Hi! 👋🏼

I’m Liyana, and this blog is a digital garden. Everything is an experiment - some just more thought out than others. Dip right in.

navigating new roads.

I took my scooty out yesterday for the first time since the year began, after letting her slowly gather dust for a month. The last time I drove was just before we headed to Mussoorie at the end of December. When we left for the bus terminal, I could feel the heavy fog settling in, appearing thicker than usual. In the darkness and fog, it was difficult to see the murky brownness of the pollution that was a defining characteristic of the Delhi sky....

February 10, 2024 · 9 min · 1750 words

a goodbye to the bangalore days.

Once I got comfortable with the courses and the campus, I expected life at IISc to be calm and wholly academic – and it was that, but also so much more. As I write to you now from a wholly different city, I wonder how so much could have happened in the span of 18 months, and how you can change this much as a person while being the same in many ways that count....

February 10, 2024 · 7 min · 1379 words

on stretching your comfort zones.

Not a lot of people know this, but when I decided to write GATE, I did it with mostly just IISc in mind. However, I tried to keep my expectations very realistic (read: low), to the extent that I didn’t even look up pictures of the campus until results came out, wanting to not have an image to go along with my disappointment if things were to go south. I spent five months telling myself to be ready to embrace the plan Bs and Cs instead, while doing whatever I could to ensure I wouldn’t have to resort to them....

January 17, 2024 · 5 min · 982 words

when authors disagree..

Underline not mine. The book is ‘A course in game theory’ by Martin J. Osborne and Ariel Rubinstein. I’m fascinated by the conviction expressed by the author specially in these lines (brackets added by me for additional context): “If such usage diverts some readers’ attentions from the subjects discussed in this book and leads them to contemplate sexism in the use of language, which is surely an issue at least as significant as the minutae of sequential equilibrium (a topic within game theory), then an increase in social welfare (an objective within some game theoretic problems) will have been achieved....

January 17, 2022 · 2 min · 392 words

On GATE

Did a Q&A with Careers360 during the weekend. Adding the unedited version here. If you’re here looking to learn more about my GATE prep, this post will cover most of it. Questions not covered here might be covered in this video or this. If you have anything else - feel free to get in touch! Careers360: Congratulations on becoming a GATE 2021 topper. How do you feel when you come to know about the results?...

March 31, 2021 · 10 min · 2091 words

guess who just became an engineer? (...with 1.5 million others)

Checking my phone late in the evening last week, I noticed that our final semester results had been published. The notification didn’t bring the usual nervousness that typically accompanies result-checking; this time, I had a fairly good idea of what to expect. To begin with, our last exams were bizarre in and of itself. Would any sane person have imagined writing their engineering papers completely within the comfort of home, with the only expectation that the answers be sent back neatly scanned in a span of 2 hours and 45 minutes?...

October 1, 2020 · 13 min · 2730 words

I deleted my linkedin account.

As someone who had been living pretty much on the internet since I got my first laptop in 8th grade, Linkedin wasn’t new to me. But back then, it was the “adults’ website” (no, not that kind) - a place where people with jobs went to meet other people with jobs and talked about their very adult lives - opportunities, openings, networking and the rest. It wasn’t until the first week of college, when professionals coordinating our orientation program mentioned how it was the most important place for students looking to get jobs that I actually went and created an account of my own....

August 17, 2020 · 6 min · 1129 words

hacking the night away.

A month ago, we organized Hack the Night — a 24-hour hackathon, exclusively for women. This is the story of all that went on behind the scenes. I got to know about Arya, SKG and Rethink around December 2017. Arya was leading the Opportunity Project at Rethink at the time. When I learnt that a Women-in-Tech initiative was being launched for female engineering students, I immediately applied for the same. The four weeks program culminated in 5 participants receiving GHCI scholarships — and that was how I met Sijo and Arya finally in person at Bangalore....

March 9, 2019 · 11 min · 2160 words