When The Odds Are Trolling

Have you ever taken a stand on the situation and shouted – “how the heck did this happen?” or sighed – “huh! what were the odds?” or, or frowned – “this is not what I expected”? Well then, you have got a company here.

My friends from the spaceflight community would know this –

18th December 2018 (UTC timing) – With 5[1] back to back rocket launches scheduled, this day was going to be written in history. The entire December has been a party for us space nerds but this was like a double bonanza. It has actually started feeling like we have ushered into a new era of space race.

But, but, the lauchapalooza turned into scrubapalooza when 4 out of 5 launches got scrubbed for 4 different reasons.

SPACEX – Falcon 9 with USAAF GPS-III 2 satellite – Out of family reading on first stage sensors

Blue Origin New Shepard with NASA Payload – Ground infrastructure issue

Arianespace – Soyuz CS01 mission – Bad weather conditions

ULA Delta IV Heavy with NROL-71 satellite – Scrubbed due to high winds

ISRO GSLV Mk-II with GSAT-7A satellite – Launched half hour later than first scheduled time but within the launch window

 

Huh! what were the chances of that? Let’s do a little bit of maths here, should we?

A rocket can either launch or stay hold on a particular day. So 2 possibilities.

Summing it over 5 independent launches, the probability of that all of them would be scrubbed is –

(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2}) = \frac{1}{32}

Ok, things are little weird with binary possibilities because compliment of \frac{1}{2} is also \frac{1}{2} and in any case, the probability would be \frac{1}{32} . For accuracy sake, we should actually take Probability of Go into account for each of those launches. The result would be an even smaller fraction considering weather wasn’t much of the issue for three of them. In a sense, nature actually picked the option which was the least probable.

At the time of writing this post, SpaceX has attempted its GPS-III launch for the 4th time in 5 days and it has been scrubbed again. By the time I would be posting this, hopefully, they will have a successful launch.

But this wasn’t the inspiration behind this post (although, it certainly contributed to some content and an interesting start, in my opinion). The topic first came into my mind at one cold morning of early December when I was standing at the train station. It was an overnight journey and I had another train to catch a few hours later. So I separated myself from the crowd and got to the waiting area. While standing there, I looked around and suddenly it struck me. The scenery felt rather odd.

I have been to that place numerous times before but that day it felt like being caught in the wee hours when it was still getting ready. I do accept that it was more of an internal feeling than an external cause yet it got me thinking – what are the odds of me witnessing it like this? It wasn’t even a planned trip.

Later that day, I took the most defeated walk of my recent memory. A plethora of emotions turned, twisted, collided and merged inside my head as my feet traced the road which stretched to eternity. I felt totally helpless, for now, I held a secret I couldn’t have divulged. On the other side, the usual place of my retreat wasn’t the same because of a sudden turn of events. I wished I could be a recluse, just for that day or the day later. Yet at that moment, I knew, I was the only strong bond holding all loose ends together.

You know those voices at the back of your head which shout the least favorable but probable outcomes? The one we shut down because either we don’t wanna face it or those we think are irrelevant – chances of later being less. What’s the way of safeguarding yourself? Would you turn and run away or would it take it head on as it comes?

There have been far too many such instances recently which led me to re-evaluate the odds of mere speculations. In a sense, this entire year has been like that. Facing the least expected. Fighting the odds which knocked on my door. I was cornered into my little space, confined in seclusion until I turned, looked it straight into the eye and decided to fight. Let’s see what all I can remember for the recap –

I started this year still working in a so-called core company. It was a well-respected Govt. job and I am grateful to it for giving a start to my professional career but it sucked the soul out of me. I constantly felt like I was downplaying myself but it paid well because of which I was finally able to finish my student loan within a year of graduating – that was my biggest relief (people spend years buried in debt). I started out at one place got transferred to another place in the second quarter and finally, after months of scrutiny, I resigned. Seriously, don’t get stuck in a shitty job and get out while you can. Life is too short but weigh your liabilities carefully before you take the risk.

I got a coveted fellowship but took a conscious decision of not taking it. It was after I took a hit of the quarter-life crisis. Relaxed, enjoyed with my bio-design buddies and traveled to a new place to stay with my friend while I applied to different jobs there. It felt like a tug-of-war between my fate and destiny. Things didn’t materialize according to my expectation but settling with alternatives meant neutralizing the risk I had taken. For two months, I fought with the question of ‘what actually that I should be focusing on?‘. Somewhere in between the process, I realized, I needed to re-calibrate my strategy to be able to do things I really want to do. Specialization is for ants but one should develop a strong core-skill first. Other things can be outsourced.

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Sometimes you find your answer in unexpected places. Courtesy – Explosm.net

Owning to my responsibility of an elder brother, I came back to look after my brother’s preparation for upcoming exams while I turned my focus towards building a portfolio & planning for graduate studies. I realized that the break would be a little longer because application deadlines approached faster than I could have caught up. On the bright side, I have got time to gain research experience (although it has to be at the mercy of professors I have been mailing). This break has been a bitter-sweet phase but I got to consolidate my future career plans.

Somewhere in February, my school friend called me to talk about this idea about a 360-degree travel experience platform that he has been working on. I liked it and went on-board. For the next 2 months, we worked most part of the nights. We had a working product ready and hence, triplou.com was born.

Working on a startup besides full-time hectic job was a challenge and it certainly took a toll on my physical health. But it was all worth it when we saw the hits counter rising. We entered into few startup competitions in hope that it would bring us recognition (the cheapest and least expensive method of gaining credibility). Didn’t make it to some even after hefty write-up and a concise pitch-deck. Well, that’s how these B-Plan competitions go but it doesn’t lessen our worth. We are now in the finals of one – looking forward to it.

I met my family once in January when my brother’s son was born and then again when we celebrated my parents’ 25th anniversary. I took my niece for shopping and brought her favorite dress with my own money. Held my brother’s daughter like she is a part of me while she slept in my lap – the absolute best feeling of my entire life.

It was also a time to look at relationships from a critical perspective when I understood how each of them rests on a fragile delicate balance. The string is tightened by compromises made on both sides. Also, when we start romanticizing someone, somewhere along the line, it ceases to be about the person and start to be more about the very idea of that person being in our life. It’s not worth it if it is not reciprocated and you should rather spend time on things that make you special. Some people are non-linear humans after all. This story also inspired the plot for my upcoming short film ‘That Thing About Lost Chances‘.

The test also covered the syllabus of friendship when my best friend and I took the opposite stand on an issue which led him to pivot into a totally different career field. Felt like it was for all the wrong reasons and I tried my hardest to convince him. He later came back to his senses and found a rational reason behind his decision. That was certainly a difficult period to deal with but I learned that you don’t easily give up on people you love. You simply can’t.

On the other side, our WhatsApp group ‘Kerala Expedition‘ felt silent for the most part. It was occasional buzz ground but went on frequent hiatuses. It has started dawning on me how our lives have taken different turns after college. We still haven’t made our trip to Kerala, hence the name continues. All four of us are now living in four different cities preparing to pursue four different careers (the odds man!). We didn’t get together at one place even once but I met two of them when I went on the Bangalore trip.

On the creative front, the first half was rather slow and I don’t recall any significant even worth mentioning. By March, I was finally able to churn out my first video of the year -‘The New Kind‘. I made it as a channel trailer promising more frequent videos with more unique stories. It peaked up the momentum afterward and I was all geared but it has come to an absolute halt by the end of the year. Tons of footage has still not made it to the editing room.

I had planned to make a video series titled ‘The Job Experience‘ for which I have been shooting for the past one and half years. I wrote the script, organized the footage and I had nearly finished editing the first episode but then I had to give it a rest. My focus was shifted for the above-stated reasons so I can say that the place and time haven’t been favorable. It’s still in post-production and now scheduled for next year.

For the first time, I got to collaborate with my friend who is an excellent cinematographer to edit his travel video. It felt absolutely amazing editing those beautiful shots and the entire video came out really good. Finally, I was done editing my sister’s wedding video after she continued pestering me for a year and I gifted it to her on Raksha Bandhan. I also shot sort of a documentary on a person in whom I saw a reflection of my own story but I couldn’t edit that too. We went to some exotic places in the land obscura to shoot. Face that These are secluded places which not many people know about, made the experience even more exciting

some

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This lake right here is in a bear-prone forest in the middle of nowhere.

Blog posts which were highly unpolished in the first three quarters finally started taking shape in the fourth, There are still some incomplete ones which I need to finish. My writing grew more and more personal and started piling up in my personal notes rather than ending on this blog. Twitter became my micro-diary but some things are still better left unsaid. I also posted more on my tech blog than the previous year but not to my satisfaction. My reading this year, which was only confined to articles on random sites, finally returned toward novels as I got to complete a few books. I missed my yearly goal by a large margin though and honestly, it sucks!

On the consumption side, I only remember finishing my long-awaited fourth and fifth season of ‘Silicon Valley‘ and now think it is the best tech-comedy ever written. I got hang of Reddit way too much in the first half but got in my senses in second. Later, I got obsessed with videos about ‘Exploration‘ – from Antarctic sea to Amazon forests, hidden civilizations and the world beyond our blue marble. It was a manifestation of the phase I was going through. I looked up for things which would help me become far-sighted and not get bothered by immediate circumstances. It rekindled my tryst with space.

I also watched a lot of SNL sketches (I mean a lot). Some excellent channels were added to my subscription list which taught me a completely new way of looking things. Peter Mckinnon continued to be my push to get things done while discovering Everyday Astronaut & BPS.space is certainly one of the best things that came out of my otherwise random YouTube surfing. I think I teared up watching Rory’s Lake Life 5.

Music continued to be a big part of my existence. It is the voice of my conscience. I ventured to explore even more genres and worldly music this year- not just confining myself to songs I can understand. Music transcends comprehension. I looked into the heart of techno through Charlotte de Witte & trance music through Armin Van Buuren, fell in love with lofi hip-hop – all thanks to Cubic Radiation!

It is mostly people who make up for off-screen experiences and this year, I got to meet some really great ones who accompanied me on this journey – from the toughest guy I knew who broke down when the time came for us to depart to the apprentices who came forward with all their heart to make my stay less miserable at an unknown place. I particularly remember one guy I met through my colleague who wanted me to make a dance audition video for him. He worked as a janitor in the day but slogged his night hours for dance practice because it was his passion. It was my absolute privilege to oblige and a great experience to count for before I left that place. I met several other inspirational persons who showed how talent nurtures among adversity and constraints.

In conclusion, a major part of this year was spent on daydreaming, finding means of escape. I started detaching from things that were near and longed for those which were so distant. Lessons were learned the hard way as I wandered through another year of adulthood without a guide. Let me tell you the crux of it all[2].

Getting what you want, how you want it, whenever you want it, is about three very simple things –

  1. Find something you want
  2. Find out how to get it
  3. Get it.

Only you can get the trolling odds to turn into your favor.


Note – I know this post went quite long but eh! Hope I could pack some lessons in those words. Wish you all a very happy new year in advance. May your wishes come true and you achieve greater heights. Have a great one! 🙂

Footnotes –

1. If we count ISRO’s GSLV Mk-II launch early morning next day.

2. These are not my words but absolutely nails the lesson. I took it from one of Mio’s vlogs.

The feature image is that of Starman on a Tesla Roadster on his way to Mars. It was launched on Falcon Heavy, courtesy of SpaceX. Couldn’t have chosen a better image for my year in review.


Song highlight

This song is attached to a very personal memory of mine. Last year, while I was listening to this song, I actually lived it lyrics (see the odds here?). At that moment I had decided that I have to make a video on it. I had the entire storyboard in mind and I gave myself till this year’s Christmas. Well, that didn’t happen.

It was relatively easier to make videos in college because someone or the other would volunteer for the role. It has been so tough afterwards since I’m not doing it professionally. Anyway, this song is still on my list, so if you or anyone you know would be interested in this project, hit me up. Peace✌

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Prize Unknown

More pressure I put on myself, more I seem to yield before my unwillingness.

What’s out there?

There are continuous clinks of the keyboard against the silent night and then just the silence until it is disturbed again by the continuous thuds of intermittent typing.

What do I seek?

There’s a story, larger than life, laying far beyond my reach. And I have parts of it, too many of them to make a comprehensive connection. Comprehension – yes! Wish I could dictate it to myself. Hearing over, making my own interpretation and gaining not loosing in translation. There is uncontainable blankness that extends as far as I see. On both sides, laying my sharp vision indistinguishable from its formidable blurriness. Zoom out.

As an engineer, I’m tempted to use equations. To find it out in the first place. Formulate it – an elegant relation of numbers and variables that would predict what I don’t see. Isn’t how it has been done so far? General theory of relativity, existence of gravitational waves or solar wind – it was all there on paper through maths, long before any of it were proven.

Maths has interesting ways of showing itself in our physical world. Fibonacci sequence, golden ratio, the ubiquitousness of π – so much so that we seem to believe it’s discovered no invented. But here I see too many variables to put diligently into a singular function that agrees with all my reality. If it isn’t a function, then we enter into the realm of alternate realities – too hard for me to verify. No, not that.

I have lost the concept of ‘impossible’ somewhere on the course of my discoveries that had me thrown myself into disbelief. Is it even possible? (let alone humanely possible) But it is and hence my loosening connection. I have been watching far too many documentaries about exploration, tracking down the precise point in recent history when mankind decided to venture beyond it’s perceived boundary.

I’m not interested in war. Not keen on learning about the greed to conquer territory. I’m fascinated by that inherent curiosity which led one to ask the very same question I am asking myself now, in ever so connected world. A simple question – what’s out there? and the unfailing endeavor, characteristic of humanity to entertain its curiosity.

The fear of unknown is subsided by the thrill of adventure. Adventure has uncertainty associated with it which more so fueled the inquisitiveness. The reason I talk about these grand discoveries is my will to see its manifestation over creation. This is the thing with me – the more power I wish to have over my creation, the more powerless it makes me feel as if it is embedded somewhere deep within. The same place where this curiosity arises from.

With that thrill of the chase, I move to the month of November. Don’t know if the prize is fictional as Terra Australis or as real as the Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt but farther I uncover this infinite mystery, a different kind of infinity it becomes. After all, not all infinities are equal. (another fun fact for the curious minds!)

Happy Halloween folks! Have a spooky one 🎃

 

Popsicle On The Ground Floor

It’s just few hours away that I pack my stuffs and leave the college. I’ve completed all my official procedures but there is this one thing left to do. Writing this bid-adieu blog post – my last post from college.

This blog has been one of the best things I did in college. Whenever I needed something to tell and didn’t want it to be limited to the audience I had physical interaction with, this blog presented itself as a sophisticated medium to vent out. Even after 3 years, it feels like beginning. I have a long way to go.

There are few major things on the top of my head to write in this blog post. Firstly about this abstract title I had put – ‘Popsicle On The Ground Floor‘. It’s hard to deduce any correlation of this childish rhetoric with anything I’m associated with. To be honest, it just popped in my head one day during my usual walk around the hostel area. As I tried to fit in to what I was going to write about, it gradually started making sense.

My (or better I put ours) whole college life was journey for a popsicle, a symbolism for reward in return for the efforts – popsicle of knowledge. We were made to believe that in order to get that reward, we would have to climb up, trudge and in fierce situations even crush others in order to be at the top. The trail of wisdom was transformed into a track for the rat race and it irked me often.

I was here to learn engineering, realize the importance of innovation and learn the art of real-life problem solving but this would have been nearly impossible had I confined myself within academic domains. All that most people worried about was marks and it infused a genuine hatred in me for the same.

Although I did find myself in the company of enthusiastic peers who were sincere towards their work. I learnt a lot from them. With time, I realized it was all within us throughout. Whatever we want to do in life, the itinerary for entire journey lie with us. But with the traditional path, the importance of a paper (degree) takes over the weight of our aspiration. Although I do comprehend the intangible value of our college education and I would be ever grateful to this place for providing me a compelling ambiance but the real reward was already there with us right from where we started and it will always be.

When I started my college, I told myself that the day I go out from here, I should be a person with no regrets. My entire endeavor here was channelized towards that one goal. But let me tell you this truth where the inconsistency lies – there will always be something small or big, major or minor, that will bother you till the last day or after. We as a naive being, venture into the pursuit of perfection but forget that ‘to err is human‘. It’s a good thing in a way that it shows you were not stagnant. It shows that you were striving to move forward and not remaining still.

One such thing that would always pinch me was to not put forward my entrepreneurial venture – Nightmeals. Yes this has been a secretive ordeal till date but I’m going to write about it openly today. Several times on this blog I have emphasized on the importance to publishing your work. When you attempt to do something revolutionary, you either succeed or you gain experience. But it can’t be called a success or failure if was never put it to test in the first place.

In our junior year, me and one of my friends decided to solve the huge cafeteria problem (food related problems in general) we had in hostels. We identified the pain points and devised a solution adorned with tons of features like opening/closing time, automatizing orders, collection & payment, etc. It was all there to reduce the unnecessary waiting time while your order was prepared or to cut down the hassle of coming all the way to the cafeteria only to find it closed. We felt the genuine requirement for it and Nightmeals was the perfect solution to assist students in this segment.

We were naive in terms of skills but the idea was well validated. Eventually we started working and things started coming together. We began to see our goal clearly and worked well beyond our usual academics & other occupations in order to achieve the traction. But what should have been otherwise extensive (and it would have if the entire thing lied under my control), the work kept on delaying.

The biggest mistake was to wait till it was all suited to launch. Just when we were ready, we screwed up with the code/database management and then our end semester examination approached. Afterwards we were churned up into vicious fight for placements. Things went downhill and the momentum lost was never regained. I’m planning to write about the tech specs of this fiasco on my tech-blog and the things I learnt from that, so keep eye on that.

The bottom line is that the idea that I cherished dearly for so long could never come to life. None one would know what shape it took, how it worked or even worse that it ever existed if not from the mere words written here. We lost it because we weren’t serious about it throughout. We eyed the end result but didn’t think about the journey thoroughly as like numerous wonderful ideas that die everyday somewhere. Takeaway – Discipline is the key.

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My regular readers would be well aware of my fascination with film-making in the last semester. I have embedded lots of my videos in my previous blog posts. If you haven’t checked out my YouTube channel, I would highly suggest you to (this blog is the only platform where I indulge in self promotion 😛 ). Here’s my latest video –

Making videos kept me really occupied during the last semester. Also it was a great way to escape from the eventual boredom that kicked in as the ending approached. Most of the times, I was thinking ideas for my next video, shooting, watching a lot of editing tutorials and later editing the footage. Initially most of the efforts were put in persuading my friends to be the subject of my videos but later, funny as it may sound, I started getting so many requests from my friends for casting them as my videos gained viewers’ attention.

Being in the college during a running semester meant that I would be spending most of the time within the campus (my room to be specific). This confinement of space gave me an opportunity to explore it from different perspectives. As is evident from my videos, all of them were shot in IITH except Vizag Diaries episodes.

Thing is, I seriously got into film-making and storytelling after shifting to my new dorm in permanent campus. I was in ODF earlier where our temporary campus was located, for 3 years. Now I wonder what all stuffs could I have done if I had started making movies right from my freshmen year. I did start learning cinematography there though (later borrowing DSLR camera from the seniors and photography club to learn) but again it’s about finishing and publishing. That happened only after shifting. So that’s that.

Few days back I went back there to get the no-dues signature from the workshop and I was able to picturize those familiar places as the lost canvas. I could have used them a little more. Although for my last visit this time, I didn’t forget to capture few footage as memorabilia – hostel area, old insti, the workshop and of course the foresty way to the workshop – and what better way for it for a film-maker than to make a film out of it. I’m currently working on the ODF montage but here’s the glimpse that I made using Google Photos –

https://goo.gl/photos/8hfig1cxg4DvVfBa7

As I sit in my room for the last time and write this post, I feel a bit nostalgic about leaving this place. This has been my home away from home for the past one year. All my creations, my critical decisions, my transformed self have come out of this – I have formed an everlasting memory. Leaving it does feel strange even though I’m very well aware of eternal legacy. This has been good, but it’s time to say good bye for even better tomorrow 🙂

Stay tuned. Peace! ✌

An Uncomprehended Euphoria

Sitting beneath the dark blue sky,

Gentle wind gushing past by ears,

You whispered something, I could never forget;

The words that didn’t dissolve,

In whirling wind or the tides of time,

Substituted for myriad of feelings,

Spoken so beautifully as if made for the moment;

 

Days after, I sit here silently, smiling

Listening to your favorite song,

Thinking of this mystery lying underneath

Emblazoning my senses like the first sun ray,

That falls on petals covered in dew at dawn,

Imagining how you would’ve reacted

If I had told that

The mere thought of being with you

Gives me the zest of an uncomprehended euphoria;

Author’s Note – I often have those eureka moments when I would utter out words without any conscious effort. I would either imagine a scenario or be in one and it would come out from within. It’s amazing how true feeling for something trigger the necessary explanation. These are indescriptive yet understood. Earlier I used to think that the most beautiful lines are well thought of but now I know they’re often spontaneous, made out in the situations like these. Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

If you missed my last year’s valentine post, you can read it here.

The One On The Fest Beats

Amidst the click of selfies,

In the conglomeration of adorning hues,

I saw a story, being written,

On the scales of rhythm and blues;

 

In the thud of the steps,

In the symphony of the taps,

Intertwined was a tale,

Acknowledged by the claps;

 

From the beats of the drums,

From the tune out of strums,

From the magic that flute spread,

Emanated a yarn, eternally that pervade;

 

In the stuttering of robots,

In the swirling of drones,

In the vroom of the RC cars,

Resided the gala of rising stars;

 

In the cackling of rendezvous,

In the cheering that arose in unison,

In the cacophony of loud screams,

Lingered a saga of California dream;

 

In the melody of the voice,

In the rhythm of the movements,

In the shout out for glory,

In the grin of success,

And in the cry of joy,

Cradled an anecdote, a storyteller’s ploy.

 

Author’s Note – Our college fest ELAN & Nvision was recently concluded. This poem, an onomatopoeia, is first in the series of my related experience. It celebrates the amazing aura created by the festive beats and the story that dwells in that bustling atmosphere. I would be writing more about it in the subsequent posts. Ciao! 🙂

[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 🙂

 

 

To All My Amazing Night Outs

Numerous nights spent in solitude,

Spanning over a significant portion of my college life;

Reading amazing stuffs and thinking

How much is there to be known?

Watching the stories so beautifully woven,

A celebration of creativity, art & imagination

That’s all there is, wide and far;

Realizing how vast is this world and how tiny I am,

Thinking about all those inspiring people out there

Whom I should look forward too;

Assimilating the fact that

if you’re the smartest in the room, you’re in the wrong room;

Feeling how wonderful can minuscule moments be,

Facing the power of story telling

And getting blown by it.

Pushing myself further & further

On a quest to quench my insatiable appetite

For reading, for knowledge & to have power of thinking;

Listening to soothing music

That teleported me to a calm relaxed world,

Hearing sounds that mesmerized

And touched my conscience with its melody;

Generating wonderful ideas for my upcoming creations,

Introspecting the divine self, that tiny lifeline we call ‘soul

Observing things our mysterious mind sense in solitude,

Rejuvenating my receptory senses to devour

The beauty that lies in simplest of things;

Watching & gazing outside the window,

The vast unknown that lays unexplored;

From the warmth of night,

till the morning chill

Thinking of recent happenings –

Something that stuck,

Somewhere I went wrong,

Someone to benefit from my rectification;

Me being better than my previous self,

Every second, every minute, every passing moment

That render me more knowledgeable,

More informed, more mature

To decipher the complexity

Of this artificially complex world;

To reveal the beauty hidden in plain sight,

To revive the dormant instinct of being natural,

Free of pretense, free of burdensome worries

For a smile appear at the beginning of dawn

My new self, a new me

Ready to face the day with contentment.

Author’s Note –  Given the kind of night owl I’m, I have always preferred working alone at night. Right from my childhood, I use to stay up the whole night. For that’s the time I feel myself to be the most productive – more focused and less distracted. Most of my creative works are the product of that silence when I could emphasize my imagination.

Recently I have been doing frequent nightouts whose results I’ve partially published on this blog. Once I delve deep into my work, I go on for long hours without break. It helps me in maintaining a creative flow. This poem tries to capture the nuances of numerous such moments that enlivened my inner-self.

This is just a teeny-tiny tid-bit I wrote yesterday. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post series (read my announcement in previous post) & of course for more creative contents. Peace ✌