Introducing myself, I am Vemula Venkat a.k.a IPS, graduated from IIT Madras with a dual degree in Electrical Engineering (Comm) in 2012.  Thereon I graduated from IIM Ahmedabad, and am now working as a Global Banker with HSBC India.

Picture 4To start off, I entered the gates of IIT all starry eyed after two years of immersing myself in books, with an occasional game of football on TV.  On induction into the hostel culture, I figured that the metric on which you are respected is not pure intelligence (since everyone is an IITian), but your passion in life.

Sports, Tech and Arts ranked high in the list of passions one was expected to have to command respect among your peers.  Having played football at school level, I tried my hand at it but only to have grossly misjudged how passionate IITians are about football. After trying my luck in all NSO qualifications, I realized that hockey was a relatively easier sport to earn accolades in and this decision changed my life, helping in shaping my current personality.  What presented itself as an opportunity quickly changed into a passion for the rest of my life.

I had the good fortune of being trained by Vinoth (My hostel senior, and Left In forward for IITM, A trivia that is often recounted in Tapti is the win over Ganga, who had 6 insti players, in Vinoth’s first year).

Though we were thrashed in Schroeter 2007 which was dominated by Mandak playing eye pleasing stuff, it helped us in channeling our frustrations into a project of building a team that would finish on the podium in five years time. I am quite proud of the fact that Tapti, ably led by Maakade, achieved that in Schroeter 2012, finishing as runners up.

I was personally hell bent on winning a medal for Tapti, and thereby joined a club in Hyderabad during my first summer. This greatly helped in enhancing my game, translating into getting picked for the Sportsfest A team 2008. I played as an understudy to Dedh (Ganga), in the Left Extreme position, and contributed whenever called upon to help the team win a bronze medal, my first.  Though I did not make the cut for Inter IIT 2008, I was happy with my progress and wished the team all the luck to triumph on the home turf, but alas we had a terrible tournament.

We thrashed Guwahati 5-1 enroute to the Gold Medal

We thrashed Guwahati 5-1 enroute to the Gold Medal

Next time around, I guaranteed myself a spot on the Inter IIT team through sheer determination and regular practice. Though we were far well prepared and had a good team, we lost to Bombay in the semifinals at Inter IIT 2009 held at Kanpur. I distinctly remember that day, the weather suddenly turned chilly having been sunny for all the previous days, I felt this might not be our day.  Coming back to the college, Schroeter did not give me any respite, and I ended up without winning a medal in that year.  But I guess, we did the most things right, hiring a good coach who would go on to deliver a hat trick of gold medals, and also in identifying the defects in our game through constant match practice.  We were thus rewarded with Gold at Inter IIT 2010 held at Delhi and Silver at Sportsfest.  We also participated in a lot of other college sports tournaments, always coming away with some medal.

Coming to facilities, having a sports secretary who was the hockey goalie greatly helped our cause in installing floodlights, constant maintenance of the field.  The facilities greatly improved during our time, and I would say getting a permanent net around the field would be quite helpful in terms of not losing the practice balls, which we did quite frequently.

Memorable experiences:

1. When we, 6 amateurs from Tapti defeated Jamuna, who boasted of Institute captain(paddu) and also the goalie(radius) among others, in the informals tournament played at Sangam.  Paddu was so enamored by our passion that he called upon all the Jamuna freshies to display such hunger in Schroeter.

After the win over Mandak 3-0. My last match for Tapti.

After the win over Mandak 3-0. My last match for Tapti.

 

2. Tapti had not defeated one of the big four ( Alak, Mandak, Ganga, Jamuna) since 2004.  In my last ever match for Tapti, we defeated Mandak (the team we looked upto in my first year) by 3 goals to nil.

 

 

 

 

3. Inter IIT Delhi, winning both the semi finals and Finals on penalties was I guess the best way to win, that excitement and anxiety will never be matched.