I sometimgs look back at my life and I wonder at all that adds to the “successes” of my life.
In particular, I recall numerous exams and try to figure out what was tested in all of them? Yeah – starting right from the exams at school, the board exams and then the much touted JEE and CAT!! A month from JEE – 2000 (the results were declared approximately then, I get 88th rank and I am sure I could not have solved the paper any more. What about doing it a year, two years and four years later (when I became a certified IITian). There is no way I can solve the CAT paper at the rate at which I solved them then.
What are these supposed to test? Well – someone will say they are supposed to test something else in me and whatever that thing is, it is supposed to get manifested in my ability to do well in those exams.
Well, isn’t there an inherent flaw here? Whatever these tests are supposed to measure in me, is supposed to be a relatively stable characteristic, isn’t it? Now, if a relatively stable characteristic is to be measured, the manifestation itself should be as stable, otherwise, it is a flawed measure. Then I should be able to solve JEE paper even today and CAT paper even several years down the line (until senile decay comes into the picture!).
This is certanily elusive. What am I talking about? The tests certainly do not test any such stable thing. Now someone will say that what they test is my persistence, ability to do hard-work blah-blah. As I look back, I think the only thing they tested was my ability to do whatever I was supposed to do “blindly”. If it meant wasting weekends after weekends on those simulated tests, spending days after days solving the problems of previous years’ question paper, foregoing every little pleasure of life so as not miss a single class and a single tution, so be it. And so it was!
Why? Because if you make these small sacrifices today, tomorrow you will be successful and you will have your life in your hand.
I am successful today in the sense of what success meant then. And what is it now?
It’s the same story all over again – take this major, take that course, get good grades or win lots of competition, know about this industry, learn this way of number crunchning, else you would not get through those interviews. And what will those interviews measure. Again blindly following all that needs to be followed. If I do not feel like attending a single class, doing a single assignment, carrying out a single projects, so be it. So it is, but I am doing them anyway. Or at least dragging myself to do them. Is this hard-work? Is this focus in life? Is this sincereity? Is this an honesty towards commitment? Is this a pay-off to the parents, who have done every little and big thing for you despite hardships in their life?
Or is it plain, simple bondage? Is it time to break free? But break free for what? What is freedom anyway?
Doomed that human civilization is – so be it! And so it is. And so it will be!
(Certainly not the stuff for any juniors from any of my alma-mater, who try to get in touch with me “for inspiration”!!)