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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Road Ahead

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Yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation; this kind of a powwow is commonplace amongst students who are in their final year of a basic graduate degree. The discussion begins with a person asking another his/her future plans, career goals etc. Being undecided myself, I usually do not have much to answer. I test-fired the same question to a friend and got a rather nonchalant reply, “depends.”


Depends! On what? In a rather serious tone, he said, “I’ll decide about my career after the general elections next November.” Elections? How can one’s career depend on elections?


“If Mayawati becomes the Honourable Prime Minister of India, I am leaving this country for good!” he promptly replied.


This brings us to an interesting aspect of career decision-making. Usually, it is not very difficult to decide upon a speciality postgraduate course after a basic university degree, if you are well-informed and aware. Obviously, some homework needs to be done in order to find out your own aptitude and what part of the profession you like. (Here, let us not get confused and lose direction talking about merit and competition.)


Now is the difficult part. Often there are professions that do not have a good scope and a remunerative future in one’s own country/state. This is often looked upon as a hindrance and it drives people away from taking up something they probably would have loved to do. Do such people really think it through before rejecting the idea of permanently leaving one’s country? If they do so, what goes on in their mind? Leaving one’s country forever sure is a big commitment. I respect those courageous individuals who plan to stay back and strive to improve the domestic scenario of the profession of their choice.


Once, a senior told me that a few people decide whether to leave their country or not depending upon their boyfriend/girlfriend’s decision. Another gave me a textbook-ish answer; decide ‘what you want and what you need’ first. Few make decisions based on knowledge obtained from television, films, their far off uncle or their peers. Of course, there are few others who come up with innovative ideas, such as general elections and exit polls.


The other issue is, coming back to one’s own country after spending sometime abroad. This may sound good, but not always feasible. For starters, your degrees must be recognised in both the countries. Often it is extremely difficult to get admission in certain streams abroad. Whether this is a fact or a wrong estimate, we don’t know. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think this should be the criteria for deciding your line of study. If you love genetics and end up with psychology just because you want to go to the US, you have probably made a bad decision.


I’m in a similar phase in my life – undecided and looking for answers for certain uncertain questions. Here are some of my personal considerations that have haunted me over the last couple of weeks:


1. Do I really want to think about this now?
2. What do I like?
3. Can I imagine myself doing what I like after 10 years?
4. Is it feasible? Costs, duration of the course, et al? Do I have half-knowledge?
5. Can I stay away from my country – temporarily/permanently?
6. Is there a scope of going outside my country/coming back in future?
7. Few personal questions to myself – it varies for every individual
8. Did I consult my head and heart both? Am I being honest and trust my intuition? Do I deserve better?


This questionnaire needs revision, review and re-evaluation. All of us must create our own questionnaire and answer it truthfully, taking our own time. This effort on our part is required so that we don’t have to depend upon Kumari Mayawatiji for our future career decisions.


Eventually, each one of us would be in a position to decide the road ahead; most people on earth have ultimately walked towards some success in life.


(Serious comments on this post would be appreciated)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Solution to a Problem – I

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(Most people on earth are extremely moronic; they cannot solve their own problems. This sequence of blog posts will help eradicate various misfortunes that plague humanity and threaten its very existence.)


Recently, journalists have gone berserk in announcing how our government is ruining education – junior college to doctorate level.


Since the discussion on this issue is endless, I have decided to put an end to all such debates here itself.


For now, that’s one problem solved. You can thank me later.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Garbage Chronicles

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After taking an exam on Monday, extreme boredom and frustration took over me. Later in the evening, with no one around to hang out with, I picked up the Times of India and began reading it in the solitary confines of my room. In a world-weary mood, it was refreshing to read Jug Suraiya’s comments on ‘Second Opinion’ (What rubbish, we’re Indians – 18th June 2008). Apart from Shashi Tharoor, he’s my favourite columnist from the Times; his cynical attitude and sarcasm is unbeatable. The best part is that this article of his highlights something that I wanted to comment upon. He’s made my job easier.


Tory MP Lucy Ivimy has reportedly rubbished Indians and branded us as congenital litterbugs. Many bigwigs have accused her of racism and though she has apologised, the issue does not seem to die down.


Jug emphasizes on an interesting idea in this column – the ‘open window’ concept. According to this concept, modern civilians (like us) believe that it is their birthright to fling household garbage lumps straight out of the window. He goes onto say that we believe everything outside the sacrosanct confines of home, office, etc is alien to us and therefore a natural receptacle to our rubbish.


Each one of us has, at least once in our lifetime, thrown something outside the window. Many of us must have thrown some filth just yesterday, to a place where it rightly belongs – public places and boulevards. A lane which connects me to the main road is always squalid – with dirt thrown from windows lying helplessly on the road. Paper wraps, chewing-gum, rubber slippers, plastic bags, banana peels – not to mention used condoms, sanitary napkins and a whole of other such rot. It’s not only difficult to walk here, but also embarrassing, to say the least. I know civilised, educated, sophisticated and well-bred individuals who throw all sorts of waste outside their window – their nail clippings, peach seeds, bad rotis, wafer packets, old rice, etc. It’ll sound very clich├ęd if I talk about ubiquitous excreters – practising a peculiar asana with a bucket of water every morning.


When I was half-baked as a child, I have myself thrown filth outside the window. No one complained or scolded me. Probably no one felt the need to do so. Somehow, it did strike me later that the world outside is not really outside and different from the clean, spick-and-span world inside the reverent boundaries of my home.


When my local train reaches Bandra creek, educated people toss bits of waste into it. Some have genuine waste with them; others do it just for fun. Many people spit on roads not because they are eating paan, but just because its fun. It’s fun to spit outside the window too. It’s fun to dirty our neighbour’s backyard and throw trash in our colony garden.


It’s not for the first time that a foreign delegate has pointed our skills at harpooning when it comes to dealing with trash, but still we continue to spit filth back at them. This is not about glorifying foreign habitude; it’s about accepting our faults.


One of these days, such firangs will be forced to say, WTF – since we can’t beat them, lets join them. Aaack thoooo…!