At my age, Alexander the Great had half of the world beneath his pedes, whereas I am stuck here in a small cabin of three by three meter with an age-old computer that coughs twice before following any command and a dilapidated printer, ah, what to say about it – even a snail would go round the earth in much lesser time than what my printer takes to print a single page.
Probably, an outsider would say I should not be complaining about such things. After all, what is the percentage of Indian youths doing Ph. D. and that too from one of the most reputed institutes of the nation? An insider would say that an insalubrious computer and a decaying printer are just the inconsequential glitches compared to the benefits bestowed on us- the research scholars’ community. I mean, I get, if not the grand sum then at least a respectable amount of scholarship which owing to my current marital status goes majorly in my saving account and the amount of research work that is expected from me, er, research work I said- I must be kidding!
Sometimes, when I review my life (i.e. to say, when I compare it to that of my coevals) I do think I am kind of living quite an enviable one. There are no hassles of day-to-day commuting in packed buses that get stuck routinely in a gridlock, nothing to worry about co-workers and their cheap office-politics, no tension of some big boss ready to suck my blood every other moment and paying peanuts in return (and rejecting all the applications whether applied for holidays or inter-department transfer or salary hike or festival bonuses) and of course, ample of time to be spent on Facebook and YouTube.
But then, there are days when I don’t find my life that wonderful. I mean, this is the right age where one can get all his romantic fantasies fulfilled which, as the time passes, would become a distant dream, because from this age onwards, one is only headed to baldness and thick glasses. Instead, my fantasy (read my supervisor’s fantasy) at best consists of getting at least half a dozen paper published in some reputed journals (and with each passing day, this fantasy is turning into a nightmare). My social life is reduced to some fixed number of visits to washroom, daily, and once-in-a-month visit to shopping centre to buy some utterly important stuffs such as pen, CDs and ring files and other stuffs of secondary importance such as bathing soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc. And the comment I made earlier about my vantage over my contemporaries of my not having a blood-sucking boss, I earnestly take it back. And what more, the highly assuaging fact that I am doing Ph. D. from one of the best institute of the nation has been crippled by the recent comment of a high-profile minister (though he said something about the faculty here not being world class, I guess, it can be equally viewed for research scholars too, as they come closest to the faculty).
Anyways, nowadays I am on a conscientious mission to make myself sincerely love my work, and to make it possible, I keep on asserting the fact to myself that the Macedonian guy was just lucky to have been born in 356 B.C. Had he been born in this 21st century, he too, at best, would have found himself in a three by three meter cabin with an age-old computer that coughs twice before following any command and a dilapidated printer, ah, what to say about it.
By N. Madani SYED