I was preparing for my talk by adjusting and reviewing the slides for presentation. Over hundred students are waiting in the Auditorium of the National Institute of technology at Agartala in Tripura which is almost another end of our country. Before I could tuck the phone into the bag I saw my sister’s message,

“Baba Kaka no more”.

It was a shocking information. I called her to confirm. Unfortunately, news was correct! It was few weeks back that I heard about him suffering from cancer.

Babakaka was an ever helpful person, who had a charismatic presence. I have seen him sail through critical situations with a calm and composed manner.

One incident that was a life changer for me was when he introduced me to Prof. Phatak. This triggered my long association with IIT Bombay. I received many accolades and scaled new heights both as a person and also as a professional, however, it is this introduction that led to these. I would always be indebted to him for this priceless gesture.

Babakaka was known to be a problem solver. I have seen him manoeuver from most critical situations. It could be a travel issue or a local political issue, he always knew the way to get over it. His cool but systematic approach made the problem look negligible.

It was a bizarre coincidence, that just like he was witness to my first day at IITBombay, I was a witness to his last day at IITBombay. He nominated me to accompany him to click the photographs of his last day tea session with the Director of IITBombay.

Like many have said earlier, one can take a person from IITBombay, but cannot take out IITBombay from a person. Babakaka was a living example of this. Wherever he was, there wasn’t a single day when he didn’t remember IITBombay.

Another interesting interaction with him was through the letters we exchanged. He had a penchant for writing detailed but well planned letters. If I’m not wrong, he is the only person I have seen writing bullet points in a letter!! But, I realised this structure made the letter quite usable. You could clearly figure out the points and act upon them!

I’m falling short of words to pen down his bio sketch. Memories are flooding and I find it difficult to get them in using a phone to type this…as I sit at the Kolkata airport, waiting for the flight to Mumbai. I will miss him, just like many others! I offer my respects to him. It is a huge loss to all of us.


New additions to the course

Kaumudi and I had received many suggestions and comments of augmenting the animation course. Therefore we decided to add few new videos which will discuss animation principles and their application. The current course that we are offering on edX was a good chance to undertake this  augmentation process. Kaumudi initiated a new video which will talk about the principle of anticipation followed by an example where it can be applied.

48CC06C9-71C2-41A0-8CCF-30FFE9129699We are done with it and the videos are almost ready for release this Friday. The learners who have enrolled in course available on IITBombayX need not worry, since this video will also be added to the course which is offered there.

We will share the feedback of the learners who have a look at it with all of you very soon.

Keep watching this space

विलास मामा | Vilas Mama

आत्ताच ‘हिचकी’ हा सर्वांगसुंदर चित्रपट पाहिला! Tourette Syndrome नामक आजारामुळे विचित्र आवाज करणारी आणि त्या मुळे सातत्याने टीका आणि उपहास सहन करणारी नयना माथुर पाहिली, आणि तक्षणी मला आमच्या जवळ राहणारा विलास मामा आठवला. मला माहित नाही की विलास मामाला Tourette Syndrome आहे की अजून कुठला आजार, परंतु बोलता बोलता मानेला झटके दिलेले आम्ही अनेकदा पाहिलेलं आहे. आम्हाला त्याची सवय होण्यासाठी काही दिवस लागले.

हा मामा काही तरी वेगळेच हावभाव करतो, हे आमच्या लक्षात यायचे. पण त्याचे कारण एखादा Tourette सारखा आजार असू शकतो, हे कळलंच नाही. आम्ही मुलं त्याची नक्कल करायचो, चेष्टा करायचो. त्यामागे त्याला त्रास देण्याचा हेतू कधीही नव्हता, पण त्याचे विचित्र हावभाव आणि त्या मागचे खरं कारण माहित नसल्यामुळे न कळत्या वयात झालेली ती एक चूकच होती! आज पडद्यावर राणी मुखर्जीचा अभिनय बघताना विलास मामाची आठवण झाली, आणि स्वतः ची खूप लाज वाटली.

ह्या काळात मला प्रकर्षाने जाणवलेली गोष्ट म्हणजे माझ्या आजीने विलास मामाला दिलेली वागणूक! विलास मामा मराठी पुस्तकांचे घरपोच वाचनालय चालवत असे. आठवड्यातील दोन दिवस पुस्तकांनी भरलेली पिशवी घेऊन तो आमच्या घरी यायचा. आजी दरवेळेस अगदी आठवणीने त्याच्या हातावर लाडू / वडी ठेवायची. माझ्या आठवणीत तिने कधीही त्याच्या सवयींचा बाऊ केल्याचे पाहिले नाही. नंतर आम्हालाही त्याच्या विचित्र हालचालींची सवय झाली.


आज ‘हिचकी’ मुळे ह्या सर्व आठवणी पुनश्च जाग्या झाल्या! नयना माथुर प्रमाणेच अक्षरधन वाटणारा विलास मामा आम्हांला तसा उशिराच समजला, ह्याचे वाईट वाटते!


Just back from the theatre where we watched ‘Hichki‘. A brilliant movie depicting the struggle of Nayna Mathur, who suffers from Tourette syndrome. The movie reminded me of Vilas Mama, who was our neighbour, and I suspect he also suffered from this syndrome. We were too young and not aware of the exact name of the ailment, however I distinctly remember his mannerism of the ‘shocks’ he had out of the blue.

We realised that this person has peculiar mannerism, however we were too young to decipher the reasons. We used to make fun of him and also imitate him. It was the age I suppose, which was unable to process incidents rationally, however,  remembering it today leaves me with immense guilt! I don’t think we should have done it!

One striking thing which I remember is the behavior of my grandmother towards Vilas Mama. Actually, none of the elders ever pointed out his mannerism, however my grandmother was extremely affectionate to him. I remember Vilas Mama visiting our home twice a week, since he ran a door-to-door library. My grandmother always had the sweets ready for hm on those stipulated days of his visit! As time passed on, we became accustomed to his mannerism, and found nothing abnormal in that. Today, Hichki reminded me of him. Similar to Nayna Mathur, Vilas Mama offered knowledge to us.

I feel sorry, that we fail to recognise the real person, going beyond the appearance and mannerisms!