Friday, September 10, 2010

Inaugural Address to the Freshers of 2010

My speech was labeled as 'Reflections of a Student'- by Nakul.P.S, 7th sem Telecom

Greetings to the dignitaries on stage and to the excited students and their parents gathered here. I welcome you all once again and I speak on behalf of the student fraternity of RV College.

When I read about the colleges being made autonomous in 2007, the year of my admission, which although gave them leeway to introduce changes in the existing system, it induced apprehensions in me. What would the changes be? Will the syllabus be tougher? Will my journey in RVCE be more arduous than I had imagined? And believe me, these were some of the many questions…

But these questions and more were answered within a few days of my being in college. The teaching staff and the administration made me feel at home, with interactive sessions about the road ahead, as to how the teaching staff now had more freedom in setting about the path and how the students should go about it. 

The orientation process allowed me to know the various facets of the college more intimately. Be it Sports, Cultural Activities Team, Social Services among others. What made the process more exciting was the legacy that the previous batches had left behind in their respective fields. Our victories at the University/ National level in many sports like Cricket, Tennis, Basketball etc. And then our achievements in Debating, Quizzing, Theatre, Engineering at so many levels, inspired me to make a mark and be associated with the greats that this institution has nurtured.

With the gradual and smooth adjustment to college life came in the wonderful interactions with the seniors, some of which contained advice for the right textbook for the subjects but most of which were intended in making us as a part of the RV culture. And in these interactions there never arose the question of Ragging, because the relationship was based on that of mutual respect. I shall cherish the moments that I got to spend with my likeminded and the most unlikely seniors, for a very long time to come.

The one aspect that I absolutely adore in the RV culture is the support and the opportunities that one gets to explore one’s the hidden talents and be the best at it. As an avid quizzer and a theatre artist I have made most of the QuizCorp and the CARV clubs in college, which have allowed me to avidly pursue my passions while striking a balance with Academics. Worry not, you shall have a detailed orientation process which will enlighten you to know more about the various clubs in RV and learn to be a part of it.

So apart from this, what makes RVCE, one among the leading institutes that impart technical knowledge? It is the distinguished teaching staff and the forays that we have made with cutting edge technology, which has made RVCE stand head and shoulders above other institutions of the kind. For the auto enthusiasts there are clubs like Ashwa, Garuda etc. and Frequency Club for the electronics enthusiasts, among others. These clubs have made a mark in national and international competitions, like the launch of STUDSAT, thus carving a niche for themselves. 

The Industry-Institute interaction which exists in the institution helps us immensely. Although one evaluates an institution by the number of companies which arrive for the placement process, its not the complete picture. The modern labs which have been instituted with their collaboration, of which the Wipro India Innovation Lab, Freescale Microprocessor Lab, Pace Lab for Video Engineering come to my mind display their belief, in the potential that we as students of RV College possess and thus have provided us with state-of-the-art facilities to bring us in tune with the current trends in the industry.     
So as you all stand at the threshold of 4 exciting years of college (5 in case of Architecture),  I would ask of you to make the most of your college life, with the support and the facilities that it offers and become well rounded personalities, entrepreneurs even, willing to give back to the society which nurtured them. 

I look back at the three years, which have passed as a student of Telecommunication, with great joy and a sense of satisfaction that I made the right choice on that fateful day in CET counseling, in choosing this college. So have you and I welcome you all aboard.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mythology, Demystified…

Abhimanyu, with the partial knowledge of the Chakravyuha formation, bravely breaks into one formed by the Kauravas on the 13th day of the battle. With Krishna and Arjuna being forced to fight the Samsaptakas, none of the Pandavas have the knowledge to defeat the deadly formation. But they promise themselves to break-in with him and assist his safe exit…

And what follows, is a heart rending tale of Abhimanyu’s valour and his untimely death. We have all come to know of such stories and more; from different texts and different sources, but they never fail to capture our imagination.   

Myths, the study of which is Mythology, are stories handed down to us from generations past and have gods or supernatural heroes as the protagonists. The timeline of these stories is usually before the world, as we know it, existed.

There isn’t a definite origin to a myth and nor does it retain its original structure over a period of time. Myths, according to some, occur from distortion of historical events or in some cases personification of objects or occurring in nature. Rituals and beliefs of our forefathers make their way into our lives in the form of myths. For example, the belief that Thunder is the expression of anger from God or the practice of washing one’s feet outside the house on certain occasions.

Myths are subject to variations. Over a period of time, they get modified and are subject to different interpretations in different societies. Ramayana for instance, is known as Ramakien in Thailand. Ramakien heavily draws on the story of Ramayana, although there are changes with respect to clothing, weapons, topography which synonymous with Thai culture.

It is not uncommon to find common themes in mythological tales of different lands. Achilles (seventh son of Peleus and Thetis) in Greek mythology is known for his heel’s vulnerability, which ultimately cost’s him his life. Krishna(eighth son of Vasudeva and Devaki) in Indian mythology elected to die by allowing a hunter to wound him in the heel. Striking isn’t it?

The practices and beliefs of the superheroes are often considered righteous and worthy of adopting in our daily lives. We see Krishna take on the mantle of role-model and a counselor to Arjuna during the war, enlightening him on the complex aspects of Dharma. Most importantly they have and continue to serve as a tool, to effectively convey ideas to others.

The spreading of the myth occurs in many ways and is a great means for infotainment. Be it story-telling, novels, dramas or films, the modes of narrating it are numerous. The influence that mythology bears on literature and art cannot be discounted. From numerous TV Serials on Ramayana to the sci-fi series written by Ashok Banker on the same, the influence is enormous. Allusions of current scenarios to similar situations in mythological stories, are commonplace.

Myths offer us an outlet to imagine and enjoy a fantastical world, where everything is possible. Where Good triumphs over Evil and more often than not there is always a happy ending.  

PS: This article is a part of the 8th Mile Souvenir Magazine- associated with 8th Mile, the college fest of RVCE. The theme is mythology.  

Friday, April 9, 2010

GOD- The Review

It’s but natural for an audience to expect a play to have a beginning, middle and an end. But in case of GOD, a play by Woody Allen they would be glad to make an exception.

GOD was staged by Cult Entertainment on the 6th  of March at the Alliance Francaise. The director Avinash Daniel’s desire of successfully adapting a Woody Allen play with all its complexities, to a Bangalore audience was realized and how. By introducing sly local references and modifying situations which would appeal to the Bangalore audience, he truly made justice to the script.

The play starts off with an actor a director on stage discussing about an ending for their play, which is about to be staged for the Athenian Drama Festival. But it isn’t only about the ending. Through different characters in the play, important questions, some even philosophical in nature, are raised, thus keeping the audience guessing.

And just when you thought that the ticket money was spent on something serious, out come the slapstick situations and the well delivered laugh lines to lighten the mood. At some point in the play, i (and i believe others too) gave up on trying the fix the pieces and make sense of what was happening to stage and that’s when we all started to enjoy it better. There is the danger that a play might not be able to hold on to the audience, when it stops being coherent. So kudos to the script and the director for ensuring that didn’t happen, in this case.

Coming to the performances the multi-faceted actor Anirudh who played many roles, the prominent one being Bob Fate deserves a special mention. The comic timing and the body language was perfect from his end and the audience response justified it. The Gay King and Doris Levine gave out notable performances and their confidence on stage was evident of the practice that has gone behind it.

There were some minor slip-ups in the acting and the production departments but it was mostly forgotten the patrons who lapped up the humor served to them. One particularly entertaining situation is the use of light and sound for the arrival of GOD and the speech that follows. Brings a smile to me even as write this down; a month later.

There are inherent difficulties in enacting a Woody Allen play on stage. Firstly, there are the hidden meanings behind certain situations and lines, which if not executed well enough, might lose its purpose and fail to get it across to the audience. Then there are the local references, which a New Yorker or an American in general would appreciate better, than an international audience. Cult Entertainment handled theses difficulties with élan with suitable changes and thus ensuring that the audience was kept in the loop during the entire duration of an 'abstract' play like this. Substitution of Broadway with IPL is one such example. Well, you would appreciate it better if you heard it from them.

All in all it was time and money well spent on a pleasant Saturday evening. Or to use the cliche ' It was Paisa Vasool! '

Feeling sore that you missed it the first time around? Well GOD will grace us all again on the 21st of April at the Ranga Shankara. For more details head to