My Life

A glance back…


Born in India? Yes I am!

Engineer or Doctor? Hmm, not either I guess.Technically I have an engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics. But that doesn’t make me an engineer, does it ? I work as a programmer !

I sometimes wonder why had I wasted 4 long years to mug up something that I was never interested in. I used to study only when the exams were around the corner, and though I managed to get decent marks, I had learned nothing.I couldn’t wait for the exams to get over to unload all those useless junks off my brain!

Now why did I take up engineering? Old story, pressure from my parents! They decided that it was the best choice for me.The thousand something rank that I had miraculously managed to bag got me no where close to the merit seats in any medical college and any other ‘unconventional courses’ (any stream other than engineering or medicine came to be regarded as unconventional those days) were not even in the picture.So engineering it was!

It was all for good, my mother had then commented. Bachelors in medicine meant around 5 years to complete the course and 6 more months of house surgency. Plus a mere degree in medicine was not enough anymore. One needed an MD, which was another two years.Then came the specialization, establishing one’s reputation etc. etc. and all those odd working hours that tagged along with the profession.It was a long painful journey. She had promptly concluded that for girls like me, engineering was a more convenient option,as it meant 4 years of college, a 9-5 job right after,making me a ‘perfect candidate’ for marriage at the ‘right age’.

When one of my relatives, an alumni of a prestigious engineering college, was called and his precious opinion was sought, he reflected that Electronics and Communication was the one with the best career options.But since it was the ‘hottest’ stream during the time  and way above my league, he suggested electrical and electronics as an alternative.So there I was, in a college of engineering doing a four year long course,absolutely clueless about its basics  and the career options it offered.And it did not take me by surprise when I hated every bit of it!

I guess my compliance with the decision my parents had taken for me was directly proportional to my lack of  idea about what I wanted to do with my life.

Though I cherish my college life, when it comes to what I had learnt, it is as if  I have an amnesia. I don’t even remember the subjects  we had on the syllabus, let alone what were the topics each subject dealt with. All those four years I have learnt nothing new, if I don’t count a few great lessons in life which along with other things have helped shape the person I ended up being.Sometimes I wish I had at least taken up computer engineering, since  the subject would not have bored me as much and some of it would actually have made some sense!Plus it would have helped me in my current job.

And in spite of the lack of interest and all those confusions, I managed to get my bachelor’s degree with ‘honors’ which throws light on one of the biggest flaw in our education system.Anyone willing to mug up can get a degree, regardless of how much he or she actually knows.(I sincerely hope it is not true for all the courses because some of them actually deal with important things)

If I look at the brighter side, pursuing engineering in a good institute helped me to get placed in a decent job during the campus recruitment .I was thus spared all the troubles of ‘first job’ hunting.Not to forget the four fun filled years in my life which left me with memories to last a life time!

I like my job.It would be an over statement to say I love it. It is just a job for me, not something that I am passionate about . The paycheck that comes in every two weeks keeps me happy, the work keeps me engaged, the freedom that the nature of the job offers helps me balance my life! But as soon as I close my laptop and leave the office premises, I forget about  everything related to the job. I am not my job.Apart from the occasional challenges like learning a new application/framework /tool and challenging timelines every once in a while, the job is quite simple. It never felt monotonous, but one doesn’t have to be super intelligent or anything to do this job of mine.

Sometimes I wonder if this is the best that I can do, or if I could have done something more worthy with my life.May be not.

I used to once blame my parents for pushing me to do a course I had zero interest in,but I don’t do that anymore.It is not their fault alone. Being the  kind of person who is not sure about anything, I was waiting for someone to tell me what to do.I still haven’t figured out what I actually want and I am almost thirty! Does having no real passions make you a boring person 🙂 ?

I like certain things, I have never felt that I love doing something to such an extend that I cannot even imagine living without doing it.I have no bucket list in my life, no big dreams.If you ask me where I see myself five years from now, I have no answer, for I don’t want much to change.I think I am not one of those ambitious breed.

I do like to write, but I know by now that I am not good enough to take it up as a profession.I am a movie buff and would be happy to write a screen play,the teeny weeny problem with it being the fact that I absolutely  have no idea what a screen play looks like ;-). But apart from movies and books, I don’t even have any serious hobbies.

Now I  realize that had I been passionate enough about something; anything , I would have rooted for it. The coaxing /emotional blackmails of my parents , advises from other elders , the prospective promises of the future, nothing would have mattered. I have never been a mute,obedient person who had allowed others to push me around.But I guess I was clueless myself about every aspect of my life and just wanted to take the easy way out, which was to have someone else decide for me.I had nothing to fight for!

Should I be blaming our education system for not providing enough career guidance or the almighty himself with not creating me with some evident ‘gifts’ that I could have tapped in and turned into a passionate profession 🙂 ?Or am I myself to be blamed? Or is there nothing wrong in how things eventually ended up being ?

I have never been too much disappointed with my life.I guess I am contented with what has been offered to me so far.But sometimes it nags me that none of what has happened to me was what I had chose for myself.Sometimes I just wonder if I am just limiting myself in a box.

Not all individuals are fortunate enough to  find out what really excites them and may be walking the path that others choose for them is something they have to put up with.

As far as finding something that is going to be as fitting to my persona as tinkering is for Tinkerbell (ignore if you know nothing about ‘Disney fairies’ :)) ,it might not even happen.May be I was not tailor made for anything specific and doing a little of this and a little of that might be what I am destined for.

They say age is just a number(courtesy-movie “How old are you” :)) and it is never too late to start anything from scratch.Who knows may be one fine morning I will finally unearth the real purpose of my life which  could be as big as fighting the aliens with my bare hands and saving the whole world !

 

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22 thoughts on “A glance back…

  1. Sometimes getting what you really desire is not that easy. It’s like life saying, “put some more efforts,son”. But you gotta keep chasing it until life says, “you have it in you, son. come and have it”.
    That’s what i’m trying to do and reading this post just take out funny side of it,except you haven’t realised what you are chasing though.

  2. In my case, I was already into an engineering job for 6.5 years, when I decided to write full time. The events that happened back then also helped my cause! Even though the financial rewards are not as good (at least thus far), my current career is challenging and interesting, which is exactly what I want from a career! If I ever become a successful writer, that’s all what I will want in life 🙂

    Destination Infinity

      1. So, you are senior to me by 0.5 years! LOL 🙂

        I think, an unconventional career is just like a conventional career – just that there is no safety net of a monthly paycheque. If earning is the only benchmark, there are so many freelance writing opportunities that I can pursue which could pay me more than my job!

        But, if one wants to make a meaningful and sustainable career, they need to go through the grill – the challenge of how one can add real value through their unconventional career. That takes years of toil, hard work, and tears. There is no other option – one needs to go through the grind. But to willingly go through it, one needs a lot of passion. And determination.

        At the end of the day, both conventional and unconventional careers are the same, IMO. The difference is between suffering voluntarily and involuntarily. I choose voluntary suffering 😛

        Destination Infinity

  3. Wow! what a nice post and well, I would say you have expressed it so nicely. It is the story of so many people. I’m sure so many people would be able to relate to what you have written. Good job! 🙂

  4. I can understand what you mean. I dabble in this and that as well sometimes unsure of my true calling. Do I hate the profession I am in? No…but do I think I could have been better at something else? Perhaps, if I had been aware of those possibilities when I entered college.
    Very well written heart-felt post.

  5. Remya, I’m a teacher who never dreamt of being one. I’m completing 30 years of teaching. Did I love my job? Yes, until a person who calls herself a teacher trainer entered my life recently. Entered my school, I should say. The teacher trainer killed my passion for teaching by “training” me how to teach.

    That is the education system you are blaming. Professionals ruin it. I’m not a professional teacher, I am an artist-teacher.

    When you say we can make a new beginning (last para – I’m writing from memory, not quoting), do you mean you want a new profession or you want to do something new in spite of the professionals in your profession? I’m just curious. Don’t take me as an intruder who’s trying to rape you metaphorically 🙂

    1. Thank You sir..for reading and commenting..I have immense respect for teachers, my mother being one..I have seen how much she love her job and have even felt jealous when i see the bonding she has with her students…

      I don’t know what i want, which exactly is the point:)…I don’t hate my job and will have no complaints if I have to continuing doing the same all my life….however,it doesn’t make me happy…if I could do something that makes me proud, that gives me joy, that challenges me enough..it doesn’t have to be a big responsibility or anything….i am not actively seeking a different profession, but keeping my fingers crossed..:)

  6. I have friends who could totally identify with what you’re saying — doing what parents asked them to do or what was expected of them. Sometimes I find that sad…especially when they know what they want to do but don’t do it! On the other hand, if you don’t know what you want yet, there’s obviously still time! 🙂

  7. You probably love saving money 😉 Try to be an economist and save countries from debts -lol

    Nice read anyways 🙂

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