Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merchant Navy tete-a-tete Software/IT

Merchant Navy tete-a-tete Software/IT

Arguments broke out between my pal from IT sector and myself about the significance of our profession. Of course a very peevish thing to fight about, but that’s how human mind continues its growing-up. Even with all its meaningless gossips, such talks often contribute a lot in shaping our decisions of life.
To me it was also about evaluating a decision in retrospect, which I had made long ago, when I would aspire to a be computer professional , but some how accidentally arrived into Merchant Navy.
Software is a risen industry, with lots of consumption of human work force, elite, hi educated and hi-tech educated, gender mix, decent paying, white-collared and more respected.
Merchant Navy, on the other hand, was an old time profession, (arguably one of the oldest method of trade in human history), has been so written about in history that it is rather a cliché now; provides handsome money packets, risk-involving, unpopular to the extent seen as sleazy work class, mix between blue-collar and white-collar, not so conducive for a family-life, and gone rather unpopular with the masses at large.
My friend argued about how the IT was sooner to take over as the most important profession around. He counted up all the contributions that the software industry was doing to our current civilization. From banking, to communications, to education, it was IT all the way.
Something made me express my serious concerns over this huge exodus of Indian masses towards a sector which any remained ‘subservient’ to the other basic industries, by which I meant Industries where goods or human sweat are actually traded. The banking did exist even without the IT, although, I agree, not so smartly as it today. Communications, I would hold is one place where everything, every new development, is hinged on the IT. Indeed the communication sector is the heart of IT Industry, whereby they both serve each other by every new invention in any of these.
Merchant Navy, at one corner, had reduced to only a carrier, albeit, of the most strategic commodity on the planet in current civilization-- the crude oil. It transport the Energy from one place to another, while the IT was working on to actually cut down need for movement of the livings and non-livings. IT , to my thinking, is a more recent new-born setup before the magnanimous treatise of the MN, thus lesser time-tested, more hyped. Another revolutinising invention could wrap it back into the oblivion as quickly as it had appeared on.
He then expressed his premonitions about the advent of the Teleportation technology which would give ‘energy doors’, completely demolishing need of Merchant navy for moving goods by sea.
I immediately sttruck back with- the arrival of the Artificial Intelligence, which would produce software by itself, to run the systems and industries.
We then thought may be we had gone a little too far in hold up our own against each other. AI and Teleportation were still too far away into the future. Conversation recoiled back to the current times and current scenario.
He expressed probablities of aviation taking over the goods transportation, much the same way it took over the passenger movement. I attempted to scale it down by informing that enormous carriage volume and strenght with respect to cost was quite a distant dream too.
Indians are holding firm grip on the job scenario in both-- IT and Merchant Navy. Our impending linguistic rivals were the same - the Chinese.
MN doesn’t attract so much man power from developed nations. Over there, it is often perceived as a poor man’s profession. A near fisherman’s job- who are ready to take huge risk to make their living. It is categorized along side mining, diving and other hi-risk jobs. The Japanese, the Greeks, the Americans, the Italians, the British, the Dutch, the Germans, -- only like to own ships for business and profit-making; Indians, Philippines, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis,- work on them; they are the operators of vessel, acting at the instructions of the white ship owners.
On the credit side, this showed a scope of Indians surving in the MN job scene so long as they were willing to take the risk of sailing on rough seas. The rewards were 'too high' for the current economic conditions of our country, when dollar is gaining/strong against the rupee.
The IT, to me didn’t produce much good picture either. Most of the IT ‘software engineers’ I met around were near data-feeder while the core designing of the whole Internet, the Computer Systems worked somewhere in the white world again. Accounts from ‘The world is flat’ presented some other picture to me, making me question who the whole real makers, architects and designers, of the softwares and the internet were. Not Indians by any chance, however hard we may chant our achievements in the field.
On a second comparisons, the success of the IT was almost same as that in MN; -- the British, the French , the Spanish, the Dutch( the Netherlands) once held grip over the MN when the MN was the peak job. They ruled the planet and in fact, our country too ,(through the infamous East India Company) and later in time passed on the seamanship skills to us, while they moved to computers and other new technologies. Columbus, Marco Polo, Vasco-de-Gama were the heroes of this profession in those times giving testimony to us, Indians, as to where were we.
The IT of today, however, does give some respect to Indians to feel. The Infosys, the Wipro, the Satyam, the TCS, the HCL- are giving us some of our proud moments. But this was as too subsequent in the field as the grip of Indian mariners in the seafaring world. What our IT professionals built-up over there was not much different from what we sea-farers conquered way into the high seas-- what did India gain from it??
Our overall significance as a professional was probably to be better measured by how much country developed from it. The MN despite being the biggest consumers for the steel products, and India being one of the largest exporters of bauxite ore, has not done any good to either the steel industry or ship building. The IT, at it own debit side, has done nothing but produce surplus low-quality ‘software engineers’, because of hyped public reputation of IT industry, taking away some probably good mechanics and engineers who could have helped in our nation’s actual lacking fields.
Neither brought any benefit to the Agriculture sector, which perhaps could have been India biggest asset considering our enormous land territory. Instead we have got more focused on exporting labour-- out at sea, and away to on-site assignments.
Individual industries’ contribution to national economy were recited, but sooner realized that it was all at the cost of losing at many other fronts, from R&D , agriculture, to small-time merchants. We produced largest amount of milk at the cost of poor health of our cattle!
The talks were abandoned unconcluded.

PS(dated 04 March 2009): Shipping is presently one of the most essential part of global logistics. And logistics is the backbone of world trade. So long as there is economics activity happening in the world, there is likely to be seafaring around. However, the seafarers can still suffer jolts in their job market, say in the events like some replacement of hydrocarbon fuel is found. Oil Tankers market will suffer and thereby, the sea-farer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cultural moorings

Cultural moorings
Here is the scans of something interesting i came across, which tells about some cultural limitations of us , Indians, as a whole (and not just the IAS's).
(source: IGNOU course ware for Indian Administration, BPAE-102)
Page 1

page 2

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peregrination to China

Peregrination to China

My earlier recollections about China are that of nation of communist which is so deeply bogged into poverty,and thus Communism, that Mithun-movies still make a blockbusters over there. (aila, even Mithun has come out of his ‘gareeb chotta laug’ image to work in Guru and other neo-classics.) My experience particularly rest on one incident I had suffered at the tanker terminal in the port of Quindao where a local ‘mafia’(as Chinese goons fondly/lingo-challenged call themselves to foreigners) who put his knife on me and somehow managed to direct me that I should not do any shopping in his area lest he hit me! And then he even ensured that wherever I went the shop-keepers refused me whatever I wanted- an international phone call, an IP-card, etc.
This was in year 2003.
But the last four months in Xin Ya shipyard (in Zhou Shan)- anchorage and berth- formed the new picture in my mind which is what I think the world ‘fears’ about the growing economic-force of China.
I flew to the Sino-land on 09the Aug, actually the night of the opening of the great China-hosted world mega-festival-- the Olympics, in Beijing. By good fortune, my flight was too late in the night to allow me see the opening ceremony at-least on television if not in person. What impressed me more at the very first sight was that there was no sign of the famously-formidable Dragon anywhere in the entire ceremony. The Chinese focused more on their historical contributions to the world than ‘scaring’ the world and it’s incumbent economic powers with the dragon. The navigational map, (an area of my professional interest), the printing technology, the modern accomplishments depicted by space travel by an Astronaut, and the motto ‘One world one dream’ depicted by troop dance of small children were breathtakingly beautiful.
My ship was owned by a Taiwanese company, the TMT, which, as I heard, have a penchant for buying old ships-- getting them repaired in the shipyards of China at ‘affordable‘(read inexpensive, if not cheap)-- and then either operating or selling away making huge profits. The TMT seemed to some kind of super-rich in the business because they were affording to keep their ‘n’ number of ships laid-up, doing no business, and maintaining full compliment of officers and crew; the latter, who are giving services at the inflated price-tag, and virtually having no work to perform.
China and Taiwan, I am told are long time enemies. But what I found surprising is that their rivalry is not a dime bad as what our Indo-Pak rivalry is. Their’s is only a diplomatic case, to be fought only by the diplomats of their country, not a person-to-person, religion-to-religion, fight, unlike ours. There is no terrorism, no restriction on movement of people from either country, and the business, in my own seeing the conversion and repairs projects of TMT, happening in the Chinese Shipyards.
Chinese education system has started out with a good sketch out in my mind. I came to know that the Chinese are considered good at analytical reasoning whereas the Indians are suppose to be good at number-crunching. On my way when bon hommie (sometimes we say it to mean ‘Happy- being at home’) ,I got to pass by few of the colleges and the universities. The driver, who was playing my tour guide, told us that cost of living and doing studies in that area was about 8000 euros per annum, while the starting salary after the education was 400dollars a month. He perhaps intended to say that it was bad. However I never felt like it. The schools reminded me of one of our rare trips to cinema halls during when I was school going, a 12-year old. We were then taken to see this English dubbed Chinese movie, ‘My new teacher’ a delightful movie. The name of the protagonist teacher, a 20-something Chinese girl, was Miss Henn Miao Miao, I remembered.
The roads, the bridges, the houses, the flyovers, the buildings, -- everything I saw on my way talked about the excessive ‘development’ (the proverbial cement-development) happening over there. The guide-driver told me that people were still not happy, and perhaps they would want to return back to their villages and village life. (I think it’s that same story about this development thing happening through the ‘rapacious’ economics in all parts of the world.)
Except for the Indian sub-continent, I think the population of women is more than men in all parts of the world. In China, there is a huge toll of entertainment girls in all the ports. The one that I passed time with, told me about her rural natives. A family daughter which she still remained, she sends some 2000yuan to her aged, senility-marred parents every month. Chinese have great liking for us Indian men, unlike the Caucasian European whites. They like to see our body hair, our eyes in particular because they have the ‘slit-y’ eyes, and our black or a brown skin. The European females shrink their nose upon our sight-- I don’t know for what political, social or biological-aesthetical reason. It’s very heartfelt thought to learn how our social paradigm has changed and become ‘un-natural’ due to reversal of sex-ratio in our native land. I firmly believe that this factor is Islam-driven if not Islam-dictated.
Some History-arguments suggest that women began to be treated as liability by Indian masses when large attacks by Muslim rulers happened on their families only to take away the women folk. Slowly our society ‘evolved’ or distorted away to start dowry-system, child marriage, sati, jauhar, --and other Fire, Water -Deepa Mehta movie themes.

The Sino-India Relationship
When working on Salaria PVC in 2003, I would think re-gathering facts about the 1961 war. Major Dhan Singh Thapa PVC was our other sister vessel plying between China and Singapore. I would think to myself whether the Chinese Port people knew Major Thapa was the person who was given our highest gallantry award - the PVC, for killling 40 of ‘enemy’ soldiers in none other than the 1961 war! It would give me fun to tell the Chinese cargo-surveyors who Major Thapa was, and that if they didn’t work our cargo well, I would add one more to Thapa’s tally of 40. ;-). English-challenged Chinese would just smile away joke, even more when they thought it was some friend saying something incomprehensible to them and laughing to himself!.
I think that Indo-China relations today are more a media’s handiwork than citizens’ or statesmen. I can see all our Shipping Corporation’s vessel going to China for dry-docking; we Indians being warmly accepted by Chinese people otherwise, and even being looked up at.
Indeed it is the bad media which is still playing the old tunes of that lone war with China, and that ill-famous Bengali Communist relationship of “Communist carrying umbrella in Kolkata when it rained in Beijing.”, that most new-generation , younger Indians have also picked up a wont to see Chinese also with the same skeptical eyes that by which most foreigner from the developed nations are seen. The xenophobic projection of foreigners in most of our Hindi movies is that of someone worth being defeated. News media also garnishes on the same rhetoric.
The diplomatic stand of China during the Indo-US Nuke Deal and during the 26th Nov-Mumbai Carnage when India sought the UNSC ban on Pakistan’s JuD are perhaps China’s reciprocating act on India’s stand on the Tibetan affair and the border disputes at the J&K front.
The people in China appeared to be oblivious of most of the troubles between the two neighbours. Their business sense is larger than ours. In us, personal relations are almost always able to supersede the business relations between people. A fine balance of personal touch through hospitality in business impressed me lot in the Chinese. The market is China is far deep open to bargaining. The business-minded people there are more tolerant, patient, polite and tranquil.
Wikipedia search on China tells me about the ancient Chinese philosophies , like the Legalism( the principles of Fa, Shu, Shi) which have perhaps yielded the proverbial more law-abiding, compliant, “disciplined“ ,“non-talking and hard working” , peaceful citizen’s of China.

The Chinese Magnate
Before this trip, I visited China on two bulk-carriers- Pataliputra and Murshidabad- as well. There I carried some 45,000 tonnes of Iron ore on each of my China visits. In all, I must have made some 5 visits. Iron ore is/was the most regular cargo from India to China.. And in return sometime we bring back some low grade coal. The excessive bauxite export made me sit-up and think of that old lore of India being a ‘bird of gold’(aka Golden peacock). The ‘gold’ being stolen away by the British; -then the bird became that of steel; -and then the Indians’ themselves exported away all the steel to China; -that’s how today’s history will be remembered many years hence.
Thus I continued my thought chain.
In the end, a lots of toy-shopping for my 8-yr-old nephew, and tasty Tsingtao beer and wine, cool pleasant climate, and trip to the fabulous Hong Kong airport summarized my memorable tour of duty.
The Great Wall remains to be physically seen! I hope I do it next time.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Hypocrisy in us

“I ain't Lord Ram, you see...”!!
----this often came as a guise for own perjury from him.
I think we need to deeply understand the concept of upholding the Rama, first. I will word it like---
1)there was one and only one Ram,
2) perhaps none of us can rise high to become another Ram.
3) even as Ram remains unsurpassable, we all still admire Ram. We still strive to emulate him.
4) We despise Ravan.
In principle, this debate again turns into a fight between Idealist and the Realist. Ram is the Ideal, while Ravan is the Real.
It is sorely needed to be appreciated that it is our attempt to emulate Ram that we all are expected to follow by norms of our society. Our struggle to emulate - the Hypocrisy in another sense - is a human need.
The corollary to this would be that Hypocrisy and ‘Struggle to emulate’ are inter-twined concepts. Very easy to be confused.

There happened this case on my ship when a bosun, a pump-man and a trainee OS were sent off from ship after they were found to be involved in tussle in a ‘state of drunkenness'.
What was unacceptable to me in this case was that the company landed all three of them under enforcement of its HR policy on Drug and Alcohol; and not in full confirmation of the advise of Master of the vessel ( who had reported this incident to them). The company proclaims its ships to be ‘White Ship’-- ships where no alcohol is consumed (!!).
The important fact file, exposing the hypocrisy of our systems in regard to this case is that, on board we all were a regular consumers of beer, including myself(chief mate), the chief engineer , 2nd engineer and everyone else.
The sexagenarian chief engineer also argued that this ruthless enforcement of the D&A policy was excessively biased, making big holes for much more injustice to happen someday. He argued that such cruel rules would aid any troublemaker by incurring only one tight slap to his chief engineer when the latter is under influence, to have the chief engineer removed from the ship! And this because the policy does not provide for master’s report to be taken into account.
Drinking beer and any socially consumed forms of liquor is a routine procedures in human society. The excessive abuse of alcohol led to the severe controlling particularly in the aftermath of Exxon Waldez episode(year 1989), the most expensive environmental disaster whic happens to belong to the shipping industry. But what remains noteworthy is that despite suffering the damages to the tune of 400billion USD, the company, Exxon, did not make her ships the so- called ‘White Ships’ , but had to suffice by putting stricter control on alcohol consumption with respect to duty hours and emergency preparedness.
The bigger issue that I clicked in my mind was about the hypocrisy which we so thumping uphold in our justice system as well. This is another way by which we are crying out actions and speech need not be the same. 'Only the one who is caught is the thief , otherwise the thefts are undecipherable. '-- that's what we mean.
Essentially the ‘White Ships’ issue is a far-fetched conclusion of idealism extremely distant from the practical aspects and diversity of mankind. The need is to 'adjust'(/amend) regulations to bring the right culture among the people, not to scare them of with the law.

After-thought (dated 05 Mar 2009): Unreasonable, far-fetched laws do nothing but bring about even greater un-justice, and thereby, dis-satisfaction among people.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

About Psychology

About Psychology
I have not taken an formal lessons in this area of study, but sitting back I was pondering if it is so necessary to have formal training to assert any claims pertaining to this subject. I would say a ‘No” to that. Psychology is a subject under arts group of philosophy. Although some topics such as Neurology and others- depend upon scientific researches, psychology is very amorphous in nature. Any person can rise up to claim some degree of hold in some minor area of this, which should be agreed by others, unless reasons.
What the claimants don’t understand before putting any such claim is that they should also have done some self-diagnosis in light of their area of expertise. Many people, that I see on ship, often ‘predict down’ the behaviour of somebody else, but often with an intention of fortifying self against any upcoming thought, appeal or a proposal , so that it may be turned down. This is not a right way of conduct by anyone who is putting up the assertion of being an expert in someone else’s some peculiar behaviour.
In first place, the claimant is stealing away the freedom of expression of his subject. Then, the insensitivity which is developed as a result of study, ends into some assumptions actions -- the preconceived notions.
School students imitating their teachers; office staffs copying their boss; the mockery artists--these all people fall victim of this phenomenon-- a prisoner of their own device. Who else can better expound this thought than the great BigB (Amitabh Bachchan) himself. (scathed in his silence, scathed in his speech- by media men).
‘Playing a coy’ is the key thing these people sometimes skip in haste to learn the art of behavioural reading. One should be very cautious in displaying this piece of art, lest it boomerangs. There is humor, there is a mark of understanding- but there is also some venom.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life’s BIG expectations

Sometimes happiness eludes us all for our own reasons, when we impose some other ‘better’ or ‘bigger’ expectations upon own self.
Rathod had just joined as a crew member on a merchant ship. Like with most other people, he did not know much about what all tasks would entail his duties on ship. Suddenly on first day he is asked to clean up all the officers’ toilets. He was aghast! He didn’t know that’s what an SUH (steward utility hand)was suppose to be doing. He plainly refused.
In merchant shipping, refusing a lawful command of ship master while the ship is at sea is a punishable offense. He was brought to the master for the refusal to perform his duties. Master enquired the reasons. Rathod plainly replied that ‘Rathods’ don’t clean toilets.
Other SUHs were happily doing their job and enjoying life on ship, moving from one country to another, one continent to another. Many of them rose further to higher ranks of pantry man, and even the Chief Stewards.

Case 2:
M came from a well-connected household of UP where people look upto the civil servants. M himself is from a silver-spoon school where most pupil reach away to high profile institutes like the IITs. M himself nutured one such ambition in personal life - to be an engineer. He dislikes merchant navy all for not providing him the “intellectual” atmosphere he is accustomed to. He likes debates and arguments; Merchant Navy (traditionally) requires obedience of command.
He joins in as deck officer and is in the line to become a Captain of a ship, which Rathod would have died to become. But, to everyone’s bewilderment, M is never happy with his job and rank!? Why?
Life’s big expectations have caused sadness to them. They are themselves the root of unhappiness to their own selves.
Other ship captains, who are happy with the job, have learnt even more in their work experiences and have reached higher tables in their professional life as well. And a more knowledgeable M , all because he cringes, gets stuck to his own sorrowing tales of making it big! That’s is how happiness brings more happiness. And sorrow begets sorrow.
What causes this big expectations to a person?? The peer hopes and expectations have actually descended upon these eternal mourners. In Rathod’s case the sheer demands of being a ‘Rathod’ and in M’s case the vicinity of those big people.
There is nothing wrong in dreaming big, but bigness should not result into demeaning other equally great things. Eventually nothing is born big or small, but it is the happiness and deeds of the predecessors which lies in the foundations of those “big” expectation jobs.
Everything job is big if the doers is happy with it.
Merchant Navy, at the same time, is in big need to elevate its declining image. Notions like “Cheap money”, “wife at every port”, “menial job”, “haughty people” loom large in the sections of society.
Intelligence needs to be identified when appearing in various characters, and given recognitions.

Well-read, sublime people, have a character of their own. Their management style is different. They are not that hard-taskmaster kind in which the merchant navy is replete.
The analytical minds are hot debating kind. They lead to lessee-faire style in work environment.
Autocratic people are discretion-exercising, in a relapsing propensity.
To build a public image, merchant navy will need to adapt to the lessee-fair culture as well.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Documenting versus Falsification of records

The problem of recording such facts is that, if recorded , should the consequence of the action/decision is a failure then questions can be asked about why the action was taken/ action not judged properly/ what mistakes were there in the decision or the action, ab initio; etc.
Take this case only: When the decision to blank (the IG Line for vapour segregation) has caused vacuuming of the cargo tank during temperature fall, question can be raised about how this decision was reached, the problems not foreseen, (and whatever i have mentioned.)
In case of not recording the action, the problem remains that should any problem further break out, say due to vacuuming, then these decisions become a severe matter of investigation causing agonies to the management staff for taking actions without informing the company.
The problem of non-recording can further cause problems related to inter-personal relationships in which crew’s choice of not becoming a party to such decisions is over-ridden. They/he cannot easily report the matter or report any problem caused to him by such decision. The personal problems could be of over-work to execute the action, in this case blanking of IG line, 6 cargo tanks, for which chain blocks had to be used; the IG coming out from the tank was hazardous to health; they were asked to do blanking immediately after completion of loading, in which they were not mentally prepared to do it then/ were tired after the cargo operation/ were not in mood.
The other inter-personal relationship breakdown is, most obviously, who is to be blamed for the failures.
The other more severe problem of recording the observation comes to light in the case of sinking of “Erika” in 1999. The Indian captain of the ship had observed the big crack line on the hull during some inspection. He recorded the same in the books. Consequently when the vessel sank down causing big oil spill at the French coast, he was subjected “to severe torture”( as per some unconfirmed reports) by the French Authorities for opting to sail despite knowing the major defect of the vessel. The authorities maintained that he should have sought assistance from the authorities to have the vessel marked as un-seaworthy, instead.
Such is the dilemma of recording versus non-recording of events. In many cases the non-recording leading to cloud of mystery forming around the event leading to severe probing, investigations, undue public curiosity, etc.
In my good opinion, the masters should not refrain from recording the event so long as they can. One event i have come across more frequently is about the pilferage of LSA/FFA items from ships in Indian ports. Most of the experienced masters decide to have the items locked up in store before the ship calls in the ports. The problem lies in the fact that ship staff has to be put to un-expected duty to take out the items should a survey come around all of a sudden. The bigger problem is what if some fire breaks out actually and everything gets engulfed because the FFA(fire-fighting appliances) were not available ( as they were locked up in the stores!). How will these situations be handled?
I would choose to lock-up the items in any case, because the general and most common understanding for locking the items for saving them is- it is better than not having them altogether (by pilfering). But while doing so, i will like to record the decision in the books and ask the authorities to inspect them in-there during the inspection/survey. Ensuing question is --will the authorities of non-agreeing countries like Ukraine and Russia accept that , and not use the deviant to get us to bribe them!>??
Perhaps, the universally adopted procedure by way of an IMO adoption can help release the last situation too.
The other problem i have commonly seen is that of ship management doing such actions which are not in concurrence with the regulations, and then putting pressure on ship to not to record them. The event i have seen was of not providing duty AB to me during my third mate night hours watch (2000hrs to 2400h) saying that master himself would came if need be, as he remains awake till mid-night. This was one condition in which a flagrant violation was happening; the master was utilising the AB in deck work during the daylight hours in order to prepare the vessel for AMSA survey.
Only bigger problem was that such decision are quite often unicellular. The subordinating staff has a lesser say or no say.
Under the ideal conditions, there are no provisions for these practical problems. What can be done, instead, is that more staff can be put to achieve survey preparations. Trainee staff can be put to accompany the duty officer as the look- out rating at night hours.
This all , invariably , leads to suppression of Free voice on ships, obscurism , higher stress levels, consequential poor inter-personal relations, and many more.
In my own observations, i have seen people opting out from the sea-life in large counts, as a result of poor inter-personal relations. The Indian authorities ought to pay tremendous heed to this factor as well, in the interest of Indians continuing to maintain the grip of manpower supply to the world.
On ships the decisions quite often are unicellular, or discretionary. This is because of lesser information available on-board to reach to a good judgement, less participation from the subordinating staff at the time of decision-making, the habitual practise of letting the top management(master or CEO) to decide and later finding faults in it.
Problems of above nature can be alleviated by opting to officially record the decision, in a good descriptive manner. This reasoning is based on lines that ‘we can try to prove that what we did is what thought to be right, instead of attempting to prove that what we did was right’. ‘We’ is very important in this.
Other way, considering that shipping operations has its history so far deep, we can attempt to find the ‘tested and tried’ decisions for the given condition with help from office staff. And again, the same can be recorded.
Another pending task in the light of numerous arbitrary records would be for the authorities to become generous in handling of such decisions,; endeavour to find more agreeable solution to problems, and then promulgate it to all ships.
The last line can be understood by considering the decision of recording of life-boat lowering being not complied as per the mandatory SOLAS criteria , due to certain unavoidable reason, such as bad weather. The authorities from the west expect that life boats to be lowered even at the cost of halting, off-hiring the ship for this purpose only. The east continues to hold “West is wasteful” in its approach to off-hiring ships for life boat lowering. Thus, the most standard practise by masters or shipowners from the east is to falsify the record, by updating life boats lowering without actually doing it.
This leads to severe practise of seeing this operation personally by the Surveyors from the west in almost all inspections. It turns out that many times the ships are caught on the wrong, receiving severe reprimand from all corners, including their own home state authorities (perhaps for failing to ensure the authenticity of falsified records while copying. They hold “to copy also u need brains”. And, if your falsification has ‘failed’ then it again it is your failure, not management or administrative).
To my thinking, the more feasible solution to this problem can be : beginning to accept the authentic records of self-confessionary nature stating life-boats could not be lowered under the described circumstances. The authorities can agree to such records, further asking the vessel to achieve compliance as early as possible. I guess the problem in this case would be that the tenure( 3 months) mentioned by international authorities is in itself a window period to help the ships achieve compliance for such failing cases!! The easterners assume that the stated period is the ‘run’ time for the exercise.
Honestly at this point I can not resist mentioning that judging by the ‘mandatory’ practises given in international regulations, which are mostly framed by the western nations, they have an imagination that ship staff had got only these kinds of work to do.
In practise we always have many a un-recorded operations to conduct.!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. - John Adams

What does it mean??
I guess this is about different spheres of knowledge that are passed on from generation to generation so that the evolution occurs.
The father demands to read Politics and war—meaning , they are the prime issues of the prevailing scenarios of his times. And to bring peace for his next generation he must master them and solve the crisis. So that the children may have their “right” to read what they want. But in turn they should study something which may award the children’s children their “right” to study what the latter want! Which is arts, poetry , procaine etc. To study arts, the generation before must over come the obstacles of their times which can be resolved by studies in Navigation, Commerce, Naval Architecture, mathematics, sciences and history.

What a far-sightedness of the father.! For his grand children.
The literature is deemed to be the ultimate and most leisure time subject of studies. But u can have leisure only when, first, you have peace, and then , second, you have developed enough to overcome the hindrances of nature.! Study in natural sciences help to solve them . In the end you will have all the leisure to do what you want.
That’s a beautiful quote.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

History in biotech

News script: Aishwarya and Angeline Jolie have common ancestors coz they both are blue-eyed.
a few days back i was seeing one serial on the Discovery channel, which was telling about the human race, its spread from its origin place in west africa to other parts of the world. This story of migration also involves the evolution of different races of human beings, the route that the migrant early humans had taken, etc etc. DNA samples of volunteers have been taken from all over the world belonging to different races to track down the route and period of migration. Results thus obtained may add new contents to the highly disputed the Aryan Migration Theory, and also bear deep deep impact on many of the prevailing political scenarios. For example the conquest of islam, how did the religions rise and who were they earlier; much very significant light on the aryans and everything connected with them, etc. Such results will have a far deeper impact on the history-genetical understanding of various diseases and disorders. For e.g If cancer is also genetical then how did the first cancer gene develop in humans? A common blue-eyed ancestor may throw immense light on many such related querries. For once, such a news script can be treated as something truely relevant to history, and having concrete scientific value; considering we have given so much input in wasteful stuffs like 'Gandhi's achievement' and 'Brahmins saviour or culprit', 'Ghatothkatch Pics!', 'History of marathas' ,'who were Jats', 'contribution of maharana pratap', 'tajmahal or tejomahalya'!!!etc ( the latter issues have more of social significance and less of scientific value. Most commonly they are intended to serve some egotistical purpose than to add to our scientific knowledge.)
comparative studies, i believe, is a new method taken up in understanding and decoding various genes responsible for various items in human body. The same method is also being harnessed to understand the functioing of human brain through data obtained by MRI scan and other techniques. How and which gene is responsible for blue-eyes cannot be decoded in isolation by taking one person's dna. when put against another dna which is known to have somethings common, some inferences can be made. more such comparisons help in pinpointing the exact genes responsible. Similar method is applied to understand the functioning of brain. for e.g comparisons of brain scans of two geniuses having apt skill in mathematics help identifying brain parts utilised in mathematical work. Further, the knowledge thus obatined will have very significant role in the field of bio-technology for treatment and erradication of diseases.
(original entry : http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=21177&tid=2581285030128037707&na=2&nst=12 )

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The entrance of IIM Lucknow

entrance of IIM L

Entrance of IIM L. Celebration of a philosophy, not of religion, in the temple of resurgent India.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


random thoughts:
i often think that a commonly seen realist is one who doesnt have any standrads in life. he keeps fickling from one thought to another, justifying each of his jump to being real 'coz thats what hapens in this world'. such a person can easily get misguided, or get on the wrong. the judgemental sense of mind should be expected to be lesser developed in a realist. on the other hand an idealist should not be understood as somebody very much dogmatic, or strict with the temporal behaviour, living life in some heaven. he is one who knows how the idealism is difficult, and in most cases, impossible, to achive. so he learns to bridge the gap of idealism and realism. in true sense, therefore, this is being an ideal 'realist'. most commonplace 'realist' are nothing but thugs and fools, trying to mask their foolishness under 'realism'. an ideal realist , in first place ,would never disagree to doing any un-ideal or the wrong things. better, he would be less defensive to his action, unlike the fake 'realist'. he would still be having a high sense of good judgements, even when in reality, he may be conducting himself contrary to it. his keenness to apply himself to attain idealism is another such telltaling ground from a fake realist. the latter take wrong acts earlier, faster and more easily than an ideal realist. to decide on most matters of life, some comparative standards are essential. otherwise, we all know and agree, that everything is relative or based on one's perception. so even the rights and wrongs would be relative, making everything and this world so conflicting and eventually so choatic. to resolve out this, we all set some standards, --some common standards, by which to differ the rights from wrongs. such standards are normally set as per the evolution of the encompassing society and culture. for example, most of our sandards, or ethos as we also know them as, come from the ramayana and the mahabharata. so much pronouncing is the influence of the relativity that these standards itself can undergo changes upon changes of living environment or the society. our corrupt and depraved society, thus has already started producing the 'fake' realist whose judgement standards itself has undergone mutation due to long years of corruption/malpratices pervading in the society n culture.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The man-woman relationship

My recent take on the subject:

1. Women, although they have ability to choice, but tend to act without choice in most cases. Anybody can make upto them with slight efforts. Men may be little more selective and promiscuous.
2. They tend to get most emotional, and almost get down to begging the man for ‘getting married’ just at the point they are getting physically intimate. This she may be doing without actual choice also, because the purpose is to save the ‘disgrace’ of getting intimate without the compliance of social restriction of ‘Marriage first’. Also, it becomes a justification for their compromise for their animal needs.
3. It is at this point that men may tend to get fooled by a woman’s emotions.
4. Social stability is as it is more of a woman’s need than men’s.
5. They want ‘it’ as much as men do. But changing partners may not be as much frequent as in men’s case. Perhaps, in each relationship, they pause to look around for social stability. Thankfully there are enough men to provide that.
6. And around certain age, say 30, even men tend to look for relation stability, perhaps realizing that old age is getting on in time to come.
7. With every failed relationship women try to act smarter by concluding that ‘having fun’ is the norm of the day. They tend to be promiscuous now. Easier to be ‘set’ by anybody at this point.
8. Men don’t like ‘fun loving’ women for marriage.
9. Men like to sing around their bed time conquest. Or make MMS, video clips etc. Women, even when they know its repercussions, may agree to getting one made. They may not hesitate going overboard to please their men. Webcam is also in, thus.
10. Nature’s design; even with the knowledge of most of the above points the system will continue as it is.

ps: at the time of writing the above i was imagining of a girl coming to me to seek justice after she was dithced by her lover.the lover was a close pal of mine, also my gender, so i had this feeling to defend him.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bhajji's punishment
(from orkut to blogs).... http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=41824382&tid=2576426728417585582&start=1
here is something new to munch> 3 Test ban on Harbhajjan Singh
It is fully agreed that such a ban at international level to any indian, cricket player or whatever, will reflect too bad on each of us, standing up against any kind of discrimination.
So, any act which may give any indication of discrimination, including racism, should be severey dealt with even by own people against us also.
The match at that high point had tension soaring high after the wrong dismissal of indian players. The frustation in india camp must have been palpable.
Before this, renowned news mags like India Today, has scathingly reported of racial remark and gestures by Indian crowd on Aussie player, Andrew Symonds, who is of Aboriginal background. The photgraphs of indian people, with arms turned in to scratch own arm pits was shown, to imitate monkeys, to tease Symonds. This was also felt so by the entire Aussie team.
Laddish Sreesanth, has openly thumped on the pitch squating down, knowingly or unknowingly , indicating primitive people or apes, a gesture which may get misread as racial remark.In the match in question, Bhajji is often shown taking two rolls on the ground, something like the Chimp of Tarzan, perhaps again to be misread as teasing mannerism. However, there are good odds, no wrong word might have been spelt out during verbal duel with Symonds, which was witnessed by the umpires, Clarke, Hussey n others. The full report on basis of awarding punishment to Bhajji is still not known.
By my understanding of international community's procedures to control such things in any multi-national environment including ship's, or other maybe ITs and ITES, it is the responsibility of the 'speaker' that his manners n words are not misread in this way. This is coz proving a word to be so, or not so, is very very difficult. So the onus has been put on the speaker also. If, in the professional judgement of the judges, there are odds of such slurrs then action is taken.Proofs are not awaited.
Comment, please.