Sunday, July 6, 2014

Time and ‘Alka Aunty’ wait for none

It’s been quite a while now, in real terms say around nine hundred and forty six million seconds, since it all began. That is about the time I have been serving on this planet or it might as well be the other way round. spacecloudsstardustFrom the nine hundred and forty six million seconds, it takes a normal human being less than thirty one million seconds to understand the nature of life and its materialistic incongruence, once he or she is able to apply Pythagoras Theorem in school. However, for me it took around two hundred and thirty million seconds, which is about the time in which one would have reached Uranus starting on a normal space shuttle from Earth, cruising along at a constant speed of 28000 mph. That’s about 100 times faster than the Volkswagen groups’ Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (Originally French), the fastest production car till date. Production car means you can actually sit on its seat, supported by gravity on your bum, while its wheels are turning and travel from Mumbai to New Delhi in less than three and a half hours over a perfectly deserted freeway sans any potholes or bumps without seeing any death angels. The absence of potholes is completely theoretical since it would render around ten million citizens jobless, and many more contractors and city municipal corporations penniless at the same time. And as someone had said, even the moon is envious of potholes in Mumbai roads. Pardon me for my mathematical analogies, for my dreams most certainly pertain to John Von Neumann types whereas outside the matrix it’s a cubicle with a dizzy screen to stare at and do whatever I am told by an assortment of Weasels#.  And that dizzy screen is also my own laptop’s, since we had byod (brick bring your own device).

From the classical Indian context or say rather from the kaleidoscopic perspective of an Alka Aunty, a perfect life mandatorily constitutes of the following: Engineering from an IIT or NIT (by Alka Aunty’s exceptional mercy NITs were allowed to be on the list since 1990s via a special amendment) , MBA from an IIM (No other B-schools are approved by Alka Aunty within India, even if they feature within Top-10, MSc/PhD from the I-Bhee League was added later) OR a Hard-bard in US , an intra-caste marriage to a good-natured girl belonging to a decent family (Special approval may be sought for intra-caste love marriage against arranged ones), having kids who would always top from Pre-nursery to Post-Graduation and finally landing up with a aaMaNCee job, till death takes you apart. Pre 1990s, it was perhaps cracking the UPSC examination ending up with a high-profile government job instead of a MNC one, with other factors unchanged. Kids still had to stand first in each and every grade. All these things would be materially and spiritually fulfilling for the rest of one’s life. Social life in school should be pursued with like-minded people excelling in various fields and people aspiring to be a Dhoni or Sehwag (Tendulkars were alright though after he had won the Opel Astra[MoS] in Sharjah in 1998) neglecting studies lacking even the mild potential of a Gagan Khoda, are strictly untouchables. Boys looming behind girls are destined to end up as beggars or possibly lepers, in distant future and are worse than untouchables who have to be dealt with a poker-face insulting their intellect or rather the lack of it. This was about the idea.

This formulae is probably what Alka Aunty has seen succeed throughout her life. There might have been many others who would have been done things very differently and still would have done as well if not better in their lives. Limited to middle class towns, belonging to middle class families, these outliers or rather aliens like someone’s uncles’ sister’s son are simply ruled out by frame of reference, sometimes as myths and other times as lucky ones. Dinku has been voting for last ten years but is still living off his father’s pension at his father’s place, because he was hitting the cricket ball when he should have been reading books. And yes he could not equal Gagan Khoda forget a Sehwag or a Dhoni. Even worse, Dinku was composing love-letters to Dinki when he should have been solving quadratic equations. Dinki ignored those, thankfully to Dinku’s poor English and is now a successful and well-settled doctor. Had she not, she would have been selling vegetables after eloping with a vegetable seller on a bicycle which again would be a borrowed one, as her staunch father would have refused her any help. Though theoretically, she could have simply lived off Dinku’s father’s pension.

After performing the rituals one has to look higher up in Maslow’s pyramid for a challenging job. For someone like myself, both the person and the need is beyond comprehension. Something monotonous might require a change, but challenges beyond challenge is abominable. Long ago, our class-teacher asked the class to name of the tissue in the human eye where the image is formed. Amidst the chorus, one lanky bespectacled fellow firmly stood up and confidently answered it as “rectum”. The teacher almost fell off her chair in mirth, before correcting it as retina. That day he was probably written off from Alka Aunty’s books and possibly her alluring daughters’ too. Even that guy craves for a challenging job today, with incessant updates of his facebook status with thought-provoking latin maxims, either on world cup matches or during anything that is being broadcasted to two or more people. Even the concept of ambition is so abstruse, one frequently confuses with what someone wants to do and what others want one to do. My childhood ambition was limited to being a traffic cop, since you get to see all the cars from the front side. Gradually, giving in to my friends and relatives constant disapproval, I upgraded that to an engineer where I would still get to see those cars. Now, that was a secret till now. I am told that my next childhood ambition was to become a truck-driver, and my guess is that it might have been true. It must be fascinating to have a moving front view from a height of 8 to 10 feet. But it is not so fascinating for the people around me.

Lack of ambition for doing an MBA post engineering landed my friend in pre-marital affairs of a completely different sort. (Note - From Alka Aunty’s books, he is already written off) Although, post-engineering  he was doing great in his life in the US, he was bombarded with similar questions related to his ‘doing an MBA’ ambitions, whenever he met a prospect. The questions were either direct or carved out in utterly ingenious ways starting from, “my friend’s father’s uncle who is CEO of Y Company thinks that this world requires an advanced management degree to deal with todays business problems, so what is your opinion on that” to “all my other pretty friends are married to b-school grads, so will you please do it later ?”.  We learnt that this happened invariably when three conditions were met : (1) The prospective wife was very pretty (2) This was their second meeting (3) Third meeting never happened. So, his logical response should be to avoid meeting very pretty girls or just meet them for the first time and keep the memory. Being human, that too in the male format in late twenties, both were difficult and second response was possibly catastrophic. And in two to three weeks time, he would deluge himself with both gloom and Royal Stag, once he could see the engagement album of the earlier prospect in his facebook feed, till news of meeting the next prospect arrives. How did this happen ? Was it due mere lack of ambition for learning or simply a social cost ?

In contrast Learning seems to be the new buzzword to crack interviews. Even if you are sure that you are roughly ending up with a similar set of weasels, almost doing the same thing but with a pay hike, you have to emphasize on the steep learning curve the new weasels group would have for you,  ascending to newer heights of Weaselry. They all need a go-getter, self-starter ambitious little hog who would takeaway all the weasel work from them and yet stay motivated till the end.  What you do will perhaps never match with what you felt you were supposed to do.

Feeling mystified by ambitions, interest and social costs, most of us would keep thinking rather than working on newer things, keeping everything in eternal abeyance.

#- Weasel is synonymous with office workers who can/will project your work as their own, It’s a Scott Adams inventionhappy_weasel_day_th

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