice, which he hated on Shami’s shoulder and hold Shami’s
bhOndOO entered the premises of monitor on his face could have done the most, which belonged to his Team right hand with his left. bhOndOO
Advanced Computing Ltd and headed irreparable damage to his spectacles Lead. “Oh yes, just now bhOndOO started shivering. No, I won’t let this
straight for his cubicle in the Per- which could be absolutely fatal to his was demonstrating to us some results opportunity to go, he told himself and
formance Analysis section. Like any salsa plans. he had got!”, Gullu grabbed another pulled himself together in a moment.
geek, the ﬁrst thing he did was to “How did you manage this!!”, he opportunity. bhOndOO cursed Gullu “Ok, take a step ahead with
open the mailbox. There were new heard Shami’s voice. “Oh, at least as a “dangling pointer”, he had no your left foot...” “Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!”,
mails, most of those were technical he managed something!”, he heard new results. “Ahem, Thats interest- bhOndOO’s cry penetrated the sur-
support forum mails which he never Gullu’s voice. With the help of oﬃce ing! Let us have a look and”, bhOn- roundings. “Oh no, no, that was for
read and the remaining from his Team boy, bhOndOO got disentangled from dOO’s TL stopped short noticing the boys, not for girls”. The instruc-
Lead which he never wanted to read the web. Meekly smiling, he could say mess of wires, monitor and mouse be- tor was telling Shami. The high-
but was forced to do so. Scrolling “h..h..hi” to Shami. He tried hard to hind bhOndOO’s back. “Ok we will heels had served their hidden pur-
the mailbox with chagrin he stumbled ignore somebody-help-this-geek smile meet tomorrow. I hope this time your pose and bhOndOO was barely able
upon a non-techie non-geeky word. on Shami’s face. simulations would match our analyti- to walk. How could she do this,
“Salsa classes beginning from today! “I h.. hear that we are having cal results.” Damn ! So non-stop sim- she always moves like like a feather...
First session at 5 p.m.” s.. salsa classes t.. today”, he was ulations today till salsa classes! He aaahhhhhh”, more than the pain, it
yet to recover from the shock of be- thanked god for the mess of wires. was the thought of Gullu dancing
He looked at Shami’s cubicle in ing found in monitor-on-face situation It had avoided telling hundred-and- the rest of the evening with Shami,
the HR section. There was no Gullu but could manage saying this. “Oh sixty-ninth excuse to his boss that he that made it unbearable. The in-
(Damn him!) ﬂoating around her cu- I know... My boss told me yester- had deleted the plots by mistake. structor helped him to his cubicle.
bicle. It meant Shami hadn’t come day.. See I am wearing new high- bhOndOO didn’t have lunch. He “Three-hundred-and-ninety-sixth op-
so far. bhOndOO calculated that heels today.. How do I look?” Shami wanted to complete simulations as portunity wasted”, bhOndOO whim-
it was his three-hundred-and-ninety- asked adjusting a dangling fringe of well as look at the videos. He didn’t pered and started applying the balm
sixth opportunity to impress Shami hairdo. bhOndOO gulped. His best go to Shami’s cubicle even once. He from ﬁrst-aid box.
since he had joined company. Thomas friend in graduate school had told him was all determination now! Let Gullu “What! You are talking numbers
Edison was one of his role models, the geekometer law. According to the have his time with Shami till the even when you are injured !! Oh, you
though the number of 9999 failed at- law, the attraction between a geek evening but later it would be me, me are so.. so.. so.. what-to-say, so .. so
tempts sent shivers down his spine. male and a female was directly pro- and only me. He sniggered. a geek !!”. Shami was standing beside
Quickly bhOndOO went to portional to non-geekiness-quotient of Linux panel showed 17:00:00. bhOndOO. “How could I dance when
Youtube, typed salsa and down- the female and “How do I look?” ques- bhOndOO rushed to the company ter- you got injured because of me? Sooo
loaded ﬁrst ﬁve videos logging into a tion denoted inﬁnity in non-geekiness- race. He was late. The girls had sorry”, she was saying. Everything
proxy server. He didn’t want today’s quotient. bhOndOO was no excep- formed inner circle and the boys had is fair in love and war, bhOndOO
opprtunity to go wasted. He started tion. With sudden urge, he started formed the outer circle, the pairs were thought, and Shami was too fair for a
watching the ﬁrst video. It looked grappling with english to ﬁnd the best exact, on top of everything Gullu was war. “Give me the balm, and say that
quite easy to him. He quicky grasped word to describe Shami. “Oh, you standing with Shami. With a sud- you forgive me”. bhOndOO gulped.
that it was a “modulo 8 beat. Just a look so fabulous!”, Gullu had seized den rush of inspiration, bhOndOO “Say na...... You geeky pie!!”. bhOn-
simple rhythmic movement of hands the opportunity. He had to, bhOn- rushed to Gullu’s boss’s cabin, whom dOO managed “yy..y.. yes”. Shami
and feet... And hands in hands... dOO thought, bhOndOO’s mother- he had just seen leaving and gave a snatched the balm.
with Shami... He closed his eyes, tongue being C. “Awww, you are a missed call on Gullu’s mobile. He saw Geeky pie.. Ah, that sounded bet-
put his right hand behind the LCD so cutie pie!”, Shami slapped Gullu Gullu making move for the cabin ap- ter than everything else in the world,
monitor imagining Shami’s shoulder lightly on his cheeks. bhOndOO al- parently with killing instinct. bhOn- even than the level-3-optimized-C-
and held the speaker in the left hand ways converted his lost chances into dOO quickly managed to exit from code, bhOndOO could feel the feath-
and started moving his feet under the learning. He decided to google-search the cabin, he was expert at this, ers moving on his foot.
table. Wham-Bam !! The intricate “fabulous” and “cutie-pie”. thanks to seminars in his graduation
mess of wires of speakers, mouse, “I hear the some interesting con- days and took Gullu’s place. The in- Onkar Bhardwaj
webcam, monitor and UPS had be- versation is going on!”, bhOndOO structor told him to put his right hand (Alumnus, ECE).
Tete a tete with J.N. Tata. alive? I mean... you can talk? No... met those of J N Tata, he tried to in solving the biggest problems in the
It was 3rd March. bhOndOO went Sorry.” reason, “We don’t have enough facil- country like poverty, corruption and
through the nostalgic letters and pho- “Of course, I can. If I could lay theities. We have problems of poverty, unemployment?”
tos of the history of IISc arranged by foundation of this institute, do you corruption and unemployment in In-
the Archives and Publications Cell at think talking would be diﬃcult for dia.” bhOndOO laughed, mockingly at
the Reception Hall. He was feeling me!” the question, “No Tataji. They are
wonderful to read Raman’s words “No, of course not”, bhOndOO looked “I see. Can you tell me what all not at all related. Pointer analysis
about the Nobel Prize distribution unconvinced. research is done here?” is a mechanism for enabling certain
ceremony. He, at once, realized the “What is your name?” “We do research in all kinds of things, optimizations in compilers. This is
importance of celebrating Science “My name?... I am ... Sorry, I... Tataji, from DNAs to Aeroplanes.” related to Computer Science.”
Day on Feb 28, and hated the Rhyth- forgot... Ya, my name is bhOndOO.” “Hmmm... I do not understand these
mica performer for funnily declaring “Hello bhOndOO.” terms. What is a DNA?” “I think I understand Science a bit.
“I don’t know what that means” in “Hi... Hello...” “DNA stands for Deoxyribo Nucleic But what is a Computer?”
the Rhythmica program arranged on “So, tell me. What year is this?” Acid. It contains the genetic instruc- “It is a computing machine that can
the same day. “It is... 2009, Sir.” tions used in the development and be programmed by a human.”
“Oh! It’s been 105 years!” functioning of all known living organ- “That’s excellent. But how does your
He came down to the open area “No, Sir. It’s been only 100 years.” isms.” research help India?”
in front of the Main Building and “For what?” “Well, that sounds impressive. Can “Well, Ummm, ... it doesn’t really.”
saw it unusually colorful. He sud- “For the institute.” you explain it to me in a layman’s
denly realized that it was the ﬂoral terms?
“I see. I was talking about my death.” You understand that my J N Tata kept looking at bhOn-
decoration done on the occasion of “Oh! Sorry, Sir.” knowledge dates back to 1904.” dOO, then replied, “You mean you
the Founder’s Day. bhOndOO looked “Never mind. But I am glad this “Well, ... Tataji, actually I don’t are working on something that does
at the steady statue of J N Tata, know much about it. I don’t work in not add any value to the country?”
institute still exists after 100 years.”
the founder, erected opposite to the this area.”
Main Building. Already amused with bhOndOO smiled and relaxed. “So, what area do you work in?” “No... I mean, ... it may. But I
Raman’s spectroscope kept at the “I work in pointer analysis.” don’t know how.”
Reception Hall, bhOndOO felt like “Tell me, what ﬂag is that at the “And what is ...” “That’s interesting. Are you alone of
bowing down and touching the feet top of this building?” this kind in the institute or are there
of this another great visionary. He “It is our Indian Tricolor, Tataji.” bhOndOO answered without any other souls who do not know whether
came near the statue and exclaimed, “Oh! We got independence?” pauses, before J N Tata completed and how their work helps India?”
“Tataji, you are great!” bhOndOO looked puzzled, but then the question, “It is a static analysis “Well, ... I... don’t know...”
realized, “Yes, Tataji, in 1947.” using which we can ﬁnd out which “Alright.”
“Thank you.” “That’s wonderful.” pointer points to what variables.”
bhOndOO got excited. He proudly There was a silence for a few sec-
bhOndOO’s smiling face turned fear- added, “Tataji, this is the best re- “Okay. I understood nothing. Let onds and J N Tata continued, “Tell
ful and his legs stumbled to move search institute in India.” me try to understand it this way: me, some days ago I saw students
back. With wide open eyes, he kept “Oh! So not yet the best in the How does your pointer analysis help protesting in here? What was it?”
looking at the statue that had sud- world?” in eradicating poverty, corruption
denly started speaking. and unemployment in India?” “That! That was a protest against
bhOndOO kept silent, looking down. “What? Sorry?” some issues that students had.”
“Tataji, ... Sir, ... you... you are... When he raised his head and his eyes “How does your pointer analysis help “Like?”
APRIL 2009 7
“Like not getting hot water in hos- Featured Blog. ing the fancy ﬂight simulator packages another, the more likely he is to abuse
tels, not getting water at all, more installed on the machines. it. (If the observation has not been
number of years to ﬁnish PhD, schol- In this issue, we feature Jost A Another ground rule was to con- made, I’d like to stake claim to it.)
arship after 5th year of PhD, etc.” Mon by Murali Menon, a CSA serve printing paper. There were The student sys-admins were one ex-
“This matter was internal to the in- alumnus. The blog is accessible heavy duty line-printers chugging emplar of this adage. The security
stitute, right?” at http://jostamon.blogspot.com/. away at all hours of day and night, guards at SERC were another.
“It came in newspapers along with Murali writes about SERC in his spewing outputs for intricate models. For some reason, when entering
photos.” post titled Sercked. Each sheet of paper, we were told, SERC, we were all expected to go
“I see. It tarnished the image of the Around 1991 or thereabouts, a mas- cost 25 paise, so it was not too dif- through a metal detector, sign our
institute or is it a regular theme for sive new building came up in the IISc ﬁcult to estimate that a few lakhs names at the entry roster, show our
readers?” campus, and there was widespread worth of paper was being used up on badges for identify ourselves, and sign
bhOndOO kept quiet. anticipation among us computer a monthly basis. Much of the output, out when we left. In no other depart-
“And this happened during the 100th geeks about the impending arrival it was clear, was white space because ment building (except possibly the
year of the institute?” of a Cray supercomputer. The Cray the programmers hadn’t bothered to library) on campus were there such
bhOndOO still kept quiet looking was to be housed in the building, print laterally. Instead, there would controls. Invariably, the guards would
down. which was named the Supercomputer be a column of numbers about 8 dig- refuse to allow in a student who had
“Alright. Lets discuss something pos- Education and Research Centre. its wide on the left margin - perhaps forgotten his or her badge. Often, the
itive.” A few months later, the anticipa- 60 or 70 numbers per sheet - and a roster was so crammed with students’
bhOndOO looked up with hope. tion was ground underfoot when it large expanse of nothingness to right signatures that it became diﬃcult to
“What is the biggest award in science became apparent that the Americans of each sheet. Many sheets were not locate one’s entry in it when one
in the world today?” were putting all sorts of conditions on even picked up from the printer, so wanted to sign out. This meant that
“It is called the Nobel prize, Tataji”, the sale of the Cray. The powers- the SERC big-wigs organised shelves dozens of students would be milling
bhOndOO said enthusiastically. that-be then decided that the money by department, and arranged for a about the security desk trying to sign
“Ah! I recollect. How many Nobel would be better spent on buying a minion (or a research assistant) to col- in or out. At meal-times, the problem
prizes have the students of our insti- bunch of Silicon Graphics and Sun So- late the outputs and place them into was particularly acute. Did I want to
tute won so far?” laris workstations and CDC and VAX the appropriate pigeonholes. Still, stick around to locate my signature,
mainframes, arrange them as a dis- one found that many printouts re- or did I want to hurry to the mess
bhOndOO’s smile vanished and si- tributed computing network, and wire mained abandoned. About this time, hall to stuﬀ my face? One day, see-
lence prevailed on his face. up the campus so that all depart- some stingy students decided that ing the crowd at the security desk, I
ments would be able to avail of the they could save big bucks by not buy- decided to leave without signing out.
“Your silence tells me that it is not power of SERC. When we heard of the ing notebooks, and using the line- One of the security guards ran after
a big number. Never mind. How two American engineers who were re- printer sheets instead. They lovingly me. ”Hey!” he shouted, ”You didn’t
many?” puted to be always on site at the Cray bound them up into scrapbooks, and sign.”
“None, Tataji.” installation in the Meteorological cen- toted them around proudly. ”I’m in a hurry,” I replied.
tre in Delhi to vet any applications The more corrupt among the stu- Furiously, he stamped the ground.
There was a silence for a few more that might be run on it (in case they dents would write dummy programs ”You must sign!” he thundered.
minutes. bhOndOO continued look- were simulations for a missile nose- that would print white space - several ”No,” I said, and walked away.
ing down, he was representing the cone, say, or a ﬁghter wing), we ﬂat- pages of it - and take away the result- Later in the evening, going to-
institute. Then Tataji spoke. tered ourselves that we were well out ing output for use as notepaper. They wards SERC I realised that I had left
of all that needless headache. didn’t want to appear dishonest by my badge in my room. Had I contin-
“When I died, I was sure that I was When the centre opened, certain opening up the printers and stealing ued to the centre, the guard would be
creating an institution that would ground rules were quickly established. paper directly, so they consoled them- sure to remember me from lunchtime
help our nation progress. I had a General users were to restrict them- selves with the thought that they were and refuse to let me in. So I went back
dream and it came into existence. selves to the monochrome VT100 ter- only taking their own (blank) print- to the room, picked up the badge, and
Of course, my dream was not to minals. These could only display outs with them. returned to SERC. The guard - the
make this institute the number one characters in columns of 132 or 80. Meanwhile, some students became same fellow from before - stuck his
in the world. But the account of this Not the fanciest gadgets, then. The system administrators of the CD4360 hand out to stop me.
campus you gave me was not very graphics workstations were open to machines. These were the general ”Badge,” he said.
hopeful. Students are the building all, but if molecular biologists or purpose mainframes with VT100 ter- I pretended to look for it. A
blocks of this institute and it is them physicists wanted them, people from minals connected up to them from look of triumph spread across his face.
who are going to make or break it. If other departments had to relinquish all over campus. Hack, that great Malice followed triumph in quick suc-
you spend your energy in protesting, their place. This was because some (and possibly unsurpassed) precursor cession. Just as he was about to throw
cribbing, and shouting, I am sure we high-falutin’ modelling software that of role-playing computer games, be- me out, I plucked my ID card out of
will have zero Nobel prizes even after these worthies used was available only came a campus addiction. Some sys- my wallet, and, waving it graciously
a thousand years have passed.” on the IRIS powerhorses. When en- admin students, in an aﬄatus of au- in front of the guard, signed myself in.
gineering majors started doing Com- thority, would decide that too many He choked in baﬄed fury. I smiled be-
bhOndOO felt sad, but did not dare puter Graphics, of course, they insin- games sessions were going on in the nignly upon the fellow. I patted him
to speak. uated themselves into the second line mainframe and - without warning to on the shoulder.
of priority behind the molecbios and the legitimate users - reboot it. I lost ”Next time lucky, eh?” I said.
“Thanks bhOndOO for your time. the phizzes. But soon thereafter all several running sessions of simulations Ah, these minor victories. What
I think I am better oﬀ as a statue.” the casual visitor saw in the worksta- in this manner, much to my fury. would life be without them?
tion lab was geeky attempts at land- It has been wisely observed that
Rupesh Nasre (CSA). ing jumbo jets at various airports us- the smaller a person’s authority over Murali Menon (Alumnus, CSA).
Insomniac called eyes.
Holi Celebrations in IISc.
Like every year, holi was celebrated in the cam-
pus in its full swing. Even the shortage of wa-
The passion the desire I don’t know who you are, ter in the campus doesn’t let the colorful spirit go
To get to have my heart just tries To feel your air, for a glimpse of yours down. Various events like Creative Rangoli Com-
That leaves me insane runs me cold I dig so many restless strides. petition, Murkhawali and Matka-Phod were orga-
And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes. That leave me insane, runs me cold nized to spread the colorful and joyous message
And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes. all around. Unfortunately, two students got in-
I may call you a dream, to fulﬁll which jured during the events. This reminds us about the
I wish, I would always wake, Tryst with destiny, or a promise to my soul safety precautions that should be taken well in ad-
I may call you a drop, the drop of rain Conﬂuence with you, I feel is a must vance. Let’s not learn safety rules by accidents.
That shines with a vibgyor, like a jewel on a lake. Like at the far end of my sight when sky as a whole
Meets the earth as if quenching its thirst
It’s just your thought that ﬁlls in me,
Fills in me a fragrance so nice The meeting you thought makes me
That leaves me insane, runs me cold Anxious and my soul then just ﬂies
And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes. That leaves me insane runs me cold
And leaves in me something insomniac called eyes.
They say time is punctual, I call it whimsical
For it seems to me walking like a snail
Having concord with solitary, miles from you
Gaurav Singh (MATERIALS).
In an ocean so wide when I go for a sail
Deepti Abbey (MRDG).
APRIL 2009 8
It hit me with a thud, then dented the mud I can rest no more, on the pillow of my palms
Me, My Tree, And left me in a daze, looking like a dud And see no more, across the coconuts and palms
The content smile, now replaced by a grimace And then, the coconut comes down without a notice
Our Coconut and We.
Plays on my mind and stays on my face When I happen to waver and I happen to miss
It never happened before, never felt so sore
Never was so heavy, never hurt more You see,
The coconut falls
And then, how and why, from the tree without a notice...
the coconut fell
from the tree without a notice? Peace is now estranged, sleep’s not like of old
Old times seem untrue, the times that were of gold
I grew with this very coconut tree I shudder without reason, huddle out of fear
Or should say, it’s the tree, that grew with me And cuddle up to myself with no one else near
I was not me, he was not he,
In fact all along, all was about ’we’ No breeze rustles me nor the comb of leaves
Shadow doesn’t soothe, as my stricken heart heaves
I have rested by it’s side on all the days Everything’s still and still the stillness doesn’t stay
Thru the rains in the Junes or the sun in the Mays It’s the fear, I say, that’s taken the calm away
However sparse the shadow, however wet the bed
And even hit by coconuts, naughty in their ways You never know, I tell you,
The coconut falls
Why now, then, do I realise, from the tree without a notice...
The coconut falls
The coconut falls from the tree without a notice? But it’s my coconut tree, mine so much
from the tree without a notice...
But, then it used to be diﬀerent You see, I just can’t stop loving it
The coconuts used to be small I still caress it and fondle with my touch
Quiet and peaceful, it was everywhere
And every one that was sent I say, ”I won’t cry, even if you hit!”
With not an inkling of wind or a storm
Would be used as a ball I know, it knows my pining for it
The coolness of the shadow rented the air
Not bothered as it went And hence ﬁlls the coconuts with nectar for me
Under the coconut, on that noon so warm
As long as I recall ”You must try, and have the coconut, split,
Infact, with one spent And then you would see my love for thee!”
I rested with no worries, plaguing my mind
Waited for another to fall
With my head resting easy, on my palms behind
”As for the coconut”, it continues,
Dreams all nice and sundry, each of happy kind
Even then, I realise, ”It shall continue to fall
My heart melting in gratitude for the tree so kind
The coconuts fell from me without a notice!”
from the tree without a notice...
And that’s when this occured,
Yes, it does, it really does,
The coconut fell
The tree’s taller and it’s coconuts bigger The coconut falls
from the tree without a notice...
Which one would fall, is not easy to ﬁgure from the tree without a notice...
I keep looking above, waiting for one to come
I was caught unawares, unable to duck
Keeping my hands ready, to try to catch some Poem, Painting and Experience by
Bewildered and stunned, cursing my luck
Vinay Shirhatti (CEDT).
Thirkan. Gymkhana corner. Rapid-ﬁre event. In the ladies event Lalita V.
The institute witnessed Thirkan, the ﬁrst The past few weeks saw a string of sports events snapped the ﬁrst position.
ever dance show presented by the Dance hosted by the Gymkhana. With the semester still In Table Tennis, Supratim Banerjee from
Club of IISc on the 15th of March. in its initial half, many students participated in the OC won the Mens Singles title and then partnered
It was a glittering performance with the actors events with lots of enthusiasm. The Gymkhana and Saunik Saha from IPC to pouch the Doubles title.
the adjacent grounds bustled with sports activity Velmathi G. from the Department of Instrumen-
with a large student community engaged in them. tation was the winner in the Ladies Singles event,
The late winter and the early summer of Ben- whereas Sushil Kumar and Mansi Gupta sur-
galuru made it a perfect time and weather to stage passed all in the Mixed Doubles event.
the inter-departmental cricket tournament. 29 On the cultural front, the February Concert by
teams from various departments, faculty and staﬀ Rhythmica, the music group, was a big hit. They
registered and played in the tournament. After two performed for the ﬁrst time in the spacious and
initial knock-out phases 8 teams were selected in grand J N Tata Auditorium. Their beautiful ren-
two pools and a league phase played between them. dition of a blend of popular Bollywood numbers,
Two teams each from the two pools formed the a few regional melodies and a few rock numbers
semiﬁnal line up with teams from Materials Engi- had the appreciative audience rooting for more and
neering, Instrumentation, CGPL and SSCU ﬁlling more.
up these slots. Two well contested semiﬁnals saw
Instrumentation and Materials Engineering emerg- Vinay Shirhatti (CEDT).
showcasing many types of Ballroom Dances like ing as the prime contenders for the winners tro-
Salsa and Tango, Classical Fusion Dances and phy. The Department of Instrumentation ﬁ-
Bollywood Dances. The audience was dazzled nally pulled through and won the tournament in an
by the superb team work in group dances and emphatic fashion bringing to a close the enthralling Join Voices.
the footwork in individual ones. A commend- two month long event.
able fact is that all of the above dances were Elsewhere, in the chess tournament Mrityun- If you wish to join Voices, or
taught by the Dance Club, with most of the per- jay Pandey, from the Civil Department, emerged wish to contribute an article,
formers having no apriori dancing experience. the joint winner in both the Classic event and or have any comments,
Photo Credit: Vivek Chawda (EE). the Rapid-ﬁre event. Tamal Banerjee from the
Mathematics Department shared the honours with
write to us at
him in the Classic event, whereas Prabhu Chan- email@example.com.
Arun R. (ME, CSA).
dran from Electrical Engineering did so in the
Madhurima(MGMT) Editor-in-Chief, Arun(CSA) Working Editor,
Deepti(MRDG), Madhusudan(CHEMENG), Maneesh(MECHENG), Mukta(BIOCHEM), Rupesh(CSA), Shyam(MGMT), Smrithi(MRDG),
Publisher: Archives and Publications Cell, Indian Institute of Science.
Printed by Navbharath Press, Bangalore on behalf of Editor-in-Chief, VOICES, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.