Dream Team. Dream Project.

I jumped a feet above the ground when I was finally informed that Iris will be leaving for USA the very next morning. I couldn't contain my happiness. Four years of patience, persistence and hardwork was finally giving results. Four years back when I had joined this college as freshman I was confused as to what to do with my life. I had taken up mechanical engineering even though I didn't have the slightest clue as to what is it that I wanted from my life. Everybody was busy joining automobile fabrication teams while I was busy getting rejected from each one of them in the interview. I have always had this 'Stupid' habit of being very honest and upfront specially in an interview. While everyone was busy telling the interviewers how much they look forward to the opportunity of working in the team, I was confused analyzing my role in the same . 8 months down the lane,I finally found a project that I could relate to. Innovative technology to solve global energy crisis is the need of the hour. And that is what supermileage project was all about. This project did not even have a team! Just two seniors, who wanted to implement their design idea. I found a connection to the cause and I was on board with them. Three months ,38 market surveys and around 57 bruises later, we had this amazing vehicle standing right in front of us. The divine pleasure when it's engine cranked and when I throttled it.

By now we had cleared all the rounds of Shell Eco Marathon, Malaysia 2013 and were selected to represent our country . We knew we were successful when that vehicle became Asia's first Bamboo chassis used for a supermileage vehicle, was selected as Top 24 Innovations of the country by ET NOW and was featured in 3 national dailies. All the efforts had finally paid off I thought. I enjoyed my new found fame by being the youngest member of any such team. In three months, I had learnt what next three years of education couldn't teach me. I was happily packing the vehicle for it had to leave for Malaysia the next day when my captain called and informed that the project had been stalled due to some natural calamity in Malaysia. I couldn't control my disappointment and broke down crying. I flew back home after a year. I had spent my only summer vacation to be in college life in this project, gave up on all my friends from high school , worked for over 16hrs daily for last three months and not gone home for an entire year. But alas it all ended in vain. I suffered academically for next entire year because of this project and promised myself never to even dare picking it up.  Two years down the lane, I got the chance to work on the same vehicle again and present it at Indo - US Knowledge Expo. The same love and recognition re- ignited the passion in me to work on this project after the other two seniors had graduated. A decision was taken with a junior who later became a soul mate kinda friend, to build a strong academic foundation , groom myself as a leader and dare to work on this project again.It was named the round table dream. Within three months , I met a bunch of mavericks with potential to change the dynamics of this project. They were freshmen and I could see in them what my seniors saw in me three years back. It was time to build a team , a legacy before graduating and accomplish a broken dream. What followed was months of grooming , training and team building. And finally Team Panthera was born! Today it's world first and only women supermileage team. The team leaves for SAE Supermileage , USA in a week. But this didn't come easy as well. This stage was reached two days earlier, after ;
Over 30 failed design iterations, last minute submissions, design rejections, three changed captains, team segregation, new addition to team, more training and grooming sessions, n number of fights, disappointment with no results,  two months of 18hrs of work, a million market surveys, lack of funding, begging for sponsorships, failure of the vehicle after fabrication, late delivery of engine due to customs, shifting of vehicle from one corner of the city to another, rejection of paperwork,  failed attempts at Visa, lack of money to procure tickets and a million other things that can never be summed up in a few words. Four years later I am finally going for running Iris on the circuit. I am still missing an exam for the same and am not in a good place academically but I have learnt dreams do come true ! You have to give up on a whole lot of things for them to come true.
Patience,persistence and indeed a dream team that is better than you!
PS : Iris gives a mileage of 177 KMPL, was unveiled by the Delhi Dy.CM Manish Sisodia   was featured in two national dailies and is the flagship project under Lean In Mechanical India, a social initiative I founded to ensure that such hard work never ever goes waste again!
After all leave a mark they can't erase.


Apurva Chawla said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Apurva Chawla said…
I cannot tell you how proud I am to have you a senior. Always a fan, boss. :)
Go kill it in Us. Bring me chocolates. And then treat me with your first salary. :D
Kaur Rashmeet . said…
Haha. Yes boss :D

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