March 29, 2011

Been there, CEED that

To those of you who landed here looking for CEED options or discussion, you're in the wrong place. This post is by a guy who didn't make it.

First things first for the late comers. CEED is a design exam conducted by IIT Bombay for admission into it's Prestigious design programme. There are about 6 more colleges which admit students based on CEED rank. All my visitors and well wishers know I've been blabbering about it relentlessly for the last few months and even put aside all thoughts of getting a job in the hope(confidence) that I'd make it. Turned out I was way off.

Design encompasses a lot of things. Imagination, creativity, cognitive abilities and a lot more - Sketching is how you put it on paper. Coming from the one who didn't make the cut, the following lines may look one sided but bear with me.

Where I went wrong:

- I think I am good enough for getting in. My sketching is pretty amateur and I am still getting the hang of things on curves and complex 3-D illustrations but what's a two year course for? Even Harvard has a full semester for improving drawing skills for it's grad students!
I read a book on Sketching by Koos and Roselien where one of the tips for good sketching was to draw the guidelines- thin,fuzzy lines that show the dimension and shape of the object. Perhaps the examiner thought I was too rookie to draw those! I even drew those 2-D, 3-D guidelines to make things worse.

- I did not carry colors. I have enough color pencils and pens to open a shop but I wasn't carrying a single one on exam day. I don't know why I did that.There was a question on coloring two cars, one "masculine" and the other "feminine" I borrowed a couple of color pencils from Japheth: Brown and Green. I'd might as well left that question unanswered!

- I got distracted. I do this a lot and the guy sitting on my right was doing a fine job of wasting my time. Everything he drew looked perfect and he had awhole set of coloring material from little crayons to watercolors. The guy on my left was the other end of the spectrum... he drew like a small child. I should have realized then and there I was at the middle, literally and figuratively.

- Dad told me long long ago nothing will ever come of dabbling in everything. "Get your priorities straight and hold on to the thing you love most"
(Not his exact lines...that's too filmy)

I have a degree in Information Technology- And I tried getting into a design college- I do some photography too- I get excited looking at engines. Aeroplanes, trains, trucks..makes no difference- and then i do a bit of graphic designing too.

BUT... I am not good at anything. Ask me to write a complex program in Java- I'm screwed. CEED... you know already. Engine ... I know what Brake horse power is and how IC works but Engine Displacement? No. I design a poster or two in minutes...the vanity wears off just as fast.


- I was sick. Having pao and Kheema(minced meat) for breakfast and shammi for dinner a day before exam is a bad idea. It took a Metrogyl, lots of fluids and a totto empty stomach to get me through the exam. And bad health brings down thinking and productivity.

Where they went wrong

Enough about me. I read this long post by a CEED aspirant who didn't get admission last year. His gripe was that he was denied admission in spite of having more than a year of experience running a design studio. I saw his portfolio myself, it was awesome. He felt that the admission system was flawed and a rework of the exam pattern was needed. He got booed by IITians in the comments. Here are some of my observations/ questions:

- Were all the papers checked by a single examiner? Perception and views differ. What may seem like a good idea to one may look stupid to another.
If the papers were indeed corrected by several people I think it'd be safe to assume some deserving candidates were left out because the evaluator had had a bad day. Call it wishful thinking but I'll say the same thing happened to me.

- If you're really that good at filtering talent, why is it that several students who're now doing their masters at your place have crappy portfolios?
One can't get the dimensions straight on cars and another put up flowers. Like I said before, I am not that good either(I put up random amateur sketches of toothbrushes and stuff) but that bad? Did I deserve that score?

- Who closes registrations even BEFORE the results are out? A great job conducting the exam and all...even the website was well designed(pun not intended).

But opening and closing registrations(at one of the colleges) in a very short span of time and that too before the results were announced is a bad bad move.
And being one the best educational institutions in the country, you didn't think to add an email alerts widget to your main page?

My Google Page rank is still pretty low but, by some miracle, you're a CEED 2011 attendee and have something to share...feel free to write in a comment. From
what I've seen, the toppers are not very net savvy...nothing on Blogosphere about the exam or even Design for that matter!

March 22, 2011

African Chants always work wonders!

Just found a gem. I'd forgotten about the 2gb ambient trance folder on my desktop. Just stumbled across it while looking for another trance favorite. Their are hundreds of singles in here but one that's managed to win a place in my playlist is this one: Africa by Cirque De Soliel.

The first Youtube comment says it all: Just remember to crank up the bass and sit back!

March 19, 2011

Gaadi No. 11

"A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank" ~Author Unknown

I grew up in a township environment with everything: School, community center, Hospital and shopping center all within walking distance. I think I was in class 7 when we had this little ATLAS cycle with just one seat. My brother and I shared the main seat while he paddled and I held the handle and wait for sister rode on the back mud guard! We rode oblivious to the people laughing away at us. Then Dad got us a bicycle each. In a colony so small and well laid out, I never walked.

Fast forward 2006, I arrived in Hyderabad for my ""(seriously) and ended up in a college 50-freakin-kilometres from where I lived. If that wasn't bad enough, I was holed up at a place where the nearest point in all directions to public transport was a 15 minute walk. I endured it all, the first year being very important for getting the "engineering" tempo going and expected things to sort out next year. It was in the second year that I actually brought it up... I wanted a bike. The answer came just as quick... perhaps Dad was worried I'd take it to college(he was right... I would've) and the road to my college sees one or two fatal accidents a day on an average. So, I gave in and forgot all about it.

Turned out it would cost me dear. Third year was the year of mini projects and "top" students that were were, we scampered around looking for code for our projects(like i said, ""). Everytime I went to Ameerpet, half the time I was standing in a crowded bus and the other half lost on streets. And to those who don't know...trying to make your way to the door in a jam packed bus on a hot summer day or walking into oncoming traffic under haphazard wires and a million banners is in one word- HELL! Ditto hanging on to dear life in a shared-autorickshaw. Ladies get the rear seats while we sit on either side of the driver grabbing a rod to escape the centripetal forces. Add to that ear-shearing music from blaring tweeters. It's embarassing now to think how I used to wait for my cousin or some friend to come by and save me the misery.

Same thing in final year too. Project work, getting record books printed, exams, household chores... hell, even the nearest restaurant is more than a kilometer away. The last nail was when I was to attend an off campus placement drive somewhere in Secunderabad. I had to start at ^ A.M from home just to be safe and walked another half an hour to reach the venue. I reached well before time but I was tired as hell(no sleep the night before, so go figure).

Last weel I bought a used Air conditioner for my brother's room. He lives in a rented penthouse suite and the temperatures are already soaring. I opted to do the installation myself and ended up walking miles and miles to get the hardware. It took three long trips to get the L-brackets, another trip to get the nails and one really long walk with bhaiya's heavy drill kit. Razzu ended up with a sunstroke. I was one short so called in Juber... he's one friend who's never let me down in dire need. The AC is up and running now, after three days of hard, amateur labor.

On that note, I think I can better answer the JOB or STUDY question now...

I like to read through most of my Blog posts like a diary. This post is written with one sole purpose: years down the line when I (hopefully) drive a nice Sedan, this post will remind me of the toils of Student life.

March 15, 2011

Express Trance

James Zabiela never fails to impress. Last track I posted was his acclaimed "Moon" theme remix. This track, Kuriaki Express from his Renaissance 2009 set is surreal and intense.

The video however looks totally out of context(but safe for viewing) and the track is better heard sans it. With the bass turned up of course.

UPDATE: that vid WAS NFSW! sorry

March 5, 2011

신선한 공기 생각나는(Blast of fresh air)

A friend once commented "Kab tak blog karega. You'll get bored one day". Truly, I haven't posted a single "readable" post in the last two months. matter of fact, I haven't done anything interesting at all. My camera's sitting in it's bag, untouched. Every once in a while I pick up my pens and makers to sketch. Last update was two weeks ago so there goes.

Movies. How does watching three movies back to back sound? I am doing it everyday! After a slew of awful Hollywood movies like Predators, Mechanic and some comedy crap that was more obscenity than laughs ,I started looking elsewhere. Korea!

I got in the race late. A decade late actually... Korean movies started making a splash back in 2001 for their spontaneous humor, clean themes and tear jerking melodrama...The genre is popularly called "pure love". It all started with A Sassy Girl which, obviously, was the first movie I got. This is not a movie review but I can safely say this: NOBODY can hate this movie. I have a buddy who hates every movie I recommend- He'll like it too. he chemistry between the lead couple is so sugary sweet, they can give Hollywood stars a run for their money. And it cracks me up every time I see that poor bloke getting punched by the pretty actress Gianna Jun. MUST WATCH.

I then proceeded to get anything I could get my hands on. Some names: Windstruck, My girl and I, A millionaire's first love, A moment to remember, ...One theme common to most of these movies is Tragedy. In most cases it is a terminal disease affecting one of the leads, or a breakup as in My Sassy Girl and My tutor friend. It can get annoying sometimes(like when you're watching three movies at a go :-p) but you have to give it to Korea: they are good at this.
Very good.

A case in point is "A moment to remember"... The movie is so subtle and the actors so brilliant it left me with a huge lump in the throat. Hollywood can never pull this off. The story starts off with a premise we're all very familiar with: rich girl and poor boy. But that's about it. What follows is a script that is so moving and yet spotless clean(if you know what I mean), before long you're rooting so deep for the couple you don't want any harm coming to them!

I'm so digging Korean movies now! Have 12 already.

Some worth watching are listed below:

A Sassy Girl
A Moment to remember
My girl and I
A millionaire's first love
My tutor friend
How to keep my love

All movies are in native Korean which I think adds to the whole experience. English dubbing takes away the feel and intensity. Slow readers may face trouble catching the subtitles but the visuals themselves do the part nicely and lack of dialogue does not make a difference in most cases. Just turn up the music because scores rock! In every movie.

If they 'click' and you find yourself yearning for more and more of these, Google is right there to help you. Just remember to keep a box of Kleenex ready.