Disclaimer: The following post contains things that might not be true. Since i Wrote this from my perspective, People who were with me on those situations might conceive it little bit different. If you are one of them, You have been Warned. Get Ready to witness my narcissism.
Four years earler, By this time i was getting ready to join college for my undergraduate studies. Eventhough i had limited options, I thought it would be good to stick within my hometown. When the HSC results were out, I got very good grades, which provided a possibibilty to secure a place in one of the premium institutes in my place, and my plan of not troubling my parents will come true since the fee was modest. If i have to sum up, from my 8th Grade i was studying through various scholarships. Despite the low fee in the college, i thought of opting for an education loan, but my parents didn’t allow me to take one and they covered all my expenses. So my graduation was supported by my parents A -Z.
I always dreamt about my college days. Being a movie buff, who have watched 10s of movies about students life, i was expecting a lot from my college days, An americanized version. We all know expectations hurts. When i entered the so called premium institute of my state, i was cheerless. The first time when i visited the college to submit my application form, i told my parents that this place was not for me. It was a dry land with little green and buildings. My father told me just to submit the application form then and look for other options. I did and started looking out for better alternatives, but that was so late and i had only two options and my mom was not happy with me taking any of them. After hours of discussions, with friends, acquaintances i convinced myself to join Pondicherry Engineering College. I opted for Electronics and Communication, where as my love lies in Computers. I loved programming from my school days, But i know the fact that i could learn to code on myself and i need something more than just coding to fuel my life. I thought with electronics in hand, i could do wonders with my programming skills, Believe me! i am glad i took that decision.
I got the seat and paid my fee for the first year without opting for an education loan and started looking out for my fellow classmates via the social network “Facebook”, It surely does connect people. That’s where i met my first collegemate, Dineshkumar. I messaged him and enquired about college, things that i should take care and about the first day of college. I went for the inaugral day, after the bragging speech from the college administration, ECE 2013 batch, met for the first time. It was what i never hoped for. I was in the middle of a parted crowd who are soon going to be friends. There were few people together, and they continued till the last day of the college, but i Couldn’t accept that, that time. There i saw my first bud, Dinesh too. The whole batch went for a visit to the Department and then ghosted out. I came home puzzled tried to figure out how my college life would be on that particular day. I thought things will eventually look better, and we all will be together in the upcoming days, my college life would be joyous. Now i am here boasting about that, Yup my college days were fantabulous, I enjoyed it to the core, But there was this missing part ” Together” This sums up what i am gonna blabber in the rest of the story. Here we go !
The Freshman year
The First day of lectures, First Semester, I came late which i do all the time. Being a fresher, I didn’t know the location of my class. In dismay, i ran out to someone, patted on his shoulder and asked where the ECE class is going on, he pointed me to the last class and walked away, moment later, two people yelled at me saying that’s the principal. Oops that’s me, the first day of my college, just missed a slap from the Principal. Thank alien, the class was about to start. I entered the class, everyone was chattering with people next to them, i occupied the last seat and waved my Hi to two people as soon as i saw them. There was this sync, Yeah they are my boys. That’s Udhaya and Adhi for you. That time it was all about Which school you were from and What you scored in your HSC. There were around 50+ students who were in my class, but i was curious to speak with students from other regions. The main reason was i could Speak English with them. I never had that opportunity in my school days and i sucked in vocabulary. It was full of knowing people. I become friends with some incredible people who are still my close friends. But i felt, My college days will not be what i hoped for and that’s the truth.
I am so grateful to my brother/ Cousin, He guided me through the first two years of college and things i should have to take care. He gave me guidelines of things i should and shouldn’t do. He convinced me that just grades were not enough, it’s the skills that matters. This helped me to seek out my passion. Thanks a lot, Sadishkumar 🙂 Also, there was this Facebook page called ” Pec Confessions and proposals”, Though the page was full of proposals and stuff, there are so many things that i learnt from that page like what is PEC , What i could be doing, What are all the opportunities it holds. I came to know some of the amazing people( Seniors) through that page.
After just a few weeks of college, i realised that i could not sit in the class room. I love observing things, but with a confined lectures, things that are so diverse in context back to back seemed so odd. I have done that in school. It’s college, I should do something that’s meaningful and things that will fulfill my day. This was where i became an odd duck ” That’s how people tag it 😛 ” I never study in my home, if you don’t believe check with my parents and friends but in college you ought to do that, Internals, Observations and records for Laboratory were way too mainstream for me. Like when i was in Physics laboratory doing the experiment, we have to do by the steps told by the instructors, because it’s an expensive aparatus. I mean what’s the point of experiments if you are not allowed to do an experiment on that. There was Freedom i agree, But there was no academic freedom which i hoped for. When i am bored i started visiting the library, started reading stuffs related to Computers if not newspapers. I started bunking classes. kindof became indifferent. This was the time i concentrated on things i like. Puduvai Gnu\Linux Users Group helped me to find some of my interests and i came out with flying colours certain domains. by the end of first semester i fixed some goals, milestones that i should be finishing by the end of my college. Yup they were ambitious goals.
I wanted myself to be friends with everyone. That may sound uncommon, but i tried my level best to be that type of person and i suffered even for that. I tried to connect with everyone. On my Birthday i was astonished to see that my friends made arrangements for a cake cutting. That was overwhelming. Thanks a lot buddies. But eventually i became close with a few. We were called the “”” WOW 5 GUYS (that’s Ashwin, BalaG, vignesh, shreedhar and myself ) “”” After the first year we split up to seperate departments anyhow. This was also the time i came to meet a small number of folks from Computer Science department. They were some of the great people i am friends with.
Like everyother college story you could have heard or read, there should be a “romatic part” 😛 Mine too had one, This was also the time where i saw this incredible girl, She was so amazing and I know what you are looking for 😛 You can learn more about her here in this link. Happy reading, Let’s get back on!
Some how I lived the first semester, I would not say “survived” There were incredible professors, I tried my best not to miss their classes and there were a few who i missed intentionally. We had this guideline, that students should have a minimum of 75 % overall attendance. Mine will be lying around that 75. So my first year was irregular classes, trying to seek my passion, getting poor internal score, scoldings from some of the professors, hanging out with all my buddies in and out of the college.
I was eagerly waiting for the vacation, But i spent those days simply watching series and movies. College has begun and all of a sudden we were in the Department. In the first year, since professors came from various departments i could easily escape, But here that’s a different scenario. Lectures, Lectures…. there were inspiring professors like Dr. E Srinivasan, Dr. L Nithyananthan Whose classes were captivating. I learnt what passion will take you in your life from these people. Eventhough i missed some of their classes, i regret that. But they were simply amazing.
The idea of becoming an entrepreneur was deep inside me. Having grown up by reading stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and some inspiration from Ruban, I was hoping to start my own organization. With that ambitious aspiration i joined PEC-EDC incubator. It was not what i have hoped for. With a diverse scope, PEC-EDC was in the wrong hands and i was not in the peak to stress my points. There are other reason why i gave the idea of entrepreneurship. I would be sharing my views soon.
I started contributing to Mozilla Foundation. Received supermentor tag for the constant involvement in the Webmaker project. With help from CS department folks, we started a club in our college to promote Free and Open Source Software and Mozilla’s Mission. We did a series of event and then we the club became dormant. For a while, I joined as an Intern at Bdigit Technologies, Auroville and that was a fabulous place for learning. I was exposed to variety of things.
With help from Vimal Raj( One of my mentor, who introduced Open Hardware), I learnt Arduino, Dev Platform and started making Robots, I attended various techfests and bagged several accolades, cash prizes. This resulted in very poor attendance and lab internals which eventually lowered my grades. Observing my indifferent attitude towards studies, Professor Tamilselvan helped me to balance my academics and co-curricular activities. That was a crucial aid that i was in need of that time. I don’t remember much of my Sophomore year, Since it was all about Techfests, Getting On-Duty, Visiting places, meeting new people, Symposiums. the second year passed just like that but in vain.
The Junior Year
I had this strange following, I used to miss the first day of each semester, since there will be two or three classes and that too will happen in the first two hours. We gave a Welcome Party to our juniors( Second year rookies) I missed that since i had an event to attend in Bangalore. When i came back things were odd. Lab batches were mess. I had Sanjay Krishnan and Salmon Sheik as my batchmates throughout my college life except the final semester. They were my people, poor attendance, indisciplined, a perfect team, we were. In each batch there should be one responsible guy atleast. First year we had a few girls and we survived. But in the third year it was just us. That was tough for all of us. I somehow managed to get things done in the last moment with somehow okie internals, i was a maestro in that, but they suffered a lot. I did my best to help them. If they were in some other batches they would have done pretty well. Sorry folks 😀
We had this mini project contest < Electroid >.We( Ashwin.Z,S, Nandha) Automated one of my professors room using IoT. We expected a bigger victory 😛 but there were folks who have concentrated on Agriculture and Individual safety and we ended up at third rank. I wanted to implement something that works in a real world scenario instead of prototypes and the result was impressive. . But i dissappointed ash. Sorry buddy. This helped me to figure out feasible choice about my Final Year project. No Hardware implementation. Yuhooooo!
This year too, I took part in robotic contests and met new people, learnt a lot outside my academics. I really felt the indispensable need of studying all my academics texts, whenever i came across subjects that i have already implemented in Robotics, Prototyping and Programming. But still i haven’t concentrated on my grades. But they were still average. even in the fifth semester. Besides that i had my skills up, I presented the idea behind Open Hardware, Free Software at various places., molded myself as a good evangelist and somewhat noob public speaker. Took part in various events concerning Science and Technology. My life actually started impacting so many people. This paved way to follow my pursuit still further.
During the first year, as i mentioned earlier there was this bro RajaRajan, There were a few posts about him being a Placement representatives and how he has been a great succour. After contacting him i realised, I understood the potential of the role and thought may be i could do this. In the third year, my seniors especially Kaushik, wanted myself to be out there doing the job just like my buddies wanted. When the professors came to elect the representatives, there were more friends interested in this role. I thought they would do a great job and i withdrew. Then I was scolded for being stupid and there were opportunites for them to play a role in the upcoming days. Gilber, my man who always trusted me, asked me to stick to this. I was selected as a Training and Placement Representative. I won’t say unanimously :B This was a huge role for an mediocre person like myself. I already know what i could be doing there and how much impact that i am gonna create. You can know more about my T&P days here
The Pre-Final year excursion was joyful. Enjoyed a ton. Wonderla rides were incredible. I have written a whole story covering it here < Journey to God’s Own Country >
We had tests & training back to back in the sixth semester. I sucked at quantitative aptitude. Somehow managed to pass the eligibility tests for Placement. Finished my college without memorizing quants formulae.
At the end of the third year, I had to make decisions that concern my career, project, Higher Studies, Job. I failed miserably there any how ❤
The Final Year
One might think Oh! that has passed like Phewww!, Nope it wasn’t , It wasn’t.
The choice of picking my final year project and my batch was hard. There was so much chaos and there was no guidelines to follow. Some people showed their darksides, I didn’t blame them, We all had our priorities. I was hard on this one. This is one of the hardest choices, the one i made concerning only about my goodness. Anyhow it came out well. I got an amazing team guided by a mentor who allowed us to pursue my field of work. our mentor was Dr. V. Vijayalakshmi, A fantabulous person. She gave us freedom to choose the domain, travelled along with us, confined it and made sure we were landing on a safe and interesting path. We chose Internet of Things as our platform. Our aim was to provide a better security and privacy feature to existing IoT systems. Praveen, Logeshwarakumaran(kutti bujji), Ahatee and myself worked together, perfected what we could achieve, just with the help from our mentor. I learnt lots of things, wrote a quintessential thesis and even implemented our algorithms in various platforms( only 3 Architectures 🙂 )
At this point we know I suck at Quants, I failed to clear the first round in First recruitment drive < Sapient Global >. There was a little pressure from my home, Since I used to be a studious student in school days, for the past three years i have been travelling around, average grades, they were from this society and they were concerned about my future. I should prove them i was doing good by atleast securing one job offer. Hence i took the next one, TCS and again failed 😛 It was full of Quants, then i realised, For the next drive i should prepare, and i didn’t.
The next drive was L&T ECC, It happened in NIT Karaikal, I went there with my buddies. We cleared the first round. We went for the interview, I did pretty well despite the fact that it was a stress interview. Again TCS came for recruitment, Being a representative i had to work in the Placement centre, That day was exhaustive. When i was helping the interviewers, some of them quesntioned me that why haven’t i appear for the drive. I replied that i didn’t clear the first round. It didn’t make me feel low anyhow. Since i was sure about my strengths. Around 2′ O clock of that day, Dr. Francis, TPO of PEC, asked me whether i know any of the Domains that TCS DESS is working on. I was familiar with Pervasive Computing and robotics. He wanted me to give a shot at the DESS recruitment, But that was only for CS students. DESS domain recruitment was going on from the morning and only one candidate was selected for the next round.
I was recommeded along with my buddies from CS department, I haven’t prepared for an interview that day, No resume, ceritificates, marksheets. I was in jeans, an orange shirt and an wierd hair cut. I was confined to a limited time, All i could do was print my resumes and marksheets, get it signed by TPO and appear for the interview. Phewww!
The interview was really smooth. They were astonished by the projects which i have done. On the other room, there was my buddy, Naveen who has been interviewed for the same job profile. We did some projects together and that made them understand our contribution as a team. After some technical questions, programming, They told me to confine my areas of interests and said it was toooooo Wide. I came out and sat with my buddies and without a stop i was put into the second round. That was so technical. I was interviewed by an ECE domain developer, There was little CS stuff and more of EC Stuff. He started with electrons and finished at satellite systems. After the second round I made up my mind that i am not gonna get this job also. They announced the results and we were not there.
I was in desperate need of a job to prove my mom. I attended another drive, TechM, This time i dressed up like i was actually attending an interview, Cleared the first round. Interview went smooth and secured a job. YuhOOO! I was a free bird from that moment.
One week later, We got a confirmation that myself and Naveen got the job offer from TCS DESS domain. I was left with two jobs, and I was on the way to secure a job from my domain. I heard people gossiping that i am securing more offers and stealing others opportunity. It didn’t concern me that much but we had to pay a service fee to college for the job offers and if i keep on adding them i have to pay more. Hence I paused for a while and started enjoying my college life.
I started hanging out, Met so many people, It was like full of joyous days. I met with an accident with the help from Gilber :P. People started creating impact, Acquaintances became friends and friends became best buddies. 2016 Birthday was fantabulous, I had one of my best celebrations, Thank You! I Witnessed the ups and downs, emotional outburst, helping buddies to come out of it. Hanging out with Mugunthan, Happy moments , sharing the sorrow, Late night beach, peekabooing my crush, PU Akka Bajji, T&P friends and food, advice from Poobalan sir, late night texting. Final year was a true rollercoaster ride for me, I enjoyed with my project mates, Mugunthan, Nands, HP and few other lovable persons.
The end is inevitable. We had an amazing thanksgiving and Farewell. I haven’t had a feeling of end. People fade that’s life. But What we learnt from them, their memories will remain till we exist, the next time when we see them it’s gonna be the same. We exchanged a slam kindof feedback within our class. I was glad to see that i have influenced people. There were times i used to think my neutrality and equality towards others have gone, Gilber always ushered me it wasn’t. I was still the same. After reading the feebacks, I felt the same. I tried till my last day of college to be together with such an amazing group of folks. We came to realise that we haven’t had a single group pic with everyone in our class. With the help from everyone we achieved 98.57 % Success, You can see the result in the image below. Thanks a lot everyone, For being the inspiration, Support, Mentor, experiment rat 😛 , accepting myself for who i am, tolerating and travelling along/besides/infront me. There were 70 People btw.
Post College Days
I have to accept the fact that my college days were not what i have dreamt of. It was something of it’s own kind. PEC, it was the place were i apprehended the whole picture of society, the place where the pursuit of my existence started, the place where some of my best moments happened, the place where i had witnessed some of the major down falls, the place where i found trust, the place where i found the difference between love and lust. the place where i realised you don’t need reasons to love someone, the place where i understood you can trust people and let them know about you. It was the place where i came to know more about me.
Love You PEC! and all of you Out there! Peace ✌️