Did I want to be a civil engineer? Of course not… I wanted to be a superman…! Wanted to join army and protect my beloved country. But then things don’t always happen the way we dream… do they? Ok… From the very first day I was told that I had to concentrate and focus and work hard and understand and do all of this at the same time… After all my name is just Mukesh with no Ambani at the back! So I would go to the class daily filled with all types of people and try to do all these things together… I would end up staring at the teacher with an expression of constipation. They sure would remember me… my ways have been weird. I used to say there is difference between education and learning… and they used to laugh at me… But I felt pity for them for not understanding the essence of education… Sometimes I tried to tell them if students are not paying attention in class the teachers are equally responsible for failing to create interest in students! I would tell my boring teachers that I might bunk few lectures and just meet the norm of 75% attendance… Instead of looking at my honesty and reflect on the quality of education they have provided, they would tag me as a rude student and unofficially give me less Marks in the internal assessments… Because they were gurus! They used to do their job to ‘deliver’ lectures… But those long painful hours while drawing sheets and writing assignments made me cry. Took precious fun and learning away from those intellectual books, talks, seminars, music shows and everything I used to do…
“Do you have a girlfriend? Are you virgin?” many people tend to ask me in Mumbai… Never ask such questions… I didn’t even made good friends in those ‘5 years’ of engineering! Not even from my class mates! There were exams…. Fat books… hundreds of concepts… thousands of numerical and speculation by those who had the power to speculate… “Is baar ye pakka aayega 15 marks ke liye” 🙂 The look that everybody had just before the exam… Cannot be expressed in words… A day before the results… Nobody would utter a word that could upset another living soul… they told me god is watching… even though I don’t know now even if he exists or not… Not only was it important to pass… it was important for everybody to pass… Somebody would still fail… but why its me all the time??
My teacher asked me once- Mukesh what will you do in life? What do you want to become? I said,” ma’am, I want to be a good human. I want to follow my interests. Pet ke liye kuch na kuch dhang ka to kar hi lunga!” and I did, for next three years I worked with some of the best organizations experimenting in education, even got a chance to work as a teaching assistant in Manchester University..!
But there is this invention called money… and you are expected to earn it and forget that money is for you… You are not for money! Then there was office… No offence intended… a labour knows work better than any (fresher) engineer on site… I went there clueless… Then the boss would ask us to do something that even he fails to understand and even though you know nothing about what’s going on in this world you still do it..! Perfectly sometimes. I didn’t give a damn what amount of money I earn… Every month the company kept putting money in my bank account… I was interested in learning… I experimented with life… I had tough time… Many left… some new joined… I was interested in low cost housing and bamboo… but who else? Everybody wanted to build towers in cities… For the sake of building CV I was also on the so called ‘World’s tallest residential project’. For the luxury known to only those who have money!
Everything could go wrong… Never did… I did not come here to make friends… Or to please people… But things don’t happen the way we say… do they… I made many friends…. I fell in love… she left… I gathered my bits and pieces and started walking again… And I met few good people again… I sing with Avril ‘if you wanna bring me down.. Go ahead and try. Go ahead and try!’
Even now many of my friends are married… My Facebook Wall keeps showing where did they go for honeymoon and what type of car they bought… But it doesn’t speak about the heavy loan they have on their head! And here I am still looking for something real and meaningful in life… Then in 2015 I joined a management program of my choice in the institute I loved a lot… After fighting alot with situation and parents! But things remained the same! Did I ever grow up? Did I really learn anything because of these top engineering and masters degrees? What did I get, what did I loose? You have chosen the other, so called safe path… Tell me are you happy my friend?