I turned eighteen quite recently and quite suddenly. First things first, the ‘I am now an adult’ thing is majorly over hyped. All the problems of the world vanishing, a new dawn, a brilliant flash of light…nothing of the sort happened, what happened instead was this article, the seeds of which were sown when I entered college, specifically The Sri Ram College of Commerce. Straightaway it struck me that something was gnawing at the collective creative conscience of the place. The place smells of ambition, competition, but what happened to the fragrance of eloquence, aesthetics, and passion. You might argue that a commerce college would of course be and behave like a commerce college especially one that has a title to live up to, but something is seriously not right or absent completely.
So when different types of coercion and persuasion tactics become the only way to get people to write articles for student journals, when spiders find luxurious accommodation in the shelves containing books that aren’t on the syllabus or on people’s mind, I almost feel pain. And it’s not as if there is dearth of intellectual capacity. Accepted that life isn’t economics where you can take excellent academic performance as constant and go about developing your artistic side, but something somewhere is dying, and this isn’t only about this college. So many out there fancy themselves as rebels, but do we know what rebellion really is? That piercing doest signify rebellion, reading or even writing articles that advocate change doesn’t signify rebellion.
If you want to challenge, challenge the ideas that have been taught to you. Those ideas about happiness, success that have been handed down to you in heritance. It’s really a funny thing we are trying to accomplish, our great need is to be accepted, but accepted as the best. We want to stand out and yet not stand out. We are just too damned scared of being different. How are you supposed to be better if you can’t even risk being different? But how many times have you actually even thought about yourself, and I am not talking of think of yourself in terms of what others think about you, or should think about you for that matter. So what do you think about yourself? Can you claim to have the space to live your lives, to think the way you want to, to dream your dreams, and believe in them .Rebellion is being able to think (quite rare nowadays) to be able to imagine and re-imagine the way you lead your life. Who is asking you to give up that IIM-A dream or a brilliant career, but it’s important to understand that human beings aren’t products to be sold in markets. Every step of your education isn’t a step in value addition so that you can be sold at higher market prices. There are values of an entirely different kind that exist in the world too. The value of beauty, of work, of doing something to the best of your ability, which is reward in itself.
Every phase in our life isn’t a, or shall we say isn’t just a step on the ladder to success. Ladders both metaphorically as well as literally have too little room; it doesn’t take too much to lose balance and fall .And anyway once you reach the top, you might as well enjoy a view of the world below, things from which you have so distanced yourself in your great pursuit to the top. Naïve as it may sound sometimes I really wonder what we are all driving at… so let me spell out the perfect life for at least a majority of the people reading this article, the realms of reality notwithstanding, Work hard( these portions don’t apply to geniuses) top your school, get into the best college, so that you can work harder to get into a top institute for post grad, work even harder to get that dream job, the dream quotient of which is determined by the pay pack, work still more harder to reach the top of the job hierarchy. I don’t think I should continue, maybe I should just come up with a function to describe this set pattern. That’s what we are, aren’t we?…consumers trying to maximize returns from given resources. People shaped by the big (bad?) consumerist world. Sadly our ideas seem to follow a pattern too. And I am not ruling out all that you count as your cultural life… movies, music, television and netsurfing. Even that’s quite statistical actually, 80% people watched Dhoom, 15% watched Umrao Jaan (the new recycled version) 20 % liked it for Ash 30% because the newspapers said it was good… etc. etc. We have so many choices these days, but everybody’s life seems to be a permutation or combination of the same events maybe even feelings who knows. We are so diverse aren’t we, I didn’t like the song he did, and if she liked the song too…Whoa! lets form a community on orkut!! It really got me wondering about myself and how I fit into the scheme of things. Here are the questions you may consider asking yourself and statements to ponder over…
Are we becoming one of those standard individuals, whose whole life can be summed up in statistics?
Are our achievements in life contained in the mark sheets that form our sacrosanct CVs???
Are we so obsessed with our futures that our present holds no charm to us.
The million dollar (pun intended) question is, what brings happiness…both poverty and riches have failed.
Dr CV Raman on education; the object of education is to create something, to see something grow.
Today the irony is that we are in awe of machines which can think, and scared of human beings who try to…