Quest of HappYness

The quest of happYness will take you far and wide,
Make you do all sort of crazy things to bring out funny side.

The quest of happYness will shake you & won’t let you sleep,
Even in your dreams new ideas to seek fulfilment will creep.

The quest of happYness will always keep you on the go,
Motivate you to move further ahead, even when you feel low.

The quest of happYness might be long and tiring.
However, on every milestone, the results are rewarding.

The quest of happYness is like an infinite loop,
Just keep moving, looking for the upcoming fruit.

The quest of happYness will never probably end,
As permanent lasting happYness is just a pretend.

The quest of happYness teaches of joy even when things may not be perfect,
Just like the ‘Y’ in happYness instead of the usual ‘I’ which you expect.

The quest of happYness shows that sum of parts is more than whole,
The journey is more rewarding than the pleasure of reaching the goal.

The quest of happYness shows that everything is temporary,
As the current source of ecstasy won’t last till eternity.

The quest of happYness also has a deeper and higher motive,
To make a well-experienced individual, wise as well as emotive.

The quest of happYness is so alluring and mystique,
Paths may be different but happYness is the aim we all seek.

If a tree falls in a forest…

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Initially it may seem a trivial question, however on second thought its a philosophical question. It all depends on the definition of sound. The meaning of sound is “vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear.” Thus as per the scientific definition, vibration is sound only if its perceived by the auditory glands of an animal or human. Without the receptor its just vibration and not sound. However philosophically it questions whether the state of an object depends on how it is perceived by a subject. Does something which cannot be perceived by anyone actually exist? And as one can say its not a yes / no answer.

“Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, “The flag moves.” The other said, “The wind moves.” They argued back and forth but could not agree.
The Sixth Ancestor said, “Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves.” The two monks were struck with awe.”
– The Mumonkan Case 29, translation by Robert Aitken

I just briefly explained this because of the title and the introductory question. However this post mainly asks questions on similar lines based on how people behave on social networks these days…

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If you met your friends and didn’t check in online, did you actually meet them?

If you visited a new city or country and didn’t update your FB, WhatsApp, Twitter etc DPs did you actually visit?

If you had dinner at a restaurant and didn’t check in on Zomato, did you actually have dinner?

If you got married or had a baby and you didn’t update your ‘status’ on social networks, did it actually happen?

If you changed your job and didn’t immediately update on LinkedIn, did you actually change the job?

If you went on your honeymoon to an exotic location and didn’t post the pics, did you actually go?

If you bought a new house or car and didn’t post a pic on the same day, did you actually buy it?

If you didn’t write a R.I.P. when someone passed away, didn’t they actually rest in peace?

If you saw a sunrise or sunset and didn’t take a selfie (with your back facing the sun), did you actually see a sunrise or sunset?

If you didn’t change the display picture for a cause, do you actually support it?

I can go on and on. My point is simple, lets enjoy the moments of life. Nothing is wrong or bad about posting updates on social networks. Only that it should not be the first thing we think or do. At the end of day, once in a while its ok to post updates about our life. However doing that EVERYDAY for every single thing that happens in the life surely sounds like a bad idea. Believe me, no one actually cares about the constant updates about our life on social networks. Its more like an information source for others. So why not spread some useful, thought provoking, inspiring, interesting or funny information? It might actually be useful for someone. And if the intent of regular online updates is to maintain a log of the happening of our life then the best idea is to maintain a journal (either in a book or online form). And it can be shared (if you wish) with a few people who actually care about you.

Even i am not perfect. Sometimes even i feel to click a pic or post an update. However, mostly i stop myself until the event has completed and i have thoroughly lived it. Then i rethink whether it should be posted online. Will it be useful for anyone? If the answer is yes, then it its updated, otherwise not. So stop taking a selfie or posting an update instantly. Lets learn to live in the moment. I know it can be hard, as the whole world (or the majority) is doing things the usual way. However its not mandatory that everyone should follow the crowd. Lets enjoy the moments of our life as they come. Lets try to live in the present. Lets push back the thought of immediately posting updates of the happening of our life to sometime later after the event has happened and we have fully experienced it.

Cheers! 🙂

IIIT-B, My Alma Mater

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It says it all !

Two years have passed! Yes, two awesome years 🙂 It seems like yesterday when i had applied for masters at IIIT-B. It seemed to be perfect to me in every way. The news of being shortlisted for interviews… The preparation for interview… And then my first visit to Bangalore, which became my favourite since day one and then IIIT-B! The campus just wooed my heart. It is a small cozy place. I distinctly remember sitting for my turn for the admission interviews and looking outside of the windows to the huge trees which lined the entrance, that’s when i had thought that i just want to be in this place. Interviews were good and i had a nice quick trip. And then the acceptance letter sent me on cloud nine 🙂 I was sooo happy!

Our Main Block
Our Main Block

Joined IIIT-B on July 13th, 2012. Met people from all over India. Its always a bit difficult for me to make friends, however somehow we just all got together! I had the coolest gang of gals here 🙂 Initially everything felt a bit new, somewhat different. But since i have already stayed in hostel during my undergrad days, i could gel in soon. New place, new friends, new weather, new food, new languages and thus overall a new life 🙂

Initially for around one and half months we had prep semester, where we studied the basics and got ourselves adjusted to the new life. I still remember the Linux installations and system crashes 😛 The seniors were all very helping and ready to guide their “juniors”. Our 2nd floor hostel corridors used to be packed sometimes when we all were listening to seniors’ advice. It was just the beginning of the life ahead. During this time, learnt and practiced basic programming and mathematics.

Very soon it was time to begin the first semester. The SAC elections, the campaigning both online and off-line. The freshers party! And then the serious stuff started. Four subjects, random project team allocations, whole night project meetings, coding, numerous demos and vivas by TAs, quizzes, mid-sem and finals. Sometimes it all seemed too difficult. But then we had seniors as our inspiration. They had been through this and so we felt that we could do it as well!

But it was not all that hard! There was always preparation going on for some festival. Had a great time celebrating so many Indian festival with friends from all over India. Enjoyed the matki-fod Janamashtami, awesome Diwali with firecrackers, beautiful flower rangolis on Onam, one day Ganesh puja, Republic day and Independence day and many more. These special events added spice in daily life and made it more colorful. And then there were Ravali calls every now and then on birthdays 😉

Second semester started and it was time to choose the specialization. Time to choose two electives. Time to be part of a lab. For some it was easy, while for others it was very difficult to choose. However very soon things fell into place. Everyone was busy again doing some awesome projects in courses and labs. Second semester is awesome for two reasons:  SPANDAN – It is the time for all IIIT-B students and alumni to meet and enjoy playing and watching sports for three days. You ask any IIITBian and they will say that Spandan is perhaps the best time and it seems as though we are in a different world altogether! And the second special event of the second semester is Open House. This is the time when we present our work to the outside world. Had a great time giving demos and presentations and got some amazing feedback and suggestions. And then very soon, again its time for final project submissions, demos and exams.

Then we had a mini semester called the summer sem. During this time, we studied some management lessons and technical communication. Being tech guys, management lessons were somewhat difficult for us to grasp initially. Had a great time in TC presentations, movie and book reviews and most of all the Mad-ads 🙂 Our group’s product was an umbrella, and i must say it was a really cool multipurpose umbrella 😉

Third semester started and it was time to be ready for placements! Oh those days! It was difficult to handle both studies and placements. Those group studies. Those intense problem solving sessions. Karumanchi, the hottest book on campus during placements. It was so much in demand that it was out of stock on every online portal. Some amazing KSMs by our classmates. It was all very stressful but finally worth it! The placement week. The written rounds. The coding rounds. A few rejections… This is the time when “real friends” supported and motivated. And then sweet success 🙂

At IIIT-B, one does regular coursework+projects for three semesters and the last semester is for either internship or thesis. In these three semesters i studied some amazing subjects, taught by some of the most awesome profs i have ever met. They were always there to guide and support and to clarify doubts if any. I was a member of OSL lab (later renamed to Web Science Lab, WSL) and got to do some cool projects. Experienced some fantastic unconventional ways of teaching and learning. The projects taught us to get our hands dirty, work on some real problems and to work in teams and manage the group. Overall it was awesome experience.

In my final semester, i choose to do thesis as i was highly interested in an area and had an amazing Prof. as my guide. And i am very proud to say that it has been one of the best decision of my life. These six months have been perhaps the best days of my life till now. I have never been so happy 🙂 I did some cool experiments and simulations. Had numerous brain storming sessions and discussions to crystallize the ideas and generate appropriate results. Time just flew when i did my work. It was not work but play for me, as i enjoyed doing it. During this time, I realized that sometimes, its difficult to understand the implications of one’s own work! In such scenario, one needs a guide who has wisdom to see the bigger picture and who can connect the dots. I also understood that academic writing is very different from regular writing. It needs to be a lot more diligent and precise.  This semester showed me my area of interest, my potential and what all i can do ahead! Also i have completed a full circle at IIIT-B. Gave my M.Tech thesis defense in the same classroom where i waited for my turn for admission interview!

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View from my window 🙂

Some random pointers of IIIT-B – the green lawns, the mini pond, ducks and rabbits, lots of squirrels, the orange tree (African tulip tree) in front of my window, awesome independent room, MCR, smart boards, colorful canteen, mid-night Maggie, sandwiches and fruit juice, walks around the campus, small terrace on the 2nd floor, the musical fountain, the basketball court, table-tennis games, Spic Macay programs, Philosophy Club meetings, Movie sessions, i guess i can go on and on 🙂  There are so many things that flash in my mind when i think of IIIT-B.

And now time ticks by. Earlier i used to wait for the convocation day but now i want time to slow down… Very soon it will be time to throw the graduation caps high in the sky. To be there, together, for the group pic. And then to wave good byes. I know it’s going to be difficult. Very difficult. IIIT-B has been like heaven for me. I have realized my potential here. I have understood what i am capable of doing. I am ready to face life ahead. It gave me some close friends for lifetime. It showed me, my area of interest for which my brain jumps with excitement and interest. I was lucky to study and work under the guidance of some of the most amazing profs here who are experts in their field. IIIT-B thanks for making me what i am today ! When i see myself now and myself two years earlier, i can clearly see a transformed myself. Adieu to MT2012 batch! Had a great time with all of you. It’s the memories which will be cherished forever! And finally, IIIT-B, my Alma mater, thanks for everything!

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Batch of 2012
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IIIT-B made us and we made IIIT-B 🙂

Quote

Happiness is …

I was watching this video, in which children sing what happiness means to them. Thus i got the idea of this blog post. Here i would like to share  what happiness means to me. Most of these i have experienced, while some i am yet to experience. I will keep adding more …

Happiness is clicking perfect pictures,
Swinging on swing,
Watching a floating leaf.

Happiness is lush greenery,
Blooming flowers,
Gazing starry sky.

Happiness is watching a sunrise,
Bird soaring high,
Pleasant cool breeze.

Happiness is soothing music,
Chirping birds,
Peaceful silence.

Happiness is midnight sandwich party,
Lots of chocolates,
Home Mom made food.

Happiness is old photos,
Surprise visit home,
Meeting old friends.

Happiness is shopping spree,
Long drives,
Reading new books.

Happiness is publishing new blog post,
Blast of new post ideas (at 3 AM )
Getting Freshly Pressed.

Happiness is motivating teachers,
Parents like friends,
Few close friends.

Happiness is knowing something new,
Learning to do it too,
Gaining expertise.

Happiness is being engrossed in yourself,
Spending quality time alone,
Introspecting.

Happiness in being yourself,
Listening to others,
Doing what you thing is right.

Happiness is taking a stand,
Lending a helping hand,
Spreading fun and joy.

Happiness is listening to people,
Getting new ideas,
Making new friends.

Happiness is sheer pure bliss,
Feeling of immense joy,
Bringing big smiles on faces 🙂

Happiness is joy of small things,
Journey of life,
Wisdom from experiences.

What “Happiness is …” for you ??? Please share …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic | My Cycle and Me

Good Old Days

This week’s “Weekly Photo Challenge” encouraged me to go back in time and see a flashback of my life till now. It feels just yesterday when i used to go to school, enjoy vacations and play with my friends. Time actually flies very very fast. It feels so good to have a look at the old photographs. Its only sweet memories which we are left with, to ponder, recollect and enjoy the old times.

I recalled my first school. I recollected how we friends used to go walking holding the hands of Aaya. I still remember the green abacus kept in a corner of my school which had intrigued me a lot. Reciting poems in class, doing homework, participating in games and fancy dress competitions (I had got first prize for being Indira Gandhi :)). I can see a video recording of all these events as if it is being played in front of my eyes !

Then we got shifted to the colony, so that i could have more friends. My life changed ! I made so many new friends. Every evening we used to play. I remember, we even played during exams and yet performed well. Hide and seek, ice and water, hopscotch, racing, cycling, climbing trees, dark room etc were the games we played apart from badminton, carom, basketball, chess and table tennis. You name it and we played it 🙂 Then there were fun filled birthday parties, the return gifts, the tasty dishes, sweets and chocolates, it was so much fun. We also used to fight with each other for various reasons. Now the reasons may look silly but at that time it mattered a lot to us.  However all fights and misunderstandings were forgotten and each day was a fresh new day. We never held any grudges for one another.

“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”
―Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The picture above shows me with my companion “my maroon Hero bicycle” when i was 7 years old. I was so proud of my bicycle. It was my surprise birthday gift ! It was a big transition for me from a tricycle to a bicycle. I still remember how my Dad used to teach me cycling every evening. I used to wait for him to come back from office and teach me how to cycle. The roads lined by lush green trees, the fresh air, the chirping birds, it was all fantastic ! In the beginning the bicycle was so huge for me that i could not even sit on the seat or take a complete round of the pedals. But i myself don’t remember when i started racing with my friends. Off course there were a lot of scrapped knees followed by tetanus injections, but i guess it made me stronger and braver 🙂 Later on we used to do cycling every evening on the broad roads, chatting together. We would get so engrossed, that we just forgot about the distance we had covered. Later at night when our legs pained, did we realize that perhaps we had cycled lot more than our capacity 🙂

I think childhood is the best time to imbibe a lot of skills in children. I hindsight i realize we learnt leadership, team management, time management, handling difficult people, facing challenges and so many other skills without even intentionally learning them. These skills can only be learnt practically. No book or teacher can teach you these skills in a classroom. Thus childhood is the best time to inculcate various qualities which are useful later in life. There cannot be a better teacher than our own experience.

I will conclude with a small poem written by me on childhood –

Childhood is the best time to learn and grow
To inculcate and nurture the seed you sow
Play games and make so many new friends
Not to give a damn about the latest trends
Enjoy life and be happy each and every new day
Not to be apprehensive of the mysteries future lays
To fight with friends and then forgive & forget
Not to worry about the deadlines that are set
If life seems to be so good from a child’s view
Then lets bring back the child, whom we bid adieu !

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Here are a few images of my interpretation of “Forward”.

This is the lush green pathway which leads to my college IIIT-B.
At the entrance there is Goddess Saraswati, “The Goddess of Knowledge” guiding me in my life ahead !

This is the place where i learn something new everyday.
This is the place which makes me realize my capabilities & strengths.
This is the place where 3 things happen – growth, growth & growth.
This is the place which teaches me to look at life from a new perspective.
This is the place where each day is buzzing with a lot of activity.
This is the place where i made a lot of friends.
This is the place where i came to know myself.
This is the place where i move “Forward” !

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MCT in a new look !

I was just browsing through various themes and i came across “Something Fishy” 😀
And instantly i liked it.

So in this new year 2013, here’s My Cup of Tea in a new look !!!

The aqua blue color, the fishes, the turtles and the jelly-fishes, the whales, the bright orange titles, the awesome animation and most of all the “Get me outta here !” worm on the left when you scroll down a bit.
I just love it 🙂
I also designed a simple header image matching with the theme.

Please share your views/comments/criticism about MCT in its new look …

Here’s a pic i clicked specially for wishing all of you a very “Happy New Year 2013” !!!

Happy New Year 2013
Happy New Year 2013

My First Blog Anniversary !!!

My Cup of Tea turned 1-year-old on Oct 2nd, 2012. I am so happy. I was busy with my mid-semester exams so i could not post on that day itself. And so i was craving for a Sunday when i could make this post :D. This one year journey has been awesome. I have discovered a new me via my blog. MCT is the first thing i mention as my hobbies (even in interviews) and it feels good to see that most people are interested in it (more so if they themselves are bloggers :)).

This journey has been memorable because of the blogging friends i made all over the world. It feels great to imagine that we live in different parts of the world, have our own very busy lives, we all face challenges on the journey of life, yet we all connect with each other via blogging. Blogging brings me in a completely different world 🙂 Today i would like to thank each one of you who have read my posts, liked them or have been gracious enough to take some time out of their busy lives and commented on a post. By reading my post, you read a part of my life, my experiences, my journey. Each one of you has inspired me to keep going on and post something new and interesting.

I can proudly say that MCT has been one of the best things i have done in my life. Even the thought of MCT brings a spark of happiness in me. Reading back through old posts, sometimes i am surprised how i could have written it 😀 But such things happen and we discover our own potential and capabilities. And so i believe that we have the ability to surprise ourselves 🙂

In one year i posted 45 posts including this one. I had imagined much more. But its ok 🙂 If you ever feel that i have forgotten MCT as i am not posting frequently, then you are wrong. I promise that atleast once in a day a thought of MCT passes my mind. Sometimes on a free day i sit down and read all your posts. My frequency of posting may have decreased due to my busy college life, but i can assure you that MCT will be a part of me, ALWAYS.

I still remember that day very clearly. 2nd October 2011. Since a long time i had been thinking of having a blog. I had done a lot of research on whether to go for blogger or WordPress (finally i picked WordPress, lucky me :)). I just could not decide on a name for my blog. I wanted it to be perfect so that i never feel like changing it again. And so on 2nd October last year a Sunday 🙂 i finally decided to create my blog. When entering the name of blog suddenly it flashed “My Cup of Tea”. And that was it. I just love it soooo much since that day.  Here is the link to my first blog post 🙂 My First Post !

Once again a Very Happy First Blog Anniversary MCT !!!

New Life —> New Beginning

An end and a fresh start.
Bulls eye struck by my dart.
Hope everything goes on well
In these thoughts i constantly dwell.

A new beginning leads to change.
It seems a bit frightening and strange.
Hope to get adapted pretty soon.
Wish everything turns out to be a boon.

A new city, a different culture
All will lead to a bright future.
New connections, new friends.
People on whom i can depend.

I want to learn, i want to grow
In comp science i wanna be a pro
Dream of reaching the unreached height
Ready to do my best with all my might

I promise to always focus on my aim.
Wanna earn fame, money and name.
I promise to be strong & to never give up
Always to view life like a half filled cup

Things have always been good for me
Hope that it always continues to be
Whatever i deserve i want to get
As well as things i haven’t dream’t yet !

Image Credits :
messageofdaday.blogspot.com
crystalcomments.com

My Library – My Den

Do you know the best place which i loved the most at my college ??? “My Library” 🙂 Believe me its like a heaven for a book lover like me. My Library was My Den. The place where i could go and find happiness and joy 🙂 Here i am using past tense because my college is over now and i am missing “My Den” a lot 😦 I would like to share a few things about my library here.

Library & Learning Center

Here i would point that the Library and Learning Center is the best in Gujarat and i am sure one of the best in India. It has an enormous collection of books. Almost all magazines about which i have heard and many even unheard are subscribed. There are around 30-35 computers in the learning center where one can surf the internet. Also you can get a headphone from the help desk and listen to lectures, and study at your own pace.

There are soooo many CDs and DVDs which can be borrowed for a day. I found some interesting stuff here. There are both educational as well as recreational CDs.

Lets come to my most favorite place in library. The General Reading Books Section. There is a big bookshelf full of general books. A dreamland for me 🙂 Any time i went there i always found an interesting book to read! Yes Always 🙂 I have read sooo many books like – I Dare, Chicken Soup for the Soul, You can Win, Angels and Demons, The fountainhead, Around the world in 60 Days and many more. Actually the list is endless. How can i even recall all the books that i have read in four years 🙂 But i can say that I read almost all the books in the general section.

The General Books’ Shelf

The magazine section attracted me by my favorite Readers’ Digest, Inside Outside (dreamt about my future home :)), Life Positive, Digit, Gadget and many more. In the reference section there was always a copy of a book available as it was “Not for Issue”. So one could get even the ‘in demand’ books here.

Magazines

The projects section contained the project reports of our seniors and now ours as well 🙂 This was the most in demand place in the last semester, to refer others projects 🙂

Project Reports

Are you a chess lover ??? Then you won’t believe that you can officially play chess in our library. Just ask for chess set at the help desk and play it ‘silently’ with your partner. Amazing right 🙂 What more can you ask for in a Library ?

Almost all the festivals and days are celebrated here. From Diwali to Holi, from Teachers’ Day to World Environment Day. We even celebrated Friendship Day in the most unique way. Since books are known to be a man’s best friend so we had new collection of books as a gift and we had to write about our favorite book on colored bits of paper and pin it on a big board. These were some of the best moments at library.

The new arrivals used to be kept on a separate table for everyone to see. It was my happiest sight in library and then i would spend hours with the new books and deciding which book i should get issued first.

New Arrivals

All this has been possible due to the hard work and persistent efforts put in by our Librarian Sheetal Mam and the complete library team. They work together like a big family. Sheetal Mam is one of the best person i have ever met. She was always available and has supported and helped us in her own unique ways. A person whom you can look up to in both happy as well as sad times. Miss you a lot Mam! Specially those long discussions and talks. You have the special ability to make someone’s day 🙂

I miss my den a lot. Those sunlit tables, those cool wooden floors, interesting new books, those chess games, those happy reading times, its hardly a month since i left and i am already missing it all ! Library was “My Zone” in college. It will always be there in my heart.