Update : January 25, 2021

  • D S Saluja
  • Samvega
  • Saw Lin
  • Scrabble
  • Security
  • Senior
  • Singh
  • Sleep
  • Spreadsheet
  • SPZP-2007
  • Stamps, Fees and Notes

D S Saluja

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Dave Singh Saluja was my classmate at St. Paul’s High School, I.Sc.(A) and 2nd BE.

On some weekends, he would invite me to his house in Golden Valley for lunch to be followed by a “study session”. He would bring out 200+ comics and cartoons to study.

He volunteered to be “Humor Editor” of the RIT English Association Newsletter.

His father Teja Singh (a serial entrepreneur) had hoped that Dave’s elder brother (Scholarship holder from SPHS and an alumni from MIT in US) would help the family set up a tire factory. Their plans changed after the Coup D’etat and the subsequent nationalization.

Dave’s brother moved to Bangkok. Dave quit his studies at RIT to join his brother and form “Rama Enterprises”.

Dave would entertain his former schoolmates (e.g U Chit Po Po (M69), Dr. Nyan Taw (SPHS63, Marine Biologist).



  • My paternal aunt lived to be 94.
    Her birthday is April 7.
  • My cousin in 71.
    His birthday is April 7.
  • April 2020 will not see festivities / celebrations.
  • We are under “Stay at home” order.
    Have used up several bars of soap.
  • Several people — mostly old and not so old — have passed away.
    Some were healthy.
    A few are medical practitioners.
  • In some places, people got cited for ignoring the order.
    The fines start from $400.
    One elderly was fined $625.
    Seven people from Fremont who went to buy drinks in Santa Cruz were fined $1000 each.


2020 saw the COVID-19 Pandemic. Its destructive force is stronger than most wars.

It inflicted much more damage than the natural disasters (earth quakes, floods) and man-made disasters (9/11, bombings, arson) in the past years.

It has caused panic, economic loss, and deaths.

Sad events in the past few years

High winds, scarcity of water and hydrants, multiple “hot spots”, downed power lines and communication cell towers … all added to the destruction of 2000+ buildings, displacement of 20000+ people, and a climbing list of “deaths and missing people”.

Information, Misinformation and Disinformation

  • Technological advances could not predict and/or prevent disasters.
  • Incomplete and bad data for surveys and models cannot yield reasonably good results.
  • Some downplayed the seriousness of COVID-19
  • Some reports were not correct
    e.g. under-count cases
    did not count asymptomatic patients
    false negatives
  • Some suggested Prevention Tips and Cures
    not substantiated by Medical Research
    A few died taking the “cure”


  • Heath care is expensive
    even with Medical Insurance
  • Some friends have not been well for a couple of years
  • A friend was advised to have liver transplant, but he was not healthy enough to undergo the operation
  • Recently, several health care providers (Doctors, Nurses, Technicians) have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Most hospitals in the US will not accept ordinary patients during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Many hospitals find shortage of medical equipment and supplies to combat COVID-19.

Gone But Not Forgotten (GBNF)

  • The list of GBNF for 69ers now has close to 90 entries.
    One 69er said, “In five years, most of our classmates will be gone”.
  • Lost classmates from primary school, and high school in the past few years
    U Myint Sein (Bobby, Principal of BARB and IDEA Astrology) became unconscious while seeing the TV and succumbed 10 minutes later.
    Dr. Myo San (Freddie) was 3rd in Burma in the Matriculation of 1963. He had to take early retirement.

Saw Lin (C71)

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Ko Saw Lin (on the right)
  • Served as Secretary of RIT Civil Engineering Association.
  • Predecessor : Saya Dr. Myo Khin (C70)
  • Was active in SPZP and MES. There was no formal Alumni Association or SDYF at the time.
  • During my visit to Yangon, he provided transportation with his son-in-law to attend a dinner hosted by him near Feel Restaurant
  • Attendees include Saya U Aung, U Ohn Khine and Daw Mai Khin Nyunt (Rosie)
  • Gave me a collection of RIT cartoons. It was a teaser for the “Selected RIT Cartoons” to be compiled and published by U Myint Pe (M72) and the team of “RIT Cartoon Box” contributors and maintainers including Aw Pi Kye and Saya U Thiha Latt.
  • Also drove me to preparation meetings for SPZP-2012.
  • Chief Editor and Publisher of the commemorative issue of Swel Daw Yeik Magazine for SPZP-2012
  • Reprinted 2000 copies each of 23 vintage RIT Annual Magazines
  • Took care of logistics and security of SPZP-2012 in the morning at YTU and the Reunion Dinner in the evening at MICT Park
  • Coordinated with RIT Cartoonists for the “Cartoon Collection”.
  • Had medical problems and had been hospitalized a couple of times, but that did not dampen his spirit to make the first True Homing a resounding success.
  • Earlier posted me Tech magazines published by MES under his wing.
  • GBNF


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  • Scrabble is a board game.
  • A game can be played by two to four players.
  • There are a specified number of tiles.
  • Each tile holds a letter worth one to ten points, or a “blank” (similar to a “joker” or a “wild card” in card games).


  • The word must appear in the official set of dictionaries (e.g. Chamber’s Dictionary, Jone’s Pronouncing Dictionary).
  • A player can challenge the validity of a word. He or she will forfeit a turn if the challenge is unsuccessful.
  • A bonus of 50 points is given for a word formed with all seven tiles. e.g. MAJESTY
  • In some contests, adding “s” to a singular to make it plural is disallowed.

Scrabble Tournaments

In our younger days, Scrabble tournaments were held by

  • Guardian Newspaper
    P. Aung Khin (Editor, “Dawlay’s Circle” was a host.
    There was a “Tiger” Scrabble team with three players. One of the Tigers joined Saya Des Rodgers to play Doubles.
  • RIT Scrabble Club
    Saya Des and Saya U Khin were hosts.
  • YMCA
    It is known for the Chess Champions (e.g. Saya Dawson). It also hosted Scrabble tournaments.

Saya Des Rodgers won several trophies. Most of the English sayas (e.g. U Khin) and sayamas (e.g. Daw Toni) played Scrabble along with the students such as Ko Myo Tun (Bobby) and Ko Khin Maung Win (Roland). Civil Engineering sayas (e.g. U Tin Win) also frequent the English Department for Scrabble sessions and tournaments.

Saya U Khin has Chamber’s Dictionary and Jone’s Pronouncing Dictionary on his desk for use in the challenges.


  • Saya Des moved to UK and then Canada.
  • Saya U Khin moved to Taiwan.
  • Sayama Toni joined her husband (who retired as Ambassador). After his demise, Sayama moved back to Yangon. She reports about the gatherings (sumptuous food and Scrabble) in Yangon.
  • Bobby is now a Sayadaw named Ashin Pannagavesaka (Pa Auk Tawya monastery in Mawlamyine). Bobby mentioned that Paul requested him to be a judge at the Guardian Scrabble tournaments, so he could not participate.
  • Roland retired after working for an Embassy in Yangon.


There are several aspects of Security.

Secure Channel

A Secure Channel is based on the concept that it is difficult if not impossible to access the messages passing through the channel. At one extreme is a dedicated channel with reliable protocols for handshaking (hardware, software) to start a communication session and to maintain the session for a specified period.

Secure Message

A Secure Message adds another level of security (if used with a Secure Channel). A secure message is based on the concept that it should be difficult if not impossible to intercept or access the message and decrypt it within a reasonable time. An assumption is that the value of a message is time-bounded and the system that generates it guarantee the security for a specified period.

Secure Data

If the sensitive data in the repository (data base, servers) and the media can be “disguised” (using cryptography …), yet another level of security can be achieved.

Securing data requires time, resource and adherence to privacy rules, ethics. Even some large corporations (e.g. which maintain credit scores) are lax in guarding the information of their employees and clients.


The term Senior varies with countries.

Seniors in the US

  • Most Senior Centers require members to be 50 years or older. They want young, active seniors. Some volunteers are in their 80s and 90s.
  • AARP (Association for American Retired Professionals) admits “retirees” who are 50+ years old. This leaves room for marketing to people who are still active.
  • Some restaurants and shops provide discount to 60+ years and older.
  • The “official” age recognize by Federal and State Agencies is 65+.

Seniors in Myanmar

According to U Tin Htut (Harry, Mon Yu), a Sar Yay Saya has to be 80 years or older to be a recipient of the “Thet Kyee Pu Zaw Pwe“.

MES sets 75 years as a threshold for the “Paying Homage Ceremonies” for Engineers and Architects. They may or may not be sayas.

Seniors and SPZPs

  • Some seniors are reluctant to attend Saya Pu Zaw Pwes (SPZP).
  • They could not easily find their classmates among the huge crowd.
  • Some are uncomfortable to pay respect to the younger sayas on the stage.
  • A partial solution was provided at some SPZPs.
  • The sayas and sayamas were divided into three (or more batches).
  • The advantage is that Seniors can choose to pay respect to their mentors, and relax when the younger sayas are on stage.
  • A drawback is that it takes long to get the sayas and sayamas get on and off the stage.

Joke about Seniors

“Uncle, you call you wife Honey. What is her name?”
“I forgot her name 30 years ago.”


Sikh males have Singh in their names.

Balwant Singh

  • RUBC Gold
  • Majored in Pali
  • Served as Commissioner of Pegu Division
  • Joined the United Nations.

Teja Singh

  • Entrepreneur
  • Has six sons
  • My classmate Dave Singh Saluja (aka D S Saluja) left RIT before graduation to Bangkok to co-found Rama Enterprise with his elder brother (an MIT alumnus).


  • Doctor from Mandalay
    Devotee of U Lokanatha
  • A S Soni
    Classmate at SPHS

Other Singh

  • Surinder Singh (EE) moved to Australia.
  • Surinder Singh (Myenigone) moved to USA.
  • Meenu Singh (ChE) moved to USA.
    Has a Ph.D
    Became a Professor in CS or IT.
  • Jagjit Singh (Jack Bopari, EE) moved to USA
    Worked at UIUC.
  • Uttam Singh (Uttam S. Gill, M71)
    High School Luyechun from Myitkyina
    Moved to the USA
    Has a Ph.D
    Worked for NASA


How long should one sleep?

  • Most people spend one third of their lives sleeping.
  • Some try to sleep 8 hours a day because they are told that it is necessary to refresh the body and the mind.
  • Some say that the number of hours of sleep vary with age. Children need to sleep longer. Adults may sleep less.
  • My uncle slept about four hours a night, but he took a power nap. He lived up to his 80’s.
  • A friend of mine sleeps four hours a night. He is active at work, church and play competitive ice hockey.
  • Some say that the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity of sleep.
  • Some go to bed at the same time every day, and get up at the same time every morning.
  • When you are sleeping, put your smart phone away from the bed.
  • Some can sleep like a log. They can sleep on trains, planes, and beaches.
  • Some find it hard to fall asleep. Counting sheep or reading books do not help them fall asleep.
  • There is on-going research on sleep disorders.

Dr. Nyunt Wai (Victor, SPHS63) wrote :

“Ma Eik Ma Nay Ah Thet Shay”

Editor’s Notes :

Pauk Kyaing was advised to follow : “Thwar Bar Myar Khayee Yauk”, “May Bar Myar Sagar Ya” and “Ma Eik Ma Nay Ah Thet Shay”.

Skipping sleep for one night allowed Pauk Kyaing to avert a death threat and become a King.



  • VisiCalc was a $100 software sold on a $1000 Apple computer.
    It made Apple a serious platform for doing business.
  • Dan Bricklin, an MBA student, had an “Aha” moment when he noticed his professor teaching “What-if”.
    Every time one or more variables changed, the professor had to erase and write equations.
    He felt that the process can be done easily with an interactive electronic spreadsheet.
  • Bob Frankston had worked on business oriented programs (e.g. report generators) on the mainframe computers.
  • Dan and Bob founded Software Arts to develop VisiCalc.


VisiCalc was challenged by SuperCalc and numerous other programs that offered improvements.

  • Ultimately, VisiCalc lost to Lotus 1-2-3 by Mitch Kapor.
  • Mitch integrated three functions
    (a) Spread sheet
    (b) Graphs
    (c) Data Management.
  • Lotus was bought by IBM.

Microsoft came up with Office which included Word (for Word Processing) and Excel (for Spreadsheet).


The Fourth RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe (aka SPZP-2007) was held in Singapore in April, 2007.

The following are entries from the SPZP-2007 archives.

April 5, 2007

Arrival in Singapore

We arrived in Singapore 15 minutes later than the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival).

Ko Nyan Win Shwe (M72), Saya U Aung (C70), Ko San Win, Ko Khin Latt, Ko Zaw Win Htut, and Ko Tin Aung Win (Ko TAW, C81, UCC) were waiting for the “Three Musketeers” — Saya Allen Htay, Ko Benny Tan, and me.


Saya Allen and Ko Benny were taken to the Bay View Hotel, which is close to the three hotels where the sayas and sayamas from Myanmar who had arrived on April 4, 2007 were staying.

Thanks to Ko TAW for giving me his younger son’s room and his laptop, for proving me home-cooked food, and for driving me to the various gatherings and the main events.

Electrical Engineering Gathering

Organizers include Ma San San Mya (’72), Ko Kyaw Swa (’96, emcee), and Ko Aung Mon (’96).

EE Sayas were led by U Myo Kyi (EE59). Dr. Christopher Lee (L. Tin Tun), U Soe Paing, U Moe Aung, Dr. Win Tin, U Ba Myint, U Khine Oo, U Tin Maung Thein, U Tin Shwe, U Kyaw Lwin, Daw Mya Mya Than and U Than Lwin attended the gathering. Several sayas gave speeches: brief self-intro, walks down memory lane, and thanks to the organizers.

April 6, 2007

Civil Engineering Gathering

Attended the Civil Engg gathering as a Special Guest.

Organizers include Saya U Aung (C70), Saya Dr.Soe Thein (C75) and Ko Aung Kyaw Myint (’96, “Ko Ba Kyaw” of Swe Daw Yeik fame, emcee).

Sayas led by Dr. Aung Gyi, U Min Wun, Dr. Win Thein, Dr. Aung Soe, U Allen Htay, U Thein Tan, U Khin Maung Phone Ko, Saw Christopher Maung, U Tin Maung, U Nyi Hla Nge, Dr. Htin Aung, Dr, Khin Maung Win, U Hla Myint Thein, U Khin Maung Tint, Dr. Myo Khin, U Khin Maung Maung, Dr. Soe Thein, and Daw Swan Tee attended the gathering.

Welcome Dinner for SPZP-2007 Attendees

Attended the “welcome dinner” at Yunan corner. Food was provided by a local Myanmar restaurant and some “imported” specialties: Kauk hnyin kyi tauk,

Almost all the visiting sayas, sayamas and their families attended. Saya U Ba Toke, 87 years young led the sayas.

April 7, 2007

The two main events of the Fourth RIT Grand Reunion and SPZP took place.

Morning event at Burmese Buddhist Temple (BBT)

Three rounds of Saya Ga Daw Pwe at the Burmese Buddhist Temple:

  • first round for the “senior sayas” (who graduated before ’65)
  • second round for the sayas (who graduated before ’75)
  • third round for the sayas (who graduated after ’75).

Saya U Ba Toke, Saya U Min Wun, and Saya U Thar Hlaing gave “Ovadha” and blessings for the attendees.

Ko Tin Maung Win (EP 71) posted Part 1 of the event on “YouTube” and requested us (me and the various webmasters and/or moderators of the RIT-related web sites) to announce the link so that the sayas, sayamas, alums and well-wishers who could not attend SPZP 2007 can share the experiences.

Three Tin Maung Win worked for the same company in Singapore. They are differentiated by using their major/discipline and/or year of graduation. Two of them are known as “Ah Phyu TMW” and “Ah Mei TMW”. The latter prefers to be called “Ah Nyo TMW” or as the hubby of “Model” (Mai Daw) singer and dancer Moe Moe Yi.

Evening event at Orchid Country Club (OCC)

Orchid Country Club (OCC) is one of the few places in Singapore that can host events with 800+ attendees. According to Ko Nyan Win Shwe, 840 attended the Reunion dinner.

There were long queues at the registration table. Young volunteers gave out badges, “Swe Daw Yeik Sar Saung” and a door gift to every attendee. The invited sayas and sayamas were given additional gifts.

Some scheduled speeches were canceled or shortened from 5 to 3 minutes. There was ample entertainment from the Singapore and Myanmar groups while the 10-course dinner was being served.

There were two rounds of “appreciation to the Golden Sponsors”. Ko Benny and I were requested to accept the “appreciation awards” on behalf of the sponsors from USA who could not attend SPZP 2007.

Ko Myint San (“Tet Lu”) showed his expertise with the dobat, pattala, and “Chit Dukkha” song, Ko Yu Swan entertained with “Don min” and Shwe Zin Ma played the Saung and also acted in the Pyazat directed by Ko Aung Kyaw Myint (“Ba Kyaw”).

Ko Tet Lu and Ko Ba Kyaw had complete confidence in the next generation of “Lu Shwin Daws” led by Ko Awba.

The Swe Daw Yein Ah Nyeint also featured Khine Nay Nwe Lwin, Aye Thaw Kyawt, Awba, Pulley, Chainthee, and Diode.

The program, originally scheduled to end at 11:45 p.m., ended almost an hour later. This was due in part to pay back to the people who had shown appreciation by “rewarding” them.

The program ended with a special song written by Ko Ba Kyaw and with a big crowd on the podium.

Editor’s Notes (added in 2019) :

  • I was a Saya at UCC, DCS and ICST, but not at RIT.
    Nevertheless, I was treated with care by some RIT sayas.
  • On the day of my departure, Saya U Moe Aung came with several copies of the Commemorative Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung to Ko Tin Aung Win’s house where I was staying. It was raining. They took me to the airport.
  • Thanks to Saya Dr. Myo Khin, I received a souvenir bag that was given to the attending RIT sayas.
  • At the Civil Engineering Gathering, Saya Dr. Soe Thein introduced me to the attendees.
  • Saya U Ba Toke was asked about his longevity. Saya recounted his visit to a house in Russia where he was greeted by a 75+ year young man. Saya was worried when he heard some noise from the upper floor. He was told, “Don’t worry. That’s my 110+ year young uncle quarreling with his fourth wife. Soon, they will be at peace.”
  • There were some sayas from the Supporting Departments
    e.g. U Nyein Aung (Political Science)

Stamps, Fees and Notes

Two Kyat Stamp

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Ten Kyat Note

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During our student days and even in our early working days, we had to sign and affix a fifteen-pya stamp to a receipt.

Some legal documents need stamps of Two Kyats (or more).

The school fees was 15 Kyats or less per month. At RIT, we had to pay 30 Kyats every two months. Since we received the Collegiate Scholarship of 75 Kyats per month, we had 60 Kyats pocket money every month.

That changed slightly, when we we “asked” to buy “Thuda Padtha Magazine” (or similar) for 5 Kyats.

Still, it was good enough. At the canteen, we would collectively order some food. Without the voracious eaters, each person would pay about one kyat.

Lime juice costs 15 – 20 pyas.

Butheegyaw 5 – 10 pyas.

Banana one for 15 pyas; two for 25 pyas.

Two years ago, my sisters took me to a “Phaya Phu” trip to Upper Burma. There were different kinds of fees : bridge tolls, fees to enter a town. The prices depend upon the type of car.

In one instance, the fee was K400. We gave a K500 note and got back a “tha-gya-lone” (candy supposedly worth K100).

I remembered receiving 15 – 50 kyats for my writings.

How things have changed.

Sad to note the declining worth of money and the disappearance of Bogyoke Aung San’s picture (during the Adhamma Era) and signatures of Maung Kaung and San Lin to guarantee the notes.

Categories: Notes

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