The legend of placements

“Didnt do well in JEE, CET ,(or any other qualifying exam). It’s ok I’ll put you in an engineering college with 100% placements so that your future is settled.”

This has been the household story of many a Indian family and few of you must have been a product of this narrative. And when the father heard of the attractive 100 percent placement scheme from the neighbour, little did he know about how even it added to that figure. And by the time you get know of the ground reality of that 100 percent, you are already half way down on a wrong road and you don’t have a choice but to continue on the journey. The journey of 46 subjects, 8 semesters along with a few ‘good-for-nothing’ exams.

And then in due course, you would realise that though you failed to do what you loved (something other than engineering) but tried to love what you are doing (engineering), that never happened. Why? Because the deteriorated college environment never allowed you to do so. You would feel like you are in a garden of thorns where, every now and then, you have to take well-gauged steps with the fear being pricked. 

And every time you try planting a flower in that garden and make a life of your own, your freedom would be chained. The presence of a lot of egocentric lecturers around you doesn’t help. They come over to class with notes copied from books and recite the same, just like how the priest chants some mantras from the Vedas, in the name of teaching. But what’s worse is that as long you are within those four walls, you have to pay attention to the one standing in front you – or at least you have to pretend to be attentive – because, if you don’t do so, you would be deemed as an ‘uncultured’ student who is being disrespectful towards his lecturers. Sadly we are living in a society where being mindful, immersed and interested in the lecture along with carrying well-maintained notes are the yard sticks to measure how well-mannered a student is.

What happens this way is the supply of respect fails to satisfy the growing demands of it, making the student- teacher relationship a total chaos. But thanks to those very few teachers(not lecturers, mind you)  out there who understand student psychology better than their colleagues, survival becomes a bit easier for the students. 

The teaching methodologies need to be ‘knowledge imparting’ rather than being ‘marks-oriented’ along with an examination scheme which should focus on mapping the understanding capabilities rather than the retention powers.

Then comes the much awaited 7th semester – the placement period. The regular classes gets halved and placement training classes are doubled. Every student out there gets diseased by the placement fever. Of course the college holds cultural nights and the science and tech expo every year(not in my college) but when it comes to the much celebrated festivals, nothing can come any closer to the hype and hues the placement period brings with it.

But what placement does is, it murders the long aspiring dreams of CAT, GATE or or any other plans that the candidates had weaved some day to make it big in their life. Every bit of focus boils down to placements. The desperation to get placed outplaces the strong resolutions of bigger achievements and ‘first get placed, then let’s see’ becomes the mantra. But if you peep deeper, then you would realise that it’s not placements that transforms the perception of the students. Rather, it’s the way the placement authorities and faculty members portray it.

You would often listen to statements like, “Now at least, get serious. TCS is coming,” “If you behave this way then Infy is never going to hire you” and many more. To be precise, everything starts and ends with placement and everything in the middle becomes irrelevant. Authorities and faculties eat, drink and breathe placements. They would defend this proposition of theirs by saying that they are creating a sense of seriousness among students.

But little do they realise that by doing so, they are pushing the students into extreme pressure zones where the students start feeling that placements is the first and last bus out there and if they miss it then they can never get over the line. This pressure keeps piling for a period of time, gets converted to stress and the fear of being rejected starts haunting the students. The authorities keep forcing students to get into any of the companies coming and this is not because they are really bothered about a student not getting placed but because this would help them improve the placement percentage. 

But what exactly you need in life is to be sincere rather being serious. Sincere to yourself, to your dreams and to your aspirations. You need to realise that getting placed is just a part of life not the whole life. So, don’t take it as life and death. It’s just like any other exam with a different name. If you get selected, then well and good and if you don’t, then something even better is awaiting you in the future.

To all those who get rejected, believe me, some day you would look back and realise that this was one of the best things that has ever happened to you. You just need to take the positives from it rather than weeping over the negatives. What’s important is to focus on the process rather than getting carried away by the moment. Nourish your aptitude skills, furnish your technical skills, work on your English, develop your soft skills, not for placement but for a better tomorrow for yourself. It’s all about improving from how good you were yesterday.

Life is too short to brood over a placement and there is a lot more to life than that. It’s okay if you don’t have a job which comes at the expense of your 1st salary. After all, you don’t need any one’s favor to earn a packet of bread for yourself. Just spend some time on Google and you would get the idea that there are a lot of better career options available on the other side.

Today you have the most important thing in your hand. That’s called time. So don’t get afraid of the uncertainties. Take a bit of risk because some day, you would desperately want to do something better but time won’t be on your side. Don’t let your originality fade away. Remember, ten years down the line, you would have a son or a daughter who would look up to you as a role model and might follow your foot steps. So make sure you leave your foot prints at the right place.

Posted in engineering, placements | 2 Comments

The paradox called God

What is God? Is he real? Or is he a figment of our imagination? Does he have any form or is he shapeless? Should we fear him or should we love him? There are so many questions surrounding it! Each person has their own theory of what or who God is.

Some people say God is everywhere. Then why do you go and search for him in a holy place? Why not just pray where you are. He is omnipresent, isn’t he?

Some people say God is just. Then why do you believe in the judicial system? Won’t God take care of the people who did wrong? And if God is just, how come so many people who do bad deeds are still royally leading their lives?

Some people say God is our friend. Then why do you beg God to give you stuff and keep you safe? Do you do that with your friends?

Science says there is no God. Religion says God is everything. But both are created by us. We created science to understand the mysteries of the world. And religion was created to show us the way to live. But somehow both have gone far beyond the original reason of their inception. Religion has become a withholding collar which restricts you and science has become a burden on young children. Yet, both don’t answer a fundamental question. What is God?

We all have our own personal views on what God is. We try to force it upon others. We would have got that view because of the experience we have had with God, but how do I believe your view unless I experience what you experienced?

God can’t be seen nor heard nor felt. How do I believe something which I neither can see nor hear nor feel? I know that there is water because I see it. I know there is wind because I feel it, I know there is thunder because I hear it. But where is God? I can’t see him, not hear him, nor feel. I don’t even know if he’s male or female.

God may or may not be the creator, he may or may not be the protector. But one thing that we can all agree upon is that God is an enigma beyond our understanding. We can’t say that he doesn’t exist nor can we prove that he does.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Nothing lasts forever

My friend told me this story about this great CEO. He told me that this person was like the king of his company. People used to clear the way for him to arrive 5 minutes in advance. When he spoke nobody had the guts to speak. He was loved and respected by all, from the top brass to the security guard at the gate. If he scolded you it was because you were repeating your mistake. He was the dictator. He was like the ultimate man in the company.

But one fine day he had to retire. He came back to the company after 5 years for a visit and to meet his former colleagues. The security guard at the gate did not know him. So he did not allow him. None of the new staff knew him. The guy who ruled the company was waiting outside its gate for 10 minutes!

That’s when the thought struck me!

Nothing in the world is permanent.

We all run behind material wants. All want money. All want the latest gadgets. All want to be dressed in the best clothes. All want to live in huge bungalows and eat in fine restaurants. But all this is pointless. What’s the point of a huge bank balance if you can’t spend it. Whatever gadgets you have, whatever clothes you wear, you are still the same person. If you have a huge bungalow but nobody to visit then why do you need a bungalow.

All these materials which we have are not permanent. We can change our phones, our cars, our clothes and even our houses. The people you have in your life, your friends and family, they also aren’t permanent. They are here today but you don’t know if they’ll be there tomorrow. This fact eludes us. We live in a delusion where everything in our life remains same throughout. But the reality begs to differ. We live in a deluded state of happiness.

But there is one thing which lasts for ever – YOU. You are forever. Whatever makes you you is with you forever. If you are good at something, you are just good at it, nothing and no one can take that away from you. When you help someone in need, the satisfaction lasts forever. When you achieve something, the happiness lasts forever. You may change physically but within we are all the same. We are all in search of happiness, satisfaction and more importantly peace!

So we need to focus more on making ourselves happy and satisfied through deeds rather than needs. Because our needs change, they are momentary, once we satisfy ourselves a new need is created. But our deeds are what we carry, it is what makes our name last forever once we are gone.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged , , | 7 Comments