So, time for the long story. As I mentioned, I was an IT engineer working in Bangalore before I left it all in search of what Maslow will call Self actualization. Now that may sound self aggrandizing. But that’s how I see it. I mean my measly stipend does cover my expenses for food, shelter (a pretty decent rented accommodation) and clothing. So, I guess that’s that. Then there’s that second step called safety in Mr. Maslow’s hierarchy. I feel pretty safe, considering I know beginner’s martial art skills in boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Knowing how to leg triangle choke someone does kind of lull me into a sense of security. Plus I carry a pocket knife. When it comes to financial security, I admit I am kind of skipping over that part for now to jump right ahead. Let’s say you always hope your parents have a little rainy day fund set aside for you (and in my case, my parents in their infinite wisdom hope that the apple of their eyes gets married to a guy who has the sense of not skipping the financial security part!). Then there’s a step about love and belonging. I have to say it’s been a blessing to have a family that despite their strong desire to handcuff me, gag me and marry me off to one of the gazillion suitable guys in their sight, still support me with all their heart and get all excited about visiting me in the village to see how I am getting by in a jungle (I work in a forest area). They even proudly spread the word along “Our daughter is living in a village and helping people”, notwithstanding their private recrimination “Other people boast that their children are going to the US, Canada yada yada …and look at what we have to say, that our daughter has run off to a remote village in the middle of some jungle”. Then there’s the step about esteem. That’s something I hope to earn here, especially in my own eyes. And finally self actualization.
Let me go a little deeper into this topic. I will reproduce a couple of lines that Wikipedia has very helpfully put together on this topic.” This level of need refers to what a person’s full potential is and the realization of that potential. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.” Hmm.. I am here to be the most that I can be. I strongly believe that my life has a purpose. It’s just that I have not found one yet. But I am going to proudly say I am looking for it. What I do know is what my purpose is not! It’s not debugging code for some behemoth banking client with tentacles spread across the world. Like they say in fairy tales “You have to kiss many frogs before you finally find your prince”. And finally we are here …
To the experience of kissing the IT industry frog! The frog I spent two years with, hoping it would eventually turn into my prince charming. It was an experience, I have to say. I lived in a beautiful city with the best weather in the world (I never knew there was a place on Earth where swimming pools are open 12 months of the year), but choking with crazy traffic and pollution. It was inhabited with people who had one constant thought at the back of their minds “How many days till the weekend”. I was one of them. There was a beautiful period of time where the constant thought was just the opposite “How much more time till Monday” but that had everything to do with personal fulfilment and nothing to do with professional fervour (That’s a long, long story I can fill a tome with). If you sat at some place and observed the IT crowd, you could go “They look like characters from a zombie movie!” People moving around with a blank look, constantly thinking about the proverbial human flesh, be it a deadline of a project, the next promotion, switching companies..you get the drift. If you heard an IT engineer talking without knowing anything about the context , you would get an impression that the entire burden of the world is on the poor man’s shoulders. That’s something that just comes with the job, the feeling of being very important and moving mountains.. mostly some mountains out there in either USA or Europe. Even if your part in moving the mountain could be akin to a drop in the ocean, the self-importance is akin to the ocean.
To be contd.