Thursday, 20 June 2013

Semester 1 (Hind sight)

So, my first year has come to an end and I am not really able to make up that fact. Moreover here are these summer vacations. All my first year I thought that if I had a little more time I could have done this or I could have done that. But now here I am quite satisfied the way things worked out. Flashback...

My first semester

De-boarding the train at Kharagpur - rainy day - institute bus has not yet come- waiting - we go by taxi - next day my parents leave me after registration and I am here on my own. +1 day - uneventful day. +1 day - feeling homesick ( lol even after having years of experience of Hostel life ).

As weeks rolled by I came to know about the society culture in IITKGP. And Rinshul Chandra's word - "Join at least one society" . So I kept giving auditions for societies HTDS(Hindi dramatics) - selected, ETDS(English Dramatics) - selected. I had a flare for dramatics but never knew that I was this good an actor. But obviously I had to leave one. I made the obvious choice and left ETDS. And a few weeks later I went for Robotix auditions(Call it whatever you want to but somewhere in the back of my head it gave me a feeling of an audition) . After 3 rigorous rounds of screening I was selected. And I was more than overjoyed. I clearly remember the date August 5, 2012. Because that also happens to my birth date. I had the second GPL(for those who don't know what GPL stands for, PEACE maaro...) in the same day and when I slept that night my bums didn't hurt as I had expected them to.

Then I had the most interactive phase in months to come. The HTDS workshop. I instantly became friends with the fachchi janta (HTDS freshers).  All through the day I kept waiting for 8 o'clock so that I could rush my cycle through the main gate and into TOAT, where we had our workshop. That was also the time when I got plethora of fundas about Kgp from seniors. About OP,  hall culture. I distinctly remember being told to make the best  out of this workshop and that I will have my best friends in Kgp from amongst them. That stands true till today.

During this time another amazing thing happened. I came to know that although internet in KGP is available for free throughout the all wi-fi campus, the servers of Kgp block traffic to certain unwanted sites. So it was impossible to access those sites using institute provided internet. And then I start forming an idea. I knew php. And I had a little knowledge about how browsers function. So one weekend I sat down and thought and wrote and debugged and finally came up with two files of code each having no more than a couple dozen lines. And uploaded it on a free web-hosting domain. I had written a Http proxy in PHP. I gave my web-hosting url to my new friends and asked them to try whatever websites they were unable to access previously. Loading... and Loading.. probably I had carelessly uploaded the code and there was some bug and that's why it was not loading. Hey!! wait! it opened. My proxy worked. And my friends started hugging me and congratulating me and then and there started the winds of questions that if I could hack a facebook account for them. LOL(that too a big one) . And I remember how everybody's face lit up and wondered in amazement to everyone whom I showed this creation. Some grew skeptic and wondered if this was not a copy- paste deal on my part. I clearly remember one of friends downstairs asking me repeatedly if every line of that proxy was my own creation.

The HTDS workshop came to an end with a freshers production. I played Javed an angry young man in who had recently migrated to Pakistan after the partition. It was raining hard that day. I remember that I and Lakshya lied down on the road and let the rain fall over us. I stayed awake till 3 in the night( or morning). We were at VS and I remember being laughed at because I had spoken one of my dialogues wrong. And that dialogue was not just wrong it was funny in a way that disrupted the whole seriousness of the play.

Department Meet

The computer science department had organized the meet so that we at least get acquainted with our peers. I remember that I asked a lot of question. I proudly stood up to volunteer for being the hall representative for LBS( my hall). Only later I came to know how others felt all the time I was blabbering from my to-be friends.

Mid Sems are coming.....

These were not just any exams but the first at IITKgp so obviously I was worried. But I received an email from Mr. Arbind Prasad informing that I was shortlisted for interview for Aditya Birla Scholarship at Mumbai. But more disturbingly the interview was just a day before the first midsem. But somehow that wiped tension off my head for if I screwed up my midsem I can always say that it was because of the interview. Anyways days rolled by and I somehow arranged a suite for the interview. And I had great time in those 2 days in Mumbai. I remember how I explained Rajitha (against her will) how important was entrepreneurship to the growth of this country. To her relief the topic changed Discrete Logic. And she bombarded me with puzzles. I also shot her with 2-3 favorite puzzles of mine. On the night of prize distribution I was sitting on the table with other friends. I was just hoping that I not be the only one without the prize on that table. I drove negative thoughts and thought about how wonderful this experience had been already. I did get the prize finally and felt jubilated and more than content even as I knew that I was going to screw up the Maths exam.
I landed at my room around 2 o'clock. I sat in the veranda of the wing with Maths book in my lap. Trying to make up most of the half an hour that I had mentally allocated. I scored badly in that exam. I would have scored worse if Atal and I had not discussed a question minutes before the starting of the exam.

DP Holidays...
Went and came back in a week. Not enjoyed my first vacation at home primarily because everyone was busy at home. Somewhere that time we missed the registration deadline for ACM ICPC. It was part disinterest and part laziness. Our to be team consisted of Anchit, Kumar Agarwal, Naman and me.


I completely forgot about this day. Thanks to Vivek who just threatened to punch me for not adding details of this day. Okay. Illu is short for Illumination- a festival in Kgp celebrated on the night of Diwali. Its sad that we get 7 holidays for Dussehra while just 1 for Diwali. Even after all the frustration of not being able to go home were not as sad. You know why?? Because this was our first ever opportunity to enter the most unexplored Hall in Kgp MT(Mother Teresa) Hall, the hall where all girls in first year lived.I had kept a special attire for that night - a traditional kurta-pajama and a red stole - which I wore only special occasions. Just as we were deciding about when to leave. Somebody told that they were not allowing to leave the hall. They wanted us to help with others that would visit LBS. But how could we miss this opportunity. So after exploring little bit we decided that we would escape through back gate. Finally we escaped fooling the Hall President. In the escape though we were split. Later Ujjwal, Vivek, Gagan and I regrouped and together we visited MT. The main entrance of MT was clogged as if it were the door to God's own home and one could be salvaged from all ones tension just by visiting it. Well for some that might be the case. Thankfully for us we were above all this (ye sab moh maaya hai). But still here we were in the main hallway of MT taking photographs where ever we could not as much for the beautiful pieces of art littered here and there but for the proof that we did in fact go to MT. After meeting few of my friends in MT we proceeded to the Gol Chowk near Tikka. Where Ujjwal did some masterpiece photography on the waves. I faintly remember that Gagan( or was it Ujjwal) pulled one of the jhalars unknowingly so that it went off. We quietly proceeded to other Halls. Obviously we could not complete all the halls. But what was not obvious was that one of those halls was LBS. Yes! we missed our own hall's Illu. This was because they closed the main gate before time. But later we came to know we did not do that great and that the mats on which the diyas were mounted caught fire soon after it was lit up. But somehow I did not feel bad. I was not always this indifferent towards my own hall(Why was I then, probably in some other blog post). Later that night I was hanging out with Chinmay and I was more sad for him because his hall RP hall had lost to its arch-rival RK hall and that made him very depressed.

End Sems are coming...

Not very satisfied with midsems marks. Meanwhile Robotix was being such a pain in the ass. We were made to do petty little jobs like sticking spammers to walls in different halls and being scolded every time I forgot to bring the diary. Even when I brought the diary, they always had something to say about what an ideal diary should be. I ignored those scolding in my better interest and continued with supposedly the best society in the campus. I had started studying well for End Sems. I made friends with Shreshtha. She too is in Computer Science. So every night in the fortnight before endsems Chinmay, Bagdi,Shreshtha and I would hangout and study in the Library or Software Lab or in front of the Xerox center. Meanwhile I also got OPJEMS scholarship. (How that happened will require another blog post) . Endsems ended I was feeling great about that. But then there was NSS camp and the winter workshop.

NSS and Winter Workshop

I had lot of fun in the NSS camp. Once during the camp I had come this close to being sent home (only to repeat the camp next year) for playing "Opa Ganganam Style on the rally speakers". But this did not stop me or anybody else from shouting anti-Saha slogans every once in a while between the rally. Another time I and Abhijeet left some of our Unit -5 friends who ditched their duty and went in the forests where no one would see them. Well we were in no mood to do the duty either so we went to our favorite hide-spot which was near a pond. It turns out that Gautam Saha happened to be in very same forest as our Unit-5 friends. Probably he was photographing animals and wildlife when discovered the species which he hated the most Duty-ditching students. He took their photographs and wrote down their names. But somehow he missed one student. Sankalp couldn't have been very hard to miss because - well you'd know why if you were in kgp. Fortunately no punishment was bestowed on the unfortunate lot.

And now started the winter workshop the most loneliest period in Kgp. Every body was going home except for the NCC students due to go home in a couple of days. Thanks to Harsh that I was not the lone soul in my wing. Although Harsh was not attending the workshop. He still stayed back a few more days so that he could enjoy Institute LAN. Such was the craze for fast internet!!! Although I did not enjoy the Winter Workshop at that time and also grew coding-averse for a few days after that, when I now reflect upon that period I realize how important that had been after all. It ended and I felt relieved that I was finally going home.

Winter Vacations

I was returning to Delhi with Atal (with whom my friendship had grown deeper
We had agreed to participate in a total of 4 events and we decided that we will devote the remaining Winters to preparation. Obviously that did not happen. And I spent most of it watching the anime series suggested by Harsh - DeathNote. For once I and Harsh were in agreement on anything related to anime or Japanese. This anime was really awesome. I also wrote some of the code for Seeker.

                                                 *** End of Semester***

Semester 2 (coming soon...)