is the annual National Level Technical Symposium of SVNIT
Surat. I have a very memorable association with the same.
I was the student convenor of Mindbend’05. I got the opporunity to organise such a mega event for the first time. The total budget for the whole event was around 5 Lacs where more than 600 students from across the country came to the college campus during a span of 3 days. Initially when I got the responsibility, I was thrilled but at the same time I found it to be very challenging. I had to lead a team of my peers and there was one more convenor in the team so objections and differences were bound to arise. There were many contenders for the post… but only two posts were there. So those who missed out were obviously not very comfortable initially. I must acknowledge one thing that I got a very good team where people were really dedicated and hard working. The core committee, the technical committee and the junior volunteers were really very cooperative.
I should not say that we did every thing right… There were many hitches and bumps on the road. There were sponsorship deficiencies accompanied by uncertainities of the infrastructure and the guest lecturers. Why I am writing this is that after looking at the site of Mindbend’07 a few minutes back, I felt nostalgic and I travelled a few years down the memory line. I remember the night long strategies to reduce costs, the infrastructure bottlenecks and the great optimisation schedule for the limited (to be precise… 3 projectors) to be used for the entire show. Then the run for the sponsorships and the tension emanating from the faces when some sponsor backed out at the last minute. I learnt a lot. I lost something very important during the event but my job did not allow me to think too much. That obviously made me stronger but that took away something from me… and I still crave for that. Getting back to my learning, the most important lesson that Mindbend taught me is to respect your peers and subordinates. It is ultimately your people who matter and they are the ones who bestow their trust on you as a leader. So leading is not about speaking a few inspiring words or having only a very good oratorial skill. It is about having the ability to understand your team very well. It is about knowing how to make others work without hurting them. It is about visualising the future and the ability to look at the same thing from a different angle. It is about having the ability to acknowledge one’s mistakes and having the guts to correct them. It is about being tough at times and taking unprecedented decisions for the greater cause. It is also about arguing with the Director to have your work done but ultimately proving him that you were right. I miss those night outs and the long ride to “Chamunda” at 4:00 A.M in the morning for a cup of tea and some snacks. I also miss sitting in front of the Hospitality desk chatting with the juniors encouraging them to learn and make Mindbend a legacy and off course a brand. Mindbend got over with a smile and I felt I did nothing. It was a dream period for me where I found myself being so true and dedicated. Even after Mindbend got over, I used to see dreams of organising Mindbend in a better manner and including things which I always wanted to do. But constraints were always there and I will vouch for it that my team tried its best. There were many drawbacks which have helped our juniors in improving the next edition…
During our time, we faced many hitches while organising funds. We still managed to have some very good sponsors. Infosys, L&T, Kribhco, Gujcost, Torrent Power etc. showed enthusiasm and responded positively. Our juniors also did a great job and they put up a better and organized Mindbend’06. Mindbend’07
has come out to be bigger and better. While browsing through the site, I saw that they have put some very good events on the roll and the brands which are sponsoring the event only testify one thing that our efforts of building a brand Mindbend continued by our juniors have been really successful. I am proud to be associated with Mindbend and it is very close to my heart for the obvious reasons.
I only hope to see a bigger and better Mindbend in the future and I am sure with the kind of zeal and enthusiasm shown by the junior batches in SVNIT, things are only going to improve. Let us rock it and see to it that our Mindbend becomes a bigger brand which is at par (if not better than) with Techfest, IIT Bombay.
Our Business Strategy professor gave us an assignment to define “Happiness” as a target. We also had to write the problems we faced while defining the target. It may sound vague to others but he says that strategy is all about defining the targets and devising ways to reach the same.
I have put the picture of Monalisa here because I think happiness is an enigma which is as perplexing as her eluding smile.
I tried to do justice while writing about “Happiness”. I was just myself and wrote what I feel would give me happiness and satisfaction in the future.
The text in italics below is the article I wrote for the professor:
“Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever…. Happiness: then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue”
In the above quote, Aristotle very aptly speaks about happiness. Happiness is the final goal and every living being (consciously or unconsciously) is always in search for it. There is no absolute definition of the word happiness. It is always relative and varies from person to person. A beggar will be happy if he gets to eat his meal twice a day. A lover will be happy if he/she finds his/her true love and a father will be happy at his child’s success. A thirsty man will be happy when he gets water to drink. Again there are many things that come into picture. Situation and time also affect happiness. Happiness is usually mortal and it vanishes or ceases to exist after a certain time limit.
In my context, happiness is something which will make me feel satisfied within. The satisfaction will come from deep inside and I am still in search for that. If I have to define happiness as a target, I can only find one thing now. If I can make my parents happy, I will be a happy person. There is again a point to be noted that since happiness is related to time and situation, I may not be happy when I achieve what I want to achieve because by then I may want something else which will make me happy. Both my parents are from medical background and they have great expectations from me. They wanted me to become a doctor but I chose engineering as a career. They always encouraged me to chase my dream and that is what I did. I am from a relatively interior part of Assam. My father spent his entire career serving the people from my locality. Although they have never expressed anything, my parents would be happy if I really contribute something back to the society. I have some plans and if I can do what I want to do, I think I will be satisfied.
External factors like marriage, family, kids, high paying job and a successful career may come my way when I tread my way to my ultimate happiness. My wife may not be ready to support me if I start going ahead with my plan. Post MBA, I will be having a decent job with salary in seven figures. Will I be able to leave my cushy job and start afresh to do something for the society? Will I be able to leave my secured life and go ahead with something which is unsecured? The only light at the end of the tunnel comes from the fact that if I go ahead with my plan, I would be chasing my happiness – the ultimate goal.
Difficulties faced while defining happiness as my target:
– I am not clear about what will give me happiness in the long run. There are many things which can make me happy for the moment but it is always a very difficult task to define what will make me happy in the future.
– From my personal experience I have always found that achieving certain milestone does not make one happy. Being unable to gain something will definitely make one unhappy. There fore I am not sure whether in the long run, my definition of happiness will come true or not.
– I am unable to exactly define how the external factors will affect my path when I move ahead towards my goal of happiness.
Today I had a very stifling feeling inside. It came all of a sudden and I was being tyrannized by it till finally Baddy* came to my rescue. Right since the morning my mood was off. I went to class and the same thing continued. It was very peculiar in the sense that I just could not understand what and why was this feeling coming inside me?
I believe in “signs”. I started worrying whether there was something wrong with my family members or some bad news was on its way? I felt so low and disheartened. Usually when I am upset or sad, there is some reason behind it. Today’s feeling had none… That was the unique feature. I don’t know if it happens to others but it really gave me tough time during the day because i was not able to concentrate in the class.
I said Baddy saved my day. Baddy is the cricket we play here in IIFT. It is a modified form of the all famous gulli-cricket and it has been customized to suit the small campus that IIFT has. There are many rules and regulations which make it more interesting for the players. Like a true manager, one has to tread his own path through glory but only amidst lots of constraints. I will come up with a detailed blog on the Baddy rules soon.
After playing three continuos games, we few friends Gandy, Sonyda & Gunjit went to Katwaria Sarai (5 mins walk from IIFT). We had Chicken rolls, then goll – gappe and finally toasted ourselves with a glass each of mixed fruit juice. It was really nice and it helped me get out of my psyched out condition.
Thanks Baddy… 🙂
I am just back from the election of the club co-orinators’ post for different clubs in IIFT. Tired and exhauseted I want my bed now.
I am learning Spanish here in IIFT. Till now I am finding it to be a smooth ride but lets see…
Here I am putting a paragraph i wrote in Spanish today in the class….
Anyone who wants to know the meaning can use google language tool!!! :)))
Yo soy Partha. Estoy estudiante de IIFT, Nuave delhi. Soy de Assam. Padre es Medicos y abuelo es campesino. Estoy cansado. Yo estudio espanol. Me gusta perrito. Soy Chico Bien. Yo trabajo mucho. Estoy occupado con trabajo. Me gustaria hacerme presidente de Google. Yo havo enorme amar de libro.
Corporate Social Responsibility is the latest buzzword. Be it Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates or the TATAs here in India, every one thinks that the greater the rural development is, the better the future is.
Off late, many new ideas have been coming to my mind. I want to contribute towards the Indian society in general and my state Assam in particular. I share this feeling with a few other people whom I consider to be better than me in every aspect. Maybe that motivates me a lot and therefore somehow the coziness and the aristocracy of a posh office building no more attract me. If I am destined for something better why should I waste my time and talent thinking and worrying about serving someone from some distant land? Helping the humanity with humility can give me more satisfaction than earning a salary in 7 digits.
A few days back, I read about the Project Saksham launched by Microsoft. Hats off to Bill Gates! His initiatives have helped many unemployed people earn and live their lives by their own. A simple interface, a low cost PC and a local language OS can go a long way in helping the cyber literacy rate in India go up! People can do their own businesses, learn about other parts of the world through the internet and see the better practices from across the globe. I see a dream where even a daily wage worker would avail the benefits of IT. I believe the next wave of outsourcing (if properly tapped) can take many states out of their conditions of misery.
I know that ultimately everything boils down to business but the rural IT inclusion will go a long way in developing the backward areas like the North East. If both parties benefit, then what else would someone wish for? I want to do something similar. I want to use technology to help the rural populace. Of course I have thought of many ideas… and I am sure I can implement them.
Every entrepreneaur faces many failures before he/she becomes successful. Be it Steve Jobs of Apple, Subhash Chandra of Zee or Sanjeev Bikhchandani of naukri.com, everyone has faced many setbacks. I wonder what drives them the most? For me it is the feeling of accomplishment that drives! I am sure I would see failures but I want to see many more failures than what I have seen so that when I rise I reach the top and then there will be no looking back. Failure makes me stronger.. It makes me cry. It makes me sad.. but pain can be painful only up to a limit!!!
I know my days will come and I see them coming!!!