Minerva in the Making


If you ask me how long did I know Ankita Katdare, I’d say I know her since she was about 10. But when I read her blog, read these answers and got to know of few other activities she does these days, I thought how wrong I was. The school going kiddo I knew is an aspiring engineer today, manages a fairly successful blog and is the Editor-in-Chief of Crazyengineers.com. Truly a Minerva in the making, she has surprised one and all. Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the future generation for you… enjoy the interview.

Minerva looks like a name of a very old lady and you are surely very young. What’s the secret behind the name that suffixes your initial on the blog?

Ankita: It was January 2008. I was 17 and I really didn’t know what I was doing when I first started a blog on BlogSpot. Somewhere inside my head, I had planned to name my blog as ‘Junkyard’. So I kept the name as ankita-junkyard.blogspot.com. That blog still exists.I did not delete it because I wanted to preserve it. Then one day while surfing through the net, I read about the advantages of using wordpress and shifted my blog. I searched for a name that encompassed variety of different things. (I don’t know what was on my mind that day.) I zeroed down to the Greek Goddess ‘Minerva’. It felt grand. Minerva as we all know is a virgin goddess of wisdom, commerce, poetry and crafts. Moreover, I was and still am a great fan of the legendary Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. In the book the head of Gryffindor house and deputy headmistress of Hogwarts is Minerva McGonagall. Her elegant and calm personality charmed me.

So, those are all the secrets behind the name akminerva.wordpress.com

Since I kept that name I have often thought of changing it. I still wonder if I will do it or not. Let’s see. J

You are an integral part of CE. Tell us how crazy you really are!

Ankita: CrazyEngineers (CE) happened to me in the most appropriate days of my life. I am in my late-teens and these are the days when one looks for inspiration and thinks about future. It showed me both.

Well the question is how crazy am I? To answer this I will take an example.

Imagine 100 people standing on one side of the road and one-by-one these people start moving to the other side of the road, such that only one is left at the original position. And the only one left is you. People who moved to the other side are bound to think that you are crazy.

That’s exactly what happens with me. I believe in values and wisdom passed over generations. I like to be simple: be it thoughts or dressing sense. I don’t like to go by general opinion. And surprisingly these are things that make you look crazy these days.

I remember the famous the quote, “They laugh at me, because I am different. But I laugh at them because they are all just the same.”

We are similar in at least 2 ways. I also wanted to become an Architect and Engineering just happened to me too. (Only I know how difficult it was to pass). Tell me, do you think one can make an informed career decision at an age of 16-17? Especially in India?

Ankita: That’s a really good question. The answer is a ‘no’, since you mentioned ‘especially in India’. But the situation is about to change.

I for one was ignorantly foolish when I was 15 or 16. My world revolved around my family, school, teachers and friends. I loved playing the classic building blocks game and so I thought I would be an architect. But, now I know just how wrong I was.

In India, if we consider the majority, for long the masses were under-exposed or ignorant about what lies out there and the others who were slightly well informed had never paid enough attention to themselves –their likes and dislikes. So, people mostly took career decisions on the toss of a coin. For e.g. many of my friends took both AIEEE and PMT because they were not sure if they are better at Mathematics or Biology! What a mess!

But as I mentioned earlier, the change in this situation is just around the corner. Now-a-days even 5thor 6th graders know ‘what’ they are doing and more importantly ‘why’ they are doing it.

What if our lives were akin to a Robot? What if we were injected with some artificial intelligence when we were born and then made to lead our lives in only a certain way? How do you think the life would have been?

Ankita: This question got me thinking. Once I was discussing with a close friend about a situation where we all are of the same creed, bound by the same values & same motives and we got nothing to differentiate. Our discussion ended with a conclusion that life would have been peaceful but way too monotonous.

Mankind depends highly on challenges. Challenges that lead us to innovation and that motivate us to destroy the evil.

If our lives were akin to robots that were programmed to behave in a certain way, there will be no scope for change. Then, what will mankind strive for?

I think variety is the spice of life. And challenges that get us up every morning to do the best among the rest are a basic necessity for a healthy life. Without it people will be born only to long for death.

A dialogue in the movie ‘Kaminey‘ says your life gets determined not by the path you choose, but by the path you leave! Your thoughts on it please. Any personal experience?

Ankita: I haven’t watched this movie. But the dialogue sounds interesting.

Often we have to make choices between what is right and what is easy. And we have to shoulder the responsibility of whatever happens after that. Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences. It takes hell lot of courage and valor to leave the easy way and choose the right but drudged route.

When we make a choice and get something we always loose that something else. I think once we decide to take a turn there is no point in looking back at what we left.

On a personal note, I always weigh the pros and cons while making a choice. Where the pros weigh higher, that’s the way I go, never thinking about the other one. It has worked fine with me always.

Thanks for your time. Please recommend some one who I can interview here.

It’s really tough to take one name. So I will skip this one.

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14 thoughts on “Minerva in the Making

  1. @all: Thanks
    I must add one more line in answer to the 3rd question:
    Engineers are in fact ‘the architects’ of the future.
    So, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
    (Don’t sue me PETA, it’s just a phrase 😛 )

  2. Excellent Interview!!!

    I have been reading Ankita’s blog from some time but didn’t expect these answers from someone this young. Kudos Ankita!!! You truly are a Minerva…

  3. This girls talent is over-the-top.I am the greatest fan of her and her blog. This interview rocks Mau!

    P.S : Great Blog Mayur. I am regular reader now 🙂

  4. Nice Interview..

    I liked this “Mankind depends highly on challenges. Challenges that lead us to innovation and that motivate us to destroy the evil.”

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