[Year In Review] Best shots & Best Reads 2016

“When I kept on capturing the snapshots, I saw a story evolving in them. The story of my progress.”

In the beginning of this year, I had a smartphone in my hands and the usual life mysteries about to unveil ahead. All I had to do was to combine the power of two. This is a look-back on this journey of creating memories, for years to remember.

This was the year when I delved into the technicalities of photography. I practiced it religiously, though with my smartphone. I finally started understanding how could a seemingly mundane scene could be made to look interesting with proper composition, lighting and tweaking with a bunch of camera parameters. With everything being set properly, you were bound to get the best result. But there were magic moments at core that made those photographs stand out.

Throughout the year I shared many of my snapshots through my blog posts. You can find them in Photography category. Here are few of my unpublished ones which I find equally endearing –

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This is how we were wished for new year at a nearby Govt. school. We had gone there for our regular teaching as a part of our NSS (National Service Scheme) program. I missed teaching those children this year as I couldn’t be regular. I can still vividly remember the innocent smiles on their faces.

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Engineer at work. This picture was taken when we were preparing for Inter-IIT Tech Meet. Here’s my friend courageously working with the cutting machine. I’m particularly afraid of operating them (which I shouldn’t). I ensure my full safety first. The funny thing is, he was quite habituated to doing this, having worked in BAJA-SAE for a year. So you see, it wasn’t a big deal for him.

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I really like silhouette composition and played with it a lot this year. Both of these shots were taken in a running bus – one while commuting back to ODF (old) campus and the other on my way to Pondicherry.

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One of the many selfies I took on the last day of my UoT-IITH i.school workshop. The reason of posting this one is the beautiful smile of my Japanese colleague. Enough said.

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A memorable trip to the nearby ocean park with my classmates. Quite an adventurous one I would say. Well while in a group, you rarely find any time to take a selfie. And when you finally do, why not? And that too with an interesting tree at the back.

Hey! who’s that photo-bombing guy?

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Another one from my Pondicherry trip. I really liked the streets there, specially the wall-colors. My friend requested me to take his loner photo. I wonder if he ever put this as his profile picture. By the way, there is a vast sea on the other side. If only I could’ve turned the camera around but the picture is stagnant 😛

While in Bangalore. The first one is from Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum whose ground floor, by the way, is a paradise for Mechanical Engineering students.

One of the most wonderful things in Bangalore was my visit to book stores. I was able to finish a book at one go and I did it twice. Once in a mall and the other at a proper book store in MG Road. Both the places were really peaceful. The best part, we were even offered coffee at the book store, free of cost, for reading the books for free – wow! Something that I hadn’t encountered before.

img_20160529_200704Sometimes the surprises really surprize you. I mean really. While roaming around Bangalore one day, we found ourselves nearby Chinnaswamy stadium. We (me & my friend) were totally unaware of what was coming next. It was just crowd and the commotion for us which seem unusual. The surprize – it was the IPL final.

Well we aren’t a big fan of cricket anyway 😛

img_20160605_123438Bangalore Palace. On the last day of our stay there, we decided to go somewhere famous. This one came up on the list. Google Maps was once again a savior and we fortunately reached the palace and returned back on time.

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We learn a lot from our teachers but sadly our personal interactions gets limited, specially in college. This professor of mine draws art attributed to the growing years of his little son. He told that he starts his day with a drawing – what a perfect motivation to keep you going!

It was a palpable feeling of emotion knowing the personal side of my professor. This picture was taken when I was taking design classes for CHE. I reached my class early and found my professor sketching something on paper. I asked and he told. I was dazed. I’m really grateful to my Design Innovation Thinking classes without which I would have missed a lot of wonderful takeaways.

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Just a candid shot with nothing planned. Me and my friends were returning from mess after having evening snacks. I just told them to keep walking. I went ahead, lowered a bit and took this photo. Everyone liked the way it came out. A month later, my friend posted it on Facebook. Thanks for the credit my friend 😛

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The first one in the series of ‘Campus Collection‘. It was our way to the workshop in the old campus. Quite a greenery it has.

[Rule #e] If you’re in a hurry but the weather seems to be perfect for a quick snap, you gotta do it.

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One from my early morning shoot. Taken from my room, the buildings looked magnificent against a tinted background and the sunlight from the lateral front. One of the many benefits of doing nightouts – well waking up that early for a picture, sounds too unfavorable a deal. I belong to nocturnal human species.

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A closer look to the background I talked about. It was taken from another hostel block while I was returning from my friend’s room. Usually this vast empty stretch seem mundane but that day it was set up to get captured. Who was I to stop the nature’s call?

We must have come across those aurora borealis desktop wallpapers, haven’t we? Those are quite fascinating. But what if you get to see your own version here in the campus itself. These photographs were taken during my evening walks. One can’t help but admire the colors in these photographs.

 

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All the above four pictures were taken on the same day, probably the most fruitful day for my photography. They show the passage of time when it goes dark in the campus. See how the colors fight a bout for dominance. That’s our academic building, if you may have asked.

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[Rule #pi] – Always be on a look for inspirations because you never know what wonders get captured through the lenses. This was taken from a moving car while I was coming back from the city. Surprisingly it doesn’t show any motion blur.

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A still from my latest morning shoot taken from the uppermost floor of my hostel building. Shh…nobody knows I was there! I hope you checked out my morning shoot. No? Here you go –

 

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Internet is full of fascinating things. If it’s a pictures or short para, I usually take screenshots. Here’s the one from tens of screenshots I have in my phone – a wonderful message for the artists.

Reading List 2016

Reading has a tremendous impact over my learning. It has been an integral part of my daily activity and this year I worked really hard to transform myself as an avid reader. In 2016, I read innumerable articles, blog posts, Q/A forums like Quora and many more informative rants from tons of sources, part of which I talked about in this post.

But still reading books seems substantial. Intuitively it feels like something we can count on. So without further ado, let’s jump onto the reading list –

  1. The Harry Potter Series

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I think a little backstory is needed to convince why it’s so special to me. For majority of my childhood and teenage years, I couldn’t get a chance to read books outside of my domain. I had a small library in my home which consisted of mostly textbooks of ours or my elder cousins. My father always insisted on studying but all of this was focused on me performing well in exams. I wish someone would’ve given me novels to read that time.

Anyway, after coming to college, I finally had a smartphone and internet connection. I had few peers who had been avid reader themselves. I borrowed their books and started reading them. Gradually I got hooked to novels and that’s how my reading list grew. Now as most of the kids, I grew up watching Harry Potter movies on TV (mostly in Hindi). They were amazing but I couldn’t have guessed that books would be even more wonderful.

There’s more magic in the books than movies can ever contain. It’s the magic of extensivity. I hadn’t seen the last two movies and I’m glad that I didn’t. After reading the books, I understood that there were so many things that weren’t covered or were altered to shoot the movie better. I understand that movies usually hold visual descriptions yet it doesn’t stand anywhere near to what’s contained in the book. It was the perfect start of the year. Once I picked up the first one, the spree continued and I couldn’t stop until I had finished the entire series.

  1. The One-Go Books – As I mentioned above, there were few books that I finished in one go. They were comparatively shorter reads spanning to max. 200 pages. 2 of them were in Bangalore itself. Once I went to the mall’s book section and picked up the book that has just arrived – Super 30.

Based on the life of real-life superhero ‘Anand Kumar‘ who despite all odds, went on to become mathematics aficionado and established one of the most celebrated JEE coaching institute in India – Super 30. I have grown up listening to the success stories of this institution but I never knew the full story. This book uncovered many of the mysteries of his life and the vision he possesses. It was an inspiring read. Rather than my determination, it was the content that kept me hooked & I couldn’t keep it down even in the hustling mall ambiance.

The next one was ‘The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proof and the Search for the Ultimate Equation‘. What an incredible read it was. It’s funny how geekiness peaks in to express a philosophical topic (of love) as a physical phenomenon described by equations. Yes this book indeed contain formula & equations and you should read it for the fun of how they were derived.

The last book in this series was George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

  1. The category called ‘humor‘ – I enjoy reading humor but I struggle writing them myself. This is something that I’ll definitely work on next year. The books in this categories are –

What’s It All About Charlie Brown – Clearly the winner in humor category. It’s shown to be the least popular in my Goodreads list because very few people have read it. But I would definitely recommend to give it a read.

There’s A Boy In The Girl’s Bathroom – I still remember the look the lady librarian gave me when I was checking out of the library 😛 You should read it to find out what’s behind the title.

Wayside School Is Falling Down – Another fun-filled book by Louis Sachar but higher in peculiarity coefficient than the previous one.

  1. Other fictionsTo Kill A Mockingbird,  The Home and the World, The Last Detective, The Hobbit

  2. MotivationalScrew It, Let’s Do It.

  3. Carry on books (reviews to follow) – There were few books that I started reading but didn’t complete for some reasons. They are –

The fellowship of the Ring (The lord of the Rings #1)

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (I haven’t seen the movie either)

The Lean Startup 

I have linked my reviews above. Just click on the titles. Also if you want to know what books I have recently read, look for the Goodreads widget on the right side of my blog (only visible on desktop). Or you can follow me on Goodreads here – Chandan Sinha Goodreads.

I hope to read a lot more exciting books next year. Till then take care & keep reading. Ciao from Divine_Lifez 2016. See you in 2017. Have a great new year 🙂

 

 

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