Sunday, September 13, 2009
Whenever we search for something at home, we are most likely to get our eye on something else and our mind gets diverted. It happened to me today. I was searching for few papers and my eyes fell on a book. It had a whitish brown cover (it was white few years back) with black binding and bold letters on the cover indicating the title. The title said “A New Algorithm for Calculating the Load”. I took the book out, dusted it with a piece of cloth and smiled. The smile turned into a laugh and even before I realized, I was on the phone laughing uncontrollably with tears rolling down my cheek. A laugh with tears always bodes well-it means the story is special to me. The book is the thesis I submitted for my engineering project and the story is worth telling here.
Before I carry on with my story, let me introduce my then group members of the project.
Pradeep Reddy-The kingpin! This guy is the unofficial king of the college. Daring and courageous, he is the lord of dark arts in our college.
Subbaraju(Banda)- Banda means Chubby. He is a soft spoken guy with a huge heart and wider smile.
Subbaraju(potti)-Potti means short. This guy is insane, maniac, psycho and a kid at heart. He can screw other’s happiness just for the sake of fun and yet helps even a total stranger when in trouble even if he had a university exam to attend.
Me-No explanations needed. May be I should mention-I am soft spoken too.
We all had one thing in common- We were hopeless in studies and we hated Newton. We never used to understand, why Newton wrote those laws after seeing the apple when he could have eaten it. I mean, what would you do if an apple fell down beside you? Eat it of course. Well I guess the proverb about apple and doctor wasn’t written in his time.
In our final year, when our class was informed that groups of four have to be formed for the projects, it was destiny that we four got together. It was destiny against the institute. I remember, I and Subbaraju(Banda) went to our class coordinator to give our names. Our coordinator was a middle aged woman who doesn’t know a thing about teaching and yet rose to the top slot. We gave our names one by one.
She wrote it down.
She gave a glance at me and wrote it down.
She had a faint smile on face as if she already knew who is next.
And she put down her pen and asked-“is this some kind of a joke?” None of you know even the ABCs of electrical engineering.”-obviously amused.
“No maam. We will do.” We said earnestly.
She should have stopped us that day. She didn’t and there started the biggest project the institute has ever undertaken. Our group became famous in college not without a reason. Among the four of us, we had 97 arrears (backlogs) and there were quite a few jokes of failing 3 more subjects that semester to complete a century.
We had our ‘first review’ after a couple of months where we had to give a presentation about our project title, objectives etc. It is here where the project gets accepted or rejected-the first step towards a successful project. After we had registered our names, we forgot all about the project until one day when Subbaraju(potti) suddenly announced-“guys, it’s our first review tomorrow. Any idea what project we are gonna do?”. No one did. We did the next best thing; we went to a place where they sell projects for students like us. An old man in that place gave us an array of projects available and was talking about how each one of them would enhance our careers. We listened to him patiently for a while and the moment he asked us which one we would choose, we asked-“Which one is the cheapest?”. After paying him the advance, we informed him about our review the next day. He gave us some study material and we happily went home, laughing at other students who were working since last couple of months on their projects.
We were ready with the presentation the next morning. Dressed in impeccable formals, we were pretty confident of our presentation. When our turn came, we walked in to see the whole battalion of teachers present in the room-right from a junior lecturer to the professors, assistant HOD and the HOD himself. Subbaraju(Banda) started with the proceedings, quickly followed by pradeep and Subbaraju(potti) who explained the Title, Objective etc and finally it’s my turn to explain the components used in the project. It was my first presentation of my life and I had immense stage fear. With wobbling legs, I started talking about each of the components fully realizing I was sweating beyond the usual limits. I was still talking about the components, when the assistant HOD stopped me.
“Go back! Go back”-he said and in my fear, I even contemplated going behind the projector. Then, Subbaraju(banda) pressed the required buttons and the previous page was displayed.
“ 10 Kilo volts motor. Are you going to use this?”
“Yes sir. It’s a very important part of our project”-I said clearly confused.
“Do you have it?”
“Not yet, sir. We will buy it.” Subbaraju(Banda) chipped in.
“Buy this? Are you going to buy this motor?” asked our asst HOD, looking very much troubled. But that didn’t trouble Subbaraju when he said-
“Yes sir. We will buy it” in a thundering voice which for a change matched his huge frame of body.
The old man looked at us with his specs sliding down his nose that I almost feared it would slip down. He asked to wait outside and without a word, we were ushered out.
We didn’t understand anything. We waited outside for a while and couldn’t take the tension anymore. Slightly opening the door, Pradeep called the nearest lecturer (psst psst). He came out with a look of exasperation.
“What happened sir? Did I say anything wrong?”-I asked him genuinely worried.
“You fool! Have you ever seen a motor in your life? You are in your 4th year, have you ever attended a lab class all these four years?-he sneered with anger emanating from his body.
Still not understanding a bit, I tried to look focused and said “Sir, what happened? Please tell us”
“Go. Look in the lab and tell me how many volts is that motor. Go now!!” –he said with a look of disgust.
“We have a 230 volts motor in our lab and that costs around 20-30 thousand bucks. You are talking about 10 KILO volts, you idiots.”
We looked at each other incredulously and checked our material-it was just 10 volts motor. It was too facile typing mistake that got our project rejected-The only project to get rejected in the whole final year batch of all branches.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Picture courtesy: GOOGLE
The other two parts are : Project Part 2 and Project-Final Touch