Interview with a Hackathon participant, team leader

Recently, we had one of the world’s biggest digital product development Hackathon held in India.
The event was held in 26 cities across the countries and a whooping 10,000 students participated in it.

One of them was my cousin Akash and his team stood 7th among 89 teams who had participated from Nagpur. *Applauds*

First of all, I would like to congratulate Akash and his team for such a wonderful achievement. And also thank you for making time for this interview.

I mailed Akash a set of questions for the interview and he very gladly answered them.

Can you tell us more about the event?

Name of the Event – Smart India Hackathon
This event was held in 28 centers all over India on 1st and 2nd April 2017. Initially we were asked to submit the synopsis of your project that we had selected and then they had a selection process for selecting interest ideas.
Our Center- Nagpur(Ramdeo baba college of engineering)
Department – Ministry Of Road Transport and highways.
Hackathon is basically an event where various teams are given certain task to perform(technical task) in a given time span.
This event was different as we already knew our topics but they projects where so huge and complicated that we could complete them in weeks prior to the event.
So we were ask to create a prototype and then judging panel will instruct us some changes in it and those changes we have to perform in 36 hrs.

How were you informed about the event?
One of my college friend informed us about the event and rest of the information was available on

What was your and your teams approach about the event? Or how did  you form the team?
It was basically new experience for all my mates. We didn’t know we would get selected for the report. We all worked extremely hard for making just a 20-30 page report (We were selected of our report).
I personally contacted students who were interested for this event and ready to do the hard work required. Initially we decided to form two teams, but some students backed off and we were able to form only one team.

Can you tell us more about your team?

Team Members –
1. Akash Kulkarni (myself) – team leader
2. Sarvesh Nerurkar
3. Shubham More
4. Aditya Thanekar
5. Pratik Deoolwadikar
6. Prasad Vishwakarma

Team mentors
1. Sachin Malave(H.O.D)
2. Amol Kalugade(Asst. Professor)

I think our team was very well-balanced. As we had one professional Android developer(Aditya), he has been learning android from 3 years.
All other members were Familiar with Java, SQL, database connectivity and project management techniques.
Our two mentors were also extremely supportive in the whole process.

I hear you were the team lead? How does that feels? 😉
I was very happy as well as nervous when I was elected as a team leader for the particular event. I never had experience of leading a technical team before.
All of my team members and mentors were supportive and respected my decision at each and every step. I always like new challenges and I accepted this challenge with no problems and regrets. In fact this was first time our college for present at a national event and me being the leader it was a proud moment for me.

What was the environment at the event?
I must say environment was very enthusiastic as well as very much competitive.
Two days before the event all teams were residing in a hostel.
All students from different colleges, states and culture coming together for great event was very much interesting.
During the event initially all teams and students were pretty nervous but as time passed by all teams started interacting.
Competing for 36 hours is not an easy job but it was so much to learn from.

Was Mr Modi, our prime minister, present at the event?
This event was held at 28 different locations simultaneously, so practically it wouldn’t have been possible for honourable PM Mr. Narendra Modiji to attend the each site.|Narendra Modi acknowledged each and every center for 10-15 mins via webcam.
His words of wisdom were nothing but inspiration to us.

I have read in the news that there were 598 problem statements from 29 different government departments.
So how did you get yours?What was the procedure?What was it?
Yes there were total 598 problem statements for 29 different ministers and department.
We all knew our strength and weakness, so we didn’t select the problems which were not feasible to us at current moment because the submission day for report was 31 st January 2017 and we came to about the event on 23 rd January. So we had less time to think and create an interesting report.

Problem Selection –
As we had an excellent android developer, we decided to select an app base problem. We also thought of selecting a problem which will help masses directly.
So as we were exploring the problems in Road and transport ministry, we found online toll payment app problem and then selected it.

Procedure –
Create project synopsis and submit on website with college permission.

How was that experience of coding with your team for 36 straight hours and in that environment?
Again it was an amazing experience, very exhausting though as we slept for only 2 hours during an event and also had many sleepless night before the event just like last-minute submissions night out in college.

Any funny/memorable incident?
Had one during night out in the college. While we were working and decided to take coffee break, we just went out of room and suddenly there were bats all over the passage of the floor, flying blindly. We all were really panicked, and then one of the friends went shirtless and attack those bats until they ran away.
Our whole 3 months span was fun and exciting.

It's all about learning….!!!! Just nagpur things..!! #baburao #koniwifidetakawifi #smartindiahackathon2017

A post shared by Akash Kulkarni (@akash_kulkarni96) on

Did you have performance pressure? 🙂
At first we didn’t have any pressure and soon when we started going into depth of the project we realised that it is not an easy one to execute.
Plus Whole college was very positive about the going.
Literally had meetings with H.O.Ds of all department, our principal Sir were also very much interested in our work.
So slowly pressure of performance started to build up and I am very much happy to say that none of us was beaten by the pressure but instead all started working more harder.

What did you and your team take back with you from this event?
We literally learned millions things from this event and not only from the event but from the whole Process. On very first day we all decided “For us it’s not winning it’s about learning”.
We learnt that there is always a scope for improvement and never keep your search is narrow space, always think of bigger and impossible things, if we do that then we realise nothing is impossible.
For those 3 months about 10000 Indian students thought about problem faced by India and why India is behind, not only they thought they gave their priceless efforts for solving it.
Instead of mocking and blaming the Government for all ill things happening we young people should work harder and create better things for own people and for own country.
Why should we outsource our problems if we can tackle it ourselves?
Make your people proud, and think logically always.

Any feedback, good or bad, you would like to give about the event?
Off course a great Event. I certainly want to be part of many more events and learn something

I think my first interview went quite well 🙂 Altough Akash took a little longer to reply the questions, but he is still in time!
Once again, thank you for the time. And I wish Akash and each one of his team members very good luck for your future endeavors.

I am starting a new series on my blog, where I will take interview of people I already know like my friends, family or acquintances. This will give them me an opportunity to know more about them and learn about their experience. It might also help them to think about their experiences and think a little louder 🙂 I hope that the readers to find it interesting. Do let me know what you think about it.

A wife is already a mother!

A girlfriend may not be, but a wife is definitely.

I remember my friend who is married, telling me – “After you get married, you have to do everything that your mom does in your house.”

I totally agree with her.


We wives have to look after the food that is cooked, keep cloths clean and ready for tomorrow, keep house clean and maintained. And most important of all is the health of entire family. If my husband catches even cold it makes me so worried. I can’t see him in that pity situation. I feel responsible for his ill-health and want to do everything that i can to make him better. And this reminds me of my friends with kids and also my mom and my aunties and my eldest cousin with 2 daughters who would not sleep whole night some times, when their kids are not well. (I don’t even have a kid yet!)
Continue reading

The sex and the city!


This weekend i had been to my cousin’s place. And i must not forget to mention that she is the one with whom i share a very, very close bond. We like grew up liking same things. Even if we stay distance apart and say if we meet after long we still end up watching same movies or liking same Actor. So my point, we just know what other person gonna like and what the other person is going through or what is other one expecting.

So after went to her i actually vented about lot many things going wrong in my life. They are actually not wrong but like something i hadn’t expected. For instance staying away from my husband for this long. Being unemployed and not wanting to do anything. She listened to all of it and in some cases she did try to comfort me. It didn’t work obviously.

But then she introduced me to this series – ‘The sex and the city’. She told me i am gonna Like it and that the protagonist is a writer. Well, that sounds cool and we saw 1st episode of 1st season. Although i was quite sleepy that time i started watching it after coming back home. And i am hooked. I am going to finish off the first season today itself!


Now about the serial. I loved all the 4 ladies. Although i would like to be like Carrie i think i am more like Charlotte. After watching Carrie i feel like yes i should too write a column or like on particular topic once week and of course with some research. I also noticed that she looks very attractive when she puts her make up and gets ready to go out while otherwise she looks quite ordinary. It makes me think that i also need to be ready to look little pretty that is i need to take care my self more than i do now. Especially after getting married and now that my hubby is not even around and i am unemployed i have really become careless. I am actually losing interest in things. Maybe going over to parents place might help me a bit. Because i am unemployed and saving all my Money for the time when i will join my husband i am not even able to shop. But i am still going to get something for me this weekend. It really helps, the shopping therapy.


Also i have decided to read this book – the sex and The city. I haven’t read a good book like in years.

Maybe i will get some good topic to write about. Or i think of writing a fictional story. I have always thought of what if my husband and i would have had love marriage instead of arranged? How we would have met? Who would have asked? And so on. Maybe that will be interesting! Or do you have a better idea? What do you think? Let me know!

Weekly Discover Challenge – Adventure!

Adventure, for me is living life by my own. With my husband. In our house. Building our house, taking our own decisions. Living with those decisions.

Adventure is earning money, spending it wisely, saving some for future. It is managing our budget and planning.

Adventure is learning new language, studying it, being able to read, write and speak a new language.

Adventure is learning to drive a 4 wheeler, knowing ABC, to leave And hold the clutch, to raise the accelerator slowly without jerks!

Adventure is buying weird, not so matching clothes, putting them together to make new fashion and wearing it in public!

Adventure is watching Game of thrones for the first time!!!

Adventure is buying electronic gadgets by our own knowledge 🙂 for self or for our loved ones!!

Adventure is planning a trip with my cousin and going to the trip, just 2 of us!

Adventure is taking a project different and bigger than something we have did before, following all stages of its life cycle and making it a success!!

This challenge is really cool! It made me re-discover meaning of ADVENTURE!