Go to google.com.
Type ‘define: engineering’ and hit the enter button.
The branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures. The action of working artfully to bring something about.
That’s what Google says. But in India, engineering means different. Engineering means respect. Engineering means regard. Engineering means that you have made your father proud. Engineering means that you have made your clique proud. Engineering means that you have subsequently increased your dowry by few lakhs. Engineering means that some of your relatives have become jealous of you. Engineering means that you have done something fruitful. And so if engineering means more and then it demands much more.
But what if you aren’t an engineer. According to some hypocrite people, it means that you have just been deprived of power that is vested to you by the constitution of India via Article 21. The freedom of living. You don’t have ‘right to live’. And so it’s better that you commit suicide. And every year many guys do so.
The result times are some of the toughest ones. It just takes a few seconds to access the result, but many days to accept the same. The result that sometimes surprises you. The result that sometimes disappoints you. The result for which it takes months of preparation. The result for which you have to load tons of frustration.
During result time, no one talks much. Neither you nor your parents. Verbal communication ceases and non-verbal communication finds its new importance. Eyes talk a lot and you too reply with your eyes. Eyes express yours feeling better than your patois.
And as soon as the result is declared, you become numb for a time frame. It doesn’t matter whether you have succeeded or not. In either condition, you are going to lose your friends.
The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you. – Bette Midler
Those few black inked characters on the screen convey a lot. Your phone begins to ring. Your friends begin to call up. They begin to show up. If you have made it, you just want to say it to everyone. But if you haven’t, you just switch off your mobile. You just want to stay in your home coiling up by yourself. You think and then you repent. The whole world seems to be asking you about the result. You want to escape this competitive world and search your solace. You want to be surrounded by someone who is true, someone who could pat your back and say ‘Hey, it’s OK’. But the reality is the far distant cousin of fantasy.
Parents begin to doubt your hardship. And you lose your confidence. You begin to think about your teachers who somewhere in your past had assured you of your success. You begin to think about all those friends who had praised you for your talent. They were so damn wrong. You were so damn wrong that you got flattered by those comments. Your neighbors begin to show up. They begin to judge you.If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.
They want to know about your result. And they end up the conversation talking about the result of their distant relative. And in each case their relatives override you. You don’t want to talk with them, but your father has to. You remain in your room and you ignore the conversation. You don’t want to listen to them, but you can’t help yourself from hearing them. You finally sense the soreness that your father’s voice is laden with. You coil yourself even more than a snake. You do keep staring anything that comes in your line of sight. Your mother approaches you with her silence and tries to break yours but in vain. She assures you that everything is goanna be alright. But it’s you and only you who know that nothing is going to happen alright. You begin to tame a ghost in your heart. And that ghost reminds you about your failure whenever you try to be smart. That ghost is going to chase you for the rest of your life. All your life.
Everyone seems to be a stranger to you. And you too want the same. Each guy approaching you for the first time seems to make you uncomfortable. He might ask you about your result. The conversation ends up very quickly. And all the time, it ends up with the suggestion. The guy who doesn’t knows even the Newton’s second law of motion or secant of 30-degree passes by giving you an advice. One of those many things that you already have in abundance.
But life is not about how bad you fall after it hits you. It’s all about how you dare to stand up and hit it back with more intensity.
Nights are longer for those who dream. Days are longer for those who work hard to realize those dream.
You work hard and harder. You run the race. It doesn’t happen easily. If it would have been easy, anybody could have hit the bull’s eye. But life tests hard. And accepts only those who are tougher than the toughest. Finally, you have become someone, but not an engineer. You have created your identity but not as an engineer. You have found your niche and that’s too without being an engineer. Life is what you make it. And life is not about being an engineer. It was never about being an engineer and it will never be. You are more than that and you deserve more. One day you will have your footprint on the pages of history and sands of time. You have to believe in something because you have no other choices. In fact, you never had any. It’s time to Run.
This article is an excerpt from my book 'The Cut-Off List'