Monday, July 4, 2016

The man whose name should have been 'Endurance'

Pt. Seshagiri Krishnappa Hangal, Anna (meaning brother), as me and everyone fondly called him, was my grandfather and a man to be truly looked up to for inspiration, for the saintly life he lived. Every time I think about this great soul, a tear rolls down my cheek, not because he faced the lifelong hardship of having to rely on crutches to walk and move around, but for the unfathomable reason behind his willpower and strength. I wondered as I spent more time with him, what gave him so much strength to endure pain and suffering like any other person, while he himself was crippled since childhood! 

The handsome Seshagiri Hangal in hues of young and old along with his beautiful mother, Radhabai Krishnappa Hangal 

The fondest memory I have of him is that he gifted me my first 'glaze' or 'cork' ball cricket bat and every time I went to my ancestral home in Dharwad to meet him, he enquired enthusiastically about the cricket bat and ensured that it was being used well. His attention to details was remarkable and he enquired about the wellbeing of everyone, and not just those close to him. His compassion was ever present, and that is why it made everyone really sad to have seen him lose memory in the latter stages of his life. To quote one of his life experiences, a cat after much seeking and not finding help, came to our ancestral home in Dharwad. The cat was so fond of him that it never ate unless he fed it with his own hands. With his tender and loving hands he nurtured the cat and made it feel loved. This was one among several instances where my beloved grandpa gave love to every being looking for love. In his final moments, God almighty must have taken note of such acts of kindness, because he passed away, having made a permanent home in mine and everyone else's hearts. 

94th birthday, October 10th 2015; Anna's last birthday with us, now etched in our memories forever!!!
My grandfather struggled all his life so that those close to him did not suffer. Ills and pains of the body are one that we can invariably learn to live by, but my grandpa had to face harsh circumstances and severe challenges from a society that struggles hard to look beyond the external appearances of everyone and everything. The endurance of such immense mental agony was never to be seen on his beautiful face as he always wore a smile, a smile so bright that it lit up the whole universe. So that is why my friends, I choose to remember this great soul as a man who walked this earth on 'one' foot and accomplished more than anyone could imagine, one who really should have been named 'Endurance'. Yes, each and every enduring moment I come face to face with, I will remember Seshagiri Krishnappa Hangal because he teaches me how to live without self-pity but with great pride, without hate but deep love in our souls. That gives me strength which cannot be explained in words. I hope you will too.

Padma Vibhushan Smt. Gangubai Hangal and her daughter, Smt. Krishna Hangal were my grandfather's best life companions. Truly inseparable in spirit!!!

Love and Peace

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

poems everybody, poems!

An industry perspective

An industry perspective: Prime factor that has proved counterproductive to the growth prospects of solar industry.

Open source is the buzzword today, has been for quite some time now and it is buzzfeeding your imagination on a constant basis. This is especially true when it comes to applied sciences and more so in the field of engineering which involves critical processes i.e. design and development. Products and services from one company/brand can no longer monopolise the markets, because, very soon a better version of that product/service has already made the cut in the market. And the speed of reverse engineering and innovation is so fast that it is faster than the speed of light. Ah, you may say nothing travels faster than the speed of light, but do we know that? No, we don't, really! Anyways, useless arguments aside, open source innovation is not just good, it is very good as customers can decide which product or service best meets their requirements and which does not! The customer/consumer no longer has to bow down. However, something that is very good has the tendency to flip to the darker side. And this is absolutely fatal as Oscar Wilde says 'A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.' Replace sincerity with goodness and you have it. :)

The solar industry, both solar thermal and solar PV industry has witnessed and experienced the flip-side of this open source in-thing approach to developing products and services for the markets, especially in India. India is a Jugaad country, and everyone here, me included, look for cheaper alternatives to the standard more expensive ones. At the start, the markets were not flooded with mobile phone makers and the only brands available were Nokia (which was once synonymous with mobile phones), Motorola, etc. Now, there are so many options available, it leaves even the more conservative and clear headed consumer utterly confused and the more confused ones cannot make a decision. What has this got to do with solar industry one may ask? While open source innovation has helped the mobile phones market, it has vastly hindered the growth of the solar market. Whereas the mobile phone market had established manufacturers such as Nokia and Motorola to start with, the solar industry in India had small time manufacturers and system integrators working on critical products and services. This has cost the industry BIG time. There is no problem if an individual or group of individuals, driven by the passion for solar energy is serving the markets with newer products and services. Newer, however, does not mean better! The problem therefore lies with the quality and reliability of these products and services. Most of these products don’t work and this means, no service or shoddy service approach by integrators. This acute lack of customer focus has transformed the solar industry sector into something of a non performer. Several times I have heard customers say, solar products don’t work, take them away. Convincing the customers otherwise has been the biggest challenge to solar players who are working hard to clear some of the misconceptions created by small time integrators.

The bottom line is that open source innovation of hardware is a highly challenging prospect, which comes with a heap of problems and if they are not tackled at the root level, we will create immense mess in the name of awareness. Only recently, IIT Bombay has started a competition for design of solar lanterns, one which aims at addressing this problem. Much needs to be done in this regard as standard practices in product development have been violated; skewed benchmarks have been set when it comes to pricing of products & services and financial outlay of projects. A much more deliberate approach is absolutely necessary for the solar industry to become a prime sector, one that creates jobs, delivers energy security and thrives in the long run. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fished out from memory

Oh my dear grandmother!
You fed me juicy fish,
And fulfilled my wish
You told me to eat the fish's head to make my wits sharper
But the very thought of it made me nauseous and lather
Eat the fish's head will you? You said again and again 
Though we never came to terms, 
I am still sorry for not holding up my end of the bargain
Now there is nobody to tell me to eat what I do not feel like
Yet, I am ready to overcome this feeling of disgust and dislike

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why do you enchant me? Why? Why? Why?

I am head over heels for you.
Your presence to me is like heavenly manna dew.
The primordial essence that resides within you,
has completely enchanted me of which i have no clue.