Disconnected

I realised this the other day as we were called to take stage and enjoy the moments as final years. It would perhaps be our last opportunity. But in the midst of it all I knew that it was not something that I wanted to do. The people on stage were largely a hostile bunch. Reluctantly I climbed up when a friend asked me to. I chatted for a minute and I was back down. People asked me why? I replied I was just not into it. The truth is I was feeling disconnected. When my engineering ends this june, I probably wont miss most of my class mates. Who I’ll probably miss are a bunch of people spread across the college. These have been the people who have shared the same ideals, lived the same experiences and have had fun for the last 3-4 years.

I realise that certain people have changed for the worse and certain others have become distant. There are some that have been misunderstood and some that have hurt me. But I really don’t care about all that. I’m happy with the effort that I put in being part of anything. I may be eccentric and whiny but then also I know certain people appreciate me. My goal to bring about certain awareness in Nitte has been partially successful. Grey matter being the biggest success. I truly hope that someone will carry it forward and guide juniors towards excellence. The unified fest which suddenly looks like a reality will probably happen in the coming years but its success is only limited by the people at its helm. I seriously wish that people become more aware of university culture in the coming years. Another project, The Labyrinth, probably will go online soon.

So looking back on these 4 years, there have been a lot of memories. Aloysius never gave me much of an opportunity to represent them during PUC but Nitte sure gave me a lot. I’ll surely miss the fests that we used to attend, the anticipation and the effort on stage and well, the final glory!

Academically speaking I am an EC illiterate. I can barely remember anything that I have learnt. Decent above average marks dictate a different story. What I have realised is that I’ve become more inclined to modern technologies and computer science.

Oh and for the future of Nitte , there seems to be some hope. The second year teams show promise. I am glad that there are people who can continue what our batch started and perhaps improve on it. For now, the next big thing is VTU fest 2010. What happens next, depends on it.

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The Big Choice

The Thing is that I’m not too interested in being an Engineer. Yeah, it does like a dumb career choice seeing that I’m on my way to get an engineering degree but that’s how my life has been, Mostly going with the flow. Things happened and I didn’t have ideas at that time and with me being the eldest in the family I had to explore things on my own; The what, the how and the where to apply, the procedure, etc., being the lazy dude I am , I didn’t venture too much away from the taken path. Me as an individual at a point of time did but only minutely change what I did. Like when I choose EC at Nitte over perhaps a Civil at Nitk. Because when I was to do Engg., I would rather study what I would like to learn about. Why wouldn’t you? Well looking back I still feel it was a good decision. Being at nitte has helped me so much more. I’ve got good friends, I’ve had good fun and I’ve lived.
So now we meet again at our next cross roads. TCS ya Infy? We can choose one. But once selected in one we would be stuck there for at least the duration of the service agreement expiry date. Now that’s 2 years for TCS while Infy is only 1 yr. So if I would be looking to seriously pursue my higher studies I should look towards Infy as a good employer. The pay there also seems to be slightly more.(lesser holidays)
But now what if I don’t make it to any of the higher studies colleges(that I want to get in and not any institute down the road) this year? Or the next? Wouldn’t TCS look like a better option in the long run. From what I’ve heard is that it gives better job opportunities.(more holidays)

But coding is not what I would like to see myself doing with my life. But I can’t see myself working in an EC background either. Yes I do like the coding aspect in EC better any day. Right now what seems to be an ideal choice for me would be like doing my MBA. That means passing through CAT(IIM’s) and/or XAT(XLRI) and going towards more managerial positions, of which HR looks inviting because it s essentially interacting with people.
On the other hand, GATE offers me a good College (IIT’s, NIT’s,IISc) and an approx Rs 8000 a month scholarship provided I get into a college. But looking at my current situation and with only one month remaining for GATE after my exams, my chances don’t look so good in it. But this has been a dream of mine to study from a premier technical institution.

And the choice of going abroad was thrown out by me a couple of months back. Presently it looks economically crazy to go for it. Scholarships are rare and you are more or less expected to foot the bill. That’s where huge bank loans will come in. How long do you think you will take to repay them back? After your MS that is. Yeah, the degree is coveted and most people say it would not take too long, provided that your MS is in a good subject. Some people like Rahul are indeed going for it. He’ s got a good GRE score and is pretty sure about what he’s going to do.

Now my choices are not limited to just these. An uncle of mine wants me to join government service. Perhaps write IAS like a certain ‘son of mangalore’ who passed it last year. The government does need youth but am not too good with languages. This had prompted me to dump the idea of a medical seat even though I had a CET rank of 441( yea bragging rights are mine). Because like medicine, government is about serving people.. Although what we see is not too many are doing that. It s not like they are not willing but it’s more like the system does not allow them to. Joining a system that does not work well will do no good.

So what do I want to be?

Somewhere down the line I want to quit work and start to enjoy the finer things in life. Do what I want to. Go through my Bucket List. This would mean safe and wait. What the TCS spokesperson, Sampath Kumar, said really impressed me. He gave us a brief intro of his life. Now that’s an accomplished man. He spent 19 years working for Bharat Electronics Ltd. Did his higher studies with them. Quit to join an MNC, quit the MNC when he was about to be promoted and started something that he wanted to do; Rural education. He became an educator and a multi-certified one at that. He was one of the founding team of the first BPO in India and then he joined TCS and is part if their leadership group. The guy is genuine. He’s lived his life. He’s done what he wanted to do. I haven’t met many such people in my life. Whenever I do , I feel immense respect for them. It made me remark to Karthik ‘ somewhere down the line , I wish I get a job like his’.

All this takes me back to ‘the Masterplan’ made by Rajat and me. But the feasibility of the plan would be only if time was slightly on the infinity side. ‘the Masterplan’ would also mean that you would be studying for a good amount of your life, but it would allow you to do all that you dream. It works well if you aren’t sure about what to do next. But the next thing on ‘the Masterplan’ is an Mtech degree through GATE.

So there we have it. My dilemma, in my words. It’s quite a lot. But it feels good to type it all out. I needed to do this and hope that few who read this were not too bored. So on the 19th I feel I’ll decide what needs to be done i.e., TCS ya Infy. Making Major decisions in between semester exams is just adding to the stress. Sheesh!

To Kill A Mocking Bird: Movie Review

Another thing got added to my ‘Nitte To-do list‘ recently. To watch a Movie with the Faculty projected in an AC seminar hall. The movie in question was ‘To kill a Mocking Bird’ which s based on the Pulitzer award winning novel of the same name, written by Harper Lee.

The Movie filmed in 1962 starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is a lawyer in a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s. He agrees to defend a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman.

We are told the story from the viewpoint of “Scout”, the 6 year old tomboy child of Atticus. An adult Scout narrates the story to the audience. The Innocence of Scout is clearly visible through out. There’s also side stories about Boo Radley and the the Development of Atticus’ image in the eyes of the viewer (as well as his children) as the film progresses.

Its a wonderful story and the movie is well made. The Characters have been essayed perfectly. I loved the movie, even though i could predict part of the story line. Even after the Movie, there was one Quote that stayed with me.

Conversation:

Atticus Finch: I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he’d rather I’d shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted – if I could hit ’em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Jem: Why?

Atticus Finch: Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don’t do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat people’s gardens, don’t nest in the corncrib, they don’t do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.

Shaastra Part 2: IITian eXperiences

“Shaastra 09”, the technical fest at IIT Madras, is neither a story to create nor an adventure to narrate but it is an experience worth reliving. It is always a pleasure to know where we stand at the all India level by competing with the best. Today we are proud to say that 4 of the 5 teams from NMAMIT won laurels in various competitions. Our journey from the west coast to the east coast began on the 29th September, 4:00 pm by the Chennai express. We traveled with loads of luggage and a team of 19, out of which 11 were from EC. (Here I mention luggage first because it weighed more than us). With all our excitement and anxiety about Shaastra, we reached Chennai half an hour prior to schedule. With guys like Lakku (our tamilian) on our side, we managed to argue with a cab driver to take us to the main gate of IIT.

Day 1: On reaching the hostel by 10 am, we still hadn’t done our morning duties. Somehow we found a patisserie shop. To suppress our hunger, we had food without even brushing…! After that came the disastrous wait in the sun to get accommodation (Someone also renamed shaastra as disastra). Finally by 2 we managed to get our rooms and immediately after having a bath we started our respective projects i.e., SCDC, Simchamp, Contraptions and The Rising. Having sleepless nights and foodless days was the routine for almost everyone except the Simchamp team.

Day 2: KK: Struggling with the circuit, we slept hardly for half an hour. Not getting the output, we were thinking of something new to make our circuit work. While Basti and his team were also in the same condition, GS was struggling with the soldron and PCB on his bed. The badam milk from the patisserie was our only nutrition for the full day. Raison was peeping from time to time to see our work progress. RD: In order to save more lives with our bot, we did some last minute changes to our code in the morning. Our event was scheduled for the afternoon. Being the last team to perform that day (2 IIT M teams performed the next day), we made it a point to showcase our code as better than the previous teams. We saved 36 with single bot and 86 with two bots. There was a cloud of nervousness on our heads. I and Kastury explained to the judges about the algorithm and code while Kenneth was giving time to time inputs on what must be explained.

Day 3: KK: In the morning, we were so unfortunate that we couldn’t watch the contraptions. At the same time we were worried because our circuit was not giving the desired output after combining the designed modules. The SCDC event was scheduled to be at 10. On reaching the event location, we were amazed to see some teams without even the circuits, some teams with non working circuits on the breadboard. We could breathe easily because our circuit was at least half working on PCB. The power of power electronics was evident from the working circuit of Basti, Sona, Vasu and Sandy. Ours was the first team to make the presentation. Pai was shivering on the dais. The judge was so happy to see our circuit on PCB and he came to know how to build it from us. At the same time Basti’s team also performed well up to the expected level. Ah… Finally some sleep. Having a small nap in the noon, we moved towards ‘Aerofest’ which included miniature plane models controlled by remote control. Their tactics in controlling the plane was amazing. When the audience requested for a Shakira move, the controller moved the plane vertically with shaking its belly. When we returned from Aerofest, we got to know that the Rising team won third place and the contraptions team had already lost. Our hope was fully on Simchamp because they were on top on the previous day with only two more IIT teams left. RD: The day started with the contraptions team setting up their module starting from 1:00 am!! Due to sleep loss they could not give their best performance and ended with a low score. We were totally disappointed. On the other side, SCDC event was taking place but we couldn’t attend it. Then we went to attend the remainder of our event, Simchamp. After sitting for 3 hours straight, the results were finally announced and we were ecstatic at winning the second place. We were on cloud nine. Our joy knew no bounds. Kastury wasn’t present when they announced the results, hence I and Kenneth had to go through the full thing again. This was just the start of greater things to come.

Day 4: KK: Our previous day had not ended till 5 in the morning. Though I had slept at 12, I was woken up at 5 by lakku . Opening my eyes I could see them fully energetic and they asked me to dance with them. They had danced at 3 too!!! Then we slept by 530 or so. Woke up by 9 in the morning, we had another competition-‘SHORT CIRCUIT’, both the SCDC teams formed 3 teams and participated. Then we roamed around the campus a bit and then had our lunch. Nap was a must in noon. Later in the evening, we SCDC teams planned to go to the Marina beach and then to THE CITICENTRE MALL. Catching the local train from the nearest station, we could reach the beach in only 20 minutes. It was a nice spot to lose the footwear and Basti’s sandals were drowned twice. Like a lifesaver, Ganesh was always ready to catch the sandals from the waves. He helped Basti to regain his sandals! On the way back from the beach, we found a nice shop selling seashells. Entering the mall, we could see the blend of royal architecture as well as the modern technology. By the time we reached third floor of the mall, all looked hungry. And Lakku was so desperate to taste the chicken in the KFC. Filling our stomach, we caught our train. Reaching the IIT gate, we realized that we had no bus to return to the hostel. No other way, had to walk back. But it was really a nice walk for 3km in the cool night. RD: The previous night was a bit noisy from the next room, but as usual we got good sleep. In the morning Kenny and Kastury were so stubborn to get up that I had to literally kick them out of their beds. We attended a hacking workshop which was really boring. Fortunately we could watch the air balloon event ‘The Rising’ . Few minutes into the event , and we were kicking ourselves for not taking part. Because of the 11 teams, only 3 balloons flew. The remaining either were too heavy or got burnt. In the midnight we attended one of the toughest quizzes ever. I and Kastury were irritated by the sheer nerdiness in those IITian jokes and left the venue at 2:00 am.

Day 5: KK & RD: We had a lot of free time for roaming AROUND. Planetarium was the first place we went to, but the next show was scheduled to begin in one more hour. Next was the Planetarium, which looked good in the beginning, but eventually as it continued, we got bored and Kenny was fast asleep. Moving out of planetarium, we decided to go to snake park of Guindy national park. Moving to entrance, we found that the Govt. was charging much for cameras than for the people. Lakku was in no mood to look at the snakes, he was just moving around looking at the people around. We were all hungry, so went to a hotel along with Karthik Kastury (he looted our pockets), who was our guide for Chennai for the moment. Later some of us wanted to buy some books, so went to Noor market. PC was bargaining so nicely that the shopkeeper finally agreed to sell the books for half of the price he initially argued for. On the way back we found a really nice sports shop where we had a lot to see (buying was tough, because almost everyone was running out of cash). Having our food in patisserie, sat there for some time talking about our Chennai and IIT days and how we will be missing it in future days. There was another bad news for us. We had to return our mattresses. Now, no other option, we had to sleep on the floor.

Day 6: KK & RD: Waking up early (sleeping on the floor had made our backbones pathetic). Now our work was to get our entire luggage to the entrance of Mahanadi hostel. We booked two cabs to make our luggage reach the Chennai central railway station before us. We found our train ‘WEST COAST EXPRESS’ and walked a long way to reach our sleeper coach bogie. As the train started moving, we were sad that we were going to miss Chennai and IIT. But we were also happy to return with the prizes. All were so lazy in the train that I began to think that the journey will be boring throughout. Once all woke up, the fun began with ‘SACH KA SAAMNA ‘(KK and pai revealed a lot) .And later we had dumb charades also. We noticed that the time was already 1030 when TT came and told us to sleep.

Day 7: Hmmm… the day began in Kudla itself. We were so happy to see our college again, but still we missed all the moments spent in IIT. EVERYDAY CAN’T BE A SHAASTRA DAY. Isn’t it?

Written by @Rakesh_KK and @RaisonD

OutFoxed

now that was sad.. so heart breaking-ly sad 😦 we were so close to the fox in the first round at the 4 coded message. there were 20 messages in all of which we got 18 which was pretty good because we decided that the fox was in quite another direction after the 4th message and were quite lost. Vigneshwar meanwhile had gone for starwars prelims and after that he had quite a job to search us foxes. so it was me, raison and kk searching, running and exploring every bit of nitk campus. my knowledge of shortcuts helped. well some good arose from going there for the past 3 years. 4 teams from Nitte qualified out of about 15 for the finals. in the end our college won the 2nd and the 3rd plac; both by third years. while the finals took place me and vigneshwar were annoyed that we didnt take part in starwars more whole heartedly as we saw the most sad finals ever taking place in a discreet part of the campus with the 4 of us being the only audience. 2 of our college teams were in the finals and that was the only reason we watched the finals.  😀

Overall i Nitte is doing pretty good this year. maybe they have been suitably inspired by us seniors or maybe by the huge amount of stuff thats been won by the students so far in 2009. well, what to say. its been a good year. and hope i continues to be.

we left for home at around 5. on the way we decided to use the Pizza hut coupons that vigneshwar had won in some side events. we ordered a paneer el rancho and a chicken supreme back at Bharat mall and we met Narendra there with his sis. we ate and were off home.

at home guess what? there ‘s biryani thats been prepared. 😦 now i wont be able to gorge down as much! so am delaying as i finally update my blog after ages ;P

 

Launched

the windows 7 launch party was organised by karthik in college and it went on pretty well. earlier in the afternoon i had laughed at raison and the others that you wont win any of the prizes and that was kinda was happened. karthik did not want to appear biased towards his friends and didnt allow us to win any 😦

anyway things got sorted out eventually and i guess things are back to normal. except for the fact of raison mentioning mental stress today at Engineer 😀

My Nitte to-do List

Its been a hectic start to the new semester at College; my seventh. The Final Year of B.E. life, the final year to realise our dreams, the final year to live life, to have fun and the final year to complete “the Things You need to DO while at Nitte”. The Newest checked item on my list is Having Bun-Palti with Cheese at Shashi’s. I had to Wait for about a year after i heard about it to actually taste it.

This list is more or less made of stuff that you need to try atleast once while at Nitte. Everyone has their own interests and their lists should reflect this. Me being a foodie and fun loving guy , my list essentially consists of these interests. They may seem mundane but sometimes you realise that you haven’t done that. Its the experience that s required.

Some of the stuff on the list that i have done are :

  1. Visit Parapady Falls.
  2. Eat Bun Palti.
  3. Take part in Fresher’s orientation.
  4. Ride in Toofan.
  5. Visit the “tribute to rock” murals at Shabari and have a bite to eat too.
  6. Eat Awesome Puri Bhaji at hut ( although i did not end up in panaji)

Well there are also some that are more like a personal achievement. Like staying real late in college, starting a club in college, being backstage, practising for events, singing in the department library, hanging out at MBA forest, watching a movie at Forever, roaming in Manipal and Karkala, studying at Sanmathi and definitely eating out at all the nearby joints and riding the College buses.

While all these things do bring up fond memories there are still quite a lot of things that i have not been able to do. A visit to Kemmanu temple, The Hanging bridge, Gomateshwara statue at Karkala, Bhoot bungalow( Rajat suggested this place) and the most awaited one undoubtedly is “the middle finger” like monolith 😀 (only 23ers will make sense of this one)

So there goes. I hope am able to complete the list and maybe add some more stuff to it while am here this way.