Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Ek Tha Engineer

I don't think I even need to comment on the similarity between this post's title and the title of a big movie you all are awaiting. The title of that movie and the day to day conversations I have with my other fellow engineers, compelled me to write down something that is issued in our own interest. Something that represents our community, partially, if not wholly.Ek Tha Engineer may not be a mega budget Bollywood blockbuster, but its at least a true account of how an "Engineer" went from being "is" to "was".

I guess one community whose population has really exploded in the last decade or so, is the community of engineers. Be it a bus, be it a metro or be it a neighborhood, you are always in the company of an engineer or two. In fact a bunch of engineers, if you're successful in enticing them, can ensure you of a victory in an election, on their own. In fact "Main bhi engineer, tu bhi Engineer, ab to saare desh hai engineer" is a little more apt than the corresponding team Anna slogan, in a few cases.

As always, the more common it gets, the more dull it is. There was a time when an "Engineer" in front of your name was enough to earn you reverence,repute and respect. You were seen as someone who is not only capable but one who is also prosperous,unique and extremely fit for all walks of life. Just having an Er in front of your name was enough to get you a job or even a bride of your choice.But with time, and with the emergence of Engineering colleges and groups of institutions that expanded like binary fission, the scenario changed drastically. Nowadays, engineers are available in abundance. In fact the overall supply of engineers is all set to last more than that of any natural resource on the entire planet ! And with this upsurge, all the reverence, the enigma and the golden image of engineers got marred.

With engineers becoming a common species, success became hard to come by. No wonder the largest chunk of unemployed graduates comprises of engineers. You put an opening for an engineer and expect 10 guys to turn up, and you'll get 100. Engineers have become so common that reputed b-schools give you lesser preference if you're from an engineering background. Most of the engineers are struggling to get a job for experience, so that they build a good profile before post graduation. But a good job, on the other hand, requires you to have some experience. So in IT terminology, you're deadlocked. You'r gone, you're dragged in a non-ending sea of dilemma and dismay.You keep telling yourself of your worth by putting an Er in front of your name, but you yourself know the reality.

You're down and out but you refute to accept defeat. Your struggle for a better life never ends. Your battle for a better living often disappoints you more than anything else, but you still choose to continue fighting than to lay down your arms. What keeps that coming? I guess that's one feature or trait, shall I say, that gets imbibed in us during the four years of our engineering. We'll lose but we'll not go without putting up a fight. Howsoever big may be the curriculum of the semester exam, we'll complete it somehow in one day, so what if we had 10 to do that. That element of fight, that streak of victory and that self belief is the only fuel that we need.We exist because of those experience sharing sessions we have with other mates from our community. I guess when they say that the best way to cure sadness is to share it, works perfectly in this case.We survive,coexist and fight with the hope that one day, we'll relive the golden era of engineering and engineers. Those times when an Er in front of your name was worth a lot, when you were amongst the riches fellas, when those 4 years were like a one time investment in yourself. We can only speculate whether that era would be back or not but in the meantime, we can hope that it does.This post was dedicated to that golden era of engineering and to that Engineer who was once our inspiration and our motive. Ek Tha Engineer !