Friday, 19 June 2015


Be it the wooden telescope, discussion on un-gendered spaces, difference of spirituality and religion,pizza making sessions without oven by Paola,, an unplanned first trek to Snowline Cafe, tents as sleeping beds, yoga lessons by freeman and a lot of interesting things, Hillhacks is just the place to be. 

Organized by awesome bunch of people, these guys are doing some great stuff in the nature's realm in the most random way possible.Leaving aside city's hectic schedule and taking usual naps from office hours, people came here, to be in the continuous flow of learning and hence, hacking and making in the Himalayas.

Interdisciplinary just as most of my attended events, it also had an edge of having people from countries like Spain, Japan,and inspiring travelers more.
As spontaneous as it could be possible, I packed my bags in the sunny afternoon of 29th May and somehow convinced my cousin, to leave for Meclodganj in the evening. Super-excited as I was and welcomed by this piece of board, I figured out what to expect and quick enough,that I am at the right place.

And,then began a series of introduction with people around, meeting awesome hackers,makers and travelers. And when like-minded people get together, it calls for an unexpected and sudden plan, which ended up in unplanned trek to Triund.
We just didn't stop there. And mind you too, if you ever plan a trek to Triund, don't stop there. Snowline Cafe is the place, that you shouldn't miss.

Slept in tents at hills, star-gazed, hopped through mountains, made breakfast by lightning a fire, almost tried to explore a cave, but left that for the next time. And,got amazed by waking up to this view, next morning!

Trekking is undoubtedly lot of fun, but what mesmerized and made us hold on to this place, was an uncalled hailstorm, giving an awe-struck moment to around 30 people who were taking a shade in a little cafe. We got hooked to this place for three more hours because of snow. Neither the weather allowed us to move, nor we wanted to.

And we reached back to Shiv Shakti, next evening. Oh, its the place where we stayed, where hillhacks was organised. More than half of the people taunted us that we went there,just to trek. And,so do I feel.

Coming back to hillhacks, amazing stuff kept going at a great pace, even in our absence. Regular afternoon sessions on technical topics like computer security & protection etc. An outreach program for the school kids was also organized and kids participated quite enthusiastically.
We bid farewell everyone on 3rd June and took our own self-printed t-shirts as a souvenir. 

Hacker's Paradise,may be!  !

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

'Memoir'- Disruptive Design Innovation expedited by MIT Media Lab

"Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology". -Neil deGrasse Tyson


And,that's what MIT Media Lab promotes upto an extent.Well, MIT Media Lab India Initiative was more than just a design workshop.The initiative helped in building up a community of awesome bunch of people from around India. Those awesome 7 days gave an enthralling experience to each one of us. Learning was fun to such an extent that I am pretty sure, its going to be really hard for most of us to attend the college lectures now.

80 Projects. 10 Tracks.280 students across India.10 Start-ups. 25 MIT Mentors.

Bringing much diversity and intersection of unconventional ideas at a place with people from all domains and thus strengthening the spirit of 'anti-disciplinary approach', Kshitij Marwah and all other organizers really pulled off a great event.Thanks to the amazing mentors and whole MIT Media Lab for making it possible.

It all started with field trips followed by excessive brainstorming,ideation processes and walls filled with sticky notes and posters.Participants were so passionate about their ideas that pulling off an all-nighter was a piece of cake.Wrapping up with a working prototype in seven days and pulling up our sleeves for an open-house session is what we all cared about.Overall,it had been an amazing week with 'lot-to-learn' experiences and 'forever-to-cherish' moments.

A week bunched with insanity, fun, innovation, ideas,brainstorming,cool projects and amazing people.One hell of an astounding experience!. I would like to end it with the words from Benjamin Franklin. "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."