Hi! I am Hasnain Reza Bilal, I am a speedcuber from Hyderabad, and I average around 8.5 seconds in 3x3 which is my main event. I like to read about history and astronomy and also have a keen interest in photography apart from cubing.
I will be sharing my speedcubing journey in this blog about how it started and how CSUL kept me motivated and helped me connect with other speedcubers in India.
START OF MY SPEEDCUBING JOURNEY
As per my remembrance, the first time I solved the Rubik’s cube completely, was before the lockdown period, somewhere at the beginning of 2019. One of my juniors showed me and my friends that he could solve one side of the 3x3 cube, and since that point, I just had a genuine interest in the puzzle. So, I learned how to solve the 3x3 from YouTube videos, and basically, that’s where my cubing story began.
MY PARTICIPATION IN THE CUBING COMMUNITY
During the second half of 2019, when I used to use the beginner’s method to solve the 3x3, I met one of the most prominent WCA delegates in India, Akula Pavan Kumar sir, in cubing session organized by a club and he introduced me to the CFOP method and helped me improve a lot in 3x3 and 4x4, and through him, I could participate in my first World Cube Association competition on September 28th, 2019.
Although I was really slow compared to now, averaging around 25-30 seconds, I still managed to meet some new people and got to see a lot of fast cubers, which motivated me to improve my times and become a better cuber.
HOW CSUL (CUBELELO SPEEDCUBING UNLOCKED) HELPED ME
My first interaction with cubing professionals through CSUL
I used to be pretty aware of what was happening in the cubing community with the help of social media, and that’s how I got to know that cubelelo, India’s largest Speedcubing sensation, was organizing online competitions regularly, and they called it CSUL (Cubelelo Speedcubing UnLocked). These competitions were a good tool to gather and unite the speedcubers from around the country to one platform during the times when we couldn’t physically go to the competitions, Cubelelo tried and kept the Speedcubing spirit alive in and among Indians. I thought that if I could get really fast and then participate in these competitions, then I could get an active involvement in the cubing community
CSUL 2.0 finals – me vs Vijay Kishore sir
Later on, during the lockdown, when my 3x3 average had become less than 10 seconds, I qualified for my first cubelelo live battle, and as a surprise, I managed to reach the second position in the first competition in which a lot of cubers from around the country took part in, this boosted my improvement speed because of my excitement, and in more two live battles conducted by cubelelo, I managed to reach the finals in both, but although I didn’t win, I still felt I got the exposure I needed.
My interaction with Vijay Kishore sir during the CSUL battle
TIME MANAGEMENT WITH CUBING
Cubing is extremely addictive, and also very frustrating sometimes, like when you don’t get a good solve even though you have been practicing for a long time. Once you take the cube in your hand, it is like you have to fight with yourself to keep it down as we can’t cube all the time. Since most of the cubers are kids, teenagers, or young adults, we also have to give time to studies, work, and other extracurricular activities.
Explore 5x5 Collection
At first, it felt to me like cubing too much is the only possible way to get faster and better, but because of that, I was not able to give time to other things properly. During some days when I would do other things, I wouldn’t be able to do cubing properly.
I realized lately that consistency is the best key in improving your speed, and that’s why I think that better quality of practice is better than the quantity of practice. Even if we practice for a very short time every day, we should try to learn as many new things as possible, adapt to the new algorithms which we learn, and at the end practice too. This way we can focus on other things too without stressing too much.
A practical tip that could be effective is to plan when, how and how much you are going to practice cubing on the previous day itself, that way you can be sure of what exactly your goal is each day and you can practice without any worry. I am not yet that perfect in time management, but the above-mentioned tips are helpful for me too.
My cubing set-up
HOW CUBING HAS HELPED ME IN MY LIFE
The first thing I love about cubing is how much joy and purpose it has added to my daily life. Whenever I feel extremely bored, I can just hop on to do cubing.
Secondly, the socialization and the new friendship bonds I have made in this community, even if it is just online, will stay with me forever. A bunch of different types of people united through an aim of who can solve a puzzle faster, make friends with each other, and have fun, what more could you ask for?
At the last, the way this tiny puzzle has given to me such big hopes for the future, and how I hustle every time to just get better and better at solving different types of Rubik’s cubes, always makes me feel grateful that I found this community, and huge thanks to cubelelo for all the opportunities it has given to me in the online competitions through which I could prove myself, improvise, and meet some of the big cubing names of India and also make friends with some, which I don’t think would be possible without the help of Cubelelo.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
- Hasnain Reza Bilal