Suresh Surmises



By Suresh Doré




In the United States, the categories, placement, and graphic standards for traffic signs and pavement markings are legally defined in the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as the standard.

A rather informal distinction among the directional signs is the one between advance directional signs, interchange directional signs, and reassurance signs. Advance directional signs appear at a certain distance from the interchange, giving information for each direction. A number of countries do not give information for the road ahead (so-called “pull-through” signs), and only for the directions left and right. Advance directional signs enable drivers to take precautions for the exit (e.g., switch lanes, double check whether this is the correct exit, slow down). They often do not appear on lesser roads, but are normally posted on expressways and motorways, as drivers would be missing exits without them. While each nation has its own system, the first approach sign for a motorway exit is mostly placed at least 1000 m from the actual interchange. After that sign, one or two additional advance directional signs typically follow before the actual interchange itself.

 .... Advance directional signs enable drivers to take precautions for the exit ....

The earliest road signs were milestones, giving distance or direction; for example, the Romans erected stone columns throughout their empire giving the distance to Rome. In the Middle Ages, multidirectional signs at intersections became common, giving directions to cities and towns.

 .... multidirectional signs at intersections became common, giving directions to cities and towns. ....

In 1686, the first known Traffic Regulation Act in Europe is established by King Peter II of Portugal. This act foresees the placement of priority signs in the narrowest streets of Lisbon, stating which traffic should back up to give way. One of these signs still exists at Salvador street, in the neighborhood of Alfama.

 .... road signs are milestones, giving distance or direction ....

The first modern road signs erected on a wide scale were designed for riders of high or “ordinary” bicycles in the late 1870s and early 1880s. These machines were fast, silent and their nature made them difficult to control, moreover their riders travelled considerable distances and often preferred to tour on unfamiliar roads. For such riders, cycling organizations began to erect signs that warned of potential hazards ahead (particularly steep hills), rather than merely giving distance or directions to places, thereby contributing the sign type that defines “modern” traffic signs.

 .... bike groups erected signs that warned of potential hazards ahead (e.g. steep hills), rather than just give distance or directions to places....

The development of automobiles encouraged more complex signage systems using more than just text-based notices. One of the first modern-day road sign systems was devised by the Italian Touring Club in 1895. By 1900, a Congress of the International League of Touring Organizations in Paris was considering proposals for standardization of road signage. In 1903 the British government introduced four “national” signs based on shape, but the basic patterns of most traffic signs were set at the 1908 International Road Congress in Paris.[citation needed] In 1909, nine European governments agreed on the use of four pictorial symbols, indicating “bump”, “curve”, “intersection”, and “grade-level railroad crossing”. The intensive work on international road signs that took place between 1926 and 1949 eventually led to the development of the European road sign system. Both Britain and the United States developed their own road signage systems, both of which were adopted or modified by many other nations in their respective spheres of influence. The UK adopted a version of the European road signs in 1964 and, over past decades, North American signage began using some symbols and graphics mixed in with English.

 .... North American & UK signage began using some symbols and graphics mixed in with English.....

Over the years, change was gradual. Pre-industrial signs were stone or wood, but with the development of Darby’s method of smelting iron using coke, painted cast iron became favoured in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Cast iron continued to be used until the mid-20th century, but it was gradually displaced by aluminium or other materials and processes, such as vitreous enamelled and/or pressed malleable iron, or (later) steel. Since 1945 most signs have been made from sheet aluminium with adhesive plastic coatings; these are normally retroreflective for nighttime and low-light visibility. Before the development of reflective plastics, reflectivity was provided by glass reflectors set into the lettering and symbols.

 .... most signs are made from sheet aluminium as these are normally retroreflective for nighttime and low-light visibility. ....

New generations of traffic signs based on electronic displays can also change their text (or, in some countries, symbols) to provide for “intelligent control” linked to automated traffic sensors or remote manual input. In over 20 countries, real-time Traffic Message Channel incident warnings are conveyed directly to vehicle navigation systems using inaudible signals carried via FM radio, 3G cellular data and satellite broadcasts. Finally, cars can pay tolls and trucks pass safety screening checks using video numberplate scanning, or RFID transponders in windshields linked to antennae over the road, in support of on-board signalling, toll collection, and travel time monitoring. can pay tolls and trucks pass safety screening checks using video numberplate scanning linked to antennae over the road....

Yet another “medium” for transferring information ordinarily associated with visible signs is RIAS (Remote Infrared Audible Signage), e.g., “talking signs” for print-handicapped (including blind/low-vision/illiterate) people. These are infra-red transmitters serving the same purpose as the usual graphic signs when received by an appropriate device such as a hand-held receiver or one built into a cell phone.

 .... another "medium" for transferring information ordinarily associated with visible signs is RIAS ("talking signs") for the print-handicapped (including blind/low-vision/illiterate) people. ....




By Koratti Ramadorai

Email: Koratti Ramadorai




My brother Nagu’s daughter Deepa was born on march 3 rd at Vellore under the grand paternal care of Narasingha Rao & Saraswathi. Deepa might have derived the inner inspiration from both paternal and maternal side. Neeraja & her sister were well groomed towards musical lines, and so were her aunts(athais). Deepa started her liking for Veena at the early age while she was in 7th std. Her first Guru was her mother’s cousin sister living in Mylapore( Heart of carnatic music). Later due to Nagu’s transferable job in the bank, she could not persue until her graduation in 1992. Thanks to Mrs Jayalakshmi in West Mambalam, she resumed from where she lefy.  Jayalakshmi maami and her husband Narayanaswamy  maama were family friends to us for years . When  her marriage was fixed with Arunkumar, it was a pleasant surprise and a wonderful coincidence that Arunkumar’s father and Narayansawmy maama were close friends from their college days.


Deepa continued her Veena learning after the marriage and also while she in Bayarea, USA where Arun moved in 1997. After their return from US in the year 2002, she started to look for a new Guru as Jayalakshmi maami passed away. After finding Dr.Shobana Swaminathan (her Guru till date) she continued further. Deepa’s husband persuaded her to take up academic course when  Dr Shobana insisted her to do Masters in music  in Veena from University of Madras.  Dr. Shobana ‘s guidance and  full encouragement and support from Arunkumar and Bharathi maami (Deepas Mother in law) she was able to successfully complete MPhil as well from Vels University, Chennai.

Her earlier school education was from Vellore/Dindigul/Chennai & Madurai.   She completed her degree from Fathima College with destinction. The finer point is that she commuted to Madurai from Dindigul everyday, since Nagu was working as Lead Bank Manager in Dindigul.


More interestingly to share with all is that she did her School final by correspondence studies studying from Musaffarpur where Nagu was working between 1985-87 & writing her exam at Guntur, from Andhra University.   

This made her to face any odd situations firmly at any odd times. After coming back to India to look after her father-in-law Kalyanaraman & Bharathi mami,    she still continued her journey through Veena, thanks to her teacher Shobana and full support from her husband. She had joined many concerts along with her teacher & her group, performing at various vantage places. One of them at Vandalur where Sri Sri Ravishankar guruji of Art of Living convened huge MUSIC MASTERIO of all instruments including veena besides local artists in 2015.  There was another gala program arranged by Lakshman Shruthi & group in 2017 where she played veena along with her teachers & students and this was covered by TV channels.


Very recently she travelled along with her Guru and others to Madurai on 26th Jan, 2018 & performed Veena concerts with 69veenas (to celebrate 69th Republic Day), at Madurai Meenakshi Temple.

They were well received by the devotees of the temple. The same was telecasted by SANKARA TV & interview conducted by them.

Deepa joined with her teacher Shobana under the trust founded in 2015 “KALASANGAMAM”, Centre for Classical Arts conducting Carnatic music exams  both vocal and Instrumental music  where she is also trustee. She teaches veena at home and also in a nearby college as a part time faculty in veena.

She has also presented several papers which were published  and has written articles for musical journals.

Her article ‘Music Therapy ‘ in the book’ Samakalika Sangeetham’ is a noteworthy one.

It is worth mentioning that her first daughter Mrudula after her schooling in Chinmaya Vidyalaya & graduated from School of Social Work specializing Psychology, and currently pursuing her Research Masters in Cognitive NeuroScience from Rodbound University, Netherlands.

Her twin daughters Manisha/Maanasa also finished their schooling from Chinmaya Vidyalaya, now persuing degree courses Chemistry and Visual Arts in Stella Maris College as per their interests.

All the three are well trained in carnatic Music for more than 12 years besides Divine chantings, duly encouraged by her parents & Bharathimami.

Koratti family justifiably proud of her. Her  lovable husband Arunkumar is indeed the backbone of her encouraging and supporting her to persue further in Veena & music. Besides attending to routine works at home, she continued her passion for veena  by learning and teaching as well.

We wish her journey through music & veena continue and the best of all to her.