A Rather Peculiar Decision


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…and there they appear, a couple of digits. Something you would’ve worked for, for years or maybe just months. A figure which apparently tells you how worthy you are to get into the country’s best engineering colleges; well that is what it seems to be. I was slightly startled when I got mine, but it was a stamp already stamped. That is who I am for the next step I had to make. Which was a rather peculiar decision.


I was faced with what was probably the biggest dilemma of my life so far. (I was 17, give me a pass) I could feel the gravity of the decision ahead of me, but was I equipped enough to deal with it? I was overwhelmingly under-powered, for obvious reasons. Everything for the past few years in an academic perspective that I had bothered about was just some math, physics and chemistry. I saw this coming, we all already did realize that we were supposed to make quite a difficult choice with rather different experience about things, generally at least. So, I looked at the possible options I had and tried exploring the departments that I could get with my “magic number”.


*NEWSFLASH* It is incredibly hard to understand how much you would like or be passionate about a branch of science in just a week, especially during holidays. Surrounded by self-aware pretentious peers and highly advertising Facebook groups wasn’t helping. We all do have the innocent dreams, desires and ambitions, to want to be able to make video games, to be able to launch rockets into space, to be able to construct and plan cities but that barely cuts the tip of the iceberg of what a specific department is all about. That dream of ours sure is the end game, but there are a lot of steps before that, which we might not be as comfortable with. This does sound wrong and pessimistic in a motivational standpoint, but it is depressingly true. If you can’t figure out the math the chances that you’re going to be launching rockets are low, just an ugly truth; a consequence  of being realistic. Now this just makes it a horrible and a brutal decision we are faced with, and obviously we blame the system. I don’t think so, I feel it isn’t as horrible as it is peculiar.


Let’s take it back a few notches. Before I even bothered to look into these branches of engineering, I had a short list of ones to explore, well why? They are the only ones I could get in the first place. We all are aware of the ‘best college’ to choose, the ‘best department’ to choose, because of these pre-established ranges you have to be in to get into them. This information isn’t definitive, it’s just a systematic public opinion re-enforced in multiple years of admission. This opinion is enforcing your decision in life which in the truest sense is actually being fueled by fiscal motives of the whole public (kyunki, ‘placements’). Engineering and Science departments are all just as vital and people would and should be capable of being passionate to any one of them. Yes, few fields don’t easily promise a strong future immediately in the current circumstances, but we sure can’t tell if we’d love that life or not. I believe a normal student (prodigies aside) making this peculiar decision, if is completely honest with themselves, doesn’t really know what exactly they are signing up for. This decision is now getting a little strange, I wouldn’t say ‘We don’t have a decision AT ALL’, but it sure is being heavily influenced by the vast majority of people and their thought process towards the whole thing. We can change this, but collectively…and *sighs, god knows when that’ll happen.


This would again be a peculiar (I love this word today) way to fall back to one of our country’s biggest issues. The ‘3 Idiots’ situation. We are building a society where it is a standard to do school, high-school then college and so forth. I don’t intend to say no school or college, but the reason we go to college has been far overshadowed by the society’s sense of approval than the personal intent or motive of the student. This is when I felt scared and yet motivated. Scared because I really don’t know where I’m going, motivated because at the end of the day, I believe I’d figure out something in my life. This ride has been exciting and I do look forward to continuing this, I would confidently tell you this, no matter how vague or scared you may be regarding what exactly you want to be, this country’s system or society has taught us this one thing, which suppresses us – yes, but makes us strong too: adaptability. Most of us have been doing things just because we had to, if you don’t feel right in your college classroom, you still would want to continue because you have to. When you are free, which you will be, explore yourself to the fullest because YOU are going to build yourself up, as cheesy as it might sound, NOT a piece of paper which says you’ve studied for four years.


Well, I managed to write about something without explicitly mentioning anything, no specific colleges nor any courses. I believe it is best to keep it that way because it is not about pointing fingers. The moment you point a finger to a definite object, the discussion tends to divert in accordance with irrelevant traits of that object. This discussion or rather education in general is about something more important and complex. Maybe I started with this specific competitive exam but the problem is more widespread and systematic. I don’t intend to propose that we must adapt education systems from the west or from more developed countries. Education is a very important circumstantial and situational component of a society, and as many new iPhones as we keep getting, it sure has been quite a long time since we had a proper upgrade in our education. Systemic, society based, career diversions and influences do no good to society. About time we don’t follow global or western trends, education is still are hard puzzle and in economies like ours, it is far from being cracked out. I’d like to call out to all the passionate teachers, the ones who love it when their students share the same spark of satisfaction and enthusiasm as themselves when the latter are taught the same. These people know best to appreciate something, to explore something and to make something big, they love. I am no expert, but it is your turn to come up with a better education system, something that can help children understand how things work, how the world works, what’s important for the future and let individuals do what they truly feel passionate for. We cannot say how the economy, the country or rather the world will work out. We don’t live in an ideal world, and circumstances today are biased against wide majority of people. Things work the way they work because they just do. This unnoticed influence might be doing the system good, or perhaps bad, as it sure seems at this moment.


Call me a dreamer, as people quitting today’s selfish yet human motives for far satisfying truer lifestyle-improvement motives is near impossible. That is something close to eliminating the excessive uncontrollable desire of elements like money. Money is awesome don’t take me wrong, we all need it but there is a limit for that as well. The end game will come when we make people experience the world and let them do or pursue what they find best, though it might be impossible, economically speaking. What if everyone then, just places themselves in the correct places of a society to make a fully functional and stable economy? A very hypothetical situation but I am sure as hell that they will be a society of happy people. Isn’t that the point of living?


Goutham Meka




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