Blast from the past! Blog on DICE VIC’ 14

Due to some unknown and bizarre reason, I always manage to embarrass myself on the firsts’ of every month. Be it 1st April, when my friends pull a prank on me, or 1st July, when I make a fifty minute long journey to a bank only to find it closed. ‘Firsts’ and I aren’t meant to get along, really! And for the DICE VIC to be held on ‘first’ September, I was certainly counting all the stupid things I could impossibly lend myself into.

1045 hours – I entered the Civil A/V hall out of breath and took a moment to calm the pulse hammering in my ears. *glancing at my directors* I suddenly realized that I had completely FORGOT to dress for the occasion. Never mind! (Mom says it never matters anyway)

My eyes looked around the busy hall, taking in the arrangements, which appeared perfect. This was my first grand event, one in which I was a host, and although my official job was only to attend the event – no hosting duties by Wardah! – I felt a mischievous whim of superiority over the visiting audience. I was about to exercise my authority over a bunch of them when Zuha came up and started the event, crashing all my plans.

The session began with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by an exciting NES video that showed the proud moments NES had had so far.

As for the first speaker, VC of our own university came on stage. He gave a rousing speech befitting the event, his passion for entrepreneurship clearly driving him, and shared his dream of turning NED engineers into technopreneurs. He claimed that it was the need of our country in times of such economic crisis, and he was not wrong.

Soon the award ceremony started, which was the principal part of the whole affair. Certificates, shields, checks – everything able to incite jealousy in us, was there! We were already aware of the huge prize money allotted to the top three positions, but it was jaw dropping to hear that NES was also giving Rs. 5000 each to the under ten teams. After all, who gives away a total of Rs. 35000 as a surprise gift nowadays? And we certainly have to thank DICE, PCST and ORIC for it.

So far, so good! I thought to myself, realizing that I had entirely forgotten my pre-event fears. The next award called for ‘The most hardworking team members of NES’, and this is where the embarrassing part of the day came in. I started gesturing to my friend, making it obvious that I could be called any moment – she assured me that I looked fine – and in the midst of this gesticulating, all the awards were given. To both our surprise, I wasn’t called. There I sat, looking absolutely anywhere but at her, even as I imagined a joker’s cap on my head.

Ten minutes passed away… and so did the mortification. Batool Arhamna Haider (the guest speaker from Stanford University) took this moment to make her way to the front of the hall. Her session was awe-inspiring. She started off by pointing out that students like us were only 0.1 percent of the entire country’s population, and this fact puts all the more responsibility on our shoulders. She also shared some useful tips related to FYP’s stressing that many bigger businesses we see in the world today were merely students’ FYP’s in the beginning. I would have easily focused more on what she said than how she looked if she hadn’t resembled Kanza so much (the president of NES). It was really intriguing for me, not knowing before that they were sisters!

Afterwards, the top three winners gave presentations on their praiseworthy innovations. Their hard work was equally appreciated by everybody in the hall. As the closing time came, we were all relieved and proud of a successful endeavor but a tinge of nostalgia had made its way in our hearts already. The feeling you get when you pull down the curtains to find a perfect conclusion and at the same time cannot believe that this day would be just a memory by the next dawn. As it goes with any event, there were many takeaways, prizes, ideas and above all a new fraternity bound to new explorations. I commend our heads, our volunteers and all of you present that day for the efforts and faith you have put in us. To the winners that have created a legacy for upcoming competitors, for all those who participated and are already being dubbed as innovators and to those of you who have been inspired to reflect creativity, this was merely a modest heart to heart – a casual contemplation of an instructive yet exciting day.

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