Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Din 230: It's easier not belonging.

Over breakfast this morning, Dadi and I prepared the show order for the 2 skits, 3 songs, 4 dances, and 5 speeches to be presented by the students of Gyaan Ghar this Saturday night. We then met with a representative from the company in charge of setting up the stage, lights, and sound for the night to plan the layout of the event.

With this done, I embarked on a very special (and long overdue) field trip -- to the Khannas' factory! I have "always wanted to visit but never had the chance," and this year is a time to do all the things for which this is the case. Gagan Uncle picked me up in the morning and we headed to the branch of Arisudana Industries Limited located in Doraha. On the way, I filled Uncle in on my trip to Mumbai and he gave me some background on textile production. Their facility employs a technology known as air jet spinning, which Gagan Uncle was the first to introduce to India. However, they also have a number of more traditional machines, and I was able to see both today!

Who knew this was how yarn is made?

The starting material is polyester, a product of crude oil. This fiber is initially packed together, and a series of machines are used to open it, or separate its individual strands.

Next, the material goes through carding and combing, which clean the fibers and cause them to lie parallel. The resulting thick, untwisted strand is called sliver.

3,000 kg of polyester passes through this machine each day!

This next stage is when the substance actually turns into thread. Spinning is called spinning for a reason: the sliver is simultaneously stretched and twisted to become the fine material we know as yarn.

And then it is ready to be shipped out!

Once I had understood this process (well, somewhat), Gagan Uncle led me to the hall where air jet spinning is employed. Walking through the door was like stepping into the future.

The process is basically the same in each hall, but this second one, newer by 12 years, produces double the product with 15 percent of the manpower.

1. Opening

2. Carding & Combing

3. Spinning

Those tiny white blurs? Yeah, that's thread being spun very fast.

The spinning apparatus in this second hall is particularly fascinating. Gagan Uncle showed me the advanced control system, and the robot who intervenes immediately if there is any hitch in the spinning process. He also explained the elaborate underground ventilation system of the entire factory (this greatly resembled a Roman hypocaustum).

Lastly, we saw the foundation of another hall which will be completed in September, the size of these first two halls combined! The building's first truss was erected just today -- congratulations to Sidharth Bhaiya!

After a quick round of the garden around the factory (where each and every tree is planted by Nomita Auntie and Gagan Uncle, and the family used to grow organic vegetables), we returned to the "Ludhiana branch" of Arisudana. I flipped through recent family photos for a bit, while Gagan Uncle attended to some business.

We enjoyed a delicious and nutritious lunch with Dadaji before Gagan Uncle dropped me home. Thank you for today's educational experience, Uncle!

I stepped through the front gate and it was time for the students' daily 10-minute meditation.

We had another rehearsal today, this time giving especial attention to entrances and exits. Click below to see our youngest students' contribution to the show. This video is worth watching just to see how they all jump in on the last line and pretend they knew what they were doing all along -- reminds me of high school Choir class! :)

I definitely broke a sweat during today's practice, and was acting a bit short afterward. Despite my nippy attitude, Dadi and I managed to have a successful meeting with Sodi Auntie to finalize the order of acts. I find any such work dizzying, but I think we finally have a perfect sequence!

I needed an hour of meditation after this (I'm finding that I get crabby in the afternoons) and today's "did the trick," coupled with an energizing evening walk. I was back to normal by dinner, and ready to devour heaps of fruit for dessert. Other highlights of the evening included being guilted by Howard Chang into reading some Ovid, and perusing some Power of Now of my own volition. I'm not sure how I managed to stay up so late tonight -- does that sound familiar?


Song of the day:

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