I am high...and philosophical!

Well, exams are done. Sigh! Another addition to the ‘Magnificent works of Management and Fiction by Nikhilesh Murthy’ books. Blogging has been low these few months as life has been keeping me fairly preoccupied with exams, assignments and the great MBA job hunt. End of exams were celebrated in prompt fashion of us heading to the bar nearby and getting totally drunk earlier. I am now an avid supporter of the Bangalore Royal Challengers for the IPL… hic! Anyway, late morning, the alcohol and life kept me awake and I spent a lot of time thinking. (Please don’t go ‘WOAH, he thinks too!’)

Now quite obviously the one thing running through my mind is the all elusive (at this moment) job post MBA. Let’s admit one thing, we’re all in it for the money, and if someone tells you otherwise it can mean one of two things…either daddy (or the spouse) is very generous with their wallets or you’re in total self denial and you got placed on day zero at a job you totally hate and are being paid a salary which is very undeserving of all those A grades you’ve been notching up since UKG. In India, say what you want, your career is determined by your folks. And with all respect to their generation what they’ve done for us, more times than not, it is rarely what we want…and hence the sentimental USP that made 3 Idiots a big hit. But I don’t think it will change anything. Without commenting on others, I’d like to take the example of me to illustrate the point I am trying to make. The parental unit, since the day I was born have more or less set out a plan for me, none of which was made with my permission. Go to school…get good grades…go to college…go to engineering…work..get an MBA…get a mundane job with a major corporation who are going to terribly under value my worth…get married…have kids….save money for them…retire. And this ladies and gentlemen is the basic grand plan that works in almost every household in India…and they say we are not a communist country? Humph! But then something changed….Nikhilesh wanted to do something else.

When I ask myself, do you want a high paying job which would involve mindless travelling for business work, where all I would do is stare at balance sheets, get that company sponsored car and corner office with the pretty little secretary? I somehow cannot convince myself to agree to a concrete yes. And why is that so? Why did I spend two years reading for an exam to get into an MBA college just so that I can come out like everyone else? And the answer was simple – It’s the safest thing to do. And then it hit me, Indian parents might not care to much for what you want to do…it’s always the standard doctor, engineer, lawyer, MBA grad roles they can dream of. And that isn’t because they want to stifle your true ambitions of wanting to play music, sports, arts, theater, etc…but because from perhaps what they have seen in life, it is the safest thing to do.

When I talk to dad with stars in my eyes saying ‘I want an interesting job that would keep me on my toes, travel the world, and have awesome days at work. I want a place that would make me grow as a human being and give me a lot of learning oppurtunities…’ and so on and so forth, my father patiently hears me out before he reassures me that such ideas were the sort of thing HR put out in their pre-placement talks, but reality was far from different. All jobs were interesting and happening as far as the first month only. Your boss will eventually be a pain in your…neck! And pretty soon you’ll find that making money for someone else namely an investor whose face you have never seen will become your priority in life. But those who do well, learn to make that a fun affair…..take the job with a pinch of salt…and a whole lot of honey! And I wonder as to why did he make me go through all that if he knew that was the outcome….and it occurred to me, that this was probably the safest bet. And that my folks just wanted me to be safe. Odd….even after years of evolution, we’re still falling back on primal instincts…the parents always protect the young ones. Suddenly reminded of the Tyrannosaurus Rex scene from ‘the Lost World’ with that stupid offspring that got caught…lol…wait…oh….did I just call me a stupid offspring?

In my inebriated state, I was watching the infamous ‘connect the dots backwards’ speech by Steve Jobs at Stanford, followed by the commencement address by JK Rowling. And a few common points that I can relate to came across which I thought I ought to share. I am sure some of my college guys who aren’t feeling themselves right now are reading this…so here goes guys:

1. Life will not be simple…if it is simple and easy and everything is falling into place, you’re not doing something right. If you’ve never faced failure till date, then you’ve obviously been doing something wrong. Failure is a good thing; just don’t make a habit out of it.

2. There is an expiry date on blaming people. If you are not somewhere because you believe that it is because of someone else, that’s your fault for either listening to them or believing in them.

3. Experiment while you are young, pray for hardships now…because the lessons you will learn will keep you safe in your old age. So if you are facing failure, or depression, learn to cope with it. Don’t whine because life is only going to get tougher.

4. If you want to do something that is not conventional, be prepared to start from scratch and be willing to take the risk, even if it means going against your own ego…oh and ego is s good thing to have.

5. A lot of things in life don’t make sense now, but they will at some point. Hence never give up an opportunity to learn something new or even listen to what someone senior to you say. Most of life is not learnt in a classroom, but is learnt from people and the world outside.

6. Even when life is terrible, never give up on yourself. If someone asks you as to how things are going, always tell them ‘Life is good!’ and you’ll find out more times than not things actually turn out for the best.

7. Always look to keep positive relationships with people. If you don’t enjoy the company of someone, or believe that that person is not worth knowing, better to stay away and be quiet.

Anyyway, I think I’ve had too much to drink and to say already….it’s about 4 AM, I had better go to sleep before I get more philosophical. Oh wait….brainwave….how about this for a career choice? I become a motivational speaker? Oh wow… nice. I am putting this on the list of possible alternate career choices.