Through the Goggles of a Graduate: Krishna Rao (Stroke)

T5E brings to you a collection of precious moments from the insti lives of some of our ’14 passouts in a week-long miniseries, which you can check out here. The first in the series, here are some pearls of wisdom from Stroke:

As an uninitiated freshie, I was astounded by the variety of things one could do in insti — from Tech-soc jugaads to highly competitive LitSoc quizzes to intensely spirited Schroeter games. I was hungry to consume every bit of this wide bouquet of activities that insti had to offer. It was soon clear to me that cult and lit events were not my thing. So I chose to pursue sports and tech-related activities with escalated enthusiasm. Owing to the tight constraints I put myself under, almost all my days started at 5 am and continued till about midnight.

Throughout the sem, I enjoyed unconditional support from the faculty who encouraged me to pursue hobbies while ensuring that my academic responsibilities were not affected in any way. I looked up to the amazingly talented seniors who had the urge to do something good for the community, the drive to excel in whatever they chose to pursue, and yet had the time and patience to address the doubts and concerns of juniors. With that admiration and the constant company of an extremely supportive peer group, different layers of life at insti unfolded.

The Academic Grind

Taking a common piece of advice from all my seniors, I was clear that academic commitments came before any of my extra- and co-curricular activities. I tried my best to keep pace with the rigorous academic curriculum of the initial sems. If not daily, I saw to it that backlogs were cleared on a weekly basis. As the semesters passed, I increasingly interacted with more profs outside the class and was amazed by their knowledge and expertise. Every interaction left me even more enchanted.

This made me realize that there is so much more than just meets the eye, and taught me to trust experience rather than perception.

A Dip in the Blues

Having been a competitive swimmer in my school days, I was quickly taken in by the Institute Aquatics Team. The enduring times I have spent with the team, which proudly calls itself the “Madras Sharks”, have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. It has let me experience the taste of victory as well as the sting of defeat. As I played water-polo to represent our institute, I realized that the game is much more than merely a sport. The arena has been a constant source of learning for me, not only when it comes to superficial game tactics, but also about insightful lessons of teamwork, dedication, struggle and perseverance. It is astonishing to see how some of the simplest things have such a profound impact in your life.

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When the goal is set and several things have to be let go, sacrifices are no longer seen as detriments. They seamlessly become part of the journey to the goal.  

Tech — Tonic

By the end of the second semester it was clear that I would be going through routine phase shifts, juggling between my sports and tech related activities each semester. My extra-curricular activities and PoRs taught me a lot about multitasking and time management, while also helping me keep my sanity and serving as stress busters. Through CFI, like everyone, I too went through the observe-learn-do-manage-lead phase. Climbing up the ladder in an organization was a whole new experience as at each new stage, the same problem was viewed with vastly different ideologies. As time went past, and as I met more and more simplistic and hardworking people there, CFI became dearer to me. I reached a stage where my sole motto was to give back to the place which had largely shaped me as an individual.

I wanted to leave the place in a better state than what it was when I entered, thus contributing to the eternally evolving eco-system we live in.


Throughout my insti life, seniors have a played an integral role in my decision making and I wouldn’t be what I am if not for those mentors who were more than willing to provide gyan whenever I faced difficult situations. They’re the reason I had the determination to solely pursue the things I’m passionate about. Once a decision was taken, looking back wasn’t allowed, since regretting was unprofessional, as they had told me. Besides, I have been extremely lucky to have had the company of some of the most amazing profs. Even now, whenever I go around distributing sweets to professors if there’s a celebration, it is me who has to interrupt the conversation and look at the watch to indicate that it’s time!

For each thing I have managed to achieve in the span of four years, there are always those two-three things which remain an elusive dream. But my appetite for learning far exceeded the fear of failing and that sole motivating force kept me up and running. As I leave this prestigious institute with a heavy heart, I have nothing but respect for the people who played a role in creating this positive, open and nurturing environment. There is something very unique about this place. All one has to do is to be bold and experience it.Stroke

About the author: Krishna ‘Stroke’ Rao graduated this Convocation with a B. Tech. (Hons) in Civil Engineering. Apart from maintaining an excellent academic record, Krishna’s contributions to insti involve a four-year-long stint as an active member of CFI and an equally long tenure in the Institute Aquatics team, the Madras Sharks. Krishna’s many contributions to insti were recognized when he won the Institute Blues Award (Silver). He will soon be joining Schlumberger.

If you graduated this Convocation, and would like to share your experiences on T5E, get in touch with us very soon at [email protected].

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