My Easel

December 26, 2007

A Directorial Début

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aditya Sengupta @ 1:01 am

The annual VJTI Alumni Meet was held in the institute quadrangle on Sunday. What started as a typically stuffy event ended with a rather interesting twist.

The event began early in the evening with a special private function for the silver jubilee batch. As this ended, the main even, open to all alumni, began at about 6pm. It began as a formal affair, with dignitaries like K. Venkataramanan and Dr. Vijay Khole taking the stage along with the Director and the Alumni Committee chairman and vice-chairman. The speeches were informative, although a bit long-drawn from what I’m told- I spent a fair bit of time managing the back-end and could only make it to the quadrangle intermittently.

The subsequent entertainment programme proved to be a respite. It was well balanced with a number of talented performers in traditional as well as western acts. It was capped off with a brilliant performance by the band, that had amongst its executants present and past VJTI students. The finale stood out for having achieved something that I’m fairly certain is unprecedented:

Now, the director of the institute is not known to be impulsive and is reticent and reserved by all accounts. It is to the band’s credit and the committee’s gentle persuasion that this happened:

(The director is in white. The men in suits are the Alumni Committee members. Some of the band members are not visible.) If you can’t view the embedded video, click here.

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December 17, 2007

BEST TV

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aditya Sengupta @ 1:49 am

I’m back!

Here’s an interesting thing I saw today. Something I didn’t know about although it has apparently been in the works for over a year now.

The other day, it was late in the evening and I was heading home from college. I was really tired that day and I knew trains would be really crowded at that time. I thought of taking a bus home when voilà- there it was- a tantalizingly empty bus that would take me right home. I decided to take the bus- not an easy choice mind you. A 40 minute train journey home translates to a 2 hour bus ride.

I noticed them as soon as I sat down. 2 TV screens at the front of the bus. Small but nice. And probably quite expensive- LCD TVs:

TV screens on local bus 2

TV screens on local bus 1

(click through and mouse over the photographs in my flickrstream)

These TVs primarily show advertisements- for current movies mostly. There were also intermittent messages about various routes that the buses ply on- these were too rapid to read and generally pointless.

The TVs are hooked up to the Wadala bus depot and are used primarily in buses that are on longer routes. Which explains why I’ve haven’t encountered them earlier even though I take about 3-4 buses daily- all on short routes.

Another thing I noticed was the presence of CCTV cameras at entrance and exit. The TV screens and CCTV cameras have both been installed by a company called EMNET. The bus operator, BEST intends to earn some revenue out of this arrangement. BEST is pretty ambitious about this project:

“All buses will be equipped with LCD display screens. Commuters will have the choice of viewing anything, right from news, music videos, advertisements to even cricket matches,” said Uttam Khobragade, general manager, BEST. The administration has targeted to install these systems in all of its 3,350 buses by late 2007.

What do you think?

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