19 June 2010

Family Potpouri

It's been a week or so since I was put through this ordeal....perhaps the most commonplace problem for any student in India, if not elsewhere.
        A few of my relatives came over for a round of gossip followed by sumptous dinner prepared by mum. As is customary when elders meet a 20+ youth who has freshly graduated from college, the talk diverted towards my future endeavours and (finally!) the fact that I had made it to a premier B school . Evidently, the kudos flowed in and my day was just seeming to get better! . But then, as it always turns out, all good things are ephemeral .... the can of worms was let loose....the discussion took a completely different course...

Guest 1: My neighbour's daughter is equally bright (me thinking : equally means u refer to me also being bright?.. :-) )...she made it to IIM-B last year!!!!!
Guest 2: Oh yeah....she's been brilliant and consistent with her studies ever since childhood. No wonder she's made it big. This is what it takes to make it to an IIM!
Guest 1: Her perseverence helped her to crack the IIT....
Me: .....zzzzz....(Wow, now the IIT bug's caught hold of them!)
Guest 2: Blah blah blah....(some more of the same talk)
Me (thinking): Guys!...I thought the discussion was about something else....now, where's this goin!!
Guest1: Now she's working in this big multinational....what else do u want?...
Me: (and why's all this talk relevant to me?...for heaven's sake, can someone please stop treading forbidden territories!)...

Luckily, before the chin-fest could get more dramatic, my wish was fulfilled....."dinner's ready"....said a lovely, soothing voice to relieve me of my agony. The colloquy carried over to the dining table and was eventually drowned out, losing favour to other brighter topics . Thanks a lot mum, ur always there for my rescue!

A situation of this kind is quite a common scenario in Indian homes. There are quite a few things to ponder upon:
1. More often than not, parallels are drawn with someone who performed better than you, intentionally or otherwise - i wonder if that's necessary at all, even at the pretext of starting a discussion.

2. The pressure to make it big in terms of academic excellence is always there in Indian homes, especially in south indian context, more so from the surrounding environs rather than the immediate net of parents. I hardly remember such a debate taking place on my interest in cricket or passion for swimming or tennis!

3. 60 years past independence and most of us are still stuck with the age old career paths of engineering or medicine, though law is gaining fast ground as another potent option. The exposure and awareness that should be offered to young teenagers regarding other avenues is minimal or non-existent in most places. Without a diverse working population, India's charge as an economic and cultural powerhouse would suffer a great deal.

    The situation is not much different as far as sport is concerned. We live cricket, eat cricket, sleep cricket....wat abt the remaining sports?....Brazil is as obssessed with soccer as we are with cricket....bt it has 5 World Cups to show for its fanaticism....China won 100 medals in the Beijing Games, India won its first gold! Money laundering and outrightly greedy sport bodies have done nothing to make the sports popular. While cricketers bathe in bucks, hockey players don't even get their dues...perhaps 75% Indians don't even know that Pankaj Advani is the world's best snooker player!....too much importance is given to acads over sport.....things must change!

4. At the end of the day, only numbers and grades make the cut, learning and reasoning don't. Its like an epidemic gone out of control. Mr Kapil Sibal has been remarkably proactive in trying to revamp our staid educational system but change needs to come from within.

It's upto us to bring forth a change rather than clinging to false hopes parleyed by deceptive demagogues. Change is round the corner, change is here to stay.....all it needs is a little bit of conviction to make it happen..


  1. awesome ra.. the english, the grammar evrything is vry nice..

  2. Tat was wayy above my expectations fr a frst time blogger dude..!!.. awesomee..! :)

    The more important point here is that i can see someone atleast who thinks of the real progress of our nation(the "how" part u know!), unlike our typical crowd waving flags(kinda mass hysteria we r prone to on aug15th n all..! )with no definite vision for things..!!
    keep it up bro..! :)

  3. @Harsh tq dude..hope to find some tym in this busy schedule and come up with more such posts...u guys are d main fuel for this blog to make the cut

  4. Great work tarun...The content certainly deserves more attention..but your vocab is striking...i think i should keep a dictionary by my side the next time i read your blog..:)

  5. @Murthy....Thanks a lot for ur support mate....yeah, i'll hope to come up with more of such issues...

  6. dude... it contains the flair of your usual style of working... keep up the good work...

  7. well-written..n completely relevant!! enjoyed reading..:)