Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Idiot and The Educated


My sincere apologies to The Idiot.
The Educated might give me a look…one that reads “Seriously! Do you need to do this?”

Education is a bag full of books. Education is weekly tests, unit tests and term tests.
Ask 10 random students on any random street why they are studying. 8 will tell you that a good education ensures a good job. The other 2 might grow up to be Research Fellows in reputed Institutions!

I am not a Research Fellow. Maybe, I could have been…but I am not. We will shoot off an altogether different tangent if we followed this train of thoughts now.
Let’s just get to the point.

The IT professional has a pretty stereotype life. System, code editor, outlook, coffee, occasional text from that guy or girl you are dating, periodically checking the groups put on mute to see if something exciting is lined up for the weekend. That’s it. Some 9.5-10 hours of such randomness and you are done for the day. If you are lucky to have a manager who believes in the minimum working hours policy, you may get to go home early.
Home is equally monotonous. Food, sleep, book, phone, sleep some more. If you are interested in cooking…add one more item to the aforementioned list.
Three years of a lifestyle as sedentary as this and you are sure to turn into the much hyped and over publicized Idiot.
My sincere apologies to The Idiot. Again.

All the Oh-so-important things that these universities and colleges make us cram into our heads during the semesters and all those industrial trainings, certifications and whatever-whatevers that we do to fill up our semester breaks…all of it…all of it…just leads us to the abyss called professional life.
You are so doomed to turn into an Idiot the moment you step into it.

Being a Bachelor in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering, I currently hold the position of a Software Engineer. Irony? No. That’s how it works here!
I have forgotten how a Push-Pull amplifier works. I have absolutely no memory of Control Systems and Circuit Theory. I vaguely remember something called Bode Plot and Laplace.
So what is it that I know?
I know how to google. I know how to read and understand codes…in whatever language it may be. I know how to pretend that I know everything. I know which error message means what and exactly what will make the error vanish. Oh yes, did I mention, I can manage my juniors, assign tasks to them and get the same completed. I can also politely battle with vendors/clients and come out victorious at the end of the day.
Wow! That did make me feel like I was filling up the annual appraisal form.
Doesn’t Appraisal rhyme with Hike!! I like the effect!

The specifics that I had studied in school are long lost.
I still remember certain facts and pointers. Like, Khudiram was the first martyr of the Struggle for India’s Independence. I remember Iltutmish, he founded the Delhi Sultanate. I also remember a reference to the Slave Dynasty. Nothing more…nothing less.
Charlemagne was this French King who united most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages. There was some reference to France and Germany as well. That’s the most that I remember about him from School anyway.
The Nile basin, Thames…Ukraine…which crop grows where and what are the ideal conditions for growing the same. I have no memory whatsoever.
I dreaded Chemistry. Carbon spooked me out totally. Versatile indeed!
I remember the little fellas…Periplaneta americana and Bufo melanostictus. The names fascinated me. But my interest ended there. Of course, I remember very little about them. Heart partitions, some exoskeletons, endoskeletons and external appendages.
That was school for me.

And then there’s Physics. The love of my life.
One of the reasons why I took up Engineering was Physics.
But how much have I progressed in it since I became a Software Engineer? Blaaaah.
Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle and the inherent desire to just sleep during weekends and off days.

That makes me an Idiot. Once educated, now dumb.

I do feel like going back to some School for further education. Like an MS in Physics or Economics. I am good with Data and Analytics. I could Major on that.

Education is a strange phenomenon. It teaches you 12000 things of which most students remember just 0.25% or less …which is close to some 30 or so odd things. These things will mostly be those that somehow stood out…something that affected you in some way…you may have some memory associated with it…something completely random perhaps. In most cases people remember nothing worthwhile.

23 years of life devoted to Academics and all you remember are things personal to you and what appealed to you. Wow!

Life is an irony in itself and so is education. What remains intact is perhaps our sense of not knowing something. That is persistent…all through life. Take it either ways…knowledge is vast and you cannot know everything…or…I learnt a lot of irrelevant things of which I remember nothing.

So tell me. Which one are you… The Idiot or The Educated?
Come on…be honest!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Belief

I do not believe in YOU.
I do not believe in the "Religion" you preach.
I do not believe in the social norms you have created.
I only believe in ME.

I suppose this is the identity crisis that I faced some 8 months back. I was in a dilemma. I could not bring myself to believe in Fate. Nor did I feel like praying anymore. I did not feel like interacting with any fellow Homo sapiens. The entire point of being a social animal seemed moot.

Ironically, quite contrary to what the fancy Latin name suggests, Humans are inherently unwise, faulty, judgmental...and yes mental as well.
They have somehow managed to create this aura of superiority around themselves and each individual pretends to be an enlightened soul. These Enlightened Souls have this favourite activity of theirs and  they indulge in it actively...they sit on the boundary of your life and judge you.

The more imperfect their own life is, the more they tend to judge you. It's simple logic...their life should be better than yours... comparatively. As long as that holds true they are happy.

Also, they have devised a very powerful tool to modify the simple truths of life. They have given it a face (often countless faces) and an elevated position that simulates fear in the hearts of the masses. The rest is obvious, if you are really that wise! We shall consciously refrain from getting into the details here. You see, Freedom of Speech is hokum!

The main point here is that, no one has the right to judge you. No one is wiser about your life that you are. Most importantly, no one is faultless. There is no super power that is going to ensure that you get a sad and painful after-life. It is all in your hands. Really.

In my previous post, I had spoken about Acceptance. Well, that is one of the most basic ways to realise the much debated and sort after Truth of life.

Plausible misery scenarios:
1. You share your deepest feelings/desires with a friend. He/She breaks your trust and blabbers about it all over the place. Alternately...he/she does not understand you and starts judging you. Either ways you are miserable about it and end up regretting having spoken your heart out to anyone.

2. You love someone dearly and you believe it to be your fairytale love story. After a few years, the love of your life is caught cheating on you. You break down. Stop trusting people. Alternatively...you lose faith in relationships and go wild.

What happens next?
Do the social norms help you? Does praying help at all?

Instead of believing in external sources of strength...take a peak inside. You are stronger that you think you are. You need no deity to pray too. If you want to look at it that way, yes God does reside in YOU.
The society never helps. Its just a stupid illusion that you have been made to believe in all your life. Blissful though this illusion maybe...its time for you to raise your head out of the cocoon and look at the world outside.

Our beliefs are mostly based on the fodder fed to us from birth. We see what we are trained to see. We think what we are meant to think. We do what we are expected to do. We follow a pattern.

You could break it you know, if that made you happy,
You could choose to believe in yourself instead of putting your faith in others or in the unknown.
The happiness is yours and so is the choice.

Be wise.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Acceptance

The day you accept yourself as the person you actually are, you will cease to worry about what others think of you. True. Indeed.
All our life we keep seeking approvals. Its not wrong. It is great to seek a second opinion. Its a very good idea to have Filters in your life. That way you tend to stay on the track that the world calls right. But, when these approvals start defining your life, it is time for you to wake up. What's wrong if you absolutely love vanilla ice cream when you were supposed to like the chocolate flavoured one? Would you give up your choice to meet the expectations extended to you by some xyzee?!

Does it matter so much, what people think? If you can sleep soundly at night and wake up happy, does it matter if you have been able to please twenty other people who absolutely totally care not even remotely about you? 

Parents. Yes, we love them. Dearly. They are supposed to be closest to us. They are supposed to understand us. As long as they see you for who your are.
Blinded by the bright lights of social conventions they may start expecting things from you that make you less of who you actually are and make you a bit like the person you were ideally supposed to become. Not wrong at all. If that makes your a better person, go for it. As long as the Nights are spent in sound sleep and the Mornings are beautiful! It's perfect.
But if that does not hold true for you, do not stop being yourself. If you wake up in the middle of the night, nightmares haunting you...chasing you...blaming you...cursing you to a life long hell... Stop. Rollback the changes. Get your night's sleep. Accept yourself as being imperfect. It's ok. It's perfect.

In a faraway land...as distant as distant can be... it was late at night...and she could not sleep. She kept tossing and turning in her bed. Her pillow had long give up trying to be soft for her. The dreams would never leave her alone. The happy dreams. the dreams she had seen for herself. The perfection that she had imagined...the person she had thought she would be...the dreams of the people she had loved and broken... they would not let her be. She could not face herself in the mirror. The reflection taunted her. It was still perfect. But she was not.
She sought for approval...someone would care to accept her as she was...the people closest to her. All she got was rejection. She could not sleep.

Until that morning when she accepted herself. She realised she was never wrong. She was never perfect and could never be. All she could be was herself. the good and the bad together. She was free. Those dreams stopped and her mornings were beautiful again.

Acceptance, my dear readers...is the Truth...it is Key.


Clockwork

To be able to reach out. To want to know. Somewhere lost in the crowd. Alone and scared. Looking for a way to make it seem worth the whil...