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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

THE RAG-PICKER’S ALBUM

By: Team PenTastic



 By: Tarun Kumar





It was a cold winter morning; the distant sun was alighting into the violet sky. A cool morning breeze swept across my ears, I thrust my face deeper into the lifted collars. My hands dug into the deepest recesses of my pant pockets for warmth. Gazing down, I walked through the cemented path, kicking litter can once in a while.

Everything is over. They never loved me.

“They never loved me. Never!” my emotions came out as a cry. Startled by my own voice, I scavenged for any questioning eyes. Mercifully there were none. Moments later, though cumbersome, I realized I was standing in a park, my blue canvas slightly drenched by green grass.
           
Browsing through the morning mist, I spotted a mahogany bench beside an oak tree and took a seat at one corner. I sat there silently contemplating yester night’s  turn of events. A deep torrent of emotions fled through my nerves as each moment of last night’s events unfolded before my eyes.

By now, the sun was pretty high up in the sky and the distant light had kindled the diurnal
life on the streets. A few sweepers were complying with their daily chores of sweeping the litter and leaves aside. The morning smelt of a silence. A silence, I hadn’t suffered in my 20 years. It was the calmness that reigns before a violent catastrophe. I could feel anger surge into my blood

“Can I have a seat” I heard a childish voice to my left. Raising my head from the clasps of my hands, I saw a six year old boy gazing relentlessly towards me. Ignoring his eyes
I waved my hand in the air for him to sit down. I was not in a mood to start any conversation so I just turned to the opposite direction.
           
Silence again reclaimed my thoughts. Only once in a while I would hear the riffling of pages. There wasn’t a word spoken. I could sense my own breath. As soon as I had seen the boy I sensed of a potentially irritative chat with the child but uneasily the boy did not seem interested in me. He was completely quite.

“Is he watching me?” my thoughts started toying about “ Is he too polite to ask me anything?  Or Is he dumb?- No way, he asked to sit or did not he??” even my memory seemed to bewilder me.

The curiosity got better of me and unable to refrain I turned to my left, half expecting “I-knew-dat-smile”. Fortunately or unfortunately, he wasn’t staring me. As I gazed down, I saw thick album    
  
 The album was covered with a cheap brown synthetic. Tarnished and wore out at the corners, the album appeared  to have been aged and used-used often. As he riffled through the dated yellow crinkly pages, I realized it was a photo album, not a standard one though. The photos mostly faded, discolored and termite-eaten, were pasted in a haphazard manner only on side of each page.

“Its been an hour, you shuffling those pages” I said, uneasily trying to start a chat.
The boy turned upwards towards me. His eyes staring blankly at me. He didn’t even seem to fathom for any possible reply. It was then I observed the soiled face, the tattered pant, the unkempt hair and oversized shirt with a crimson strain that he was clad in. He wasn’t a pleasing sight at all.

Uncomfortable with  the lad’s attention, I cast my eyes on the album. Ironically the album, which seemed tattered a few moments ago now felt more kempt in the untidy hands. The boy gripping the album closed placed it on my laps.

“Do you want to see?” he said before I could react.
Unsure how to respond I opened the album, however first replacing it on the bench in an attempt to save my denims from being soiled. The photos were of  different couple in various postures  and at various places. Various unknown faces featured in the ruined pictures. Uninterested I ruffled through the pages. The last couple of photos were however  in bad  condition, in a black and white hue with the effect of cheap photocopy.

“ Aren’t they beautiful?” he questioned
“Err.. Yes”  
“ this was taken at the Kali temple” he pointed to one of them cheerfully. “And this was taken at the foodfactory” he continued.
“This might be from the shivaji park” I joined him in the childish play, smiling foolishly
“that was from….”
“ Bigham fare”
“its chandak chowk”

And thus the game of identifying places started. Within seconds we were shouting to answer first. Laughing and patting each other, unaware of the speculating eyes. Not even realizing, that my garments were being grubby.

As all good things would have, in a while, the game came to an end.

“Why are you carrying it around? “ I questioned pointing the album
“That’s what all I am left with.” He said with a smile
“Couldn’t get you”
“My parents are dead” he replied with the unhindered smile
 My nerves felt cold. Uneasiness again started creeping into me
“Eight years ago, they were killed in a road accident” He said, unemotionally
“I am sorry” I could gather to reply “They must have loved you a lot”
“They might have or might haven’t” he said grimly
“What does it mean?”
“I was abandoned by my parents in an orphanage even before they were killed” he continued “A rag picker rescued me from a dustbin”
I felt a cold chill shaking me.

“But why did they leave the photoalbum with you?” I asked
The boy just looked down trying hard to control the tears in his eyes.
I sat there perplexed unsure of what to do next. I offered him a candy from one of my pockets trying to console him, which he politely refused
“They didn’t leave any photoalbum” A sweeper present there unbeknownst to us replied to me.
I stood glaring at the words from the sweeper
“How come the album exists then?” I sounded confused
“Haven’t you observed none of the photos are of the same person?” he said.
I gripped the album staring at the photos. He was right!
“Every now and then when he finds any photo while rag picking, he pastes them onto these pages believing them to be his parents.” He sweeper continued, “He believes some day his parents would come and take him home .”

I cant believe, it doesn’t make sense

“for how many years has he been doing this?”
 “since then when he asked about his parents.”

A torrential rain of emotions cluttered my brain and body. I had run from my home for a petty issue. I was blaming my parents for insane reasons and there was this 10 year boy struggling to find his parents who had heartlessly abandoned him!

He is an idiot . My brain said . But my conscience knew better.

I saw at the distant sun and knew where I was heading, this time with a brother half my age and double the maturity.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Campus Bichitra: An Event by All India Radio

By: Team PenTastic
[Written by: Tanuja Pattnaik]



With internals and semesters lined up this month, CETians seem to be in frenzy, going through notes and last minute discussions about important topics with friends. But nothing can stop them from putting up a good show when it comes to extra-curricular activities. Even with the tension of exams on their heads, they always perform spectacularly.

                The All India Radio, Cuttack organised a few cultural events for the students under the head of Campus Bichitra. It emphasised on the display of the talents of the students. The events organised by them covered a wide range of activities, including singing, poetry recitation, story telling, humorous skit and many more.




                The events started at around 4 p.m. in the orientation hall. The hall was packed with students, eager to participate in the events. It began with the poetry recitation event where students recited poems in Odia and Hindi. Around 7-8 people recited beautifully composed poems in both languages.


                Next came the event of singing. Almost 15 students sang various songs in both Odia and Hindi. With their captivating voices, they enthralled the audience for more than an hour.


                Story telling too was a big hit with Yogesh Kumar indulging the audience with a witty story and his animated way of speaking.


                Well, when there is a talk about humour, no CET humour is complete without Ajoy Bhai. His mono act about a scene involving bollywood stars in CET made everyone roll with laughter.


                The last activity was a mock interview where the students were asked about technical education, its importance and the career aspects of various departments.


                The entire set of activities, which was recorded for the purpose of telecast was concluded with a talk by our very own Srimant Sir, where he spoke about the college, its history and so much more.



                So, everyone tune in to AIR, Cuttack on your radio sets on Thursday, the 20th at 5:30 p.m. and listen to the show JubaBani. Stay tuned!



Photo Courtesy: CET Photofactory

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Chinese Smartphones: Effect on Indian Market

By: Team PenTastic
By: Aayushi Jajodia

To begin with, Chinese smartphone companies have been trying to overwhelm Indian buyers with various choices. Adding to it, the fact that many of the smartphones that have been introduced have top-of-the-line specifications and are not priced exorbitantly makes the offer all the more irresistable. Also, there has always been a perception amongst Indian buyers that Chinese smartphones or “China ka Maal” as we call it here are either cheap knock-offs or of poor quality. This is beginning to undergo a huge change. It would not be an exaggeration to call the kind of wave that the Chinese smartphones have been creating over the Indian market to be nothing short of a revolution.




In fact, in the past year and a little more, we have seen four major Chinese brands make a big play in India. First, it was Lenovo which saw some success with its pan-market strategy and devices for all budgets, use cases and screen sizes. Its Vibe series smartphones, in particular, were heavily promoted. Then Gionee appeared on the market, launching a slew of phones, again at various price points. Finally Oppo came to the scene with its head-turning N1, and has continued launching interesting devices such as the Oppo Joy and the superb Find 7, 7a.

And of course, this year’s big brand is Xiaomi, which has shown it’s willing to take its disruptive market strategy to even greater heights in India.




The not so newly released feature-rich Xiaomi Mi3 and Xiaomi Red MI phones have made a phenomenal debut in the Indian smartphone market, with stocks flying out of the shelves in a jiffy. On 29 July, the device got sold out in a record 5 seconds time, much faster than the sale on 22 July, where in the stocks ran out under 39 minutes. There hasn’t been any slowdown till now, and every Tuesday at 2pm, the stocks get over before we press the refresh button. Yes, three seconds, about that is the amount of time you get.

And let’s not forget Huwaei, a brand known in India for its routers and data cards, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Flipkart to sell the Honor 6 at Rs. 19,999. The SoC inside was developed in-house, and so was the Emotion UI skin on top of Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). This makes the Honor 6 an out-and-out Chinese smartphone. Its blazing fast performance, and good, crisp display has made led to many debating whether it is the best smartphone for its range.



All this serves to highlight the fact that Chinese mega brands are finally waking up to the growth potential of the Indian market. So in essence, India is a highly exciting place for China’s big brands, as more and more consumers are lining up to buy smartphones.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Knowing your alumni- Mr. Santosh Subudhi.

By: shiny choudhury

[Interview as taken by Mr. Ashutosh Mishra]

Meet Mr. SANTOSH SUBUDHI,  a  man driven by the  thirst for knowledge  and innovation. This awesome alum of ours had a clear  goal  of pursuing  a career  in R&D.  Lo and Behold ! He now works at the  prestigious  Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. He lives life to the fullest ,  loves photography  and  cycling long  distances.  Give this a read!  I’m sure everyone  is  going to  be as awestruck as  I was. 

Ashu : Hello again !!So shall we begin sir ?

Santosh Sir: Hello Ashutosh ! Yes.. let’s begin.

Ashu: For the sake of our readers , tell us which branch were you in , when at CET?

Santosh Sir: Electrical Engg. - 2007-2011.

Ashu:  That’s great ! Electrical students have always made a difference at CET. So what career did you have in mind when you were done with your B Tech ? Did you plan something all along?

Santosh Sir:  I wanted to pursue a career in research. I was very interested in areas like renewable energy, smart grids, etc

Ashu:  Did you target a particular destination  after B Tech ?

Santosh Sir:  Yes... I wanted to do M.Tech.I also planned to consider an engineering job profile in R&D.

Ashu:  Awesome ! So the road was set, wasn’t it !! You just had to traverse it :D

Santosh Sir:  Yeah... I had this clear idea what I wanted to do.

Ashu:  Give us an overview of the "  road to BARC  " ... The challenges and hurdles that you faced also the fun that you had! ?

Santosh Sir:  The subjects and syllabus for BARC written test is more or less similar to GATE. The most important aspect is to learn the core electrical engg.  subjects  nicely. Mostly  Network theory, and subjects in 5th and 6th sems. The most simplest way to learning any subject to the best is to ask 'Why' when you study it. I used to study Electrical Machine and bug myself with so many 'Why this and Why that' and whenever my mind denied to help me anymore I would bug my seniors .

Ashu: That is a  really, really important piece of message for every CETian .. in fact every student all over the world !! Now I can brag that I was the first one to hear it from you!!  Truly honored Sir.

Santosh Sir: Ha Ha ! Of course. It’s a pleasure.

Ashu:  Now let us take a peek into your personal life a little. How do you generally organize your day? Is there an everyday timetable that you keep?  Let’s hear about the one that you kept during your college days.

Santosh Sir:  I try hard to keep one!  And frankly I had no such thing as timetable in college! But I’ll tell you what all activities kept me busy!

Ashu: Let’s hear ‘em then!!

Santosh Sir:  During first year i was a very sincere class room attending guy! Then came 2nd year.. There was too much more to do.. I was working on my technical communication skills and started participating in paper presentation events in various tech fests along with my partner. We won most of them.
Then came 3rd year we came in contact with Dharani bhai (Dharanidhar Dang).

Ashu:  Oh yes !! DD bhai !!!

Santosh Sir:  Yes. After some mind boggling and brain storming sessions we( Hrushikesh Meher and Biswanath Dehuri) came with an idea to design a system which won us a 2nd place in Innovation Challenge , 2009 by Schneider Electric.

Ashu:  OMG !! Really!!...... Hats off sir !!! And how was your final year?

Santosh Sir: Final year... we still had the hangover of creating something really innovative and Cool.
One day we were talking with one of our mentors and in a casual discussion he pointed out on the AC and told us (me, Biswanath and Hrushikesh- HK). So he said 'these ACs are monsters and drink away most of our electricity'.  Just a day before this discussion i had seen a video on youtube about a kind of solar dish which had a small engine called a stirling engine which can provide rotational motion when in sunlight and suddenly we had this idea... why not run these ACs using a sterling engine...And this formed our topic for Innovation challenge 2010...This time we dint have DD. But we had enough experience and motivation to go on.

Ashu:  This is really impressive sir !! I mean ..coming together of like  minded people to put together their ideas !! The end product comes out really beautiful !!

Santosh Sir:  yes... that’s so true. This was the most memorable part of my B Tech.

Ashu: So who do dedicate all of your success that you got in your life to ??

Santosh Sir:  My parents! I have seen them struggling so much to make ends meet. They have always been my inspiration in my low times. Of course there is no denying the fact that I have really great people (my friends and some seniors) around me when in college and I would be nowhere without there company They (Parents) are the best among the gifts given by GOD.

Ashu:  Indeed ! My immense respects to them sir ....and to all parents all over the world !
So as an alum of CET , what changes do you think should have happened ? Improvements that you think should have taken place?

Santosh Sir: As far as I see, the college is a much better place than it was in our times. However, I still don’t see any initiative happening on research front...
I feel more exposure should be given to students right from the very beginning (1st year).
It can be made possible by a combined effort of alumni(who are pursuing Masters and PhDs) and professors.
In my time students, didn't  have access to scientific journals,
something  which we really needed.
This should be the no.1 agenda.
Ashu: Exactly !! That would fire up the essence of research !!

Santosh Sir: Once this is done alumni working in different areas can suggest and mentor the current students with good projects in 3rd and 4th year.
And all this if done properly, a student can not only get a flare of research in his college days but that would enable him take a well informed decision about his career.

Ashu:  3rd years and forth years can then get an edge that they are in dire need of .
Your words are truly mesmerizing sir !

Santosh Sir: Thanks for the complement... This is something I have been trying to put forth since a long time now... but thanks to your initiative,   it‘ll be heard.

AshuOn a lighter note ... what are your hobbies ?

Santosh Sir:  In college days.. I was sucker for novels.
Currently, I love photography.. and of course my fav - Cycling
last month I completed 1200 kms. of riding in last 6 months
Mumbai's weather and landscapes are great for cycling.
Ashu: Woaah !! This is huge !!! So in short ... Life now is totally amazing huh??

Santosh Sir : Yeah! ... I m loving it .

Ashu: Would you like to give a last word advice to our excited CETians out there ?

Santosh Sir: Yes! Keep up the excitement!
Learn what it takes to be a true engineer! Be open to everything! Try all that you can.
Be it the subjects or the hobbies, be part of different clubs and most important Create something, no matter what! Believe me that’s what will give you real happiness
All the best guys

Ashu: I’m sure the future aspirants of a great future will read this and keep this in their mind throughout their life !
It has been an immense pleasure interviewing you sir !! I will carry this sense of pride for the rest of my life. Do forgive me sir if I have erred in any way during this interview .Thank you so much for the time you gave us. It has been a delight talking with you

Santosh Sir: They have my best wishes
It was my pleasure too! I am really
excited about the present generation of CET ....
I’ m sure the best days of CET are ahead..

You have done a good  job.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

STUDENTS IN POLITICS :A DISTRACTION OR A BENEFICENT CAREER AVENUE

By: Team PenTastic

By: Dibyasha Mohanty


‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors’-these  veracious words of Plato have stood the test of time to serve as a grim reminder  of the prevalent political scenario of India.





A brief thought about the topic takes us to memory of bloody,violent mobs  marching  down the streets with banners and  sonorous slogans.But such a constrained view is not that of politics but a polluted, deliberately misguided version of it.To all those archaic opponents of student politics,I have one question to ask-If not students ,then who?Are you indifferent enough to surrender the fate of the nation to shivering hands of those who barely have a decade of their life left?If your answer  is in the affirmative,then I have one thing to say to those stone deaf ears,’People get the government they deserve’.Do not complain of state inaction and ministerial apathy if you yourself could not take the pain of figuring out the adept political schools of thought which have potential to pull the nation out of the ruts.
The hapless episode of Prof Sabharwal in Ujjain in 1980s and many such instances of callousness by  expedient student bodies deviate us from the bigger picture of politics.We need to acknowledge the suitability of  young minds in politics keeping in mind the  updated and comprehensive view of history,civics and geography of the nation  students have right after stepping out of school.At that stage they not only have the zeal to prove their mettle but also the drive to rectify things in society that affect them in the long run(reservations,communal politics,male chauvinism,for instance).
The pioneers of the Indian Constitution advocated  and legalised student  participation in elections which form  the most important political activity in the country.If so,then how do we expect students to remain good way off from politics while lecturing them to vote ahead of elections?
No points for guessing that in life,an absolute view does exist.So there comes the need to make such student involvement abuseproof against power-craving,avaricious student leaders enrolled as pets to local political parties.They have nothing to do with student welfare or political awareness.The Supreme Court order based on recommendations of Langdoh  commitee, laying down the guidelines for student union elections is a step in the right direction.Mandating  75% attenance for candidates and banning printed posters,open jeeps not only limits the political atmosphere of academic campuses but also ensures that student politics concentrates in genuine student  issues and finds relevant solutions to problems instead of aggravating the dilemma further.

                                 

The economic  crisis  with its sea of consequences namely  unemployment,corruption,crony capitalism calls for birth of conscious ans conscientious  leaders,not a  Modi wave.An active participation in politics by one and all,is the call of the day.And participation is not limited to standing in elections;it necessitates the will to stand for what is right.Besides,imagine our plight if our past leaders had shunned politics as dirty and pursued  self-yielding careers as British ‘babus’.