Where are you going?

Hipposaur lets us know that he is doing well, and sent us this note scrawled at the back of a matchbox. The picture was found inside the matchbox. We're not sure what it means, but we've put it up anyway:


Hipposaur's journal:

Last week I was watching The Big Bang Theory, a wonderful sitcom involving geeky physicists caught up in the real world. It had one of the characters, Sheldon Cooper attempting to make new friends by reading up children's books. His logic was infallible: the skills of friendship can merely be extrapolated to suit real-world scenarios. While his approach was used to get a few laughs out of the audience, I couldn't help but agree how true this was. Especially considering the case of our 'useless' Humanities degree.

My family, like most others in middle class India, valued utility of education over all else. And there I was, the proverbial black sheep in a sea of brilliant minds, who aced in economics, math, science and engineering. On my part, I could not process numbers to save my life. To cut a long story short, I ended up with an MA in English lit, with small digressions in cultural studies and film theory. My father prudently wondered where I was headed in life. Across the phone line that stretched 1500 kilometres, separating my home and the University, I did not have an answer.

At the University, a whole new world opened up to me. Although I did not know where I would head with a degree in English and no additional experience to speak of; my friends and I were having a ball. We busied ourselves smoking pot and watching films. All this while, there were presentations to be given, lectures to be attended and papers that needed writing. Two years whizzed past and on fine afternoon, we found ourselves sitting across the waiting hall in a newspaper office, waiting for our interviews to be taken.

In time, my father gave in to the fact that his son was clueless as to where he was headed in life. Back at the University, we learned about the origins of language and cultural consumption, and politics and power structures. Through the heavily worded notes accumulated through innumerable photocopies, we understood, however little, about the way information spreads and works. While Literature offered a glimpse of the world and the myriad interactions within it; Cultural Studies cautioned us to be aware that beyond the mainstream, lay another story that always remains untold. It was then that it slowly dawned on us. We realised that we could now have a wider perspective on the world and how it works, As opposed to the school and college brand of education, here, you could question everything.

That's when Sheldon Cooper's wisdom comes in. When my friends and I see people unquestionably going about their jobs in cubicles, perpetually chasing deadlines or go dancing every Friday at the lounge bars, we heave a small sigh of relief. While it may not have taught us to crunch numbers for corporations with greater efficiency; our degree in Humanities has managed to do something altogether improbable.

It lets us pause for moments, ever so briefly, and breathe in the rain.

11 comments:

GreyVitriol said...

Tag!

Fully grown fuzzy Hipposaur said...

You're it?

Nobodyville Street said...

Voila! Finally found one of the most honest and factual blog post that talks about the M.A and B.A 'us'. :D

Very True!

overturned blue shoe said...

you couldn't be more right!sometimes it almost comic, when i see all the world in pin stripe pants.

Meghna said...

:)

asmita said...

Nice one. Makes us all "Humanities degree holders and dubbed as lost cases" feel a lot better! :)

And heave a sigh of relief...

Fully grown fuzzy Hipposaur said...

Thank you for the kind words.

Sarit said...

Let's breathe in the rain, bro! Brilliant as usual

Jayeeta Mazumder said...

Nostalgia! You're such a brilliant writer, Rahul :)

Hades said...

I like this post. And I shudder to imagine of a society which treats the humanities as an old grand uncle, to be put up with till it passes away so that More Important Things can be done.

Wait, did I say 'imagine'?

Fully grown fuzzy Hipposaur said...

@Hades: Loved reading Times of Bullshit, still do. Thanks!