THE MIDNIGHT OIL
One week to go before the final examinations start (or maybe less than that for the more daring ones). Tension starts to creep onto your mind and the worry whether you can at least deliver a decent performance in your examinations starts to eat you up. It’s a period when suddenly we become self motivators giving ourselves confidence boost by creating an imaginary bubble around ourselves that the situation is not that much out of control. We curse ourselves for allowing yourself to fall into the trap again and yes then the damage control starts with the great thought in our mind “There is always a next time, this won’t happen ever again.” In fact pages on facebook have been created on this very real yet unattainable thought. (Personally this crunch situation always reminds me of the Indo-Pak Kargil war of 1999 where India cursed itself for having allowed the intrusion along the Line of Control(LOC) for which we had to pay a heavy price but the difference is that the Indian army never had to curse itself again for this unlike us.)
Already one paragraph down and I haven’t yet come up with the main issue that I want to highlight. So students start to prepare for their examinations, the routine gets all upside down. Generally students who used to sleep in the 10-12 pm slot now suddenly develop an habit to stay up late (2-4 am) and study. I don’t know whether this is psychological or what but studying for your examinations especially during late night makes you feel as if you are the one who has written the course book in contradiction to the reality of being the one who has actually struggled to even read it. I think it is in mind only that we feel so because the thought that “I am studying when the rest of the world is sleeping” makes you IMAGINE that you are working your ass off (working hard). Now the truth my friends is that this is not true. The actual scenario is that you had been just sitting on your ass for the past two months whereas the rest of the world was working their asses off even then, they are doing it today and will do it tomorrow also. That is why I say “God is fair.” So it is NO BIG DEAL that you are staying up late for a week just to study that to for yourself that to because you didn’t do so before when you had to.
Two paragraphs down and my main issue is yet to come up and it’s here finally. You stayed up late studied hard with full concentration and instead of your normal routine of sleeping at 11 pm you slept at somewhere 2:30 am in the morning. I say good job done. But this is just one side of the story. The other side of this unique coin (which is the main issue…finally) is that earlier you used to get up at say 7 am (considering a normal 8 hour period of sleep) but now you get up at 10 am. So my question to all is that eventually what is the point of studying late? Ultimately you were getting a sleep of 8 hours earlier also and now also. Students get up late with AUTHORITY as if they had been working in a Hitler’s concentration camp and finally have been freed. Parents yes how can I forget them, they create hype about this issue more than the students themselves which ultimately persuades the mind of the students.
A typical scenario is something like this
Dad: It is 8 o’clock already why is he\she still sleeping?
Mom: Let him\her sleep. He \she was studying till 3 am.
Dad: Oh! Is that so? Then let it be.
Now I can understand the psychology of the parents that ultimately they are ‘PARENTS’ but my friend what about you? Don’t you think you should make up for all the fun you had earlier by working your ass off a bit more harder because when results come your parents are the one to screw you, a harsh reality. Practically the real motive of studying late is to cover up for the time lost, not replace it. So if you stay up late to study (I hope you study at least at that time) and get up late also then I would say NO BIG DEAL.
AT THE PETROL STATION
Petrol prices are soaring high. In fact this is the new thing on the block these days .The newspapers, the news channels, the dharnas, the morchas, the bharat bandhs are all about it. To be honest the situation is alarming and it is getting very difficult for Indian middle class like you and me. But I am not writing this post to blabber about this same old stuff as you can read and hear about it anywhere and anytime.
Today I was getting my car refueled at the petrol station nearby my residence and there was a heavy volume of vehicles coming in for the same. Since it took quite a long time to get my turn I was just observing in general ‘what’s going on around me’. Now this thought came to my mind and to be honest it does every time I go to a petrol station. I was observing each and every person whose turn it was to get the refueling done. There’s one thing I observed common in 90% of the people and felt strange about it, so want to ask you also is that why does one need to get off the car and stand besides the employee to see each and every thing. Alright the petrol prices are touching skies and the petrol has really become very precious and valuable but you don’t need to get so fidgety and apprehensive about it. Is it the excessive lack of trust on the petrol pump employee and the fear that he is going to run away with 10 drops of the petrol for which you are paying?
All you need to do is check the ‘ZERO’, if the desired balance entered is correct (both of which 99%of the times are absolutely correct) and for the curious ones how the litres you are getting for the same money is decreasing day by day and believe me all this is visible comfortably while sitting in the car from your window. Well if you are so interested in getting off your car and be a part of this whole process yourself I think you should in fact go to self service petrol stations which finally are being introduced in India.
The automobile industry is always trying hard to provide more comfort to its customers and as a result of which several features like the push buttons to open your fuel gauge are being provided in your vehicles nowadays so that you don’t have to get off your vehicle but no we will get off and stand on the head of the employee plus waste time in getting off then getting back in your vehicle adjusting yourself again and on the whole wasting time of everyone else(at least the 10% of those who don’t have this strange habit) . I would really love to hear about the intent and the psychology behind this habit.
WHY SATYAMEV JAYATE
Satyamev Jayate, yes the Hindu mantra from ancient scripture which was adopted as the national motto of India after independence. But I am talking here about the famous Indian TV talk show named after the motto which has suddenly rose to the top spot in terms of popularity. The show premiered recently only on star network and doordarshan and is currently being hosted by famous bollywood star ‘The perfectionist’ Aamir Khan. Well going by the statistics of the shows which even beat IPL season-5 in terms of TRP ratings I don’t think I need to give much of an introduction about the show but still for those who aren’t aware of it, the show brings to the limelight very important social issues in India. In its episodes so far dowry, female foeticide, honour killing in the name of love marriage, medical malpractice and child sexual abuse where some of the matters that were taken up to spread general awareness among the common people of India.
The show is really a good initiative to let people know what is happening in the country, what are the devils that our society is currently being haunted by, what is it that is not allowing our country to grow more rapidly as a community and as a society. Much has been talked about the concept of the show that it is very unique and that first time someone has been brave enough to stand up bring such sensitive issues in front of general public so openly. People have been going crazy about the show, in fact I have been hearing too much appreciation from people around me. But whenever I do hear or read something about the show being extra-ordinary just one question comes to my mind “ Why Satyamev Jayate only?”
Well I don’t think the concept, the issues being discussed and the whole show itself is something very unique. If you observe carefully a show called ‘Crime Patrol’ on Sony channel which is currently is in its 4th season is absolutely on the same concept. This show also takes up various real life cases on such social issues. Then there is one talk show ‘Zindagi Live’ on IBN7 which is on the same lines. These are just a couple of examples. Infact there are and there were many reality talk shows which have been trying to enlighten the public of India on such social issues, then why is it that only ‘Satyamev Jayate’ is being talked about. Although Rakhi Sawant’s claim that the concept was stolen from her show ‘Rakhi ka insaaf’, well that surely is an insult to this show and the team of ‘Satyamev Jayate’.
But just because the show host is a big shot bollywood star Aamir Khan and the show has been given a prime time slot that is of 11am every Sunday it doesn’t mean that we give ‘Satyamev Jayate’ what I believe it does not deserve i.e. the tag of being ‘Unique’ and ‘Extra-ordinary’.
By calling this show a unique venture in terms of its concept something being done first time in the history of Indian television I think the efforts of other people who are behind various other such similar shows is not being acknowledged and given the appreciation deserved. Also I don’t think that the society is not at all unaware of these social problems because we all are a part of this system only. The government of India and various states has been trying hard to curb these problems , so some people have also mistaken the motive of this show by targeting the government for not being active. So to clear this I want to quote something said by Aamir Khan himself “Through this we understand the problem of the people, we are not here to make a change. I am no one to change anything. I don’t think I am in the position to change anything else. I feel understanding a problem and feeling it or holding one’s hand or hugging is also important. I may not have the solution, but at least I can hear and understand.”
For people who are under any type of confusion with me being against the show in terms what it is trying to convey or rather me being against Aamir Khan I would like to say this is not at all the case. First of all the I really appreciate the efforts of the entire team of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ for bringing out such a show as it will only help our country grow .It can do good and only good to our society. Secondly Aamir khan is one of my personal favorites as he is one of those actors with great skills who has been known for highlighting unusual issue in his movies like as in ‘3 idiots’ or for that matter ‘Taare zameen par’. He has always been known as the master of marketing and I really appreciate the way in which this talk show is being promoted. Infact when celebrities come up and join such ventures it only helps as they are public figures and I think it is their duty to give something back to the society.
P.S:- I really liked the theme song of the show as it does give you a feel of being proud that you are an Indian.
WHAT’s THE HURRY BUDDY
I am sure you must have read, heard and talked about it a lot that this world is caught in a race, everyone is in a hurry to reach somewhere even if some are not aware why they have to reach there, I hope you get what I mean. But what I am going to write in this article is not the conventional boring stuff about the above but a very unusual example that makes me laugh every single time I witness it and I am sure it will make you laugh too.
DELHI METRO is a place where I feel one can’t get bored. You find such characters that knowingly or unknowingly try their best that other people’s journey doesn’t become monotonous. But without deviating away from the topic too much I don’t understand one thing and would like to ask is that, why is everyone in a hurry to get into the metro coach and more interestingly even in a greater hurry to get off the same coach to get into which you almost sort of fought a 1 against 10 handicapped wrestling match. Okay I can understand that for those people who are travelling for the first time in the metro, the whole thing is a new concept to them and there is an anxiety regarding taking the right route and getting off at the correct station. But what about others…huh? This isn’t your first time….!!!
If you have noticed there is this digital timer at every station that informs everyone when the next train due is. As soon as it shows 1 minute left you can see everyone getting ready for the next world war, there is this sense of tension in the air and a look of a killer in everyone’s eye. The moment the gates open the battle is flagged off. They are in such a hurry that they want to get into the train even before those who want to get off without realizing that when others get off only then will there be space for you stupid…!!! People want to get in first so that they can grab a seat, but I don’t know why. Firstly if you don’t get the seat , standing for 40 minutes is not going to wear down your legs( I am sure they can take this much strain at least) and secondly why do you try so hard for a thing that is ultimately going to be taken away from you. It’s just a matter of time before an old man/woman or a lady is going to take it away from you and mind you these people do not ask for it politely every time.
One more thing DELHI METRO is a classic example of a situation where the supply is stopped to create artificial demand. Everyone is so concerned about getting off the metro before other as if there is a race going on that all of them want to stand near the doors and if one observes from outside the middle section of every coach is half empty. Thus unnecessarily a problem of space shortage has been created. I tell you one incident, there is a college friend of mine who was coming from Faridabad to Delhi by metro. It was his first time and so understandably he was standing near the door so as to get off at the right station, the anxiety I talked about. But you wouldn’t believe that the wave of crowd was such that he was pulled every single time out before his actual station and had to struggle his way back into the train. Poor lad swore not to ride in a metro again, haha.
Why don’t people realize that first of all they are not going to miss their station and even if they do by chance I just want to remind them that our engineers have made a route way back also. So why don’t you all let your worries go and stop making your metro ride unnecessarily a tiring activity. It won’t matter if you sometimes loose a minute or so, stop racing against time and yourself. It’s not the destination but the journey that matters and try to make yours a delightful one.
THEY LIED TO US
I have completed my second year of engineering, but let’s go back a little in time when I was in 10th standard. The year was 2008 and I was going to give the much HYPED board examinations. Like any other normal student I was very tensed and was under enormous amount pressure of performing well. Why? I tell you why, because the world told to me “Son this is the most crucial year and your career depends on it, you perform well here life will be walk in the park”. Well what other option did I a 16 year old naïve one had, if they are saying so then it must be so. So with a great feeling of optimism I said let’s do it and gave my best shot. Well the result was pretty good, almost what I had expected and it felt as if I had conquered the world. Parents were happy and everyone was congratulating me over my so called big success.
Everything was going smooth when thunder struck. The world now had forgotten what had been achieved until so far. Everyone was interested in what is he going to do next. Which stream would it be? Some said commerce you know become a CA, others wanted me to be an engineer and a couple of people wanted a doctor in their family. Well I was pretty clear what I had to do, so decided to take up science stream (non-medical ). Then I was told you need to do something extra to achieve something in life and get ahead of others. Well I was 17 only and once again gave in to the advice of others. Like lakhs of other students across India got myself involved in a rat race chasing the best for myself. And once again the world told to me “Son the next two years are very crucial and your career depends on it, you perform well here life will be walk in the park”. They are the experienced ones, they know it better and once again geared myself up for a journey that was no less than hell. I joined coaching classes for engineering entrance examinations. Five days a week school and then slogged weekends at the coaching centre, this went on for a couple of years thinking after this I can live on my own terms. Besides this again 12th standard board examinations came and the pressure was back again. But it all got over finally. Gave my boards and got a pretty good result again. Entrance exams went fine too and got myself a seat in an engineering college and once again the feeling was “I am the king of this world”.
Now there was excitement that finally college life is here. All that I had seen in movies till now was going to turn into reality and it did so. But reality hit me hard again. I realized this world did everything to make you and your achievements feel small. Regular assignments, mid semester exams and final papers were the new things on the block and above all was the trauma of maintaining your pointer(CPI). The world once again told me “Son perform well during these four years and life will be a walk in the park for you.” Once again believing in their LIE took up studies seriously . Results have been pretty decent so far and now after two years I am in a formidable situation.
Finally a feeling had sunked in that finally life will be a walk in the park from now on but it is said the moment you think you have control over your life that’s when life shows it’s true nature and that is what has happened here too. “Son everyone nowadays takes up engineering , you need to raise your bar and get ahead. So what is your plan after B.Tech? You do a post-graduation from a good place and life will be a walk in the park after that.” Is what I am hearing from this world now.
And after 20 years of dreaming that my LIFE WILL BE A WALK IN THE PARK I doubt whether this dream will ever actually come true. I doubt if ever this cycle of lies and consequent optimism is going to end? Whether this world will ever be satisfied? Whether this world ever stop trying to raise the bar? I hope that someday I finally get my answers to all these questions. I hope I finally can find the park that had been promised to me and I have been trying to look for till now . Until then this feeling of optimism is what all I have to keep with me and move ahead .
HALF WAY THROUGH...!!!!
As I was sitting in a train on my way back to Delhi from Jaipur I realized that I have actually completed half of my engineering. Well my end semester examinations of second year of graduation just got over and the next three months are to be spend at home, yes three months off from college..!!! I always had aspired to become an engineer. Looking out of the train’s window and seeing the trees speeding past me I realized I how similar to these trees my time during the last two years in The LNMIIT had passed away so quickly. Last couple of years has not only made me acquire and develop my engineering skills only but much more than that. It has journey been I would say worth living for. Staying away from home for the first time and being exposed to the open real world it helped me understand the dynamics of it.
First of all talking about the hostels itself I would say that hostel life is simply awesome. Infact I would say that hostel life is an integral part of engineering, without it it’s just incomplete. It just gives you and takes nothing. By giving I mean to say it gives you the experience to be on your own, have a firsthand experience of what it’s like to be independent. It helps you develope as a person, realize the true character of this world. You are bound to make some good friends as has been the case with me, On the lighter site the fun and the thrills it gives you is just incomparable to anything and that is what makes hostel life worth it. Infact writing about this has made me nostalgic about my own hostel experiences during the last two years. If I sit down to write everything that has happened uptill now I would end up writing a book.
Reading up till now one might feel that engineering is all about having fun but I would like to say that it’s not at all like that my friend, with all the long and tiring lectures, regular assignments that you don’t have a clue about and of course the dreadful examinations engineering is one hell of a journey and it’s no child play. If at one end it’s the fun of staying in a hostel then on the other hand there is this huge amount of pressure to perform and achieve something to make yourself worthwhile. The parents wants you give a constant performance, get good grades and besides that there are your own expectations from yourself. Many students who have the potential just take the wrong path during these crucial years. Staying in a hostel also adds pressure especially when your friends are performing well and you are not!!!
One thing I have cherished most about the last two years is that there have been numerous instances when I have been down and out, all alone by myself, but I still managed to rise up again. I feel life is all about this only, to discover about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. With engineering another thing that becomes an important part of your life is your CPI i.e. cumulative point index if anyone of you doesn’t know about it. For some their CPI is a matter of pride while for some it’s just the opposite. My advice to all of you out there would be never ask three things in life a woman’s age, a man’s salary and an engineer’s CPI !!! Well I would like to stop here right now as engineering life is something I can go on and on and unfortunately my station is here. It’s times to go home and with two years gone and two to go I have many expectations. The next two years I hope will be even better, something special something that can be cherished for the rest of my life because you get only one such opportunity.