“Become Modern” “થાવ વરણાગી” – Gujarati Essay


આ વખતની બે એરિઆ ની બેઠકનો વિષય છે “થાવ વરણાગી”. તે વિષય ઉપર નીચેની વાર્તા પ્રસ્તુત કરું છું. બીજા લેખ http://www.shabdonusarjan.wordpress.com બ્લોગ ઉપર જરૂર વાંચશો।

“થાવ વરણાગી”

પોતે રીટાયર થયા અને તુરંત જ કૃષ્ણકાંત ભાઈ નું અવસાન થયું એટલે ખાલીપો અને એકાંત ખુબજ વધી ગયું અને સારીકાબેન ને જીવન માં રસ ઓછો લાગતો। તેમના દીકરા અક્ષયે કહ્યું “મમ્મી હવે પપ્પાને ગયા ને ઘણો વખત થયો હવે તમારે રડવાનું બંધ કરીને જીવનમાં રસ લેવો જોઈએ”. પુત્રવધુ ઉમા પણ જોડાઈ “હા મમ્મી પપ્પા ગયાનું દુખ તો અમને પણ થાય છે પણ જીંદગી તો ચાલતી રયે અને તમારે હવે આખો વખત રડવાનું બંધ કરવું જોઈએ. ઘરની પાસેજ સીનીઅર સેન્ટર છે તેમાં જાવ ને દિલ ને વાળી લ્યો.” વળી તેમાં દીકરી અનીકા જોડાઈ “મમ્મી તારા કપડા પણ ઢબ વગરના છે. થોડી થા વરણાગી અને હવે શોક નું વાતાવરણ બંધ કર”.

wpid-20140827_130457.jpgછોકરાઓ પાસેથી ઠપકો સંભાળીને રાત્રે એકાંતમાં સારિકા બેન ને ખુબ રડવું આવ્યું કે કૃષ્ણકાંત ભાઈ હોત તો આટલું સાંભળવાનું ન આવત. પછી મનને મનાવ્યું કે છોકરાઓ તો પ્રેમ ને લાગણી ને લીધે ક્યે છે. ધીમે ધીમે સારીકાબેન સીનીઅર સેન્ટર માં પણ જવા લાગ્યા અને જીવન નો ક્રમ ચાલવા લાગ્યો. થોડા વર્ષો પચ્છી તેમણે છોકરાઓને બોલાવ્યા અને તેમના દોસ્ત સાથે ઓળખાણ કરાવી “આ છે મારા દોસ્ત, બીલી ચુઆ”. અક્ષય બોલ્યો ઉમાના કાનમાં “આને તો કુતરાથી ભગાડવો પડશે”. બીલી ચુઆ સાથેની ઓળખાણ બાદ તુરંત સારીકાબેને ખુલાસો કર્યો કે “મેં અને બીલીએ લગ્ન કરવાનો નિર્ણય કર્યો છે”.

તેમના આ નિર્ણયે તો છોકરાઓની જીંદગી હચમચાવી મૂકી. છોકરાઓ આ વાત નો કોઈ પણ રીતે સ્વીકાર કરવા માંગતા નતા. ઉમા કહે “મમ્મી આ ઉમરે આવું થોડું શોભે? બધી રીતે તમારી જીંદગી સરસ ચાલે છે. તમે તમારા પોતાના મકાન માં આરામ થી રયો છો. અમે પાસે છીએ અને હમેશા આવતા રહીએ છે અને તમને કોઈ વાતની કમી લાગવા દેતા નથી. તમે સીનીઅર સેન્ટરે જવાનું બંધ કરો અને મંદિરે જવાનું શરુ કરો અને હવે તો રામનામમાં જીંદગી ગુજારો”. સારીકાબેને સમજાવવાની કોશિશ કરી કે “બીલીની વાઈફ પણ થોડા સમય પહેલા ગુજરી ગઈ છે અને અમારો બધી રીતે સારો મનમેળ છે. ચાઇનીસ હોવા છતાં તે ગૌતમ બુદ્ધ માં માને છે અને પોતે વેજિટેરિયન છે. અમને બંને ને વિદેશ ફરવાનો શોખ છે અને બધી રીતે અમારો મનમેળ સારો છે અને અમને લાગ્યું કે એકબીજાના સાથી બનીને બાકીની જીંદગી ગુજારીએ”. અક્ષય કહે “પણ મમ્મી, જાત ભાત નો તો વિચાર કર”. સારીકાબેને હળવેથી કહ્યું “બેટા, આપણી રીચા ના લગ્ન તુરંત માં એલેક્ષ સાથે થવાના છે, તે પણ આપણી જાત નો તો નથી”. અક્ષય કહે “પણ મમ્મી જે રિચાને શોભે તે તારી ઉમરે તને ન શોભે”.

આખરે સારીકાબેને કહેવુજ પડ્યું કે “બેટા તમે સમય જોઇને જરૂરિયાત ને માપવાની બદલે ક્યારેક જરૂરિયાત જોઇને સમય ને પરખો અને સમય સાથે સમજુતી કરો અને અને જરૂરિયાત પ્રમાણેની વર્ણતુક અપનાવો. થાવ થોડા વરણાગી”.

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Venus in Fur – Play Review


Dynamics of power are always infinitely interesting.  Add to the mix, sexuality, erotica, and pure physical attraction, and you have a volatile mix, perfect for a theatrical production.  San Jose Stage had a full house on the opening night of David Ives’ “Venus in Fur”.  Tony nominated Best Play (2012), has received multiple awards and has also been made into a Roman Polanski film, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

English: Leo with Fannie (Leopold von Sacher-M...

English: Leo with Fannie (Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and Fanny Pistor Bogdanoff, note the whip). Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836–1895) – Austrian writer and journalist, who gained renown for his romantic stories of Galician life. The term masochism is derived from his name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vanda, an aspiring actress arrives late for her audition for a play based on the nineteenth century erotic novel, when Thomas Novacheck, a playwright-director is about to leave.  Thomas is condescending, he talks over Vanda, interrupts her, and does not believe she has the capability for the role.  To his credit, Vanda seems totally unprepared, unprofessional, is spewing curses, is bursting with energy, even erotic energy, and seems an unlikely candidate for the role.  The power dynamics are in favor of Thomas and notwithstanding her many challenges of coming for an audition on a rainy, stormy day, he is about to throw her out, but gets interrupted by a phone call from his fiancee.

Vanda seizes the opportunity and steps into a costume to begin her reading.  As they do the reading, Thomas discovers, to his great dismay, that not only has Vanda come prepared with props and costumes for both, but almost seems to have mastered the play, literally and in spirit.   A prepared employee can have the boss wrapped around her finger and the power dynamics shift again.  The source material for the play comes from 1870 novel, Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, which also happens to be the origin of the term “masochism”.  

Venus with a Mirror

Venus with a Mirror (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the reading progress, the power dynamics shift again and then again, as Vanda and Thomas step in and out of their roles as Dunayev and Kushemski and step back into character, almost seamlessly but also quite discerningly, if that is possible.  Dunayev says,Why should I forgo any possible pleasure, abstain from any sensual experience?  I’’m young, I’m rich, and I’m beautiful and I shall make the most of that.  I shall deny myself nothing.”  Ahhh the reach of power that comes with it all.  But then again who wields the power, one who writes the script or one one who plays along?

As the reading progresses, they share their histories, their kinks, pulled by magnetic attraction towards each other, they fight it when out of character, but fully exploit it, in character.  They concede that while people may render themselves explicable, people do not find themselves easily extricable  And these stories where people are unable to extricate themselves, make for great theatrical productions in capable hands like Director Kimberly Mohne Hill and actors Johnny Moreno (as Thomas and Kushemski), and Allison F. Rich (as Vanda and Dunayev).  Venus in Fur is running at The Stage in San Jose, till March 1.  For tickets, please go to www.thestage.org .

 

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“Fury” – Movie Review


Director David Ayer’s “Fury” could have been a great movie.  It moves at good pace and keeps the attention of the audience.  Performance by WarDaddy (Brad Pitt), well its awesome, but then he is Brad Pitt, and his men gunner Bible (Shia LaBeouf), Hispanic lead driver Gordo (Michael PIna) and the mechanic Coon-Ass (Jon Berenthal), and the newcomer to join the team Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) does not lack oomf.  But it is the story and the character development that is coming up short.

Set during the final days of World War II, as the Allied forces were moving through Germany, they were finding pockets where Nazis were putting up their toughest resistance, including putting kids to fight and leaving hanging corpses of those who refused to fight.  WarDaddy’s tank Fury along with 3 other tanks on a mission, gets caught up in an ambush that destroys all the other tanks, except Fury.  On its way back, Fury happens to come upon a mine and breaks down.  Before it can be repaired, the men notice that very soon close to 300 SS troops would come upon them.

English: WESTERN DESERT, EGYPT. 1942-09-16. TA...

English: WESTERN DESERT, EGYPT. 1942-09-16. TANK OFFICERS OF THE ROYAL SCOTS GREYS INSPECTING DAMAGE DONE TO A GERMAN PZKFW III AUSF E MEDIUM TANK BY THEIR GENERAL GRANT M3 MEDIUM TANK. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the men suggests that they leave the tank and flee, saving their lives, but Mr. WarDaddy decides to stay and hold off the advancing Nazi troops for as long as he can, and one by one, the  other men decide to stay and fight till the end.  Now there are a few problems with where this is going.  If it were a true story or was based on some real life events, this would become immediately interesting.  On the other hand, if more details were shared about these men that would make us root for them, it would also make it imminently interesting.  However, in the absence of both these conditions, one wonders why so much blood, gore and sacrifice of these men makes it a story worth being cast into a movie.  We know nothing about them except that they are from the Allied forces.  They are almost nearing the end of the war.  Yes, these 5 super heroes valiantly hold off 300+ SS troops for a long while, and inflict heavy casualties, vaguely reminiscent of the Spartans.  But why?  If the war was coming to an end, it was only a matter of short time before every single Nazi soldier (including children and others forcibly recruited) would be surrendering.  What happened to the promise WarDaddy made to make sure all of his men would go home?

Somehow I fail to see justification for severed heads, decapitated limbs, hanging corpses and more in a movie drawn out over 2 hours.  The subject matter is not new, storyline is trite, and these men’s valiant sacrifice against approaching Nazi troops seems contrived and wasted.  It hardly seems like a story that needed to be told.  On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being excellent, I rate the movie as 3.0.

 

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JOBS – February, 2015


Please see below opportunities and send resume as an attachment to wd_darshana at hotmail dot.  My imminent openings are for Quality Engineering and for Software Engineering (both for medical devices).  Please also notice contract opportunities at the end.  All US opportunities are for US based and local candidates.  Opportunities exist in China that are open to all and you can see description in my previous blog athttp://bit.ly/15STeDw specific one is for Director of Analytical R&D in Suzhou. When sending a resume, please mention job you are interested in, in the subject line and in the email include a brief summary of how best the job description matches your background and where the gaps are.

Senior Electrical Engineer – Austin/ San Antonio – TX

A company working on innovative range of products, has an immediate opening for senior electrical engineer with class III device experience.  Experience with closed loop, analog design hardware, microcontrollers, actuators  and ultra low power consumption circuit design highly desired.  More details will follow soon but if interested, please send resume as an attachment (with some details in email) at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com.

Senior Software/ Algorithm Engineer – Fremont, CA

A company providing innovative diagnostic & therapeutic products &  services to enable interventionalists in providing superior patient care, has an immediate opening for Senior Software Engineer, in Fremont, CA.  Position Summary: This position will be responsible for developing the next generation of image processing algorithms for company’s revolutionary medical devices for cardiovascular business. Individual will participate in object-oriented software development projects using C++ and Qt for a Linux environment. Communicate effectively, as well as to present information to a group in a professional manner. Work cooperatively as part of a team with people from various facilities and technical backgrounds.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Design, develop, and optimize next generation image processing algorithms
Perform lab research and algorithm testing
Develop multi-threaded software for desktop applications
Design code for maintainability and unit tests
Identify, evaluate and mitigate technical project risks
Support formal verification and validation process and participates in transfer of products from R&D to manufacturing
Team player working in a geographically distributed team
Accurately estimate time and resources for completion of specific features/project
Assist in maintaining ISO certification and 510(k) submission requirements

Qualifications & Required Skills:
Minimum BS degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Applied Math, Biomedical Engineering, or related field; Strong background in image processing; 5+ years of software development experience; Excellent coding skills in C/C++; Proficiency in MATLAB; Experience designing object-oriented and distributed software; System level architecture design experienc; Experience with source code management systems like GIT, SVN, Clear Case

Preferred
Experience developing software for medical device applications for user interaction and control
Experience with medical imaging algorithms like segmentation, co-registration, 3d reconstruction
Experience with python, DICOM, OpenGL graphics
Other: * Travel requirements are moderate. Travel to facilities would be about 2 – 3 days duration each trip with total travel expected to be less than 20%.

Please submit resume at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com, with answers to following questions in the email.  This is client HR’s requirement. 
Please provide information on your formal education:
Please describe your software engineering experience as it relates to design, proof-of concept, detailed design, code, unit and integration testing:
Please describe your experience utilizing UML modeling language, DiCom, MFC, BOOST, STL and C++ :
Do you have experience working Linux OS environment? If yes, provide more detailed information:

Senior Design Engineer with Embedded Hardware & Firmware Skills – Santa Clara, CA

A reputed contract engineering company has an immediate full time opportunity for  a Senior Design Engineer with Embedded Hardware & Firmware Skills.  A rounded individual is desired who has an interest and ability in a wide range of technologies.  The successful candidate will lead a group of engineers from time-to-time and may be required to act as the primary interface to the customers at times.  The company designs devices, firmware, and software for other companies and has a reputation for quick response with high quality work.  The person must enjoy working with customers and have good communication skills.  The person must work well on a team of high performing engineers.  The person needs to be organized.  The person must work well with others and be flexible as schedules and priorities change.

Technical requirements: Ten years of experience in embedded system design engineering is required.  Ability to supervise others is highly desired.  The person should have experience designing circuits with microprocessors from PIC to ARM, FPGAs, Bluetooth, and WiFi as well as experience with programming in C or C++ on these devices.  The person must enjoy learning and be able to learn quickly.  The ability to design and program FPGAs is desired.
This could be a work-at-home job, or work at the company site, in Santa Clara, CA.

QUALITY ENGINEER – Santa Cruz, CA

Summary:  Medical device design and manufacturing company, located near Santa Cruz, CA, focusing on custom injection molded plastic parts, has an immediate opening for Quality Engineer.  Position focus is on providing support in the development and maintenance of company’s quality systems, support activities related to the development and qualification of new product development for medical device components and assemblies as well as supporting existing products.
Responsibilities
* Write FMEAs, review and write protocols and reports for new products
* Ability to multitask on a variety of Quality System compliance and improvement initiatives in a hands-on dynamic environment and be involved with the design, procurement, validation and qualification activities including test, inspection and medical device contract manufacturing service processes.
* Responsible for the facility measurement equipment calibration and maintenance program.
* Collects, collates and analyzes manufacturing data for warranty and nonconformance to determine and report product quality trends.
* Conducts analysis of inspection and tests of a routine degree of complexity and provides recommendations accordingly. Develops quality control inspection requirements and techniques to achieve measured improvement. * Implements the Failure Analysis Process for internal and external nonconforming product to determine appropriate corrective action.
* Support Receiving, In- process and Final Inspection of various components and subassemblies for medical device products to support quality compliance and shipment goals as workload requires.
* Assist in the development and implementation of Quality System processes.
* Attend various product meetings with Engineering, Sales, Support, Marketing, and customers to address product requirements, customer concerns and training issues. Work toward and support Company/Department/Team goals including; QSR and ISO compliance, revenues, training utilization, customer satisfaction, and others as appropriate.
* Qualify and implement document changes involving product or process changes
* Coordinate the reporting, analysis, and resolution of material non-conformance incidences
* Provide support in the timely resolution of product complaints and/or safety issues
* Conduct quality audits and develop subsequent preventive action programs
* Assist Regulatory Affairs Department in the preparation of audits and reports for regulatory agencies.
* Perform Supplier Quality Audits and, as appropriate, Internal Quality System Audits; identify root cause of non-compliance and ensure timely/effective corrections and lor corrective preventative actions are implemented
* Drive effective root cause corrective action through internal and supplier surveillance and corrective action requests.
* Report MRB performance metrics and maintain corrective action database.
* Review and report in-process data from manufacturing processes and facilitate corrective and preventive actions

Requirements: 5 – 7 years’ experience in Quality, medical device, regulatory, and or a medical device manufacturing environment; BS in Bachelor of Science in Quality, Business, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering or related field; Certification, CQE, CQA a plus; Experience as an ISO Lead Auditor desirable; Must be able to communicate effectively at varying technical levels with a customer audience; Hands-on manufacturing experience in mechanical or medical device assemblies. CMM, MicroVu, Vision Systems Programming experience; Working knowledge of U.S. and international medical device regulations is desirable Working knowledge of desktop computer office software, Visio Tools, CAD software and e-mail is required; Excellent verbal and written communication skills; Flexibility to handle multiple tasks and meet timelines; Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills combined with a strong technical presence.

Senior Quality Engineer – Austin/ San Antonio – TX

A company working on innovative drug delivery technology has an immediate opening for senior quality engineer. Great opportunity to work at grounds level and grow into leadership role, in addition to the upside of stocks.

Key Responsibilities:
* Lead QA for: R&D- design, development, V&V phases including hazard/risk analysis and mitigation, DOE and related statistical design and analyses, GDT, design reviews, audits/compliance; Manufacturing including process development, qualification and validation, IQ, OQ, PQ, part/component selection, sterilization and packaging development and validation
* Develop and implement QA systems to be compliant with applicable international and national standards such as ISO 13485 and regulatory requirements of FDA CFR 820 and other bodies for Class III implantables
* Implement productive relationships with R&D and manufacturing suppliers and partners
* Work in a matrixed organizational structure to support company’s facilities, including the respective incubated companies, projects and technologies with an appropriate QA system for each segment
* Educate colleagues and support in-house uptake & implementation of these systems organization-wide* Support the following functions: Regulatory Affairs: provide appropriate documentation and materials to support filings for US and international trials and approvals; Intellectual Property: supporting documentation; Business and Commercialization, including due diligence documentation
* Develop & implement documentation systems for these business functions, including electronic systems, with help of to –be-hired Documentation Specialist

Key Qualifications
* Designed and implemented QA systems for implantable medical devices and drugs. Combinatorial device and Class III experience desirable. At least 10 years experience, >15 years desirable*
* Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or in an equivalent field required, with ASQ certification (CQE, CRE, CQM, CSSBB) desirable
* Led and grown QA organizations with a hands-on, leadership- by-example approach
* Demonstrated working experience with electronics hardware and software, biomaterials, drugs, drug delivery, and mechanical technologies while supporting multidisciplinary teams: engineering, biological, manufacturing, regulatory, intellectual property, clinical and business.
* Excellent and demonstrated grasp and use of statistics in R&D and manufacturing including DOE
* Supported multiple complex projects and start-ups: able to prioritize.
* Developed and implemented design controls, documentation, and design procedures, protocols
* Developed and implemented manufacturability, and related process flows and controls, and selected qualified vendors to manufacture Class III implantable devices
* Strong technical skills with demonstrated ability to provide solutions to a variety of technical problems of varying scope and complexity
* Analytical data-driven problem solver and team player, organized and an excellent communicator

Key Job Parameters
* Full-time position located in Austin/ San Antonio, Texas
* Some travel (~10%) may be necessary to meet job responsibilities
* Report to VP, Product Development


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“American Sniper” — Movie Review


The film, “American Sniper” made me deeply uncomfortable.  It is perhaps one of the most honest depictions of the Iraq war and perhaps of the uncertainty and trauma of any war.    Navy SEAL Chris Kyle had an uncanny ability to spot and shoot his target with pinpoint accuracy.  His mission was to protect his “brothers-in-arms” who were going door to door, capturing or killing insurgents, and collecting huge caches of arms.  Kyle saved countless American lives, but he was also a prime target of insurgents.

Security overwatch

Security overwatch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite serving in most harrowing, nerve wracking, and violent situations, Kyle went back, again and again; he served a total of 4 tours of duty in Iraq.  Unlike some of his comrades, for a very long time, Kyle was not disillusioned and was not questioning the usefulness and the lofty vision of the war in Iraq.  Yet, like others, after every tour of duty, Kyle had a hard time adjusting to civilian life and he yearned to go back and “be there” for the soldiers who counted on him.  After the 4th tour of duty, Kyle finally seemed to have had enough of war but was having even a tougher challenge adjusting to civilian life at home.

Performance of Bradley Cooper as Kyle is flawless.  Sienna Miller as Kyle’s wife also gives a riveting performance.  This movie is clearly Director Clint Eastwood’s  masterstroke.  The movie made me so uncomfortable that I wanted to leave.  Another movie in recent memory that had similar effect on me was “12 Years, A Slave”.   The fact did not escape me that if I just wanted “it” to end, if I felt traumatized watching the movies, then how intensely traumatizing the experience must be for the people living “it”.  For many, the effects of trauma of being in a war, continue to wreak havoc and take a toll on them and their families, for years to come.

American Sniper is creating a stir about futility of this war and I won’t dwell on it more here, except to say that wars are ugly.  As I have previously said in my review of Sue Diaz’s book, also based on true events surrounding her son, Seargent Roman Diaz serving in the Iraq war,  “Minefields of the Heart” http://bit.ly/Zryxpt, —  Wars impact families, relationships, the very fabric of our society, on a scale so large, create craters of anguish so deep, that very little might justify being engaged in one and that little ought to be immensely carefully considered.  On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent, I rate this movie 4.7.

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Gujarati Essay – How to become a good story teller


Building under construction in Miami from below

Building under construction in Miami from below (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Milpitas ICC માં યોજાતી  બેઠક દ્વારા જાહેર કરેલ, વાર્તા સ્પર્ધા ની હરીફાઈ ના વિજેતા (સાક્ષર ઠક્કર – saksharthakkar.wordpress.com)  ને જાહેર કરતી વખતે જયશ્રીબેન મર્ચન્ટે વાર્તા કેવી રીતે લખાય છે તે ઉપર સરસ રીતે સમજણ આપી તેનો સારાંશ મેં નીચે લખ્યો છે.   બીજા લેખન અને બ્લોગ નીચેના બ્લોગ ઉપર વાંચવાનું ચૂકશો નહિ  shabdonusarjan.wordpress.com

વાર્તા ના ત્રણ અધ્યક્ષ હોય છે, આરંભ, મધ્ય, અને અંત.  વાર્તાની મધ્ય માં એવો સેતુ બાંધવો જોઈએ કે તે આરંભ નો ઉઘાડ કરે અને અંત ને ચમકાવે.  એમ માનો કે વાર્તા લખવી એટલે એક ઈમારત ચણવી.  ઈમારત ચણતા પહેલા એક નકશો એટલે કે પ્લાન જોઈએ।  અધિક વાંચન વગર આ પહેલે દરજ્જે જ તકલીફ શરુ થાય.  પ્લાન કરતી વખતે નક્કી કરો કે કઈ ઘટના કે બીના કે હૃદયની વાત આ વાર્તામાં કહેવી છે.  જયશ્રીબેને ખાસ ભલામણ કરી કે કોઈ પણ વિષય ને ટબૂ નહિ ગણવાના.

તે પછી પ્લોટ નક્કી કરો, કે આ વાત ની પુષ્ટ ભૂમિ કઈ હશે?  આ ઘટના ઘર અને ઓફીસ વચ્ચે બને છે કે બંને વચ્ચે કોઈ બાર માં એક વ્યક્તિ સાથે ઓળખાણ થાય છે ત્યાંથી શરુ થાય છે. તે પ્રમાણે પ્લોટ નક્કી કર્યા પછી, ઈમારત ચણવા માં મદદનીશ જોઈએ તેમ તમારી વાત કહેવા માટેના પાત્રો  નક્કી કરો.  જો નકશામાં કમી હોય તો મદદનીશ પાત્રો સારી ઈમારત ચણી  જ નહિ શકે.

English: "raj" word written in Gujar...

English: “raj” word written in Gujarati script. Français : Mot « gujarati » écrit en écriture gujarati. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

જો પ્લાન અને પ્લોટ સારા હોય તો મદદનીશો એટલે કે પાત્રો કેમ વાત કહેશે તે નક્કી થાય.  તેમાં બહુ ગોઠવેલું દ્રશ્ય ઉભું કરીએ તો પાત્રોની ઓળખ ગુમાવી બેસીએ.  જે વાત તમારે કહેવી હોય તે વાત પાત્રોએ બોલવી જોઈએ। પાત્રોની એવી ઓળખ ઉભી કરવી જોઈએ કે પાત્રો જે બોલે તેમાં લાગણી ના અતિરેક વગર ભાવ અને સંવેદના વર્તાય.  વાર્તાના પ્લોટ માં શીર્ષક આવવું જરૂરી નથી પણ પાત્રો દ્વારા એ રીતે વાર્તા વહેવી જોઈએ કે શીર્ષક ન આવ્યા છતાય તે જ શીર્ષક વાચકોને વલોવી નાખે.

આ વાત ખાસ ધ્યાનમાં રાખવાની કે સારી વાર્તા માં ઉમળતા નો  અતિરેક ન હોય અને ઉપદેશ નો ખજાનો ન મળે.  મારા અનુસરે આજ ગુજરાતી લેખન ની મોટી ખામી રહી છે.  અતિ સારા લેખકોને છોડી ને ઘણા ખરા ગુજરાતી લેખકો મોટે ભાગે ઉપદેશ અથવા moral બતાવવા માટે વાર્તા લખતા હોય છે અને તેને લીધે હું અંગ્રેજી વાંચન વધારે પસંદ કરું છું.  તેવી વાર્તામાં લેખકના સર્જન ને બદલે ગોઠવણ અને એક ulterior motive વર્તાય છે અને વાર્તાનો આનંદ સરી જાય છે.

જયશ્રીબેને કહ્યું સારી વાર્તામાં સર્જક તેની સંવેદનશીલતા અને વેદના વાચક સુધી પહોંચાડે છે.  એવી વાર્તા લખવા માટે ખુબ વાંચન, અને સમકાલીન અને સર્વકાલીન વાંચન જરૂરી છે.  કહેવાયું છે ને કે લખતા લહિયો થાય અને વાંચતા વિધવાન થવાય.  ખુબ વાંચન થી સમજાશે કે ઊંડા વાંચન માં એટલા અર્થ છુપાયેલા હોય છે કે દરેક વખતે તે જ વાંચન માં નવા અર્થ જોવા મળશે.  અને જો તમે લેખક બનવા ચાહતા હો તો જયશ્રીબેન ના કહેવા અનુસાર, ખુબ વાંચન માં થી જ તમારી કળા ઉધાડ પામશે.

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Gujarati Essay – “Crossing boundaries & new experiences contribute to growth”


ગુજરાતી: સમગ્ર જીવન દરમ્યાન શક્ય એટલી મા ગુર્જ...

ગુજરાતી: સમગ્ર જીવન દરમ્યાન શક્ય એટલી મા ગુર્જરીના ચરણોમાં સેવા કરવાની ખેવના (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

જિંદગી નો ખરો આનંદ વર્તુળ માં થી બહાર નીકળવામાં છે. નકલી રેખા જે આપણને ક્યારેક કેદી  બનાવી નાખે  તેને તક મળે ત્યારે તોડવી જોઈએ.  કૃત્રિમ રેખા ને ઓળંગી, સીમા પાર કરી અને જીંદગી ને વિવિધ દ્રષ્ટિકોણથી માણવાની મજા અનોખી છે.  નવા અનુભવો, જાત પાંત ની રેખા ઓળંગી ને કરેલા જુદા જુદા મિત્રો, વિવિધ લેખકો, કવિઓ, અને જુદી જુદી ભાષામાં આપણે જીવન ને અનુભવીએ ત્યારે આપણને ઘણું જાણવા અને શીખવા મળે છે.  નવા દ્રષ્ટિકોણ થી નવી લાગણી અને સંવેદના નો કેળવાય છે.  મારા બે નાના અનુભવ પ્રસ્તુત કરું છું જયારે મને બે વખત કૃત્રિમ રેખા ઓળંગવાનો મોકો મળ્યો।  તે માટે એક વ્યક્તિને અને બે સંસ્થાને મારો ખાસ આભાર વ્યક્ત કરવા માગું છું.

ઘણા વર્ષો પહેલાની વાત છે.  મેં એક સેમીનાર માં પ્રવેશ કરેલ. તેનું નામ છે Landmark Forum (www.landmarkworldwide.com) .  તેમાં આપણી ઝીન્દગીને ઉચ્ચા દરે કેમ પહોચાડવી તે ઉપર શિક્ષક વાત કરતા હતા.  તેમણે કહ્યું કે ઘણી વખત આપણે જે જીંદગી વીતી હોય તેનું પ્રમાણ લઈને એક  બાઊંડરી અથવા એક રેખા દોરીને આપણે ઝીંદગી તેમાં વિતાવીયે છીએ.  તેમણે કહ્યું કે આજે તમે તે રેખાને ઓળંગો અને શું શક્ય છે તેના આધારે તમારી ઝીંદગી નું એમ માનસિક ચિત્ર દોરો અને પછી તે સેમીનાર માં બધાને પોતાની એક નવી ઓળખાણ ઉભી કરીને તે કાલ્પનિક ચિત્રને કેમ વાસ્તવિક બનાવવાનું તે ઉપર assignments આપેલ.  તે વખતે મારી નવી ઓળખ મેં બનાવેલ – creative self expression અથવા સર્જનાત્મક અભિવ્યક્તિ.  ત્યાં સુધી હું એમ માનતી હતી કે મારામાં creativity નો અભાવ હતો. પણ તે સેમીનાર પછી મેં અંગ્રેજીમાં લખવા નું શરુ કર્યું અને ઝીન્દગીમાં દોરેલી એક રેખાને ઓળંગી.  (તે પછી તો બ્લોગ પણ શરુ કર્યો અને અત્યારે 2000 જેટલા લોકો મારો બ્લોગ follow કરી રહ્યા છે.)

તે વાત વિત્યાને ઘણા વર્ષો પછી મેં કેલીફોર્નિયા માં થયેલ ગુજરાત ડે માં ઝવેરચંદ મેઘાણી ની રચનાઓને માણી।  તે પછી મેં બીજી રેખા ઓળંગી. http://tinyurl.com/on7rodx  જયારે હું આફ્રિકામાં મોટી થઇ ત્યારે ગુજરાતી શાળામાં જતા હું એકદમ ગુજરાતી પ્રેમી હતી.  પરંતુ છઠા ધોરણ માં ભારત આવતા એવો નિર્ણય લેવાયો કે અંગ્રેજી ભાષા અને કોન્વેન્ટ શાળામાં અમારે જવાનું.  અંગ્રેજી શાળામાં ન જવા માટે મેં ખુબ ધમપછાડા કર્યા પણ છેવટે મારે તે સ્વીકારીને અંગ્રેજી શાળામાં જવું પડ્યું અને તે દિવસથી મેં ગુજરાતી છોડી દીધું. લગભગ તે પછી પાત્રીસ વર્ષથી ઉપર મેં ગુજરાતી ભાગ્યેજ વાંચેલ.  મેઘાણી  ના કાર્યક્રમ માં ગુજરાતી સાથે મારી ફરી ઓળખાણ પાકી થઇ.  અને મેં ગુજરાતી વાંચન અને ગુજરાતી માં લખવાનું શરુ કર્યું.

પ્રજ્ઞાબેન  દાદભાવાળા Milpitas ICC માં જે બેઠક નામની સંસ્થા ચલાવે છે તેમાં આવતા, ગુજરાતી ભાષા સાથે તુરંતમાં તાજી થયેલ ઓળખાણ મૈત્રીમાં બદલી ગયી છે.  કેમ કે બેઠકમાં માત્ર ગુજરાતી માણવા જ નહિ પરંતુ ગુજરાતીને આત્મીયતાથી અનુભવવા મળે છે.  બધા પોતાના અનુભવ અને પરિપેક્ષ્ય પ્રમાણે એક જ વિષયને જુદી જુદી રીતે લખી લાવે છે – તે રીતે બેઠકના ઘણા પ્રેક્ષકો માણ્યો નરસિંહ મેહ્તાનો આસ્વાદ અને કહેવતો અને અરરર અને હાશકારો જેવા વિષય ઉપર જુદા જુદા શબ્દોમાં રચનાઓ લખી.  તેમાં માત્ર ભાષાને નિષ્ચેષ્ટ રૂપે અનુભવવાની બદલે સક્રિય રૂપે તેને આપણી પોતીકી કરી.  તે છે પ્રજ્ઞાબેન નો મોટો ફાળો કે તેમણે ભાષાને કંટાળાજનક રીતે પ્રસ્તુત કરવાની બદલે, બધાને પ્રોત્સાહન આપી ને દરેકના શબ્દોના સર્જનથી જીવંત ધબકતી રાખી.

મારી જેમ ઘણાએ આ રેખા ઓળંગી છે અને પહેલી વખત સાહિત્યકાર બન્યા છે.  આટલું મોટું રૂપાંતર અને છતાયે તેમાં નથી પૈસા ખરચ્યાં અને ઉપરથી સુંદર ભોજનો અને એક બીજાનો સાથ અને મૈત્રી નો ખજાનો કેળવ્યો છે.  તો બેઠક અને ગુજરાત દે તેમજ શબ્દોનું સર્જન બ્લોગ એ છે પ્રજ્ઞાબેન ના નિશ્વાર્થ, સતત અને નિરંતર પરિશ્રમ નું પરિણામ, જેના આધારે મારા જેવા કેટલાયે કૈક રેખા ઓળંગી છે અને ગુજરાતી સાહિત્ય અને કાવ્ય ના કુવામાં ડૂબકી મારી છે અને ઘણીવાર રતન શોધી લાવ્યા છે.

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“Build” – Play Review (about a startup in Silicon Valley)


Written by Michael Golamco, “Build” is CityLights’ Executive Artistic Director, Lisa Mallette’s yet another bold venture aimed to bring thematically relevant plays to the Silicon Valley audience.  Set in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Palo Alto, CA, this is a story about — what else? A startup! And what could be more hot than a video gaming company?

I am going to skip a more typical review with detailed plot description, in favor of giving you a glimpse of the future envisioned in this production.  To give a little background of the plot, Kip (George Psarras) and Will (Max Tachis) had earlier conceived a brilliant game that resulted in a grand success, leading to what appears to be a milestone based buyout deal.  Unlike Will, dapper and immaculate, Kip, the creative genius, with disdain for money, and for following procedures, and grave dislike for documenting details to make hand off of work easier for others, has a harder time with monetary success, fast cars, suits and board and shareholder meetings.  Kip spends his days cloistered in his home mourning the loss of his late wife, and has abandoned social life, in favor of staying indoors, in his cluttered apartment, working on his next big project; only this time to give it away via open source and cloud.  And who else to keep him company but an “artificially intelligent” being, an AI robot, oddly resembling his late wife Allison (Morgan Voellger).

English: IBM's Watson computer, Yorktown Heigh...

English: IBM’s Watson computer, Yorktown Heights, NY (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you think that it might be too far fetched, think again.  Sometime back, IBM’s AI computer, Watson made history when it appeared on Jeopardy, the popular game show beat most of the contestants http://bit.ly/JOZmwH .  Watson is a computer system, capable of answering questions posed in natural language.  This is no small feat.  Human language is infinitely complex.  That alone makes for a huge challenge in building an artificially intelligent, interactive being.  Puns, idioms, and other contextual expressions, and even the tone of voice http://bit.ly/17FvMmW  and a pause at a different place in a sentence, can completely alter the meaning.  In medicine, AI computer like Watson is expected learn the nuances of the language to offer complex diagnosis, and even indicate the level of confidence it has in the diagnosis offered.

ASIMO uses sensors and intelligent algorithms ...

ASIMO uses sensors and intelligent algorithms to avoid obstacles and navigate stairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In “Build”, Kip’s AI being is keenly aware of her identity “16 terabytes of data”.  But she is far superior than any ordinary machine and he has built it in human avatar.  The robot takes on Allison’s personality, even the loneliness Allison experienced when she was married to Kip and Kip was occupied with his gaming venture.  This AI machine made out of code is incredibly smart (beats Kip in the word game they play), is intuitive and curious, and even talks about her dreams.  When Will discovers Kip’s secret AI being, he is both astounded and concerned that Kip will forever stay a prisoner of his home, as long as he has the companionship offered by the robot.  Along with this ulterior motive, Will also has fond memories of Allison and is mesmerized by Allison-like-robot.

This is not stuff of idle imagination.  Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have all said that we should be concerned about the future of artificial intelligence.  Louis Del Monte, an entrepreneur, has said that some day, machines could surpass humans and could become the most dominant species, and Hawking has said that machines could eventually “outsmart financial markets” and “out-invent human researchers”.  Days may not be far when machines will fulfill the roles of companions and caregivers.

While it is challenging to imagine the future, this production is tackling the challenges of reproducing that “future” on stage.  It takes the audience into the fascinating world of video gaming as Will and Kip work on deliverables, cleaning out bugs, and packet drops.  Then with the help of high tech design and lighting, the audience is introduced to the AI robot.  Video designer, Nick Kumamoto has worked wonders with some scattered computer screens and lighting.  While AI robot appears caring and concerned, and seems to be a perfect companion, the story revolves around three human beings, one who has passed away, leaving behind memories, and two friends who struggle through their growth and transformation, to keep the ties that brought them together in the first place; gaming, innovation, and their urge to “build” something, in the heart of Silicon Valley.  “Build” will be running at CityLights in San Jose, till February 22, 2015.  For tickets, go to www.cltc.org

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High Performance Computing Solution to Overcome Current Limitations in Mass Spectrometry


Jeff Peterson, Chairman at Veritomyx and CEO of parent company, Target Discovery, talked about how Veritomyx is focusing on convergence of high performance computing and state-of-the-art signal processing algorithms, to deal with the challenges encountered in identifying protein/isoform and metabolite biomarkers, due to limitations in mass spectrometry and supporting software.  The talk was in Sunnyvale, at event hosted by www.bio2devicegroup.org .

Modifications of proteins are responsible for exerting about 90% of the control of biochemical pathway changes. Accurate detection and validation of these changes offers hope for much stronger diagnostic insights into disease status and valuable treatment guidance decisions, enabling new effectiveness to advance the field of personalized medicine.  In turn, this is expected to help determine specific potential responses of therapeutic compounds in individual patients, allowing for more customized and successful treatment regimens.  Selection of properly validated therapies would save huge amounts of resources, money, and most importantly improve patient outcomes.

In the US, healthcare expenditure currently averages around $3T per year, said Peterson.  About 85% of that is spent on doctors, hospitals, ER, and end of life management.  Drugs make up only 12-15% of the total expenditure and diagnostics represent 2-3%.  The dawn of personalized medicine diagnostics now allows the right diagnostic to better select for the right therapeutic, and to minimize the patient’s descent into the chasm of other healthcare expenditures.  This paradigm shift is upending the value proposition in favor of newly recognized value in personalized medicine diagnostics leveraging overall healthcare expenditure decreases with improved outcomes.

A Shimadzu Ion Trap-Time of Flight mass spectr...

A Shimadzu Ion Trap-Time of Flight mass spectrometer (center), HPLC-UV (left). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The search to find, identify and characterize new biomarkers across life science R&D efforts typically employs mass spectrometry.  In MS, ions from the unknown are accelerated and detected electro-magnetically, and software attempts to assemble puzzles of component ions into information identifying the unknown parent.  The output is typically analyzed in the form of a diagram, with X axis reflecting the masses of the individual ions, and the Y axis showing the  “relative abundance” of the ions detected.

 

However, current limitations in mass spectrometry, signal processing and identification algorithms often limit the availability of useful information.  Frequently, critical information remains hidden among overlapping peaks.  Overlapping peaks cause misdirection in mass and abundance results, delivering lower mass and abundance precision, and making it vastly harder or completely failing to correctly identify biomarker compositions.

English: Isotopic pattern of an peptide. Mass ...

English: Isotopic pattern of an peptide. Mass spectrum recorded by Q-TOF mass spectrometer. Polski: Obwiednia izotopowa peptydu zmierzona przy pomocy spektrometru Mas Q-TOF (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The “PeakInvestigator™” software from Veritomyx, helps enhance the quality of science, saving critical time and R&D resources.  PeakInvestigator typically triples the effective resolution and reveals and precisely deconvolves overlapping peaks that go unnoticed by current mass analyzers and software.

Precision problems in the data not only waste a great deal of time, but they can misdirect attention and decrease the effectiveness of R&D efforts.  Abundance and mass errors produce spurious biomarker candidates and incorrect isotopic ratios for peak identification, said Peterson.  The PeakInvestigator software delivers up to 10X improvements in mass and abundance precision across a wide dynamic range when deconvolving previously hidden overlapping peaks.

The PeakInvestigator is based on statistically robust and reproducible methodologies, said Peterson and it enhances identification of unknown proteins, peptides, and metabolites to improve the ability to correctly detect and validate biomarkers.  Further, it’s advanced signal processing algorithms automatically adjust for differences in instruments and tuning variations.  These algorithms provide adaptive baselining and signal-to-noise thresholding.  This easy to use software solution eliminates the need for manual estimation of centroiding parameters or visual inspection of data before processing.  When summing up the advantages, Peterson also added that PeakInvestigator is being designed to be 21CFR11 and HIPAA compliant.

For companies interested in PeakInvestigator software-as-a-service solution, it can be easily integrated into the existing workflow.  Their simple public application-programming interface (API) inserts directly into company’s existing mass spectrometry workflow.  While already validated workflow remains intact, the PeakInvestigator algorithms can be leveraged on the existing data.  Currently Veritomyx has launched Free Beta Services collaborations for its PeakInvestigator deconvolution and centroiding software.  Free Beta Services will allow collaborators to apply certain PeakInvestigator high performance computing capabilities to their own mass spectral raw datasets at no charge.   Please contact www.veritomyx.com for further information.

 

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2 Pianos 4 Hands – Play Review


wpid-20150117_223023.jpgSemi-autobiographical play, co-written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, “2 Pianos 4 Hands”, spotlights the agony and the ecstasy, in the pursuit of excellence.  With two grand pianos the stage is set for two superb actors, who are just slightly less superb piano players.  The production directed by Tom Frey, is a work of creative genius.  Darren Dunstan and Christopher Tocco as Dykstra and Greenblat respectively, are funny, smart, and witty and play various other roles with great aplomb.

If you’ve ever pursued a creative activity then there must be times when you wanted to quit and perhaps someone might have told you these exact same words, “If you want to quit, you are free to do so.  I am your father, I will always love you” and you must be quite aware that these words are really not meant as a permission to quit.  On the other hand, when you decided to give your chosen creative activity, all you got, you might have also heard these words, “I am a little concerned you are so cooped up, you don’t have many friends.  You need to get outside more.”  Or perhaps heard this? “You are being obsessive and it isn’t healthy.  The point is your grades are slipping.  You used to be an honors student”.

The keyboard of a Steinwayhttp://www.flickr.co...

The keyboard of a Steinwayhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lecates/438919948http://www.flickr.com/photos/lecates/438919834 grand piano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This talented duo performs musical pieces from children’s renditions to adult performances of concert pieces and sonatas, as they take us through the trials and tribulations of pursuing creative excellence.  They seamlessly weave various characters in this funny rendition, where two young pianists pursue big dreams.  As they grow in the talent, they require different teachers, each teacher comes with different styles and different philosophies.  The duo performs, they pass exams, they excel, they fail at some, they get deflated, they pick themselves up and on they go.

In the last part of the second half of the play, they come to the final reality check point.  In the pursuit of creative excellence, there is a major gulf between the best and those who are just slightly less so.  The best perform on the world stage, in concert halls; the slightly less so get to perform in bars.  Greenblat acknowledges, “I feel guilty, when I am not performing, and I feel inadequate, when I do”.  Moments of inadequacy also bring deeper soul searching around meaning of life, “I want to change the world.  How am I going to do it, playing piano”?  In the end, the two piano players give a fabulous world class performance; at least that is what it seems like, to some of us, slightly less discerning musical audience.

It is in the last performance piece that redemption comes.  These two piano players are filled with joy and they give it their best and sometimes pursuit of creative excellence is its own reward, not to mention, sometimes you get to be the “best in the neighborhood” and in this neighborhood of the community theater, the audience revelled in their performance.  The play is running at www.theatreworks.org in Mountain View, CA.

 

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