happiness by building a remarkable life.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Design Anecdotes from IISc - I (Who will Bell the Cat)

Design anecdotes from IISc will be a series of comments, stories and suggestions from my seniors at IISc or my experience. I hope to write something on this time and again.

Here goes my first post (Shared by Sunny Bairisal, 3rd sem MDes student at CPDM, IISc Bangalore)
We all know about the funny story "Who will bell the cat?" A group of rats wants to get rid of the problems they face because of the cat who kills and eats them coming out of nowhere. So, as a gist of their discussion they want to put a bell on the cat's neck which will warn them of him approaching. And, when all of them are very happy of the solution achieved, one guy came out with the question "Who will bell the cat ?" 

Well, the story ends there. But, how the hell that can be related to design or more specifically to product design? Design is defined as '"the general arrangement of the different parts of something that is made, such as a building, book, machine, etc." in the oxford dictionary. In the real world, however, design is related with problems in most of the cases. Necessity is the mother of invention and when we have a need, we design a solution for that. It is not so easy, because problems are subjective or that they don't express in a way that we need this specifically. People from a long time wanted a faster, cheap and convenient way of communication. But, nobody asked for a mobile. It is the task of the designer to identify an objective in the need and for that he will have to identify problems first and design the problem in such a way that it leads to an objective,a definite goal. 

If you can identify the problems and you can associate the problems with an objective solution, half of the design work is done. Conceptual part of product design is often associated with construction of an objective problem where you express the solution of a need with a physical shape. Or, if you know who is the CAT !!


So, if you can perceive the CAT, you can design a bell or more appropriately you can design a way to BELL THE CAT. Identifying problems is the first and foremost step of design and if one can master it, he/she is a step ahead in the path of becoming a good designer.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why do I love my mom and dad, or as I call 'em "Maa and Deta"

My parents are teachers in government primary schools and their educational qualification is 10th passed with third division, which means a percentage less than 45%. I am their third and youngest child. However, they are a lot better than other parents I have seen, who are educated but still thinks their children have to do whatever they want and are pretty bad in parenting because their children didn't love them as much as they should (Yes, offense !!)

I was a geeky geeky child. But the credit goes to them, not me. I was the first boy in my school days, always from class I to X. But when I used to come home with a big smile on my face and the marksheet in my hand, dad said, "Its not the position but the percentage and the knowledge that matters, what if all your friends didn't study hard enough?" And when I went to Cotton College to pursue science and everybody had almost the same percentage as me, I remembered his words. I may be the first boy in my little school, but not everywhere. What I remember, everywhere in my home all I saw was books, not toys but books. I started reading from an early age, and that is the most precious gift anyone can ever present to his/her children. 

My dad reads books and whenever he finds something special or interesting, he reads it aloud me. He can utter sanskrit verses without the slightest tint of hesitation and has memorized the Gita in Assamese from top to bottom. My mom is the most lovable teacher in the little village primary school, and I am a proud alumnus of the same.

I was never beaten up, my dad never had to beat me because he had such a great personality it is difficult to do bad things in front of him. I am no saint and I have done pretty bad things to in my life, but knowing that was a bad thing and not repeating most of them was a sense of conscience that instilled to me by my parents. Whenever my hands were dirty, or I am not dressed properly... my mom used to wash my face and put fair-and-lovely all over my face. And what an interesting approach to teach a child, I used to promptly go an get cleaned. I was not told to, but somehow she managed me to get it done by myself. I still feel pity for the women running after and scolding their children when they don't behave properly.. "Take a chill pill and get a lesson from my mom."

I completed my engineering and came to IISc leaving four jobs, and my dad supported me till now. When I published a paper in Japan and wanted to go and present there, he told me that he will borrow money if I can't get financial assistance from my college. And he is the dad who didn't give me new clothes in every festivals like my friend's dads used to. That was a great lesson.

Whenever I got frustrated and thought things aint gonna work out, its my parents whom I call first, and courage used to build up within me. It was not the life of struggling with exams to get a seat for MTech my dad wanted, like every typical Indian parent he wanted me to secure a government job, and lead  my life. But there was a thing in between. From early days I saw my dad going to social meetings, cultural gatherings and all that. And like every other lower middle class family,we had money problem. Nevertheless my parents are always happy. And they gave me an important lesson, that I need to help other people to be happy. Even if I would have become a SBI PO after my BSc in Mathematics (that is what my dad wanted), he would have asked, "Are you happy ?" And till now, everyday when I talk with him for more than 5/10 minutes, he asks me the question, "Are you happy with what you are doing, if you are, then there can't be any problem."

When I couldn't clear GATE in the first attempt,  they said may be God has something better in store for me. When I got four jobs, and was proud of myself a little bit too much he told me that it was not a very great thing. When I got admitted to IISc, they congratulated me but also said, "Its not what you have, but what you can do with what you have !!"

Perfect balance, as it is said in Gita,

Dukh paile uddigna nohoi jijon
Xukhot jaharo naahi aanondito mon
Prio opriyo teje, are krodho bhoi
Hehi vir budhimonto janiba nishhoy.
(Who doesn't worry in bad times and don't fly in good times, who can leave near and dear ones and fear and anger, he is an intelligent man)
which is often told to me by my dad, now.

My mom likes to smile and it is simply difficult to remember her in a grumpy face. For the first time in life, at the age of 16,  I came to Guwahati to pursue 10+2, I lived away from home. Then I understood, Maa is like the curtain in doors, you never feel their absence till they are in the right place and you can hardly stop thinking about her when she's not around. So, sometimes when I  call her up, and its time to disconnect the phone, I tell her, "I love you, darling" to which she promptly replies, "Don't you have a girl around, tell her not me" with a big laughter.

No wonder, when some days ago when I updated my status in facebook writing about my elder bro getting his PhD, he promptly commented, "Proud to be the son of Chandra Kanta Nath and Satya Bala Devi" -  Hell yeah !! Me too, bro... and grateful too.

Pageviews

About Me

My photo

I am a student [Master of Design - Product Design and Engineering] at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I completed BTech (Mechanical Engineering) from NIT Silchar. My native place is Sipajhar, a small place with rich cultural heritage, in Assam. I am interested in designing products and systems for a better life. I like to collect quotes, read books,blog and surf net, dance and sing Bihu songs and write poems and articles. I don't like to talk while I am eating. But above all, I want to be happy all the time. Contact me at m2n037[at]gmail[dot]com
Powered by Blogger.

ShareThis