(Call from Anurag sir)
Sir: Hey Kushal! How are you?
Me: I’m good sir. You say what’s going on?
Sir: Nothing much. Rajesh sir and I was talking about you so I thought to call you.
Me: Thanks sir.
Sir: Some students participated in college tech-fest and need to build some electronics project. For some idea they asked me for lab visit.
Me: Great! Happy to hear this.
Sir: Ok Kushal! They are calling me; I’ll talk to you later.
This call made me happy, very happy but I couldn’t share this happiness to anyone because I knew no one will understand. So I thought to write this incident of my college life, may be someone would understand why this little conversation made me so happy.
Got admission in electronics engineering in a private college. Not a good scorer and not regular. Jigyasa and Jagrati, my best buddies.
I was in second year of engineering when I saw that lab first time. We shifted to the new block EC department. Jagrati, Jigyasa & I were exploring the block when I came across that lab. The first thing came in my mind was ‘Wow! We have a project lab, 100s of project nice’.
Project lab was in very bad condition, many projects were broken, project files were here and there, and most important thing “No access to students.”
Next, I imagined a new structure of lab.
-Each project should be at allocated position.
-The project files must be with the respective projects.
-project should be handle with care etc.
Every time I came across the lab, I just thought, “If only I can go inside.”
In whole period of second year, I did not take any action on this. I was afraid of people.
Third year, we were super seniors. One day in the last lecture, we heard MD of our college is coming for feedback. Many students complained about many things. At last, I stood up and told to MD.
Me: Sir, we have a project lab but we cannot access it.
MD: So, what you want?
Me: Sir, Student access should be there so that we can see what our seniors did.
MD: Ok, so you want Project lab should be operational.
MD: Nice Idea, what is your name?
Me: Sir, Kushal Rusia.
MD: Good Kushal, We’ll think about it.
There were many other things to be fixed so that my Idea was not implemented. I sent a mail regarding this to MD. No reply, Nothing. In next 2 semesters, I sent him 3 mails. No, reply No hearings. It was the end of third year.
One-month semester break for summer training. In that I studied many projects, build many Robots. Learnt so many things about projects.
Back to college, full of confidence, started thinking practically. One day when I was on Facebook, I saw the Facebook ID of college’s chairman.
Instantly I thought, “Should I mail him about project lab?”
However, I dint have that much courage to send him message.
Two months passed and I was just thinking to do this but I could not.
One day when I was sitting with Jagrati outside my HOD’s office for some work, I saw a peon carrying a big box full of projects on his shoulders. Some parts of the projects were hanging outside of the box. I followed him. He was going to project lab and he emptied the box by throwing all the projects in a heap.
“No no, don’t throw like that, how can he do that?” I said to Jagrati.
“We can’t do anything Kushal”, Jagrati replied.
That incident hit my mind. That night I typed a message and without thinking anything, I sent it to college chairman.
I told everything about it to my roommates. They told me that nothing gonna happen.
Next day I got a reply.
“I am having this matter looked into” Chairman replied in message.
Two days passed nothing happened. Third day after college I got a call from college.
P: Is this Kushal?
P: Kushal this is Pankaj form EC department ITM.
Me: Yes, Sir…
P: What happened? You told someone that nothing is happening in practical classes of Major Project.
Me: No sir I do not have any problem regarding practical classes.
P: No-no someone told like this.
Me: No sir I did not tell.
P: Ok, if you have any concerns tell me first.
Next day I skipped college but again I got a call from college.
P2: Kushal this is Pranav from EC department ITM.
Me: Yes, Sir.
P2: Come to HOD office today by 3 PM. HOD called you.
Me: Sure Sir.
I reached there by 3.30 PM.
Me: Good afternoon ma’am.
HOD: From today, you are the Project coordinator of EC department.
Me: I did not get ma’am.
HOD: Yes, and you have to organize a project exhibition.
Me: Why Ma’am?
HOD: Whatever you did, this is the reflection of it. Moreover, Director wants to meet you.
Me: Ma’am how we do it now? Lab is in very bad condition I think most of the projects are not in running condition,
HOD: Whatever, you have to organize the exhibition. Ok now we have to go to director’s office.
HOD, a sir and I went for meeting.
On the way, she asked me so many questions like why you did this. This is not the right way. Why you told that we are not doing anything?
I told her I did not write like this I only write that we should make project lab operational.
But continuously she was blaming me that this is wrong.
As we reached to director’s office, HOD ma’am said, ” Kushal, Show that message to sir”. D: No need, I have that. He opened a file in which everything was present even my profile picture of fb. Thank God, I changed it just a week back. My last pic was with jigyasa and jagrati which I changed with a passport size photo which was for GATE exam.
D: What you want?
M: Sir, I just want that project labs should be operational.
D: So is it not operational right now? I think it is operational. Anyone can go there.
M: No sir it is not that simple. Once I wanted to visit the lab, but it took me 2 days to visit it for 10 mins. Because first I needed to take permission from HOD, mam then I wrote an application. Then searched for the lab instructor then he gave me time. Then for 10 min, he opened it.
D: For everything, there is a process.
M: Sir I just want that we should know what our seniors did.
D: Anything else?
M: Yes, Sir Lab is in very bad condition and projects are broken. It’s not well managed. Sir I want that should be in good condition. Files should be with respective project so that we can know more about any project.
D: Whatever you wanted is fine. However, this is not the correct way share your ideas.
H: If you wanted to work on projects or build projects, you should have told me. I would have provided you lab. Do you know to build projects a particular lab is needed called dark room? Some tools are also required.
M: Ma’am, Recently I have completed 20 electronics projects and from second year, I am working on 3 projects. Ma’am I know the requirements.
D (to me): Do you know Facebook, twitter etc. are not official. You cannot use these for official work. And this will not be accepted. How can you tell anything to chairman directly in front of your friends?
M: Sir did not post message in public. I just messaged him personally. Moreover, Sir I for searched his email id but I did not get. Therefore, I decided to send message on Facebook.
D: You should have told this to someone else.
Me: Sir I tried this. Last year MD sir visited our department that time I told him. He noted my idea but did not take any action.
D: Everyone have MD’s email id; you could have reminded him through mail.
M: Sir I did that 3 times. I have proof.
T: The funny thing is MD knows what you want; Chairman knows what you want, but Department do not have any clue what is going on. Great!
M: Sir I tried but
D: What but? You are wrong, for your benefits, you cannot do anything.
M: Sorry Sir but I am not thinking for myself only.
D: Ok so you choose this now you have to do something we have decided. You have to look for progress of everyone’s major project in your class and organize an exhibition in this week as mam told you. Apart from this, we will make teams for other departments also. With the help of these teams, you will organize the exhibition.
M: Ok Sir.
D: Next time, whatever you do first discuss with us.
M: Sure Sir.
I came back home. Told everything to my roommates and some other friends. I called Jagrati and tried to take Jigs in conference but jigs was busy so she could not join us. I told everything to Jagrati but she didn’t respond as expected. She just told me that she would tell this to jigs.
Next, I called Sneha, my girlfriend. When I was explaining this to her she interrupted me and said, “I can see your happiness. I think this thing increased your self-confidence. You seem very confident today.
After that I talked to my sister she just told me one thing that everything is good, do whatever you want just take care of one thing your academics should not be affected.
Next day morning I went to college and went to HOD office.
I told her that I’ll start lab work from today.
HOD: Ok, Meet me after 3.30.
Me: But after college how can I..
HOD: No Kushal, I cannot allow you to work in between classes.
After 3.30 PM you can work.
That day in class time something different happened to me. That day I was very excited about this. I thought I will discuss everything about this with Jig and Jags. I will plan how we can complete this work; obviously, my dream was going to be true. I thought we would work together. I thought they will be with me on the first day. But what happened that day was shocking for me.
Jigs and Jag didn’t even talk to me that day. I didn’t know what was happening that day? Whole day they didn’t talk to me. They behave like a stranger.
I was very upset that day. They should be with me. At least they should understand me. They must be knowing that this is the biggest day of my college life because what I have dreamed every day was going to true. Today I am going to get control of Project lab. How can they treat me like this?
But I thought whatever people think I will do what I want and at any cost I will improve the condition of project lab.
All classes got over. I went to HOD office. As I reached there she called a lab instructor (Rajesh) and she told me that this person is the lab in charge of project lab. He will be there with you.
When I was going to lab I met two of my batch mates. Akash and Anushka.
Akash: Hey Kushal! Classes are over now. Where are you going?
Me: I have some work.
Akash: What work man?
Me: Actually, I have to work on project lab, improve its condition, Repair projects etc. for an exhibition. So going to start work.
Akash: Interesting work. But Alone?
Akash: Can I join you?
Me: Sure man, but I’ll stay till 5.30 PM. Can you stay till that time?
Akash: At least today I can stay.
Anushka: I’ll also come.
Akash was the topper of our batch. Intelligent boy But I never expected that he will come for this type of work. Anuska always loved this type of work. She always wanted to work on projects etc. that I knew.
We four reached Lab, Rajesh Sir opened the door. As I stepped into the lab, what I saw was horrible. A project was under my foot. Every project was here and there. Kilos of dust. Complete lab was in very bad condition.
What I analyze that there were many interesting projects but in broken condition. Like a filmy scene I have picked the project lying on earth cleaned the dust on it, tried to repair it and took battery from another project switched it on and it was running. Great!!
I was feeling very happy that time. After that I have searched its file.
After this we have started work. We worked for 2 hours. We worked on some projects repaired 1 or 2 more projects. Rajesh sir told us time to leave man. Tomorrow we will call a peon and ll make it clean. That day I was on cloud nine. What a great day. Best day in college life.
Next day Jagrati came to me and told me that we have to complete all our practical files in one week.
Me: Ok, why are you telling me? You didn’t talk to me yesterday when I needed you.
Jag: just informing you and it’s not like that, we were doing our work.
Me: Oh, so you won’t even talk. I know its just because of my lab work.
Jag: No, it’s not just because of your Lab work, it’s because of situation. We think this is not the correct time to do all this. We have semester exams after two months, before that we have to complete so many things assignments; practical files etc. and we have to prepare for campus placement. Don’t you remember Wipro is coming next month?
Me: That all will be fine. But if I’ll lose this chance then I’ll regret for this.
Jag: It will affect your practical marks.
Me: I don’t care.
Jigyasa also came there.
Jigs: Kushal, please understand we can do it later. In this sem we don’t have much time to do such things. If we will prepare for placements and exams, we can get job and good marks. If we confirm a job in this sem then we will have lots of time in next sem.
Me: it’s not possible now.
Jigs: Why it is not possible? Just go to HOD ma’am and tell her you will continue this in next sem.
Me: Don’t you know this is a big issue. If I’ll take back step, they will send me to chairman. They will tell me if you cannot do anything then why you have problem. Then I’ll lose this chance change something with negative image.
Jigs: You have negative image right now.
Me: Yes, I know. See, I’ll do this at any cost.
Jigs: What we can say then?
Then a teacher called me.
He asked me everything and at last he said, “Do you know why this is becoming a big issue?”
“Because you did this,” he continued.
Me: What sir?
T: Yes, Actually you are not considered as a studious student, even you are not regular in classes so that it’s happening. If any topper or studious student had done this, they would not have taken this matter in negative sense. Now you should work hard on this. Organize the exhibition and show them you can do this.
Me: Sure, Sir.
That day I was alone. No one came to help me. I was sad because no one understood but I have decided to do it alone. I worked for some time there and when I turned around, I was surprised.
Jagrati and Jigyasa were there. I asked why you came here?
They said, “We can’t leave you alone”.
I just smiled and couldn’t speak anything. I don’t know what should I say for such friends. They made me very happy.We divided work. Jagrati was searching the projects, jigyasa was searching the files and I was checking, repairing and organizing the projects. Rajesh sir called a peon for cleaning.
A famous associate professor of college, whose cabin was in front of lab, came and asked, “What is going here”?
Rajesh sir explained him why we were there. He gave an odd look and said, “Waste of time, how can they allow to do this?” and left the lab.
However, we didn’t take his words seriously and continued our work. We organized 23 projects and repaired 6 projects that day.
Next day we again started working. I saw a new person in lab. “He is Anurag Sir, Assistant professor in our department”, Rajesh sir said. Anurag sir already knew everything. He came to me and said, “Good going man”. Later, Anurag sir helped us a lot in this work.
Same day I went to HOD ma’am and asked her about teams as per director’s plan. She told me to talk directly. I met him but he said, “You proceed for exhibition. It’s not possible to form teams right now. We will do it later.”
On the third day, we were ready with enough projects for exhibition. I told HOD that we are ready with the projects for exhibition and told that Saturday will be good for the event. I asked her to visit the lab once. She asked me to come later.
Next day morning I again asked her. She replied, “This week it’s not possible to organize this event and in next week 2nd and 3rd year students have midsem exams so they can’t join. I think last week of this month would be the good option.”
“But mam that time we’ll have midsems?” I said.
“So you organize it after the last exam.” she replied.
Then she finalizes the date of exhibition in last week.
When she was saying this, I was continuously looking at the paperweight on her table. I don’t how control myself. I wanted to through that to break her face. We were working 3 hours extra after classes for 3 days continuously for the exhibition and now she is telling it’s not possible in this week.
We worked for 2 more days, stopped checking and repairing projects, just concentrated on organizing the Lab. Finally, we made the lab well organized, as I wanted. That day we again requested HOD to visit the Lab.
Now checking and repairing of projects was remaining. From next week, due to some problem, jigs couldn’t come for lab work but whenever possible she came with us. Jagrati and I continued the work.
One day Anurag sir told me something. He said,” Kushal, people in this department are talking about you, negatively. They are not appreciating this work. This is really affecting your practical marks so think about consequences also.”
“Sir, I really don’t care.”, I said.
We worked on alternate days. Now we were testing the projects and trying to repair. I learnt many new things in robotics. Every day we requested HOD and other lecturers to visit the lab but no one came to see our work.
Now it was the time to decide venue, time and the projects, which should be present in exhibition. There was an open area in our college for such events. We thought it should the best place for this event. When I asked HOD for the venue, she told me to organize it in any lab of EC department except project lab and then she told me about the time. I don’t know why I couldn’t tell her my idea about venue, It was my mistake.
We had midsems from Wednesday last week of month. 3-days schedule for 5 exams was like 2 exams a day with a gap of 2 hrs. Last day we had one exam HOD told to organize event that day after the midsems. We started our preparation from Monday. We choose 30 best projects to present.
That day Anurag sir told me that you should the projects to the students. It was not possible because 3 persons can’t take care of 30 projects. Therefore, he called some of his students 3rd year. Now we were 7 students, we divided the projects 4 each. Now I explained each selected project to everyone in two days. We placed all the projects at the venue location. Wrote important point about the projects. After all the preparations, I went to HOD and requested to check it once. Due to some work she couldn’t come.
Just one day before of exhibition, she called me after first mid-sem and asked me to show the lab. I think she was testing my patience level. Every engineer knows the importance of that one hour before the exam. For me it was complete study. Again anyhow controlled my anger.
We circulated a notice for exhibition in whole department. Placed a notice on notice board. Personally I told to all my friends.
We sent a reminder for exhibition making it mandatory to attend in all lecture halls and examination halls. After mid-sem, 11.30 morning, Jagrati, Jigyasa and I went to venue, called a 3rd year guy but he didn’t pick the call. I tried 2-3 times but got no reply. Then I called Anurag sir. He told me that one of them already informed him that they can’t come because they have to attend a seminar in placement cell, but post lunch they will come.Till 1.30 PM we were ready with all our preparations. We went for lunch, came back by 2 PM. Now we were waiting for students to visit. Until 3 PM only 4 students from final year came. Then Jigyasa called some of our batch mates reminding them about event. Then students started coming. Jigyasa, Jagrati and I were desperately trying to explain the projects. Till 4 PM they were there and then started going. At 4.30, Rajesh sir told me that no one will come now so we should close this and asked me to inform HOD. HOD told us to extent it for one more day. I did the same but next day not more than 6 students came. That day we stopped this, placed all the projects in the project lab. Later we discussed about the event. Count of students in EC department was around 350 but only 40 to 50 students came to see the exhibition. Anurag sir asked, “Kushal are you sure that you mentioned the event as mandatory for all students”. “Engineers have their own rules, if they think its mandatory then it is else not.” Jagrati said.
We finished everything that day. I told Rajesh sir, “Sir, please keep this lab always like this”. He said,” I’ll try to take care of this, but if like all of you other students would start taking interest in such works then this lab would be in better condition.”
After all those efforts I know my event was not successful, I didn’t even get appreciation form college, family or friends except from Anurag sir and Rajesh sir. I think among all whoever know about this incident only they valued my work and good thing is they are keeping it alive.
After around 1.5 years, one day I called Anurag sir he told me something that made me very happy. Some of students were taking interest in the lab work. They were reading the projects and repaired around 15 to 20 projects.
This made me very happy because someone is carrying forward my work. I prayed, ‘may this chain grow more and more.’
I think Jigyasa was also right, really I couldn’t score good marks. Due to less marks I couldn’t sit in some companies for campus placements. But I got a job in a MNC after 8 months struggle which added a new chapter in my life with new life experiences, lots of friend and may other thing. If I would have not done this, I might get placed through on-campus. Life might be easier but I would have been rerating for loosing such a chance to change something because whenever I looked back this incident gave me satisfaction. Self-satisfaction for changing something which was like a dream for me.
I have big dreams in my life and I know I will chase my dreams because this incident ensures me for th