Friday, December 25, 2009

ABLE India Competition - Worth it

Time encompasses so fast that, till we are about to sort out memories of any incident or any event in our every day routine, some or other incident re brushes memory lane to wake it up to same experiences to show up.

I am on verge of letting our Bangalore trip's incidents to flow down here, in meanwhile its so exciting that I am jolting these down in midst of my preparation again to depart for same destination although with different mission in hand this time.

We (includes Me, Roshan -Team leader, Asmit, Moiz & Shreyash) had been to Bangalore for ABLE India competition with our team being selected one among top-20 at all India level for sending novel methodology to diagnose and treat Primary Glioblastoma (Brain tumor), with every team with their own concepts or technologies with some particular goal in mind. We became extremely proud when we read that we were selected among more than 200 applicants and selected one's being from different premier institutes like IIT's, etc. It's always great feeling to be with to compete with people of such grades.

We had booked our tickets for nice cool 2nd AC in Udhyan Express, with feelings reaching greater height when being informed that we would be getting reimbursement for all our traveling expenses and also that we have been provided accommodation in nice expensive suit of 5 star hotel. The journey in train was worth memorable from events like roshan starting installations in laptop as soon as we entered train from Kalyan, trying to get laptop charged, with Asmit sorting issues when he boarded train from Pune, watching movies like 'Andaz Apna Apna','Hangover', was really fun to get going.

We arrived in Bangalore on 24th morning and as we were given accommodation from 25th morning, we had to manage one day's stay, which we got it done with Shreyash's help, by getting flagship to stay at one of his friend's relative place. Typical South Indian welcome we got at their place, with warm coffee and a much needed breakfast just kept ready for us. We can hardly return back any favors from them for way we were made to feel being at home.

The day went quickly as lunch went heavy with most guys and made Roshan, Shreyash and Asmit sleep with wonderful dreams running around.Well as every team had to give power point presentation and restrictions like allowing only 5 slides maximum was itching us to rack our brains more for some innovation. With cheese serving as perfect trigger for moiz and with minor input from me of taking snapshots and adding them to slides. Moiz climbing perfectly on idea by not only taking snap shots but enlarging them on their occurrence during presentation. The idea worked perfectly fine.

Well as the lunch got digested and evening followed we had minor breaks in between and all 5 of us getting charged up. The dinner was again refreshing and was followed by small walk with moiz still searching for perfect food to satisfy his tummy. The night brought in more movies specially for moiz who loves hanging around not much far from any gadget when he is awake. The next morning was certainly more merrier as it was our time to get in to hotel.

The event was organized at Ramee Guest line Hotel and also place of our accommodation. We were split up during our on way to destination as Maruti 800 of the uncle (who took pains and time to drop us to venue) quite small in loading all of us heavy weights. So me and Shreyash had to board Auto, which dropped us in midway to catch bus as being instructed. The experience in that bus, I can never forget as our entry in bus was marked by large voice, which later on we realized was some south Indian hero giving war cry on villain from a movie running on television sets attached in bus. We very interestingly followed what went in the Kannada movie, trying to interpret with suddenly realizing that bus got in to last stop and we were suppose to catch some other vehicle to carry on, which allowed us to get experience of Volvo bus system, was truly memorable.

As we came across the ABLE India representatives at the venue, it brought us more cheers with we getting our part of the reimbursement. The rooms were extremely cool place to keep us attached to bed for long enough but as time schedule for the 3 day event was organized it needed us to be ready in short time interval and attend lecture series for next 2 days which were arranged to help us with our presentations on the 3rd day with topics ranging from Entrepreneurship, finance, new scientific innovations, Government initiatives for Biotechnology sector in India, etc with speakers like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw from Biocon, many leading personalities from Department of Biotechnology (DBT)-India. We were provided with wi-fi facility which was very much relief for all internet addicted generation staying there which helped also for building up blocks for the presentation along with inputs from different seminars.

The day of presentation was most thrilled as organizers had arranged Industrial Visits to Biocon but we choose of settling ourselves in our rooms and making presentation which was like brought in something like presentable form on 2nd day's night by moiz and shreyash. The morning sailed on with all of us forcing ourselves on laptops and trying give inputs for the presentation. The most memorable scene was that we had our presentation timed at 3 and we were still settling scores to prepare final copy and although we went for lunch it brought us sooner to room with tensions creeping to certain extent. At 2:30 few of us were almost ready and one guy which is moiz was very calmly making final touches to presentation and finally we did receive call twice from Nandita Mam (Chief coordinator) on our dear group leader Roshan's cell phone. As all of us reached to the seminar hall which was occupied only by the panel of judges waiting for each team to individually present their project proposals.

It was one of the most admiring moment for me as moiz who was suppose to present our proposal did not even go once through the final soft copy of presentation although time was also against it and it was indeed really interesting and pleasurable to watch roshan with such a big smile on his face with him getting free of giving presentation by getting nervous during our practice sessions. It is fun to watch how stress can change our expression status.

As we were called in for the presentation we all teamed up looking truly professional with everyone matching each other through their perfect formals and tie to go around. I definitely marked that we stood best among rest of the teams in being perfectly dressed up.

Introduction was given by me for our team leader and all of our team members followed by getting nod from panel for moiz to present and those 10 minutes he spoke like warrior trying to battling for his bride. After presentation time limit, we were put up with few questions with biggest hurdle which we understood was that we dealt with 2 things at one go the diagnosis and treatment. Choosing either of them would have helped us to give enough justice to push our idea in those most skilled brains present in the panel of judges. It was enough justice that moiz was still considered as person to give best presentation among all teams there ,which was award in itself.

As the presentation got over it was one of the most relief moments to follow with all of us heading for a much needed break by chilling out through photo session, interacting with other teams and relaxing by pool side although wait for results was building up among all.

The results were announced in evening session with 3 teams from different institutes getting awarded for ideas like 'Vein locator', 'Bio diesel project', etc. It left lump in the throat for not reaching final 3 but it did allow oxygen to enter with a feeling that we were left enriched with higher values, higher skills, loads of inputs at different aspects, giving us opportunity to truly be one among the best.

I would like to emphasize on the facts that when we come in terms on competition with people from institutes like IIT's or in our case the team which won 1st prize was from Stanford Biodesign is that to focus on resolving needs which seem very simple but are very effective in terms of their applicability like a 'vein detector'. Also point of focusing or addressing single aim at one time was principle lesson learn during our participation. It allowed us to self introspect at every aspect when we came in terms to other participants. It allowed giving us inputs which highlights term of 'acceptance' quality along with 'adaptability' like we were suppose to put forward budget for our proposal which needed us run our brains in finance.

The next day (28th July) was little shy in terms of activities as we were suppose to leave for our return journey back to Mumbai in evening through Udhyan Express, with we all choosing to relax in hotel room until our check out time. We got a Volvo bus back to station with ride giving Bangalore darshan sort of. The lunch comprised of KFC on the menu for non vegi's and me and asmit feasting on nearby mithai shop.

The return journey in train was again pleasurable with movies to recounting all the events to cheese feast by moiz next morning in train till Pune saw asmit waving off. As we got down at kalyan it did gave a feeling of satisfaction which was biggest gain for me from the journey and experiences throughout not only during journey but through our formulation of the project where moiz came up with idea, roshan working with high end animations to come up with some high end animated diagram, me getting chance to show skills by my writing by building requisites of proposal and getting laptops arranged, shreyash managing inputs from setting up meeting with pharma company owner to finding accommodation before our stay at hotel, asmit charging up with his knowing of scientist to allow us getting their inputs.

I can just summarize that it was made worth the part of life through loads of efforts, ideas, few months to put in from everyone of us each one contributing as much as possible, which has made richer in terms of experiences we all shared together, lessons we learned at each stage. Just wanna say 'Thank you Guys' to all my team members.

I would simply request people following this blog to keep a note of such encouraging events held regularly to actively participate which will help in scaling greater heights not only with individual self but also for finding applicability of one's own self to society.


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