Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wednesday June 17th Early Morning Sujlegaon

It is almost 4 days since I am back to blogging. Too many things happen in a few days these days.

On Saturday 12th June 2010 did a Varunyantra seeding in Woodlands complex in Pune. Between C & D building. Started at 4.30 PM. It took a long time to start the fire, as the bio-briquettes were wet. The relative humidity was 60 %, there was hardly any overhead cloud cover. The temperature 29.2. For the first time used Lavan i.e. Ammonium Chloride. Total used was 4 Kg. It was amazing to see it vaporise (disassociate) and reach above the 11th floor building. The white fumes were easy to see flying above the building. And it worked. Got a rainfall within about 2 hours at 6.30 PM. Chetana told Saniya, "Abani paus padala"

On Sunday returned back Wing Commander Kasbekar's book on Atmosphere, loaded the Sakal Qualis with all the workshop material, books, bean bag etc. etc. I seem to always travel with a lot of stuff. And drove off to Rangoli to stay bye to IITB friends and pick up Dr. Parasnis. The IITB friends gave me good advice about my blog, which I immediately implemented.

The Varunyatra started on time at 10:30 with the driver Vijay, myself and Dr. Parasnis. We had lots of discussion during the time he was here. The Varunyantra was interupted briefly at Bhigwan with a Rasta roko, and for an unnecessarily long lunch (terrible service) at a roadside Dhaba in Indapur. Vijay then drove very fast and yet cautiously and we reached Latur in a record time of 2 1/2 hours. At Latur in a hotel Manas (where we ended up staying for the night) we were received by ... (blog to be completed later)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday 11th June 2010

The day started with a phone-call made to Santosh Deshmukh. His father had a second brain- hemorrhage is admitted to ICU in Nanded. I told him to be prepared for the worst. And sure enough I got the news at noon that his father passed away. On second thought it may not be the worst but the best for his father. He was paralyzed and confined to bed for the past 10 long years. So in a way he is released form this jail and take another body. One really cannot judge whether the death of a person is good or bad. Death remains a mystery.

Narendra had come over who does computer maintainance. He makes a living by installing pirated software on people's machine. He charges Rs 300 per session of 2 hours. He has master CDs of almost any software. This is big business in India. A willful open source technology sharing.

I went to the Sakal office and Shri Tirmare helped with me improving the Marathi presentation. He is very fast and meticulous. I agot a contact of someone who can translate the varunyantra website in Marathi. He is supposed to give me a quote and time-frame.

I received an advance o from Sakal Social Foundation for setiing up the experiments in Nanded. Have to start keeping all receipts and vouchers.

Got a phonecall from Chetana. She has got admission to the Ph.D. program at IIT-Monash. Both her parents, that is myself and her mom are Ph.D. so it is natural that she should also do a Ph.D. She has to commute to IITB from Pune. That is what we decided in the evening. It is going to be challenging for her to manage two children and a Ph.D. But my son-in-law Anoop is quite supportive.

Worked with Trupti in the evening to set up links to the Sakal group on the Varunyantra website. She declined to take any money for her design work, but I said that I will give you a small gift! She is very very quick in her work. She can keep pace with me.

Also met Shri Kulkarni, the Chairman of Jeshtha Nagarik Sangh to do a Lavanvajra at Woodlands on saturday at 4.00 PM. He is quite fit at the age of 78! So looks like I can work for another 15 years. Will I keep doing Varunyantra work for that many years? Who knows.

The Latur program is finalized. I have asked Shahir Tumwad to bring a small group from Sujlegaon. Looks like the Varunyatra will be launched from Latur.

Have to talk to Shri Uddhav to get press publicity in Sakal.

Must stop now. It is 3.10 am. My usual work hour. Ya nisha sarva bhutanam yasyam jagarti sayami. A physical interpretaion of Bhagwat Gita shlok.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday June 10th 2010

A mixed day.

In the morning received two consignments of Lavan. The 50 kg bag from Siddhivinayak is from a manufacturer in Gujrat, and the one from Rajubhai is from China (4 bags x 25 Kg). This is enough for sixty seedings @ 2 1/2 kg. They need to be packed in 2 1/2 kg bags with pre-printed labels. The preprinting and packing can be done in Sujlegaon. Sujlegaon is such a strength for me. I can do almost anything there and there will be people to help me.

The afternoon meeting with Mrs. Sonali Deshpande, Chairperson of Persistent Foundation She had 30 minutes for me and so I in about 10 minutes explained to her what I had done and left a one page proposal for her. She said she wll forward the documents to other 'senior' trustees for their review and comments. And get back to me.

In the evening called up Mr. Kulkarni, the chairman of senior citizens group in Woodlands to organise a Lavanvajra in woodlands society. He called later and said that it will be organised on Saturday afternoon at 4.00 PM. A good time.

I am leaving for Sujlegaon on Sunday. I called up Rajan in Aurangabad, and he said that I better go straight rather than via Aurangabad. He has some guests too.

I called up Shri Upamanyu of Sakhi in Latur to see if a program can be organised on Sunday. He is available and I told him that I will inform him about that tomorrow after checking with Shri Uddhav if the Saam team is accompanying me.

I also called Sarpanch bakwad (rather the Sarpanch's husband) to see if he can organise some cleaning effort in Sujlegaon.

I seem to be spending an enormous time on the laptop and on the mobile but not doing enough physical exercises. I don't know why.

Also talked to Swami Muni on the phone and recorded his voice. His viice had gone very deep. He is in silence most of the time and said that he is in another space altogether which is beyond description by words. A mystery space. From his voice, it seemed that he may not live for long. It is unlikely that I will see him again. He is going to continue staying in uttarkashi and I won't get time to go there at lest until September or October. I told Anamika that it will happen one day that I will call his number nad there will be no answer. That is what death is about.

Talking about that, I had called Avi in the morning and he said that he could not come with me for the Varunyatra as his cat is very sick. The cat is 8 1/2 years old. told him not to think of getting her operated at this age. I told him the story of Vijay (Dr. Vijay Bhatkar) and his father. Vijay's father was on his deathbed at home, and Vijay moved him to a district hospital against his wish. He died that and Vijay has regretted this for ever.

Santosh Deshmukh called and said that his father had a stoke and is in the ICU. His father already had a stroke 10 years back and was paralyzed. It is unlikely that he will survive this. For the family it will be a big financial loss. His pension will stop or is it get halved. The whole family has had a trying period for the last 10 years taking care of a bed-ridden father.

Today's morning started with 'death' and the day has ended with 'death'.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday June 10th 2010

Yet another full day.

Three 10th standard school-girls Ms. Priyanka Dhole, Ms. vaibhavi Kale, Ms. Tejasvi Oswal from Dastur school had come over. They want to try setting up a Varunyantra in their school compound. I said if your principal permits, why not. Otherwise build a small miniature mode and demonstrate. They were quite enthusiastic. One of them said she will show the website to the Principal and see if she can get permission. I should them the Varunyantra. They took some pictures.

Later went to A2Z chemical supplier and bought 9 kgs of Ammonium Chloride. Ordered another 100 Kg. Mr. rajubhai Shah the proprietor had read the Sakal and Maharashtra times article and was very receptive. He said he can pack NH4Cl in bags of 5 kg. His price is a bit high.

Another supplier Shri santosh Gojare of Siddhivinayak Minerals Shelpimpalgaon, Taluka Khed sent me a quote by an email, and I phoned him to send sample 50 Kg of Ammonium Chloride.

Went to Sakal office to change the Marathi presentation with Shri Tirmare; he was on leave. So sat for an hour at his table (thanks to his boss Shri Thigle) and revised the Varunyantra website.

Had a good meeting in AgroOne office with Shri Pramod Rajebhosake [Chief manager], Shri Adinath Chavan[Editor] and Shri Uddhav Bhadsalkar[Chief reporter, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Sakal]. The Maharashtra whirlwind tour first leg dates were decided as 22nd June Koljapur, 23rd June Sangli and 24th June Solapur. I will be provided a vehicle to take me to Nanded on Sunday the 13th June via Aurangabad and a Saam TV team will accompany me from Aurangabad. Kolhapur stay arrangements will be made. The booklet on Varunyantra will be finalised and printed. It is good to have backing of the Sakal group. Satya sankalpancha vali ishwar asato.

Later called up Dr. Parasnis and he agreed to join me to come to Sujlegaon. Also called Avi and he may come from Kolkata and join the trip.

Got a book "Meteorology: Ground Studies for Pilots" by Underdown & Standen from Wing Commander Kasbekar. (yet another book to read)

Things are moving.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday June 9th

This work of Varunyantra has so many dimensions.

Early morning I did a lot of awra-awri of the disk. The files were so cluttered and spread all over in so many directories. And uploaded a lot more videos and photos. I have over 10,000 photos with about 19 GB space and hundreds of videos. I can slowly upload them to the Picassa and U-Tube.

Received from Just-Dial three supplier of Industrial Chemicals for NH4Cl. Two of them called and gave a price of Rs 20 per Kg, Rs 30 per Kg and the third one I called gave a price of Rs 40 per Kg! The price is not much higher than NaCl if the efficiency of delivery is good. A lot of salt when thrown gets wasted (Maybe only 30 % goes up) and so if NH4Cl goes up 100 % then we may need only a couple of Kg per burning.

I had a good meeting with Wing Commanded Kasbekar in the afternoon in his house. He was directing airplanes for Agni Aviation for the BMCC cloud seeding last year. He said that Arvind Sharma still owes him Rs 5 laks for that work. Mr. Kasbekar is a physical chemist and was with IAF as a Meteorologist. I am learning from him how to understand satellite images and other information at the IMD site http://www.imd.gov.in/main_new.htm and http://www.imd.gov.in/section/satmet/dynamic/insat.htm.

It is important to look at Cloud Vapor and IR images. There is so much to learn in every subject. He also gave me a text-book on meteorology. Also looked at Isobars.

In the evening, got myself organised for a meeting with Mrs Sonali Deshpande of Persistent and Ms Anu Aga of Thermax, and got a lot of documents printed. I seem to do all kinds of work ,, from xeroxing to scientific research. That was one good thing, my father had taught me. Not to be ashamed of doing any kind of work.

Late at night, Upasana designed the a T-shirt and ordered a few pieces. They will be useful for volunteers at the public programs.

Also revised the note of thanks. I must have met more than 200 persons in the course of last 5 months for Varunyantra. Should send the link http://varunyantra.org to all these people one of these days.

It is time for a second round of sleeping. I have a strange schedule. Get up at 2.00 am, work until 5.00 am and sleep again for a while.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday 7th June

I had two good meetings.

One with Shri Rajebhosale, Chief Manager, Agroone of Sakal Group in his office. We discussed the setting up of experiments in Nanded, and decided to plan the first public demonstration in Kolhapur between 22nd and 30th June 2010.

Then I visited the Garware College to set up experiments with Prof. Chikate. He took me to Prof. Gupta who said that I need to write an email to the Head of Department Prof Natu, get his approval and then only we can conduct the experiments. I was under the impression that this was already done by Prof Chikate. Anyway I had to wind up the whole setup and had to leave with no experiments. I was a bit disappointed.

Then visited the Scientific instruments shop and bought Potassium Nitrate which is a qualitative regent for Cl ions, went to Appap Balwant Chowk and bought a couple of books on "Quantitative Chemical Analysis".

The planned visit and meeting with Dr. Satish Pardeshi was the best part of the day. He has a big experimental group with 7 Ph. D. students in Pune University Chemistry Department. He was very enthusiastic and co-operative. After checking out 3 locations (terrace, vcanteen, his lab) we settled on a 4th location outside his lab. With the help of his Ph.D. students, set up a small burning bio-briquette experiment and lo and behold found the presence of Chlorine ions in the smoke. We had a series of experiments and he suggested that the use of Ammonium Chloride as a cloud seeding agent. It sublimates at low temperatures (around 300 deg). He demonstrated it by a crucible experiments and the vapor condenses as a white substance on any glass. Its marathi name is "Navsagar" (New ocean!) , and it is used as in kalhai. It used to be used in Bootleg liquor manufacture ! This may be the best discovery. To use NH4Cl as a cloud seeding agent. Kudos to Prof. Pardeshi. Later we had tea with all his students. They all are doing some experimental interesting stuff. He agreed to be part of the research team.

Also I discussed the possible use of "samidha" used in Varunyagnya. They are twigs Amba, Wad, Umbar and Erand. Interesting all these give out chick, that is have latex in it. My burning of old tires also has latex in it. How important is "latex" in cloud seeding?

I explained to them the concept of virtual water told to me by Ms. Rohini Nilekani. An I said that by burning biomass, we are releasing the "virtual" water and converting it to real water.

At night looked up NH4Cl properties of NH4Cl on the web. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_chloride and http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=12125-02-9&Units=CAL&cTG=on&cIR=on&cTC=on&cTZ=on&cTP=on&cMS=on&cTR=on&cUV=on&cIE=on&cGC=on&cIC=on&cES=on&cDI=on&cSO=on is very good as it sublimates at 300 deg centigrade. In fact it dissociates into NH3 and HCl. Both of these are lighter than air. Thus it will go up very high in the atmosphere. I need to set up an experiment immediately for this.

Organised and uploaded a lot more pictures on the Picassa site. This is going to take a while. Have more than 9000 pictures with 20 GB capacity.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Blog Begins

Ever since I started the Varunyantra project, I have been wanting to start blogging; but it has taken almost 6 months for this to happen.

Thing that is uppermost in my mind is how to take the Varunyantra project forward.

Many good things have happened. The project has received wide publicity. There are some financial backers. Lot of understanding of the underlying physical processes has emerged. The website is ready.

What is required is some quantitative experimentation to measure the salt carried to atmosphere by its being sprinkled (either in powder form or as saline water) on fire at different temperatures and burn rates. Maybe that will happen during this week.

Satya sankalpancha wali ishwar asato.