Happy Birthday Preeyank!

Engineering was fun! The tests, assignments, vivas and all those things that made my life a little too hectic is something that I miss even today. Some moments were just priceless. I often wonder who made those moments. Who are those who still make me feel that I miss them. Of course your friends, my mind quickly answers. Preeyank was one of those friends with whom I spent some memorable moments.

Here is one of those moments with the MasterMind himself!

2nd semester

It was our second ED (Engineering Drawing) lecture. That day the professor had given us a simple assignment on Orthographic projections and Isometric views which we had to submit in the next lecture. I started working on the assignment during the lunch break itself and managed to finish it on the same day. When I was about to leave that day, Preeyank came and asked me to give him the assignment. I was reluctant to hand over my assignment to him as I wasn’t sure whether he would bring it on the submission day. He promised he would not forget and convinced me at the end. Few days later when he brought the assignment, I could see my drawing sheet torn from one of the corners with my diagrams hardly visible. I was furious and decided not to give him any of my assignments henceforth. All my hard work had gone in vain as I had to redraw everything from scratch. Finally when my submission was done and I was about to leave for the day, Preeyank met me and apologized. He had felt bad for what had happened. He said that he was always extra careful but the early morning rush in the train was the reason the sheets got torn. I accepted his apology since I felt he wasn’t lying and from that day I used to give him my assignments even before he would ask for them.

Over the years as our friendship grew, we started to understand each other well. As a project team member his ideas, though majority non technical, were crucial while we were developing our application. Perhaps that’s the same reason they still call him “The MasterMind”. His constant support and motivation helped me overcome tough situations and I would like to thank him for that. Hope he gets all the success in life!

Wishing you a very happy birthday!

Me and Preeyank

Happy Birthday Benson!

“I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known”

Today I may call myself an Engineer. Honestly, I still ain’t one. In those four long years of engineering there were moments where I felt why am I doing this, there were moments when the fear of failure overcomed the will to succeed, moments where I just needed someone to support me. In such testing times, there are only a few who would dare to walk beside you. Benson was certainly one of them.

“Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me”

Even today everytime I board the CST bound train from Vashi, my eyes begin searching for someone, someone with whom I could share even the smallest of secrets, argue, fight , talk on any random topic and all I would get in return is a beautiful smile. After a rough day at college, we both would leave together. At Vashi station, I would never forget to munch a Vada pav from Suniel Shetty’s hotel (pun intended) while Benson preferred a soft drink. We would then head towards platform no: 4 to board our then favorite 4:48 wadala local. Every moment of that 25 minute journey was memorable. We would talk about the teachers in college, linkups in class, assignments, tests, football, movies and anything that would help keep the conversation going. We would create a competitive atmosphere everytime we played Robo soccer on my mobile. Even as Tilak Nagar approached, our talks would never end as we continued from where we left; the next day.

“Check my vital signs. To know I’m still alive. I walk alone”

Today, I might have changed but I am sure he wouldn’t have. In life there are people whom you really can’t forget. I wish someday we both could embark on that same journey from Vashi, hoping this one never ends….

Happy Birthday Benson! Have a rocking year ahead! 🙂

Happy Birthday Benson!

Happy Birthday Srivatsan Iyer!

Today is a very special day for me. As I begin my professional career with L&T Infotech, I wonder how much of a difference a person makes when he walks into your life. The moments we share with that person eventually strengthens our relationship to the extent that one begins to feel incomplete without the other.

It’s been close to four years now and my friendship with Srivatsan Iyer, who turns 22 today, defines such a relationship. Today when I look back, there are several moments, incidents that come to my mind that were instrumental in building this relationship. I would like to share some of them with you. So here goes!

(2nd semester – Computer Engineering)
I had a Maths re-test scheduled at 9:45 am. I was prepared to give the test and went straight to meet the Maths teacher. I saw Srivatsan standing outside the department trying to convince the teacher about something. I knew nothing about him then. I thought he too must have got a re-test but that wasn’t the case. Just a few minutes later, Benson, our classmate joins us. He had to get some of his previous test papers corrected. Srivatsan was still speaking to the teacher and as soon as he saw Benson he quickly asked, “Can you accompany me for a coding competition at Shah & Anchor?” Benson seemed a bit reluctant as Srivatsan put forth the same question to me. I agreed to come but the problem was that I had to give the test as I didn’t want to postpone it to next week. I knew it was difficult to convince the teacher to conduct the test for me alone next week but then Srivatsan solved that problem. His secret weapon, an innocent face that portrayed a grin, was good enough to convince the best of teachers as he always assured victory in the competition. I really don’t know how he managed to do that but then I knew that this could well be the beginning of many more such moments to come. Thereafter we left for the competition; during which we solved tricky C/C++ MCQ’s, debugged programs, wrote two out of three classic programming puzzles and bagged the 2nd prize eventually. It was one of the memorable moments of my life. It was all because of Srivatsan that we managed to win the competition. He had gained the respect of a few final year students of the host college who had won the 1st prize. That day I realized there was someone better than me, someone whom I still continue to share a lot of things in common.

(6th semester – Computer Engineering)
Our next memorable outing was the Technovanza event at VJTI. I along with Srivatsan registered as a team for the C/C++ debugging event “I-code”. We knew that this competition would be fierce as a large number of students from various engineering institutes across the state had participated for the event. Our first challenge was to get through the preliminary round which to our surprise was a “Predict the output” kind of a round as opposed to the customary MCQ’s. Trust me it was one of those rounds that put your C/C++ skills and fundamentals to the test. Moreover, the event was time based which meant we had to complete in time and make sure we answer maximum questions correctly to have an edge over the others. We submitted our answers well in time and left the lab. It was for the first time I saw Srivatsan a bit tensed. He said, “I am not sure whether I answered few questions correctly. I think I made a mistake somewhere. Umm! Not sure though”. I told him that it’s fine and mistakes do happen. It was a tough round and we did manage to attempt all questions. To take our mind off the event we decided to go have a look at a Rubik’s cube event that was going on inside the quadrangle. Later we munched on to some snacks and walked slowly towards the lab where our event was conducted. To our surprise the results were already announced. We increased our pace and went straight to the event-head who was holding a list containing the names of the selected teams. We were happy that we were shortlisted for the next round but the sight of our competitors didn’t let that happiness prolong. So then the final round began with two hours of programming to follow. It’s good that the host college used Visual C++ in most of the machines. It gave us a slight advantage. We had to solve three problems. One of them was a classic pattern generator and the other a slightly modified version of Pascal’s triangle. The last one though took the breath out of us and at the end it was just a “missing semicolon” that costs us. We bagged the 3rd prize then and received a participation certificate but the event till now remains etched in our memory.

There were many more such moments during the four years that I and Srivatsan spent together. It is always such memories that remain with you forever. As working professionals now, we don’t get much time to interact but one thing is for sure; we will always be ready for another Coding Competition!

Me and Srivatsan