Simple example: At Atos, we have about 60-70% of the training batch from outside Mumbai. And I do not wish to blow any trumpets, or act snobbish, but the difference in the thought process, expectations from life, ambitions and goals, and in general the whole persona of most of the people from outside are wayyyy different from those here. Fortunately / unfortunately, in many cases, it is severely inferior.
I don’t want to portray how we, being born and brought up in Mumbai are better than them, because that is not the point. But it’s there. Sure, they will undergo all sorts of new training (including, but not limited to language enhancement), eventually adjust to Mumbai, and it’s extremely fast paced, and slightly pathetic, lifestyle, but we will always have that edge.
At this stage, I’m not entirely sure if that edge translates into anything at all. I mean, it’s not like they are going to pay me more because I hail from a relatively progressed part of the nation. Neither are they going to assign me a super hot project just because of that. (They may do that because of my other skills, which I may or may not have acquired because of my environment, but that’s not the issue at hand.)
So, in one sense, Atos is going a very good service to the nation by employing people from all over India, and training them to be on par, if not excel those who are already advantaged. The funny thing is, I am not feeling challenged, or bad about this. Which I usually would, because I’m somewhat of a selfish person, and someone taking over my turf normally does not go down with me. There may be two reasons to this: One, I may beÂ super confident that no matter what, they will never be better than me. Or two, I understand and respect game theory, and genuinely want everyone to be good.
I really don’t know.
What I do know is that I should really be thankfulÂ to my parents, and just about everyone who has influenced me so far, provided me the environment that made me what I am today. I do hope that this environment persist, if not improve.
The biggest lesson to be learnt out of this: Ensure that your kids, your family, and just about everyone you care about gets this environment. Trust me, (yes, it is lame to trust me, but do try), it is absolutely important.
Then, as the bitter chocolate the follows the dinner, (and me being super analytical, cribbyÂ and all that), I come to think of what if scenarios. I mean, I’m not exactly at the top of the environment food chain. Nope. Never was.Â Then there are people who’ve had even bigger environmental advantages and boosts. Which is sad, cause I could have had those too.
Of course, there is no limit to what or how much of this super-charged environment I could have had, but you cannot help wonder. Sometimes, I feel that I should have gone to do my MS in the States (not that I can’t do it now), especially after listening to people rave about it. It was only a few days back that I spoke to my friend, and his words were: “It is exactly as you envisioned it, there is technology everywhere, what you dream of having in India, and tried doing, is already in place here, part of everyday life.” Sucks to me. Anywho.
So yea, I’ll refrain from being a hopeless romantic over here, but you can’t help it. Probably, going to the US will eventuallyÂ give me an edge, that I currently don’t have.
And there are decisions that were not taken rightly, italics cause that rightly is a relative term. Like for example, me joining Chate Coaching ClassesÂ for my tenth. There are times when I wonder if I’d have done better without them. For that matter, I even feel that Agrawal’s wasn’t entirely good for me.Â What if I was staying in town instead of the ‘burbs? What if I were born in a richer family than I am now? What if I had two Nobel prize winning scientists as parents? Even better, what if I had one Noble prize winning scientist and another winner? What about my friends? I could have had better friends, I’m sure. Yea, sucks to the nth.
So what can be done? Take my CAT and MBA, for example. Sure, I’ll have an edge over almost 100% of India, if I get an MBA from one of the IIMs, but somehow I do not seem to realize it’s importance, which again is funny, because I do. I can’t explain, but, there’s something lacking. I mean, I’m not breaking my head over nailing CAT, far from it. But I do understand that life will be wayyyy different if I go do it right. The thing is, I can’t figure out why I can’t do it. Like write this post, instead of doing something a slightly more constructive.
You don’t want to go reading further.
Sensible post ends above. What follows is out of line, unedited, and totally not relevant to the title. I was interrupted. And I lost my track. Sorry!
So, am I good, or am I average? Depends? Should I be good? Should I always get the advantage? Do I deserve the advantage?
I think the even more fundamental issue is, I don’t know at this moment, what I want from life. Yes, I know it is supposedly ok to be that way, but then is it? And on par, if not even fundamental, is the issue, how do you know if what you want from life is the best compromise between what you can get and what you deserve? What if there’s something better? And in your reach? I hate this bargain.
Dad and I had a chat a few days back. The exact thing that brought it up was me not being satisfied with my new PC. (Yes, I got one new, and the following is going to be extremely understandable to Adi, since he knows the configuration). I mean, I probably at the moment have a reasonably fast machine, but just because one thing did not work out the way I wanted it to be, I was totally dis-satisfied. So much so that I was actually (and still am in some ways) thinking if I had a deal that made value and sense. I think I’m being too much of a perfectionist. Or I have weird idealistic ideas about the world.
So, how do I know if I have the best deal? How do I know that it was a win-win (and not just a win) bargain for everyone? Does anyone ever know?
I completely understand why HR never reveals what they are paying to the next lateral, or why parents should never really compare their kids with those of others. Because, get this, you are not comparable. It will only make you or your kid unhappy.
As an even simpler example, imagine you making the investment of your life. You think you have a pretty sweet deal (and you’ve researched it absolutely, leaving no source unchecked), and the moment you commit to the transaction, the evil devil comes along and tells you how you were swindled and the exact same investment can be had at half the amount you paid. How will you feel?
If you are anything like me, you are going to feel pathetic, lost, depressed, frustrated and the likes. But why? The amount you paid was value for you, wasn’t it? So what’s the problem now?
The problem is, the market forces reduced it’s value.
So what? It still is the same for you, isn’t it? Nothing different in the content.
But it doesn’t work that way. At least not for me. I still feel lousy.
I wonder what is going to happen when everything becomes searchable, and we will all know what the true value of anything is. Will everything go for a toss?
The thing is, even with life, this is always going to happen. And there’s no knowing it all in life (unless we go to the future and all that). What do I do then?
I think I should really learn to appreciate what I have, and while yes, yearn for more, the pining is something that should be done with. Be content.