Tuesday, February 05, 2008

B.U.F.Y. 11: THE END?

Baby, Uncle and the Final Year (B.U.F.Y.) 11: THE END?
Links for Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8, Part9, Part10
[This is the last part of the series]
F**k you Tavant Technologies: Tavant Technologies is one of the worst things that ever happened to me – they are one big cheat. On 27th of April they informed us that our joining date is December the 10th, which means six months of unemployment – or in other words, they were saying that they have hired us but they aren’t capable to pay us so we should get out in the market searching another job for ourselves.
There are many aspects of this organization which I knew from my different sources inside Tavant at the time.
  1. Their major (perhaps only) client which accounted for 70% of the revenue had pulled off their project from Tavant.

  2. At the point of out recruitment, a wave of resignation was dominating inside Tavant. Their recruitment spree was a fail-safe, or may be a show off.

  3. They didn’t have the courtesy to respond to our queries.

  4. HRM never talked to our Training and Placement in-charge, in fact, they rudely behaved with Professor Sinha. Professor had got pissed off but he couldn’t ban the organization from Training and Placement. I do not understand this. Perhaps it was heavy load of getting higher placement percentage or ignorance or lack of gut, which refrain him from blacklisting Tavant. All we could get out of him is ‘wish you all the very best in your future endeavors’ which I readily translated into ‘guys, see I have thousands of other important things to do than cleaning the mess that you have made. Go get yourself something that suits you and get off my back. I, hereby, declare my surrender.’
    ‘You are lesser of the two evils, sir. Thank you for not wasting our time.’ I thought.

  5. When we came down to Bangalore, we met this really friendly employee of the company who advised us that we are luckier not to join the company.
And for my miserable sixty days, I will never forgive Tavant Technologies.
See you Kgp: May 10, 2007, I was a winner. My presentation was one of the best and my guide was personally congratulated by the invited invigilator. After presentation my guide called and congratulated me for a really great presentation and asked me whether I would like to work more on the project and get it published in technical journal? I denied. Had you asked me, one day before this day, about my professor, I would have told you he one of those non-believers who thought students can never do anything worthwhile. But now, he kept on appraising and I melted.
Throughout Kharagpur’s life, I have been blaming this institute for the reason that except for the days of Robotics events, my life was too static there – doing nothing, there was nothing else that kept me interested there. I was one of those guys who dragged the years of their higher education second by second, or may be millisecond by millisecond. Still, leaving Kgp was a painful experience. Once it was decided that we have to leave, we were fractioning every second to get the maximum out of it. We were trying to pull the sun hard to prevent the end of each remaining day. But then one day, no one knows when it came, we were moving out. To my disbelief, it hurt.
Ask me three best things in IIT Kharagpur. I would say,
  1. Central Library: The richest library, I have ever seen. I was in absolute love with this place from the first day when I saw it and the love kept on growing. Anything and everything, you can get on pages, were there. Muse yourself, explore anything you want, surprise yourself. It is one of the least utilized resources of IIT Kharagpur. Majority of Kgp think that it is good for nothing, I certainly couldn’t convince them but neither could they to me.

  2. Robotics: I had this wish to own one of my R2D2 robot. Frustrated as anyone with that kind of wish could be, when he comes to Kgp to find a white elephant namely, iLab which runs IIT’s robotics society headed by a know nothing Tuglaq – Prof. CS Kumar. It is one of the examples of how bad an organization can become when its values are rotten by student politics of accruing certificate for doing nothing but praising seniors and professors; and whose sources of inspiration, the professors involved, are busy in self appraisal. It reminds me Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

    I was lucky enough to find two really serious guys who were damn interested in Robotics and extremely hard working. They were confident of making a robo-servant, R2D2. I feel myself really blessed to have them with me. They are G. Vijaysagar and Kiran C. I admire them.

    It used to be high time for us; once the problem for institute’s national level robotics competition problem is out. It is, usually, start of November when we start thinking, January is full of work and excitement. February start is anxious because we used to have only a few days to the competition. And somehow we would manage to finish our robot by the day and have something, really, to be proud of.

    We started from 2nd year failed to even make a working robot this time, learnt it a very hard way of failures. We were at a point of being breaking off after this failure, but then situation stabilized when we did some projects and participated in some other robotics events. Finally, got prepared to win the 1st prize the next year and then again next year.

    I used to resurrect in every November to die again in coming February from 2nd year to 4th year.
    Amazing days… huh, all I wanted to do is to make a team with my wing-mates but they had other priorities – I was a dreamer.

    I still am.

  3. LAN: Hardly anyone can deny that Local Area Network (LAN) was one of the list toppers for everyone’s ‘Things I miss after IIT Kharagpur’ list. It was alive, dynamic. Like the library, anything that you can wish for a computer can hold, is there on the LAN.

    Aladdin must be jealous of IIT Kharagpur’s LAN. For everything, Kgp is dedicated to the service of Nation but the LAN. LAN is dedicated to service of the students, in all possible ways.
    MOTD: Bow to the mighty little green Dinosaur.
E for enjoy Electronic City: June 2007, with the clear picture that Tavant had screwed us, Uncle and I were calculating our chances of getting a job in next 30 days. Later we knew that we were wrong with our initial assumption of 30 days.
It was 06:30 PM at Electronic City, Nihar and GP were back from their office. Uncle and I were sitting on the Hall bed waiting of their question what we did that day (for job search). I was frustrated because I knew that we did nothing that could assure them that I had moved one step ahead in the quest of my job search. And they did ask. I was thirteen year old again and my father asking how I managed to fail in History. Although, in both the cases, they were thinking the best for me, but I felt like micro organism being viewed with single weak naked eyes of a giant from over the universe. And just then, my phone rang, I ran to the roof with the mobile. It was fierce wind with drizzling. Opposing wind, then, felt like saying that everything is against me.
I clicked to pick the phone, the first few letters that spilled out of the receiver, were ‘Student life is over, dude!’ It was Saumya Kant Sahoo, trying to make me realize that the time has come to put off the pink glasses. It was more a sort of irritating babble which followed this line and I, really, never cared what he said after this line. It was a sort of chanting that had started running into my mind – out of my control – ‘Student life is over, dude!
Standing on the roof of the four storied building, sky grayed with depressed watery clouds, with cold wind to trying to throw me out of the roof, lights in neighborhood coming alive one by one, the balloon at e-Inn and I were strongly in conflict with the environment with our (balloon and me) feet steady on the ground (assuring each other) and then, suddenly, the surrounding buildings started shattering down one by one as someone had put a mass destruction plan all over Electronic City and here it goes, as end scene of the movie ‘Fight Club’, with loud heavy guitar with lyrics
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind

……. End of the Series …….

Monday, February 04, 2008

B.U.F.Y. 10: Ready to fly, Ready to fight

Baby, Uncle and the Final Year (B.U.F.Y.) 10: Ready to fly, Ready to fight

Links for Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8 , Part9(Links to future parts will be available in comments)

Dhoti, Kurta and Bang-Bang: In fifth year, we were able to create a new synergy among the people of 5th year Mechanical Engineering of Manufacturing Systems and Engineering (by ‘we’, I mean all fourteen students and all professors who taught us that year.) This used to be a dysfunctional, throw mud on others group. I kind of started feeling a personal attachment with the group and the year ended too soon to relish.

We decided that all of us fourteen would wear dhoti and Kurta on the last exam of our last year of the course. Arrangement were made, dhotis and Kurtas were brought from Gol Bazaar from a shop which provides clothing for drama groups. They were distributed to every person. Cameras were checked, rechecked. We were kind of fearless from the exam, so we went with minimal preparation of exam that made sure that we did not fail - the bare minimum.

In morning, between a lot of confusion and hubbub, we started moving to examination hall from our hostels – five minute after the exam had started. We reached to the examination hall at 9:10 to find out that none of us were there in the hall – AND IT HAD ALREADY BEEN 10 MINUTES SINCE THE EXAM HAD BEGUN. But as I said, we had become fearless by then. So we asked the invigilator to come in. And here comes the show stopper – the party pooper professor releasing a fatwa of either to go back change the cloths with something more sober (and I used to think that Dhoti-Kurta was an Indian dress!) or come next year again but sober.

We all hurried up to the nearest toilet. Fourteen people inside the toilet hall – all changing cloths – was a bit uncomfortable for the people who were already in there relieving themselves. They left the toilet immediately with a weird look and fake smile as if they were saying, ‘what a nuts!’ We did not deny.

Wrote the paper and we all came out around half an hour before the final bell rang, buried the question paper in a hope that ‘may god provide peace their poor souls, which always bear the burden of turning a normal person into anything but sane, on a mere flick of a professor’s hand.’

We went back to the same bathroom – all fourteen again – shooed off everyone inside, changed into Bengali Dhoti-Kurta and roamed around the campus, Clicked every single corner of campus wherever our legs took us. Had a nice lunch at Harrys, talked all big air-castle plan around our near future. Obviously, we were far beyond the ground reality when everyone of were claiming that they know the world out there.

I was just 22 days away to learn the first lesson of “ground reality” when I boasted my semi-truth claim of ‘I know because I have seen!’ (And tighten my neck as a proud crane.)

I am attaching few snaps that you may find interesting.

Uncertain goodbye: I thought it to be a joke when Uncle came to my room dry mouthed, half worried and gasping to inform me that Nitisha and he were provided with a joining date of December 10, 2007 by Tavant Technology which was the same organization I was placed in. I thought it as a trifle matter that would be solved by some talking. And I wasn’t much involved until I had got the same.

I was ignorant until I realized that IIT Kharagpur’s Training and Placement department was as feeble as we were. All they could do was to say ‘we hope the best for your future endeavors.’ The moment these words came out of Professor Sinha – the then TnP in-charge, I felt like someone punched a powerful kick into my gut, I was on periphery again. All plans were subdued. When everyone else were calling home to inform that they would come on the certain date, I was playing juggling with my plans, spreading a confusion whether I would go home or Bangalore – switching back and forth, I was one poor soul asking for mercy from someone whom I did not know for something which I did not do. I was desperately searching for panic button.