A saddening retrospective

12 Dec

Just another melancholic ramble. For myself to read later. I’d advise that you give it a miss and not waste your time on it.


Earlier this morning, while driving to a destination afar, my mom and I were in conversation, discussing family relations. I love family gossip, especially after discovering that there’s so much in mine!
Mom said that Dad was a little too exceptionally fond of certain nephews&nieces of his, and would even give them more attention than to his own kids. I curtly responded that that was true for both of my parents, elucidating with my sister’s and my own example. Of my wanting to go abroad and their not wanting it enough for me. To which she responded that if they had sent me abroad for my undergrad., they would have been struggling to make ends meet, and I would be constantly frustrated there under the financial constraint. That really made me melt. I hadn’t imagined that she kept me back for that reason. (Though I had only intended to go abroad on financial aid, and not without it.) But mom’s always been the silent sufferer. She scarcely puts matters into plain and simple words. And communication is so essential to keeping things clean. I wish she would understand that!

I also finally told her that I didn’t wish to continue with engineering. She was quite okay with it and repeated how I could’ve been doing law already if I had wanted to it from the beginning. Which is when I tried to explain to her that at that time I jumped into engineering, I was still too young and protected. I had expressed my desire to pursue law then itself, and had never once touched upon the subject of engineering. I had expected my parents to guide me on the path to achieving what I desired, discovering the right avenues for me and generally “taking care of things”. The way parents do. And not throwing us into the ocean and expecting us to swim to safety ourselves, not because that isn’t a learning experience of its own kind, but because she should’ve known her son enough to know his weaknesses. That he needed to be guided, and reassured from time to time. That taking a decision in face of opposition and sticking to it was hard for him back then. It’s continues to remain a difficult thing for me to do, but I’m struggling and learning and improving.
She heard and absorbed what I had to say. She thinks I can still go for law if I want it. But she doesn’t and will never understand what I missed out on in terms of the 5-year law degree and student life.. A phase of life that one cannot buy back. That one can learn so much in; but I didn’t. Engineering is a 4-year course. 4 years! 4 crucial years of my life, an utter waste. And I don’t know if I’m worth anything any more.

Meanwhile, Maddy decides to test me and my endurance (of which I have none). “Can you name any of the writs?” he asks. I ask him if he wants to genuinely know them or is testing me. “Testing you,” he says. I tell him that I know none. 2.5 years in Engineering School, and 2 before that in the science stream mysteriously did not cover an explanation of writs in the Indian Judicial System. (The writs are “Writ of Prohibition, Habeas Corpus, Certiorari, Mandamus and Quo Warranto”, as it turns out.)
“Hah! And you’ll do law,” he chimes. He’s probably fooling around, but I feel that I’m being tested. I feel that I’m always being tested. More so by myself than by anyone else. And my indecision and lack of direction has rendered me utterly useless. I look at my sister, cousins and so many others that I’d regarded myself to be 2 steps ahead of, and I see them standing tall before me. That their success makes me feel small, is utterly shallow. But I cannot help it. I don’t only feel humble, I feel like a failure. A failure not because I couldn’t do it, but because I messed up. So many dreams, so many possibilities (one better than another, and each more acceptable to me than the one I picked) but…
I messed up.
The only comforting thought at the moment is an image of a noose. Or a whole bottle of Vodka, wanting to be finished.


18 Responses to “A saddening retrospective”

  1. Rakesh December 12, 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    Noose or Vodka! Do you know how many calories a bottle of vodka has? The choice is clear.

  2. unsungpsalm December 12, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    Thank you Rakesh. Your advice is always most valuable.

  3. JH December 12, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    You have no idea how luck you are to realize your passion so early on. I can only hope you bite the bullet and go for it. For what it is worth (spelt worthless), I am rooting for you.

  4. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper December 13, 2008 at 1:38 am #

    Look sunshine, unless you’re talking your ass to study in Harvard fucking University or Cambridge or Oxford or any other place where rich, pretentious fags go to study, you don’t actually LEARN anything bookish.

    College is supposed to educate you about life. Teach you the facts of life. Like no matter how much money you have, someone out there is getting more action than you are.

    Oh yes, go ahead. Call me trashy.

  5. Rebel December 13, 2008 at 5:08 am #

    I so completely agree with RW. You don’t learn anything in college – only the basics maybe. But thats about it.
    College life teaches you a lot of things – but most of them are not literary or academic in nature. What you do learn is about life, you make friends who last for a lifetime and grow up as a human being.

  6. Crazy Sam December 13, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    If I can

  7. Crazy Sam December 13, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    I’m afraid this will not be anything helpful related to this post. But since you and the comments above are mentioning about college, let me put my two cents worth. If some one asks me, whether all those subjects I learnt in college helping me in my current profession – apart from the basics, nothing much. But in terms of non-academic wise, I think my college life made me wiser and stronger. Yes, I gained some trustworthy friends too (although very few) – something that never happened in my school times and not at all hoping to happen in my work life.

  8. unsungpsalm December 13, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    Aww! You’re really sweet.

    And very lazy. POST already!

    Yes, yes, I know, but I’m going to a professional college. And I’ve learned a lot (of technical stuff)! I won’t say that’s true for most people, but it is for me because I enjoyed certain subjects (which I know I don’t want to devote my entire life to, nevertheless).
    Only, none of it would be of much use to me.

    That’s only your view ๐Ÿ˜›

    Yes, as per the educational direction you took, your college learning was quite useless. That’s not true for everyone else, who actually choose to go technical.

    Know what you mean. Few good friends, but very good ones, in my case.

  9. Crazy Sam December 13, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    LOL!! I can’t help noticing the way you replied to mine and Rebel’s comments. Rebel and I almost said the same thing, with a different order of words. Unsung, you don’t have to be nice to me. Be bitchy and criticizing if you feel like, I’m open to all that. I may not agree to all of it, but I won’t feel offended and perhaps it might help me to recognize or correct mistakes.

  10. unsungpsalm December 13, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Oh, but whatever I said to Rebel applies to you as well, mon ami. I’m not benig nice to you or anything ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As I said, it’s very subjective. I’ve learned a lot in college, though most others simply rote-learned everything and discarded it soon after. So in my case, I consider it a reasonable amount of knowledge and a lot of time wasted.

  11. Rebel December 13, 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    Glad that Sam noticed the dichotomy.
    And USP, you haven’t started working yet. So lets discuss the usefulness of your education only when you start working. Go conduct a survey and 95% of the people would tell you that whatever you learn, you learn on the job.

  12. unsungpsalm December 13, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    There’s no dichotomy whatsoever! I wasn’t going to repeat everything I said to you to Sammy, because I assumed he’d read my response to you before the response to his. Stop thinking I’m that biased or whatever.

    And yes, I may take a more critical tone with you than with him… which is because I’ve known you over a year, and him for half.

    And because I don’t like you ๐Ÿ˜›
    There. Happy?

    Yes, 95% of the people would find there education useless. I was unfortunately part of the 5%. I was currently doing a course that would’ve significantly hiked my value in the market on graduation… a certification that most people are made to pursue once they join a company. Except that now I’m going to drop out because I realised that it’s going to be a waste.

  13. closetalk December 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    i kinda agree with rambunctious “trashy” whippersnapper… ๐Ÿ™‚ a college education really is supposed to be the “growing up” process. and don;t worry too much abt the subjects u take or the stream uve already taken – u can literally change streams. i’ve done it so many frikkin times. economics to journalism to public relations and now a potential academic. that’s another thing about applying to colleges in the US – they really don’t look too much at what subject u studied earlier, as long as u got the grades. however, i’m not too sure it’d be a good idea to study law in the US as an international student – especially if ure looking for a job here later; with the economy so bad, many international students DO get a short shrift, and especially in careers like law where they prefer US citizens. it wud be different if u were studying computer technology or something however. so yea – in response to ure earlier comment on my blog: the recession IS hurting the US and I see its effects on the ppl around me every day. SD, LA, Chicago and NYC are holding out better than most others but even they are teetering.

  14. unsungpsalm December 14, 2008 at 12:14 am #

    Thanks CT, that was very valuable information.

    I think I’m going to prioritise good ole Delhi after all. It’s much cheaper, so I can even drop out if I decide that Law isn’t for me at a later time. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen though!
    Mean while, I have more important things to decide… whether or not to continue with my certification course, for starters!!

  15. chwis December 15, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    if you wanna practice here, shouldn’t you study here?

    vodka has many calories?
    Damn it!

  16. unsungpsalm December 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Yes to both.

    But, to add to the first, I cannot make up my mind. Ever.

    And to add to the latter, Rum has even more!

  17. Meira December 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    There’s Vodka ? Along with cake? ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. unsungpsalm December 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Yes. Ramby finished that too.


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