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A Story From NIUS

In July 2009 I was a student at Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi which is not a bad thing but in this competitive and highly job oriented world it was not enough for me to do good things with my life. Moreover I was direction less and low in confidence. A guy who used to think that Engineers are better than guys doing regular B.Sc and not only me even my parents thought that being an engineer or doctor is the fair thing in life rather than doing a B.Sc . Life was going in regular way regular classes, regular professors, regular cramming of syllabus. Once in a day thinking about job But one fine day a friend told me about this research programme called NIUS I was very casual about it in the beginning and to be very honest I filled the form because I thought that if I get selected I can visit Mumbai for free not even that my food and hostel will also be free, And It was too cold in Delhi that I realized lets fill the form at least I can get rid of this cold. I filled the form and I don’t know out of the blues I received the news from my father that I am selected I was happy not for the programme but because I would be the first person from my family to visit Mumbai . I was happy packed my Bag board the train and reached HBCSE, The weather was better then Delhi and the next day we had our first lecture.

And the camp starts ………

The first day I was as always completely cool and I was on moon, feeling incredibly awesome and as the lecture starts , Hell , I didn’t understand anything but I felt that its not just me its everyone apart from some real geniuses Lecturesbreathless shankar mahadevan went on and on for around five days and I enjoyed all the five days not in the lecture but in the lunch break,, tea break,, dinner ,, breakfast…and because someone told me that only 13 students are selected for the project I thought I am not a genius I can’t get selected ,I give priority to socialization than science, So I was the most relax person in the whole camp ( and believe me being relaxed and not hiding your mistakes is the thing which works in this camp ) , I did labs but as always I worked real hard for labs and the presentation session, when every student was having fun I was in the library ( and hard work works too ) . Everything goes all right for me in the camp. I learnt that there are so many things going on in chemistry through lecture and one of them was a lecture on Plastic Electronics (and I am so blessed that right now I am working on my dissertation project on molecular semiconductors which is a small branch of plastic electronics).


I made some of the most intelligent, funny and down to earth friends,,, and I remember one friend of mine saying that you made the whole place lively, Believe it or not I was crying when I was sitting in my Taxi and that time made me realize that I have made a big mistake of not taking the camp seriously and by this time I wanted to get selected for the project I was like I can do anything for this life I lived these 8 or 9 days. But now I didn’t do anything I was sure I can’t be selected.

God had other plans, I was sitting on my computer and had a very tiny hope that If I get selected I will work very hard and make the most of the camp, and Yes I was dancing with joy crying, for a moment I became a mad person and my mother she really was in shock as “Kya ho gaya tujjhe bawla kyun ho raha hai?. T he first important e-mail on my account by Swapna Mam, saying that you are selected and congratulations.

The project and two unbelievable years at HBCSE . I reached HBCSE and started to do literature review and conduct some experiments related to my project In the very first week I did 1/20th of my project and I was loving the fact that I am getting good results ,Once again I was on the moon . But then our first presentation happened the most horrible day of my days at NIUS , I came to know that I don’t even know about basics of chemistry or my project and I remember that Savita Mam told me “ Mritunjay, If you are going to do your project this way then I will terminate your project “

The whole first summer revolved around my project , But I was not unhappy I learnt the fact that I have to work real hard and I started working on my basics . But still in the first summer I didn’t get any productive results and I was literally lagging behind everyone, I had to do something but the summer was over. But I think it was not only me who was struggling my roommate and my best friend Mohanish Borana was also struggling but his basics were allright with him it was just the instrument that was not working properly and he had to study too much to understand how those things work (But we learnt that while doing our project we should also be familiar with our instrument, we should know how results can be interpreted through the instrument and what kind of error an instrument give). But apart from all the scolding , Savita mam gave me a chance to attend the Asian Science Camp as a volunteer , During the period of the camp I meet so many nice and intelligent people , I was so excited about the fact that , we were having one to one chat with Noble prize winners and Pioneer scientist . The interaction with students of other countries was exceptional and I realized that I can be good too and I can also do something good with my life.


Everyone was enjoying Common wealth games at Delhi but I went to Mumbai but this time I was prepared the struggle in the summer teach me How to properly conduct my experiment and what are the parameters that can affect my results . T his time I was alone in the lab along with Alok bhaiya and three Bengali friends (all three of them are doing their M.Sc from IIT ’s). My experimental hand was set by this time and I worked hard, sometimes I used to work like 10 hours a day but hard work always pays and I completed the first phase of my project in two weeks. I was happy and enjoyed commonwealth games on T.V. and in this phase I learnt one more thing from Savita Mam “Mritunjay – Keep asking questions from yourself about the project and keep reading the literature ( Asking question from myself about the project is one of the best things and I think this tendency will remain with me lifelong ).

T he struggling phase was over but now T hinking phase starts, In this winter I was more focused, First of all I rectified all my mistakes from October and then I started to do introduce more variables and parameters in the project but with a new phase of thinking a new phase of struggle started too (I feel that struggle is an integral part of the project and If you are not struggling your project might go well but you might not learn more, so the more you struggle the more you learn). I took the new struggle as a challenge and again started working on the basics and in the next summer I finally completed my research work.

Fun time is the thing which I should also mention because that is the time when all of us bonded very well with each other , be it going to Ramji’s for Vada Pao and Miccal Pao, our timeless talk with each other about PhD, jobs, difference between MBA and PhD , girls , crush in college , Our 2 a.m. tea in front of Olympiad facility , Going to Wasi for the movies, coming back late ( very late ) , and the best part was our being together on everything our small parties of small happiness. Celebrating Birthdays.

Today, I am doing my Masters, some of NIUS seniors are going to World’s top notch universities for their PhD. My batch mates are DAAD fellow, Khorana Fellow, Most of them publishing papers in International Journals. Long Story short all of us are doing good at this point of our life and one thing which all of us cherish together is NIUS.

To all the new students who are doing B.Sc I can just say work hard, make good friends , be patient and think positive , this way with a B.Sc Degree your can do good in your life. Because If I can do it you can do it too.

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Mritunjay Sharma
The University of Manchester, UK.


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