My Missing 25%

Ohh, so this is networking! Here lies the whole control. Sitting in this room, I was feeling a bit powerful as if simply by induction I had inherited the power. Actions, consequences, responsibility, sincerity and everything that life had taught me were in turmoil. So how can this guy here, just beside me, how can he be so cool and confident. And anyway where did he learn all this stuff?!

This was all that I could think while sitting beside Bageshwar Pratap Narain (nettech-wale-bhagi-sir) on the late night of Enigma’s Qualification round for Perceptrix. He was controlling all the servers that were behind this online event. At sharp 12 he closes the competition, n all this management with just some clicks. Hell yeah! I wanna learn this. And I tagged onto him for teaching me all that stuff. He gives me his collection of e-books and study materials and tells me to shove off.

And then the day he is going home, he says to me…

All that you got from me is 5%

And I am hit!! Really Hard!

My first interaction with networking and the candle have just been lit.

Heyy…shushhh… I think I just heard Nettech… Oh Yeah! Here comes the man himself. Santu Purkait from Nettech!

I am in my class gossiping with my mates and this happens. Santu sir is in my class to announce for Nettech’s in-campus program at our college. He invites us to the Lunch time demonstration of what we will be learning all along the program. During demo he is showing us the spoofing, fake mail and what not. Watching the man in action the same feeling is on again.

Obviously I enrolled. I was the first one to reach the class and to be shocked. He was already there. Santu sir, with everything ready to go, smiling at me as I enter the class.

I walk up to him and ask. Sir, how come you are here so early?

I had expected something like this, but not with such a wide grin..hehe

“This is the Nettech way! We are professionals. Never late! Always on time! Remember that…”

It was September 5th (Teacher’s day). I had a card in my bag. Whole morning I had been thinking of, to whom should I give this to… and suddenly the grin became the answer.

Then there were classes, lab sessions, 10 Minute daily quiz sessions [T10], and BP problems. During this routine of 15 days were the times of joys and sorrows, moments of clearing the dump in my head, to take down some harsh comments, to learn from mistakes and to be amazed by Nettech.

Everyday class started with a little talk on the topic that we would be learning during the day. With some theory, demonstrations and the self-practice session we were progressing pretty well. Would this be some other class that I might have been writing about this would be just it. But with nettech and Santu sir, things were very unlikely to what we call a ‘Normal Session’.

The passion and professionalism in work, along with teaching methodologies, sharp knowledge and a wide grin was all that was needed to empower my will and purpose. For the first time in my life there was nothing that wouldn’t get into my head by just having a look at it. Nothing seems impossible. In 2 days I am Santu sir’s debugger during practical sessions…

“There, have a look… See what’s troubling them.” “Oyie! Yeah! That chap… Sort him out.”

Debugging through others problem (and my own) I had experienced an altogether different perception of learning.

And this all came to test during t10 exams. I sometimes still have that in dreams..

Sitting there with a long problem of Linux Directory and Permissions Management, hands shaking, irregular heartbeats and minutes ticking down with sweat beads, it was like the demon himself came to take me down. I look at me and find myself failing at strength and knowledge. This demon is far beyond what I am able to tackle right now. And then suddenly I see that grin coming from the heart of demon. And I got it. Herein lays the trick. I configure through it and voila! Demon is announced defeated after 10 Minutes by Santu Sir. And I am like.. sigh! Another peaceful day ahead.. :P

Along with t10 there were BP problems which were a constant source of brainstorming and learning. Evening meeting with Santu sir at hostel and listening to his philosophies at dinner table, going on early Sunday morning to class with him, watching him bond himself with everyone whom he met. The human demonstration of server structures in DNS and the examples of Riya and Santu sir’s family chemistry for Directory Permissions are some of the things which made me a fan of Santu sir. His networking was never limited to just the wires and system configs, he did it actually, in his real life, while maintaining all the professionalism. Though everyone in Nettech (including Santu sir) would agree to that Swapan sir is the best teacher to date, but me, I am just stuck onto Santu sir.

And thus comes the day of distribution of certificates (20th September), and as one of sir’s favourite I get the opportunity to speak up a little about the whole program. I was prepared for it (a little heads up from sir). But standing there a feeling overcomes me. The man standing at far of the podium has changed me completely. My life would never be the same again. And I summed it all up into whatever the sentences that I would make up. Though It was nothing compared to the other speaker (:P) but I was happy at delivering what I had for sir.

In the evening we are burning the exam sheets of all the exams (always erase history). And I get the chance to ask him about what he thinks about us and our performance. Without even thinking once he says..

70 maybe 75% of what Nettech actually is.

Another heart attack! And Santu sir leaves the following morning…

And I was left wondering what was that 25% that I didn’t get. The candle is now properly shining but still flickering.

Later with interactions with seniors, sir himself and life, I understood that what I never got was the environment of living summers with like-minded students, enriched and inspiring teachers and the culture of a Network of what I had just a little taste. The late night sessions, 12 hours of coding, sessions and seminars, and most importantly the constant buzz of learning and practice was all that I had missed. All this though might not seem anyhow related with the Networking and learning. But believe me, that’s what the core of everything is.

The candle is now stable and will last forever. But I will always be missing that 25%.

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Originally published at on May 29, 2012.