And at the End of the Day …

Yes this is the end of the day…. uploading this article that I promised at the beginning of the day πŸ™‚

Couple of days back we had our Valfi (Valedictory Function). The function was great, attended by many dignitaries. But, the response we got from people for whom the function was arranged was pale. Hardly 50% of the number expected turned up for the event, even though repeated reminder emails were sent and some had even confirmed through emails that they will attend. And the time sense … 😦 , better not to discuss. Neither I am cribbing here about the attitude of people in general, nor I’m worried about their responses. I’m just reflecting upon a general trend which I have experienced for the past one year or so.

The trend I observed was quite interesting, and some times frustrating though! For instance, some of the feedback we got from people during valfi were quite interesting, “no comments” every where, and in some, “this is bad, that is bad and so on”. In most of the cases, the feedback we got, from people for whom we did so much was frustrating as most of them were ignorant about their own state and environment. The other interesting fact I experienced is people’s attitude about achievements. Many are always crazy about what others’ achieve not about what they themselves achieve or should achieve. They are curious and critical about why some one else got an award, but don’t reflect about why they did or did not get that award. I don’t find the statement, “I envy nobody, nobody envies me” true any more; instead it has changed to “I envy nobody, but somebody envies me”, true most of the times. Should I say this as “Leg pulling”? It is just the de-construction of construction πŸ™‚ .

The other instance is IITBGeneral. One can witness infinite number of emails on silly things and even out of context discussions, without a single point of implementation or action. I’m not against the discussion in IITBGeneral — what worries me is some thing different. People have enough time to crib through emails, because that is free. They spend hours and hours on discussing and cribbing that happened this didn’t happen or that didn’t happen; but will not spend a moment reflecting what good has been done for them or how things can be actually improved from the point of “non-happening” in the real sense. One will hardly find any one physically if he/she wants some thing to be done. Their concerns are just confined to emails and discussions in news groups, but how does discussions help the “common man”? I still have not been able to figure out in my 6 yrs of IITB life. That reminds me the famous “Armchair Agriculture” of the writer RK Narayan.

There is a wide gap between action and intention. When the fellowship hike came into light we were bombarded with emails — “when will it be hiked?, “what is the amount?”, “when will it get implemented?”, “it has already got implemented in such and such place” and so on. Fortunately or unfortunately, I hardly got any mail after the scheme got implemented. Fortunately, because my mailbox didn’t get spammed πŸ™‚ , unfortunately, because it shows the selfishness and ignorance in the same aam junta. They want their things to be done but don’t want to contribute a pie to the process. Then why would some one else do for them? – that is the big question!

One more interesting thing one must have experienced during his/her research career is the thesis submission and its duration. It is the most disturbing and irritating moment for a research scholar, when he/she is pellted with the questions like, “when are you completing?” , “how many years left?”, “how long have you taken?”, etc. It is more frustrating when a fellow research scholar quizzes these things, not to know earnestly as to what have you done or how are you placed? Rather to show what he/she is up to. Some are crazy about finishing things quickly and leave. But, that should be personal, not generally expressed. In my opinion, PhD is not a time bound process. It should not be valued in terms of years, rather should be valued in terms of quality and quantity of work. One has to realize that the quality of things one learnt in the process is important. PhD should not be treated as a set point, rather should be treated as a journey; if one spends his/her hard work he will definitely reach at a point, where he/she can philosophize — and a PhD degree of course. Saying that, neither I am undermining and nor am I de-emphasizing the time frame set by an institute to complete a PhD. It should be followed, but with a positive spirit, not to put unnecessary peer pressure to just complete rather than one should aim to complete qualitatively. One of my Professors at IIT Bombay used to ask, Have you done a good literature survey? – if you are a first-yearite, do you have a problem at your hand? – if you are a second yearite, how are you doing? – if you are a third yearite, and how is life? – if you have crossed the 4years limit πŸ™‚

Yes, let me ask – how is life my friends? Must be enjoying. Keep doing and complete as soon as possible. Remember, It is your PhD, and at the end of your PhD, it is the quantity and quality of work that matters, the quality of understanding in your respective disciplines that matters, which will sail you through the rest of your life. One should remember, we all are fellow Research Scholars and we will get PhDs from our respective departments, from our respective streams earlier or later and at the end of our tenures. So treat your peers as fellow research scholars, not as any superior or inferior.

And at the End of The Day — we all are fellow human beings who are made of flesh and blood and should have some respect and concern for another human being.

Aamjunta kya khayal hai?

This article is dedicated to all my fellow research scholars of IITs and any other universities.

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7 Responses

  1. You have got a right thing to say. Unfortunately, What you have said applies to me too. Certainly, we are good at complaining and complaining and, in fact, we are much better in doing nothing when it concerns to our community as a whole even when we are also going to have benefit. Somehow, we don’t like if someone else also get the benefit of our efforts. Interesting enough, we are too childish(selfish/cunning) to expect others to do things for us. Well, with this attitude system is not going to work in a way it should for overall welfare.

  2. You have hit the nail on the head. There are so many of us who will just write emails/posts cribbing about things that do not work. But very few will come forward to appreciate if someone fixes something (forget about fixing it).

    But then, those few who appreciate it make it worth the effort.

    If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’, it will be enough. ~ Meister Eckhart

  3. I think this is one of your most blunt and harshly realistic articles…liked reading it very-very much!!!!! but more than reading it…the article aroused some real emotions about an experience that we had shared as a group…but my personal fav in the entire thing was the piece about PhD and the stress involved in it which appealed to me the most…
    great going…keep up the good work and produce realities in your writings… πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks to all three of you for your comments/feedbacks. Yes, life is most of the time like that and some one does not understand till he/she sits on the other side of the table,

  5. Well done. God Bless.

    Ignorance and indiference are part and parcel of Indian system. Not only PhD and education, this kind of indiference is omnipresent; most important and applicable in the current scenario is vote percentage in Bangalore/Mumbai and other top cities. Here people are active in the social media, reason – very easy to play with words with smart phones and laptops/desktops in AC (mostly) rooms than actually going and standing in the que.

    Another bunch of people who talks a lot and make big-big speeches, just do the exact opposite when it comes to them. Bolna asan hai.. karna… koun chaahatahai?

  6. The ignorance of our people is the most pathetic thing, which you have explained nicely. Here every one is curious about their rights but not about their duties.

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