By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

The story of a lost kid

I hate to say this again, but here I am on a blogging spree chucking all stupid pastimes like cramming, ghoting, mugging....

I read Aravind's blog on his ultimate aspiration. The only thing that struck me was the story of this kid.

The summer of '86 had just subsided and early monsoon showers had struck the garden city of Bangalore. Bangalore, in all its pristine glory during monsoon is something that is not to be missed. As, is pretty evident, it was early June. A lady had just gone into labor in a small hospital which lay below ground level (just that it was in a low-lying area! ). A cute, chubby, extremely fair young boy had just entered the world. As if he wasn't ignorant of all the filth in the world, the boy cried just to receive a smack on his back from the doctor. Ouch! Anyways, the small baby boy was the cynosure of everybody’s eyes because of two reasons: one, his extremely chubby cheeks and two, his unusually blonde hair.

As time passed by, his father got transferred to this small village called Belur where our hero started going to kindergarten. Not a single day went by wherein he didnt cry his lungs out to go to school. His mom became a worried lot, that her kid would become yet another duffer in school. Interestingly, in school our hero was different. Though he was a very very silent kid, he was the topper always, and the kid with the best hand-writing around!

Later on, the family moved to Mysore (incidentally, this is the place where I hail from). Our hero continued going to classes and continued to top classes, only this time around, he didn’t cry. His parents were a happy lot as their son was doing great at school. His pants grew shorter by the day. At every family gathering, he was caught by relatives and praised for his academic exploits. He never liked it, though. Attention was something that he liked, but not in this way. He was an introvert. He didn’t like gatherings. He used to fight with his parents to stay back home when they were going out to attend some family gathering. He hated traveling. He hated going out to trips in holidays. He liked sitting on the couch flipping through n TV channels. Or sit in front of his computer and race his time out.

Yet, he was academically the best in his school. In High School, though he lost the topper position, he was always there in the top three. He began to realize his ambitions. He dreamt of being an aeronautical engineer. He knew, he was destined to be one. Though the computer was his first love, he didn’t dream of being a s/w engineer for a long time, though it did make its rounds in his ever vacillating mind. He loved R&D (as he termed it). He wanted to become a scientist. By the time, he completed his high school he made up his mind to become a computer scientist working on aeronautics (I still don’t understand what he meant by that).

A brief character sketch of this kid till now:
Introvert, geek, nerd, hates talking to girls, hates parties, hates traveling, loves TV, loves computers, plays poor cricket, loves his family and friends, thinks, thinks , dreams, dreams.

Our here then enters college. Not much of a visible change in him. But then slowly he seems himself losing out in his academic strength. His friends circle becomes much interesting though (yet no girls!). He does freak out now and then, but no way close to what usual college kids do. His dreams of making it to the engg. college of his choice crashes. He makes it to this engg. college which he never ever dreamt of getting into. It wasn’t the best, but was there among the best. And it was far far far from his place. Though his parents weren’t fully consenting, he forcefully goes to that engg. college.

No considerable change in him yet: Still that introvert, the same old nerdish tendencies, dreaming of working in a research organization one day doing cutting-edge research. And all these days, he kept on denying he was an introvert and flamed at people who termed him so.

The sands of time poured out and he found himself in alien territory, some 1500 miles away from his home in a university pursuing a degree in a field which he was not interested in either. Computers being his main passion, he wanted to pursue studies in that field, and to do that he had to top the university. A notable chunk of the cream from all over India had landed up in his University and he stood back and thought whether he had made the right decision in choosing his university. He did not give a damn later on. He knew he could do it. He was a confident individual. The first days on campus, he found all his friends freaking out, getting their hands dirty with scores of extra-curricular activities. He felt left out. He felt naked. Most people around him were not the kind of people whom he dreamt of hanging out with. He did nothing but sit late hours in the Institute building cramming some stupid text-books. He solved every damn problem in the text-book. He topped every other test in his first semester. And then the small break after the first semester. He came back home.

Back home, our hero, suddenly felt lost for the first time in his life. Living in a hostel for the first time in his life, he had changed. He felt a chasm between his parents. All that he had done is cram and cram and cram. He hadn't spoken to anybody as he used to with his parents. Now, he felt his tongue was tied. He cried, not in front of his parents, but within himself. He was not heading the way he wished to. The consolation was that his parents were happy with him topping the University. Little did he know, that his parents too cried looking at their son who had changed. "From an introvert to a bigger introvert."

It was chilly winter, and he was back in College. This is when he began to change his life. He observed people whom he dreamt of emulating. He noted certain things. He realized that the first thing he needed was a good bunch of friends. Providentially he did find a great new bunch in his hostel. He began to hang around everyday with them. He began to listen to music, which he had never enjoyed till then. He began to play games all day. He began to savor life. This time, though he did not cram as much as he used to earlier, but he still made decent scores to keep him at the top. It was as if all the Forces of Heaven had colluded to make this happen. He along with his friends started a e-newsletter for his batch mates. It was something that had never ever happened in the history of the University among freshers. As a fresher, one was bound by various boundaries, but this kid began to break them. This kid (or whiz kid, as he was called back home for trying to learn C in class 6 ) began to love talking to people. He was no more the characteristic introvert. The nerd in him was dying. He felt he had made the best decision in his life by coming to that University and having such a great bunch of friends was his greatest gift.

Inspite of all this, the dream to work as a scientist on cutting-edge research still lingered. It was a simple setting - the inauguration of the campus-wide network in his college and there was a Panel Discussion on 'Technology-driven enterprise' . A group of 5 distinguished alumni from the same college. This kid who always believed that Management was for those who didn’t understand that the sum of the squares of the cosine and sine of an angle is unity. He believed that entrepreneurship was for those kids whose dads had coffers filled with money. He perceived technical research as the elitist of jobs.
2 and half hours later: He is awestruck. He felt a 100X change in him. He had seen the nerdish himself in those alumni, but then he saw the bigger picture. He saw entrepreneurship and management as fields wherein you need to put in more intellect than trying to solve Euler's graphs.

He realized: Throughout his second semester, he had been an entrepreneur himself. Trying to bring change around him. It struck him lightning. That was what he would become. An entrepreneur- because that was the only way he could change the world.

Back in home after an year at university. His parents were shell-shocked at the change they saw in their son. He had become so much friendlier, so talkative, so receptive, so philosophical, and so mature. They cried in joy. And, yes, he had topped the University and he was free to pursue studies in the field of his choice. He chose his dad's choice - Electronics. He was dying to do something big. He helped out with the making of the alumni association of his previous college. He instituted a fest in that college. His head called for innovation at every step.

He was back as a sophomore in his University. He did not give a damn to academics. He involved himself in countless extra-curricular activities wherein he claimed to have passion in. He was a master in wherever he put his best efforts in. He loved people around him. He felt that people make life. He loved to sit and talk to people for long hours. For the first time, he started talking openly to friends of the fairer sex. So much, that he was tripped with a girl as well! He understood the meaning of true love, true friendship. He pursued his passions. This time around, every course he undertook had the better of him. He slipped down his grades like crazy. He felt as if he was being sucked into a black-hole. He knew his destiny was to one day be at the helm of a company started by himself. But, every time it pricked him that he was slipping down in his technical strengths. He no longer could be working in dream R&D departments. He choked.

Another semester and it was deja vu. The same slipping of grades. No matter how much his parents tried to drill in the importance of grades to him, it didn't help. Though this time he put a much more concerted effort, he realized that he had lost his youth. He was no more the guy who could screw back every course. He began to question himself. Whether he was right in letting his grades slip? Was this the way he dreamt of taking? For all he dreamt of was to get a higher degree in his area of interest and get into a tech-based enterprise. How could he tell his parents that he had failed to live up to their expectations. He was no longer known on campus as the guy who cracked every test. Some of his friends had attained demigod status by continuing their cracking spree which he had vanquished after his first year.

Here comes to an end the long long long story. From a silent introvert to a bigger introvert to a guy who loves to talk to people about everything under the sun. A guy whose ambitions vacillated from research to entrepreneurship.

As of now, I know that this kid is still in that state - thinking whether he made the right choice. But deep down inside, I know he is going to make it big some day. For he always loves to take the path less traveled by. And he keeps telling me that 'Everything is predestined, and I know I am meant for something BIG'.

1 Comment:

  1. Aravind said...
    The most laconic autobiography!
    You've impressed the person who believes - "Brevity is the ultimate sophistication" again, as you've always done...
    Kudos Abhi!

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