Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Idealist Vs Pseudo realist

An excerpt from a conversation between an Idealist (I) and a Pseudo Realist (PR)….

Idealist Vs Pseudo Realist Posted by Picasa
Image source: modified.

I: Love is in the air

PR: Yeah I can smell it! Did u flush?

I: You are fooling yourself

PR: Well, am I? Enlighten me!

I: Love is everywhere. Love doesn't need language, culture, country etc. Without Love there is no human existence.

PR: Where did u pick these lines from? Each and every thing you just said goes well with Sex as well.

I: You can never live with your own self for the rest of your life. You definitely need some one to reflect yourself to, at the least.

PR: Yeah. Okay! Where does love come here?

I: You aren't enjoying the beauty of this world by being single.

PR: Well, singleness and sickness are two different things that people sometimes confuse themselves with.

I: Fall in love you will know the difference

PR: I will, if you tell me what love is?

I: Love is like god. Incomprehensible yet experiencable, Intangible yet achievable, unexplainable yet agreeable!

PR: Wait… wait… wait! You mean to say one can't understand it, but can just feel it.

I: Precisely.

PR: How typical? So you are advocating something that you don't understand?

I: Yes. That's the beauty of it.

PR: What's your name and where are you from?

I: Idealist and I' m from the inside of you.

PR: Just stay there.

I: Come on. At least wish people! You don't have to be in Love to wish people on the day they celebrate love.

PR: Thanks for pointing it out. I'm neither a fan of St.Valentine nor a lover of Roman or whatever traditions. So I will stay put. It's just another day.

I: Forget Love, celebrate people at least.

PR: Okay! If this is the only way to send you back in. May be for the people who believe in all these! I am sure they will have a great day! Because and only because they believe in it and I believe in them.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Decisions after school

"Students have unenviable task in hand as examination nears"

Public examinations! Standard XII

Couldn’t resist walking down the memory lane to revisit some of the most important decisions!

Regardless of the maturity level, or knowledge, the decision that you take-in at the end of your final year of schooling (or may be even by the tenth grade itself) sort of defines the rest of your life. Some of us have the guts to change the course of action completely even years after the so-called life-time decision was taken. Some of us just branch out and do what we like to do with just a few changes, sticking on to the same field of expertise with the fear of not losing the few years that you had spend in learning something. The rest of us like me, stick on to the thing that started to do, then.

1996- I was given the freedom to choose what I want to do……well, not literally!

“Barath, what you want to do is up to you. You have two options in Engineering now, Chemical or Computer sciences, which one is yours?”

I remember reading a similar kind of a conversation in one of those blogs talking about collegiate education. Whatsoever! This is reality. I was given the freedom to choose one of the two that they short listed from the gazillion ways of living…! Not that I was forced in to this completly without my knowledge....nevertheless my knowledge was less then.

To my parents, the world was so easy then. The options were very simple. All they wanted me to have is a professional degree! The professional degree at that time, for a typical middle-class family, starts with a MBBS degree and ends with an Engineering one with none between them. In my case, there was a little consideration on Architecture, based on my drawing skills. Nevertheless, I was too lazy to write a separate entrance examination and that displayed my motivation to find the Howard Roark in me!

Anyways, the options that they gave me, sure does sound like I was a born engineer or at least a brought-up one. In reality, I was a born slacker and a brought-up idealist. Like most of us, I was good in a lot of things. I am not sure if engineering was one of them, because I never knew what it was, then. So, I still can’t comprehend the reason behind their thought of me being an Engineer. Call me slow, but in 1996 my decision making capabilities were solely parental and peer pressured….well let me digress from the autobiography!

There are quite a few things that we wanted to do in life. For some of us, it keeps changing, as we progressively learn new things. We like adapting and deriving love to the new-found infatuations and misinterpret those as things that we want to do for the rest of our time. Say, your new found love to sport, dance, a music instrument, reading, reviewing, writing etc. We do the same thing to career as well. Sometimes, half the way we realize that we are in the field that’s not ours and we trace back and go to interest motivated areas. Sometimes we keep doing it more than once, like dating a whole bunch of people until you get to find the love of your life.

It would be idealistic a case if every one of us knows what we want to do for the rest of our life at the age of 17. Most of us are not exposed to the interest derived areas, but are to the purpose derived ones. Just because a parent wants to tell that their son or daughter is an engineer or a doc, doesn’t mean the offspring should be forced to do that. External force is there from the age 15, when they get to choose their group, a math and science with computers or the one with biology. (that sure does sound like an engineer, considering biology less of a science compared to phys and chem) Do we have more groups? Oh.. may be commerce. That’s it. Well, some of us are not even exposed to the options. What the heck happened to art, fashion design, film education et al? It’s certainly not because of the educational institutions but the institutional families that pressure them.

The pressures are sometimes not just from the peers, it could be of any type. Birth may be. How many hereditary doctors do we get to see everyday? Family of engineers! Or may be even actors/actresses now! People sometimes choose their profession, just because their parents were successful in that.

Well, stop for a moment! Let’s see from the parent's perception. Of course the parents are equally concerned on not forcing the kids to take a wrong decision. They are knowledgeable on their age and the exposure. So, when there is a time that the kid needs to take a decision and when they feel that the kid is not matured enough to decide. They take the step for you. Beautifully balanced and amazingly bullet proofed, because their decisions are sometimes based on the successful clan of the then-current era. If they hear success stories on Engineers and doctors only, they will obviously be forced to surrender to their derived urges. On the other hand if they hear only sorry stories of people in the areas that their kids assume to be interested in. They would never want to step in and gamble. After all, we are talking about a life and career here. Hence, most of the people who get to choose a career through parental pressures are in a group that is successfully living or at least thinking so. Doesn’t matter you love it or not because most of the time we quantify success by monetary outputs, rather than personal satisfaction.

There is a big difference between doing something you love to do and trying to love something that you get to do. I was lucky, or may be smart to understand and to have found my love in what I am working on. But lots of people aren’t like that. They would be, if they had taken the right decisions at the age when they were not educated to do. Well, as I said it’s too idealistic a case, you cannot make the right decisions when the knowledge is less. Well, if you let me go back and make those decisions again, may be I want to be counselor or a people-analyst instead of a chemical engineer. Nevertheless, if I get to this same position, where I am now via that parallel universe…may be in that universe, Iam writing a blog that’s saying otherwise.

At ~17 you can’t expect every one of us to be the knowledgeable about the future interests. I know a lot of people who started somewhere and ended somewhere else. The decisions that are made for them did not materialize and hence they moved on.

But if you think more, it’s just not about doing what you love to do or trying to love what you do, it’s about how do you define your love to it. You don’t love something, just because you are successful in it. A beggar is a typical example of that statement. You love something, because you enjoy doing it and because it makes you appreciate and reinvent yourself in all possible ways. Again, as I said earlier, success is not defined by the amount of money you get out of it. It is by the unquantifiable satisfaction you derive out of it.

Had Ramesh and Savitai Tendulkar forced Sachin to take up engineering or something else at his age of debut, do you think we would be watching Indian cricket with this unquantifiable passion? I don’t know about you, but I’m skeptical on the unquantifiable part.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Apologies for not being able to share the air in the blogosphere for a while. Work has been keeping me busy off late. In any case, better late than never!

Acclimatization! (process of adapting oneself to a new temperature, altitude, climate, environment, or situation)

May be I shouldn't use this word here, as in more cases it just signifies the physical changes that one should get used to rather than the cultural differences. Nevertheless, I liked it, so here I go!

For the past few weeks, I have been thinking about the acclimatization issues that one had to go through in the process of finding peace and harmony, along with monetary pleasures, across borders. One of my friends is going thro' it as we speak. May be that prompted me to write this. Anyways, when I decided to go thro this acclimatization path, years ago, it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. May be I was exposed to the western culture through friends, books, movies etc., and hence no shocks awaited me. Ofcourse, there was a great deal of things that I didn't know. From where I was to where I am now, I should say it's been fun learning and understanding this style of living.

Certainly it would have been much tougher than what it was, if I was not exposed to a lot of things prior to coming here. However, if one has an open-mind and the willingness to learn, I guess anything would be easy.

As I said earlier, learning different cultures and lifestyles is always fun, but,

Do you have the time to learn it?

How important is that to your life?

Most of us want these questions to be answered before even attempting to learn.

From a common person's perspective (not an idealist), if one's chances of working with something is 0%, why waste time in learning it? This theory is sometimes extended to people and culture as well. That's the very reason why most of us don't know a lot about Somalian lifestyle except for the obvious fact that they starve. Who cares? As long am able to help them and do my bit in stopping the starvation am good. This thought certainly beautifies pragmatism, but blocks people comprehension. By this, I mean that some of us don't even attempt to understand some things, just because it appears to be of no direct use to your way of life. But if you think, you would agree that most of the life-lessons that one learn in their time would most probably be from an unexpected source.

Well, I am not suggesting that one should have to learn all kinds of cultures and lifestyles before death, regardless of their connection to it. What I am trying to say here is that one needs to have an open-mind in learning everything, including people/culture/lifestyle.

Confronting ignorance is the best way to start learning. Understand the fact that we don't know a lot about the place, which makes it easier to acclimatize.

People, cultures, lifestyles are like Time. There are no constraints in learning them and it's almost impossible to know it all completely. Unlike Love, Acclimatization gets easier with understanding. The best part about this is that you learn from what you see and understand, not just by assumptions and imaginations. Hence, I guess acclimatization is probably one of the best things that one had to go through in life, so why wait for it?