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You’ve got to find what you love

By: Nikhil Malankar

This is a excerpt from the Stanford University Speech of Steve Jobs, founder of one of the most successful companies of today i.e. Apple Inc. and also NeXT and Pixar. Its a tribute to Mr. Jobs. In this speech Steve Jobs explains his struggle and dreams becoming reality. The excerpts are as follows:

Today I want to tell you three stories of my life. That’s it. Just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months before I really quit. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned Coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Here’s one example: Reed College offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class. I learned about Serif and San Serif typefaces, about what makes great typography great.

Ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. If I had never dropped in on that course in college the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or for that matter even proportionally spaced fonts.

And since Windows just copied Mac, it’s likely no personal computer would have them. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very clear looking backwards 10 years later.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz (Steve Wozniak) and I started Apple when I was 20. In 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company. And I got fired. It was devastating.

But something slowly began to dawn on me—I still loved what I did. And so I decided to start over.

The heaviness f being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar is now the world’s most successful animation studio. Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology developed at NeXT is the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurence and I have a wonderful family together.

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for ‘prepare to die’. I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy. It turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you; your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called ‘The Whole Earth Catalogue’. In the final issue, on the back cover they put a photograph of n early morning country road. Beneath it were the words: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. It was their farewell message as they signed off. I have always wished that for myself. And now, s you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

-Steve Jobs

And once again from my personal side. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

Rest In Peace Steve. We miss you!


IIT TechFest Day 1

By: Nikhil Malankar

2012 has started on a very good note for me since I just got cured from chickenpox and then all things are going perfect till now. Because of my illness I had to cancel some of my plans the previous year but luckily enough I got cured before the TechFest 2012. Now I won’t be whining further about my illness which would of course bore you but I’ll continue with what the post is actually about. So, yeah the TechFest! I’ve been using this word TechFest all the time. What exactly is this ‘TechFest’? Ofcourse, you guessed it right that it has to do something with Technology and Festival. Well, the TechFest 2012 is an annual College Festival of Indian Institute Of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B). First of all before proceeding with the info on the TechFest I’d like to give a short description to IIT-B.

IIT-B Main Building

IIT-B is located in Powai, Mumbai. It would not be wrong if I were to say that IIT-B is the ‘Indian Harvard’. Right from the awfully big campus to the scattered genius talent, everything reflected a bright atmosphere. An atmosphere that is way beyond a conventional education center. And I was like, ‘Whoa! What would it be like to be in such a great institute?’. But then even the most beautiful thing in this world has some flaws in it. And that would soon be realised by us in the coming hours. So, let’s get to the TechFest now! The day was 6th of January, 2012 when this magnificent campus had invited us to witness this Fest. The day started off with us reaching Powai and actually getting trapped in the ‘Entrance Test’. No! There was no official test to get an entry (Who would go to such a place then?) but we were confused about the entry to the campus. And then after asking here and there we finally found it in a matter of a mere 15 minutes. Anyways, we got in to find out that we had forgotten to take the Visitor’s card that was required for certain activities in the fest. After walking for almost an hour we had to go all the way back to the main gate to get the visitor’s card. How boring was that, buf!

Well, now we were in utter confusion! Such a big campus, so many things to do and ample amount of time. What to do? Sit four lectures? Eat? Keep walking and discover more of IIT? Or just sit at one place and wonder? Well, to be on safe side, we tried it all! 😀 First we were just randomly wandering here and there. Then we almost had entered a lecture hall and we also sat there but then they told us to wait outside and stand in that awfully long line! Duh, who would like to stand in a line after sitting on those comfy sofas? So, we went ahead. Kept walking in the almost seemingly infinite path to discover this ‘CricBot’. Cricket is a famous sport, for my American, Chinese and Japanese Bros and sis’. And ‘Bot’, well as we all know, Robot. So, basically it was a Robot which can play cricket. Participants assembled their robots and one by one came to display their seemingly overflowing knowledge. Extensive C++ codes and wires here and there plus a laptop in every student’s hand-made it seem like a perfect geek spot! So, we went inside and there the first participating group came. Unfortunately because of some technical difficulties the robot was working in a bizarre manner. Just think! Almost a year’s effort getting destroyed in front of your eyes in 10 minutes. Despite of the efforts the team only managed to make the robot twirl around and get itself tangled. Felt bad for those guys. Then came the second group. By this time our enthusiasm was almost finished so we waited for 15 minutes and left the hall to enter again the vast world of IIT.

CricBot poster

After this we went to the Japanese exhibition wherein they had kept all the JapTech on display ranging from artistic vases to hybrid cars and PlayStation 2. Well, a time pass item.

Now we had already wasted a lot of time so we really wanted to do something. One of the friend in our group was really frustrated and wanted to go home. But then you can never actually leave your friends when you are in a group. You just can’t resist to be with the group. So, convinced that he would be convinced somehow we headed for the lecture. And yeah! Our conviction held true. Now we were heading to the lecture that would completely change the way we looked at life. It was about a 10 minute wait for the lecture and then we headed into this classroom that we had seen only in films and newspapers. Truly magnificent and sliding classrooms with ample space for walking and ample space for sleeping on the back benches. 😀

So, the lecturer was Mr. Sugata Mitra, an Education Technology guy from MIT Media Labs. He explained us about his work that primarily focused on spreading education through computers and his research states that if a person can read then he can learn anything, and by anything I seriously mean anything ranging from basic arithmetic calculations to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Much of this concept depends on belief and creating curiosity within a child. He presented some awesome statistics that represented his research in the field from 1999-2002, 2002- 2006 and 2007 to present. Mr Sugata believes that if a child is provided with a computer and a broadband connection he/she can learn anything and everything as swiftly as the child who is attending that expensive school in the neighborhood. Not only this but you can even pretend to be a Doctor by just renting an apartment and putting up a signboard as ‘Dr. So&So’ and buy a nice desk plus a computer with a broadband
connection. This experiment carried out by Mr. Mitra, known as ‘The Hole In The Wall’ project, was a worldwide success. How cool would it be to never learn from a teacher, isn’t it? In simple words: You can teach yourself. I’ll give you a simple example for this. Now that you have read about Mr. Sugata Mitra, if you are interested in knowing more about him, you will directly contact your best friend ‘Google’ for more info on him. This means that you are teaching yourself about this person and adding to your knowledge. As simple as that. Truly mind-blowing speaker. I also got the opportunity to talk with him in person and appreciated his efforts in the field of Education Technology. Sugata Sir’s research has helped many students from rural India to England, America, Indonesia and many more.

The 2nd one from right in Black T-Shirt is Sugata Mitra Sir

After attending the lecture we were all charged up to sit for yet another lecture since, by now, we had realised that the lectures at IIT are truly magnificent. But then our stomachs had a different story to tell. So, we went to the cafeteria near the Hospital/Parking lot and ate. The next lecture that we wanted to attend was at 4.30 and it was 2.30 as of now. So, we did a lot of time pass strolling around here and there and then time went by swiftly.

Next was Simon Singh’s lecture. Simon Singh is the author of many best seller books and notably known for ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’. 4.30 to 5.30 and that was his lecture. Truly magnificent. Manas has posted his experience about Simon’s Lecture. Here I’ll provide some snaps of him.

The one in the Mohawk is Simon Singh

Oh and after the lecture got over it was almost 6 PM. And we had to rush now or else we would reach home late since the college was far away from our residences. And well, would not like to share the travelling experience back home. We were CRUSHED in that jam packed bus! Anyways, signing off.

Well, that’s the way we roll! 😀

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Comments welcome! 🙂

Kashmir and Me: A Conflicted Identity

By: Niyati Bhat
I don’t know what to write about Kashmir. Almost every Kashmiri writer I know is writing about Kashmir, about their memories, the agonies, the good and the bad phases. I can’t. I was born 2 years after the migration. The rage that engulfed the valley hadn’t died down completely nor had our condition, living as refugees improved but I was too small a kid to understand what it all meant.
I never experienced the plight or the aftermath that my parents did. They didn’t give up. They made a beautiful life again, for me. Whenever in Delhi, any of my friends talked about going to their village in summer holidays, they named Rohtak or other villages in Haryana. I have grown up with Haryanavi and Kashmiri kids but I never saw a Kashmiri kid leave for his village in holidays.
When it came to me, all I could name was either Sundernagar in Himachal or Jammu. It was quite late that I understood what being a Kashmiri was. But it wasn’t the same with my upbringing. I was brought up with the Kashmiri traditions. The language, the colours, the food, the religious ceremonies, the festivals are deeply instilled in me as in any other Kashmiri.
But when it comes to Kashmir, I don’t know what to write about it. All I know is that I have a longing, restlessness, a feeling of belonging to that region even though I have never set foot on that land.
The question pops up in my head: Where do I belong?
To the Kashmir which is itself confused and engrossed in conflicts?
To the India, where my status is nothing beyond a Kashmiri migrant?
Or to the Pak, which wants Kashmir dearly but only with its Muslim inhabitants excluding the Hindus of the region?
To the history which isn’t mine or to the present which lies in daily conflict?
Maybe I’ll let the future decide a place for me. Because, now, right now, I don’t belong anywhere except for the little corner of the earth I am occupying, building an identity of my own. That little corner is my college, my small office cubicle, my parents’ house and this blog in the virtual world. And most of the times, the road, where I travel, which lets me walk despite who I am. It is the most neutral place on earth. All occupy it and none occupies it. Still, it’s also been held under the barricades of borders otherwise the road could run as far as you let it irrespective of boundaries created by humans.
I am a wanderer and this road is my constant companion. I walk on it searching for my identity every second of my life. I hope I’ll find it before these seconds run out; before time decides, ‘It’s time’! Time for me to dissolve into nothingness.
It makes me ponder over another thought. Will the identity matter then? Will it matter whether I am a Kashmiri or Indian or Hindu or Muslim when I die? The only thing that will matter is my mark that I will leave upon this earth. All that will be left is what I did in this life, what I did for this life despite my conflicted identity.
I just don’t want to be remembered as one more person who wrote about her disturbed homeland but as a human being to dared to step in and help change that disturbed homeland into the beautiful valley that was!
The Kashmir where swans swarmed in Dal lake, where shikaras were full of songs, where fields were worked upon by their owners, where knives where used only in kitchens, paddy fields and butcher shops, where no one knew what hatred was, where mothers cooked roganjosh, gushtaba, rice and other delicacies and turned every meal into a feast enjoyed by the children of the whole neighbourhood, where children bathed in streams, people walked around in pherans with kangri tucked under, where afternoons were spent on almond, apple, peach trees, where Sundays were spent playing cricket, where sounds of alif bey tey (Urdu words) were pronounced in unison by all the students in the school yard irrespective of what their religion is, where fathers returned home in the evenings to big, happy joint families, where the day was declared a holiday when the shooting of a Kapoor or Bachchan movie took place in the village, where nobody bothered about being a Hindu or Muslim, where no one was jealous of the peace of the valley, where just humans lived as occupants of a peaceful valley and contributing to a beautiful dream which looks so good to be true. Really, so good to be true, an illusion.
I don’t want to find an identity as someone who is Kashmiri Pandit or Indian but as a person who made it possible to bring back this illusioned Kashmir. Yes, I want to be that person!
And, this illusion, this dream can be turned into a reality if everyone didn’t think of themselves as an Indian, Kashmiri, Hindu, Muslim or Pakistani, but as a human being who would want to contribute his bit to restore this devastated region into the Kashmir that was.

5 must visits in India

By: Nikhil Malankar


India is a very beautiful country. We all have heard about its rich culture, unity in diversity and many things about India. It is actually a heaven on Earth. Well, let me ask you a question first. Have you visited India or do you reside in India? If not then take my advice and visit India. You will have a great time in India. You can actually spend your whole life in knowing India but for time being let me introduce 5 must visits in India. Let me start with the list.

1. Mumbai

You may have heard about Mumbai many a times. It is one of the most modern cities in India. The people here are always in a rush. It is a lovely place. Mumbai is actually a city which never sleeps. Many film stars live here. You can munch on the street food which has a lot of variety ranging from pani puri to vada pav. It is a must visit and on the top of the list. You can shop, cruise and do anything and everything in this city. There are many places to visit in Mumbai. You will find many malls in this city. Some popular places in Mumbai are Juhu Beach, Bandstand, Gateway of India, Marine Lines. There is no end to the list and you will find that there is a lot more variety in Mumbai.

2. Shimla

A very calm and cool place. If you want to be in peace and away from the daily noise of traffic in the city then this is THE place for you. You will find many things to do here. The best time to visit Shimla is in summer. You will actually experience what bliss is in this part of India. It is a heavenly place and the people are very affectionate. The temperature is cold throughout the year. It is one of the best places for skiing.

3. Kerala

Indians call Kerala as Gods own country. It is a great place. You get to see the backwaters and can also swim in those. This one is mostly famous for its greenery. The people here are highly educated and Kerala ranks first in literacy in India.Kerala is truly Gods own place as it has a variety of heavenly bliss and so many photographic locations. You will actually feel at home in this part of India.

4. Gujarat

Gujarat is a very developed state and its population mainly consists of Gujaratis. The people are very sweet and so is the food. You can visit Ahmedabad city and Surat city here. You will find many industries over here. Gujarat is a very good city for tourists. You have a good variety of places to see here. We also get to see the Sabarmati Ashram where we have memories of Mahatma Gandhi with us. The food quality is just good and you will also find the taste good.

5. Punjab

Punjab is a city of joy. The people here are very big hearted. It is a very posh country. The most famous dish of Punjab is ‘Makke ki roti aur sarso kaa saag’. There are many places to visit in Punjab. The temperature is a little cold in this country. The speciality of this country is that you will not observe a single mountain till the border of this country. It is a beautiful place and the people are really kind.

So, these are the 5 must visits in India. Next time you visit India please take a note of these places and don’t forget to visit them.