Friday, March 21, 2008

Engineering Brains (Oh Yes!) # 1


It was sometime in February 2007 i guess. We were a group of 30 students from our college on an indutrial visit to the Indian Petrochemicals Corp. Ltd. (IPCL) that had just recently been bought off by Reliance India. It was our first opportunity to actually witness something which we'd only read in our textbooks so far, so quite necessarily we were all pretty excited! Ok now, whom I kidding, we were all pretty excited about the 2 hour bus journey and the free attendance but we were all excited nevertheless!

The 2 hour bus journey, in spite of being pretty bumpy, was real fun courtesy the 'antakshuri' initiated by the girls. I mean come on now, how often do you get to hear such wonderfully fresh covers of Himesh Reshamiyya when the likes of Jim Morrison and Pearl Jam have polluted the whole music scene!

I wouldn't waste precious time now explaining you folks all that we learned during the whole visit but it was kind of o.k actually. At least initially it was! But as the day progressed and the Nagpur sun started bestowing all its generosity upon us my attention span was gradually fading when something so exciting happened that all my sleep vanished into thin air!

The IPCL employee was explaining to us something like how the polymers were cooled using water as a coolant when this one very curious girl (undoubtedly from Computer Science) inquired about what these guys did with all the residual water.
"The residual water being of no industrial use to us is simply used to water the garden and sustain the fishes in our giant aquarium", answered the employee to all of our satisfaction. But as you can bet, this girl was still not satisfied!

"Sir", went on this very bright girl, "if the water's of no use to you, why don't you simply evaporate it?"

(Oh yes, that's exactly what they should be doing sweety...spend a fortune installing new boilers, get some new employees for looking after it, spend another fortune maintaining the boilers and simply evaporate the water that was earlier serving some constructive purpose!!)

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