“The end credits of “3 idiots” had just begun. He was still in a trance. A trance of appreciation, awe and excitement despite watching it for the umpteenth time. In spite of an average performance till the mid of semester, he was overwhelmed at this moment. He put himself in place of Rancho and imagined flying the self-made drone, showing off his brilliance in exams with modesty and of course, a kiss at the end with a charming girlfriend. At 1:30 am in his hostel’s dorm, he suddenly regained his long lost passion for machines. An electric vibe sparked through his body and he wanted to do something useful… no wonderful, create something brilliant right there at the moment. ‘He’ no longer even existed. ‘He’ was replaced by a much more confident, hardworking, brilliant, gifted, popular student along with some more adjectives synonymous of good ascribed to him, all wrapped in modesty obviously about which people were most impressed. But it was late and practically he thought there was nothing much he could do at this hour. So, determined, he saved all his synergy for the next day, week, semester and years to come. Peacefully, he slept. And then, life continued. As usual. For the umpteenth time.”
I wrote the above piece about a month ago relating it to the state inspiring movies leave us in by the end. In the moment we could feel a burning sensation around our belly button. Rancho too had successfully imbued most of us with an urge to make something cool but yet complex. And for some of us, the movie alone could have been a factor in choosing engineering over other fields. But since the time of watching the movie, how many of us spent even a single google query on how to make the drone which we fantasized about? I will tell you what I did. I was working on my Maths the next day. I improved a bit of my physics on the second day. On the third day, I was updating myself with the new uploads of ‘Nigahiga’ and ‘PewDiePie’ on YouTube. On the fourth day, when I had made sure I had devoured everything I missed on the first two days, my search query was “Random funniest WhatsApp videos”.
Some of the lectures, speeches and epiphanies that we attend, hear or have respectively inspire us. But that is sure to fade if we don’t work on our idea. That is why, to encourage people, Innovation Garage conducts a ‘Hackathon’ every year. The name has changed to ‘Makeathon’ since this year but the spirit of the event hasn’t. The term simply refers to a 24 hour space in which the enthusiastic minds work in a team to solve a given problem statement. Mind it though, I said enthusiastic, not brilliant or exceptional. The reason is, at the end of 24 hours, participants would not have proved a difficult mathematical conjecture or even come up with a new invention that would better people’s life drastically. What they would have done instead is challenged themselves (and also restrained themselves from fixating their eyes on YouTube). They would have come up with a prototype of a hack, which if further developed, would simplify a small population’s life. If you do that, I am sure even PewDiePie would be proud and would totally understand why you haven’t had the time to watch his latest uploads.
If you still doubt if you should participate because you do not know any of the technologies mentioned, Ravi Prakash, Mechanical Engg., B.Tech 2/4 clarifies in a recent video by IG, “Of course you should…It’s about collaborative learning and the experience of exploring a totally new field [with] some of the best minds in that domain…” So yeah, go for it.
On September 10-11, some of the coolest people of NITW will be present under one roof. Yes, I am talking about mentors. Question them. Not just about your project and bugs but also about their experiences. Ask them how they cracked the highly coveted Google Summer of Code (GSOc) or implemented a fully functional bus routing technology in Hyderabad. Or just inquire how they are enjoying their post-placement life after cracking the likes of Oracle. Just approach them. They will be more than happy to share their success stories. Who knows? They might come back as recruiters during your placement season giving you an edge.
If you still haven’t been convinced, come for food, music and fun filled event or at least for a Makeathon T-shirt which you can show off not just inside the college (my heart still aches when I see my friends wear those) but also back in your home to those aunties whom you never liked.
Finally, it’s less about the competition and more about learning something new and gaining an exposure to the technologies and their real life applications. I know it sounds so clichéd but just because something is trite does not make it any less true. (Got that line from a movie) While reading this, if you have been convinced and YouTube is open in another tab, close the tab (if it’s not too important) and start going through the problem statements. Break your convention. Unleash the Rancho in you.