Those 20 Seconds took 2 years to happen!
Note: Do read the entire story! I have researched a lot to know how all events unfolded which later can prove my belief right & even help you !
Recently I was awarded Appreciation letter from IIT-Bombay for successfully conducting training & tests in my Atharva CoE Campus under the Ambitious Spoken-Tutorial Project of MHRD,GoI. 500+ Students had benefitted from this & now it’s being planned to take this project to a higher level next year.
The grand scale implementation of this project at Atharva Campus caused a chain reaction with many colleges starting this project at their campus ultimately driving the goal of the project to “Bridge the National IT Divide”
The Success of the project, the appreciations I was getting from HoDs,Faculties across departments and my friends made me feel awesome!
The very next moment I was thinking over how did I reach this situation? What all such happened in my life that I could reach this position of receiving so much appreciation?
I started rewinding my brain’s hardisks to past…
I brainstormed & found how it all began….
Zero to Zenith: Connecting Dots
Where I will bring about real life stories with my friends over how a series of events in past brings us to a particular situation.
It was the September of 2013,it was just 1–2 months I started pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in IT Engineering; September being the month of Navratri & I being Gujarati,both can never remain away from each other! I & My bestie Hemaang Barot ended up at a Navratri Ground,playing around the beats of “Mathura ma gya tha…” Hemaang asked me,how is your College life going on? I said it’s just the beginning! (we were almost shouting due to noise) “So..” Hemaang continued “Have you planned anything?” “Plan?, its time to enjoy teenage!” I laughed; Hemaang was pursuing Engineering from VJTI (A Pride to pursue Engineering from!)
“I just got selected as Campus Ambassador to ThinnkWare!” he said, “whaaaattt? I didnt hear Ambassador of what?” he shouted “ThinnkWare, ThinnkWare!!” “wow!!” btw what’s it? I asked ; he explained me on the beats of “Pankhida tu udi jaje….” Its a Robotics company! we have to organize its workshops in our colleges! we can learn a lot! he added.
He explained me about it taking me aside , he asked me “Why don’t you too apply for Ambassadorship?, its just an interview for it;you will crack it!” I gave him an affirmative & told him to send its link & we continued playing garba…
The very next day Hemaang sent me the link to apply for Ambassadorship; I filled the form & cracked its interview on phone & got selected as its Campus Ambassador for My Atharva CoE Campus.
After getting selected I was in high spirits & wanted to create a mark in the Robotics History of my College! (pretty ambitious nah!)
A few weeks prior to Navratri, I alongwith Amruta Hintya,Anuja Kamble,Riya Kamble, Pratik Ghogre,Vaibhav Chauhan,Akshay Doshi & Sanketh Divadkar had created a group named “Pixels” in response to getting bored with existing Comitee’s induction programs!
The next day I told Pixelites about my selection as the Campus Ambassador & my plan to bring its Robotics Workshop to the Campus; they were excited as Pixels at least had an aim now!
The same day I met with our HAS-HoD Poonam Mam & took her guidance over organizing the Workshop (It was my first!) She gave me a go ahead with the plan & granted required permissions . The very next day I signed the MoU with ThinnkWare to conduct their Workshop on ArduinoBOTics on 11–12 Jan 2014.
Everything was going as planned but as its always experienced; road to success is not smooth! Many Participants complained over ArduinoBOTics being a C language based Workshop & they not knowing C language! Problem was huge! As if this was not enough , ThinnkWare increased their Workshop fees by 20% with immediate effect & requirement of minimum 100 Participants! Participants seeing increase in fees + lack of C Background got on verge of backing out.
I was feeling the pressure now!
My Sem-1 exams had started & I kept the Workshop agenda aside.
But tension was there over it; I called our group meet & explained situation, I urged for bringing friends to Workshop,but why people will come? I asked myself.
I went home, sat down meditating & thinking on how to tackle this issue? I need to make Participants feel their money spent worth!
Though under considerable pressure with exams on head & mere a month to workshop;I was optimistic,I kept telling myself “Don’t worry! All will go as planned!”
I called the ThinnkWare head & asked him to add a competition in end of Workshop & award the top 2 winner teams with a huge amount or some free training or something related.After a bit yes/no between us, we eventually clinched the deal to bring IIT-Indore’s Fluxus Fest on board & put competition under their banner! & give scholarships worth 10,000/- INR to 2 best performing teams for their SIPP 2014 training.
The news of an IIT joining in during Workshop spread & people who were thinking to back out,confirmed their participation.
To boost the participation, I asked my 3 friends to stand up for Ambassadorship in 3 different colleges,spread the Workshop name & meanwhile I & Hemaang talked over to bring Participants from VJTI.
Pixelites met again & Publicity plan was chalked out, many colleges were visited & many friends were called to publicize the event; to boost participation I declared on basis of my contacts that 2 best performing teams of the Workshop will get chance to compete in a Robotics finals in an IIT fest for sure! People were getting attracted towards Workshop from VJTI to Vidyalankar, students had registered but problem lied at home! My Campus participants had the complaint of non-C-Language background; I had to remove it,but how? 1 Month to go for Workshop; I needed to find solution asap!
I called few guys to teach C language to students, but none were ready whereas some asked for money which meant rise in overall Workshop fees which was not affordable to me anymore!
Meanwhile IIT-Bombay was preparing for its TechFest & its publicity had begun,I was just surfing net for TechFest when I landed over the page that changed my fate in near future! It was Spoken-Tutorial, An IIT-B project to train students in different softwares & languages, supported by MHRD,GoI ; I researched on it & called its Maharashtra Head Swapnil More & finalized to conduct training on C Programming for Workshop Participants for Free under this project.
I told participants that all participants will get FREE training for C language from IIT-B under Spoken-Tutorial project!
Participants had no choice to retreat, I had brought in 3 IITs on board! Who will miss this chance?
I met our HoD once again for discussing the new happenings,She was happy & granted permissions for the C trainimg too!
Pixelites decided to keep date for C training such that participants get chance to study the language in detail,We decided to keep C training on 3 Jan 2014 & ArduinoBOTics on 11–12 Jan 2014.
Meanwhile I even made arrangements to let participants get Video Lectures of training to see & learn at home
3 Jan 2014 arrived & I alongwith pixelites had a superb workshop getting executed under us with some 40+ participants of my campus.The Spoken-Tutorial project’s IIT-Bombay based HQ was connected with me via skype in entire workshop guiding me.
We later provided students with video lectures on C Language so they can feel comfortable during ArduinoBOTics.
11 Jan 2014 arrived soon & the workshop was a massive hit! Students from many colleges in Mumbai had participated.Hemaang too was able to bring 5 participants from VJTI !
The 2 day workshop trained students robotics assembling to coding it & making use of it.The workshop ended with a competition under IIT-Indore’s Fluxus fest.
A month later 2 best performing teams were called for Finale in a Robotics event at IIT-Jodhpur’s Ignus Fest as well as got scholarship from ThinnkWare for their Summer Internship Program in Delhi/Bangalore (As I planned & had said earlier!)
Even though 10 participants including me were invited to take part in Finale of the robotics event at IIT-Jodhpur,none of them participated as we feared that our knowledge was actually way lower than required to compete at an IIT !
The tremendous success of the workshop with overall 3 IITs involved made it a class apart! My HAS-HOD Poonam Mam called me & asked for the report over this workshop which later gave boost to the plan of having a world class Robotics Centre at Atharva CoE.
I was almost on cloud nine (ofcourse would be :D).
Now I was planning in my mind for taking Pixels ahead on a huge scale with this success as our launch pad but that never came to reality due to certain internal conflicts & Pixels fall apart (sad!).
It was similar to killing a seed which is in full readiness to shoot up! Alas! Ups & downs only lead you to something big.
With Pixels falling apart & I having nothing to do much for my highly active brain & heart,I joined the Sponsorship Team of our college’s cultural event Rhythm 2014 with Sneha Rao.
Sneha was my all time partner in the spons team,we handled the Banking Dept for the spons team;trying to persuade banks to spons the event was our job.
We used to visit 4–5 banks per day,meeting managers,eating snacks with them as we strived to convince them.Those meetings with high profile guys (relative to my post!) boosted my self-confidence & made me a bit ready as in how to talk to people in formal language,indeed Sneha taught me a lot in this (Thanks!).
As fest got over I again got bored & I applied for team membership in Atharva Ground Station,yeah! My campus boasts a Ground Station capable of tracking satellites! All made & managed by students!
I cracked their test,even their GD & was called for Interview;but in interview I don’t know what happened to me,I was feeling uneasy & I took a back step and left.
By the time,Sem-2 exams arrived,vacations started & Sem-3 too started but I was feeling uneasy.It was like a soldier who cannot remain without war! I wanted to do something new again!
Nooman Mehra,one of my classmates ; even though we arent that close enough; he can feel what I might be thinking! (Amazing nah!)
He knew my uneasiness & asked me to do a workshop again! Well I was thinking the same but had lost confidence,falling of Pixels still haunted me.Nooman was able to put my confidence back into me,he was there everyday standing besides,sometimes for hours boosting me.
Yeah! I was ready now.
I contacted a few guys & called up Pradeep Kumar,the head of ByteCode Cyber Security with branches in USA,India & Nigeria.Past experience in organizing workshops on grand scale meant I was easily selected for Ambassadorship of ByteCode. I asked him to mail me all sorts of workshops available with him.He did; but now I had to decide which one to choose?
When I am in doubts,there are 2 people from whom I take advice for sure: Dhairav Mehta & Aanchal Lohia.I put my doubts in front of Aanchal,she was quick in answering to my various doubts & we filtered out “Web Development” to be the workshop I will organize.
Meanwhile Dhairav explained me over Pro Activeness which later became one of the base of my blog Live CareFree on http://beingcarefree.blogspot.in
ByteCode had even pulled in IIT-Kanpur alongwith many workshop partners for the workshop.
Now I needed a team, Nooman joined willingly,followed by Nikitha Sukrithalal,Tushar Gaikwad (first a participant & later joined us :D),Sanketh Divadkar,Sachin Jhaveri & my besties Amruta Hintya and Anuja Kamble.
Living carefree had indeed attracted positive circumstances for me,my team was ready,all were working hard to get participants.Sachin wrote articles about the Workshop over my blog which eventually reached interiors of Maharashtra & we had 5 participants from Amravati coming specially to Mumbai for workshop (Amazing!).
There was one person who knew all about me,what I am doing since college started & I met him for the first time in Bus 207,he was Indresh Vishwakarma.
This guy knew I was planning a workshop & asked for details.
Meanwhile Dhairav,Aanchal alongwith a few others were getting trained in newly set up MAC lab.Indresh was one of those who taught them.
One fine day Indresh was talking & my workshop topic poped up;people who knew me; endorsed me & my workshop and all this reached the ears of none other then Ashish Gaikwad,the President of CodeStrike! Who also taught them at MAC lab.
(Just keep reading! I have researched a lot to know how all events unfolded which later can prove my belief right!)
Ashish was (till I know) impressed of what he heard about me.
Few days later,Indresh met me with a bald guy with black specs & a smile on his face.Indresh was asking me over how all preparations of workshop are going on & pitched that they too are planning an event & invited me to participate in it, as we talked their event turned out to be clashing with my dates of workshop.The bald guy simply said,”No problem,we will pre-pone it,we don’t wanna clash with you!” I was not taken aback,many have said me such things but what continued shook me.He continued,”Because I want you!”
“Want me?” I asked.He said “Yeah!”. I turned to Indresh;my question mark was seen clearly on my face & then Indresh said “He is Ashish Gaikwad,the President of CodeStrike! CodeStrike is a technical committee working to change culture of Atharva College of Engineering to promote students to learn coding, team work and entrepreneurship.”
At that point of time,I had never heard of this committee & hence asked for time to decide saying that I am busy in my workshop & will revert soon.
My workshop ended successfully,all thanks to collective efforts of my team.
Next day I was thinking about Codestrike,I researched about Ashish first,who is he? After researching I simply called him up & said “Yup,I am ready”. (Of course! I was impressed by him & his works!)
I was called for the interview,which I passed & joined CodeStrike.
In its first meet,I was told to find some events for the comitee to start creating the required environment for making CodeStrike take lead in workshops & events.
I knew my job.I was the Jack!
Working over the new doctrine to make CodeStrike take lead,Ashish called another meet and asked members to take up workshops on various topics & made DRI per workshop.
The first workshop to take place was Java Workshop with DRI as Ashraf Khan.Preparations began,publicity started.My past experience told me to make an IIT involve in workshop.I thought & during one fine day I asked Ashraf,Ashish & team members that we should bring in an IIT & I was thinking over to take Training & Tests for Java under the Spoken-Tutorial Project of IIT-B & MHRD,GoI (Yes!,the same project I brought for training in C during ArduinoBOTics).All gave it a go ahead but it didn’t take place in reality due to certain issues with me understanding the new system that the project team had deployed.
But,the word of Spoken-Tutorial had now reached the team members & somehow the same made way to the ears of Prof.Mahendra Patil Sir,the HoD of Computer Engineering.
A co-incidence for him & me as he(Patil Sir) had just met Swapnil More (Yes,the same person I called in 2013 who was now All India head for the project) who had asked him to implement the project in the Atharva Campus.
Unaware I had already implemented project,he had assigned the job to Prof.Meena Mamta Mam.But as he heard that I was already involved into it,he called me & asked to assist Mam in implementing the project.I agreed.
Next day I met Prof.Meena Mamta Mam & we shared knowledge on what we knew till date on the project.
Soon I got to know the Department was planning to organize tests for the BE students.The tests were going to be set by faculties on moodle.I thought & pitched the idea of taking tests on Spoken-Tutorial project instead! Students passing tests could also get Certificates from IIT-Bombay! As well as tests would be set bt IIT-B,so no tension to faculties + it will boost the morale of students as they were to crack IIT-B tests.
I told about it to Patil Sir,impressed (maybe he was thinking same) he gave a go ahead but somewhere we both had a fear of reaction from the students if the results of the tests we take under the ambitious project goes negative;yet Patil Sir took the risk & gave me full support to make the tests a success.
I started the preparations for the test.First test was on C programming with 130+ students expected to give test on a single day within 3 hours.
The day before test;Mahendra Patil Sir & I were making final preparations chalking out our entire plan & sitting arrangements for students,with limited computers for test,we had divided students into 2 batches of 80 students each spreaded across 8 labs of the Computer Engineering Department.
Around 18 faculties of the department were called in to assist me in the entire herculean test I had taken in my lifetime,it was also a unique experience for many faculties.I was in constant touch with the IIT-Bombay based HQ of the project.Vidya Mam over there was constantly guiding me.
I had already set up a central computer to monitor all students giving test,their scores,certificates & complete data analysis.
3 days before I alongwith Prof.Meena Mamta Mam had uploaded details of all students expected to give test.Thanks to Prof.Deepali Maste Mam who gave me ideas to make data conversion & uploading faster.Thanks to Prof.Suvarna Pansambal Mam too for spreading the name of test on all possible networks of students.
The day arrived.144 students attempted the test,surpassing my expectations with over 80% of them passing the test & receiving certificates on the spot from IIT-Bombay.
The results boosted the confidence of not only students but also of Patil Sir & faculties as they were the one who trained the students & good result meant their training was on par the training required to crack the tests!
144 students giving test from a single college broke the record of number of students giving tests under this project.
Next day was followed by C++ test under this project & later by Java test under this project.The department was too happy & satisfied with the results with they even appreciating me with a Ganesha Idol (The Vigna-harta!).
The success of tests in Computer Department soon caught the eyes of all other departments & I was the most wanted in the college!
Information Technology Department (My Dept.) soon declared its tests under this project for BE students which was again a big success.Electronics,Electronics & Telecommunication & Electrical Departments soon followed & they too got considerable success in the results of the tests.
Overall 500+ students of BE at my campus gave this tests & 70%+ cracked it & received certificates which could help them in their interviews as well as boost morale.
After such a big roaring success in training & tests under the ambitious Spoken-Tutorial project which was instrumental in inspiring many campuses to hold tests later; the team behind it deserved appreciation from IIT-Bombay based project HQ & the entire Computer Engineering Dept team & I were awarded with Appreciation Letters from IIT-Bombay,with other departments to get letters soon.
No,its not the end; the award was just one of the dot that will get connect somehow in my life in future (who knows?).
Now if you just start reading all dots from 20 to 0 that I mentioned & start asking each dot what would happen if the dot before you didn’t exist,what would happen if the people associated with that dots never came in your life? then you will come to know that all dots I mentioned above are connected & only when all dots in your lifetime get connected then only you get clear big picture of your life.
What I have experienced is that we never know how all events in our life will unfold & get connected to our future & how they will lead us to our dreams but one thing is 110% sure that if you dream something,are optimistic about achieving it anyhow & keep on saying to yourself that “Yes! I will achieve my dreams!” then all events of life,all people associated with those events,all dots get arranged in such a way that it creates a path towards your goal.