” Confessions of a confused Indian engineer… !!!

A guy who loved English literature but settled for electrical engineering and later, an MBA, pours his heart out…

When I started writing this article, I felt that such a topic might sound enormously blasphemous. I mean, it almost seems like a deliberate attempt to malign the second favourite national profession in our country (the first one is being a doctor). So, before you ask for my address, so that you can come over to beat me up, let me assure you it’s only mypersonal story. No coincidences whatsoever!

The first time I actually felt that it was high time to decide what to do with my life, I was in Class 8. Belonging to the ICSE board, we had to state our choices of stream in Class 9 itself. ‘Good people study commerce, great people study science, losers study humanities,’ everyone around said.

Except my father… he is a chartered accountant. J

I can still remember the heartbroken look on my father’s face, when I showed him the form with ‘Science’ written against ‘Stream of Choice’. Obviously, he would have loved his son to be in the same field as he was. But to think of it, had my father followed the footsteps of my grandfather, we would all be farmers today! Literally, ploughing in the ‘field’!

The first confusion started here.

I took up science because I loved physics and maths. But I equally loved English literature and history. This did raise some eyebrows. How could a sane person possibly love Science and Humanities at the same time?

Years passed and school was over. I went along with the herd mentality, sitting for every single engineering entrance exam I could find.  Medical was never an option (I could never see blood, so no confusion here!). I managed a decent rank and now it was time to decide a branch. This was relatively easy: I hated IT or computer science, the hot-selling electronics was houseful, and so I settled with electrical engineering.

But, it was fun. There were some amazing subjects like maths, mechanical engineering, power systems; and some horrible subjects too, whose names I don’t even remember. Being the President of the Tech Club at my college, I got lot of opportunities to conduct events, arrange activities and hone my technical and leadership skills. People looked up to me. Life was good, and it looked settled.

And one day it happened. It was third year and companies flooded in for placements. It was time to decide what to do next. M Tech? Nah! IT job? Never! Core Company? Err. May be!

And then I asked myself: ‘Dude, are you ready to spend the next 40 years of your life with motors, generators, transformers, transmission lines, substations and power systems?’

My inner voice replied: ‘No’.

I was stuck. What was I going to do with my career? What would happen to the electrical engineering learnt (rather digested) in four years? More importantly, what else could I get into, that I would love doing?

The immediate crazy answer was — Bollywood. But then the reality set in and my mind showed me three beautiful letters — M B A. To cut a long story short, I took a shot at CAT, made it to a premier B-School in Mumbai, and switched to marketing!

Now, when I sit back and retrospect, I feel that instead of engineering, I could have done an Honours course in economics or maybe a BBA, rather than looking like one of the ‘Gadhas’ Aamir Khan spoke about in 3 Idiots. But then I realise that I need to look ahead and forget.

Forget the injustice done to the learning of those four years. Forget the hurdles faced during job searches while switching from one field to another. Because after 40 years, no one in this world will be even bothered about why you did, what you did.

At that stage, you will be answerable to only one person.

And that person will be YOU.

And that person will ask you whether you gave in to peer pressure or did what you loved.

Please follow your heart, it’s never too late. Cheers!

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

A sufficiently confused corporate professional, Pramit has been working as a Sales & Marketing Professional in the Software Product Industry for the last three years. A trained singer, Toastmaster, and theatre actor at Bengaluru, he seizes every opportunity to gain cheap publicity and limelight, whenever he is not working, eating and sleeping.



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