PICK UP.DROP.ESCAPE

This article was written by A.S Krishnan almost a year back for NIT Surat’s monthly magazine, Renesa . I contributed by adding the last two scenarios viz, “The NJ” and “The Geeky Guy”. It was finally published in this month’s issue. You can read the original at fcostheta.blogspot.com .

DISCLAIMER:

All people mentioned in the following paper are neither fictional in nature nor is it for the feminist. Any attempt to reproduce (the events mentioned) might lead to either and only awesome or disastrous circumstances. It is totally left to user discretion whether or not to try it. Parental guidance or help from a friend is not advised. User foolishness is deeply regretted. This is not meant to be read by good looking girls or guys.

ABSTRACT:

The following is the case study done in SVNIT Surat during a period of 2 and half years on how to pick up girls in this college. It is observed that there is a common trend among batch mates to get girls whom they think are lesser in intellectual capacity though it might not be true in reality. It has been observed that intellectual capacity decreases drastically with juniority among girls. The paper offers tips and tricks to pick up chicks ranging from simple to complicated methods.

THE BUMP

For performing this task you need to have a party. Go talk to the authorities and organise a DJ night and be the organiser. Then make sure no barricades exist. After that what you have to do is blend in the crowd and dance. Now, find your target. Good. Then keep dancing and make sure that you bump into her without knowing it was on purpose. Then the girl who already would have a good impression of you because you organised the event will then think you are the cool organiser who loves to party and then will start a conversation with you. So then get her phone number and then……

THE SELF DESTRUCT

To perform this task you must have two guys who are bound to make some senseless and boring statements with ease. The must preferably be a bit unknown to you. Then make them start a topic when the girl is around. Then the guys seeing the attractiveness of the girls will start talking about topics like Sidney Sheldon and Mario Puzo. The girl then will look confounded. Now what you have to do is isolate the two guys, play the sane-level-headed-moderating-dude and tell that I did not even understand a word of this crap. The girl will then like you thinking you have so much in common and give you her phone number and then……….

THE INTELLECT

To perform this task, you need to possess a good brain and must be very intelligent. This starts off just like the above mentioned task, but the girl mentioned should be quite brainy in nature. Hence preferably the target is a final year. Now start off a topic in front of her which she can relate to and you can start throwing in fundoo jargons and weird etymological terms from a random Greek source. Then when she feels impressed end the topic in favour of you and talk to her as to why she did not participate in the topic she liked a lot and start giving her advice as to go get a life and stuff like that. The girl then thinking you are a mature guy will give you her phone number and then………

THE FEST

For this task, you need to be in the core or executive committee of any fest of the college. Now befriend your senior in the team, well, it is probable that you were there because of him, so ask him to put the girl you like in that particular committee. Once he does that now you will have to get her to do work along with you. This is the tough part. Now, there are two routes. You can either ask her to do your work saying the convenor asked you to do it and then after the fest is over; you treat her for her awesome work done whether or not the fest was a success. Then you proceed to comfort her and then get her number. The second method is that in which you can be a true gentleman and pretend to do her work just so as to be gentlemanly and then the girl, feeling all sad and guilty will call you for a treat and then…………….

THE IYER / THE WOMANISER

To be the performer of this, you need to behave like Iyer. If you don’t know who he is, DROP DEAD. This strategy involves multi-fold operations which are complexly interwound with each other. To do this, you need to have a baby face. Then you need to make sure you get set up with some random girl/girls in your batch. Then you have to convince your senior to make you the convenor of a fest. Now during the second year team selection make sure you select the best looking second yearites and get them into the team, hence naturally the guys will want to work. Hence with such a dedicated team, your fest will be a success, obmax. So because of its success, now you will be asked by these girls for a treat in groups. Offer each of them a treat separately and treat all those who see you giving a treat, well, you will get a discount anyway because you will make your target junior run around for sponsorship and in return make him the convenor for next year and take most of his coupons, well he has hidden them anyway. So you have so many girls’ contacts and it is now unto you to take your pick or you can decide to be the convenor of Mindbend or Sparsh [:P] and look for more girls!!!

THE MACAULAY

Once in the British parliament, Lord Macaulay told the parliament that the best way to separate India is to reduce its self-esteem. So find a girl who has just done something stupid like fall from bed while asleep or something which does not make sense. Now take a group of loser friends and people who have no society image and tell them to make fun of her because she made fun of them earlier. But you should remain quiet and act like you are ashamed to be a part of it which you obviously are. Then when she starts crying, behave like the very sympathetic and empathetic guy and be the shoulder for her to cry on. Then she will start liking you and then……

THE ACHIEVER

For this you need to have achieved so much stuff in your life and in college. For this, you have to keep winning all the events in college. There is always a probability that one among the targets you are looking for will be present in the event or will be in the committee organising it. So if you talk like you are the owner of the event or if you can talk like the funniest then you would have caught her attention. After your turn, go stand or sit next to the girl who you have eyed. She will then tell a congrats and offer a handshake, then start talking like you have been winning this since school days and offer her some tips and tricks to win the event the next time it happens, and then make some more talk and then……..

THE JUDGE

Ask your best friend in a committee to organise the event and tell him to make you the judge. Then make sure that your junior calls your target to the event. When it is the girl’s turn to get on stage then let us assume the event is JAM, put her up with dumb and loser partners and make sure whatever defects she tells is upheld and everything that goes against her is denied or only occasionally withheld (for more details, contact Renesa Chief Editor), now you know that she has only a Fermi of a chance of winning, so tell the organiser to have a prize for the best girl and make sure she wins a prize. Then go on stage and talk some jargons and mention how she valiantly played the last round and get to talk to her after the event is over and then………

THE NJ
Now, this takes a bit of intellect, a lot of sweet talk and most importantly, the art of making your presence felt. To perform the NJ, you will need to dress up in rumpled clothing, have undone hair, in all dress like a near hippie (The I-don’t-give-a-damn-I’m-different look).Next you need to be a part of quite a few clubs/societies in the institute and make your presence felt in all of these (needless to say you need be a decent speaker for this). In choosing the clubs you want to be a part of, keep a mixed bag, join a club that caters to humanities, another that deals with robotics and another on technology and engineering and most important of all, one that does social service, nothing impresses a girl more than a guy who loves to give back to the society. Remember, you don’t just need to be a part of these; you need to actively be involved. Sooner or later, drop the hint that you are a workaholic who balances myriad responsibilities along with academics thereby augmenting your reputation. Next is easy, since you are an integral part of so many clubs you will get to meet chicks of varied tastes (an looks). Choose the one(s) you like as ask them to meet you up or call you up personally to solve their doubts or discuss various issues. See the beauty of this, the chick herself meets you and calls you. Yes, Jackpot. Read up a few books by authors like Sidney Sheldon etc or learn a few relevant tech stuff and you are done.

Just in case, you just want to add more juice to it, you may also try doing (not necessarily very) well at a skill that is much in demand in this college, say for example designing. Guess, what chicks think designers are hot coz they like god create something out of nothing. And no one’s hotter than god. Firstly, your designing skills will ensure that you find a place in every event, magazine, club of the college that needs a poster. Secondly, well read the previous paragraph.

THE GEEKY GUY
While Pyaar Impossible may say that 1 Geek+1 Beauty=Pyaar Impossible, even in the movie Priyanka will certainly fall for the geek in the end. And this is an engineering college and therefore, there are many beauties-wanna-geeks here. And guess what, such beauties want to remain near geeks. To perform to act you need to be a geek or act like one. Learn a bit of circuits or coding, throw in a few jargons like multivibrator (yes thats related to electronics and not anything else, yet), oscillator, FPGA, MOSFET, C Sharp, Python, Linux, Hacking etc.. Obviously the choice of jargon will depend on what your potential target likes. Obviously, if she is in first year, almost anything would do; first year like all and any tech. Soon she will participate in some event or the other and want your help and there’s your chance. And if she is afraid of participating, form your own team and ask her to join because you find her dedicated, smart and intelligent (and not to mention incredibly hot). Ask her out for coffee or movies and just be friends and she will be in.
“The Geeky Guy” con is awaiting a patent. Troubles have arisen because both ACM and Drishti have argued that they were the originators of this idea and the credit goes to them. As we write this article, both groups are lobbying heavily and there is no resolution in sight.

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The Visiting Student

I wrote this article for NIT Surat’s (my alma mater)  college mag, Renesa. You can download the mag here http://issuu.com/svnit_renesa/docs/renesa_may2010_2011

I can still vividly remember the first time I stepped inside my first year hostel room with luggage in hand, hope in eyes, fear of ragging in mind and stench of urine from the nearby washroom. The room (BF-3, Gajjar Bhavan)was nothing like anyplace I had ever lived in; a decrepit, disheveled, disintegrating excuse for a room that was smaller than my bedroom back home and was somehow supposed to fit 3 living human beings. To say that I was disappointed would be a massive understatement, I was devastated. It is in these times that you really start appreciating your mom and begin to sympathize, even long for, her obsession with cleanliness that always irked you.

First year is probably the most important year in your undergrad life, both academically and personally. You learn to adjust with complete strangers, get used to invasion of your personal space and learn to put up with quirky habits of not just your room mates but also their friends. Some of my very good friends are those my roomies introduced me to. I got introduced to southies (or as I called them Idli, Dosa and Uttapam) through one room mate and Jats and Punjabis by the other. One of these, who should rightly be compared to an Uttapam because of his size went on to become a KVPY scholar and has 2 patents to his name (considering the nature of his patents I am sure the abysmal toilets and latrines in the hostel inspired him to a large extent and the hostel office rightly deserves 40% of royalties from those patents).

 The fear of ragging was obviously there but it turned out to be largely hype and very little substance and seniors soon became friends. I was also introduced to ‘Ginglish’, the Gujju accented version of English, in due course by the faculty and staff – it sure did take some time to figure how a beam could rest on a ‘hole’ (also pronounced as ‘wall’ in Queen’s English) and a boiler could have a ‘cape-city’ of 20 MW, but things soon fell in their own sweet place.

 Seniors played a significant role in shaping me up and I was lucky to meet some awesome seniors through my association with ACM and Drishti. Exams had become unimportant to me in the very first month and I found myself at a ACM Linux workshop the night before the first internal. ACM was like a baby and we nurtured it, we made mistakes, had some triumphs but things worked out eventually. We also started ACM Quest with the intention of having a totally computing oriented event having a ‘no frills, no garbage, minimally sponsored tech-focused event where money is to be spent only on prizes’ policy. I also spent some great time at Drishti labs but never really managed to learn much about electronics (I still remember having shorted the entire 8051 board while soldering in first year and then painstakingly unsoldering it).In retrospect, I really should have learnt more electronics.

Oh yes, the acads bit; well I took the suggestion of two awesome ACM seniors (one of them, a 9 pointer here and a MS from Texas A&M who has written patches for NMap and now works for McAfee; and the other, now a MS student on full scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University Language Technologies Institute, who never gave a damn about pointers) a little too literally and really hoped that you could “easily get a 8 pointer by studying one night before the exam” and ended at the bottom of the academic pecking order – a 6 point someone. Classes were something I scarcely attended and once a teacher remarked “What happened Sandip? How did you enter a class so early in the morning?” when I swayed into her 8:30 class 20 minutes late (I also once entered a class minutes before it was about to end so that I could give my attendance and once I entered the wrong elective class insisting vehemently that this was ‘the right class’ ). You could almost say that I was a visiting student and went to class only when I wanted to meet up friends.

 I got involved with Renesa in 3rd year as I wanted to have some side activity beside tech and Renesa was the perfect opportunity. Working there taught me to put words together to form a decent sentence and it was one of the liveliest and most stimulating interaction there could possibly be. I really miss the team and the people.

Among my batch mates and friends I can count a guy who has made it to a CompSci program at University of Michigan, another who scored AIR-4 in GATE and is now at IISC, another who scored AIR 11 this year while another friend who came 5th worldwide in the Top Coder Studio Collegiate design contest in 2007, chucked a regular engineering job to join a online music magazine as a staff writer. Then there was this CAT phodu who’s doing an internship with Coca Cola and another who is doing her Masters in Germany. There is also this guy who is doing an M.Tech in Rural Technologies at IIT-B and intends to join the Civil Services one day. Have I missed anyone? Hell yes. My batch mates were awesome and it would take an entire article to list down their achievements.

College life is all about making the best of four years, learning new things and building up yourself to face the challenges once you are out of those four walls. Getting an admission at NIT Surat, does not mean you have arrived and are ‘set’ for life; far from it. It only means you have it in you what it takes to become a good engineer and it’s up to you whether you are willing to put the necessary effort to become one. For those in 1st and 2nd year who have already decided that they want to do an MBA, I strongly urge them to give engineering a chance. Engineering is awesome and I you will miss it once you are out of that place.

So here’s wishing my best on behalf of the entire class of 2010. Be awesome. Take risks, be foolish, dare to dream, don’t opt for the ‘safe’ option. No risk, no return. That’s the fact of life. You are young and have very little to worry and the backing of a undergrad degree from a prestigious institution. If you don’t take risks now, you sure can’t take it after you are 30 and have a family to support.

The BIG ACM post

This was a long time due. While I blabber about a lot of things on this blog, I have rarely written anything about ACM or Association for Computing Machinery. During my undergrad at NIT-Surat, it was by far the most important thing in my life, more important than academics or attending classes.

I was inducted into ACM by Sunayana on the very first Linux workshop in my first year. I was sitting behind her, on the second bench, and was making comments about the lack of knowledge of the presenter (yes, I was always into Linux), and I even answered one of the question that was posed to him and he was unable to answer. She was impressed (I am awesome, what up?) and asked me to join and I join I did. Well, Anusha Jayanti(her batch mate, my senior and ACM Vice Chair 2007-08) was with her and I thought she was kinda pretty and you don’t argue or think twice when asked by a pretty girl to join some club she is in. Actually, I had read about ACM on the institute website and was a little curious, and since this was all about computers, joining it was the most obvious thing to do. Oh did I mention, I had internals on the very next day of this workshop and I still decided to attend it. Yes, my apathy towards exams had begun.

One of the first things I was asked to do was to get people to join the ACM Chapter as student members. I, Punit and Sanchit (my classmates) took up this job very enthusiastically; we visited room to room and got people to join (and mind you joining wasn’t free) and at the end of the week we had 130+ members from first year itself, without any poster being put up or any seniors coming to give a brief talk on ACM. The three of us managed it entirely by word to mouth and door to door publicity. That year, and that was the first year of the chapter, we became the largest ACM chapter in the world and were given the Outstanding Chapter Recruitment Award by ACM.

It was in my second year I got some more responsibilities. Sunayana had become the Chair and we worked well together; and along with Punit, as well as Sanchit and Harit, we did some really good events. My first event was a Linux workshop. We had prepared well, made a decent presentation but I was not at all comfortable with public speaking and seeing a crowd of more than 100 that had miraculously arrived for the talk, I was unnerved and literally trembling. But when it began, I cooled down and everything turned out well. I used to have this tactic of just concentrating on one or two member of the audience who seemed interested in my talk and that’s what I did. Almost the entire time, I looked at just one member of the audience who appeared to be deeply interested in the presentation and I was able to deliver a decent talk; all thanks to that member in the audience, you saved the day. Of course such a tactic results in lack of eye contact with the rest of the audience but at least the audience does not see you shivering or stuttering. I have improved a lot since then, and don’t need any such tactic anymore.

It’s the people who make an organization and ACM always got the best in the institute as far as computer science was concerned. Ankur Nandwani (guy with hair like Jonny Bravo, a flirt (a legacy I inherited from him), talks in a strange accent swaying his head from side to side) was the founding Chairperson, he was way too studious and was in the good books of all the faculty. He always liked playing by the rules and his most common statement used to be “I have to talk to Jinwala Sir about this”; only later did I realize that this statement had to be the daily chant of any ACM Chairperson. Ankur’s style of leading the organization was a little laid back and he was good at delegating responsibilities (usually to Rajdeep,Sunayana, Anusha, Punit and me). He was instrumental in doing all the ground work in starting the chapter and get it up and running. Sunayana was the opposite of Ankur. Like me, she didn’t give a damn about exams and hated the system much more than I did. She has great ideas and had a finger on various things happening in the world of computer science. It was her idea to start a Linux Users Group and a Web Design Club; which we implemented and I headed. She always motivated everyone to go for research and enjoyed discussing about various happenings in the field. However, as with most research oriented people (and nerds), she was bad(sorry Sunayana) at execution. Her tolerance for tantrums thrown by the faculty and bureaucratic red tape was nearly zero and her most common statements began with “I just hate…..”. We spent long hours discussing computing, our vision for the chapter and stuff that she hated (usually some faculty or the other). While she came up with ideas, it was mostly Punit and me who implemented them. And that was a good thing, because we learnt to manage before getting to lead. When our time came to lead, we too came up with some good ideas and quite a few not so good ideas; but as far as ideas and vision are concerned Sunayana was probably the best.

Leading a voluntary organization has its own challenges. No one is legally or contractually bound to work for you, you have motivate them, threaten and beg if needed, to make them work. Most importantly, you have to yourself set very high standards of work ethics so that when you ask others to perform, fingers shouldn’t be raised at your own performance. Also ego management is a very tricky affair, you are managing a team of equals and that must always be at the back of your mind; you never know when something just manages to hurt someone’s ego.

No discussion about my time at ACM can be complete without Quest. We decided to do something big and like every other club in the institute, we too wanted our very own fest. So in came Quest, a two day computing event. There were a lot of things going against us; this was the first time a computing event of this scale was happening in this part of the country and there were very few students interested or even good at programming; and even among those few, most were ACM members and helping organize the event. Plus, we got delayed in starting off because of some administrative red tape which was beyond our control. There were two other fests (Autofest and Entrumeet) by two different clubs in the institute about to happen around that time in the college; so there was huge struggle for sponsorships as well as good people to work in the team. We had openly told people that they should expect to get any sort of monetary incentive to work for us and that kept away a lot of people from working for us, some of whom were really good at organizing. We wanted to be a taint free event. The fight for sponsorships and participants from other colleges ensured that that the people in the other two events undercut us and even spread false information about Quest in other colleges. On the days of the event, regional politics by these two clubs caused many students to abstain from our event. The ACM chapter was always against any form of regionalism and we did not employ a tit for tat strategy.

However, the biggest problem with Quest was probably my lack of trust in the commitment of my team, which proved to be a very misplaced notion. I was bad at delegating and impatient for results, as a result of which I ended up doing almost everything and micro managing even the smallest of tasks. When I trusted a person, I gave them complete freedom but if I didn’t I had the habit of interfering in their work. Most of the time the person in question was trustworthy and it was only my fears that prevented me from trusting. And I paid for this heavily during Quest. Of course I ended up trusting and delegating more and more towards the end of the preparations but it was too late then. Nevertheless, my team member surprised me with their ideas and commitment for the event. Akshay and Bimal did an admirable job with managing the events, something I had planned to micro-manage. Biswaranjan did a great job on the Infra end and got his hands dirty with the arrangements. Harit organized the best ever press line up and the smooth press conference impressed the administration. Punit was much much more than just the Sponsorship head. In retrospect, having two conveners, the other being Punit, would have been a better idea. May be I should have been the events head instead of being the Convener. The juniors too did a great job and worked hard in every way to make the event a success. Kudos to them.

I thought Quest would slowly die out as we won’t be able to find interested people. I have been proved wrong this year with more than 400 participants and a very very successful run of Quest. Undoubtedly, the current team has pulled off the impossible.
I think my contribution to ACM was in giving it a proper shape and structure. Ankur was the initiator and Sunayana was a dreamer who had great ideas. I was more into managing and getting things done, building a proper structure, laying down rules, guidelines, dos and don’t and giving the chapter an overall character. We presented the image of a free and fair club, where people are chosen entirely based on merit and not based on regional dynamics. By taking a stand on not fudging our financial statements for personal financial motives, even when that meant that we did not always get the best people to work for us in Quest, we set a precedent for all other events; some followed it and some didn’t. At ACM people did not command respect they earned it; and that was true even if you are a senior. We empowered juniors and they could do their own events or freely argue with us. We made ACM the place to be if you are interested in computing.

 

Besides Quest being a success, 6 teams from the chapter will be participating in the onsite round of ICPC which is a great achievement for us. Kevin Patel needs to be thanked here as he is the one who guided these teams. The current chairperson Deepak (who like me wants to do an MBA) and the vice chair Shrey deserve a round of applause. They have taken the chapter to greater heights and I hope we will continue doing well. We succeed because we choose the best people and give them complete freedom to do their thing. Last year’s interviews were one of toughest and we asked people to write algorithms and solve conceptual questions on the spot when they were probably expecting some globe HR questions like “Why do you want to join ACM?” Some of those questions were taken from Microsoft, Google and Directi interviews. We also set the benchmark high for every generation of members and the final outcome of such a system is that we get better people every year.

Whoaa. That was long. But have I covered everything? Well no, not at all. There is just so much to write and I will keep that for some other time. A lot of what I am, professionally and personally, is because of my long association with ACM. I got to do cool stuff, met and worked with some really cool people and made some great friends.

My Letter of Resignation From Renesa

Respected Sir,

I have been a Senior Editor of Renesa for more than a year now. During this time I have seen it scale greater heights and undergo tremendous change in terms of content and design. Over the past few months, our readership had exploded and people had actually begun to sit up and take notice. Our untiring efforts had finally bore fruits.

However, the decision of the administration to reconstitute and expand the editorial board of Renesa and to review the scope of the content, has come as a rude shock to me. I am unable to see the need of any changes, whatsoever, in the editorial board. Like most other well functioning organizations in the institute, viz Drishti, ACM etc, Renesa too follows a free and fair procedure of selection where the seniors select their juniors based on their actual skills rather than CGPA. The ever increasing quality of the magazine bears testimony to that.

I personally see this as an infringement on our freedom and creativity. As an human being and more so as an engineer, it is of utmost importance that we learn to think for ourselves, question established norms and express our creativity without any fear of repercussions. I am not sure this will be possible once the proposed changes to the editorial board are made and the scope of Renesa is reviewed.Since I do not see eye to eye with the new directive and cannot work under an atmosphere that might stifle creativity and expression, I hereby offer my resignation from the editorial board of Renesa. My best wishes to the new team that takes over. I hope they succeed.

I am honoured to be part of an enthusiastic and dedicated team and I leave behind a part of me in Renesa. I am thankful to the faculty advisors for guiding us and standing by us in times of need.

Please consider this email as my official resignation from Renesa.

Yours sincerely,
Sandip Dev
Senior Editor and Website Head,
Renesa

Obituary: Renesa

Someone byt the name “The Fourth Estate”  sent this in last night to the all students mailing list of SVNIT. Given below is the email and a obituary. Check it out. Hillarious and heartening at the same time

Fourth Estate:

This mail has not been created out of any sort of personal hatred or
animosity towards any person or establishment whatsoever. It has simply been
created to preserve the nature of free speech in the engineering college in
question. The authorities of the said college have tried to suppress free
speech by showing aggressive desires to control it. But the author wishes to
remind the authorities in question as well as his readers that free press
has an indomitable survival instinct. Using a better analogy, it is like a
hydra. Whenever you cut a head off, two new ones will invariably take its
place. This, then, is the new-sprung head of the hydra. Watch this space.

And this pic

Death of Free Speech

Will keep you updated on further developments

The end of the beginning

What happens when a group of motivated students decide to turn around a flagging college magazine by completely revamping the magazine? Well they succeed, they bring in guest writers like Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Richard Stallman, Dr. Shashi Tharoor and Rashmi Bansal. Readers take notice, they wait eagerly for the next issue to come. In a institute where elections are already banned, this magazine starts creating opinion with a view to bridge the gap between the students and the faculty. This means two things, explain the actions taken by the faculty or administration to the students and ensure that the greviences of the students reach the concerned authorities. And sometimes, this means criticizing some incidents , particulary the complete lack of response or timely action when a fire broke out in a hostel. These students reported what they saw – college authorities clueless as to how to put out the fire, where the fire extinguisher is and most importantly the fact that there was no water in the hostel at that time, a rather frequent phenomenon at our hostels. These foolish students thought that this would make the faculty wake up to the incident, learn from their mistake and ensure that fire-preparedness is maintained in future, lest we have charred bodies to unravel next time such a thing occurs. And what fools they were. And to add to their foolishness, they also added another article on the various disciplinary committees that are formed and the fines that are imposed for such crimes as forgetting to switch of the lights or using the word “Sexy” inside hostel premises, fines anywhere between Rs. 50 to 300, whatever comes up in the lottery that minute.

The authorities did not take this kindly. After all, students were not supposed to speak out, not when this could be read by outsiders, and certainly not when this magazine was largely funded by the college. What ensued was a disciplinary committee(Disco) with the unsaid agenda, “Show’em whos the Boss”. The editors were called one by one into the closed room, questions fired from all directions, students were reprimanded for their conduct including (but not limited to) their lack of mastery over the Hindi language. Each student is grilled for 30 to 45 mins and the,predetermined, verdict announced. The offending articles shall be removed, the original magazine too will be removed from the website and a new one put up along with a written apology stating that the facts we presented were wrong and ill conceived. The students grudgingly do it. May be we were really wrong with some of the facts. May be we shouldn’t have pointed out flaws like that. They are after all our teachers. We accepted all their conditions, of course the decision was made easier by the fact that we had no other option after all.

And we hoped, things were back to normal. We don’t critisize them and they let us do our thing. A perfect arrangement. But it seems the establishment had other things brewing. Already curbs were put in place to screen every word going into print, the final draft of all articles had to be passed by a chain of 6 faculty members and after getting signatures by all of them, could we go to print. And we accepted it. But on the 4th of Feb, we received a rude shock, the magazine committee was to reconstructed  (read dissolved) and expanded. A committee was formed for this purpose and its job was, as the official memo says

1. To review the scope / contents of the news letter
2. To invite nominations as editors from the students and carry out
selections
3. To suggest a system of information collection / retreival, screening,
editting, documenting, printing, circulation and feed back
4. To review  / suggest financial support for the news latter.

(Pls notice the  word “news latter” 😉 )

We had no idea this was coming. There is already a team in place that brings out Renesa, the college magazine, every month and are doing a great job of it. So why form a new team right in the middle of the academic year? The whole team had a meeting at night and we decided we were not going to take it lying down and we will all resign before they could dismantle us. Also we would not be part of any new committee that is formed. We would rather love to watch the new committee come and fail, fail miserably. A meeting with faculty advisers, the next day, confirmed our worst fears. Yes, the team would be reconstructed, with more bureaucracy added in the form of a General Secretary, Cultural Secretary and Lady Representative, besides a few more members of the faculty as ex-officio members. Apparently, all this new additions were supposed to give the magazine the supposed required legitimacy and official recognition. Keep in mind that the magazine has always been official, there have been two faculty advisers overseeing our work and we receive funding from the college, it is a mouth piece of the students of SVNIT. Also we were invited to send in our resumes for the post of editors in this new team.

Our grounds of discontent are many and obvious. For one, why is the administration bent on putting in place its own selected team? For those who are not aware, our university banned elections 3 years ago and since then the General Secretary, Cultural Secretary and Lady Representative have been selected by the administration based on their CGPA alone. And we have seen how well these elected representatives have managed the affairs of the students. Most of these elected representatives had never worked in a single committee or event of the college, you can’t really do that when you have a 9.9999 CGPA to maintain. And once again it has been mostly us, some low CGPA idiots, who have stepped forward at the time of crisis and work behind the scenes, round the clock, to make thing happen while our appointed representatives were running clueless.

We did not want these people to tell us what to write, most of them had never sent in a single article for the magazine. We have our screening process in place to select articles and it has served us well. Also first they would disband us, and then ask us to sit for interviews to form a new team. Damn unacceptable. Our selection process has always been transparent, the seniors selected the juniors based on their writing skills. We were asked to write an article and bring it to the panel which then made the selection. And no, none of our faculty have the time to go through that many articles to select the best, after all wasn’t the selection for General Secretary, Cultural Secretary and Lady Representative over in less than a hour.

Renesa has always stood for freedom of speech, we are the fourth pillar of democracy in this institution. But apparently, democracy here is passe, its a dictatorship baby. And we protest. We have asked our members to think for themselves (after all that’s what freedom is all about) and then decide if they want to be a part of the new Renesa or resign. As of now many have sent in their resignations and I shall send in mine shortly.

We refuse to sit mum when wrong happens. We value our freedom and will protect it all costs. Ironically, the theme of our last issue was Freedom and it featured Richard Matthew Stallman as a guest writer.

Finally, I have nothing against the elected GS,CS or LR. The hold they post they do because of their CGPA and many of them would be happy to vacate it for a more interested candidate. They are at no fault, they are my friends. They are part of the system. But they are awesome people, and helluve smart too.

Our February issue was going to be on love. Here is the cover for that

If you want any of our previous issues, just let me know. Some students have decided to make a peaceful protest on Monday (8th Feb) by wearing black. Lets see what happens. In case you want a unofficial PDF based Febraury issue  of Renesa to come out, drop an sms at +919825730603.  That will be our parting shot.

Until we meet again,
Senior Editor, Tech Chaser and Website Guy, Renesa



Awesomeness as I see it

I have been part of various committees and organizations in this college. I was deeply involved with the ACM Chapter as a volunteer, then a Secretary and finally as the Chairperson. One other organization that I have been involved over the last one year is Renesa, the college monthly mouthpiece. I have been the editor of the tech page for over a year after Sunayana quit Renesa (Yes, like in almost everything I followed my Tech mom’s (Sunayana) footsteps here too).

The last year we really did not work much. We could not bring out the promised number of issues and never made it on time. I would not blame any particular person or persons for this. It was a collective failure. A failure to understand what Renesa meant to the college, a lack of dedication and enthusiasm. We used to have meetings where some gave ideas but which never got implemented or were implemented poorly. I myself wrote boring articles for the tech page and mostly they were hastily written. Another reason why the editors were not interested in writing good articles was probably the fact that nobody ever read those. People were mostly interested in the college gossip page called “Rumor Mill”. The rest of the pages were used for various innovative purposes like tissue paper in the canteen, making kites etc. So that dampened the enthusiasm of the writers. Of course this is not just a fault with the readers, if the content fails to generate interest a large part of fault of course goes to the content writers and planners. In all Renesa had become just another thing that the college does. Just another slightly colorful piece of paper.

Now come to this academic year. A new team was formed with Nijeesh Padmanabhan , Ashwin (a)S(s), Srividya, Thomas, Swati and Shruti at the helm. Nijeesh is the editorial consultant and chief designer. Ashwin S and Srividya are the chief editors. Thomas along with Swati and Shruti are the impact consultant (btw, do magazines have such designations? 😉 ) . And what was the difference this time? Well these guys had a vision. They really wanted to “Change our world” with Renesa. They wanted it to be platform for people to think, to learn and also have fun. Most importantly, they expected people to read it and love it. Renesa, to these guys, is not a thing that they have to do, it is a responsibility they love to execute. And this is the vision they propagated to the team, specially Nijeesh, Ashwin and Thomas. And motivated they were. Earlier where we had to pester editors to write articles, this time we had an avalanche of articles and most of them very good ones. It was hard to decide which one to print and which one to reject. Our first issue had 33,000 words in 16 pages. To include that many articles, we reduced the font size. Readability suffered because of that and I have assured by Nijeesh that this wont happen again and I take his word for it because he wants his balls intact.

The design too was awesome. Never before did Renesa have so many colours and my respect for Nijeesh’s designing skills has risen considerably. We printed Renesa in glossy paper and people loved it. Our editors debated endlessly on what to write, how to write on the Renesa mailing list. In fact, my mailbox received at least 15 Renesa mails a day. Last year there used to be 15 mails per month. We put up a new Renesa site. As of now, the site does not contain much content but we expect usage to pick up. The site is my job so I am thinking of ideas to promote the site. Our alumni read the issue and loved it. We got lot many mails of appreciation from them. Some even circulated the issue among their colleagues and relived their college life through Renesa. Students sent SMSs of appreciation with one even saying that he loved the issue so much that he was afraid to read it, lest it get damaged or wrinkled.

The editors are putting in everything they got. No one calls it work. We call it fun. Some of us are now accused of not having a life beyond Renesa because Renesa constantly crops up in our discussions. Some of the new things that have been included this year are “Jack and Jill” where we publicize about a guy and a gal of our college who have had significant achievements so that others can emulate them, “Reviews” where we have reviewed not just movies and books but also gadgets, restaurants etc, Guest articles by famous people (Shashi Tharoor wrote for the first issue), “Faculty Speak” where we ask a faculty to write, “Walk when you talk” where we interview a member of the college administration and College Band Review where we review the music bands (all Rock bands as of now) of the college. Also the Hindi editors are doing a fine job. And with this month’s issue you can expect some really good stuff from them.

All this was good. Now the bad part. Where we went wrong? Well for one the font size was too small. Some people even asked for a free magnifying glass with the issue. There were too many spelling and grammatical errors in the issue. I am sure we can all do with a bit more proof reading.

As for my tech page, I am trying to move it from being a Computers only page to a more general tech page. I want to cover all branches of science and engineering. So suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Do visit our site www.svnit.edu.in/renesa and download an ecopy at http://www.svnit.edu.in/renesa/files/renesa.pdf

And finally, I would like to praise the marketing and distribution team for distributing some 1800 copies in 8 hours, delivered room to room across 11 hostels. And thats an awesome feat considering that there are only 4 people in Marketing. They rock.

As for my role in Renesa, I do the tech page and a bit of humor articles apart from making useless funny comments on the mailing list, abusing people and using expletives that would put many rappers (and Christian Bale) to shame. In all, I have taken it upon me that we never have a dull moment on the mailing list. Kudos to me  for that.

Finally,
@Thomas: The above praise to you was probably the first and the last time I did that. Please do not expect such magnanimity again.
@Ashwin: I still love my abuses and nothing will stop me from using them.
@Renesa Team: You guys rock and so do I.