Sometimes when I look back at the life I’ve made for myself, I feel a tinge of both sadness and frustration. This feeling reaches its peak when I question myself about all the decisions I’ve taken which in turn have led to my present life. To be more specific, my current profession! If you look at it from an outsider’s perspective it’s not so bad, an engineer working at a global organization on a core job with a decent pay. The only glitch in this equation is that I do my job because I am trained to do it and not because I love it. As the saying goes, “Life is always much more successfully looked at from a single window”. To see reality as it is, you need to step outside the world of the person in question and then look at it in its entirety. This problem which keeps tormenting me now and again is one I am quite sure, faced by a lot of people today.
Most Indian kids, at least the ones in my world are brought up and educated in a manner so as to land a secure job. It does not matter whether you like what you are doing. All that counts is that you have a respectable, well-paying and stable job. We are conditioned by society from a very small age to find happiness in what we do, rather than pursuing something which we would actually love doing. In fact, we are so busy caught up in executing and following up on this rat race that we never find the time to ask ourselves what we truly want. We are even programmed so as not to let our minds wander along such directions, as they are perceived to be dangerous by our parents/society.
There are so many kids out there who discover their true calling but end up doing something completely different thanks to their parents and the society. For instance consider the case of this friend of mine. He was a brilliant writer with exceptional general knowledge and was considering journalism as a profession. He wrote his parents telling them about his decision only to get a sixteen page letter convincing him otherwise. He capitulated owing to the pressure and ended up doing engineering like the rest of us. Then again, we can’t completely point fingers at our parents or their generation as the situation in their case was very different. We have the luxury of choosing a job now whereas, during their time, landing a job itself was a lifetime achievement. They probably have this in mind when they trace the course of their child’s future.
Moving on, my own case turned out to be slightly better compared to my friend , for I never did find out what I truly wanted to do with life. Yes, there were the few times when I questioned myself about what I’d like to do and yes, I did come up with some fantastic answers too, after my so-called deliberations. There was the time that I got inspired listening to my English teacher and I wanted to take up Arts. Also there was the time when I wanted to do psychology and philosophy thanks to my stay with the monks during college. I even wanted to become an officer in the navy at a certain point. Then there is the ridiculous dream of doing some menial job in a beautiful country, a thought which creeps into my mind even now. Most of these feelings turned out to be temporary, playing their part until they fizzled out, leaving me in a state of limbo. The persistent ones, I pursued only to find out that they were no better than the former.
It’s been a couple of years now, working as an engineer and trying to find some sort of happiness doing it. At the same time I’ve been trying my hand at different stuff, dabbling at this and that. Who knows, one day I might just stumble across something I like doing. This blog here, is one such activity. It’s such a rewarding experience to be a writer, isn’t it? I mean when the blues hit me I can just immerse myself in writing and for that moment, completely forget everything else. So far so good! 🙂