Systems Designer and Programmer
One of the most thrilling things about concerts today is how the lights, sound, and special effects all work together to give you a complete experience. Right when a song peaks, the lights seem to go on and off to the beat of the song and the smoke machine sets the mood just at the right time. It takes a highly creative mind and technical precision to put together all these elements to create an atmosphere fitting to that of the show on stage.
Veenu Pasricha is an engineer who designs all these elements and then programs them to work together in sequence. While he isn’t busy putting together these awesome multimedia sequences, Veenu indulges in photography, travel, and fixing defunct gadgets around his house.
What kind of a student were you in school and college?
I was always a bit of a ‘last minute studier’ as far as exams are concerned. Trying to cram it all in at the last moment, and burning the midnight oil if required. Fortunately I was able to understand and remember it all to be able to do well in the exams. But, whenever there was a project to do, I would do it very meticulously with a great deal of effort. Those I really enjoyed.
And your favourite subjects?
Physics, Mathematics, Mechanical Drawing
Which teacher do you remember most and why?
In Class 11 I elected to do mechanical drawing as a subject. The teacher, Joginder Singh was also a part time Hockey coach & referee. He knew his subject well, but his lack of command of the English Language always made the classes entertaining. I was his pet student, because I turned in perfect assignments.
When did you realize this is what you wanted to do?
Right through my schooling I had my heart set on becoming an engineer. I would always be repairing gadgets around the house, even the toys of all my neighbourhood friends. Luckily I got into IIT Delhi to study Civil Engineering. There I discovered that I also had a creative talent in photography and joined the Photography Society. When I finished IIT, I found work as an Audio-Visual Programmer combining photography with my love of working with equipment to create AVs. Over the years I discovered I enjoyed making all kinds of media equipment – sound, video, projection, lights, laser, water, fire & smoke to work together to create spectacular shows.
If I want to do what you do, what do I have to do?
Study some form of engineering – electrical preferable.
Or study Mass Communication and add a short technical course or diploma.
Join up with an AV Rental & Staging company as a system technician to get experience of working with different media equipment.
What’s your typical day like?
I spend my day working on the system design for the projects I am working on. This involves – research on the internet, studying about products, interacting with product specialists, creating the technical drawings. This also involves doing testing of some of the technologies in our labs. I also attend many workshops & exhibitions to learn about new products & technologies. Once the design is done, we work on procuring the components. Then we install the components at the site and wire them up. Finally we configure the systems and do the programming.
What did you do with your first paycheck?
I saved a part of it and had a big party with my friends with the rest!!!
Name some joys of your profession.
Since I do custom design for each job, there is never any boredom. Each site is different; each project is on a different subject; each has different requirements, each has different challenges. So one has to acquaint oneself to the requirements, understand the subject completely each time. With so much variety, I am never bored.
What makes you successful at what you do?
I love being meticulous about everything I do, down to the smallest detail. I believe that each input in a system is critical. After all what lets a system down is the weakest link. This attention to detail gives good results.
Were you named after anyone?
Not really. My parents were thinking of naming me Vineet. However, when everyone starting calling me Veenu, they decided to make that my formal name. Thus I never had a nickname as this name is so short!!
What are some of your hobbies or passions?
Photography, listening to music, traveling, fixing things in the house.
What is the most thrilling experience in your life?
I once took my entire office team for a rafting holiday to Rishikesh. When we were attempting a Class 4+ rapid called The Wall, despite our best effort our raft flipped. Hitting the super cold water was a numbing experience. For a moment inside the water there was complete panic and fear of what would happen next. Then forcing myself to keep a calm head, the team regrouped and flipped the raft back. The entire team had an amazing experience.
What book are you reading right now?
The Secret of the Nagas by Amish. This is a sequel to The Immortals of Meluha. It is an interesting concept of treating Lord Shiva from Hindu mythology as a common person with some good skills.
What is your animal spirit? Why?
The animal I identify with is the penguin, which is so ungainly on land but is so graceful in the water.
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