“I failed to become a Space Engineer”

I always wonder what it takes to be a good researcher, considering I want to be one. Is it intelligence or knowledge? Or strength of character?

Sourabh Kaushal has some answers for me :) … He is a Space Debris Researcher. And he is NOT a space engineer. He obliged me with the story of his journey and lessons so far. And I couldn’t keep something so good to myself. The beauty of simple stories – they never fail to inspire. Read on!

Sourabh’s Story

I am Sourabh Kaushal, a 22yr old engineer – Bachelor of technology (Hons.) Electronics and Communication Engineering from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India. And I hail  from a small district of Haryana called  Yamunanagar.

I spent my childhood in a small village of Himachal. When I was in school I was an average student in class and sometime I was made to sit at the back. So you can say that I was a  backbencher boy.

When I was in class  12th  I developed a bit of  interested in Space Science and Technology. I really wanted to become a space/aerospace engineer but My Dream  is lost now. Read and you will know why!

I failed….I failed many times in my life…

I really wanted to become an IITian when I was in class 12th but I  failed to qualify for it.

I failed…to become a space engineer.

When I was in college I proposed to a girl but she rejected me :) Again I failed.

After engineering I took GATE exam. Again I failed..

I have failed a lot of times in my Life but I have also learned a lot from all these failures.

I believe that” Success consists of going from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm”

So, I could say I really achieved a lot in my life after all these failures. When I was in class 12th I was a bit interested in the topic of human life in space and I used to always wondering about the questions of possibility of existence of human life in space.

In 2008, I got admission in engineering college but not in space engineering(My dream). One day while sitting in the laboratory, I came across the topic of space debris and found it to be very interesting. I wanted to learn more about it and started to dig out its history and recent growth.

When I spoke at events, many student asked me the question -  ‘how to start the research work’ so I would love to share my experience:

First thing is that you should be passionate about your topic, about your subject or work. I am an  electronic engineer by profession but space researcher by passion…I know more about space than electronics even after having spent 4 years in engineering. :)

If you are passionate about something then you will easily achieve it.

I choose the subject i.e. space debris when I was in the first semester of my engineering  and started learning all about it.

Sometime students asked me : how did you manage your schedule when you were a student as you had a lot of semesters, labs, practices, sessionals, exams etc..

I told them to look at all the Nobel prize winners, researchers, achievers. They had  to do their work within 24 hours and yet they achieved. Even you have only 24hours in a day and I’m sure you can manage your time for your dream, your passion..

When I started my research  in 2008, everyone dissuaded my work, even the Chairman of my college, faculty members and  my friends. But I was 100% concentrated on my work and proposed some new methods to mitigate space debris. I review more than 100 research papers i.e. literature survey. I know literature survey is very boring work but it’s important in order to figure out the previous work, drawbacks, missing parts etc.

After literature survey, I started connecting/linking with experts all  over the globe and discussing about my work.

At 18 I wrote my very first research paper and submitted it to ISEC, USA. My very first research  paper stood runner up for Jerome Pearson Award.

This was just the beginning of my journey. I researched a lot on space debris and wrote more research papers. Till date my research papers have got selected in more than 25 International conferences organized by NASA,ISRO,JAXA,IEEE,ISEC etc.

I also received accolades for  my work i.e. runner up “Jerome Pearson Award”, “Dr. Kalpana Chawla Young Scientist Awarrd”, “Young Innovator Award”, and I was also nominated for “Jerome Leaderer Space Safety Award” by IAASS, CANADA.

In 2012 I become an INK Fellow. INK is in association with TED. It is one of the most important and memorable days of my life. INK has given me a huge platform otherwise, coming from a small town there were no proper labs, lack of resources and many other hurdles. But really it was great and unbelievable that I was selected as INK Fellow.

All these awards and achievements have always boosted  up my morale to a great extent.

But, I had my share of  problems too during  the journey – lack of resources, fund problems, no proper guidance being some of them.

There were times when my research papers got selected in USA,JAPAN,EUROPE etc but due to lack of finance I was not able to go there.

Sometime I feel like quitting this research work. There is a lot of dilemma. Whenever I go for job interviews  in Electronics/software company,  the HR says  that you have done a lot of work in space sector so you should go for space company. Sorry there is no vacancy for you!

And when I go for Space company they say –  sorry ! you are not an aerospace/space engineer hence you are not eligible for job. To sustain myself I do need a job.

But then I don’t give up. I’m still doing research work because I am passionate about it, I live for my dream and am sure one day my dream will come true.

When I met students in events and they say that they have great ideas and technologies but no proper platform, I see my old self in them. I faced the same problems during my research work and really do not want these students to go through the same fate.

I discussed this issue with my friends and we are planning for startup. I know I am not an Entrepreneur or a business person but still I am planning for startup in the sector of aviation/space. As this will be the ‘first of its kind’ startup in India in the sector of aviation/space, we are HOPING FOR THE BEST :)

No doubt, my life has been filled with lots of ups and downs but these have given me the strength, inspiration and motivation to do something good with my life. I will always work for the development of society, humanity and nation.

Apart from these, I have  interest  in sports and I have  won few medals in athletics. I love playing cricket and travelling :)

I will just end this note by saying-The true sign of Intelligence is not knowledge but Imagination. So always live for your dream and passion and one day you will achieve them.

To be, you have got to do. And do more than enough.

nice-life-quotes-thoughts-brave-failure-hurt-mistake-successful

 

In Retrospect… The last few months

The last few months, to be honest, have been quite eventful. A whirlwind ride… some absolutely wonderful new entries, some major setbacks… failures, successes…. in all, a memorable journey; an album worth watching in flashback…

Summing up those eventful events, in case I wish to get back to them. Which, I know i will :)

1) Made few wonderful friends… Friendships I will cherish for more than a lifetime.

2) Screwed the most important exam of my life… In the course, screwed a few other things that I should have cared for, for life… Bah !! Life’s most important exam is LIFE itself. And no body screws it :) even if they want to.

3) Found my long lost love, my writing coming back to me. One of the best things that happened so far. Wrote a few things that will keep inspiring me for days to come. Yes ! Some of my own pieces make me smile… :)

4) Learned the importance of caring for a few people more than yourself… learned the importance/ beauty of being meticulous in relationships. Total awesomeness.

5) It was pure chance and randomness that led to me understanding what I want to do in life. And thank God I understood… it makes a huge part of me hassle free, clears loads of things.

6) Learned that good things do happen; sometimes just out of the blue. Did well(better than expected I mean) in XAT. Unexpected. Got a call from XIMB. Even more unexpected… The story continues though… Wait for the upcoming points :)

 7) XIMB diaries- Slogged like anything to try and convert. But. Did. Not. :( …And, that is when I realised two very important truths about my life- There is a bigger plan for me and there is a 24×7 awesome friend for me :) … Dost, I promise lifetime servitude :)

8 ) Started working for the first time :) And I am absolutely loving the experience. Though, I do realise that I am not meant for it… Realizations galore !! :)

9) One of my best achievements, my Facebook Vocabulary group got deleted. Screw FB damn. It had 4000 members which we had religiously and laboriously accumulated over a period of one year. Bah !!.. Does this stop us ? NO… The Vocab Dhaba is very much there… and going strong :)

10) The latest one- took a decision. Not many liked it. But, thank God for giving me the strength to stick to it. I will make sure that it happens the way I have thought about it… Just be with me through thick and thin.

In short… in the last few months, I came to know who I really AM…

Just one suggestion- Finding yourself. It is the most exciting treasure hunt you can ever indulge into… much better than indulging yourself into the lesser intricacies of life.

Thank you lord :)

Extremely happy today I am :) . Reasons:

1) The most awesomest news of the year… got a call from XIMB. yippeee :D

2) Made a few people proud with this small little achievement that will shape my life. I will convert it for you.

More than mine, it is an achievement for those who felt proud that I did it…who really wanted me to get through. I owe it to your prayers and wishes that were there 24×7 like a fort warding off the negativity and lethargy of dreams. I am reminded of these lines. But before, a big thank you to the person who gave me these lines which have, kind of, become the lines of my life

“lehron se darr kar nauka paar nahi hoti,

himmat karne waalon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti,

nanhi cheeti jab daana lekar chadhti hai,

chadhti deewaron par sau baar fisalti hai,

mann ka vishwaas rago mein sahas bharta hai,

gir kar chadhna, chadh kar girna…haan akharta hai,

aakhir uski mehnat bekaar nahi hoti,

koshish karne waalon ki haar nahi hoti…


doobkiyaan sindhu mein gotakhor lagatey hain,

ja ja kar khali haath laut aate hain,

milte naa sahaj hi moti paani mein,

behta duguna utsah isi hairani mein,

mutthi uski khaali har baar nahi hoti,

himmat karne waalon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti.

 

asafalta ek chunauti hai, sweekar karo…

kya kami reh gayi, dekho aur sudhaar karo,

jab tak naa ho safal, neend chain ki tyaago tum…

sangharshon ka maidan, chod mat bhaago tum

kuch kiye bina hi jay jay kar nahi hoti

himmat karne waalon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti…”

More than anything, I have learned the power of not giving up- on my happiness, on my efforts, on my smile, on my life… I will make sure this happiness stays…this pride and the smiles that I accidentally brought on to a few faces, stays. For all the trust and love… thank God for the wonderful people and the wonderful moments u have given me…nothing else I ask of u :) …just these thank yous I have.

The Secrets of Success

disclaimer: it has been picked up from a video by career launcher…not my creation. i just happen to like it :)

success is about making a pass at opportunity,

success is about victory but not without learning,

success is about being comfortable in discomfort,

success is about fighting the urge to give up,

guts, sweat and blood mean success…it is not a coincidence, success is a MIND GAME.

success is not just about winning. it’s about starting the game and finishing it.

success is about you vs yourself!!!

success is about feeling dizzy with achievement

success is not just achieving your dreams but realizing your potential on the way

if you have never failed…u have never lived…

and here is the video :)

To the men who taught me to believe in God…

i thank god really…for the day he brought these two people on earth…

i believe, have always believed, that we all have a purpose in life, both ours and others. i don’t know the purpose of my life yet, but i do know what purpose i have in some people’s lives (perhaps)…some though, not all.

i feel great to have loved God differently each day of my life…more than yesterday and less than tomorrow. miles to go before i sleep…that’s what i am reminded of because my belief and faith are going to increase ten fold by the time it’s twilight. and for all this…i thank two people…two very beautiful people who entered at different times but perhaps will never exit from my life ever…

one taught me to believe in God. i used to be an idiot…begging for every small little thing: “bhagwaan ji, aaj ye dedo…kal se aise kar dena…mujhe ye chahiye toh bass chahiye”…like a child throwing tantrums. no wonder they never worked :P . but, he taught me the sheer importance of the profound presence in our lives. he taught me the way to pray, to not always ask for things but always give away as the highest form of prayer, to say “God, i have done this for him. please make sure that the concerned person is happy if he deserves to be”. “dete jaao…as much as u are capable of” rest will be taken care of. i owe my present self to that great human being. God is not the machine that grants wishes. thank God that God has editing powers over our prayers :) :)…warna kuber ka khazana bhi khali ho jaata.

God is the driving force behind our existence. do not keep asking him for things. he will give u what u deserve even without u asking for it, without fail. u may forget him but he will always remember you…in short, he introduced me to God.

the other one. equally beautiful. equally equally equally..everything. he came when, i will never forget. he will go? never i think…some people live beyond existence. they are of them. beyond the limits of time. moving on…he taught me what i gain by being spiritual in some small, minute little corner of my soul. he reminded me the sheer beauty of believing in God (strengthened actually…i never forgot it in the first place). he showed me how u fall in love with yourself all over again when you have faith in him…on a lighter note, he made me realize my appreciation of spirituality as the most appealing of all attributes that mortal people can harbor, as the most valuable part of the soul. he reminded me how things become easy when we have unfailing faith in Him.

apne liye toh sab karte hain…dil khol ke karte hain. kisi aur ke liye kuch karne mein jo mazaa hai, not there in anything else in the world…in short, he made me like myself more than before by showing what it feels to do something for someone…because that is exactly when we do something for God, kinda simplifying his work(euphemism for altruism).

there are many people who add immense beauty to my life…these two are among the few who have taught me to appreciate that beauty, to behold the colors of the rainbow called life…eternally thankful to you(if u are reading it).

Miles to go before I sleep…

these lines belong to “stopping by woods on a snowy evening” by ‘robert frost’…well the whole of it quite awesome so here is it-

“whose woods these are i think i know,

his house is in the village though,

he will not see me stopping here

to watch his woods fill up with snow.


my little horse must think it queer,

to stop without a farmhouse near,

between the woods and frozen lake

the darkest evening of the year.


he gives his harness bells a shake,

to ask if there is some mistake,

the only other sound’s the sweep

of easy wind and downy flake.


the woods are lovely dark and deep,

but i have promises to keep,

and miles to go before i sleep

and miles to go before i sleep”….