Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Once upon a time in 1997

Physics Master Balaraman entered 11th standard B section, a class of students who are now flying worldwide with dashing colors. Balaram sir introduced himself. We knew what it was after that. Self-introduction. We had to give our names, and we've been doing that for every single class on the first day. Ideally nobody should be taking class on the first day, and how else can we waste time.. ?

Balaram Sir, being a slightly different man that he is, asked us to add one more line to our introduction. "What do you want to become ?". This was an age old question, to which I have been answering differently class after class. It was a Doctor , then a Pilot and few other easily guessable professions. But sitting inside 11th standard, I didn't know what I wanted to become. May be it was too early for me to be prudent about the future.

The last boy in our class (last bench left most corner.. we call him last boy !!) Sunilbabu got up and said "My name is Sunil Babu, and I want to become a Software Engineer". There it is. Yes.. Software Engineer.. i made my answer ready. But then, everyone else in the room had affixed that answer to their names as well. Every single person in that room said they wanted to become a Software Engineer. Few people who wanted to be different said "Computer Engineer" like as if they were different breed.

"Im Aarthi.. and I want to become a Software Engineer".. "Im Mithun. I want to become a Software Engineer".. "Im R. Mohan.. and I want to become a Software Engineer".. "Im Subramanian. I want to become a Software Engineer".. "Im Anita.. I want to become a Software Engineer".

There were two responses from 11th B, that were completely unique.

"Im Munish Rajendran, and I want to become a Multimedia Engineer". Munish was a different guy, atleast he thought so. He was a new joinee at school, and he showed the class that he was a different guy, right from day one. Everyone looked at him with a gasp.. "Now.. what the hell is a Multimedia Engineer ?". Munish took advantage of the difference in his response and started explaining what a Multimedia Engineer meant, and what are its nuances. I didnt get a damn out of it. Apparently Munish had a cousin or someone studying in Arena multimedia that time, and Munish was so susceptible to jargons and fancy words at that time. He is now just another Software Engineer in the same company as Iam.

The other response, is what this post is all about.

"Im Srinivasan James. And I want to become a Lawyer."

Srinivasan James is a son of a very popular person in locality - Mr. P. James. He holds wide range of shops in Villiwakkam, and is a very influential and apparently rich person. It would have been anybody's guess that he wanted his son to become a Computer Engineer too. But that guy just stood up and said what ??? Lawyer ???

I faintly remember Balaram sir, appreciating his idea in the first line. And in the subsequent lines he blasted him for running into the Science group, with this aspiration. I dont remember the exact words that spurted out. But that should have been disheartening. Balaram sir had good intentions, whatsoever. Yet, that incident remains in my memory.

Few weeks back, I met Srinivasan James. Exactly 10 years after the incident. We never met in between.
And he is a successful Lawyer.

A very few of my friends are in different profession. The girls gang of this class is happily married. The elite group is overseas, studying. Another group is dedicated to Software Engineering. One person is doing Instrumentation in Germany, and another doing Chemicals in Canada.

But this guy had aspired for it, and attained it. I dont really expect a person in 11th standard to foresee the future and aspire. But whether it was a coincidence or consistant effort, he has chased his dreams and achieved it.

There are many guys in the batch, earning tons of money, in a better lifestyle than he is. But to me, in every sense, he is the Successful guy in the batch.

Isnt he ?


Shiv Shankar said...

I am shiv I wanted and have become software engineer . Yes I am from 11B ...

Anonymous said...

No one can and was able to define achievement as to me it does not have an end.... Life continues...

Karthik S said...

Peru vidhyasama irukke, Srinivasan James...

manoj said...

i'm from 11b (1996-97 ) (sboa matric), which school u from?

spk said...


Yes he is a successful man... aslo He must have stayed with his family all the time..

a nice post

monu said...

yes he looks successful to the world
but does he look successful to himself
does he look at the others who studied with him compare the live styles of thos ewho are better?
does he ever feel unhappy with his choice?

well that he alone will know
success is relative.
if he is happy, then hes successful

still i totally admire the person for having a goal and chasing it
i know a girl in school who said in 9th std that she wanted to become a lawyer. Last heard she had joined the best law school

i am truly amazed by such people
and that way i admire your friend here

common place goals are still goals.
i wanted to make enough money to be able to provide fo rmy parents and to have a stresfree life
i feel i have succeeded in that though the world may not look at me as a success.

my long two cents here

Anonymous said...

Yes,i remeber the incident so vividly..... infact i remeber only Srinivasan's statement and do not even know what i said " I waanna be" ... but also remeber dat we all started laughing on hearing Srini's goal... You know the first thing i said when i met him on orkut was. CONGRATS...U hav lived upto ure Dreams...------------MITHRA

Chakra said...

Incidentally, I know one another lawyer who said that he want to be one when he was in 8th or 9th standard. He is my cousin and right from his school days, he wanted to be a lawyer. There is something within these lawyers, I would say. :)

Shailendra Rao said...

Well Keerthi, if he ASPIRED for it and he got it... what about the numerous others who said they wanted to be a "software engineer" and currently ARE software engineers? So does it mean they have realized their dreams too? You are writing a note of appreciation to Srinivasan because he thought different- not because he had the foresight! Many others too, genuinely wanted to become SW engineers (though they never understood it fully, but hey... who know what EXACTLY a job means at 15-16 yrs?) and they have become one- so does that mean they have foresight and have beautifully chased their dreams?

But I contend that Srinivasan was a different person, who thought unlike the rest. THis incident apart, he was the ONLY person who appeared in silk shirt and dhoti for our farewell party- while all others stuck to formals. He was greeted by a loud applause, I recall...

Keerthi said...

Guys, allow me to respond to your comments on Saturday !!

sreekrishnanv said...

yup he is the successful guy - atleast the most satisfied..

when i was in my 8th - i never new what i wanted most of the time i would say - i dont know what iwant to become ...
when isaid this answer once - every one laughed - my teacher quickly stepped in and said he is the most flexible person - he has not decided what he wants ... but he is surely going to find what he wants and will become what he wants then ..

My eyes were filled with Tears - i thanked my teacher for supporting me - he responded - "See now that ive supported you, think what you want, what you are interested in and get into that whatever may come, coz thats wher youll be satisfied" Actually that teacher got a job in Reliance and he gave up that job coz he like teaching..

and incidentally - 3 days later at my cousins place i saw a computer - with color monitor for the first time and the word Windows....

I was not sure what to study to sit in front of a comp then - but decided whatever i do ill study something that makes this machine work ... here i am in s/w job -

and i know how Sirinivasan james felt !!

sowmya said...

Hey keerti,

I would like to share some points from the career awareness orientation recetly done for VIII std,

(a) Most often career decisions are made on the basis of unrealistic aspirations.

(b)Some times, fame of a celebrity motivate you in your choice of career. but it is not only factor to consider

(c)You cannot also make a career choice based on what your parents , relatives or friends thinks you should be doing.

(d)They can give you the directions and help you with the decision making process. but you are the only one with the direct line to your desires. Only you can make the decision.

(e)Career plan must start early. You need to know your potential, your academic capabilities, your interests , your aspirations and expectations.

(f)This understanding of SELF can then be fine tuned through the years , towards realistic career possibilities.

(g)Knowing yourself, enable you to OPEN YOUR MIND to the incredible choice of career options that exist today and are being created all the time, in every subject area. Any one of them may be perfect for you.

(h)If you want success and satisfaction, you must take the responsibility for your career.

(i) You can begin by,
Exploring the world of work.
Discovering yourself.
Preparing a career plan

(j) Dream what you planned.and with the help of the family , friends, hobbies, interest, education, dream , you can make your dream comes true.

Planning some times occur as per what we planned.Some times, even without planning, just a desire push us to achieve what we really like.

Mostly , In this career choices , people are not planning to get what they really want.But they prepare themselves to like what they got.