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.

2013 Review

2013 has been a wonderful year for me. Now when i look back, i feel as if it just zoomed away. I learnt new lessons, met new people, increased my friends circle. Some of major highlights of the year 2013 which i can recall are as follows –

  • It has been a year of learning. 2013 was the last year when i studied formal courses of M.Tech at IIIT-B.  Learnt many new and interesting concepts. Some of them actually left me amazed ! Worked with many Profs. Did some interesting projects. Gave the last exam !
  • Took the decision of doing thesis instead of internship in the final semester of M.Tech. It has been one of the best decision i have made. I am enjoying every moment of the work i am doing. This is the most amazing work i have ever done ! Hope to get some new and interesting results. Looking forward to the next six months of research. I have realized that doing what we love, can give us maximum happiness, maximum satisfaction.
  • A year of firsts – I did many things for the first time in 2013. Tried new things, had new experiences. The ones that i can recall now are as follows – Watched the first 3D movie (Frozen, it was amazing !), attended the first conference, published the first paper, presented first poster (at Open House), first time went on a tour without parents, first birthday away from home (but also one of the best), first time traveled in a metro, got my first job …
  • I gave the best gift to my parents on their 25th marriage anniversary, a “Gold Medal” for being first in B.E. in the Computer Engineering department of Gujarat Technological University (GTU). The best thing was that my convocation was on their anniversary day (19th Jan). Mom and Dad, I am proud to be your daughter. It is because of you both, i am, what i am today 🙂 I know thanks is too small a word but still, thanks a lot for everything !!!
  • Increased my friends circle. Our gang of girls increased from 5 to 7. It has been a great support system. A family away from home. These are people whom you can call even at 2 AM to talk. I will miss our long mid-night walks and then sandwiches + fruit juice in canteen, our shopping trips, our study sessions together, our meals in canteen. Thanks a lot guys for being there ! Lets all be friends forever 🙂 This year brought us all closer and bonded us even better. I also realized that it can be very difficult to wave goodbye to your close friends.
  • This was the year when most of the festivals were celebrated away from home. Be it lighting up the hostel on Diwali, or the colorful fun with colors on Holi or the beautiful flower rangoli on Onam or the most awaited three-day long Spandan-The Sports Fest at IIIT-B or the ethnic day celebrations. Celebrating festivals can be fun with friends.
  • I have always believed that its better to be alone than to be with people who don’t match your values and ethics. I have been an introvert in some ways, and never initiated conversations with strangers for example while travelling or at other public places. Thus i have a small close-knit friend circle of a few close friends. I have always enjoyed my own company and hence i can say with full confidence that being alone can be also be fun ! However, this year i have also realized that making friends can be easy if the wavelength of the other person matches yours.
  • This has been a musical year for me. Thanks to the SpicMacay events at IIIT-B, other performances and lots and lots of YouTube musical videos, it has been an enchanting and euphonious year. I am planning to learn a new musical instrument next year. I will update about it later. Music is food for soul. It has the magical power to transcend us to a new different world. Music can refresh the brain even after a long and tiring day.
  • This year for the first time a visited a home for physically and mentally challenged girl child, Swanthana. All i can say is that, i was completely moved. Our problems, our setbacks, our challenges, our sorrows are nothing, yes believe me NOTHING once you see their life. But still they SMILE (and it can bring tears in anyone’s eyes). To read my full experience, click here.

I am looking forward to 2014. I hope it is a great year full of new ideas, new experiences, new lessons, new friends and new learning. Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous new year 2014 ! May all your dreams come true. May you get all that you deserve and more !

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 …

Exams end, Happiness begins

collage

Learning is fun, but exams are not !

Today is the day which i will remember throughout my life. I gave the last exam (Geographic Information System) of 20 years of academics from Nursery to M.Tech 🙂 In future if i do a PhD, may be i will give more exams but as of now this is the last one.

Assuming there are 10 subjects to study each year. 4 exams every year – 2 tests, a half yearly and a final. This means 40 exams every year for 20 years. OMG i have given around 800 exams till now !!! Even i can’t believe it 😉 But even after giving so many exams i always had exam stress. That’s because i am a perfectionist. And since 100% perfection is impossible to achieve, i was never 100% satisfied with my preparation for exams. Till the last moment i felt i could do something more. I know grades are not everything, its our attitude and work that defines the direction in which we move ahead in life. But still i was always worried. The stress, the tension, the anxiety OMG !!! I am sure exams are the biggest stress causing agents in a student’s life. Anyways the exams have ended for me for now. And i am very very happy 🙂

Seriously, can’t a better technique be devised to test one’s understanding of a subject. Are exams the only way out ? Is it right to study only for doing well in exams ? (Most do that !) What about the stress which sometimes degrades our performance in exams ? And also are we not limited by the syllabus of the exam ? (Who has time to study something extra, right!) I was lucky to take two courses which are graded differently. Its called Mandate oriented learning, a technique devised by Prof. Srinath. Click here to know more. I liked it a lot as it gave me the freedom to study topics as per my choice and style. It aims that the class as a whole has a collective understanding of the subject and thus we got a platform to share what we understood with one another.

Life itself is an exam and every day is a new challenge. I am sure after giving ~ 1000 exams i am ready to face the exam of life ! It is probably the most difficult exam as the syllabus is unknown, it is a surprise test, you cannot copy from anyone, no one can teach it, it can only be learnt by one-self, others can only share their wisdom. But however hard it may be, bring it on !!! I am ready 🙂

On a lighter note, i would like to share my happiness with all of you with this video. Enjoy!!!

With an image, video and text in this post, i can also submit this in the Weekly Writing Challenge – Multimedia Storytelling.

Cisco Girls in Technology Experience

What will you say when you get a chance to visit an awesome campus of a top company, see the work they are doing, learn many new things, get to interact with numerous like minded people and have a lot of fun ? In my opinion it is a perfect example of a day well spent. And this is what i experienced at the Cisco Girls in Technology Event held on March 16th, 2013 at the Cisco campus in Bangalore.

The preparation for this event had started long back. We were to compete with various teams and present a topic assigned to us. Overall it was a great learning experience to give a presentation online on the Web-ex tool. We also got the chance to interact with teams from other colleges. Our mentors from Cisco guided us and gave us feedback. The winners got to present on the D-day.

A group of 14 girls from our college got the opportunity to participate in this event. We reached the campus by 8 AM. We were all awe-struck with the beautiful and huge campus. It was green and well maintained. I am sure everyone must have thought of it at a perfect workplace 🙂 Well we were done with the registrations and had a tasty breakfast.

The event started with a welcome note where around 100 girls from various colleges participated. We were introduced to the main motive of this event which was to have more women at higher positions in the organization. Statistics say that a large number of women quit as it is difficult to balance the personal and professional life. Cisco is trying to come up with strategies that will help in reducing this trend. And Cisco GIT is one such step. We were motivated to be passionate about technology, so that no problem can be big enough for us.

Next session was on Cisco Technology Trends where we could see the current market trends and Cisco’s involvement in it. The best part was “Tele-presence”. Using this technology, people at far off places can interact with each other as if they are having a round table conference. We interacted with the girls from Chennai. We came to know about “Internet of Everything” which brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable.

Next was the lab-tour. Here we could ourselves see the amazing work done by Cisco in diverse areas.

The first was Health-Presence. Using this technology the doctor can treat the patient from far off places. It can send heartbeat, blood-pressure, pulse etc to the doctor. The doctor can then diagnose and sent the prescription back to the patient. This system has been actually used during the floods in Raichur.

Next demo was on Cloud Computing. We got to see their servers and other resources. We also had a demo on how a user can easily demand for the required resources on a cloud and access it within seconds. We were also demonstrated how the admin manages the cloud.

Last demo was on the Security and Maintenance at Cisco.  We saw the complete system which manages their security. We were told about the smart-doors. We could see the live streaming of various Cisco offices. Cisco is also doing great work for protecting the environment by conserving the resources. The complete lighting system is automated. They have won a platinum award for this.

After these demos we were all very hungry. Tasty food was ready for us. We had a sumptuous lunch while interacting with the Cisco team.

Next it was time for presentations. All the teams gave the presentation on various topics and were thoroughly questioned by the judges. In the end top three winners were declared. Then there was certificate and goodies distribution. The event ended with a vote of thanks.

Overall it was a great day packed with lot of practical learning and fun. Interacting with industry gives a new perspective to us. We are able to judge the gap between the academics and industry and then we can decrease this gap. Thanks a lot to Cisco for the awesome day!

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

Interview Experience at IIIT Bangalore

Edit – I have graduated from IIIT-B. You can find my IIIT-B journey experience here – IIIT-B, My Alma Mater.

My interview for the MTech at IIIT-B was scheduled on May 03rd, 2012. It was mentioned in the call letter to report at the institute by 9AM. So I along with my Dad started early and reached the institute at 8AM. I was given a gate pass at the entrance. The institute is so beautiful. It is surrounded by trees and there is greenery all around. IIIT-B was my first preference to do MTech and after the first glance of the college my decision felt even more correct. Here are a few pics…

Since we reached somewhat early we were told to wait in the campus. Some other students had also arrived with their parents. At 8:30 AM we were called one by one and given the check list for the day. In the check list there were four rows stating Things to be done – receiving check list, biometric test, document verification and interview. After completing each stage we had to get our checklist signed. So my first stage was over in a moment :).

Next I was told to go to room number 160 for biometric test. We were told to sit as per our registration numbers and wait. There were two sections one for people who had got Gate waiver and the other for those who had come through the entrance exam. In the beginning they were calling us one by one. But then they started calling randomly. In the meantime a person came from a bank and told about easy loan schemes for students. Finally my turn came at 10:30 AM. In the biometric test they took a photo and scanned the index finger of both hands. Stage two over :).

Now I had to report to room 133 for document verification. My documents were all ready. I just arranged them in the given order and again waited for my turn. There were also facilities for students to get their documents photo copied if they didn’t have it. My documents were verified. Stage three over :).

The volunteers there said that my turn would come in half an hour so I could take a break. So I waited there and revised my presentation in my mind. I was hungry so my Dad suggested that we should go to the canteen. We went to then canteen and also had a better look at the campus. Some students like me were also there having snacks. We ordered samosas, veg puff and cold drinks. It was tasty. Now I was feeling much better with something in my stomach.

Again I was back in room 133. I interacted with some volunteers. I got to know a lot of interesting stuff about the college. I asked him so many things but I forgot to ask his name :D. At this point I would like to add that the volunteers were very helping and friendly. They will help and guide you in the best possible way and answer all your queries. Finally my name was announced and that my turn would come soon. I was told to move to the holding area where i was told to sit and wait for my turn for the interview.

There were around 7-8 cabins where the interviews were being conducted. I was both excited as well as a bit stressed. A Sir called my name. I had butterflies in my stomach :). That Sir gave my form to my interviewer and moved out. Finally my interview started …

Firstly I was asked to introduce myself in about 2 mins. Sir listened very attentively and asked a few questions in between. Then he gave a short introduction about himself to make me more comfortable (a very good attempt on his part to make the interview easy for me :)). He asked if this was my best Gate score. He asked about my favorite subjects. Next he asked me to give the presentation. At this point he told me beforehand that he would stop me as soon as he got the inputs since there was limited time, so there should be no feelings of disrespect (another superb gesture on his part!). So i gave my presentation, and after about 3 mins he stopped me. I was a bit nervous as i had only given the introduction of my topic. He told me that my presentation and communication  skills were good. Next he asked me why i didn’t join TCS. Also to name a few companies i would like to work with in future. In the end he asked me if i had any queries. I asked a few questions and he gave its answers. With this my interview was over. Stage 4 which was the most tricky stage was complete 🙂 !!!

My interview was superb and went fine. I was sooooo happy! We had lunch at the college canteen which was OK. Next we roamed about in the campus which was simply awesome. Here i would like to mention that there is a small pond with some ducks. Oh ! it was so scenic. I just wanted to join this institute now :)!

Finally the good news came on May 14th, 2012 that i had been selected ! I was very very happy ! Out of 751 people who were interviewed, 150 were selected and i was one of them 🙂 I had always dreamt of this day. After visiting IIIT-B i had a strong urge to be its part. At this point i realized that if we strongly want something and dream about it day and night and also put in the required efforts, then the whole universe helps us in fulfilling our dream 🙂 (I know that it is a dialog of a movie but anyway this is the first time i realized that it is true :)).

Campus Tour of IIIT-B

PS 1 – Today i am sitting and blogging from train and will reach IIIT-Bangalore on July 13th, 2012  to join the institute. Yippee 😀
PS 2 – You can read my journey to IIIT-B for interview here – My First Flight Experience
PS 3 – I have closed comments as i have answered almost all the queries related to this topic. Please go through the queries and my replies in the  comments section and with a 95% probability, you will get an answer of your question as well. Admission is on the basis of Gate score. There is no way i can predict whether you will get admission on the basis of your score. Just see last year’s cutoff and hope for the best. Best of luck !