Grand Viva

April 10, 2009 at 8:43 pm (Life, Uncategorized)

We had our Grand Viva yesterday. A Grand Viva is a kind of an interview that a panel of professors take. It is more of a fun session since not very often do the professors get to meet their students face to face. Since we are final year students the viva ends up being a walk down memory lane and a look back to the last four years of college life.

This particular viva began on a very different note though. Our particular department, Information Technology, is known for its friendly professors. We do not fear them really. We learnt that Director Sir had arrived to take this Grand Viva. So in went roll number one.

I understand he asked her some tough questions that she could not answer, and then our professors scolded her, and she started crying. We were surprised, and shocked. Then the Director left.

After about an hour another girl was reduced to tears by our own professors.

There were two panels. One panel comprised of professors who we consider knowledgeable and understanding. The other panel was essentialy an unhappy group. A bunch of blabbering and bitter professors. I ended up hating all the subjects taught by the professors in that panel.

Apart from these 2 incidents everything else proceeded smoothly. It was my turn and I was faced with these three professors. These are really nice people by nature and all the interesting papers like algorithms, cryptography, automata theory, networks are taught by them. Two of them were present the previous day at the Annual General Body Meeting 2009 of GLUG NIT Durgapur. They saw me present a report on the activities of our GLUG in the past year. They kept initiating rounds of applause during my talk now and then which I was surprised to see. They probably liked it.

For moments like these, where I am asked my subject of interest, I say Operating System Architecture. I read some parts of the Linux Kernel source code once and follow this book from time to time. I used the time that others were being questioned to revise some portions of the book again.

My turn came. As soon as I sat down with 2 other batchmates, Sajal Sir said “Debayan, you give a talk for 5 minutes on any topic of your choice” . I was stunned. Here I was expecting questions on semaphores and page allocation algos, and he threw this to me!! Once I regained my senses I knew only one topic to speak on.. ”  Why FOSS should be adopted in the curriculum”. I did not speak very well though. Then they asked me 3 4 questions on my talk, like whether I blame the professors for the gap in coding style we use and the style used in industry.

The other 2 friends of mine were also asked the same thing. Rishav Garodia, a funny guy, started a speech of self pity and regret. He cursed and blamed himself for not learning anything useful in the 4 years of college and wanted to study more. The professors started feeling bad for him and asked him to stop. 🙂

The person sitting next to me was Chandrashekhar Jakhar. He is from Rajasthan. He has the best All India Rank in our class. 5000 something in AIEEE (mine is 9226 😉 ). He is very sharp but he hates the entire Computer Science field. On top of that he doesnt speak when he is supposed to. I have given so many vivas with him where he did not utter a single word.

On being given an offer of speaking on any topic he wanted he finally took it up. it delighted me. Here is what he said:

” Sir, I took a networking course in my hometown. There they taught us how to build servers, configure mail servers etc. When I came to college, I learnt networking. I learnt the protocols and how to write socket programs. I do not see any similarity between what I learnt there and here.”

That was his “5” minute speech! We were left thinking what he just said. In that time our HoD Sir asked us to leave.

And hence the last Grand Viva of our lives was over 🙂



  1. Rangeen Basu said,

    That was a really nice and touchy description of a Grand Viva. Ours is also waiting down the line. Really made me feel sad when I reached the first paragraph ( I started reading from the last para). This stupid emotional song playing on rhythmbox is making me feel like crying….

  2. Sayamindu said,

    I appeared for my grand viva around this time, exactly a year back. I had a long and animated discussion with out HoD about what I was doing, eg: OLPC, etc.
    In the end, I had signed on the attendance sheet, and was preparing to leave, when he said:

    যা করছ, আনন্দের জন্য করো। আনন্দ পেলেই হলো

    I think I would remember that for the rest of my life. 🙂

  3. Ashutosh Grewal said,

    LOL, I still don’t believe chandu spoke!

  4. Manish said,

    So lucky. Come down to my college, they would try their best to haress you to death.

    We get comments like “Why wasting time in internship, free software, training? Concentrate on your studies, your GPA, your marks, your grades. Its placements which matter the most”

    Makes me sick 😦

  5. Tushar Ghosh said,

    Bhaiyya, can you please right a post on what kind of work you did in the last four years and also what were your reference books like you suggested Bach here, it would be quite a learning experience as I have felt an urge to study the linux kernel, your posts have always been inspiring and will continue to follow it in the future too…

    • Manish said,

      One suggestion: stay away from Yeshwant Kanetkar

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