Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Once in four years, the Olympics provide the dream platform for every athlete to compete and take pride in winning a medal for their country. Yet, Olympics has been much more than just winning. Accompanying every olympian is a story, a story of sheer grit, determination and a passion for the sport. Inspirational stories continue to be etched in history  with every passing Olympics. Not every story has a “medal winning” end to it and it need not, because every athlete competing in the Olympics does so with the aim to give their best and that is what makes this event a cut above every other sporting extravaganza.

The talk of Rio 2016 has been the Olympic refugee team. A team comprising of refugees from war-torn countries who have overcome all odds and have sent across a message of hope to all of us. Stories of people like Yusa Mardini will continue to be retold umpteen number of times to stress that even amidst all the violence and bloodshed, there is a ray of hope that better days are ahead.

Among so many athletes, there are some of our very own, who have fought valiantly and made it to the Olympic stage. Dipa Karmarkar has definitely been the talk of the Indian contingent this time. Her path to the Olympic gymnastic’s vault finals has been a bumpy one. Stories of how she had to practice without proper equipment have been shared and reshared on the internet in the past one month. We can debate endlessly on where the fault lies, with the society, the system etc but at the end of the day, there can be no doubt that it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to all of this and simultaneously stay clear of these thoughts so as to not allow them to hamper one’s performance. Perhaps, she is capable of doing better if she has the best of training, facilities, and encouragement, yet, there can be no doubt that she gave her best performance under the given circumstances. Many have in fact have performed way more admirably than was expected of them. For instance, it was a proud moment for an Indian sports enthusiast to see the way Lalita Babar ran in her 3000 m steeplechase heats. Despite falling down in the initial stages of the run, she finished in the fourth spot. That’s not all, she beat her personal best and the national record by a margin of 9 seconds. To have achieved this at the biggest sporting platform deserves all possible laurels. To me, her finish in the finals is an almost inconsequential thing, for she already stands as a role model for countless Indians to make it a habit to give our best every single time.

Derek Redmond, Lawrence Lemieux, Luz Long are examples of sportsmen who stood up for ideas of courage, sacrifice, and sportsmanship. Their stories are engraved in the history of Olympics and so are those of other not-so-well-known athletes. These sportsmen/women remind us that pursuing our passion implies that it is a new struggle every day, that being the best need not be the only way to be successful. Their stories highlight the message that success is probably measured better in terms of the attitude and the zeal to strive for excellence rather than talent and a thirst to be the best. The likes of Owens, Comaneci, Phelps, Bolt will be an inspiration to all, but so will many others for whom every moment of their Olympic dream required just as much hard work and determination as the podium finishers.

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I wrote this post for the bi-monthly magazine of our college- The Daily Bitsian. Even though the context of the article is set amidst a BITSian environment, do give it a read.

The Daily Bitsian

For a long time now, technical has come to be associated with Robotics, Coding competitions, ATV competitions and the like. Amidst all the technical talk, somewhere hidden, lies an altogether different world called Research. The difference between building  a robot, quadcopters, competitive coding etc and formulating and solving a research problem is evident right from the learning phase. Tools and tutorials required for the former are readily available on the internet whereas the latter involves literature survey and reading and comprehending research papers . The first step in itself sounds daunting to most and suffices to turn people away.  If it is so scary, how is it that some people have managed to get going? This is where the mentor steps in. The mentor plays  a  crucial role in guiding a student along his/her research path and making the experience enjoyable and fruitful.

This article is all about…

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College life and all that…

Posted: December 6, 2015 in College, Inspiration

With my end-semester exams more or less out of the way, I had a chance to spend time with some of my crazy friends yesterday. Though I still have at least one more semester on campus, a few of them are not going to be here next semester and will be leaving campus with their bags and baggage in the next few days. This post is a mixed bag of thoughts centered around the past 3 years in college, what’s in store for us in the coming days and what it feels like to be parting ways.

Every single person who has stepped out of the comforts of home has grown from being a pampered kid to an independent and a confident individual and I am no exception. Staying away from home has first and foremost taught me to be independent, make proper use of the freedom available and simultaneously respect the freedom of others around me. This learning process was largely aided by a set of friends and acquaintances over the past three years. Just like most people in residential colleges, I have a group of very close friends too, a group that came to be formed primarily because we were allotted rooms in the same corridor. We are as different as 7 people could possibly get and yet today, each of us draws inspiration from the other, celebrates other’s success as our own. During tough times, there is always the comforting thought that you can drop into one of their rooms to share the burden. In addition, there are several other people with whom special bonds were forged based on common interests, dining table conversations, common academic projects, course work etc. These people have also in more ways than one, helped me grow as an individual.

However, as the time for parting comes nearer, it is not the nostalgia or the emotions that are overwhelming, rather I can feel a strange sense of excitement in the air. An excitement that is a result of my friends having achieved what they set out to at the beginning of college and in anticipation of what is in store for them when they step out of campus into the ‘real world’. The happiness in their eyes when they share their dreams for the coming years is something I can’t describe in words. It is at this juncture that I realize that thinking about the last 3 years in the pretext of recalling and creating memories will only make parting more difficult. We all stepped into college to grow as individuals and that we have all done and so it is time to move on.  In fact, I can recall my friend telling me that she can hardly recognize any of the people on campus these days. On the contrary, when we were in our first and second year, we seemed to know just about anyone and everyone. This is a signal of sorts to us that we belong to this place no more.

Friendships that we have forged now will remain with us for a long long time to come. The bonds that we have created with some of them are strong that our paths are bound to intersect in future. So, dear friends, all I have to say is let’s not feel sad about having to leave, instead let’s all be happy that we met, helped and inspired each other  and will continue to do so as long as we can imagine.

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Wishing the very best in all our future pursuits.

Cheers