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Nostalgia - My Facebook lookback

Thank you Facebook for the lovely video featuring my most cherished moments over the last 4 years! Happy 10th Birthday to Mark and his team :)

The Story of My Life - My first Speech

Satyadeep Cover

I recently joined the Toastmasters club at my office to hone my public speaking skills. Toastmasters is an international organisation which helps people develop communication and leadership skills through interesting workshops and sessions.

This is the first prepared speech I gave at Toastmasters and as far as I remember, this is the first real speech I ever delivered. I tried to summarize my journey of life so far in 5 minutes, highlighting important aspects from my childhood, school, college and my perception towards life.

Please let me know your bouquets and brick-bats in the comments below.

(Scroll down for the full text of the speech)

Following is the full text of the speech.

Life is not about chasing, its about living. All our life, we are chasing things oblivious to the fact that it's the journey which makes life interesting rather than the destination. 

Here is the story of my journey so far in this mystical phenomenon called Life. I am Satyadeep and I was born in the year 1991 in a town called Tenali in Andhra Pradesh. After my early childhood in the town, we moved to the city of Vizag in 5th standard.

My story would be incomplete without the story of my parents - because they are the reason, I am standing before you today. My father is the son of a mechanic and he had a dream of becoming an engineer. But since my grandfather couldn't afford it, he studied M.Sc. in chemistry. Though he couldn't become an engineer,as a chemistry teacher for 11, 12th students, he has been helping young students achieve their engineer dreams for the past 25 years (And I am also glad that I am engineer too!)

Let us now go back to the days when I was not so tall. As a kid, my school days flew away very playfully.The studies too went on like a breeze without any sort of pressure. I feel very lucky to have studied in a school in which morals, ethics and Indian culture are given good importance along with sports and activities. I think they have a value for a lifetime. Talking about studies, English was my most hated subject and no wonder it was the lowest scoring subject in all classes. But the irony is that, my mother was an English teacher for 11th and 12th, which many people wouldn't believe seeing my English scores. Hence, I stand as a corroboration to the popular Telugu saying, "Punditha putra parama suntha" which translates as "A pundit's son is the biggest stupid".

I had the fascination for computers and games from a very young age. I was 6 years old, when we first got a computer at home. Those were the days when hard disk was just 2 GB (yes, you heard me right, hard disk and not ram) and 32 MB of memory. I loved playing games like RoadRash kicking opponents' bikes. One thing, I gained out of that fascination are these glasses which you see and which help me to see.

When I grew up to 10th standard - people used to say, beta if you do well, your life will be amazing. I studied well and cleared with a good percentage. But I quickly realized that, the amazing life people said, is not anywhere near! Then, I took up IIT-JEE coaching for 11th and 12th. People again said, beta if you crack JEE, your life will be settled. Though I was not very intelligent, I had put in a lot of hard work burning the midnight oil. My hard work paid off and I cracked JEE with flying colors. I chose Computer Science at IIT Guwahati mainly owing to my prior fascination for computers.

In the first few months at college, I was blown away by the different kinds of people there with varied interests. I made some good friends for life with ever lasting relationships. College gave me lot of potential to hone my hobbies & interests. I discovered my passion for photography here and even made a short film which bagged over 10,000 hits on Youtube. One thing I didn't like about me is that I used to get very angry and frustrated over little things. My friends fondly called my excited state as Satya 2.0 when I was actually not fond any more at that moment. But, I have been regularly doing Yoga and meditation for the last 6 months, thanks to the Art of Living program, which helps me to put Satya 2.0 at bay! The story of my college would easily make up a topic for another speech. To summarize, I had the best 4 years of my life there!

During the placement season at college in the final year, people again said, beta if you do well here, you will get a good job and your life will be settled. Once again, I believed them - I did well and landed a good job here. Coming out of the cocoon into the real world, it feels like it's just a beginning out here and a lot different from the life at college. The people are not quiet even now, now they say, "If you do well here, you will have a successful career and even a good wife!"

Connecting the dots backward from where I am standing now, I believe in Randy Pausch's theme from the last lecture - Life shouldn't be lived as a pursuit of happiness, but as a celebration of happiness. As I said before, it's not the discrete points which constitute life, but the whole line which defines the journey of Life.

Looking forward into the future, I have many dreams like everyone of you - and I don't know the path to realize them, but all I know is that it starts with a small step - like the one I have taken today.

Thank you.

Freedom behind bars [Photo]

"Break yourself Free from the Routine, for Real happiness lies beyond those Bars..."

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]Freedom behind bars Freedom behind bars - by Satyadeep K[/caption]

Park bench on a rainy day - How it all started...

Way back in the winter of January, when we just returned from our homes for the final semester of our four delightful years at  IIT Guwahati. I was fascinated towards photography for quite a long time and wished to try my hand at it, but was limited by the fact that I do not have a camera. But this time, being the last semester I didn't want my campus memories to just fade away and got the modest Sony DSC-S750 point and shoot camera along with me.

Then one fine afternoon, the weather turned cloudy and it suddenly started raining. Luckily, I always carry the camera with me just in case any interesting stuff turns up.  Then I realized it was the perfect time for me to start exploring my surroundings as everything looked brilliant just after the rain. Though, initially I was shy about taking photos in public, I tried to overcome this by going out with a group of friends instead of me trying out alone.

So when I was looking for some scenes which capture the mood of the weather, I was fascinated by this park bench which was wet by the tiny droplets of the rain. I positioned the cam to get this perspective and I was amazed by the kind of quality and the shallow depth of field produced by my tiny 7.2 MP point & shoot cam. I found the macro mode to be particularly alluring as it opened up a whole new micro-world for me. I went on exploring more close up shots ranging from flowers to insects and weeds, each one of them looking fresh and vibrant after the downpour. I will be posting those soon and this is first in this series of my hand at some Photography stuff. Stay tuned!!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="A matter of perspective: We don't see things as they are, We see things as we are... (Click image for bigger size)"]Park bench[/caption]