Confessions of a Desi doing Research
I wish my life was more on those lines…….Well, my life was pretty much on those lines…., until School decided to make a comeback……and what a come back it was. Thanks to my brother, i got introduced to Metallica way back in high school. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had to wait another few years for some metal head to rescue me from the onslaught of POP MUSIC. Anyway….thanks to Rock “n” Roll and other derivatives of that genre, I am still alive…..
I got done with high school…just like million others from some Junior College down south…I got screwed in the competitive exams that would decide what I do with the next 4 years of my life…;for some reason….the Almighty saved my ass and I got into a good university; I graduated with a degree in Mechanical engineering and a job in an IT company…… wondering how the hell am i gonna fit in…..But that doesn’t seem to bother the IT companies….for them, I guess i was just another graduate ready to work my ass off while they post huge quarterly profits and make the industry look so lucrative…
What did I do.? I decide to do my Masters instead….cuz the dollar dreams seemed more lucrative to me…
What happens when an Indian decides to do his Masters in the US…? Well, for starters, he begins to be known as a “DESI”. Desis are a bunch of highly determined individuals whose first priority when they set foot on American soil is to get funded. They can go to any lengths to prove how good they are at a host of things…,that barely ring a bell in their heads. Sometimes DESIs get funded before they set foot on american soil…these guys are minority.
So here I am….doing my Masters in the US… Do I see a stereotype in myself…?...Hell yeah……I am through with my share of bullshitting people about my hypothetical capabilities as a researcher or a web designer and what not. In my case the hypothetical researcher in me hit the bull’s eye and I got funded. I am into some serious research now. And I am having a tough time coming to grips with the “researcher” in me. People know me as someone who is really passionate about music, cars, bikes and electronics, least of all about studies. Research doesn’t seem to fit in my scheme of things. The level of enthusiasm my professor shows when I produce some good results seem beyond me. The way he gets all excited about stuff seams so alien. I guess he’s passionate about his work, just like I am about music or bikes. A few days back, I was explaining something about my research to one of my friends over the phone. At the end of it she said, “wow man, your life seems to have some meaning to it “. What she said, got me thinking. It’s startling to even comprehend that I might contribute something to science someday. And for the first time I started to enjoy my work. And I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but soon after that day I started making some good progress on my research. Now here’s the irony of the situation. Earlier I would dread every meeting with my prof.This is how a usual conversation sounded like-
Prof- hey..howse it goin?…have a seat
Me- oh its been okay.
Prof- are the papers making any sense to you?
Me- aahhha..ummm……a few yes..
Prof- hmmm…that’s what I thought..so do you have any ideas about how to go ahead?
Me- ummm…..well I wanted to know what the exact problem is(..shit..did I just say that)
Prof- Ohhhh….you know what…this happenes with all my students…I think I go really
fast when I start explaining stuff. Am sorry about that.
Me- (WHAT??????...isko kya hogaya)….(confused look)..no no…aa ummmm
Prof- Okay lets go slow..here s what I want you to do first…blah blah blah…
Me- ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh…okay cool….
This went on and on with a bit of progress now and then….but now that I did make some serious progress,..for the first time, I wanted to fix up a meeting with him desperately. But the guy has been so busy, that he hasn’t been able to find time to meet me. It’s been 4 days and 3 emails, he finally replied today and fixed up a meeting next Monday. Sigh….I think all my enthu will die down by that time….
To be frank, the progress I made isn’t that big a deal in terms of my final research goals. And the work I did isn’t any where close to ground breaking, though I put in a lot of hours into it, but for me to actually enjoy RESEARCH is a big step…now I really wanna quote Neil Armstrong..but I ll give it a pass.....
A very common thing I hear from all my friends back home..is about my social life…..nah……….whom am I kidding…..to be precise….about my sex life. You see, folks back home think, that American women are piece of cake. So you often find my ORKUT scrap book with scraps like..
”dude…..koi firang patti?.....please tell me you lost your virginity..”
“dude…how many times have you done it”….
”abbey US is a place full of opportunities”
“ what else did you go to the US for?”
Guys, amidst all the bull crap that I have to pull off everyday, scoring with firang chicks doesn’t seem like something I would have among my priorities. How ever lame that might sound, but I can’t help it guys. Wagging my tongue at every other firang I see is all I can do. For now, getting done with my research and dreaming about riding a bike with 100 horses of power at my command is all i care about...
EXTINGUISHED BY LIGHT
I TURN ON THE NIGHT