Monday, June 16, 2014

Answering My Beloved Bengali Society

I have realised that weekends really do not mean anything when you are trying to build something of your own. You start putting your work before weekend plans of meeting up for Beer or Coffee. Free-riding and desperation for Friday Night to arrive are things you can not connect to. When so much happens, your work becomes you after a while. Different aspects of your business creep into the way you live unknowingly and sometimes, well, a little creepily.

One example might do this post a lot of justice. The work I do involves quite a bit of product customization. We try to provide what our clients like and what exactly they want because they clearly are The Boss. I have adopted this simple strategy and have started customizing my answers according to the people who raise the questions and sometimes according to my mood and the weather.

I'm 24 and have taken a break from Academics to try my hand at something else. To be honest there have been times when I have thought of giving it up or worse still, save it up for later thanks to a considerable amount of ridicule and bitterness from a battalion of extremely concerned and risk-averse Bengali Society led by an equally but (for a change) genuinely concerned Bengali Mother. But it seemed like I'm kind of possessed by my dream. It does not leave my side even when I'm awake. So, I thought of seeing the end of it either in success or in failure. And there was just one time to do that: That time was NOW.

Gradually I started accepting questions from people and answering them to the best of my ability. The questions are more or less the same and can be generally put as: What are you doing now and what are your future plans?

Here is where I put my business to use and click the 'customize' button:

  • If the question is asked by someone who thinks it's a shame to be just a Graduate and one should go to college to finish that Masters degree before you turn 25 (even if you do not know why exactly you are doing it. Well, everyone else is doing it. Is that not enough?), then my sample answer is:
Answer: Right now? Right now I'm not doing anything. Was thinking of doing my Masters. Tried going back to University but seemed like I do not know much of Economics. Didn't get through though almost everyone else did.

Note: This is the most brilliant answer that one could give if the question was asked by that distant relative or neighbour who is always curious about your whereabouts. If you can bring a Bengali to a point where they can pity you, they will continue to do so for a long time to come while you are saved to do what you really wish to. Except , whenever you meet them, greet them and say 'Kemon achho go? Ami aar ki? Ekhono cheshta korchhi jodi MA ta korte paari' (How are you doing? I'm still trying to get that Masters degree). Pity Button hit. You are saved for the next two months till you meet him/her again.

  • If the question is asked by someone who thinks the only follow-up to growing up is doing a safe and secured job, then I'd rather go for this one:
Answer: I'm sitting for a Bank Exam next week. Do not think I can crack it but I really hope I do. Let's see what happens.

Note: If you can convince them that you are trying and yet not intelligent or competent enough to crack exams, wholla you have done it right again. Pity Zone: Here is where most inquisitive uncles, aunties and peers park their curious cars.

  • If the question is asked when I do not feel like talking and the June Sun is giving me a bad headache, I go simply 'Me? I'm jobless and will be for sometime to come'

  • Coming from someone who thinks it's really cool to take a break and travel: I'd say,
Answer: I'm on a break. Thought of just traveling this year. Just came back from 'put name of place where you went last' (doesn't matter if it was a month back) and planning to go 'some random place from the wishlist' next month (doesn't matter if you do not have the money to go there in the next six months)

Note: Expect to hear 'Oh wow. That's so cool' along with a few travel tips (save it up for later. Might need it when you actually make that trip)

  • If a deeply committed person asks you 'What's up? How you doing?' 
Answer: I am trying to cope with a break-up.

Note: All career plan talks get side-tracked and start building on why such a terrible thing happened to you. Result: Saved again.

  • If an alcoholic or a stoner asks you (less likely though), 'What are you up-to these days, buddy?'
Answer: I'm mostly high on something or the other off late. It's been awesome, man! You getting good stuff these days?

Note: This will be followed by all the latest high stories and the new places he/she has scored from and how smooth the stuff was.

Obviously, no offence is meant to anyone who finds resemblance with the kind of people who continue to ask me these questions and the answers they receive. Though taking a bit of offence might be a good idea. 
Also, if by any chance you happen to know what I actually do and in great details, chances are you know me for a long time/you work with me/I thought you'd understand/I really like you. As for me I do not know what exactly I do or will be doing except that I can't stop doing it till it's done.

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