Intelligent and Honest Indian: Not possible?

India shining:

This article touched my heart.

Don’t take bribes. Bribes blind perfectly good eyes and twist the speech of good people.

(Exodus 23:8)


    First Rank in State in Secondary School Examination
        First Rank in University in Plus Two
        First Rank in IIT Entrance Examination
        First Rank in All India IIT Computer Science
        First Rank in IAS Entrance Examination
        First Rank in IAS Training Institute


On passing out from IIT Chennai Mr. Narayanaswamy was offered scholarship by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology , USA .. He who came from a middle class family believed that he had a moral obligation to give something in return for the lakhs of rupees the government spent on him as an IIT student. He had the intelligence and conviction to realize that this money came also from the poorest of the poor – who pay up the excise duty on textiles when they buy cloth, who pay up customs, excise and sales tax on diesel when they travel in a bus, and in numerous other ways indirectly pay the government. So he decided to join IAS hoping he could do something for the people of this country. How many young men have the will power to resist such an offer from USA ? Narayanaswamy did never look at IAS as a black money spinner as his later life bears testimony to this fact.

After a decade of meritorious service in IAS, today, Narayanaswamy is being forced out of the IAS profession. Do you know why?

A real estate agent wanted to fill up a paddy field which is banned under law. An application came up before Narayanaswamy who was sub collector the, for an exemption from this rule for this plot of land. Upon visiting the site he found that the complaint from 60 poor families that they will face water logging due to the waste water from a nearby Government Medical College if this paddy field was filled up was correct. Narayanswamy came under intense political pressure but he did what was right – refused permission for filling up the paddy field. That was his first confrontation with politicians.

Soon after his marriage his father-in-law closed down a public road to build compound wall for his plot of land. People approached Narayanaswamy with complaint.


When talking with his own father-in-law did not help, he removed the obstructing wall with police help. The result, his marriage broke up.

As district Collector he raided the house of a liquor baron who had defaulted Rupees 11 crores payment to government and carried out revenue recovery. A Minister directly telephoned him and ordered to return the forfeited articles to the house of the liquor baron. Narayanswamy politely replied that it is difficult. The minister replied that Narayanaswamy will suffer.

In his district it was a practice to collect crores of rupees for earthen bunds meant for poor farmers, but which were never constructed. A bill for rupees 8 crores came up before Narayanaswamy. He inspected the bund. He found it very weak and said that he will pass the bill after the rainy season to ensure that the bund served the purpose. As expected the earthen bund was too weak to stand the rain and it disappeared in the rain. But he created a lot of enemies for saving 8 crores public money. The net result of all such unholy activities was that he was asked to go on leave by the government. Later such an illustrious officer was posted as “State Co-Ordinator, Quality Improvement Programme for Schools”. This is what the politician will do to a honest officer with backbone – post him in the most powerless position to teach him a lesson. Since he found that nothing can be achieved for the people if he continued with the State Service he opted for central service. But that too was denied on some technical ground.

What will you do when you have a brilliant computer career anywhere in the world you choose with the backing of several advanced technical papers too published in international journals to your credit?

When you are powerless to do anything for the people, why should you waste your life as the Co-Ordinator for a Schools Programme?

Mr. Narayanaswamy is on the verge of leaving IAS to go to Paris to take up a well paid United Nations assignment. The politicians can laugh thinking another obstacle has been removed. But it is the helpless people of this country who will lose – not Narayanaswamy. But you have the power to support capable and honest bureaucra ts like Narayaswamy, G.R.Khairnar and Alphons Kannamthanam who have suffered a lot under self seeking politicians who rule us. You have even the power to replace such politicians with these kind of people dedicated to the country. The question is will you do the little you can do NOW? At least a vote or word in support of such personalities?


Minding my own business!

Its my business!

What it usually means is: “Who are you to tell me how to mind my own business”

You hear it when you correct someone whom you feel is not minding his or her business the way you want it.

God's business


Of course, no one has the ‘right’ to interfere in someone else’s business! Are you God or something??

This made me wonder: What is God’s business?

Today morning in Goa I turned on e-sword and this verse popped right out into my heart:

Psa 11:7

  GOD’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.


That is an amazing God.

He is interested in my business.

His business is putting things right in my business!

I see two possible responses to this business thing:

I may wonder and give thanks, or I may resist Him, depending on my assumptions about this ‘God’.

If my idea of God is that He is all knowing, He is loving me unconditionally and accepts me for who I am, and desires the best for me, then I would obviously say ‘Wow, thank you Lord, for minding my business’

On the other hand, if I feel that I know best how to mind my own business, I will obviously resist with all my heart any attempt by anybody to tell me what to do, because in my own eyes, ‘I am god’

That’s why it is said that Theology [study of God] is at the beginning of wisdom, and indeed Theology can set your life and your business right.

I can witness to that fact everyday in my life, my marriage and my business. I can say that God has straightened out a lot of the knots that I had tied up, and is still in the business of straightening me out, and boy, am I glad! 🙂

My desire for you my dear reader, is that you can say this too, if you are not already 🙂

Foundry and CNC Factory visit

We homeschoolers got to see a real Foundry where molten metal alloy is made into valves, thanks to Biren Karani, himself the father of a 14 year old homeschooler, on the 7th of February 2013.

My daughter Grace wrote a report below, since I was not present that day. You will also find below reports by other Homeschooling kids and parents too!

^ A worker gave us a chance to help him and to learn. Here they are making the core, which they will put inside the molds to make the valves hollow.

^ These are metals burning in the furnace. The temperature was 1600 degrees Celsius!

^ And this is the container in which the metals were put. It is made of graphite so that it doesn’t melt easily.

^ The hot metal alloy as it is put into the mold.

^ Here’s the end product of the whole process. They need to remove the core which they had put inside to make it hollow.

The room in which all this was taking place wasn’t very big, it was, in fact, like a godown. It was hot and had a furnace at one end. The furnace was three feet deep and there was a pipeline underground through which air could flow and control the flames. They make the valves out of an alloy of 4 metals- copper, tin, lead, and zinc. It was a good learning experience for us who had no clue as to how these valves were made. We got to watch, practice, and learn all in one. The workers were all friendly and willing to entertain us, and have us help around. What’s more, as we were waiting for the valves to cool in their molds, we got to step into a thermocol factory just next door!

This is what Aravinda wrote:

Last week we had a little field trip for the homeschoolers in Mumbai.  I was kind of watching Mathew‘s blog waiting for him to post as he usually does for the field trips.  Meanwhile, even though I won’t do justice to all the fascinating things we saw, I thought I should just post my bit.
We had quite an eye opening visit to a foundry in Goregaon where they were actually pouring hot metal into moulds made of sand and turning out pipes and other plumbing fixtures.  Incredible!  I hardly imagined that today in 2013 real live foundries were working this way.  Each and every mould is made for each part – once the metal cools, they break the mould and take the sand back to the pile to make another one.   While we waited for the metal to cool we also peeked a few doors down at a thermocol factory.  It is actually somewhat frightening to think about how all these things are made, how crowded and poorly ventilated these places are, and how ill-prepared they are for any mishap.  The workers are really operating under risky conditions – not even basic protective goggles, masks, proper shoes, let alone more specialized safety gear.  And those living near the factories also deal with the daily pollution and risk of any accident like what happened in Bhopal.
From there we proceeded to Andheri to see some other factories – who could ever imagine so many factories could be tucked away in these buildings?  We saw metal work done in a more modern, computer-controlled process.  We saw the factory where they make thosedrills used to dig up roads.   And then an “injection plastic” workshop where they were making fevicol tubes.    And a couple more all crammed into this building, Mumbai style.

Enormous thanks to Sejal and Biren who contacted the respective foundry and factory personnel to arrange these visits.  The staff at each place were so patient with all of us, and allowed the children to handle various parts and even the machines in some cases.
I should also thank Mathew and Vinita who helped coordinate and guided me by phone as we were searching through the winding back lanes of Goregaon for the foundry, and Shanthi who gave us a ride from Goregaon to Andheri and then from Andheri to Kanjur Marg.   Though it is not very easy for many of the homeschoolers in Mumbai, spread out across the big city, to meet regularly for group activities, programs like this remind us how much fun it is to get together and we are more motivated to do it again soon.

This is what Khiyali a home/unschooler kid wrote:

The Foundry and Factory homeschool field trip- According to a kid.  (Namely Khiyali)

Children put sand into a box to make a mold for pouring metal.

Children pack sand into boxes to make molds for pouring metal.

Okay, first we went to a metal foundry, which was pretty fun, because they let us make, or at least help make*, some molds for the metal.   For some reason they made the molds out of sand.  Never thought sand would be a match for the molten metal they were going to pour in afterward!  But it did seem to be, because the metal came out fine.  The sand stuff was a lot of fun.  They also made ‘cores’ (also out of sand!) to put in the molds to make hollow places in the finished product.  They let us help with one of those, too.  I think some kids started putting sand in another core-mold (I also put some), and so the man helped us finish that one, too.  We were trying to copy what he had done, on the second core.

The factories were a lot more boring though.  All we did there was watch and collect bits of interestingly shaped bits of metal and plastic, plus empty fevicol tubes.  Also we fooled around a bit**, in the corridors between factory rooms.
I guess that’s pretty much it.

*but we probably did ~ maybe 80% of it.  Not 10-20% like you might imagine.
**actually a lot.


And here is Gillian’s report:

Firstly, want to say a huge thank you to Sejal and Biren for organising the entire visit, inspite of their busy schedules,  first to the foundry, thermocol factory and then to the injection/fevicol/some kind of block printing — have forgotten what those machines were called. The patience and grace with which each worker answered all the kids questions throughout the day was admirable

The entire day  —  all the visits were extremely fascinating, mind-blowing actually.  To watch the entire process of how moulds are made from the furnace to the finished mould was an experience worth going through.  I felt like a child all over again!!  One just cannot imagine the kind of creativity and intelligence God has invested in us humans!!

The thermocol making process too seemed very simple in terms of the process but the ingenuity was wow!!

Even to observe the way the fevicol tubes were being processed from a solid small piece to a hollow tube …. gosh, we have so much to learn.  Its never too late!!!

Thanks also to Mathew and Vinita for keeping us informed of the various outings and for taking such an active role in making these trips possible.

Thanks to Yohaan too for taking some really superb pictures.


Kayaking and Sailing at Marine Drive

Seeing the Queen’s necklace extending from Malabar Hill all the way to Cuffe parade along Marine Drive while rowing and windsurfing on the gentle Arabian Sea is an unbelievable experience!

Thanks to Raj and Supriya for providing us this wonderful opportunity.

Malavika their older daughter is a National Windsurfing champion. This was her Birthday treat to her homeschooling friends.

We assembled at the Club, and changed into our swimming costumes. It is advisable to wear water proof clothing, and the club provides bright orange life vests too.

The beach is right in front of the club. A short walk and we were at the sea side.

Malavika explained the basics of rowing and kayaking, and then we set out into the sea!


There were single and double kayaks. It is fun and also a great way to exercise.

After rowing for some time, Raj gave us some food for the sea gulls which were soon crowding around us in the deep sea. Seeing the mass of sea gulls was exciting and in the excitement Maahir jumped out of his Kayak into the sea. Malavika tried to pull him out of the water and her Kayak also capsized. Anyway the water was chest deep and they both managed to clamber on to their Kayaks.

After rowing around and exploring the sea, we returned to the shore.

By then everyone was really hungry and there was lovely breakfast served at the Club.

We had Idli, Medu Vada, Sandwich, Papaya pickle, Fritters, Coffee, Coke, Dosa and juice.

A lot of sea gulls also were around, as also crows, to eat whatever we offered them.

After breakfast we set out to the beach with a football, and played football and tag.

We also saw some strange characters on the beach like this old man with his spying glass!

Malavika then brought her Sailing equipment and we all gathered to see how she assembled it.

The black water at Marine Drive Girgaum Chowpatty

Raj Joshi the sailor

Two enthusiastic Kayakers

Far away from the rat race and the city’s hurry and worry, Raj enjoys sailing in the bay of Bombay

Malavika the sailor with the other kids on Kayaks

Two satisfied Kayakers

After Kayaking to their hearts content, the children walk back along the beach. Wonder when people will stop throwing garbage into the sea though.

At the end of the day I could rest back contented and satisfied with all that I had done today J