Last few months, where I have been teaching this online 3D animation course, has also been a learning experience for me! I have met many young (not that I am old!!), minds, having passion, and aspiration to do something!
Many of these engineering graduate students have found their goals, however, there are few who aren’t sure of ‘what next?’. In fact, there are many of them, who feel, they cannot answer this question, ‘what next?’. It is because, they were not given a chance to choose their path!! Many admit that ‘engineering’ was NOT their choice as a career, but a compulsive plan forced on them by their parents/relatives, to which they have fallen prey! This is a suffocating situation for them, since academic pressure is increasing every passing day, and they just don’t feel that they ‘belong’ here!! I met few of them during this course. This series is a reflection of these interactions!!
After the start of the self pace mode of the course, I browsed through the list of the toppers in the earlier offering, and saw a name having an eMail ID of Somaiya College. I got curious, since I was going to visit that college the next week.
I mailed the participant: Suraj Walunj, and was waiting for the reply! I also gave him my cellphone number, and was waiting for his call/mail. A brief response came back, and had his cellphone number. I called him up hastily, and I heard, ‘Bol naa…‘, from the other end! Puzzled, I tried adding as much baritone to my voice and said, ‘Hello, I am Sameer Sahasrabudhe, and I called you regarding the 3D animation course you completed few months back!‘. There was a silence for few seconds, and then I suddenly heard an apologetic voice, ‘Sorry Sir, actually I thought it was some friend..! So spoke to you in a casual manner, Sorry‘. It took me a long time to convince him, that I did not feel offended, on the contrary I was eager to meet him! We decided to meet on the Saturday, at Somaiya, and I was looking forward to that meeting. In next few seconds, I got an SMS, ‘Sorry Sir‘!!
At Somaiya, I had a session up to 1 PM, and a break for an hour for lunch. I had kept a message at the office to ask Suraj Walunj to wait for me if he comes early! I hurried to the office, after my session, and saw a student waiting!!, it was Suraj! Thin, lean, but brimming with confidence and showing the anxiety of meeting the ‘online teacher’ in person! I asked him about his education, family, and aspirations… and unfolded another story of a phoenix!
Suraj, comes from a Marathi family, and is pursuing his final year of B Sc in IT at Somaiya college, Vidyavihar. He had a strong liking for drawing, painting, and film making, however since the scope for these professions is rather unstable (which is not completely true), his family insisted him to pursue B Sc (IT). Quite reluctantly, did he started, but was missing his passion at times. He did show the spark, when he bagged awards for the fine arts competitions at Mood Indigo (the cultural fest of IIT Bombay). He was pleasantly surprised to know about this course! Enrolled for it, and put in 100% of his efforts, to be among the toppers of the course.
One thing which was good to hear from him, was that he hasn’t left Blender, after the course. A video submission for the Multimedia, course in the class, made him use his Blender skills, and he created a nice video:
He learnt low-poly animation, and completed this animation using his i3 computer having 4GB of RAM, and 10 sleepless nights!! Over this period, he also taught some basic animation techniques to some of his friends!! He aspires to become an animator one day, and is working towards it, by grabbing every possible opportunity which comes his way!
Hats off to you Suraj, for the sustaining your passion!! Keep it up, and all the very best!!