Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's wrong?

It was a sunday morning with bright skies. I don't know how thats remotely relevant to this story. But lets just stick to traditions and start the post with a description of the weather situation.
As I was saying, it was a sunday morning with bright skies and I had been awake throughout the night. Doing nothing. Doing what? Doing nothing.
Yeah nothing.
What? Nothing.
When someone pings me with the most epic question mankind has ever come up with, the I-would-really-jump-down-6floors-to-show-my-concern-towards-finding-out-what-you're-doing,
What you doing?
I don't know, I was just poking my nose. Glad that you asked anyway.
I always had put up a fight with myself to make sure I don't type out 'nothing' or 'nothing much' or a lazy 'nm'. But this sunday morning had someone had attacked me with the epic question, I'd have lost my battle. Nothing.

So there I was, doing nothing. The sun came out around 6 am, when my mom walked by my room, stood there, gaping,
"Don't tell me you didn't sleep all night"
"I obviously slept. I just woke up." Such a liar.
She took a quick look at the bed, which still had the all rubbish I had thrown-on, the previous day.
"No I'm going to sleep. Going back to I sleep I meant." I'm bad at this.
Thats when she gave me a look from which it became obvious that the end of the world is drawing nearer. It was the day my sister's giving an important exam and I had totally forgot about it.

Being a honorary member of the Indian Education System since kindergarden, let me tell you what important really means. Any exam which is going to bother your future is termed important. Simply put, every exam you write in your grade 12 is important. Everything has a weightage. Even the physical training exam, which you've thought you're writing it simply because you're otherwise jobless at home, has some weightage. Just wait and watch. The Board would soon find ways to penetrate its way to your Facebook profile and give 5% weightage to all the quizes you take. Even Anita, the psychic can't help you.

As I was saying, she was about to write this superimportant exam, the final level of the Pre-Medical Pre-Dental. She had always wanted to be a doctor. Everyone in my family did. So naturally, the house had a very tense situation. We packed and left, 2 hours before the exam. My golly, TWO HOURS.

After much of pep talk, the bell rang and the fighters, heavily armed with hall tickets and pencilerasersharpnerscale entered the arena with roaring excitement as the crowd watched tensed. They disappeared into the walls of the exam halls and we were left alone, blinking. It was all amusing. It was just a year ago what I was one among the fighters, leaving behind the amused crowd. Now I'm a veteran.

I was day dreaming in this profound amusement, when my dad called me over,
"This is Dr Something Swaminathan. And he's my son, studying in IIT."
That 3 letter word forced me into a mini career guidance session which included finding responses to questions like
"Do which is better? Mechanical or Electrical?",
"Chemical Engineering? No no my son hates chemistry",
"D'you think Computer science at NIT is better than Aerospace at IIT?" (My personal favorite. Browny points for creativity)

Thats when I began to wonder. Fundamentally there's something seriously wrong. I know people who clear JEE and have not a single clue of what stream they want to put their rest of their life into. Whatever the rank they get, their choice is just the same as the choice of the crowd who get ranks close to theirs.
This strangely reminds me of this scene from Bug's Life where new born babies come rolling down the conveyor belt and the queen ant looks at the each baby and decides whether it could become a soldier or a worker. Just a look. Points to it and the queen mutters 'soldier', next, 'worker', next, 'soldier'...
This resemblance is just sad. Its all upto that rank you get, that exam you write, your performance at the conveyor belt. Smile. You're a worker. Act tough. You're a soldier. The baby does not even know what its putting its life into.
"Perform at the conveyor belt well and the rest is taken care of", they assure the baby.
"Wagawaga", it replies in Baby(UK) which translates to "Why don't you give me a break?" in English(UK).

"So tell me, which is better? Mechanical or Electrical?"

I had day dreamed a bit and this was parent#6 I was talking to. Same questions. Same mentality.
"I don't know ma'm. I belong to neither." I was polite.
Something's strangely wrong.


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  2. "cs in nit better than aerospace in iit" rofl. :D