How peer pressure can make life good bad and ugly !
I will start with my students in Shillong who are now working in different parts of the world , running family businesses, or pursuing their passion and yet making life a super hit.
Amit: Belongs to one of the wealthiest business families in the north east. A good Samaritan and pure heart. I am yet to meet someone as clear hearted as he is. He is managing family business from his Grade XI itself. He is like the ‘Richie Rich’ with moneybags all around him. Yet, his conscience and values are always in the right place. Many Bettys and Veronicas tried to get his attention but he remains the honest young man even now. Graduated because it gives him a degree but all the norms of the business were his strengths even before that.
Ethical businessman and a godfearing gentleman, Amit is a standing example of inner strength. Many friends, but none could influence him to go wayward, on the contrary, he has set up businesses for his wayward friends and got them back to a respectful track. He believes in Charity and philanthropy.
Aditya: Son of a rich Marwari business family. He was the Head Boy of the school in XII. In his XI grade, he told me that he will do something different and he proved his point by going to Australia to pursue his MBA.
He could have easily slipped into the family business and still done justice to it. He chose to be different and that’s why he is in Commonwealth Bank now.
He is also convincing his family to refrain from lavish expenses in a stereotype wedding which is typical of a marwadi wedding. His bride-to-be is as keen to join him in his ideals as he is.
Among Jamir: Except for his silent smiles and dignified presence, I was never sure of his mental presence in the class until I saw his answer sheets where every word I discussed would be in them. I always wondered how such a soft and gentle young man will brave the big bad world.
To my immense pride, he is a Masters in Defence Studies from Pune and a Rock star who entertains the big world with his (soul) strings of guitar. He lives, earns and enjoys well. He aspires to be in the Civil Services which he will do at his own pace. He does not go by the world’s pace, he identified his own track.
I can speak of Swati & Irene who are ‘Mastering’ Law, silent Sahil who reinvented himself as a debonair youngman attending IPL parties and managing family business, Archika who is into social work, ….
What I actually want to say is, each one of them pursued what their hearts connected to and so they are doing well.
From the north eastern corners of India if I can take these examples of creating one's own track, my examples from the hi-tech city of Hyderabad are a little different.
Not so good examples
In the last 5 years I have seen many students who have pursued the track created by the parents, corporate colleges and society.
Whether their heart is in it or not, is a debatable point because everybody talks about something called ‘competition’.
Nobody talks about anything called the thrill of being a mechanical engineer to design new tools, a doctor to provide good health, a software engineer to create new chips ! All they talk about is ‘competition’ and exams.
An entrance exam is like a lottery and everyone buys the tickets. And getting a good rank or a free seat is as seldom as winning that millions of lottery. But they wont stop buying the tickets.
They join the race because
• Family and relatives believe that this is the only way to a bright future
• It’s the done thing-yo! Everybody is doing it so why dont we also do it !
• All their career cousnelling is done by cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors, colleagues of parents etc etc.,
• their friends may look down upon them if they don’t take up MPC and IIT coaching.
• they can escape the wrath of the parents for 2 years
• they live in a world of information technology but they neither have information on other courses nor use the technology for gathering the right information
• they visualize themselves as IT professionals globetrotting and fancy living.
• they want to become rocket scientists without a clue about it
• no one sees beyond the 4 years of engineering- like future jobs and opportunities !
I have a student who imagines himself as a warrior, so he wants to be in the army. He is very tech savvy but did not use the technology to know what it takes to be an army man.
Another bright and intellectual student who is not very math or Sc pro, is joining a remote residential college because his cousin cleared the IIT from there so the father believes that he can also clear if he goes through the same regimentation.
A very intelligent and balanced young man also joins the race to satisfy his parents but his heart is in humanities and scholarly subjects.
A good Samaritan who has promising leadership qualities also joined the rat race because he wanted to follow his friends.
Everybody believes that life is a race. But life is an experience to live.
I read a very practical book called ‘Don’t sprint the marathon’ by Dr V Raghunathan.
I would recommend it to all those who treat life as something to be achieved in these 2 years of intermediate coaching alone!
Everybody talks about foundation for long adulthood in the short span of 8 years –that is 10 to 18yrs. Actually speaking, adulthood is the longest phase of life where all living and learning is done.
I wish adults and young people will widen their horizons and see life in a broader perspective.
People who sacrificed
were called saints.
But now they are called
as students of corporate colleges
I dedicate this to all the saints who have renounced 'thinking' !