Ek Kathak Aur Uski Kathayen

Friday, September 29, 2006

Conspiracy Theory

The folks at work are all together conspiring against poor little me. They just don't want me to walk the hallowed corridoors of IIM-A. They're jealous ;)

But I shall survive.
I will prove them wrong.
I shall get a 99.99999 (5 9's are enough, I guess) percentile, without their giving me the leave I so so so so so desperately need to brush up on my quant!
And when I do get the afore mentioned percentile, I'll probably put on a "cool" facade, like "they" never really mattered to me. If they won't give me a leave, who say's I couldn't have taken it anyway?

I suddenly feel like above them all! lol!!!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

In memory of Prof. P D Chidgupkar

On the 21st Morning, one of my favourite-est professors from engineering college passed away.

My first association with him was when me as a gawky eyed first year engineering student went to him on advice for the presentation on Hybrid Vehicles I was going to make at a state level technical symposium. “Ahh… another of those paper presentations, eh?” is probably what I’d say now, but back then, it was a big deal. And I was petrified of making a presentation at a “technical symposium” complete with the shivering and stuttering. And Prof. Chidgupkar had a look at my slides and gave me one big smile and said, and I quote “Not bad, for your first presentation”. I had no idea how to react! I was wondering if it’s just about passable for a “first presentation” or if it’s good. Well, I managed a decent third prize, and the rest is history. Over-night I was this semi-celebrity but that apart, it was after this that the then vice principal took notice of this kid in the first year and my association with him increased.

We were involved with the AETS (Association of electronics and telecommunication students), and the TechView (that I was the editor for) and the IEEE student chapter (that I presided over). No, this is not an exercise in self indulgence, but it was these forums that got me working closely with Prof. Chidgupkar. And he was among the best managers that I have come across. We had our share of disagreements, but it was never a win-lose argument. He always believed that it should be a “win-win” situation and even when we lost, we learnt something from him; and when we won, he knew how to take defeat gracefully :)

He’s not just a good manager, but also a teacher par excellence. He taught us a subject called ‘Feedback Control Systems’ in the second year and then there was ‘Digital Signal Processing’ in the final. Get me a bode plot and I’ll still be able to tell you what it means! We had this design subject in the third year where I would end up going back to my control system notes. Even after a year of dissociation with theoretical and practical electronics for that matter, the concepts of FCS are firmly rooted in the cerebrum!! And how can I forget DSP!! I still remember we had this “internal” viva, where we all knew nothing and he managed to ask mutually exclusive questions to each and every student so that neither of us could have the benefit of “what’s he asking” and get the answer right… lol!! Finally after a lot of hair tearing by the great man, I walk in and write the equation that he asked. Not that I knew it, I just remembered something off the practicals. He was so so happy, that he attempted asking me another question “What is circular convolution”. I give him this blank look and happily announce “Sir, it’s that thing where we put the points around a circle”… and burst out laughing!! To Prof. Chidgupkar’s credit, he joined me and managed to give me a 25/25!!!

There are so many memories associated with Prof. Chidgupkar. He was so so so so involved at every stage of college! I remember him walking in the exam halls and asking us about how the paper was. And the smiles he would randomly pass along. And there was this time when me and a friend were playing “catch-catch” in the corridors like little 2 year olds” and rather than reprimanding us, he smiled like you would smile at a 2 year old!!! When I wrote a rough draft for a recommendation letter, he made me insert a lot of stuff in the reco that I had forgotten, and he remembered! And how can I forget the time he came to Wipro for some work! When I met him, he exclaimed “Sonal! How are you, beta?”!!!!!!!

But life goes on. It’s so difficult imagining college without him. I can’t imagine going back to college and not meeting Prof. Chidgupkar. As one of the greatest teachers, a good manager, an awesome person at heart… and integral part of my 4 years of engineering… Prof. Chidgupkar, I’m going to miss you!