Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Semester 4 - The People Semester!!

This quote by a friend in the arts field, may have been said jokingly back in November 2009, but was something that really got me thinking. And a simple introspection revealed that the friend was indeed right. I've never really had a strict friends circle, and am generally a member of different groups, sometimes even of rival factions (which BTW can be amazingly fun!)! But in my life, the term “socialize”, despite being a second year college student, was limited to just college friends, a bunch of North Indian friends, and a few colleagues, besides the tonnes of "friends" on soc-net sites.

But the last category didn’t really count, cause other than the yearly B’day wishes, I didn’t really know these people! And even the b’days were remembered only because these “networking” sites had a b’day reminder feature! Yeah, maybe that guy had been in that competition with me.. or maybe that gal was my classmate back in the third grade, or in tuition class. I mean I really was feeling like one big dumbass, having so many "friends" and yet not feeling like it! Heck, I didn’t even know the names of a quarter of the people in my own class, despite having spent 4 whole months with them! And when your mom herself starts calling you anti-social, you know that’s something is definitely not right.

Now this simply wouldn’t do…and as twitter-junkies would put it, this was a big #fail in the Life of Navin. So I’d more or less vowed to change my ways over the next semester.. And boy, I did! I call Semester 4 the people semester, because people formed the most crucial component of these 4 months.

Events like NullCon, brought me so much closer to people who thought like I did, worked in my style, f***ed around just like me. Heck, I had a discussion on The Hacker Manifesto with a bunch of guys, something I simply can’t imagine happening in my own college! Meeting people like Raoul Chiesa and Cassio Goldschmidt, and learning stuff from them was simply brilliant!

Then ofcourse came the Pune trip for GNUnify, which brought with it another bunch of awesome people to meet, right from the team from Mozilla and Fedora, to the engineer-hater Aschin (I’m praying I’ve spelt that right!). And then there was an awesome meetup with a dozen guys at the bench we’d vowed to sleep at if we didn’t get hotel rooms! :)

Another biggie was TwestivalGoa, which introduced me to tonnes of new people, right from the BITSians Varsha, Neha, Snehal, and later Asmita and Shwetamsu, to kickass dudes like Jude Mascarenhas and Nikhil Velpanur! The conceptual stage too was awesome, with meetups with people like digital media warrior Frederick Noronha, awesome photographer Anoop Negi and Mr. Heritage Jazz Armando Gonzalves! Heck, till date, the extreme awesomeness that TwestivalGoa was, hasn’t left me, and I hope it never does!

By now I’d more or less reached the peak of socializing. But was that the end? Not by a loooooong shot! Because lined up right after Twestival was PhotoFlare, which introduced me to the who’s who of Goan photography, right from Prasad Pankar to Akhil Khandeparkar, the funny shutterhappy duo of Akshaya Shivkumar and Sharafat Khan, besides loads of other awesome people from college itself, whom I’d not had the opportunity of interacting with before!

(click on image for larger size)

And the cherry on the cake couldn’t be an event better than The SEQC SoQ, a quizzing jamboree for kids, during which I not only got a chance to pick the brains of the smartest kids in town, but also got a new lease on life, looking at life through their perspective. And ofcourse, as organizers, we got to get to know people like Arjun Halarnkar, of ICG, who’s one of the nicest and most helpful guys you’ll ever meet! Another great aspect was meeting up with friends like old friends Adish Talwadkar, Anant Lawande and Amit Shet, and having loads of crazy times over a cuppa coffee!

I could start off with a few special mentions, but I have a gut feeling that the few will stretch this post from “Does this guy have nothing better to do” long to “WTF? The Mahabharata was shorter” long so I think I’d better leave the special mentions out!

I really do feel sorry for the guys who live in the bubble of Soc-Netting, and think what they’re doing is even minutely “networking”. While you were wishing your “friends” Happy B’day, I was out actually meeting, greeting and getting to know them! During the 4 months that’ll go down in the “Chronicles of Navnya” as Semester Quatro, I met and worked with more people than I had (arguably) in my whole life, and I’m really grateful to the awesome people who helped me though the journey that I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed! And hence, as the guys as Cisco would put it, this semester is dedicated to The Human Network, and YOU are a part of it! Yes, you, the poder who spent half an hour on a cold morning telling me about your life, and you, the crazy guy who did a double backflip just to show me you could, and you, the chick on the bus to Pune, who had the awesomest stories to share on the loooooong trip! Thanks to all you guys and gals for truly making my Semester four, the people semester!

P.S. I now know the full names of every person in my class, and have had atleast a few conversations with each one of them! :)

Related Posts:
Stuff I did this semester (Sem 1)
This Semester... (Sem 2)
S4TD -Sorry For The Delay!! (Sem 3)
Stuff I Did This Semester - The Bucket List (Sem 5)


Sameera said...

Wow! Just realised that I don't know all the people from my class! Amazing isn't it that we live in such a connected world but are still completely lonely!
lovely post!

Akshaya said...

Looks like you had a blast :) Thanks for remembering me :P :)

Btw, where is did your why-I-left-fb post go? Wanted to share this link with ya:

Cheers, then!


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