I was talking to a friend yesterday about how the whole placement scenario works in engineering colleges. It’s weird, but the one thing Dale (a COEP professor, I think that’s enough said!) was bang-on-target about is that the reason students want to get into a good engineering college is to get a good job! Somehow the moment you come to know you’ve cleared your third year, the one fear that strikes the mind of every engineering student is- placements! Anyway been there, done that. So I completely understand and sympathize with them! So, I was reliving my interview experience when I suddenly remembered this seemingly simple, but brillianto question this guy from Cognizant asked me- “What is your aim in life?”
Now in interviews and SOPs, you make up your answers. And more often than not, they consist of phrases you pick up from the company/university website spiced with stuff like “cutting edge research”, “pioneers in the field of blah blah”, “leaders of tomorrow”, “perfect opportunity to hone my technical expertise” and what not! Obviously, coz these people decide whether you get the job or the university admit. But while I was telling her all this, I realized that I haven’t even bothered to give a thought to its real answer all these years! (And I thought, at 23 I’d know it all!)
I remember when I was in school in Doha, my mom had a teacher friend who’s daughter was about 5-6 years elder to me. I must’ve been around 13 then. So this daughter, all bright and smart, apparently told her mom that one day she’d have a flashy office on like the hundredth floor of a glass building from where it’d seem like the whole world was at her feet! See, that’s so Shah Rukh Khan-isque !! Same illuminating moment came in his life when he declared to his friend, standing on Marine Drive (I think) that one day he’d own the city! And he so does! Lol.. Well, I have no idea whether that bright and smarty-pants daughter got her hundredth floor office or not, but the point is- she had the “guts” to make a statement like that, when she was all of 20! And that is what oh-so-impressed my mom, who got all sentimental that day! Made me seem like a fool coz I hadn’t made any such promises; I was still battling with World War I statistics!
Then, I remember there was this one time my mom, sister and I were driving home from someplace, I’m guessing a fancy dinner coz that’s when we’re at out chattiest best! And I told my mom that one day I’d have a production company and I’d name it after her coz I was so proud of the way she’d raised me !! Yeah well, first reaction to that was shudder- why would I launch a production company!? And that was followed by laughter, fortunately not the ROTFLMAO kind coz she was driving! She thought I was drunk on food or something, making crazy statements like that! So there, my first attempt went down the drain! Well what do you know, I’ll still have that production company one day; only it won’t be named after her! So her loss, not mine !! 😛
Anyway, so ever since that fiasco, I stopped making such claims. 12th Boards happened, engineering happened and now further studying will happen. And I still don’t have the answer to that billion dollar question- “Where do you see yourself ten years from now?!” (By the way, shouldn’t that question be reserved for film stars; at least they’ll have interesting answers!)
So, with a hint of apprehension, I attempt to answer that question today. And since I truly believe that success is a journey, not a destination (taaliyan !!), instead of a definitive target, I shall be listing out things I plan to accomplish before I’m 27. Why 27? Coz I don’t think I can plan as far as ten years, a five year plan seems like a good start. (On an entirely different note- in five years I shall be 27!? When is that quarter life crisis supposed to hit!? Does it kill!?)
1. Have a job that will hopefully be related to industrial engineering and will be something I really care about. Now question for all working people- is it possible to have a job you care about or is that just a myth?!
2. Become a professional photographer.
3. Complete Dream Project 1. What the project is about is a secret. You’ll anyway know when it’s complete.
4. Have a detailed plan ready for the production company. Let’s start with the name..
5. I do measure success to some extent with material possessions. So I’d feel really glad if I’d own my own house and car by then. I’m guessing if I accomplish 1 by the time I’m 25, then this wouldn’t be an impossible dream.
6. Visit Egypt, Greece, Europe (at least Germany and France), Nepal and Australia. That’s one for each year. And implied here, would be doing all the stuff that’s typical of each place like scuba diving at the Reefs in Australia. This is in keeping with the “do everything at least once in life” motto! Hopefully one of the above will be one of those budget trips with random strangers, as I mentioned here.
7. Learn to speak German fluently. And manageable French and Spanish.
8. Learn how to play football, ekdam properly!
9. Visit an Indian Air Force base and hopefully co-pilot one of the jets. This is coz I’m crazy about the IAF (and NOT because of the airforce pilots in crew cuts; that’s sooo typical… :-P) And if I were two centimeters taller (and a lot fitter), I’d be an IAF officer today!
10. Stay unmarried. Yeah well, you’ll know why that’s important once you meet my mom !!
Phew! There…that’s my list! I don’t know how many of these I’m going to be able to accomplish in the stipulated time frame. We’ll continue this five years from today..