Oct 19, 2009

A Twin Solution: Agricultural Agony


The name is Ville. FarmVille. Though it's the name of a town in Virginia, USA, Farmville is best known as one of the most fasinating, addicting online game of alltime for all ages. Anyone having a 'Facebook' account can play this game for free. Farmville has 6 Million+ active users out of which around 25% from India alone. It is increasing rapidly.

Why is it so fascinating ?

The objective of the game is entirely different from the rest. For the folks who play racing & shooting, Farmville scenario is entirely different. You are given a farm. You are given an intial amount. You need to grow crops. Earn Money. That's it.
All the standard procedures such as, plowing, planting, harvesting are well implemented. Farmville provides a diverse collection of crops to plan such as Wheat, Rice to fruits like grapes, strawberries and Trees like Lemon, Banana, Apple & Cattles like Cow, Sheep, Goat. That's what it made it unique & special. This wide range of features supplemented by a rich looking user-interface, it's one of my best. You would love farming.

What is the Agricultural Agony ?

Agony is on what happens in real-world agriculture. Shutdown the PC & See outside. India 'WAS' (may
be, 'IS') one of the most dominant player in Agriculture. Our crops are exported all over the world. But these days, the growth rate is rapidly decreasing. The prices of groceries like Atta, Maida, Sugar, Oil are disturbingly increasing. Red gram price (துவரம் பருப்பு) is doubled. Everything is increased because of one reason. 'less production'.
I foresee a 'shocking shift' after which we may end up importing rice & wheat. A day was there which had only two castes. Farmers and Landlords. Agriculture was found to be the only (or foremost) occupation for EVERYONE. Generation after generation, history continued. But
today, October 19, 2009, the story is completely different. Agriculturists are scarcely spotted and farms are rarely seen with lush green crops.
It was the present generation, the typical youngsters who born after 1980's, seem to have taken a diversion. Options are ubiquitous. Be it, Engineering, medicine. Far too many which are not common in the 1980's. There are very few, especially the un-educated in village do agriculture.
People farm online for fun but will they do it in real-time ?

Why people quit agriculture ?

I'm just 22 and honestly i haven't been farming in real-time. But my father does. He is so passionate about it. He served the canara bank for 25+ years but still he was doing agriculture all the time. He always wanted me to learn it. But i hated it. I go to our farm thrice a day. To give him breakfast, lunch & dinner. He voluntarily retired from his job but still, he is doing agriculture. With my limited knowledge and from what i am seeing and hearning, these are the problems that exhausts agriculturists.

  1. Farmers Scarcity: Farmers are difficult to locate. Even after locating one, their wages are twice than what they were paid 5-10 years back. Before the 90's, farmers respect the landlord. They always talk with their hands crossed. But these days, story is different. That too, most of these are now carpenters or plumbers or electricians in metro cities where those giant real estates & shopping malls are built earning triple the money than what they earned as "farmers".
  2. Water Scarcity: Water is difficut to find. Unfortunately, Rain is also rarely seen. There was a tamil quote that states, "மழை முகம் காணா பயிரும் தாய் முகம் கானா குழந்தயும் ஒன்று". I don't know whether it's the increasing number of cars & bikes that affects the environment with their fuel emission, but the crops rarely get the touch of a rain-drop. Even the under-ground water is also not easy to bore. More shockingly, a state exists that claims the river as 'their own'. 20 years back, people will literally laugh if you tell them, "Drinking Water is filled in a plastic can and sold for money!".
  3. No Profit: Even after growing the crops, the profit gained doesn't seem to be satisfactory. The government or the person who buys the crops are not giving a fair price.
  4. Compensation: There are lots of risk & trust factors involved in agriculture. The growth will be affected if there is NO or MORE rain. Farmers eventually committed suicide on a lot of occasions failing to owe the borrowed capital.
  5. Other options: More than that, people did found more options to earn money than to hell with the farms.
I am proud of Dr.S.Kabilan, one of my best friend and a chemistry professor who still farms with his 1 acre land for one reason. "Environmental Care". There are people urging him & even threatening him to sell the land just to convert it into a residential plot. There are lot other people who also does agriculture part-time. My uncle, Mr.Sethuraman, a high-school teacher is one among them. I recently heard that the government does give a fair price for rice crops and also a convincing compensation upon a loss. But too much corruption was heard to be involved.
  • What is the end of it ?
  • Where do "you think" this will end ?
  • Do you have a solution for this ?
  • If everyone leaves behind agriculture & go after their occupation, who will take this onus?
  • If given a convincing price & resources, will you switch over your occupation to agriculture ?

My proposed solution

This is my idea of resolving this problem. From a bird's eye view, everything boils down to MONEY. We all are going after MONEY. As there are more options, we quit this risky 'agriculture' option. I want the government to take a bold act.
  • 'EMPLOY' people to do agriculture. He who does agriculture will be a government servant.
  • His Farm is his office. Give him a convincing salary. Just like the Police or Public Works form an Agricultural Team. Whether or not the crops grow, he must be salaried.
  • Based on the role played, give designations and salaries.
  • Give him/her incentives for extra profits so that he is motivated.
  • Crops harvested will belong to the government. Any dealer can buy it at an affordable price.
  • Citizens already doing agriculture with their own farms can continue the good work. Government should ensure that the crop prices are satisfactory and compensation are convincing upon loss.
  • Give more job preference to agricultural graduates. They absolutely deserve it more than anyone else. It even encourages more people to graduate in agriculture.
Doing it this way, every one makes money. There is no loss to any individual. The government might incur loss but it's one of the options we can motivate people to come forward.
We have vast-waste lands.
We have uneducated & unemployed people.
Why can't we do this ?

Have your say.

Oct 16, 2009

Happy deepavali 2009

Hello everyone, the famous festival of the country has come. Hope you all are very happy with your family and friends on this very special day. Enjoy the moments. Happy Diwali.
With my limited expertise, animated a card for you.

Oct 14, 2009

Jai 'nahi' in Rahman's Jai Ho concert !

Chennai always has this habit of sophisticating the superlative and suppressing the others. History continued when a huge, 50,000+ galored in MARG Swarnaboomi, a vast-waste land, 100 km from chennai for the A.R.Rahman's JAI HO music concert. As obvious, ticket prices were never been affordable by a 'comman man' (A term recently hyped after kamal hasan's stunner "unnai pole oruvan").

Starting from 5000 Rs, the other ticket prices were 2000, 1000, 500, 300, 200. I went along with my colleagues opting the 500 one. After a 3 horrible hours, we finally managed to snail through the unusual traffic in the ecstatic ECR. A land of around 2 Sq.km been enlightened by giant focus lights.

First shock came when there is no armed forces or an enforcement of bomb detectors. One can easily drive in and repeat a Jallian-wallabagh or the recent Mubai's Taj hotel type of assault. Except for those VVIP's easily sneaked to the front row, the police forces showed very less importance to the 'common man's.

Second shock came when we are showed the seating for 500rs tickets. It was so long from the screen such that people actually started to search, "Where is the stage ?". People who had the 200rs, 300rs tickets didn't mind occupying our seats. Expect for the VVIP's section, no tickets were checked. By the time we managed to find 4 chairs, it was 7:15 PM & crowd was storming in. As the event is supposed to be started at 6, the 100+ minutes delay was totally annoying.

Third shock came when someone started to speak but we don't even know where the stage is & more shockingly, we don't even hear what he was talking. What I heard is just murmors around me. "Onnume kekkala gna", A disappointed wife. A typical chennai youngster, "Aw dude, this sound engineering sucks man !". Almost everyone said "I hardly hear anything".
The only speakers placed was seemed to be the VVIP's section.

It was around 8:30 PM when the 3rd song was completed. All we saw was the mini screen projected placed near us. We don't even know whether it's telecasting a live show or just broadcasting a recorded dvd. We are never in a mood to stay there & decided to call it a day. By the time i went out to 'search' our car among the 5000 others, crowd started to leave in batches. I could hear agony as i walked. A person leading a group, "Why the hell did i spent 40,000 bucks for this ?". Another youngster on the way, Machi, 500 waste பண்ணதுக்கு 5 full ஏத்திட்டு படுத்திருப்பேன் டா". Simply put, no one was satisfied.

It definitely wasn't the maestro's fault. Either the organizers aren't capable enough to handle 60,000+ crowd or they didn't intended to. If it (the money) wasn't for Sakthi Foundation, the concert arena would have become a war zone.
The final shock came when we realized we were actually standing in the 1000 Rs stand !
By that time, we are well on our way back. It's the first time in my life i have been to such a concert and honestly it's not something i would like to remember.

Pictures from my mobile:

1) An elated crowd in the 1000 Rs. stand peeping across the huge crowd trying to catch a glimpse of the oscar winner. It never materialized !

click picture to enlarge
2) The only place where you cannot enter without a ticket. The VVIP stand well protected by the police.
click picture to enlarge

3) The 200 rs stand seemed empty as everyone occupied 'our' place.

click picture to enlarge

4) A picture to remember: Me (left) & my best friend, Karthik.


click picture to enlarge

Oct 8, 2009

The miraculous Life response !

My cousin shared me this inspiring story. It's very true. Being honest is something so great. Hope you like it.

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "it is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.

"The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today - one very special seed. Want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however... he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young Executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes.

Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him! When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "the CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. he looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "behold your next chief executive officer! his name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. "How could he be the new CEO?" The others said.

Then the CEO said, "one year ago, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.

Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

  • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
  • If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
  • If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
  • If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
  • If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
  • If you plant hard work, you will reap success
  • If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
  • If you plant faith in god , you will reap a harvest
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.. "Whatever you give to life, life gives you back"

Good day.
Viki.

Oct 4, 2009

How Google search works ?

Recently my friend was shocked to see her blog coming in a google search. I said that, google will have a copy of every single page on the internet. So there is no surprise to see it coming !

At least once in a day, we search in Google. It's the world's most visited web site. We do admire the speed of the search engine but for time being, we just browse through the search results & close it. Sometimes we do think about "How the hell does it search this quicker ?"

How it works ?

So here is my understanding of how it works.
First thing, the search is not done 'Live'. 'Live' means, the Google engine does not search all over the internet after you press the search button. It stores the page contents in a database & get the results from it. How ?

Basically, it's three thrilling steps.
  1. Scan a copy of all the web pages in the entire internet.
  2. Store them in a database.
  3. When the user does a Google search, get the search results from the Database.
Though it looks pretty simple to read, it takes an 'extremely extraordinary' effort to make it happen. Let's dig in more.

STEP 1: Cache the contents


Google has an utility called Google-bot. It's a kind of Web crawler. Web crawler is a 'software' which automatically visits every page in the WorldWideWeb (shortly, 'WWW') & stores a copy of the content into a database. It crawls amazingly fast such that every newly created page is added to the database. In case the google search failed to return a page but you very well knew that it exists, chances are the crawler haven't visited that page yet. Sometimes, there are secured sites through which the crawler can't sneak. This is actually good. Otherwise, Eric Schmidt & Co., (Google's CEO) will be in jail for hacking potential information !

STEP 2: Store in Database


A Database is a data storage technology where storage & retrieval can be done quickly & efficiently. Well, the database used by Google must be massive. very very huge. You can't really coin a word to describe it. You just imagine the size if it has a copy of ALL the pages in the internet !
Google uses an "Indexer" which sorts every word on every page and stores the resulting index of words in the database.

STEP 3: On Search, Retrive !


So what's happening ? First crawl, visit pages. Then index, store in database. Now it's about retrieving the results. Google uses a decisive, damn-fine query processor which fetches the results in micro seconds. The engine was so great such that it is able to tell us exactly what we are looking for in no time !

Conclusion:

This is my understanding of how the Google search works. This is a world-class achievement. Stunning & scintillating. You must appreciate & applaud the brilliance of the Google team.

The heart of Google's search technology is PigeonRank™, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University.
If you are really interested, Click Here

Oct 2, 2009

The girl next door!

The name is Nafia. She is resplendent. Her stare is as shining as the sun when it sets in the sea. Ahhh....those beautiful eyes....and her smile....oh...god...men will die in desperation....Her hair, Summer-short, yet shining...Sometimes, she comes to our home....She likes being with us....Brings along with her a big-bucket full of happiness and a stunning smile that illuminates the house in entirety.

Always wears a T-Shirt and a short skirt or a petite trouser. Slightly chubby yet charming. Lazy. Otiose. An example of innocence at it's extreme best. She always likes to stay with us on weekends. Though her Mom is our house-owner, it's still mattered dime a dozen for us. We just had a ball!

But these days, she is not around. Her mom is preparing her for an interview it seems. Yesterday, as luck might have it, I got a chance to listen to her, preparing for interview on D-Day. Her mom was busy stuffing an almost rotten-roti into her throat but she is even more busy in making a desperate attempt to recall the answer to an important question. She seems tense as it appears to be the FIRST interview of her life. I peeped across the window as she spills it out, one by one. A...B.......C.....

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