Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
For nine years, I have worked in one of India’s largest IT exporters. I don’t rue it. This gave me new friends, the chance to see the world, the ability to buy a house and thereby to gain the respect of a few of my fellow citizens. All these are things that one mandatorily needs in life. And to that extent, competition, racing attitude and a high work rigour are appreciable. This stint added a different dimension to my personality and it made me appreciate the differences in people. It gave me the ability to see and appreciate new cultures, people and rationally approach matters concerning life. The experience opened new vistas of opportunities to explore myself and to see the people around me in a different light.
For a couple of years now, I have been seriously considering working in a different field. Many people, especially the elder lot, ask me why I would want to do that. They don’t understand sheer exhaustion. Having worked until 58 or even after that just to raise us, I don’t blame them.
I find that people understand it a lot better when explained with the chinese principles of yin and yang. Yang is the masculine energy and yin is its feminine counterpart. All my youth, I have consciously worked on the yang part, putting assertion over integration, knowledge over wisdom, competition over excellence, expansion over tradition. As the chinese saying goes, the yang, having reached its climax, retreats in favour of the yin. Now that I have reached middle age, the yin is gaining dominance. I am less aggressive, more patient, more philosophical, tending to go for the safer option. Hence, I have started to think of a field which suits this temperament of mine.
IT surely isn’t the place for the less aggressive. I don’t feel like competing anymore, I don’t feel the necessity to prove myself to anyone; I don’t feel like Rahul Dravid. I must move on, that much is clear. The question, however, is, which field? I have considered teaching. I love teaching and have had moderate success as a trainer in college and office. I have the ability to understand people’s natures and their capacities. But I am not really sure, if I am talented enough to penetrate the skulls of a larger audience. Having seen the troubles that my teachers went through and the plight of teachers today, I have second thoughts about choosing this profession.
I have considered taking tuitions, especially language tuitions or science tuitions. I could do it from the comfort of my home. But the level of competition there gives me the creeps. In Besant Nagar, where I lived for a good part of my student life, every street had atleast one tuition teacher. I am sure it is the same in other areas as well. Will there be a point adding on to the list?
I love to write and have had reasonable success with my blog. I have also written a book, it is not yet published though, and have useful ideas for more. Should I pursue writing? I am not sure, if I will have the same zeal if I do it fulltime.
There is so much talk about doing what you love, passion and a whole host of other associated feelings. I have many passions that I could follow if I leave IT. Choosing among them is quite an ordeal! Like all roads once led to Rome, all my thoughts lead finally to my housing loan EMI. Even if it weren’t for the EMI, a couple of years down the line, I would have children and would have to provide them the best, just as my parents did for me. The rising costs of education and family maintenance make me wonder if I will be able to send my kids to college, even if I worked double time! Looks like it is time to put my passions behind and look for a second job along with my first! Shoo, Yin! Hold on to the Yang!
Some think that if I am more spiritual, I might be more settled and not be driven towards such thoughts. They explain to me about duty, responsibility, heaven and hell. Seriously, after 4 years in engineering college and 9 years in IT, hell doesn’t scare me. My take is that hell would contain a more interesting bunch of people than heaven or earth. My hunch is that I will end up there and be doing the same crap and make friends with the other devils. I might probably have a couple of horns, but then I might look better!