Jaikishan who is an engineering student pours his heart out while writing this story. He interned at IITK and added another feather to his victory cap. Either it be the long cycle rides or sudden trips to unknown places, he cherished each moment. Time may come and go but memories stay forever.
On the day of my last major examination of the sixth semester, I received a mail saying “Dear Mr. Damani, We are pleased to confirm your visit to IIT Kanpur as an intern under TKIC sponsored Summer Internship Program. Please confirm the dates with your guide and let us know.” That was more than a reason to feel at the top of the world. I was offered a sponsored internship at the institute famous for its research in civil engineering.
I am Jaikishan Damani, a graduate in Civil Engineering from NIT Bhopal. I learnt about the Internship being conducted by the TEQIP Knowledge Incubation Centre (TKIC), IIT Kanpur. I went through the list of the faculty and I found the ones with whom I shared my fields of interest. After a little modification in my resume I applied for the internship. I sent an application regarding my preferred faculty and the topic of research. Anyway I wrote the examination and later in the afternoon, I had a conversation with my guide over the phone regarding the possible topic of research. With ample time remaining to begin the internship, I started brushing up my knowledge in Transportation Construction, meanwhile working on the topic of the internship with my guide over the phone.
Fast forward a few days, I found myself at the Railway Station waiting to catch the train to Kanpur. I reached Kanpur at the night and spent the night at my relatives’. The next morning I informed the concerned about my arrival. I must say the people back there at TEQIP are very helping. They offered me a drive to the IIT campus. The first thing that caught my attention is of course, the letters arranged in the fashion “INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY KANPUR” and a railway track that cut right through the road to the main entrance. A few minutes later I ended up in the TEQIP Cell Office where I was offered tea and was guided thoroughly regarding my stay. I was accompanied till my room at Hall-11 where I spent the coming 45 days. As soon as I was done with the registration formalities I called my guide. We met in his cabin a few hours later where we finalized the subject of my internship and discussed about the series of steps to be followed. He introduced me to some of the Professors of the department who were ready to help me out in need. He also introduced me to some of the M.Tech. and B.Tech.-M.Tech. Dual Degree students in the Transportation Engineering Lab, who were already working on their thesis and later, proved to be a great help in my project work. And of course, the lab assistants. Probably the most hard working and helping people. The afternoon I was offered a laptop bag and stationery from TEQIP. The evening was spent roaming around the campus and the market inside the campus, where I hired a bicycle for ease of commute (the teaching block was a few kms from my hostel). The campus is lush green with eye catching monochrome infrastructure. One can easily spot a peacock or two wandering in the range of vision, apart from the Neelgais too (trust me, stay away from them). The initial few days were spent in assimilating to the new environment (read: harsh weather), the solitude of being alone in the whole wing and of course arranging broadband. The next day and the day later, two more interns joined and I began to feel more comfortable. My guide had already provided me a few relevant research papers which I could read in the TE Lab (I was provided a system at the lab) or at my hostel. I read the papers, searched for more stuff on the internet and slowly started shifting my work to the practical work in the laboratory where I performed certain tests. The M.Tech. guys whom I initially assumed to be nerds, turned out to be a bunch of cool people. They spent most of their time chilling out in the laboratory discussing their respective thesis, with a tab or two minimized in which they played Need For Speed and surfed Youtube. The laboratories had all the necessary equipments and well trained staff. Time is no constraint as one can access the lab any time round the clock.
As time passed by and I progressed in my work, more interns started joining and we started to hang out regularly. We discussed everything from future prospects to the latest movie and everything in between. As I have been a day scholar in my college life, this experience was worth cherishing for me. We would go around on unplanned walks and cycling at absolutely any point of time. Fruit juices were an incentive that made us pedal even more. We even visited the city though we had been suggested that the city did not have much to be travelled. All thanks to Google Maps, coupled with the instructions from the locals, we hired a “Vikram” (a kind of rickshaw) to visit Ganga Barrage, Bithoor, Z Square Mall, etc. The city does not have a very good connectivity but planning things made sure we did not slip out of anything and reached the campus safely by the night, before the road was saturated with heavy traffic. (The main road joining IITK and the city of Kanpur is invariably jammed at the night, so make sure you get back to the campus in time). One thing that deserves a special mention, the commute in the dazzling sunlight was tough so make sure that you have your cap and sunglasses on especially if you are not used to the harsh sunlight. It’s always better to have a precaution than having to work in sickness and unfortunately I had to learn it the hard way. The market is not so good especially in vicinity to the campus. Kalyanpur, a town by the side of the campus does have a market but you may be disappointed if you are looking to treat your taste buds really well or some good gift to buy for someone. Talking about the hostel mess food, it surely was not mom-level, but it was still so good that we ate at our heart’s content. The night canteen offered decent food along with chips and soft drinks and stuff till 2:30AM. Due to some unavoidable reasons, my guide was not present in the campus so I visited the other faculties of the department for help when needed. The professors were helping and they even let me attend their lectures meant for the M. Tech. students. My guide was just a call away and he guided me throughout the project.
As is the stereotype, I had always heard about the UP people to be rude and dangerous. But my visit to Kanpur negated the thinking. I met some very helpful and modest people back at Kanpur, be it the “Vikram”wala, the store keeper at the hostel, the lab assistants and the list goes on. As I printed the final report for final submission I realized my accomplishment. The weeks of hard work and learning had finally paid off. After the formalities of reimbursement (yes! TKIC covers all your expenses for travelling, boarding and lodging etc apart from the stipend), I packed my bags in the night. The first alarm the next morning was enough to drag me out of sleep as I quickly got ready to catch an early morning bus to the railway station. Bidding adieu to my friends, I pulled my trolley bag across the roads that had seen me cycling and roaming for quite a while now. As I left the campus and I looked up to the main gate, I had a feeling of pride and contentment. For everything IITK offered me, from the good hostels to the AC Labs and so much opportunity to learn with the cream students and faculty of the nation, I couldn’t be more thankful.
And a big “thank you!!” to the Internshala Team to give me an opportunity to share and relive those moments through this contest.
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