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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Identity crisis


Yet another black day on my dairy…

After mugging for a mere one hour the day before, I slept and woke up at 6:00 AM. Although having realized that I mugged only the 6 problems given in the tutorial sheet, I wasn’t tensed. Because, one - there were many others like me; two - My brain is no longer of JEE standard; It fell to the level of – “give me a formula, give the values of knowns, I can find the unknown using a calculator” and three - I care no more.

So, I tried to memorize the 10 or so formulas again and went to the exam.
I took the paper and went to my allotted place.

“Take out your id cards and place them on your desk” invigilator announced.

It was then that I realized that my pocket was empty – I forgot my purse in the room which had all the stuff that could confirm my identity as a mechanical student of iit madras.

One of the TAs came to me and asked “where is your ID card?”

“Sir, I forgot to bring it. I shall produce it immediately after the exam”

“No, no. Please go away and bring it now. Or, go to HOD office and bring the warning slip signed by the concerned person.” He explained a detailed procedure that was more complex than applying for a driving license/passport in the Indian Government offices.
I really wonder why such insane rules exist in insti. Why on earth will someone else come and write my exam?!  It is like asking a person, alive, “Show me your birth certificate so that I can confirm that you exist”

“Sir, please excuse me for now. Time is ticking. I have to write the exam.”

“Okay; wait. You talk to the madam” and he left, sending the madam to me.

“Whats wrong?” she sounded calm.

“Ma`m, I forgot my ID card in my room.”

“Okay, after the exam, go to HoD office and get a warning slip”

“Ok”

“otherwise, your paper will not be graded”

“Sure, Ma`m. I will bring the slip”

I checked the time. It was 8:10 AM. A good 40 minutes left. I had to hurry.

I looked at the question paper and to my utter disgust, none of them were tutorial problems. The hard mugging for the past two days, less sleep, ID card issue, Brain-cracking question paper increased my stress levels to cause a severe headache. I felt like giving up and sleeping in the examination hall.

I looked at the paper again and again to make sure that it was the same exam for which I mugged. I wrote a couple of formulae and some numbers on my answer sheet just to cross the “zero” mark. I may get 5 out of 30. I remembered the invigilators words, “… your sheet will not be graded”

As if that makes a difference’ I wondered.

After the exam, I went to the HoD office as instructed and took the warning slip. I then had to get it signed by some person in the office who was apparently absent. When I asked a lady out there, “get it signed by so&so..” she said. That so & so turned out to be the guy who fixes mikes and projectors in our MSB classrooms. I wonder if he has the relevant credentials for signing on a warning slip.

“Sure.”  I said and left. He signed and I still doubt that he culted my pen as I didn’t find it after that scene. And by the way, he had the most number of doubts regarding my identity.
Did you lose your ID card?
Show me your ID card whenever you are free.
Apply for a new one in case you lost it.

He said infinite stuff like these which didn’t bother me an inch.

I then rushed to the next class, half-a-km away, in the scorching Chennai heat. Full of sweat, I slept in the class dreaming about a land where there are no ID cards, birth certificates etc. Seriously guys, its awesome.

I thought of bunking the remaining classes for the day and get a good sleep to forget everything.

Did you submit B slot assignment? Some one was asking some one else.

Shit, I did not submit that crap. 
I called Kasa and hand-xeroxed his assignment that looked better than his`. I felt relieved and was about to pack to my room but then one of my lab mates interrupted - “did you write last week lab`s report?”

Fuck, I did not do that either.

So, another copy-paste act delivered a horrible lab report. Who cares?
IIT Education system sucks when it comes to lab reports. They do know that one person writes and the others copy it without caring to know what it is all about. It is a mere waste of time, paper and energy - which are fucking valuable in the modern scenario. Even the person who writes has no enthu to do it. He writes because some one has to. Otherwise, we have grade problems. Indian Institute of Technology is so backward that in a couple of IC engines experiments, it still asks its students to draw 10 graphs by hand!  

I finally had to attend all the classes with an unbearable head ache. I skipped lunch, came to room and slept at 2 PM. I woke up at 8 PM.

Disgusted by the days proceedings, I made this blog post.

Moral of the day: Never ever forget to carry your ID card. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Nerdvana - Story so far...

Whatever Kasa described about The Nerdvana and its creator(s) in this post, hardly matters now. We started off a website. It is up and is running successfully no matter what it contains, whosoever is responsible for its adult content.

As Kasa says " Its is a result of his joblessness, multiplied with his creativity and added to a desperate desire to irritate his ex-girl friend. Well, Finally he was successful in his attempts." where it refers to The Nerdvana and he refers to me.
Yes, I am successful in my attempts except that my aim is not to irritate my ex-girlfriend because no such soul exists. 

So, why did I start Nerdvana?
  • I wanted FAME.
  • I didn`t want to still depend on my dad for my daily necessities. In other words, I needed MONEY.
  • I was jobless. 
  • I wanted to do something unique.
  • I turned into a nerd lately.
  • I am so enthused in comics and art that my class notes are filled more with doodles than actual notes.
  • I had a software engineer brother who is willing to buy a domain, hosting or whatever shit that is needed for a website.

So, all these combined together created The Nerdvana, a geeky webcomic that quenches your thirst for humor.

I was a bit skeptical about the desired success of The Nerdvana. I wanted to grow to the level of xkcd. So, I thought partnership would be a better option. And the first person that struck my mind was Kasa Siva Rajesh. 
If Big Bang theory : Sheldon Cooper, then iit madras : Kasa Siva Rajesh.

To put it simply, he is nerd maxxx. 

He gave a kick start with a note pad file that had some 15 ideas. All were brilliant.
"How the hell do you get such awesome ideas man?" I asked him and he replied "I copied from net."
It took a day to explain him the importance of the originality and this project as a whole.
He was convinced and came up with some 4-5 original ideas that were great and were already published in www.thenerdvana.com

"So, what are you going to name your site?" He questioned.
"Hell-yes, I should think of it. Can you suggest something?" I asked.
After a day or two, he came up with "NERDVANA", and I liked it instantly. It represents extreme geekdom, very apt in our context.

However, the domain nerdvana . com was not available. So, we named it thenerdvana.com

Then, we needed a web developer to create our site. We hired Nithya who is good at infinite web languages and as we said in our Geek Peek page, she writes web codes faster than her class notes. 
Due to some unavoidable reasons, we were not able to make a original template and code it in jhoomla which we planned initially. So, unable to control my nerve, I started off with a wordpress theme.

"Lets take Nithin" suggested Kasa.
"But why do we need him?"
"He is awesome"
"what work will he do?"
"Anything"

So, Nithin became our chief editor, I still do not know what is that supposed to mean.
And, we were a 4 member team then.

Thus, our first comic was up on 23rd January, 2011. As expected, we did not bother about the day/time being auspicious to launch. Common! we are nerds.

After posting 3 comics, I was so high on nerdvana that I mailed the Legend Spiked Math, about our site and requested that if it can included in "Top Math Comics" column in his site. I got an instant response saying that The Nerdvana is donig well and our big achievement came early. 
The Nerdvana is featured as the 13th best comic strip on Spiked Math!
Thank you, Mike.


Then came Abhinay Sali into the picture. When we were asked to design a purse in our minor course, he designed something and something else came out of it. That developed into an amazing idea and I made a post out of it in The Nerdvana, of course, giving him due credit. The post is a censored one, so I am not naming it. (Ah, now you get it!)

"You just need to wait for good results" is something that I always believe and -

The Nerdvana till March 9th -



The Nerdvana after one day -



After being 1 and half month old, I felt as if I am the only one in our team contributing to our site. Character ideation and creation, making the comics, Purchase of Domain and Hosting, Website design and maintenance, publicity etc. are being done by me. Except for a very few ideas, my friends are not contributing much. And worst of all, my "improve this" mails are getting unusually late responses from `em. Therefore, I finally fired them yesterday with a hope that I could continue the site alone! I lately realized that Sole Proprietorship is a better option for a person like me.

Let us see what happens now.
P.S. - @Kasa and Nithin - This is purely related to The Nerdvana and only The Nerdvana. 
Everything else between us remains the same. Sorry for firing you, but I had to.