Saturday, September 5, 2015

The white tiger"ish"

Hello Pranab Sir,

At first, I thought of writing a letter to Mr. Modi, but then reality hit me. Every goddamn blogger does the same! Either, they shower him with praises of what he is doing, or curse him for not bringing the so-called "achche din". However, I don't want this letter to be just a drop in that ocean because my letter has a completely different course. It is not a drop but, in fact, a river of thoughts which, before reaching the ocean, will create a delta of ideas (philosopher level 999 breached!). Hence, I chose you, your excellence!

Now when you know the "WHYs", I would like to discuss the "WHATs". Recently, I read a book "The White Tiger" written by Aravinda Adiga. You might have heard about it. In fact if you've read it too, do reply me on twitter - handle : @sat_kela (don't go by the name, I am perfectly sane :-|) - and tell me whether you liked it or not. Lol! The conversation would definitely seem like a rich customer talking to a rooster about to be chopped.

Sir, you might now be thinking where did this “rooster“ thing come from. I will come to that later. But for now, let us not digress from the topic. So where was I? Arrggh! Short-term memory loss, you know. This IT industry is taking a toll on me.

Oh yes, the book!

The book is actually a letter written to Chinese excellence, which showcases before him all the dark details of India. Aravinda covers nearly all the topics ranging from poverty, corruption, caste system to globalization and freedom. The story reveals how a poor man escapes from "what-he-should-do" phase to a "what-he-wishes-to-do" one.

Book is so inspiring and so engrossing that it took over my writing style as well. Yes, I am copying author's swag! But sir, just his writing style, not the content. Sounds like a musician saying, "I've only copied the music but not the lyrics". Hu hu!

So let me break the ice now. I nearly gave away the topic when I referred you as a "rich customer" and myself a "rooster". If you have read the book, you might have already figured it out by now. I am here to discuss about a thought that Aravinda coins in the book - "Rooster Coop".

Explanation that Aravinda gives about Rooster Coop is quite vivid. He claims rooster coop to be a situation in which all Indian servants are trapped. Just like a rooster who is watching his fellow brothers being chopped and goes with the flow, Indian servants are also watching their brothers' dreams being chopped off by their masters and let theirs die the same death. They just can't do anything else because they are trapped in that coop. Unless someone realizes his potential, grows wings, breaks free and fly away from the dark, the roosters will keep getting chopped and servants will remain servants for life. Hope I got the idea correct sir! If not, I have interpreted it my way. That is the power of books!

But, now since Aravinda has already given such a "philosopher -level-1000" description, why am I writing this letter? Obviously, I will not waste your time by writing a book review, which you might have already read. I am writing this letter to support Aravind's thought and expand the target audience. Aravinda targeted only "servants". I want to talk about the "new-age servants". I want to talk about us, the "IT servants".

Most of our IT companies provide services to other firms (mostly the ones based in US or EU). They hire loads of fresh engineers (us!) from colleges at some puny wages and push them in a black hole of projects, deadlines, ETAs and 12 hours of continuous run. This black hole pulls in and destroys any ray of hope that passes by. We start to live our lives on weekends and slowly get trapped in what we call as the "rat race".

Further, society makes rules for us. In four years, there has to be a car, then comes time to get married. Post that comes an expensive honeymoon and getting settled in a metropolitan area. And finally, babies! We see our lives from one end, slowly being lived by someone else, someone very different from who we actually are.

Don't people realise that we, fresh engineers, are like that boiling pot of ideas which when handled correctly can even transform into an engine pulling the whole nation towards glory? We are the fresh pair of eyes looking everything in a different angle. We are unaware about the operational burdens, we don't care about failures, we don't have a taste of managerial politics. Aren’t we just pure?

I know that our parents’ answer to this is, "what else can you do?". After all, we are a nation where a single mistake can push us back to poverty. Parents are also correct in their position but sir, this moment where you have to pitch in.

The aforementioned thought is what you need to eradicate from every goddamn mind. Sir, in my humble opinion, you have to empower our whole Indian society and not just a few sections. You need to tell us to chuck this thought and "give it a try" because you are with us. You need to tell us to find where our interest lies, to find our wings and just fly away. In short sir, you have to be our nation's teacher, you have to be like APJ :)

Although I have written a lot against Rooster Coop but I confess I am a trapped rooster too. I still can't find my wings. I don't know where my interest lies. But I assure you that one day I will find them. Until then, I will keep working and keep growing strong. The least what I can do right now is try and let others realize the coop they are trapped in. Hence, the letter!

I will end my letter here Sir. Apologies if I have written anything in your disrespect. It was never my intention. And yes, please do not forget about the twitter conversation sir, I was serious about it.

Ha !

Yours truly,

A, "for now", trapped rooster