The characters and incidents that appear in the following write-up are far from being fictional. They really do exist! I repeat, this is NOT a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely intentional. Sarcastic overtones are definitely intended.
If there is one thing relatives, neighbours, and long lost/never-before-seen acquaintances have in common, it’s this:
The ability to pop right into our lives, especially when our board exam results are to be declared…
Or at least, that was what I’d thought too. Then I took up engineering, and realized that there were far worse things the above-mentioned group was capable of! It starts off with innocuous questions/comments all through the initial years:
“Which branch did you choose?”
“Oh! You took EC. So is it easy?”
( Of course! It’s so easy I could pass all my exams even if I write with my eyes closed.)
“Do you have any supplis?” ( In case you didn’t understand the term, that’s what we Malayalis lovingly call backlogs.)
“You’re an engineer in the making! Can you fix TV, washing machine… (fill in other relevant electronic appliances)
(Yeah! Sure, why not! P.S – Rocket science is my specialty too. *eye roll*)
“How did the campus selection go? Did you get placed?”
“Why haven’t you enrolled for any GATE/CAT/GRE coaching classes?”
“GATE is just for people who want to do M.Tech, right?” (Noooooo….)
” What are your plans after B.Tech?”
(Here’s a thought: why don’t you first let me complete my B.Tech with some peace of mind.)
Some people have the nerve to tell me this – “M.Tech is the best option for girls because then you can go into the teaching field.”
(Newsflash – Hello, this isn’t the 19th century! )
These comprise just the tip of the iceberg. The “attacks” tend to intensify once you reach the seventh semester (S7), and then it gets a lot worse. This can be mostly attributed to the fact that most companies hold campus recruitments in S7. Come S7, and suddenly you’ll find yourself being sought out for all the wrong reasons. It’s almost like you have a flashing neon sign hanging over your head that reads “Ask me about my future plans!”. Talks about recruitment become an icebreaker, and your career – something that most people think they should provide an opinion about. God forbid, you say something along the lines of “I still haven’t made up mind” and all hell breaks loose. Naturally, these kinds of inquisitions are no inferior to attendance shortage, backlogs, “standard” textbooks, Kerala University, horrible viva sessions, project evaluations and the like.
For all the trouble that it causes, S7 might seem to be over in the blink of an eye. By the time S8 starts, you would be tired of addressing inquiries from all quarters about the various job offer(s) you received. The Q&A sessions about campus recruitment gradually come to an end. You might delude yourself into thinking that you’re in the clear. But do not be fooled – that’s just the calm before the storm. GATE 201x is just around the corner.
The questions will keep coming… but by the end, you’ll hopefully walk away with an attitude that makes you brave enough to face anything life could possibly throw at you… That’s the beauty of getting a B.Tech degree in India!!! 😛
Edit – Granted, some people do ask these questions out of genuine concern. But like me, most engineering students won’t be in a state to appreciate that… This stuff freaks us out immensely and makes us want to run for the hills!
© 2016 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.
Image courtesy: Pixabay