Beach to interview room in 24 hours: the Goa story

The last 3 days or so were super energetic – along with a bunch of friends, day by day, I went from uniform to underpants to formals! 😀 Now that I’m back home from the Goa Project & have made some time after class, here’s 5 things I picked up this weekend:

5.  Travel alone, pack less, shoot less, remember more. I’ve been lucky to have had opportunities to travel quite a bit recently. This time I carried just a backpack that carried literally nothing – a pair of ultralight clothes, my notebook and toothbrush. I must say that was really worthwhile. It eased off so many problems – having to carry extra weight, worrying about the bag getting lost, putting everything in place once you have unpacked. There was space left for me to carry back a bit of clothing I decided to pick up in Goa too! To my surprise, Mahesh Murthy offered similar advice on his talk about Travel Hacks (which was awesome btw, only that it stole my audience as they ran his track parallel to mine :P). I managed to attend the last few minutes, I really loved the way he presented neat hacks, one per slide. One of his equations I’ll never forget – if you’re traveling for n days, carry n/2 tshirts, n/3 pants and n undies. 😀

4. Warm up before you do anything. Not warming up has screwed me up my entire life. The course of my BoF meet went slightly off-plan. Delayed timings, TV to project slides, slightly non-relevant audience. I think it would have been useful to have skimmed through the slides before presenting – it wasn’t too bad, but with the kind of involvement I have with the topic, I could have done much better. On the other hand, today I entered the interview room with an XL smile and things did turn out to be super good! So I’ll remember to warm up before I do stuff next time –  exams, presentations, anything.

  3. If you have something to talk about, you’ll be fine. For the last two years since I’ve known him, Anirudh has always cribbed about how he doesn’t find people with similar interests. At TGP, it seems like he did! Which is interesting; from a distance it looked like he was networking more than any of us! 🙂 When we got back here, I was a little worried about what I’d do in the mock interview scheduled for today. Although I have a pretty decent resume, I wouldn’t really enjoy being screwed over on politics or Java, two things I have very less clue about. It turned out to be a pretty kickass interview – just yesterday, my senior Shyam was explaining how interviews could be turned the way you want them to, and I had fun trying to do that today! It was just the matter of making the interviewer talk about things you know & care about. I found out that I stammer initially when I start explaining things to an experienced person – need to work on feeling more confident and secure when questioned about stuff I’m passionate about.

2. A little fun doesn’t hurt – bring company along. We went ahead and did some adventure sport in Goa (not for the first time, though). I doubt it would be as much fun for me if I didn’t have company. We also attended the El Banano, it was totally entertaining. I can’t help but wonder how much rehearsal time that guy must have put into it, all his life! As a follow up, apart from search for local food, next time I’m in a new place, I’m going to try and see what the local entertainment is like 😀

1. We’re very, very small people. If I had to pick up one thing from the entire 4 days that stood apart – I’d pick the play by the girls from Kamathipura. The performers were nine girls, ages 12-19 who have either grown up in red-light areas, have been forced to do sex work against their will, or are daughters of current sex workers. Among other questions they raised, some of them still play on my head in a loop – “Why do you treat us like dirt?” At the end of the play, I literally had goosebumps. It wasn’t out of sympathy, but out of guilt.

I think it was a great weekend – there are probably many smaller lessons that I didn’t cover here, but then I’m sure they’re in the heart. I’m looking forward to my next series of trips, the next one being 1.5 weeks from now! 🙂

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