My IISc, my life: a student perspective

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Santosh Aparanji, CeNSE,

  • Give a grad student a wish and they’ll want to join IISc. Teach them the work ethic in IISc, and they’ll bring you laurels for a lifetime!

Subhayan Sahu, UG,

  • Since 1909, when it came to be, Thousands have drunk in its glory; Getting in is tough But leaving is more rough Such is the charm of IISc!

Sivaram Prasad mudunuri,EE,

  • Illuminate your imagination through fundamentals and curiosity.

Sarthak Sharma, ME,

  •  If used wisely, the diverse opportunities at IISc’s beautiful campus can not only improve you, but also empower you to improve the world.

Fiyanshu, Mat.Engg,

  •  Conducive research environment, dedicated professors, abundant freedom, amazing people & mesmerising weather. In short IISc is the place to be.

Pankaj Dey, CE,

  • Small idea will have small consequences. Big ideas will transform our world. IISc is the nursery of big ideas.

Anindo Chatterjee, CeNSE,

  •  The Land of Books, Brains and Bazinga!

Sindhuja,MS,

  • Pinnacle of Nobel Minds

Kishan P B, ECE,

  •  The first of its name which has the power to make luck an opportunity, is the modern Takshashila and Nalanda; and a reverie for most pupils.

Preetika Tandon,

  •  IISc – Where you don’t just follow your dreams, you live your dreams.

Reshma Shenoy, MTech, ESE (Joined IISc in 2015)

Having done my schooling and graduation in Mumbai (a period of 16 years), I really wanted a “change”. A change that would make me fiercely independent, confident and motivated. Today, almost in my last month of Master’s Program in DESE, I can scream to the world and say that I have achieved most of the above. Meeting people with different attitudes and knowledge has made me more open-minded. Despite being an electronics student, my realm of knowledge increased not only in one domain but also in several others. My interest in birds and wildlife especially was triggered by interactions with friends in the biology and CES departments. My determination to be physically fit was imbibed here. I started to learn kung-fu and swimming. I played badminton and am currently being coached for lawn tennis. I realized the importance of staying healthy for a good and happy life. I also got the opportunity to be a part of the women’s welfare committee and help my fellow mates with their problems; this made me more considerate and thoughtful. Whenever I felt low or wanted a break, a walk near the Main Building, listening to the melodious birds in Jubilee gardens or even a coffee at Prakruthi could heal every bit of it, which showed me that you do not really need fancy things to cheer yourself up. Nature will do it in its own mysterious way. IISc is truly one of its kind. Lucky are we, to have experienced and learnt from it 🙂

Utkarsha Dhanwate, MTech, CH (Joined IISc in 2016)

Casting magic spells at Hogwarts was my aim, the little day dreamer that I was back then. Now that I see Eigen values floating in my dreams, I can firmly justify that life has changed a lot after coming to IISc. Life works in mysterious ways, sometimes accidentally, sometimes brutally, sometimes vehemently and sometimes wonderfully. Research at IISc is the same! The word “Re-search” itself says repeat your search. When you are not getting your results, you repeat your experiments or simulations multiple times, each time implementing a new idea. Thus, passion for your work and hard work are indispensable bounties of life at IISc. Asking the right questions, at the right time, to the right person marks the difference between success and failure. For that, understanding the mood of your professor is one unique thing that I have learnt here. I have learnt to optimize not only my simulation results but also all the aspects of my life since time management is not optional. Working late nights in the labs, loitering around at Gym Café and Prakruthi, occasional walks around the campus especially near the main building, blurting out all the frustrations while sitting at Sankey lake with friends, eating at NIAS and BEL road, all sum it up. But the most important thing that IISc has taught me is to compete in the right direction. Be it studies, research, play or relationships, it has made me realize how each one of us follows different paths. Not everyone has a girlfriend/boyfriend, but everyone sure has a friend in the form of their research!

Santosh Aparanji, PhD, CeNSE (Joined IISc in 2015)

On my first visit to IISc, I saw only things serene, Verdant Gulmohar Marg would make Cubbon park go green. My admission to IISc being on July fourteen, There was more to explore than the Prakriti canteen! In my coursework, I realized that the professors were keen, And of stellar ken, so it took time to get what they mean. But once we grasped the concepts, we could beat Einstein, And with state-of-the-art labs, we could make Frankenstein. The talks and seminars I attended abounded with caffeine, Revolving around bosons, photons and every kind of protein, And machine learning, quantum mechanics, and things unforeseen, It gives immense pleasure to know a researcher’s doctrine. The students here are not confined to a monotonous routine, When I leave my hostel and mess food’s salad green, I’d reminisce about the day when IISc was first seen, Thank everyone here who may make me known to the Queen, But in my heart I’ll forever keep the spirit of IISc evergreen!

Sarthak Sharma, MSc(Engineering) ME, (Joined IISc in 2015)

Getting admission in IISc was a dream come true. It’s been an honour to get so many opportunities at India’s best university. My life has changed dramatically since I came to this beautiful campus.

Technical: From advanced courses to cutting-edge research, IISc has shown me the forefront of engineering and science. Professors here emphasize the importance of not only being proficient in technical and communication skills, but also applying those skills for the betterment of the world.

Socializing: IISc is the first place where I experienced hostel life (and its freedom). Never before did I have so many crazy (yet intelligent) friends from all over India and abroad, with whom I shared memorable times. Celebrating friends’ birthdays at midnight, adventurous trips with them, etc. helped me handle stress.

Extra-curriculars: Sports, gym, swimming, kung-fu, dance, music, drama…IISc has everything! Researchers here are truly diverse and multi-talented.

Time management: Balancing coursework, research, extra-curriculars, and personal life has taught me how to extract maximum results from available resources. If used wisely, the diverse opportunities available at IISc can not only improve you, but also empower you to improve the world. I am proud of IISc, and I hope to make IISc proud of me.

Siddharth Nair PhD, CPDM ( Joined IISc in 2016)

Being an entrepreneur, I always thought that there can’t be anything in the universe as exciting as and more chaotic than my start-up and the dream that I have been chasing around for a while. I was proved wrong; the world of research is equally exciting, chaotic and about being in the moment, if not more. The difference is that we keep discovering, inventing, re-inventing, innovating and improving ourselves at each and every moment, and for numerous problems around us without being restricted by our skills or resources. IISc has taught me a new way of life. In a very short time I have been living and reliving my life as never before. It is not only the environment and the thrill of research but the intellectuals around who inspire me all the time. Life could not be better, and the best part is that I am living my dream and enjoying the moment, but at the same time really excited with the unknowns around and the zeal to probe them.

Pankaj Dey, PhD, CE (Joined IISc in 2015)

I believe that IISc is the best thing that has happened to my life. It has changed my view of life both personally and professionally. Professionally, the courses and interactions with fellow students and professors have given me enough courage to handle practical problems and come out with techniques to address real life problems, like the influence of climate change on water resources. Long discussions and honest criticisms from them have opened my mind to new avenues, to think differently. Personally, it helped build many latent aspirations in me. I have a small group of friends with whom I share my experiences regularly and I learned the value of bondage of hearts. I am learning different subtle qualities of human nature in these associations and am trying to build them in myself. I became acquainted with different genres of literature, Hindustani Classical music, and especially with the Sankirtan group for imparting a sense and culture of spirituality among students. I strongly believe this will cast a dominating spell on my quality and meaning of life. I believe that IISc is the destination of India’s brightest, most creative and original people who are contributing globally.

Ullas Aparanji, PhD, CSA (Joined IISc in 2016)

THE BIRD SET FREE: The Bird had no inkling of the power of its majestic wings. It remained blissfully unaware of even the predators that lurked in the world outside its cage. For the cage was the only world it knew, having been born in it. The bars of the cage were its arpeggios of solace in tumultuous and sorrowful times. The knowledge that life could possibly have been a struggle was forbidden and beyond the reach of its confined intellect. Meanwhile, other birds of its kind would pass by the Caged One every day and would keep lamenting to themselves and to it about how it was missing the sheer magnificence of life, which none of them could even begin to describe (well, that was because they had a limited vocabulary, being birds after all, but that’s beside the point). The Caged One was unable to fathom what they meant, and so continued its existence in its own universe. One day, a few of the birds with the weight of all their combined talon-power, broke open the rusted hinges of the cage that enclosed the Bird. The universe outside its universe was utterly incomprehensible, yet tantalizing. The mere acknowledgement of the existence of a universe outside what it had always known transformed it. And it pursued its freedom in the lost transcendence of a world it always knew, to be replaced by a plethora of vistas unimagined. And this is the metaphor for how IISc has changed my life.

Sindhuja C. V., PhD, MS (Joined IISc in 2011)

In the midst of buzzing traffic, sizzling market & tech city of Bangalore, their lies a small academic village with the resident name ‘Tata Institute’. The bus conductor cries aloud pushing air from his lungs, “yaru ri TATA INSTITUTU? Stop bantu Ilokili.” (“Tata institute stop has come; get down!”). Take autos or cabs to travel, and they identify IISc by the name of Tata: the great personality who laid the foundation of this institution and was inspired by the words of Swami Vivekananda. His name is still alive as a reference or landmark to commoners, but not aware of the legacy, I was one among them. On the other hand, there are a few intellectuals especially senior citizens of the city, who know every detail about the institute, either as alumni or through their relatives. The moment they recognize that we are students, they treat you as part of the research family, and thus it grows. Adding to the family, we have a large number of resident & migratory birds, snakes, monkeys and dogs to keep us aware, and alert! Our village is the pinnacle of noble minds blended with multiple cultures, disciplines and foodies. It is an exceptional family.

Ananya, PhD, PH 

In a nutshell, IISc is all about self-realization and nurturing new aspects. For example, I learnt cycling here which is quite similar to get into the groove of my research life. Which is why now I am not afraid of falling, because I know that I will rise again on my own, no matter how bad the fall. This realization may be very common, yet so special, just like the way Tyrion Lannister in “Game of thrones” said, “Wear your weakness as armour and it can never be used to hurt you.” Coming back to professional life, sometimes it does demand too much that we all end up becoming a machine. In fact, we are always in a hurry that we eventually stop enjoying the charm and magic of the surroundings. However, one night, on my way back to the hostel, I came to notice the beauty of the leaves dancing in the breeze which made me realize, why such a hurry? “Safar khoobsurat hai manjil se bhi.” So, from looking at white clouds floating in the clear sky or a walk through the rain, I began to appreciate every moment.

Shanuja Sasi, MTech,  ECE (Joined IISc in 2016)

I’m going to take you to a mysterious land where everything has a lot of stories to tell you. Away from the land of familiar faces, what awaits you here is a life that always makes you hunt for the treasure left by unknown people. Walking along alluring paths, it feels like a breath of fresh air. Days no longer seem to be easy now. You just get to work harder day by day. When you get bored, just go out and listen to the music nature has composed for you. You can never feel lonely in this world of happiness. Nature, the best companion in this world, does not hurt you intentionally. Its very existence is to bring a smile to your face. A long walk can wash away all your sorrows. With the change of seasons, it never fails to surprise you with different gifts. Just sit under a tree (of course there are plenty of them). It just washes away your tears with its leaves and pours flowers on your head to make a crown for you. You are always its prince/princess. Sometimes it punishes you for your naughtiness with its branches also. However, it is always there to protect you. You just accumulate all these priceless moments along with accomplishing your dream. Step into this world. This will be the best journey of your life.