Saturday, May 28, 2011

Engineers v/s IITians

Here’s a piece of conversation I had with a student of 2nd standard.
(Sound of aeroplane flying above)
Kid: Look (pointing upwards)
Me: Yeah, an airplane. You want to fly one?
Kid: No. I want to be an IITian.
Me (astounded by the promptness with which he replied): Okay. So you want to be an engineer?
Kid: No (this time more vehemently), an IITian.
Me: Yes, but that is what IITians are.
Kid: IITians make a lot of money. We have to study a lot to get there.
Me: Who told you so?
Kid: My mother. She said I should grow up and become an IITian. They are famous people.
To be honest, I wasn’t at all marvelled or impressed by the kind of stuff this child said. This brief conversation with an eight year old stirred a very valid question in my mind- What do people in our country expect from their kids these days? Do they want a fitting profession for their sons and daughters or merely a fancy degree that sums up their abilities?
This particular child didn’t even know that the ones who graduate from IITs become engineers. All he knew was that IITs are great places to be in and one needs to work hard to get there. This type of ignorance pervades throughout our country.
A thought-worthy question again-- Is this right?
At such a tender age, when children are ought to discover themselves and live a carefree childhood, they are fed with facts.  Their minds are allured towards big brand names like IITs, NITs etc. giving them absolutely no time to realise what interests them. This results in a tension-logged and anxious childhood and definitely hampers their mental growth. Mental growth here doesn’t refer to their problem-solving ability in physics, chemistry and mathematics but their social sense, general awareness and emotional quotient. It leaves a dent in their personalities forever.
My plea, let the kids live their childhood. Ease off the pressure which rests on their delicate shoulders. Let their inquisitive and creative minds wander, perceive and analyse.
Before the kids around as well as their parents give me a sobriquet of ‘preachy grandma’ and point out that I myself dropped for an year to prepare for JEE, I would like to clarify that it isn’t the competition that is bad. In fact, it is desired. Aspiring for such big names isn’t bad. One needs to dream big to make it big. But with the result season going on, I am witnessing the blind rat race all around and this is what is bothering me. Everyone desires to be in an institute which gives them a so called ‘superior social stature’ and ‘respect’ amongst their peer group irrespective of their interests, calibre and capabilities.
Something (and I really don’t know what) needs to be done to vent out some pressure from the pressure –cooker condition our country is in today. If this doesn’t happen soon, India will just be churning out a bunch of programmed androids every year who have no thinking cap overhead.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The co-travellers so far...

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time. Somehow, I always got lost in the middle whenever I started with it. The most astonishingly beautiful phase of my life is over now paving way for a new phase. A milestone is reached with many more milestones to come. While trudging on this path, I’ve met many people and witnessed many incidents. Today, as I close my eyes and retrospect, many pictures flash in my mind, some vividly while some dimly, some colourful while some black and white. These are the pictures of some profound moments which I’ve spent with the ones who have influenced my life in one way or the other. Writing a blog-post is the least I could do to express my gratitude for them. So here it goes.

1)                  The mighty seniors:  I am amazed at the transition in me in these 4 years. This transition was catapulted by some seniors for whom I harbour a lot of respect in my heart.
@Sushmita ma’am: Ever since you’ve passed out from this college, I have always missed your motherly hand. The way you guided me, helped me and protected me speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Thank you so much for being there.
@Ashwin sir: This man is a coder, a dancer, a writer, a photographer and an amazing friend. I learnt to speak my mind, no matter what, from you. The passion with which you pursue your aspirations has influenced me greatly and I have always tried to imbibe it in myself.
@ Kushal sir: I’ve not really talked to you a lot but as they say, you don’t need to have a conversation to derive inspiration. A person who is stupendously talented but still has no airs about it- this is what you are. Thank you so much sir for being so supportive and encouraging while we were working for OPD-2010.
2)                  Team Gnosiomania 2010: Many people together make a team but I’ll say, without a shadow of doubt, that this team made me, helped me evolve as an individual. Every single member of this team is blessed with so much talent in his or her own way that it actually humbles me down. The level of excellence got elevated by my standards while I was working with this team. Ashwarya, Marda, Rohin, Hemant, Varsha, Anshul, Anshul, Nimit, Mitesh, Ratnesh, Sethi, Amrith and all others, RESPECT ! I’ll miss this time spent with you all.

3)                  Aa  ra ra ra ra: The team which has silenced its critics every year and will continue to do so- the Rajasthani dance team. It was an inexplicable feeling when after days of practices and rehearsals, we put up a spectacular show on stage and ended up as champions. I’ll miss those days of practices. I’ll miss the colourful costumes and the myriad emotions attached with this dance. I’ll miss all my teammates- seniors, batch-mates and juniors. Megha, Shruti, Ajit, Ali, Nirmal, Bharat, Sushil, Kanu, Aayushi, Pooja, Ali, Mohit, Abhay and all, may you all be successful in all your endeavours.
@ juniors: Get the first prize for us next year too. All the best !!!

4)                  The partners in crime, fun, frolic, studies, happiness, sadness and everything:  I am extremely lucky to have got some really adorable friends who have stood by me throughout my thick and thin. ( just realized, this phrase holds for me literally too!! :P)
@ Sonam: This female was my first companion in college. We clicked almost instantly and the rest as they say is history. Be it our crazy dance in first year or that meticulously planned trip to Teliyarganj :P, every moment spent with you is priceless. Love you loads!!
@Riza: He is a person who is extremely intelligent yet extremely simple-hearted, a person who goes out of his way to help others yet expects nothing in lieu. You taught me how simple life is. It becomes complicated only when one complicates it. Thanks for being there always.
@Urvashi: She is a girl who can laugh about anything and everything. She is capable of finding a reason to be happy in every situation- favourable or adverse. Wish you that contagious smile of yours forever!
@Hemant:  A person who has as big a heart as body. I’ve never seen you furiously yelling or shouting at anyone and I admire this quality of yours. Be as you are always!!
@Pallo: She is the one who knows me better than I know myself. My oldest pal, bestest friend and a lovely human being. I am proud of the way you have conducted yourself over the years. Our preparation for NTSE together, our cycling trips and our heated arguments on my terrace, I remember every bit of them. After meeting you, I knew I’ve earned a friend for life. Girl, you just rock!!
@Prachi: She is just so cute and adorable. She is the wisest advisor among my friends and still, has managed to keep her child-like innocence untouched. I respect your clarity of thoughts. You know exactly what you want from life and manoeuvre yourself accordingly. Don’t ever change as you are wonderful the way you are.
@Nadeem and Arun: I never knew what it was to have a protective brotherly umbrella overhead until I met these two. They both are just a call away, be it any hour of the day. I can't even tell how much you two mean to me. Thanks for everything !!!

5)                   The flames of knowledge:  I have shared a very special bond with some of teachers. They have made me whatever I am today. I bow down to them in respect.
·                     Naheed ma’am: She was my class teacher in fourth standard at St. Joseph’s School. She was the first one, after my mother, to instill a sense of discipline in me. I loved the way she made everything look so easy and attainable. I am indebted to her for teaching me the art of dreaming and imagining.
·                     Pratibha Tiwari ma’am: She taught me English from 8th grade to 10th grade at DPS. She was the one who tilted me towards reading and writing. She taught me how to give apt words to my imaginations and thoughts. She read all my write-ups and poems with rapt attention and gave honest reviews about them. I thank her for making me an expressive person who can voice her opinion with aplomb and confidence.

6)           The pillars of strength:  This one is for my parents and my li’l sister. I am actually running short of words to describe what they have done for me. I’d just say to them that I treasure you all more than I treasure anything or anyone in this entire world. My parents are by far the coolest parents in this world. They are more of my friends. I thank them for the values they have inculcated in me that have helped me carry myself gracefully so far. My kid sister has been a constant source of encouragement for me. The way she looks at me with those eyes speaking-“ Didi, you are my rockstar” is enough to make me believe in myself. Love you all!!!