Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Ode dedicated to an Era: The beginning of the End

"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed- interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit- crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?" - Mark Renton

These words have been reverberating in my mind since 15 days. Because now we are all doing things like that.

I fondly remember the passion I once used to possess when in front of my desktop, alas no more, now I am painfully reminded of all the effort I put into sculpting statements into beauty(Code), and then be judged on whether or not I JUSTIFIED the goddamn documentation, or if I included the stupid references that I never referred.

I believe I am need of reinvention, relocating exactly what was it that attracted me to a CRT at 4 AM, find the rush again. Or is it just that the price you pay for gaining a degree is losing what you love the most, sort of VIT's pound of flesh.

Anyway I have sufficiently deviated from the topic, which was if I remember correctly was stepping on the long grey line that is being an Indian Yuppie. Just a year back I wanted mankind to benefit from Babbage's invention, and I mean all mankind. I have seen the potential of knowledge offering such opportunities, which can transform the landscape of our species forever. We have a Utopia in our grasp and yet we are all blinded by greed, sloth, the enormous potential of the previous generation making you feel like a bag of crap.

I have been up awake taking a long hard look at what I want from life, is it just the desire to "settle down" roll over and die. Definitely not! This was not how I had embarked upon this journey. I console myself saying that I will act on my instincts in a couple of years and resume my quest.

"But Why Not Now?"

You see after you have been exposed to four years of relentless pounding on all sides asking you to blindly cram and regurgitate the very texts you held in the utmost regard. After you have seen courses such as Linux System Programming being corrupted so much, that there no longer remains neither Linux nor Programming, all that remains is cramming, you cant help but crave a break from this evil. I am studying a course called Decision Support Systems, which promised the earth, a true cutting edge eclectic mixture of all knowledge gained thus far, databases, AI, the ability to turn a corporation's business model on its head, and make it a damned profitable head dancer. Now while dreading the abuse my neurons will go through while studying this "mixture", I realize if I don't lock this experience within the darkest confines of my mind, never to see the light again, this might easily become the last nail in the splintered coffin of my enthusiasm forever.

First off this subject is not meant to be "taught", whatever that means, it is meant to be experienced. And the gestapo man who designed this course has not left one bit, not one bit, which requires my brain to function as something other than flash memory. We have to just mug the frigging headings and sub heading and hope to god it matches the key. The question might as well be "write Pg. 245 para 6 and 7". So you see I need to convince myself that a world exists beyond implementing the fibonacci series in the fourth year, and getting thrown outta the lab for laughing. I hope to god i find humanity once more.

"If not now, then when?"

As soon I piece my life together and regain a semblance of my past self. A couple of years of not submitting practical records ought to do it.

I had started writing this as a memoir of good times, but this stuff kinda came in torrents, it had to be said. Now coming to the good part.

From my point of view college was a big initiation ritual. I learned to appreciate the simple things, friends, good music, the joy of marveling at seemingly useless information and finding out it comes to your aid later, the rush of sticking it to the management and the guards and the lecturers, eating at a place you wouldn't dream of showing a picture off to your parents. Most of all the lifestyle, rushing from classes, events, labs, bickering over who gets to choose where to eat, heading back after an incredibly boring vacation, finding joy in debugging assembly code on the BIOS screen and yelling in joy when the output is got. Endless days spent cussing lecturers and scurrying for attendance.

Chastising a friend who just wants to bunk as much he can get away with and then some more (I don't blame you Ritu I too would wanna stay as far away as possible). Arguing about the merits ad demerits of an autocracy in our nation with a guy set to be the autocrat (Chait: you don't have my vote:) you would prolly reply who needs votes when you got nukes). Observing a person who cares about the bleeping machines as much as you do (Keep up the good work Mallik) and the guy who cannot hold a grudge to save his life and convinces you to enjoy the little things just a bit more (Sid: good man).

I feel refreshed after regurgitating VIT style, even my caffeine fueled mind cannot ignore the glimmer of hope in the future. Maybe I will contribute to the alleviation of our species. To infinity and beyond.