Personal Projects

Published on: September 18, 2011

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As far as remember, I have been doing personal projects since I was a kid. From a simple stamp collection hobby to attempting to build a flying glider, my life has become an instances of projects, one after the other. The whole concept of giving form to a formless thoughts/idea is exciting and challenging.

That is why I am so in love with engineering, for me its the right discipline which deals with designing processes to achieve those visions. Channelizing thoughts from a sketch to a first prototype is a reward in itself. Throughout my experience, I have always found that people who have a hobby of doing personal projects have different approach to a problem solving. They seem to have clearer and wider perspective of the problem. They are also more practical in their approach and do not hold on to thoughts with a fear of failure. May be its because they have dealt with more failure than anyone in their lifetime. Overall, they are highly self-motivated and off course they are rare.

Self-motivation is the core behind personal projects because you have to deal with no one but yourself in terms of quality and deadlines. In my own experience, an individual goes through thousands of ideas before they settle for one which they find worth trying to achieve.

Currently, there is so many project ideas stacked inside my mind which I hope to achieve one by one. And off course I will achieve them in time, as I have never failed to try out my ideas. They just have to wait their turns. Some ideas remain for months and years, some for minutes and some simply never comes out of its cocoon.

My first project as far as I remember was making a "home work diary" and "self dictionary of new words". This must be when I was in class 3, where home work diary was still not in the trend so I had to cut white A4 size papers into square form and tie it down with threads. Soon, I decided to make the form circle and I think I was very much pleased by the eccentricity of the design. Offcourse, flaunting it among your friends was more fun. Prior to these, I do use to collect a lot of Super Hero stickers of superman and batman. :)
Keeping a "dictionary" was much more simple - I just had to get a notebook and write every new words and their meaning into it.

Beside these, I believe drawing and painting was my key hobby coupled with excessive LEGO structure building, limited by only few hundred pieces. I also remember getting a clean notebook and attempting to copy down the whole story of "Goldilocks and 3 bears". Then making your own "scrabble" board was fun too. I think these attitude made me more self reserved and self satisfied. The habit of getting lost in your own world has remained with me since then.

Its interesting to remember all those school days where I had my school work + personal work. Many friends thought I was too studious spending time studying but people rarely knew I spent time on my own personal work. Two of them rarely met with each other, until after my Olevels where I was more into studying science and mathematics. So what ever I studied had relevance to my personal work.

During my school days, I did lot of sketching ideas into paper. After many years those would help me understand engineering drawing classes much better, and it still does. It was also during those school days, where I stumbled upon a skill to create stop motion animation in diary. Soon my diary was filled with drawings at every corner.

One of my electronic projects.

Once I was in colleges, my personal projects started becoming more complex and usually took months of working on it. The project would be virtually anything for me : sketching a portraits, learning complex guitar composition, making computer software, building hardware prototypes of electronic kits, experimenting with ideas of expressing better, writing novel, composing your own songs. I don't know but the range of project never seems to correlate and was more of gamut of random artistic pleasures.

I think all these personal projects have become and expression of myself. Every idea some how found its way out in different form and medium. Also many ideas still remain unexpressed. I don't remember a day where I am not thinking of projects. Its there, hard coded in my nature. I would have compulsive desire to achieve and challenge.

The top image is that of a "Starship Enterprise" which I must have spend hours and hours drawing in my copies and books, where ever possible. I was a big fan of Captain Krik and his companions. May be it was my innate desire, to have my own voyage to unknowns and keep exploring, not with a goal to find an answer but to simply carry on exploring.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starshipEnterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go whereno man has gone before.