“Damn bored yaar. Nothing to do”. This is the most common thing that I have been hearing from my friends all around. And they have been hearing the same from their friends too. So where does this lead to. Or more importantly where does this come from. Hint: It comes from the most empowering industry prevalent in the society: The software industry.
I know I am being prejudiced while blaming the software industry J…. But it is the truth. It’s a vicious little web. You die to get in here and once you are in, you keep wondering what the hell you are doing here. You have to go through it all once you are here. From being a fresher, bearing the tortures of the induction programme/training programme to being a frustrated manager trying to dance to the tunes of time management and managing the clients will. It’s more or less pre-defined routines here.
The transition from a beginner to a manager takes a toll out of you. And mostly everyone follows a set path. As a fresher you would think that you would work for a couple of years, crack the cat and move on to a business school, get placed from there as a sales manager/marketing manager. Very few would be able to follow this path. Others slowly realize that it is not as easy as you thought it would be. They would resign to the fact that they would just be another software engineer. Once the cat attempt fails, they would look at the next most attractive option. Many see it as the only option/ambition they ever had in their lifetime – Visiting Amkarika. They would fight tooth and nails for getting an “onsite assignment”. It is just a matter of time. Most of them head to “onsite” in around 2 years time. Others around 3 year’s time. They head there thinking that this is the best time for them in life to “have fun”. But most of them resist since it would cost them a lot of dollars. Remember - We are talking about fifty times each penny here. They have to save for the land/homes they have bought back home. Which they more often than never live in! The conservative and traditional girls take this opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Dreams of doing whatever they want .. Err .. Like wearing miniskirts and Cleve showing tops: P. No desh ki mitti or sanskar would stop them. And the guys ofcourse love the way the blondes would dance on their laps.
Lots of people find their own life partners meanwhile. Keeping their priorities. Other’s leave them along with their cars at onsite, come back and marry their long lost boyfriends/girlfriends. Many others would have their profile up in the matrimonial sites. Search for their ideal partners and get married and still get bored. The first two months of marriage would transport them to paradise. But then life sucks you back to reality. From talking over the phone for over hours, you hardly get any time to discuss the day’s events even. The odd sexual encounters would have to be the flavor of the week.
In between all this, there is a phase that strikes every software engineer. At least till you are at a middle level – The Bench. I am sure they are going to revive/add the meaning of that word in the dictionary soon. This is a phase where nothingness and boredom would touch the crest. Heisenberg becomes your lord and you sit and pray that you get some kind of magic calls telling you exactly what you want out of life – transfer to the location where your spouse is, a trip abroad, a lead position etc etc.
All this while you make desperate attempts to fill your life with more fun. In the form of music classes, dance lessons, sports clubs(sports of diff forms), trips(esp if you are onsite – in pursuit of the patel points), orkut communities and more.
And then comes out the manager in you. Once you get into this role, you would think that your life is set. You can order around people and get things done. But the truth is that your life just got screwed up more. You won’t even find time to tell bed-time stories to your kids. You will instead be attending a client call at 11.30 A.M EST!
This fever has crossed boundaries too. It is not only the software engineers who are frustrated/bored with their lives. I can hear it from all corners of lives. The point is that satisfied souls have become a rare species in this era. We cannot look beyond the sadness and the gloom that surrounds us. Recession, terrorism, crashing economies has ripped us apart, I guess.
So is this piece of writing going to inspire you to attain salvation and eternal piece? May be not. But I would suggest, just keep your eyes open. Look for the better things in life. Enjoy the finer things in life. May be a song, may be a good nap, may be a setting sun, and may be a kid’s smile. And next time you say “It’s so boring yaar”, kick yourself real hard.
Song for the Occasion:
Rishtey, Bharose, Chahat, Yakin – uIn sab ka daman ab chaak hai
samjhe they hathon pe hain zameen, mutthi jo khole bas khaak hai
Dil mein ye shor hai kyun
imaan kamzor hain kyun
Nazuk ye dor hai kyun …
Ps: This is an exaggerated work of art. Many a people are happy and content with life. But the truth is the many is not much.