(TL note: nareshov's diary)

Posts Tagged ‘IITK

Updates as of 3rd May, ’09

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Part 1

Plenty of things have happened ever since the humble beginnings of this semester that just ended with my last exam 4 days ago. Let me try summing up how things went this semester – which should’ve been my last semester here in my campus. I’m still unsure of the current state (OARS likes to keep secrets from me until a select date, what can I do?)

Right before this semester started, I remember partying* almost everyday. It was the winters I stayed back for to jumpstart on my second part of the BTP, but it turned out to lead me on a whole different path altogether. The semester starts and a few classes were attended. Soon, the “everyday partying” mode kicked back into our (the ones who were partying) lives. I’ll refrain from mentioning any detail regarding the others. This new way of life was, well, new to me. Partying everyday only to end up lethargic enough to not do anything else for almost a couple or more months during a semester – woah! How irresponsible and devoid of self-discipline I must’ve been. I was the kind of person who was largely amotivated and had no long term goals at that point. To keep up with my lethargic life and give time to partying, I cut myself off from other activities I kept myself busy with.

In the second half of the semester I had reached such a crazy state that I couldn’t sleep well without partying that night. It took me some self-realisation, re-orientation towards my purpose in being a student at this campus and most importantly, strong-minded individuals to help me get back on track. And boy was it a good one. It feels good to be reborn this way. Makes one think about the future once in a while rather than live completely for the present.

Evenings spent with a certain individual thinking back on how things went helped me reshape myself. The “everyday partying” mode that I had been in wasn’t completely a bad thing, it had its own share of pluses and minuses. The decision I made was to stick with moderation and to give up on certain things altogether. I’m just glad I’m making my own decisions. People aren’t the only things that can influence the state of mind. There are other things too.

I blame nobody at this point. It’s quite unfortunate if I’ll have to stay back in the campus for a while longer. But I’m glad I’m a different person today. On the other hand, maybe I wouldn’t have minded my “everyday partying” mode much had I been better off in life. You know? Like an owner of an island off the Pacific or something. Living my own life. But that’s not the case. I’m a student. I need to dedicate time to being one.

partying: wasn’t really celebrating anything, started off purely as a recreational activity and turned into a daily, dull-ish chore. Mind altering intoxicants were involved.

Part 2

This section is dedicated to observations I’ve been making on the people around me in this not-so-normal (temporary) human settlement. Let me list a few characteristics of the environment: The weather here ranges from one extreme to the other. Everyone gets a share of their favourite weather. Food – good for some, bad for some, unbearable for some. Totally skewed male-to-female ratio. Amotivated students. Motivated students. Good faculty. Old-school faculty. Comfort-oriented, make-lots-of-money-as-soon-as-possible kind of students. Whacky, I’m-the-next-avatar-of-Lord-Vishnu kind of students. I’m-perfectly-right-and-everyone-else-is-a-retard kind of students.

This list doesn’t end so easily. This place, as an environment to aspiring engineers, scientists and researchers, consists of a wide variety of inhabitants where plenty of them genuinely require help and constant evaluation at regular intervals to help to re-orient themselves to their true purpose in being here – as a minimum requirement. I mean, come on, this place is supposed to serve a few purposes, quite specific ones at that. Once a student is able to focus with that, if he’s got the time, he can go in directions that don’t affect his focus as much as he pleases. Actually, I’d have loved to refer to a document of sorts that lists what is expected of of a student in this campus. I’m unable to find it on the institute website and if such a document really exists, it’d be a good document to look into once in a while.

These are, at best, observations and suggestions. I don’t want to make judgments on any individual. I prefer humility and losing once in a while rather than having to go off my top and belittle a person because it didn’t fit my view of things or whatever it is that should’ve made me boil with anger or fill me with the need to “correct” a person so I can “satisfy” myself. Or maybe this is how some are accustomed to satisfying themselves. It’s pretty messy towards people who haven’t learnt to adopt a nonchalant nature when it’s called for. Washing dirty linen in the public? No thanks.

Part 3

The undergrad students in the newer batches seem to be a lot more focused compared to the ones in my batch. A friend of mine went “just as I thought” when I mentioned this to him with the anti-ragging initiatives in mind. He says (and I agree with him, empathise even) that the “ragging” sessions that take place during the first fifteen days of a fresher’s stay here is detrimental to their lives in various ways for the rest of their lives here and beyond. One of the ways in which it affects the not so careful fresher is his being accustomed to a mediochre student life. Missing classes, gaming, movies, tv series, intoxicants, and so on are some of the obvious side effects of these “interaction sessions”.

I belong to the Y4 batch and I’m in touch with students from the younger batches (Y5, Y6 and Y7). This semester (and the previous one) I happened to witness certain things that were quite different from how things used to be in the Y4 and Y5 batches. The anti-ragging initiatives were active from the Y6 batch onwards. Lucky chaps. You can see them attend a lot more (CS classes, I happen to be in the CS department so I’ll refrain from talking about the other departments – some departments are known to drive students in their final years crazy) classes, with plenty of scoring A’s and living a decent student life. Man! I wish I had been in their batch.

Things have begun to look a lot brighter now. The newer, younger faculty too are just as sincere and simply superb. It relieves me personally to think that these faculty won’t lose hope and continue to give their best in this symbiotic relationship that’s supposed to exist in this place. Had such faculty been initially exposed (and continued to be exposed for a few batches down the line) to batches such as ours who’ve been “ragged”, who knows, they might lose hope in students down the line and turn harder or rigid.

Note to self: Exercise your body (that includes your brain) regularly and stop being a prick.

Written by Naresh

May 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Updates as of 27th March, ’09

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Nothing much. Mundane. Lethargic. Hopeful. Bleak.

A few days ago, the Students’ Gymkhana in the campus came up with a somewhat “April Fool’s Prank”-like decision when they were serious about dropping Techkriti and Megabucks from the Gymkhana calendar and introducing a “techno-entrepreneurial” festival. Now, don’t ask me what “techno-entrepreneurial” is. At the moment, it sounds like certain people in the campus are catching the Capitalist world’s bugs or something. It’ll probably be a techfest like usual with some gambling in the name of “business”, perhaps. What is sad is that the name “Techkriti” shall no longer be in active use. The Gymkhana President has called for an Open-house meeting on this. I can only hope that those in power don’t kill off Techkriti so easily. Megabucks has been disappointing to some no matter what people claim and Techkriti was just hitting the popularity charts among the technical college croud in this part of the country. Sub-events like FOSSkriti have made a huge mark in the past two years and several corners of the planet recognise FOSSkriti as part of “Techkriti – IITK’s premiere techfest”. Afterall, Megabucks, too, started off as part of Techkriti back in ’98 (approx.) – if reducing the number of events per Gymkhana term is a concern, merging Megabucks back into Techkriti should surely cause less harm than blowing the daylights out of Techkriti itself?

Speaking about the number of events that are organised in the campus; IITK, primarily, is an institute of technology. Some bright young ones recently claimed that so is MIT- and yet, MIT doesn’t restrict itself to activites purely technical in nature. Sure, MIT is a huge place with a large faculty in various fields and all – and more importantly with geniunely interested students. Unlike the scenario in our campus – where research isn’t really a flagmark these days (mind you, we’ve got some excellent professors here and yet most theses or undergraduate final year projects aren’t as awesome as they are elsewhere), the activities in other larger institutes that seemingly betray their name have a good reason to be doing so – there are *people* who’re not, say, selfishly looking for personal gains alone. The local newsgroup has been pretty active at discussing these outright Talibanistic decisions that were made in the present Gymkahana’s first meet. I hope this doesn’t cause too much of a damage in the long run. Slow Talibanisation has been happening right here in the campus for a while and very few seem to notice it. Also, I seriously suggest we drop NNTP altogether and switch to reddit’s code – unless there’s a sizeable population still stuck with console-based nntp-clients.

Galaxy – a controversial event in its own right has been resurrected. Well, it’s good and all. But hey, the end-semester exams are right around the corner. But last night’s “Naruto Fan Quiz” was a welcome addition to the set of mundane events that happen in any cultural fest up here – dancing to crappy tunes, lame drama, etc. About half of L1 was filled up last night. It was a good surprise. But the anime community as such exists in fragments. Could be a good thing if the junior batches put aside differences and for a single community. Oh, but wait, I think they’re mostly fragmented because there hasn’t been enough interaction across batches in the past couple of years (thanks to anti-ragging policies which hasn’t really helped those who actually require it). Meh, whatever.

Apparently, Galaxy was resurrected in the hope that Hall days of respective halls would be put an end to. I mean, honestly, they were all a waste. Cheap, half-assed entertainment, the same old standard party food (various kinds of Indian bread, some panneer, you know, the exact same old food which people never seem to get bored of), obligatory invitations, general noise pollution, and so on. One Galaxy for a few days, in several venues throughout the academic and Outreach area, fought between teams made up of members from a bunch of halls, may not be such a bad idea.

I happened to notice a particular feature of Google Chrome (yes, I haven’t looked up the list of features of Chrome yet, and I believe that good interaction design is when one doesn’t need to go through a list or read up plenty on – at least on a browser, duh). So, here it is. You may have visited several websites that have a general search box in them. The next time you want to search something in such a box, don’t visit the site as yet. Type the URL, for example: “” and notice what appears on the right-end of the address bar.

Google Chrome search

Google Chrome: enter search keywords and hit enter

Google Chrome: enter search keywords and hit enter

Now, press TAB as it says, and enter your search keywords. Hit ENTER. Voila. Beat that fat-fugly-browsers.

Updates as of 31st October, ’08

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Been a while since I last blogged and several things have happened meanwhile including intervals of idleness.

First, getting back on track with my final year project. I was given a last chance and I took it. Although, after having started watching Kaiji I feel like I should get really serious about it. It’s mostly system integration work and addition of a layer of easy configurability. Java work and it’s pretty interesting stuff going by the underlying technologies that are involved and why it sets itself apart from the smaller ones as an Enterprise-level software. /me points to Alfresco.

For two weeks, I’ve been suffering from an upset tummy. It’s a sad thing. Due to which, I couldn’t even attend the events at this year’s Cultural Festival (don’t ask my why “.org”, I don’t know) in my campus. Synchronicity, my favourite event in Antaragni, is a rock fest. Of course, there’s metal too \m/. This time around, around 25 bands showed up for round one preliminaries and 8 (or 9) managed to go upto round two. The finale had the best 5 from round two perform first followed by the main show by Irish band Glyder. And, yes, my stomach stopped me from staying back for Glyder and I don’t really feel like I missed it. It’s not the genre I’m into. But those two days of preliminaries and the pre-Glyder performance was something I was very satisfied with.

Antaragni is over, and so is Deepawali, the festival of lights. I had a good time that eve in my Advisor’s house. Fireworks with kids, prepared our own food, discussed some Philosophy – that was a nice family evening. Too bad I caught a cold while returning to my hostel.

Written by Naresh

October 31, 2008 at 2:40 pm