Like a lot of things, I’ve procrastinated about doing CCNA too. Well when I finally decided it was time to do it, my first self assigned task was to find a professional institution to do the course from. If you know me personally you’ll know that this is a departure from my typical self learning style and a general rebellious attitude towards any kind of organized education system. But I’ve heard scores of stories of people being overconfident and attempting to clear this course on their own but after a number of failed attempts people generally wisen up. But given the current economic climate, I figured giving the exam multiple times at close to 13,000 a sitting wouldn’t suit my health too much. I might be headstrong and stubborn but believe me I’m not stupid. Well a cursory glance through the papers gave me 3 maybe 4 options, each with their own fancy advert and each quite visibly trying to sell his product, well this is totally fine, I mean its a free market and to each his own. But something about the extreme commercialness of these so called “professional institutes” put me off to the whole idea of joining a class. I mean its like everyone is having a print war on who has more Routers & Switches, nobody was really talking about the course and the structure. I even had the opportunity to speak to the “Center Director” of one of these places and he was trying to sell me Cisco, I had to literally stop him and say, “Dude, I’m enquiring about the CCNA course specifically so like ‘duh‘ I know what Cisco is” and he went on to tell me that his “institute” had a different approach, and that they gave their students “hands-on” experience on routers and switches. This kind of got me thinking, like I mentioned before I’m kinda allergic to classes, so I figured that I could buy a router of my own, or maybe run an emulator/simulator or something and learn it on my own. He then went on to say that there were places that had like a 100 students and they focused only on theoretical knowledge and immediately I caught on, if you ask me knowledge is only theoretical, practicals give you experience, and I was looking for the former, because I don’t need to pay anyone to get the later. I politely said I would get back to him, never intending to keep to my word. My next step was to ask my colleagues and acquaintances and one name that kept repeating without fail was Vagish Dwivedi. I learnt that he had classes in Matunga, so I set my mind to it, since I’ve had a very old connection to the place and it seemed like providence that the classes were located there. Interestingly this was starting to tickle my rebel attitude quite strongly, simply because even after searching almost every news paper and classified listing I could find no mention of this Vagish or his so called RST, I didn’t even know the expansion then. One of my friends told me that he had a number somewhere but unfortunately he didn’t respond, I’m glad he didn’t, it made the thrill of the search even more exciting. I then did something I should’ve done right at the beginning.