"Why do you want engineering?" a professor acquaintance of my high school friend, "Jim" Rajesh, asked him. Dr Devireddy (name changed...because, well, I don't remember it!), a veteran professor of mechanical engineering, hailed from the maiden batch of engineers of the first Regional Engineering College (REC) ever established in independent India, at Warangal.
What did it feel like, at that time, being from the first batch of home-grown engineers, sir? I had wanted to ask the professor. But Jim broke my stream of consciousness.
"My mind is calibrated for engineering" he proclaimed sonorously, at the ripe old age of seventeen. His father nodded at him in approbation.
Jim didn't get his name cheaply. He had earned it. During seventh standard, he had passionately espoused the cause of saving tigers and various other animals, in the process, copiously quoting Jim Corbett and earning his sobriquet, after the author of "Man-Eaters of Kumaon".
Jim believed what he said, whether it was about tigers or about engineering.
When he made that statement, in the pristine campus of BITS Pilani on a hot monsoon day, after somewhat cavalierly rejecting an M.Sc. course, to eventually take electrical engineering, in REC Kurukshetra, he earned an additional admirer. Me.
I had always dreamed of being an engineer. I had no idea why.
My neighbor's engineer husband, from REC Trichy, bestowed with multifarious talents other than keeping a steady job, while practicing amateur palmistry on a bunch of bored children, had once, decisively stated that I had the "engineering line", on my right palm, instantly lighting up my dreams. I would look for its whereabouts, often, in the coming years, especially during trying times in third year in college. That line, if it had ever existed, had completely faded away by then.
My brother-in-law, an REC alumnus as well, made engineering a fait accompli for me. He warned, nay cursed, me a lifetime of miserable typistry (what? that's not a word?) and stenography, and would onomatopoeically mimic me typing away, "tak-tak-taga-tak-taga-tak-tak, sitting in the Accountant General's office", if I didn't pursue the engineering ambition with singular focus.
So, I pretty much stumbled upon engineering, in order to avoid becoming a typist.
So, what is your story? Why did you pursue engineering? Was it to uphold a familial tradition? Or were you "calibrated" for it, like Jim? Was it a call of duty from a higher voice, to invent a water pump in your native village like Shah Rukh Khan in Swades? Or was it just for "time pass for four years", as my friend Ajit used to say?
Friends, before you start roughing me up (which is richly deserved in this case), if you are trying to comment on the blog, please login to your google account before you do that (sorry!). Also, copy (CTRL+C, I meant) your comments before publishing / logging in...just in case the comments get lost out. I heard from several of you that it has already happened.
Sorry. I am looking for an alternative.