The Age of the Indiavidual is here

An old note in the diary from 10 years ago…

Do Jins exist? I dont know. I just have a vague memory of how my nanaji gave me this mantra to invoke a Jin named Jaffar to get a call from BITS Pilani.

The call didn’t come. I secured a rank in Punjab CET and would have gotten admission to Chemical Engineering with my rank. I wanted and needed Electronics to be successful in life. An intervention had to be made and this time it came in the form of my father — a very successful, now retired senior civil servant — signing a certificate for me to get admission as the ward of a physically handicapped citizen. This was after he built a life around ignoring the disability in his right arm.

This was I am sure one amongst many other interventions made by other parents — like caste, or gender or state — to make it big. In life. Because it is so important.

For very important things, very important measures need to be taken. But now 13 years later, after a few years abroad and some exciting experiences — the necessity of that certificate and Electronics branch — all don’t appear as clear. What is clear, however, is that it hurt my pride and I spent a lot of time trying to understand what went wrong. Finally realized that lack of effort in Organic Chemistry made a big difference to my score. I didn’t think at the time I was doing anything wrong — I didn’t like Organic Chemistry! I just didn’t know that skipping it would make such a big difference to the next few years and finding myself, long term. I wish the early part of my life was more about informed choices and self directed effort.

I went to my old school recently, very convinced things would have changed. Realized that while some people have better access to information, very strong mental models around tried and tested paths still exist. There are classrooms of a 1000 students in this manic rush to get ahead, crowding to get access to teachers who give ‘good results’. Fees have skyrocketed and the assurance of personalized attention is now hollower than ever. The best teachers on the other hand are stuck between being businessmen or actually imparting knowledge. There is a lot wrong with education today, some of it feels more critical to me because it happens on the transitions of life which define who we will be in the long run.

Maybe as Indians, its time for us to think about a better way. On how we make choices or how we choose to build our lives. Or what we can and cannot accept.

Maybe it will create a new class of Indian Individuals. A class rising from people who are born from the masses and will now create their own path, questioning choices along the way and when they seek help — demanding it to be aligned to who they are.

The age of the Indiavidual is here.

Question is how do we get there?

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