in personal

Titled: Rant

How I, wasted my life so far.

I often blame oth­ers for poor cir­cum­stances in my life. It is some­times a mat­ter of com­pul­sion for me to believe, that an incor­rect or bad or mis­ap­pro­pri­ate deci­sion for my life was made by some­body else. This is incred­i­bly often true for things my fam­ily chooses for me, because I am the lame kind of stuck up, as well as laid back kind of guy, whom you wouldn’t nor­mally find, who sim­ply to avoid incon­ve­niene in his life, lets his fam­ily decide for him­self. The fam­ily is rather cool — they don’t really impose their deci­sion as much as should ide­ally be required for me to con­cede, but I let them do it. Isn’t fam­ily, espe­cially the expe­ri­enced elders, sup­posed to make a bet­ter more informed deci­sion than I?

That’s not what this is about. This is actu­ally sup­posed to be a rant on how remark­ably stu­pid our purivew about ‘edu­ca­tion’ and life expe­ri­ences are. And how I objec­tively (as far as pos­si­ble) fig­ured out why I cared so much about what kind of friends I will make at the col­leges I go to.

I spent the first upto class 10 being a lame stu­pid kid. I prob­a­bly have not been as lame as other peo­ple prob­a­bly have been — by which I mean, that I’m rather sure there exist peo­ple who spent upto class 10, with as much or more facil­i­ties than I had, being much lamer. That only offers the slight­est reprieve to me. Because I know that a lot of peo­ple spent upto class 10, with as much or fewer facil­i­ties than I had, doing far cooler stuff. And I could blame my fam­ily for that too. But I don’t like to. I hate blam­ing oth­ers for cir­cum­stances in my life. I do it, espe­cially a lot lately, but I hate myself for that. Because any mis­take in my life is and can only be my fault. So I believe. Plus, even for the upto class 10 lame­ness, I really ahve only myself to blame, because I def­i­nitely had an above aver­age expo­sure to ran­dom cool stuff I should’ve wasted my time doing, which my brother’d told me about, but I was too lame to under­stand then.
And by class 11, I like to think I had some sem­blance of thought and instances of cool­ness in me. I was still remark­ably lame (mostly still am, but def­i­nitely was back then). But I thought, we will do cool stuff along side this lame­ness called the JEE prepa­ra­tion. It was still, the­o­ret­i­cally, only sup­posed to be a learn­ing expe­ri­ence wasn’t it?
It prob­a­bly was/is. Though I wouldn’t advise it to any­one. At all.
It is prob­a­bly a bet­ter learn­ing expe­ri­ence than a lot of other expe­ri­ences go, like some of my some­what lame ‘friends’ (read: acquain­tances) who did not do any­thing else cool in their life, stud­ied for the boards and the ‘AIEEE’. I can par­tic­u­larly say that because I’m pretty sure I did bet­ter than them even in that one exam they stud­ied for with par­tic­u­lar focus. But that’s again off topic.

But that’s not a learn­ing expe­ri­ence worth wast­ing one’s time, life, and every­thing of two years with. For some rea­son, my brother did, and prob­a­bly still believes, that the JEE prep and IIT expe­ri­ence is worth putting an effort for. Maybe I’ll get out of IIT some expe­ri­ences bet­ter than I would get out of other IIT col­leges. Maybe I was so laid back/stupid/whatever-might-cause-whatever-happened-and-which-I-probably-shouldn’t-be, that I didn’t even get out of the JEE coach­ing stuff what­ever I ought to have, and prob­a­bly why I failed in the JEE, and why I’m so (self inducedly) sad with the fol­low up consequence.

But what I believe, after see­ing really cool peo­ple do their thing, dance, or sing, or hike, and/or play Domin­ion or what­ever else, along with doing math, or prob­a­bly what­ever else they want to do, and noth­ing else if so they choose that: one, it is impor­tant to, at least some extent, be deci­sively sure about what learn­ing expe­ri­ence one really wants or val­ues — the JEE coach­ing thing can be, for the sake of lyri­cism, ba called a jour­ney through which I expe­ri­ence lots of fail­ures, very few suc­cesses, but don’t really remem­ber _learning_ any­hing valu­able. You have a free of cost life, and lots of not very costly routes you can take to expe­ri­ence fail­ure, and even get mon­e­tary or other more sat­is­fac­tory returns than an idi­otic notion of get­ting good marks, in a test test­ing absolutely noth­ing that will be of any value to you in pretty much any of your remain­ing ‘real life’. I prob­a­bly didn’t have the expo­sure, or surity, that I could say I def­i­nitely want to do math, or what­ever it is I want to do (which I’m tempted to say is math, but still can’t be infi­nitely sure). An expe­ri­ence is just a super­fi­cial thing.

Expe­ri­ences are per­haps what we live our life for, so just tak­ing on a jour­ney because it has expe­ri­ences, which you don’t know the qual­ity or return plea­sure value of, is stupid.


I believe that I live essen­tially for the expe­ri­ence of life. It’s fun. Some­times it’s not. But as the hypo­thet­i­cal ‘they’ say it, that’s life. But it’s rather clear that one should try and opti­mize one’s life for max­i­mum fun. Not for some super­fi­cial kind of max­i­mum expe­ri­ences. I will do this sim­ply because it’s an expe­ri­ence. That’s prob­a­bly okay if you’re try­ing out a new piece of food, because it’s likely you’ll like it (unless you aren’t the exper­i­men­tal and lik­ing new food kind of guy I am), but prob­a­ble that you won’t like it too. It’s stu­pid when you take up JEE coach­ing because you believe it’ll be an expe­ri­ence, along­side which you’ll be able to do other cool stuff you dream of doing. It, or so I believe by com­ing this far (which isn’t really far, it’s just an exas­per­at­ingly slowly cov­ered lit­tle dis­tance), is extremely stu­pid to take up the JEE expe­ri­ence, screw your life for two years, in hope for a prob­a­ble four years of more enjoy­able expe­ri­ence. It doesn’t remotely, seem worth it. It’s okay if doing the JEE thing is so beneath you, in terms of apti­tude and capa­bil­ity, that you will pull it off sim­ply by virtue of your cool­ness, and aren’t really miss­ing out on any piece of your life in the par­al­lel time period. But you must make sure you’re not over­es­ti­mat­ing your­self when you believe that in your­self. And I can tell you if you actu­ally believe that, you’re almost def­i­nitely over­es­ti­mat­ing your­self. Not because the JEE is tougher than you think (it prob­a­bly is, though my brother says it isn’t), but because when you’re cool, you don’t really acknowl­edge it or are even aware of it — you just are. That’s mostly what I believe from the extremely cool peo­ple I’ve seen al around me, and have felt pissed at how uncool I am. But my obses­sion with being cool is prob­a­bly the clear rea­son why I am not cool enough.

So, when you pick on a life expe­ri­ence, think thor­oughly about what you want out of it. The JEE is not, by my stan­dards or inter­ests, a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. It is an expe­ri­ence, which was unduly sor­row­ful and not fun for me. But it is not a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. Like school. School was a fun expe­ri­ence for me. I learnt stuff, but _school_ per se, was not the learn­ing expe­ri­ence. I learnt out of my expe­ri­ences. When I say learn­ing expe­ri­ence, (and I did not know this explic­itly when I got into the JEE thing think­ing it’s a learn­ing expe­ri­ence), I mean an expe­ri­ence in which I get to indulge in reck­less learn­ing. Learn­ing, like an other expe­ri­ence, holis­ti­cally seems entirely equiv­a­lent to get­ting to do bungee jump­ing or any other expe­ri­ence — they have a sim­i­lar thrill, fun and fac­tor of new­ness. I haven’t done bungee jump­ing, but I have had a few learn­ing expe­ri­ences. I can’t imag­ine the for­mer being any *much* more fun.
A suit­able learn­ing expe­ri­ence, is appar­ently, rare, and tough to pick. It’s not easy to tell, that you’re really going to learng noth­ing with a par­tic­u­lar focus in the JEE coach­ing, and it will end up being a lot like school — a jum­ble of entirely point­less ‘stud­ies’ which you’re doing sim­ply to pass an exam at the end of the ‘jour­ney’.
A real expe­ri­ence is wholly con­tained within itself. Coun­terini­tu­itively though, on R^2 with a usual topol­ogy, every expe­ri­ence is like an open set. There is a neigh­bour­hood around every point, and it is not bounded. It is within itself, but with no pin-pointable bound­ary.
So if the JEE is a closed set, with an idi­otic bound at the JEE, it is sequen­tially closed at the same event, but it’s com­ple­ment is what’s really fun. =)





  • Mys­tic Ranger

    I’ll do that com­ment delet­ing thing and con­se­quen­tially make this com­ment seem out of place, but after this reply to your pre­vi­ous com­ment. :)
    Now that I see, lots of peo­ple are in this look out for some­thing they enjoy. To come to think of it, per­haps every­body, at some level or another, does have this con­cept of want­ing to be involved in some­thing they love, and thor­oughly enjoy, and are com­mit­ted to. It’s funny to see how the last being the eas­i­est to.. fake, peo­ple do that very often with the most irrel­e­vant of things. Clubs in school, those cul­tural and other events at col­lege. They may not be as irrel­e­vant, as ephemeral, but it’s funny to see how com­mit­ted peo­ple can get, to some­thing so out­side of them, and dis­con­nected from them. I’m not say­ing that wrong or lame, it’s just some­thing I don’t see as lots of fun.
    And this push­ing on’es life ahead in the elu­sive search for some­thing they enjoy, but more impor­tantly some­thing that helps them sur­vive, seems to be everybody’s thing all over. After JEE, irre­spec­tive of get­ting into an IIT or not, col­lege is sim­ply four years of wast­ing time, pre­tend­ing to find some­thing of inter­est, but really just doing… noth­ing. Gain­ing some super­fi­cial appear­ance of worth and com­pe­tence, I guess.
    And with a major­ity of fur­ther edu­ca­tion, espe­cially MBAs after engi­neer­ing degrees. Most hilar­i­ous sign of almost def­i­nite cluelessness.

    I think, it’s as tough to find some­thing you love as prob­a­bly, find­ing some­one you love. Luck and per­se­ver­ance and stuff (spo­ken from a com­plete lack of expe­ri­ence). Though the lat­ter is much more eas­ily engag­ing, and comes more nat­u­rally to most peo­ple. And at least we don’t have a train­ing sys­tem to guide us against doing the lat­ter, yet.
    I thought you were a lot into pho­tog­ra­phy, at least. That seemed to be some­thing you did rather excel­lently as far as my expo­sure goes!

    Let’s hope to enjoy our lives a lot, what­ever might hap­pen! :)