VIN and SID again…

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“See page 254!” yelled the ten year old.

Milliseconds ago I saw him flying over the teapoy, landing on the carpet head first, and rolling towards the television stand.

Out of the corner of my eye, the fourteen year old was recovering from some acrobatic maneuver.

An airborne book just missed my nose and fell dead on the dining table.

“See page 254!”

I could see the elder one turning pale.

Mother rushes in from kitchen

“Amma… see page 254… ”

She quickly assessed the collateral damage.

As always, Lord Vinayagar is safe. He has uncanny abilities to dodge missiles.

The money plant is intact.

The family photos arranged on the television stand are in place too.

Even the Kuber Kunji on the computer table remains unscathed. A stray bullet always hits him, wherever he is.

He changed positions umpteen times in two years.

But each skirmish between the ten year old and his four years elder brother leaves him a scar.

The scars have drained Kuber Kunji of his powers. He is not delivering. So believe my wife. “See the increasing digits in the monthly credit card statements!”

“See page 254 ammmah!”

KFC closing down?

Chevy discontinuing yellow colour??



I am forced to delete the remaining part of the post.

In fact I struggled a bit to put together the last part.

As usual, Vin and Sid peeped into.

They are aware, I drag them into the posts occasionally.

When I was almost through, they withdrew from the scene…

Hushed discussions continued for a while…


“Habeus Corpus, chetta?” the ten year old aired his doubt a little loudly. I think it was intentional. He wanted his father sitting a little away to hear it.

“Nono… it is defamation suit…” the fourteen year old’s voice was not loud as his brother’s.

“901 or 999 chetta?”

“Nonono… not to Police… it is through the court…”



Name of the book???

Hmm, let me consult a lawyer first!























G Vectoring Control

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I was waiting for the projector cooling fan to stop when one of the participants came back.

We had just finished an hour training session on G Vectoring Control.

It won’t be true to call it a training session, it was more of a discussion.

This session was not in our calendar.

There was a reason for arranging it.

A customer had approached one of our workshops with a strange demand.

He wanted to install G Vectoring Control in his old Mazda 6!

Like any other Mazda customer, he was young at heart, tech savvy, and demanding.

He read about G Vectoring Control on Mazda USA website and at once decided to spice up his Mazda 6.

“I am a computer engineer Sujumon… I think you know that!… My car has everything… ABS, EBD, Stability Control, everything!… All hardware is there… This is just a software… I know that…You just install it… I will pay you whatever you want… Change the control unit… No problem… give me the software if you can’t… I will do it myself”

It was a little difficult to convince him that G Vectoring Control is different from the Stability Control in his old Mazda 6.

While stability control in his old car is is all about yaw management,  G Vectoring control deals with managing pitch.

G Vectoring Control

“This torque thing… it is in my brother’s Audi… nothing new!”

“That’s different Ayman… That is Torque Vectoring Control… it is for Yaw management… G Vectoring control is different… the subtle variations in vertical loads on tyres  is the key here…”

“Controlling vertical loading on tyres! Oh, come on… Sometimes you forget that… how many times I told you my BS is in Mechanical Engineering!”

I explained to him about the load transfer during acceleration, deceleration, and braking. And, how deliberate, precise control of wheel vertical loads can make driving more enjoyable.

“Precise variations in engine output quick enough to enhance vehicle handling at all speeds… that is Mazda’s way of achieving this … You need a SKYACTIV engine for this.”

At some point I felt that he was just pretending not to know. I have seen many Mazda customers like that. Hope you remember Hassan. Crazy about cars. A car is a matter of their heart… not of brain.

The service adviser remained a mute spectator. A ‘why did you hide all these from us’ expression was evident in his eyes and body language.

Usually I design courses keeping in mind what is essential for the participants. Sometimes, not sometimes… almost all the times, I am forced to omit the science behind the technologies… and sometimes, some customers take advantage of it and cause embarrassment to our team.

This session was a move to discuss the science behind G Vectoring Control.


I was waiting for the projector cooling fan to stop when one of the participants came back.

“Sir… sorry for troubling you… the vertical load…  how can it change!… pitching and yawing are about two different axis…”

“…when you brake only one wheel, there is yaw moment…it is clear to me… when you give more torque to one wheel… then also… but…”

I knew where he was going.

I thought of The Physics of Racing.

I felt the topic cannot be explained better and simpler.

“Read it… any doubts, let me know… we will discuss”

It is more than a month.

No news from him till today.

And “No news is good news” holds in this part of the world as well.











XOXO to Team 4B

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Last moments of Spelling Bee competition finals for Class 4.

Tie between 4G and 4B.

The tiebreaker question is to find a single word substitute for “One who works for free”

The team that spells the correct answer first will be the winner.

Hectic discussion between the nine year olds. There were four members in each teams.

Team 4B first with the buzzer.

“M – O – T – H – E – R   Mother”

There was a moment’s silence in the hall.

A moment of confusion.

The Spelling Bee master’s assistant, the scorer,  froze in front of the whiteboard.

Turn of Team 4G.

“V – O – L – U – N – T – E – E – R  Volunteer”

“Mary ma’am hugged them first… kissed them too… She is 4G class teacher! And it was 4G who won!” Vinayak is furious, he was in Team 4G.

“But I saw her hugging and kissing you all”


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What is there in a title!

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“You have to lose battles to win wars” tweets the unit head at 11.59 pm on the last working day of the month.

“My dear Watson, what do you infer from this?” Sherlock Holmes who happens to see this asks his buddy.

After a moment’s silence…

“The unit head sleeps in a tent in the battle field… someone steals his…”

“Tent!… he wakes up and sees the stars!!… you idiot! You are yet to get over that old Readers Digest joke doing the rounds in  facebook”

“Watson… first, the poor guy failed to meet the monthly target this time. Second, he got a dressing down from his boss this evening. Third, it was done in front of  the XXXX [a reference to the nationality, a synonym of ‘charming’] secretary  and, last, he did not open his mouth during the entire ceremony”

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I apologize

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A participant from a recent technical training session forwarded this to me…


The teacher was amazing…

Headwind, tailwind, wing angle of attack…

Great information indeed!

I had asked her “ma’am how I’ll estimate the wind direction”

She pointed a blower to me and giggled…

“Look at the feathers at your tail… if they tilt left, the wind is to left.. that’s it”

You all laughed at me!

I memorized everything she mailed me… everything!

See what happened!

I was just looking at my tail feathers

To feel the crosswinds as she told

To adjust my wing angle before landing on the cliff

Just as she told!


The message is clear. My apologies.

But Mr. Eagle, how come you landed in a high school course session on basics of flying?


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Why I discontinued the edX course …

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A google search for study materials on fundamentals of mechanical vibrations a few months back led me to an exotic world of free online learning.

Yes, I am talking about edX [Let me warn you, it is highly addictive].

I became a regular visitor and tasted many of the archived courses.

edX 1

There were many subjects  I have been longing to learn for long.

Great teachers. With due respect to all those who taught me in schools; a class apart…

And great instructional technics…

And the freedom to take the courses at one’s own pace and convenience…

I soon found myself addicted to www.edx.org

One course that caught my attention recently was the Introduction to Marketing course, started in January 2016.

edX 2

Why Marketing!?

You may be wondering…

What is that interesting in marketing for an automobile engineer who is almost lost among machines?

It is something like…


What shall I compare it to!?

The little swallow of Happy Prince may understand it better!

Yes… the little swallow!

Anyone remember the little swallow in Oscar Wilde’s Happy Prince who courted the ‘most beautiful reed’ the whole summer?

“He was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and had been attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to her”

Wasn’t it something similar?

I followed the course diligently the next couple of weeks…

It was contagious…

Soon the twelve year old left the online magic courses and joined me in edX with an archived course in Geometry.

edX 3

The improvement he made in Geometry in three weeks! You have to see it to believe it.

A CRDI engine with a strange complaint at a distant location and a level 3 course in NVH troubleshooting kept me away from edX for a few days.

By the fourth week of January when I sat with the twelve year old again he was completing a survey at the end of the geometry course.

“How do you compare this course with the courses of Khan Academy?” a seemingly innocuous question in the survey had an option “I don’t know about Khan Academy” as answer which was duly selected by the twelve year old.

We never heard of Khan Academy before. Neither son nor father.

The twelve year old did start another edX course in Algebra the same day. But the third day he dropped out of edX.

edX lost one of their customers to Khan Academy!

Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning, Branding… By this time I had started planting terms like these in casual conversations with unsuspecting colleagues.

“So he flew round and round her, touching the water with his wings, and making silver ripples”

And the twelve year old left edX for Khan Academy which was totally unknown to him till the survey at the end of the geometry course.

Someone comes to buy a car from you. A FXXX or a TXXXXX or a XYZ…

You take him around…you explain the features…you let him drive the demo car… and when he is about to leave, he has not made a decision yet, you ask him ‘How do you compare our XXXX with the SKYACTIV Mazdas?’

‘SKYACTIV? Mazda??’ it seems the customer is unaware,  one moment please… this is just an example… but I have seen recently a Nokia 3310 owner, an aged vegetable vendor in our village ridiculing his friend’s touchscreen mobile “12000 bananas! And not even a single button!”

So what do you think? Will the customer forget the ‘SKYACTIV’ and ‘Mazda’ on his way home and come back to take one of your cars?

I don’t expect that… he may come back… in his new SKYACTIV Mazda3 or CX-3, if he could pull his heart off the charms of the MX-5… to thank you!

That question of yours was a blunder my dear!

So was the survey question from edX. “How do you compare this course with the courses of Khan Academy?”

I am not here to compare Khan Academy with edX. I am leaving it to you.

I felt disillusioned with the edX course in marketing… How can I continue after I see them making such a blunder!

“You have been trifling with me”, the little swallow cried, “I am off to the Pyramids. Goodbye!” and he flew away.


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