We never stop dreaming. Even if most of our dreams never come true.. But when it does, it changes everything..
I dreamt. I dreamt of having MUKTI again and like the way I saw it in my first year..and it came true, only with a slight difference: it was better than what I saw in my first year!
A brief intro for all who have no idea what MUKTI is: MUKTI is the Annual National Level Technical Symposium on GNU/Linux and Free Software conducted by GNU/Linux Users’ Group, NIT Durgapur every year during the month of Feb. MUKTI’07 was my first experience where I contributed as a volunteer, and truly it was Mukti for us- the first years, from the world of ragging!
Then we got inducted into the committee, and worked for GLUG (it was just Linux Users’ Group then..) However, due to various reasons, MUKTI’08 could not be organized independently… we had to do it with our tech-fest Aarohan 2k8. Honestly, it was truly a bad experience altogether.. MUKTI began and ended without a trace.
So, this year having MUKTI organized separately was a near impossible thing. But all of a sudden, everything changed for good – IOTA happened. IOTA or Institute of Open Technology and Application, an organization built by the IT Dept, Govt of West Bengal in order to promote Open Source recognized our college as a nodal centre, and thus indirectly paving way for the revival of MUKTI!
And so, MUKTI was back…and that too for a week : 2nd-8th Feb’09! [We christened it as the “FOSS Week”] The inauguration ceremony was graced by Prof. Debesh Das, IT Minister of West Bengal. We made sure that our main focus was on workshops and talks rather than crowd-pulling events. As a result, the participation was less, but the impact was large.
But, for a few of us, MUKTI began months ago.. A National Symposium requires considerable amount of funding, planning and marketing. In spite of the global economic meltdown, we managed fair amount of sponsors. The workshops and events were well planned (which earned us praises from all over!). However, I gotta admit, the publicity and marketing was a bit disappointing… had we got time and manpower, we could have done better!
Coming back to the FOSS Week, it was thoroughly demanding, yet very enjoyable. One thing that deserves special mention is the enthusiasm that the first year volunteers showed during MUKTI. In every sense, it motivated the others to do better.
I don’t have much to say about the workshops or the events, because, honestly I don’t remember as such. However, what I remember is the collective effort that everyone put together in not only redeeming MUKTI to its rightful place but also to create a firm base on which we intend to flourish even more next year.
This blog remains incomplete without mentioning the people who truly made it possible – the final years: Mayank, Arjun, Debayan, Vaibhav, Sorabh, Adarsh, Rajat, Shreyank, Rahul Jha, Vignesh and Sandeep! [Note that the word “bhaiya” has been skipped deliberately in order to avoid repetition, and is no way related to the “No more bhaiya” funda! That is only for the first year girls :P]
Its been a month since the valedictory ceremony was followed by a thoroughly unplanned, emotionally draining chaos that we fondly call post-MUKTI party; but I am yet to get out of the hangover! I guess, there’s no mukti from this MUKTI!