Tuesday, October 7, 2014

5 Simple Ways To Get Started With Supporting Inclusion

Fed up seeing status updates about inclusion on my Facebook wall? Or did it really impact you and invoke you to think about Inclusive India? At least the Facebook updates on India Inclusion Summit page instilled me think about inclusion.

If you too are impacted by India Inclusion Summit impel on Inclusive India and wish to join hands in creating Inclusive India, here are 5 simple ways for you to get started with supporting inclusion

1.       Understand the need for Inclusion

Without understanding the root causes of any problem it is difficult to find a good solution to fix it. Therefore before diving into Inclusive India campaign or blindly raising hands to support inclusion, take some time out and start thinking about what is inclusion, why is there a need for inclusion?

No doubt, Google is the best place to start your research. However there are few blog posts at India Inclusion Summit website that could help you gain a good understanding on the what, why and the need for Inclusion

2.       Change your attitude towards people with disabilities

Often we tend to look at physically challenged people or people with any disability with sympathy. This is because we feel they are handicapped and cannot do many tasks the same way as the normal people do.

But have we ever looked at the struggle, determination and spirit hidden within? I am sure many of us might not have, as we are used to considering them weak and unfortunate.

It is time we change this attitude.

God has created them different not to gain sympathy, rather to think different and act different. That does not mean they are weak and less successful. Somehow all these days we have been ignorant with their talents and capabilities. Given with equal opportunities, the differently abled are no less in competing with the normally abled person.

Read the book “Gifted” or watch the inspirational videos at India Inclusion Summit youtube.

Change your attitude towards people with disabilities. Start respecting and accepting people with disabilities regardless of their differences.

3.       Spread awareness on inclusion

Being a normal person I never thought about the difficulties, ignorance faced by people with disabilities. If not India Inclusion Summit I would not have even known about inspirational stories, struggles of the differently abled people.

Therefore talk, discuss, and share about the differently abled with your friends, relatives, cousins, neighbors whenever possible. This will then inculcate them to think, drive and join the journey of IIS towards creating Inclusive India.

4.       Identify any inclusive need

Visit the schools, centers for the people with disabilities in your locality and check out the problems faced by them in supporting the special people with different abilities there.

Did you know, many such schools, centers lack good infrastructure, teachers, doctors, physiotherapists, scribes?

Look for problems faced by people with disabilities in public areas like bus stops, bus stands, ATMs, Parks, Hospitals. For an instance a physically challenged kid might face harassment when playing in the park beside a normal kid or a physically handicapped person might find it difficult to walk down to a counter at the bank, hospital, shop or even an ATM.

Only when we identify, spot the places where we lack inclusion, can we work towards filling the inclusive needs and creating inclusive society.

5.       Join India Inclusion Summit (IIS)

Join the India Inclusion Summit community to stay updated on inspiring stories of the differently abled, support inclusive causes and drive inclusion at large. 

Bring the inclusive needs to IIS table and drive IIS causes supporting projects for people with disabilities.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Power Of An Inclusive Bond

You might of heard of Maternal bond, Paternal bond i.e. the bonding of mother or father to their child.

But have you heard of inclusive bond?  Maybe what I witnessed today in a child care centre, a special bonding between the normally-abled teacher and the differently-abled child is an Inclusive bond.

Having started thinking about inclusion lately, I went to a school of special kids with 2 other friends to check if the differently-abled kids could perform for India Inclusion Summit 2014.

Upon entering the school we were greeted by 2 teachers of the school and were taken to a round table for further discussion.

My friend started with a brief introduction on what’s India Inclusion Summit, its journey and so on about its various projects on creating Inclusive India.  With a beautiful smile the teachers listened to us and nodded back. When it was time for them to speak one of the teachers started…

     ·    Our kids are
  Ø  Brilliant
        Ø  Obedient than the normal kids, keep their shoes aligned in shoe racks
    Ø   Highly talented
    Ø  Willful, neither bothered about any pain nor are apprehensive  about anything
                Ø  Notorious
  • They are sparkling stars who have given varied performances like singing, dancing, skits etc. at various occasions and have won several accolades with pride
  •  Even we teachers might commit mistakes at times but not our kids. They do exactly what’s taught to them and stick to it.
  • Our kids do not have any stage fear
      And so on….
When we further discussed on how hard it was to train, teach them. Yet again the teacher answered  with a graceful smile…

For sure it takes so much time to teach, train the kids in doing various activities, but that does not tire us. We feel very happy watching every step of our kids and get delighted at even on the minute progress they make. Every little movement, dialogue, any scanty progress in a kid, becomes talk of the day for us during our lunch breaks or leisure hours. Be it saying a word or responding to a greeting, showing a gesture, we feel so victorious at every tiny little achievement of our kids.

There was so much delight on the teacher’s face while explaining her kid’s achievements, the much needed care that to me it looked as if I was watching a mother share her excitement on her baby’s every little movement since the time it has come into the world.
I have heard, seen many mothers, fathers share their babies pictures, stories, videos of every little act as they grow so enthusiastically.However to me the enthusiasm of the teacher explaining about her special kids so ardently was no less to joy of any other mothers or fathers.

May be this bonding between a normally abled teacher and a differently-abled kid is what is the sacred inclusive bond.  I am sure it is this inclusive bond that has kept this amazing teacher bonded with her special kids intact from the last 14 years .

Without such inclusive bond it might not be possible for any to be so kind, generous, humble, and patient, persevere fighting the odds with such fighters.

On the other hand today, it was also disheartening for me to hear about teachers, therapists getting lured with higher pays and snatched away from the real needy. This is a worrisome situation in our society to be thought upon and acted.

Though the inclusive bond might not be so fragile, it is always subject to damage when luring factors such as money, perks peek in.

Won’t it be disheartening to see a mother or father leave their baby?  In the same manner is it not throbbing to see the sacred inclusive bond damage and let a teacher or therapists desert the much needed kid?


 Now, if we could wake up, support, spread awareness on inclusion then I am sure together we can secure and safeguard the inclusive bond.

As I reach the end of this post, I get a mail confirming a Yakshagana performance of the differently-abled at India Inclusion Summit 2014. I am dazzled!!  That’s the power of inclusive bond that the teacher portrayed today!!

 Impossible is possible for those who believe in self, ready to fight the odds and persevere!!

Come witness live the inspiring performances at IndiaInclusion Summit 2014.

Let us be inclusive, drive inclusion and let the differently-abled to walk their way of success a bit more easily on the vigor of an inclusive bond.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Glimpse of an Inclusive Society

A status update of my friend in Facebook read

“How often does it happen to you that you come across a new word or a phrase and then you see it everywhere, like in books, papers, words spoken by people, etc.? Then you wonder, why didn't I see or hear it before! “

I commented saying yes, I have experienced the same quite often and that it’s the magic of our mind.

Today, I experience it again!

It’s been a week or so since I came across this term “inclusion” through India Inclusion Summit (IIS). Before volunteering for IIS I never knew what inclusion meant and if there was any need for inclusive society.But now after being aware and registering inclusion, inclusive society strongly into my mind, I never miss any chance to watch or make note of any inclusive act wherever it has been executed.

A glimpse of inclusive society that I saw:
·         My first sight of inclusive society was at India Inclusion Summit (2013)

·         Next, at State Bank Of India (SBI) Mangalore, a label “Counter for Differently Abled” caught my attention. Firstly I was surprised to see the usage of the term “differently abled “in place of stereotyped “disabled”. Secondly, special accessible counters for the differently abled, made me feel very happy for I was witnessing a glimpse of an inclusive society live.

·         Thereafter, I stumbled on another inclusive act of SBI, constructing ramps and placing wheel chairs in ATM booths for the differently abled in Dimapur.

·         At a child development centre, where I learnt the differently abled make some souvenirs, I was enthused to see how few corporate respected their work and got few goodies made by them for their conferences, official usage etc even at a dearer price. Isn’t this inclusion?

·         Today in TV I saw a promo of the show Satyameva Jayate in star plus, where they showed how a city in India Gwalior had become an inclusive, Accessible Gwalior . I felt wow! We are already gearing up towards an Inclusive India.

It feels good to see we are inclusive to some extent already. May be lack of awareness is what stops us from creating a full-fledged inclusive society.  If you have witnessed any act of inclusion or inclusive society do share it with us at indiainclusionsummit@gmail.com. 

Join us at India Inclusion Summit, support inclusion. Let us share the good will and create an Inclusive India together!! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why Should I or You Volunteer For India Inclusion Summit (IIS) 2014?

My urge to volunteer for a thought provoking cause like India Inclusion Summit (IIS) 2014, all started when I started reading the book “GIFTED” gifted to me by a friend.

“Gifted” truly touched me with the inspiring stories of people with disabilities. The undying spirits of the differently abled and their way to victory in a road of hurdles kept me in awe.

Later when I read couple of posts in Facebook hinting me about upcoming IIS 2014 event, I got even more curious. 

I felt if I get a chance I must volunteer for IIS 2014 event.

….and I got a chance sooner, registered for the same via a Facebook post by IIS.

Now as a volunteer for IIS, my mind started asking me several questions. I wanted to clearly understand the purpose and the need for inclusive society before starting my campaign of bringing awareness on inclusion. So I put forth a question in our volunteering group “Why do you volunteer for IIS 2014?”

Here are a compilation of few answers that I received from IIS volunteers:

1.       "poor" accessibility for persons with disabilities,

       "poor" awareness of the different abled ,
       "poor" intervention for persons with disabilities"
       "poor" education and work opportunities.

Quickly strike out the"poor" and at least gear the country toward an "average"

2.       Every special child must be included in a mainstream society to make our society more tolerant and harmonious. Each one is capable of contributing their bit to the society.

3.       Break the cultural, societal silence and inhibition over the issue of inclusion. Most of us live in denial and ignorance. We must come and see these inspirational personalities and realize that they form a resource pool in our society and we have to have an inclusive approach to utilize these resources and reap the maximum benefit for our society.

4.       Make people come out of their prejudiced view and accept disability with an open mind and heart

5.       Improve accessibility and assistance to the differently abled to lead a respectful and independent life.

6.       Bring a general understanding that these disable enjoy same constitutional rights as all others in the society

7.       Let the barrier between abled and disabled start melting slowly with our efforts through summits like IIS

After I started analyzing about the need for inclusion, I too realized,

Disability might not be a real problem for the differently abled. They know how to strive forward. Rather the main handicap in their lives is “Ignorance and Inclusion”.

I volunteer to break my silence and raise my voice for “Inclusion”.

Do you wish too?

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Ray of Light Towards An Inclusive Society

Another day dawned beautifully and I got started with my routine a bit more active than any other day; might be because I had plans to visit a school of differently abled kids.

Much to my enthusiasm, I finished my household chores quickly and was out on a bike with my husband to the special school.

We were greeted by two volunteers at the child development centre. Quickly I introduced myself, my husband and expressed my interest in learning about their activities for the special kids,if they needed any support.  To my surprise in a reluctant tone, the 2 volunteers said they have been into this service for about 22 years and have already explored most of the possibilities to help in the growth of the differently abled kids there. They added it is easy to talk about helping, but very difficult to train a mentally retarded kid and do something fruitful. It is not impossible, but very tough. 

I felt a pinch at that point in time thinking about the special kids. My heart nagged finding them being reluctant in accepting or getting convinced about the possibility in finding some growth opportunity for the mentally retarded kids. The volunteers were kind though and continued detailing us further.

Had I visited them before my awareness on inclusion, I would not have felt any sort of pinch and might have even nodded simply to them. However now, after being aware of the magical powers of inclusion and realizing every child has some special gift, my heart budged to ignore or deny any chance of hope for the differently abled.

Moving on further I saw a display of souvenirs created with the help of special kids there at the centre. There were beautiful paper bags, paper plates, files, scribbling pads and many more. They were amazing. 

The volunteers there carry out major tasks like screen printing, designing and involve the kids in all small tasks that are possible by them.

It seems they also took bulk orders and supplied paper plates, bags etc for weddings, conferences etc. The revenue of it was used for child development.

There ended my visit with few instilling thoughts flashing my mind on the way back home:

  • From the day I started thinking about inclusion, the differently abled kids, their problems etc started surfacing to my eyes or become visible to me.
  • Had I not  volunteered for India Inclusion Summit I would have definitely not thought of visiting the special school today and extending a helping hand
  • Wow!  we already have an inclusive society where in people appreciate the little efforts of the special kids, special organizations and respect their work by placing bulk orders of their souvenirs at a dearer price
  •  In future if I was to organize a function or buy a gift for my friend I must take it from such centers
  •  I must spread the inclusive message to my friends and bring them a bigger support

  • Such thoughts of mine are just few drops in the ocean of inclusive society.   

    Today IIS (India Inclusion Summit) made me think! Tomorrow I make my friends think and next my friends make their dear ones think!

    So forth if each one of us multiply such drops of inclusive thoughts and support inclusion, then I surely sense a ray of light towards an Inclusive society.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    An Effect Of Inclusion

    Inclusion! Inclusion! Inclusion! is what has been running in my mind since the time I heard about India Inclusion Summit. I started to think what inclusion is!

    I read somewhere in a Facebook comment that “Inclusion starts from home”.  I paused for a while there when I noticed a subtle change in me. These days I started addressing people with disabilities as “differently abled” and not “disabled”.  

    I realized, differently abled people carry out certain tasks in a different manner and are no less in doing anything that a normally abled person does. Then why the tag “disabled” when they are capable of doing anything and everything?

    Since that realization I have been unable to look at any differently abled person sympathetically; rather I learn from them how to strive forward and achieve the impossible.

    Maybe this shift in mindset, acceptance of differently abled persons into our own space, providing them with equal services and opportunities is inclusion!

    To share with you one inclusive story I came across, let me take you to the reality show “DID L’il Masters – Season 3” aired on Zee TV during the weekends.

    A hearing impaired girl of age 9 named Palak Berat won the super wings in Kolkatta Auditions of DID L’il Masters Season 3. Considering her hearing impairment, the judges could have denied her participation further in the competition or convinced her saying she cannot compete with the normal contestants.Instead they believed in her abilities, spirits and gave her the super wings to fly along with other contestants.

    Living up to her judges’ expectations Palak crossed the next level and got selected into the top 16.
    The contestants were then distributed among 4 skippers for further training. 

    Now, who would want to accept, take pains in training any problematic kid, when you have option of choosing normal contestants? This got me more curious as to know who would be Palak’s skipper?

    ….and Palak got into the group “Swarali Ke Sparklers”.

    Next couple of shows, I got enthused to see how much skipper Swarali adored Palak and choreographed beautiful stunning performances for the hearing impaired dancer.

    Palak did not win the competition, but it is worthy a note of, how inclusion by the skippers and judges at Zee TVs reality show gave Palak an opportunity to show her talent to the world.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Wear A Positive Attitude and You Can Embrace Life

    “If you shut yourself from life, nobody is going to like you!”  I read these lines in the book “Gifted” that covers inspiring stories of people with disabilities.  Truly all the 15 people covered in the book are “Gifted” for gaining courage, patience, determination, dedication and fighting back the hardships throughout their life with such zeal and zest.  No wonder, all such who were considered useless when they came into this world are shining stars today!!

    Thanks to my friend who gifted me this book for there is so much to learn and get inspired from every single heartwarming story. Since the time I started reading that book, many valuable thoughts from the book kept running in my mind and helped me correct myself whenever I turned off.  

    It’s been 2 months since I shifted to a new locality, with not many new friends and unfamiliar neighbors still. My husband has been my only friend for whom I wait eagerly to return from office and talk or go out regularly. However not all days he was home early and 2 months just flew away with myself busy setting up the house and exploring the new place.

    At times I used to feel lazy with no mood to work, at times irritated with change in weather or feel bizarre, saturated unknowing what to do.  Such low times kept me worried, reminding me of my old freaky days with old friends and not let me accustom to the new surroundings.

    One evening when I was getting out for my shopping, my neighbor’s daughter came running to me and invited me for a small function at their house next day. I felt so kind of her for inviting me and nodded yes. But I had no interest to attend the same as I knew none there. Coincidently I fell sick and could not step out of the house.

    I could hear the noise of the guests next day at their house and stayed quiet at home. I could neither attend the function nor could inform them about my absence.

    I felt bad in a way that they called me and I did not go. Since then, so many times I wanted to walk to their house and say sorry. I even tried to smile at the next door lady whenever I spotted her out in the veranda. But she never seemed to respond. Thereafter I refrained thinking it does not matter to the strangers whether I attended or not.

    After reading the line “If you shut yourself from life, nobody is going to like you!”  From “Gifted” I could not stop myself.  

    Early in morning today as I was cleaning outside I found the lady doing her morning walk in her veranda. Without any hesitation I went up to her and said sorry for not being able to attend the function in their house owing to sudden sickness.  She immediately greeted me with a smile and said, not a problem, we are your neighbors, you can come on in anytime, and may god bless with you all happiness. I was surprised! 

    In addition she expressed her eye sight was weak and therefore she talks only to those whom she recognizes. (So that was the reason, the lady did not recognize me in my veranda.) For a minute I felt very embarrassed about my negative thoughts and said sorry again.

    I returned home happily with full satisfaction that I apologized for my absence.

    Had I not gone and made an attempt to talk to her I would have been left with a silly misunderstanding, regrets and no friends at the new place.

    Instead today I have no regrets and her warm greetings have filled my day with so many smiles that I have been amusing all the while, thinking about having such a thoughtful neighbor.

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Caught in the act

    It's been 3 months since we planted few saplings in our garden and watch them grow day by day. The green color of the garden gives so much peace to the mind. Every morning or evening I water the plants and spend few mins with them.  I generally walk into the garden as soon as I have my bed tea. These days I frequent the garden more often as our saplings have started blooming.  One such time when I walked into our garden I saw the petals of a flower were all downward…

    I thought to myself….sad the flower has lasted just for a day or two and is going to dry out soon…. …After couple of hours when the sun was really high in the sky I saw the same petals were all up and the flower looked beautiful… I did not mind this change as I was deeply enjoying the beauty of the flower….

    Today I dozed off of for longer hours and woke up bit late than usual….since my head was aching due to long hours of sleep I stepped into my garden to relax….I saw again….there was one another lazy fellow sleeping for longer hours :) …then I understood, the flower was not dying rather sleeping :)....
    I giggled and thought to myself,  cool there are many other lazy fellows sleeping for long hours during winter…I am not the only one…I have a company now :)!

    Just like the sun rays hit our eyes through the window and wake us up when we doze of longer hours during the day, same way the sun had to really come up high in the sky pass the sharp rays and wake this lazy fellow up…What a lovely sight to watch the flower sleep and wake….

    Yellow beauty caught in the act!!


    From our Garden to our Kitchen

    It's been couple of years since I started cooking full time. During this period I enjoyed not only cooking but also enjoying the food I cooked by myself. I started reading more and more about cooking techniques, recipes, collecting useful kitchen  accessories etc. So on recently I took an online class on nutrition which emphasized more on home cooking and its benefits. Taking that class raised my inspiration level for cooking. There was a small section about the kitchen garden in that class which made me dream for a kitchen garden at my terrace and use the same home grown herbs and veggies for cooking.
     I immediately  got started with sowing  few fenugreek seeds. After about a month, I plucked the leaves today and made Vada out of it. Oh my! The powerful aroma of home grown fenugreek leaves left me amazed…I was so happy, thrilled and my mouth was watering to taste the same while the Methi vadas were getting fried. Just to share my excitement of my  "Garden to Kitchen" story, the result is as below:

    The recipe I used to prepare the (Fenugreek) Leaves vada  :


    1. Finely chopped the fenugreek leaves (1/2 bunch if you buy from the market)
    2. Finely chopped 1 large onion
    3. Finely chopped 4-5 garlic cloves
    4. Finely chopped 3 green chillies
    5. 1 cup ( Besan )Chana dal flour
    6. 1/4  cup rice floor
    7. Salt as required


    1. Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle just enough water (few drops may be)  so that the mixture could be molded into flat round balls
    2. Heat Oil and deep fry at a medium flame

    Note: Since Onion releases water as soon as salt is added, add as little water as possible to get crispy vadas. Also fry as soon as the mixture is molded into flat round balls.

    Hope you as well would enjoy  the result of my Garden to Kitchen experience!


    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    Google - The IT Giant

    There was a time when I also wanted to view/reply to emails instantly no matter what time of the day it is and where I am. I had seen my managers at work, would reply instantly to any issue. That was helpful in attending towards any urgent issues etc. I consoled myself, that let me wait until I become a manager or privileged  person to get the privileged phones that had the formula for delivery of instant emails embedded within.

    A year later then, I quit my job, when came the era of internet/smart phones or whatever you like to call. The market was flooded with smart phones and it was time when every single person was switching to a smart phone and so I too got a smart phone that enthused me with instant delivery of my personal emails. Finally my dream came true but I was out of my  job, and therefore got better with instant replies to my personal mails. Thanks to Google for building a beautiful operating system like Android for smart phones and for the Gmail app for mobile.

    So then I was happy with smart phones and instant emails.

    Next, coming to my blog, thanks to  Google yet again for providing us with a beautiful platform like blogger to let me log and share my thoughts with the external world. Blogger not only provided a way to open up thoughts, but as well earn few pennies if interested by adding the Ad sense  tool (from Google ) to the blog. I am already amazed with such commendable tools from Google.

    Couple of days back I saw a small icon labeled "Save to my drive" in one of the email attachments.  Out of curiosity I clicked that and wanted to see how different it is from "Download" option.  I was then followed to the Google Drive. Oh my!

    Though I had used Google drive in the past for sharing some documents with my friends and collaborate virtually, I never stacked any items onto the drive or never realized its importance. I, also had read few articles in the magazines that Google drive could be a best option for us to have a backup of our data.

    But unknowingly, I ignored all that I read, until one day, when I wanted to share and get few songs/mp3 files from my cousin staying in a different city.  I was annoyed to surf for few old classic songs on the web and do a individual download of songs click by click. When I knew my cousin had those songs about 3GB or more I was thinking how could I get them and also how I could not lose this collection in future.

    Yep, what better than Google drive?  I installed Google drive on my desktop and shared few folders on the drive with my cousin virtually. He was then able to upload the songs into my  Google Drive and I was able to sync them automatically without any clicks…I was in awe!!

    In short Google Drive had become my  File Repository System. During my work, I had worked with several File managements systems that helped in storing the files, updating and syncing the same to the local machine when needed.  Even if the developer's hard disk crashed he or she did not have to worry as there was a backup of these files in the File management systems.

    Little did I know then, that in the next few days I was also going to have such kind of repository for managing my personal files.

    It is nice to see that Google is offering 15GB of free space for now. It should be enough for personal use I guess, but about the security I guess it is always vulnerable :(, no matter how secure we are.

    My admiration s do not end here. 

    I am sure there are lot many users who are well aware of Google drive's benefits and actively use it. It might sound funny if I quote the following as a coincidence.

    Just last week I was busy populating my drive with mp3s and  today I stumble on another article in the newspaper on drive tunes - a player for the songs stored in Google drive.

    No matter where we are if we have just a internet connection and  have good list of songs in the drive, we should be able to listen to them simply by logging into http://www.drivetunes3.com/

    Either I am early or very late in knowing these advancements in the field of  Information Technology.

    During my college days, 10 years back, I saw only one face of Google i.e the Giant Search Engine, but today Gmail, Picasa, Blogger, Google  Ad sense, Google maps, Google +, Google drive and the list goes on.

    What more next?? I am still wondering!!

    But for now, my heartfelt thanks and kudos to Google and Teams for developing and providing  us with such commendable services and tools.

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

    The Internet!!

    Internet – the network of networks has become so ubiquitous that most of us are wired to it all the time. Millions of people around the globe use internet for anything and everything like chatting with a friend, sharing pictures with the dear ones, working in a collaborative environment, banking, shopping and even robbing J.  It is amazing to see that in a short period of time internet has evolved with has evolved with its wide range of offering.  However did you know how does this huge network of networks communicate and are able to exchange information with each other?  What’s the backbone of this magical network?

    If you did not know, don’t worry, I hope by the end of this post you would definitely get to know at least the basics of how this magical network works.

    TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol /Internet Protocol) architecture lays the backbone of internet.  So what is this TCP/IP?

    TCP /IP is a suite of communication protocols that help the computers on the internet to network and communicate with each other. It is layered architecture starting with the Link layer (aka physical layer), then to the Internetwork layer, Transport Layer and ending up with the Application Layer, with each layer servicing the layer above.

    Theoretically this sounds easy, but how does this conceptually work?  While I was thinking on how to explain this I saw a baggage advertisement on TV, and then it struck to me that even the baggage that we checkin during a flight journey, also runs through a small network of baggage and is delivered safely to us at the destination airport. Have we ever seen how the bag we check in arrives right at the other end? Similarly we simply checkin our request via home network and then end up back with the right information at our desk. How does this all happen? Magic??

    Below I have tried to unlock this magic by doing a comparative study of Baggage Handling System (BHS) and the internet architecture. I hope this example helps us understand in simple terms on how TCP/IP suite functions. Before jumping into the explanation, let’s have some analogies between the Conveyor network and Internet architecture.

    Internet (TCP/IP)
    Conveyor network (BHS)
    Source and Destination address
    Internet Protocol address (IP)
    Airline Baggage Belt
    DSL, Modem
    Reliable Transport
    Email, Hyper text documents
    Loading the plane

    When we checkin the bags at the respective airline counter, the airline agent checks our itinerary and prints a tag and attaches to each of the bags.  This tag consists of a unique bar code, the holds the details of the source and destination address.  In the same way once we submit a data onto the internet it is broken into packets (like individual bags) and is labeled with a unique address i.e the Internet Protocol Address for it to traverse to the required destination.

    How does the flow of information start?

    As we have a airline baggage belt running at the counter, that takes forward the checked in bags, we have the Link layer of the TCP/IP that actually Links one node to the other in the internet and moves packets from one network to the other.  The DSL at home, Wi-Fi at cafes, Ethernet etc. forms the Link layer.
    Thereon the individual airline bags get merged into the common Conveyor network which transports number of bags from various other airlines to the respective airplanes, in a way similar to our data gets pushed into the internet to make its way to the destination.

    The conveyor belt system at various junctions has got some agents called the PUSHERS that scan the bags, checks the barcode, and routes the bags to the right belt of respective airline. Similarly the network agents called ROUTERS at various nodes of internet inspect the IP address, lift the packets and route them to the right destination in a best effort way. These routers that move the packets onto the right network form the Network layer of TCP/IP and there on as the network is established the packets move further up via the Transport layer just like the bags move on the right track in the conveyor network.

    As the bags move they pass through a set of scanners and once the baggage are scanned the BHS tracks its movement providing a reliable transport. Similarly the Transmission control protocol at the transport layer monitors + co-ordinates the movement of packets and assures a reliable delivery.

    End of the Main Terminal conveyor system is a conveyor that loads your bag into a passing (Destination Coded Vehicle) DCV which quickly moves your bags to an off-ramp at the gate. Like Network interface adapters, DSLs, these DCVs are something similar to the link layer technologies, connecting 2 end points, and take the baggage from the conveyor belt system to the plane. These DCVs contain unique number just like the Media access addresses of linkers to identify themselves on the internet.

    The bags delivered at the gate could be compared to the data that we receive as data input to the application layer. The bags then make their way down a short conveyor to a sorting station where the baggage handlers load the bags onto carts or into special containers that go right into the airplane.

    While loading the plane, the baggage are sorted at the sorting station( as per their need/application) and those that are for transfer are passed into a different bay area than those that would be headed to baggage claim. Similarly the data we receive at the application layer are either presented as a web page via the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or as an email via Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), or as a file via the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). All these protocols HTTP, FTP, SMTP and many such forms the application layer.

    Since the bags already come sorted, they then get offloaded into their respective baggage claim belts at the destination and arrive to us safely.

    Most of the times all the bags are delivered safely at the destination (if the BHS uses stronger reliability standards like TCP), however if the BHS standards are unreliable like the Internet Protocol (IP) then there are chances that few bags/packets are missed during the transport.

    A short summary of the above process has been represented below pictorially.  I hope now you have got at least a little knowledge on the underlying network technology of the internet and how it functions. 

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Winter Giggle or Highness of the winter…

    I do not know whether to title this post a Winter Giggle or the Highness of the winter JJ. ..guess below incident might unravel the dilemma behind...

    Going by the routine, I was at balcony drying my clothes when I caught on a chat with my neighbor staying at the ground floor. She was feeding her kid at the same time enjoying some lucky sunlight for the day. There were many clothes dried on a rope at the house beside this neighbor. The two neighbors at the ground floor shared a common wall.

    The neighbor with whom I was on a chat criticized to me saying that the clothes at her neighborhood have been lying on the rope for past 2 weeks and she does not know if they are out of station. She even expressed her thought to collect the clothes, fold them and keep inside as unnecessarily they were getting wet owing to the dense fog in the evenings. But she could not get into their house to do so.
    I nodded hmm and said what can you do…leave it. Suddenly we saw a maid coming out of the next door neighbor’s house.  When the lady I was chatting with got excited and asked the maid to call her owner ie the lady of the next door house.

    Within few minutes the next door lady came out all covered with sweater, scarf  and  smiled. She asked the reason why was she called for. So innocently then the lady at my ground floor told, oh my God, where have you been? The clothes are on the rope for a long time?? I thought you were out of station and even thought of collecting them and keep inside. But I could not.
    Embarrassed the next door lady, giggled and said, oh that’s very sweet of you, thanks. But e have not gone anywhere and just stayed indoors as it was very cold outside. Also the clothes were still wet.
    Might be the next door lady was too lazy, that she kept postponing the task of taking away the dried clothes every other day…

    I imagined then, and smiled within.

    What would have happened if this ground floor lady had collected all the clothes and kept inside her house, thinking her neighbor is out of station, Poor lady at the next door would have got shocked to see her clothes disappeared.

    Also even if we miss out on our routine work feeling lazy at winters, we might have to face being in an embarrassed situation as been the lady next door….

    I also remembered the headlines of the newspaper at that time…that US was shivering with -52 degrees and thought to myself may be this is intensity of winter at my place that we are not even aware if our neighbors are at home or not as the cold winter winds keeps everyone entwined inside the house!