As mentioned previously, I am a Mechanical engineeing student, I choose to use the word ‘student’ as am still learning. Mechanical engineering as branch of engineering, possesses the infinite nature as that of physics, the mother branch of engineering.
I graduated from a engineering college situated, almost on the outskirts of Bangalore city, the location was the actual outskirt of Bangalore about 30 years back. It is a merger between rural and urban cultures, like cyber cafes with CRT monitors and ball mouse, although cyber cafes are obsolete now. English was never used in the college, all sorts of communication happened in Kannada, occasionally Telugu, Tamil and Hindi were heard. My English, though not great,was revered with respect and devotion by my friends in other departments. My classmates in mechanical engineering department, though proficient in English, not all but majority spoke fluent English, chose to speak colloquial Kannada, with ear splitting swear words in every sentence spoken.
Cigarettes and alcohol, though part of every engineering college life, they have a special bonding with mechanical and civil engineering college life mainly because of majority male crowd. Am not being sexist here nor am I against females from having a drink or a puff, its just that smoking and drinking are still a taboo among traditional Indian families especially for girls, however I am totally against anyone smoking.
Classes would start at 8:30AM, but I would always reach at 10:30AM for the 3rd hour, would attend occasionally. Mostly would spend time in front of the tea shop with my friends, would smoke incessantly. One thing that only Mechanical engineering department has that no other department has are the unity and bonding, its been few years since I graduated, but still I never felt I was out of college, as the entire batch is still in touch despite everyone having busy lives, we meet often near a tea stall in the locality of Banashankari.
I meet a guy named Niroop my friend and classmate and another guy named Uday, my friend and classmate from my first year engineering in electronics department prior to my branch change in the second year, three of us called the wolfpack. We would meet and spend hours together doing nothing but discussing random relevant and irrelevant stuff. All of of would go crazy if we missed meeting even a single weekend.
While working in a IT firm, catching up on weekends was getting too mainstream. Those lousy team outings, where people just get drunk and pretend they are still in college. Those filthy pubs, which were dream hangout spots during college days, it was practically not possible to visit with limited pocket money during college, totally suck. I maybe a crazy fucking weirdo, maybe those places aren’t my cup of tea, at times I would wonder if I was a fuckin misfit, I don’t enjoy things which the present generation would enjoy, despite it wasn’t hard for me to behave socially.
By the time we reach the age of 25, most of our friends will either be struggling to find a stable career, regretting the wrong career choices, in a relationship behaving like total responsible adults, few in failed relationships, working overtime to vent out their frustrations in the process achieving excellent professional success and few successful ones who had struck a right balance. One thing was common in the various types of friends mentioned previously, everyone would give free, whether you like it or not and whether you need it or not, a friend who’s year older regretting about his wrong career choice would advise like a oldman saying to choose my career carefully as I was still young and had a chance unlike him, that bugger is a just a year older and he had equal chances as I had. Friend in love would advise me to get into a relationship and settle down while still young. Friend in a failed relationship would advise against getting in any relationship and focus on career alone as success and money are the only true assets a person can have. Successful friend would advise me to follow his footsteps, I would wonder on what basis was he measuring success.
I was neither struggling to get a job nor regretting my job in a multinational IT firm, though it was not my passion, I didn’t have any aversion either. I was not looking for love nor had a disappointing heartbreak. I was not a overly successful person who had a balance – good job, happy relationship and a “happy life”. I had a decent job with a decent pay, I have loving and caring parents and very few loving and trusted friends for life. Was I happy ? Was I successful? I had stopped giving fucks about societal norms long back, which was evident while changing the branch of study from electronics and communication engineering to mechanical engineering.
“But surely, was I confused” using Master Yoda’s speech style here. At times like these, when you are totally lost, when unable to ask guidance from parents as they may get worried about your future and friends who are equally inexperienced as you are, would give suggestions based on their point of views.
Where do I go ? Was the only question I had, as I am a book buff, I came across Bhagavad gita, not sure if Krishna lived or not, it didn’t provide me a solution to my doubt but showed me a path that leads to the solution, I found that solution, that solution is simple, “find/create your own solution” as Krishna quoted “better to walk on your path imperfectly than walk on someone’s path with perfection”.