Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not "just another brick in the wall"

Jaideep Sahni has this very interesting piece of Op-Ed in June 24th TOI. Some excerpts:

    I was fifteen years old when I was asked to decide what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I’ve often wondered at the stupidity of this — how can a 15-year-old possibly make such a decision? The second thing I’ve never understood is the way I was asked. I was asked to choose the direction of the rest of my life from science, commerce and arts. Can all the millions of wonderful options in life be classified into three things? Just 15 and they have already shrunk your life....

....So what am I doing writing movies and lyrics in Mumbai? Well, before I started writing screenplays and songs, I used to make ad films, before which I used to be an IT consultant for big corporations. That’s the point: I might want to make movies, write computer software, design embedded systems for public utilities, write songs, learn how to fly planes, turn FM radio on its head, and a zillion other things. But does my education give me wings to fly, explore, change course?... why is it so detached from our dreams? Why didn’t I have the option to dabble in a wide variety of subjects while in college, so I didn’t have to spend a large part of my working life searching for what I really loved?

I’ve always had this funny suspicion that we are a nation of engineers who wanted to be singers, doctors who wanted to be actors, and so on. This is partly because we are a poor country and everybody makes life decisions based on how much he will be able to earn. And partly because nobody ever advised us any better. And that has made us a weird society. A nation which at all times is running on half-steam because a huge percentage of productive citizens are just passing time — because they’re not doing jobs they’d really like to do.

....Our schools lock children up in private little hells where they learn the fear of failure and the fine art of travelling through airless cells called careers where we spend the rest of our lives racing each other to places we never wanted to go in the first place. "


Bombay Addict said...

Thank you for this link. Archived.

Cosmic Voices said...

Thanks a zillion. Jaideep spoke for thousands like me who are engineers by qualification, but never intended or wanted to be one.

Of course, I had a decent escape. :-)

Parul Gupta said...

excellently put! Cosmic voices - would love to hear your escape story :-)

Btw, please check out - a place to share information related to development and social welfare.