Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Educational Prefix Hullabaloo

So far, I used to believe that I would only have a problem with someone changing his name to Ishyoboy-Baadshah. But I think the J in my ENFJ personality type overshadows every other trait to such an extent that I just cannot help but judge everyone on my facebook feed who has changed his name to CA FirstName LastName or Dr. FirstName LastName or even Er. and Ar. FirstName LastName.

Don't get me wrong; I am all for pride in one's profession and jingoism that does not unhealthily cross the line to: how could they hang Yakub Memon, he was a fellow member of ICAI. But if you wouldn't prefix your name on facebook with a "Mr." otherwise, I see no reason why a "CA" or a "Dr." should enjoy being the exception.

Being a Chartered Accountant in practice and having gone through the gruelling task of studying the CA curriculum for years, I can assure you that bunjee jumping from the Everest with a harness attached to your undies is a proposal less intimidating than passing the CA exams. I have complete empathy with someone who has lost his fair share of hair during the process, and a heart brimming with joy for him having achieved such a distinguished educational qualification at such a young age, even if he did so at age sixty-eight. But, should an educational qualification be so important that it defines your identity on a website where you otherwise air your passive-aggressiveness?

I think somewhere in the rat race of becoming a doctor, engineer, chartered accountant or some such, a lot of us tend to treat these educational “achievements” as defining moments in our lives. So much so that when due to some external circumstances (a.k.a. life’s unavoidable left-handed slap across our faces), the results of these degrees don’t match our expectations, they lead to professional dissatisfaction and loss of faith in Indian education.

Engineers have joked about how wasteful the degree (and all the money spent on getting it) feels at the time of placements, when most students realize that getting into an IIT wasn’t really the key to everlasting prosperity and happiness, as many of their parents believed and fed them with, in their growing years. I now observe a similar trend among young professionals from courses such as Chartered Accountancy and Company Secretaryship as well. And, I could be wrong, but I believe that a lot of this unmet expectation is a result of glorifying an educational qualification way beyond a well-rounded personality, something that might probably get you more ahead in life than just a piece of paper with fancy calligraphy that you may not be able to justify if you go out of work for two years.

In my humble opinion, if such titles are used on web-pages and forums, where they add to the relevance of the content or provide credibility to a person, they must be used, and why not? But the fact that these so called degrees have now also permeated to wedding invitation cards is beyond me. I may not refuse to have the laddoo’s you send with the shaadi ka dabba, but sorry, I might judge you, for there is now a thing called “education toh aa gayi, par class nahi aayi”.

Am, and will always be proud to be a CA, inter alia.

Image Source:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Don't be Colon my Heart

While I’m the one who puts a hyphen between my colon and parenthesis, she skips it altogether. I’ve seen her various moods: the closed parenthesis that opens my heart with joy, and the open round bracket that closes all rationale and makes me want to hug her tight to set things right.

It all started with a colon-P, when she answered with a “we’ll see” to my proposal for a coffee. It was confusing, for I could hardly tell if it was her way of telling me to back off, or an expression of possibility. I believed she would show her tongue at the thought of food, in her playful, cute way, like licking her lips to prepare for a sumptuous meal. And, it seemed apt in that context. When I followed it up with a question on what would be a good place to see her, she responded with a colon-@. I kept wondering what she meant by that.

She seemed to be one of those mysterious women, and I was not going to give up on the conversation so easily. I had to be her Sherlock in shining armor, if such a thing existed. Was she teasing me by only revealing a part of her email address? Already chatting with her in real time on Facebook Messenger via my Samsung Galaxy Ace Quadra 2.0, I knew her attempt was quite a waste. Why would I even want her email address? This wasn’t circa Y2K.

I pushed aside my first thought of the colon-@ being a symbol for a young sardar’s patka under her dotted eyes. I could tell she was not the kinky type who would want to blow on someone’s turbaned head. Maybe she had read about giving head, but didn’t know that it wasn’t what she thought it meant. That’s how these girls from Sonepat are.

Tilting my head to the side, trying to make out what such a digital face would look like in the human form, I cracked the code. She had her mouth open wide and her tongue showed. Aha! I could tell that she wanted us to meet not just for a coffee, but for a full meal. To be honest, for a moment, I also thought that she wanted to make out, but I held on to my horses. Or horse, if you know what I mean.

I pursued till her colon-forward slashes turned into colon-D’s, through sleepless nights and tiresome days of talking to her on text. A true disciple of Swami Vivekananda, I knew I had to arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached. It’s astounding how despite being a bachelor all his life, Swamiji gave the best relationship advice. Ever.

I finally received a colon-asterisk from her yesterday. When I responded with a confession of my love, she told me that I was getting ahead of myself and it was just a friendly gesture. Just a friendly gesture? My room-mate has sneaked pot into our dorm, hiding it in his V-shaped Jockey with a G-string for my birthday. Now that is what we call the epitome of a friendly gesture. But he has never, and I swear, never given me a colon-asterisk as a friendly gesture.

I told her that I wish she gets colon-itis, whatever painful medical condition that may be, that ruthless heartbreaker. While I’m the one who puts a hyphen between my colon and parenthesis, she skips it altogether. Should’ve known that she was either a Sroopnakha or the one who must not be named.

Image Source: