Monday, October 23, 2006

to be the one you want to be

Five years ago I started studying to be a Mechanical Engineer. A year and a half ago I became a Software Engineer. A few months ago I was on the verge of studying to become an MBA, having got through 2 IIMs. And now, I’m doing something I haven’t been formally trained in at any point in my life. If a pithy statement is necessitated it is this: sometimes we may/do spend years climbing up long ladders only to find, at the top or somewhere in the higher rungs, that we’ve been snaking up the wrong ones. Or even that we’re way too up on some ones to get down and climb on to the right ones the--ones we would love to.

When I quit my job and subsequently forfeited my chance of pursuing an MBA I didn’t have a career path chalked out. I was only beginning to feel strongly about one particular thing: of all the kinds of imprisonments that we find ourselves living in one of the worst is to carry a question mark as a legacy of our past or as a precursor of the future. And this was just one aspect. Another driving issue was reason. Why one should be doing what one does. There should be at least thousand reasons for a thousand of us. Quite often the best of the worst lot comes up for serious consideration. And elimination. I can’t be this, this and this. That leaves this. So let me become this. Voila!

While the possibility of putting safety/security over choice/interest looms large at every junction, there is also the period of drifting along saying ‘let me find out what I want to do in life and then I’ll do something about it’. We (the ones who are reading this blog) are in a far better position to decide our destinies than many many others. When I was involved with a group of volunteers in teaching underprivileged kids the basics of computers a question had cropped up as to what lasting, tangible benefit the kids would extract out of a sporadic, even solitary, exercise such as learning computers. They may very well never have to do anything with it again. But then were we willing to bet on it? And wasn’t it better to give the kids a certain level of acceptance and a few choices which could help them later in life? It struck me that we, by virtue of our position in the scheme of larger things such as status, acceptance, and comfort in society, are far better off. And if we don’t make efforts to avail ourselves of it then isn’t that a pity?

I’m expecting a few to ask: is it entirely possible for us to decide our own fates? To decide one's destiny and to evaluate oneself on evident, more acceptable yardsticks are not two exclusive areas. For every Kiran Desai who wins recognition as a practitioner of a lonely, reclusive art there may be hundreds others who live in oblivion. But then, is the Booker the criterion for her success? What about the absolute joy she had while stringing together each of those thousands of lines? And herein is my point.

That when we truly enjoy what we’re doing we will think before we (or even will not) measure ourselves against hikes, bonuses, awards and start looking elsewhere when they don’t come our way. Or feel disenchanted about our lives.

Today I’ve a telephonic interview, possibly the final round, for an editing job. If I get through it’ll be redemption of sorts. Solely because I’ll be able to do what I want to do.

10 comments:

emeraldpond said...

A truly inspiring one. Thanks. :)

shantanu said...

all the best baba...let me know...

PritS said...

All the best babas..
in the end, it's just the satisfaction fo doing that matters...

satyajit said...

@ emeraldpond: thanks

@shantanu, prits: merci...the fun u've while doing something is the cake..all other rewards r only the icing

Ankit said...

"To sleep, perchance to dream- ay, there's the rub." --From Hamlet (III, i, 65-68)

Where's the rub?? We have stopped dreaming altogether; going through the drudgery of life like content pigs, who are feed away to glory before slaughter, though they know not what the future holds for them. We, being smarter "animals" are no better, are we?

SUCHARITA ROY said...

it takes courage to stand against all odds..but sometimes for most its just enough to see someone else live his dream to feel complete even if we dont live our own...consider this...is it possible for most of us to be able to give so selflessly all the time without questions asked the way it has been,for instance our parents or teachers or grandmothers who rear you up...do they have a life? do they miss a life..and is there a choice with us to do something about that?
:)

satyajit said...

ankit, sucharita: i'm always surprised by the diversity in comments to a post..people see different sub-aspects of a single topic and that makes interesting reading and also gives one some food for thought

sidhant jalan said...

Congrats Rout.. Yes Redemption day has arrived and has left you smiling. Well done..

Well, there are also this other breed of people like yours truly, who never find out what it is that they want from life.. If there is a ladder at all.. Or do we just like climbing for the heck of it, crack pjs and 'agar' jokes with people who are climbing the same ladder..

Kudos to u for having found ur ladder, or for having found a new ladder, and having the balls to start ur new journey.

Altho, I think you are being unfair to the pretty lady called 'experiences'. As an aspiring writer, you have learnt more in your course than mere rules of grammar. You have not learnt the art of describing experiences('altho u naturally abound in it') but u have learnt the art of experiencing life, and all that it has.. be it our small vacations on a shoe string budget, our sports, our g**nd maarna and marana sessions.. etc etc.. these are invaluable and are out gifts, your one time ladder mates..

let me add that if u "keep doing what u want to do", " u will be the one you want to be" ...

all the best in your journey of dreams, life!!

Anil P said...

Like they say 'one has to kiss a lot of frogs before finding the price', so does one have to bark up many wrong trees before finding the one whose fruit you like the best :)

satyajit said...

sidhant: thank you very much..i'm waiting for u t save enough to take on an all expenses paid trip..the shoe strings r beginning to wear off now..

anil:ya thats true..papad toh belna hi padega