What’s wrong with us Chennai??

2:32 pm. My girl friend called me and told me there was a Tsunami Alert in Chennai.

There was no power, the cuts are frequent and there was no way we could know from the TV or the internet. There were no announcements made to the public by the police or other officials. The sea was not too far away from where anyone was here in Chennai. My sister and I geared up and decided that we’d go out and spread the word. By the time we started, it was 2.45 pm.

it was  first time I saw the city evacuate owing to an upcoming disaster. The Tsunami. We had faced it before, in the winter of 2004. Not too far away in the past, the fear still lingered on in our minds, and yet, there was no planning and we were terribly underprepared. (It’s 5.43 now, and the alert has been taken back, since there had been no incident at the Andaman.)

Chennai in pictures, Tsunami Alert: April 11, 2012.

Here are a few things I personally noted down:

1: We were all over the street!

2. There was simply too much traffic for the police to manage. People were complete out of the leash. We had to encounter 4 brawls in the street during our 3 hour ride.

3. I see stupid messages all the time on my phone. But right now, really??

“Ultimate chance to win Ultimate star Billa 2 audio launch passes” really?? Are you freaking kidding me??
It would have been nice to read something that would have actually helped people! Why would you not send messages to tell us that there is a tsunami alert? You guys want money our of our pockets for Billa 2, but won’t help us stay alive if a situation arises??

4. And the worst on the list. Toll gate. Hey government?? Do you really care so much about making money when peoples’ lives are at stake? Can’t you shut them down when people run for their lives?

I sincerely don’t know where we are headed. This is just horrible. Please, Drop in your comments and tell me how we could actually deal with something like this if it happens?

Karthikeyan Balakumar


Health is Wealth- All is fair in love and war!!

The first time I remember crying and being scared was when I failed an examination. Some science paper. Dad and Mom had come to pick us (my sister and I) up from the school on the day of the open house, I was not that great a student, and my father who never really worried about my performance in the examinations for once was worried that I would become a slacker in life. I don’t know what came over him, But that day, he acted like he never has acted in the whole of my life. He left me and my sister outside the car, and threatened to drive home, and then, he came back and they took us up in the car and made us promise that we would never fail another examination ever. I guess that’s the worst part of being a father, you cant really be a good one at that all the time, the times you screw up, You really screw up.

We had reached home by 12 in the noon, and when we did dad went home upstairs and locked himself up in his room. By then I had cried my ife out, and I was having serious problems with my nose, I had a mild asthmatic attack. I had severe cold and I remember sitting in my dad’s office and telling him something to do with science and mathematics, out of which one was to do with the sum of numbers cubed. the formula for that. I never really remember that even today, I think that is a totally stupid use of the beautiful science of algebra. Stupid memory tricks.. Totally useless. You forget them as soon as the examinations are over.

Well, that’s not the important thing here, I had fever, and heavy asthma, and dad took me to our trusty neighbourhood doctor, Dr. Bharath, in the evening. An old man who never really had a chance to sit down when his patients were sitting, he was that short, and thats the one thing I liked about his, he was a polite short man, and as far as I know, I think I was the old person with whom he could sit and talk. Cause back that, I was short too! He then used all this gadgets on me like batman, and then pulled out his white prescription pad, and gave me a list of tablets that I had to eat. One of them, in particular was “allegra”, supposedly, for the asthma, and its quite expensive too. I recieved the sheet from him and dainlty left the room that night. And accidently I had misplaed the prescription some where in my room.

Later that night, dad got me readied up to go get the medicine. Since I had lost the prescription, I gave him all sorts of excuses to not go, and then dad asked me to get on the bike, and when I did that, he asked me,

“Karthik, prescription sheeta eduthtiya?”- Karthik, have you taken the prescription sheep with you.

I just blinked a lot, I think, Dad was furious, he yelled at me at the top of his voice, and then, he knew there was nothing much I could do about it now that I have misplaced it. He then stared at me, then I told him,

“Appa, enakku nalla theiyumpa, enna tabletnu, vaanga poi vaangitu varalaam”
-Dad I know what tablets we have to purchase, lets go get them

“what is it?”
“It was called allegracin”
“what?? Dont fool around karthik, if you dont know tell me you dont know”
“but really papa, its allegracin, or gin, I dont know what their hand writings mean!! the doctors!!”

Dad was furious, we then went to the pharmacy, and I told the man at the counter,

“Allegra..cin.. irrukka anna?”
“allegrava thambi?? irruku”

That was when I finally got out of my feel of discomfort. I felt relieved and comforted that the moment I went back home, I sat down, had my dinner quietly, went to my room shut myself up and slept for the next 12 hours straight”

Never again in my life had I seen my father that furious with me.. He really cares for my health, and I guess I have always been a careless boy messing things up and hurting the people I love when I do things.

Im sorry da,
That I am writing this when I am down with conjunctivitis.. It does not pain at all. really trust me. You must be too busy, I dont wannt disturb you to entertain myself.. 🙂

Love you,

A Loving Flower

Each spring, I walked through the gardens,
Watching little birds chirp happy tunes,
While children play kings and queens,
With the cold winter passed away,
The warmth just embraces my heart,
Guiding me through the wonders of Nature.

While glancing through the endless expanses,
My eyes set up a lonely flower that spring day,
A delicate, special and yet, lonely flower,
And the flower had a story to tell me,

“I do not know what made me blossom,
Neither do I have any knowledge of purpose,
All I do is please my silent admirers,
Give them my beauty, scent and splendor,
While I lose none myself,
I spread happiness around me,
But a day will come when you will forget,
Forget me, Forget that I happened,
And move on with your selfish lives,
Like you always have been”

Was it the flower?
Neigh, A deep loving thought,
I shall not forget you,
Enshrined in my heart,
You shall forever be..

Karthikeyan Balakumar.

The Theory Behind Bus Tickets

Everyone of us has travelled by buses, and we always have a problem getting tickets, today, I made a bus journey. From Theynampet to Tambaram. The bus was not crouded, but the conductor was missing, and I looked everywhere before I could find him sitting happily on his seat on the rear end of the bus. Like most of you, I have never been caught by checking inspectors, and I have never paid a fine. I thought, “why not travel without a ticket”.

The very taught of it brought forth a million questions in my mind. Usually, there is a ticket printing machine that gives you details about when the journey started, from where, and where to. But today, the conductor was handing over tickets that were pre printed. ie, not from the machine that looks like a brick.


Let me get to the details straight,
Hope all of you have seen an Indian bus ticket, It is generally colored, has number from 1 to about 50 written in its periphery. and has a code printed on top of it in big block letters.
Now, the most important thing is, the conductor pinches off some paper adjacent one of those numbers when he gives away the ticket to you. Each of those numbers corresponds to a particular stage in the city, and for ever two stages the price of a ticket goes up by one Rupee, also to be noted is the fact that the minimum price of a ticket is 3.

So when you are intercepted by a checking inspector, all that they do is check the stage from which you have travelled, and compute how much you have to pay, generally thats not the case, people who get caught are those who don’t procure tickets. However, the science behind it was totally interesting to me, I did want to know how to get through the setup, and I think I found the way.

The way:
Find out what stage you are going to, and then, buy the cheapest ticket, then, just make another tear (in addition to the conductor’s) one stage away from your destination. If the ticket collectors catch you, then you can always show them and act innocent.

yours truly,
karthikeyan balakumar.

ps. you know, thats why north Indian conductors have that punching machine in their hands ..
pps.Come on the tickets are very economical, please don’t travel without one.
ppps.Guys, coming to think of it, maybe we should create a travel card, just like how there is a phone card, and tool booth card, just swipe it on a magnetic detector on the bus and travel.. would be nice.. don’t you think??

What in God’s name is a Transistor??

For a long time, I wanted to create special hardware for my note taking needs. I wanted paper to show videos and photos and audio to be recorded when I simply wrote, record audio, on my note pad. It would be fun, but I do realize that its going to be very hard for me to develop my dream gadgets right now, so I made up my mind to make the best use of what we have, and here it goes. Im going to try and explain how transistors work and make an entire blog post for the sole purpose of learning for my continuous assessment exam on Monday. I hate sitting with a book and spending hours at end, so for the diagrams, I’ve decided to lift from other places.

So, lets deal with unit 1,

What in God’s name is a transistor??

A transistor is a semiconductor device with three connections, capable of amplification in addition to rectification.

So what exactly is amplification??

Take something small, and make it big..

thats amplification.. in terms of the transistor we are talking about current, we are planing to use this device to AMPLIFY current so that we can use it for various purposes, like say, increasing volume

to note:  by amplification, we also mean reduction of current flow or voltage, not just the increase, basically the modulation..

So, a transistor is this:

A transistor is an electronic component used in a circuit to control a large amount of current or voltage with a small amount of voltage or current.
and it uses some small current or voltage to the get the job done.. How exactly does it get the job done??
Lets look into that..
Thats from hyper physics, you should visit their site if you need the text version.

That what you see up there is the figure that represents a normal transistor, aka, bipolar junction transistor. As stated it has 3 regions,

1. Collector, this is where the transitor starts, I like to think of it like out body, like the role of the mouth in the respiratory system.. It handles a lot of air, more than that of the nose (if needed only :P)

2. Base, you can think of this as the nose, the one that lets a little bit of air flow in (not always)

3. Emitter: The emitter is the fag end of the respiratory system, that enters the lungs. here is where you see maximum air flowing in. its kinda interesting to think of it this way, don’t you think??

I’m hungry now, let me go eat and come back.. I’ll finish this today 🙂 Not much time to complete, or the prof is gonna trash me up so badly..