One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements. What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. –Anais Nin
Congratulating the new Club leaders, Pulse NITK presents the third edition of ‘In House’ series, where we sat with Raahul Ravichander (NITKRacing captain), Linu Elizabeth George (Music club con) and Nikhil Varghese (ISTE con) to discuss the future plans and the working of the Clubs in 2020-21.
Raahul Ravichander – Captain, NITKRacing
-First of all congratulations on your new position. I would like to start by asking about the general plans for the upcoming year? What is in the pipeline for NITKRacing while the build is on hold?
Thank you. The plan is to go big this year. Having participated at Formula Bharat for the last two seasons, we now have a clearer understanding of the competition and we’re taking a more strategic approach this time around. Having learnt a lot from the 2019 season, the car was built from the ground up for the 2020 season. NR20 was tested extensively and scrutinised by world-renowned judges. For NR21, we plan to address the small niggles we had in NR20 and return to Formula Bharat 2021 stronger than ever. Not being able to work on the car or meet up physically is quite a challenge. However, I’m looking at the bright side. Because the build is on hold temporarily, we now have the luxury of time. We are going to use this time to upskill, mobilise funds and build upon our technical knowledge so that we can hit the ground running the moment we can resume our build. To aid in this, we have also started reaching out and interacting with our team alumni. Having interacted with some alumni from as far back as 10 years ago, we can now reflect on past seasons’ performance, challenges and successes. So, we are going to use this time to advance not only in technical knowledge but also prepare better for the event.
-According to you, what responsibilities do the NITKRacing team members hold and what duties should they fulfil?
The only prerequisite to be a part of the Racing team is passion. When the team is passionate, we can make it work no matter what. This team and the car has ignited a passion in each team member at some point during their tenure in the team. All I expect is for them to keep that passion in mind during the easy times and trying times alike. My main responsibility, as I see it, is to set an achievable yet challenging goal and ensure that the team doesn’t lose their direction.
-How is the team collaborating in these times, and what are the new problems the team will face in the pandemic?
We are still coordinating and working on our car despite not being physically present together. We meet up at least once a month and have been doing so since we left college back in March. The entire design phase was completed with everyone working remotely. We managed to meet and collaborate using platforms such as google meets. It was a challenge to communicate effectively, especially when it comes to working with many other teammates on a design. We have tried solving the problem by increasing the frequency of our meets and trying to communicate via phone calls as much as possible. The thing I miss the most is being able to relax and hang out with my teammates. We try to keep all conversations in the group strictly professional. So, we usually unwind together and socialise while working on the car. This is something that we are certainly missing out on this time. Breaking the ice and forging a personal and informal bond is a lot more difficult this time.
Linu Elizabeth George – Music Club Convenor
-A new year with new challenges and a totally different situation. What do you feel are your new responsibilities as the Music Club Con?
My responsibility as convenor is mainly to provide a platform to showcase the talent of all the members of our club, and a source of enjoyment and entertainment for everyone in college. It is especially important that I maintain the events and activities within the club for the next few months so that we can land on our feet when the college reopens. This club is a stress buster to most of its members, a place of artistry and freedom. It is a passion that drives our members, not recognition. For this very reason, I hope to make the club feel like home, because that, I believe, is when creativity truly flows.
-What are your plans for the Music club in the upcoming year? Can we expect something new or different, given the situation?
This year, or at least part of it, will involve a complete overhaul of the regular Music Club schedule. While that may be challenging, it would also give us a chance to explore fresh, out-of-the-box ideas, which is certainly exciting. With all the uncertainty surrounding when the college will reopen, my plans for the club are constantly evolving. My main goal is to continue the club activities on the various platforms as and when possible, be it virtual or otherwise. We have already conducted a virtual KEP on ‘Home Studio’ which churned out a lot of interest, and we plan to continue holding such events. We also successfully completed an Instagram series where our members honoured artists as part of Pride Month. The enthusiasm within the club in addition to the overwhelming response has proved that no matter what the obstacle, with passion and determination, we will prevail.
‘Music Night’ is a college staple I hope to continue once college reopens. I also plan to keep our music production team busy, by working to release covers and originals. This is furthermore an ideal time for us to accelerate our social outreach on platforms like Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, and it is definitely something that we will be striving for through the upcoming year.
-Do you have any expectations for the fellow members of the Music club?
My team is already performing far more than I could have ever expected in these times. With the help of my supportive core, I have full faith that we will be able to make the club reach new heights. My personal expectation from every member is for them to keep honing their musical talents. These few months could be the perfect time to pick up a new instrument, musical skill or simply to practice. I believe that we will together be able to overcome the difficulties posed by the current virtual state of things.
Musicians will always be musicians, and our club members have continued to make covers and originals even in the last few months. I hope and encourage more members to partake in the same. I believe this creative attitude will stay strong throughout the year.
Nikhil Varghese – Convener, ISTE
-ISTE is one of the most active clubs in the college, what are the new changes that we can see in the club? What can we look forward to this year?
- Well, we’ve spent a lot of time deliberating over the various transitions we would need to make to adjust to the new normal. Seeing as how the coming sem might be online, ISTE’s Events will definitely need some revamping to be applicable on a virtual platform, but after having conducted a virtual expo and a virtual farewell, we think that with a little creativity and some technical prowess, anything is possible. The club’s computer SIG, Crypt has members with a flair for game development. We are leveraging these skills to make virtual equivalents of some of our events. We are even exploring creating a virtual, 3D rendered version of the entire campus for some of our events, to give the incoming freshers a feel for what to expect when they finally do enter the campus.
- In a general sense, the club is also looking to invite more industry experts for our workshops, particularly during transcend. In fact, ISTE Credit’s webinar series for MBA and higher studies aspirants, BizTalks was our first initiative in that direction.
- Our projects will proceed as usual, with an extra emphasis on research-oriented projects that some of our members are looking to take up, with the added caution to account for the fact that a good portion of the academic year will be online. After the success of DARK, a game developed by ISTE Crypt with characters and environments modelled by ISTE Create, and a script written by ISTE Chronicle, the club is looking to encourage more such inter-SIG collaborations for projects.
- Building team rapport is a culture we take very seriously in ISTE. The team is also exploring fun ways to promote healthy interaction and bonding between members and new recruits for the upcoming academic year.
-Any general guidelines that you may have for the club members?
Primarily, commitment. ISTE has always valued that in our recruitments, so it’s safe to say we have faith that our members have no lack of commitment.
As for these trying times, the next thing I’m looking for is innovation. As lucky as the club is to have an established set of flagship events, the changing scenario has led us to rethink the way we’re currently doing things, and for us to have a successful year, we’re going to need some pretty great ideas to sustain our activities as a club on a virtual platform.
-Reaching a position of great responsibility, what do you feel are your duties as the ISTE convenor?
- To spread a sense of calmness and composure at all times. Working for a club that’s as active as ISTE can get hectic at times, and it’s important to prevent the team from panicking when things don’t always go according to plan.
- To be approachable. I’m going to need my team to confide in me and feel free to approach me for anything. We keep the chain of command pretty direct in our club and encourage members to approach any of us in the core freely. It’s their opinions and ideas that make the club what it is today.
- To plan ahead, and establish a sense of clarity throughout the year. In these uncertain times, it takes a lot of work on the drawing board to work out our course for the year. I can’t begin to count the number of to-do lists I had already made within a week of taking charge, but it’s my responsibility to pave the way forward, and in doing so motivates everyone else to follow suit.