Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lost In Transition

From (Astronaut, Scientist ,Entrepreneur, Lover )


( Driver,Manager,Husband )

Lost In Transition

When I was a Kid ,my dad used to live in Middle East due to job . every time before coming back to India, daddy used to ask us (by postal mail ) about what he should bring for us . almost invariably I used to ask for Rocket or Airplane . Every body in my neighborhood knew I wanted to become an astronaut. I really believed that someday I will step on moon. I will be first Indian to step on moon . ( I still have the chance to do that J )

Somewhere while growing up I lost my dream of becoming a astronaut . I don't really know the reason . I never cared to explore them . By the time I was in my teens I wanted to be a Scientist but after enrolling as a student of Science with Non Medical I focused on becoming a Engg. And then fornext two years of my life I eat, slept, breathed and smelled P.E.T / JEE .

During my college days I wanted to start a company and my folks were sick of hearing my plans, but currently I am trying hard to become a manager in my current assignment .

During college I was attracted toward a girl & wanted to be her lover ( FYI : she rejected me and I am thankful to her , because she could have done something more cruel , which someone else did to me recently ,& I am thank full to her also . but more on that later. ) and now my parents want me to be a husband of someone of their choice and I don't know how long I can withstand the pressure .

This is my story and I believe this can be the story of any other boy in our times . each of us sometime in there life want to be an Astronaut, Scientist ,Entrepreneur and Lover but more often than not we are reduced to Driver, Manager & Husband . Why ? from being a boy to being a Man what do we loose in transition ? is it inevitable ? do we have a choice ? Is this the cost of Growing up ? Lets see .

I think that one fundamental difference between the ambitions of our childhood and goals of
adulthood is of conformity . As we grow up we tend to become more and more conformist . I tell you this is a very cozy feeling when you know that you are one with the people around you . you are acceptable , you belong . we tend to believe that its safe to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally .

Of course we never admit it to our self and try to glorify our current position and I am not trying to prove that there is no effort or glory involved in the last three roles . all I am trying to find out is why we shed our goals and never realize it until its too late to do anything about it . All of us are working hard , all of us are busy and intelligent . so how on earth we can miss the point . why we scale down our ambition .

Local Maxim

One reason we never realize what we are doing is that often we are trapped in what I call a "Local Maxim". a short term win on the cost of a long term victory .I still remember how my friends used to feel down and out when they were not able to make it in Campus Placement in College . It looked like the end of world . Funny thing is even some girlfriends switched loyalties during this time .( well that was not shock to anybody it was expected in my college )

Another case in point is of my friend who was working in a company where his project was to write software to mine data from unstructured source of information like text file . just when his project was in most interesting phase he got an offer from another company and they were offering a huge jump in salary . he asked me for advice . he was in love with his current assignment but still he was making a lot less then his classmate or friend in US who is working on $/Hr basis in a valley based firm . I advised him to stay but under the pressure of family and wife he switched his job . He knew he will not going to enjoy the work but still he did it .He don't talk about his job now. he opted for a local maxim .

We all do it sometime or other . all of us are busy ,all of us are achieving something or other but our effort ,our victory our energy is not aligned with our long term goal . we keep penny so close to our eye that we can't see the dollar behind it .

One way to avoid the trap of local maxim is to have friends outside of work, industry, demographics and beyond your financial profile . As a sales person I have meet many top notch professionals who make a packet of money every month & budding entrepreneurs on shoestring budget (some time on serial credit cards) . Based of my experience I can tell you both teach you a great deal . its better than having friends who are only programmer in some IT firm. It gives you perspective and vision to look beyond local maxim.

Who wrote the Script of My Role

" You know someone said that world is a stage ,and we all must play our part ,

fate has been playing in love, with you as my sweetheart ,

Act One was when we meet I loved you at your first glance,

You read your line so cleverly and never missed a clue , Than come act two .

You got changed and acted strange and why I never know .

Honey you lied when you said you love me and I have no doubt on that

But I rather go on hearing your lies than go on living without you ,

Now the stage is bare and I am standing here with the emptiness all around

And if you are not coming back to me that they can bring the curtain down "

Elvis Presley In "Are You Lonesome Tonight"

Legend is that king Elvis was in love with a girl who was equally in love with him . but he was a Truck Driver @ that time .And no self respecting uptown family in USA like the idea of their daughter getting married to a truck driver . Girl finally ditched Elvis Presley to marry some one normal . later king wrote this song for the same girl who never cared to say a proper good bye to him before partying ways .Nobody really know who she was . and everybody knows such girls.

Now lets for a moment think like that girl . In Her shoes she might be taking the best most thoughtful and calculated move of her life .When she loved him she was a girl and all she cared was that boy should be good looking, caring and madly in love with her . but now she is a women soon she will get married and as a consequence will have kids. Now think of it will you like to raise your child in a house of truck diver . so the poor girl acted wise, she thought like a wife /mother /homemaker and married someone else . girl in her lost her voice . she grew up .

As we all grow up at some point our friends ,family ,society give us the script of the role we have to play . they define what you are supposed to do as a father , son, wife , husband and everything else . we tends to believe these script as a fundamental premise.

Every person is unique so should be the script of his life . But we forget to ask a basic question what we are supposed to do as a person ? we should have a purpose of life beyond playing these pre scripted roles . but sadly this is rarely the case .Most of us never try to explore our role and write its script . sounds like a Matrix .

Now think for a moment about another girl . Her name is Gauri Khan , wife of SRK . think of her decision of marrying SRK .An average looking guy, a struggling actor with no steady source of income and on top of all these he was from a different religion . she must have faced an hell lot of resistance from her family . every body must have tried to push those scripts about "Good Husband Material" down her head . but she opted otherwise . Why ? what is the difference between approach of Gauri & approach of the girl who ditched Elvis . Honestly only Ms. Gauri can answer that . I will not even attempt to guess .

We have many example of people who opted to write their own script . Sania Mirza , N.Kartekeyan, Sabeer Bhatia , Narayan Murthy ,Dhirubhai Ambani list is end less.

DNA of Enterprenuer (If Any)

An Astronaut moves in general direction there is no path for him to follow and a Driver drive on roads with the help of maps . an entrepreneur tries to create new market where- as Manager only optimize the returns on existing market . Lover symbolize adventure and Husband smell security .

As we grow up we tend to be afraid of taking unknown road , we don't venture in unexplored territory. We trade adventure for security . we trade surprises & excitement for predictability .we tend to believe that our sense of worth is function of our job, possessions, salary etc. we don't see it as something intrinsic to us . at that juncture , we loose our chance . that feeling of intrinsic self worth is the thing we loose in transition .

That is the only thing which makes the difference between living for work and working for a living . lets hope more of us are in First category . lets write our own scripts and lets live a firsthand life .


Anonymous said...

Good analysis.

Anonymous said...


found (stumbeled ) on your blog . nice article . By the way blog entry you made was too analytic and deep for your age .
good luck for your enterprenurial ambitions

Young J said...

Well I've learnt one this that it is better to fail than to have not tried at all. As you have rightly said, it is a chasm that we have to cross. The chasm of social stigma, of fear of not having enough money, of FAILING. Nice blog. Do keep in touch, we could discuss more.Mail at

Anonymous said...

Hi Prashant...

I must appreciate you for your insight.. You are right now a days people think their profession and salary are their indentity.. They do not look down in their heart to find out what actually they are.. But this trend willl certainly change becoz people can not live in this world of restlessness for a long time...
Wish you achieve all whatever you want...........

Be happy always


hi swati

thanks for the comment and your wishes, I really appreciate it .Actually this post was a result of a personal experience i went through in recent past when one of my very close friend was ditched by his long time girlfriend just because she happened to be able to secure a seat in A Grade MBA School & Doesn't deemed it fit to continue relationship.

people are a bit prisoner of their social image ,to the extent that they prefer to go with the common practice instead of going with their own judgement .

i slightly disagree with you on your point about people will stop acting like this few years down the line . not now not in my life time at least . these things are hard coded in DNA and change require time ..a lot of time . the change we require is of moving from a survival mindset to a achievement and excel mindset . it doesn't come naturally to folks .

Even In developed countries like USA number of folks taking a non conventional approach to life and carrier is very little . peer pressure is more powerful that any insightful blog post :-) .

Solution is to do what you really love doing and don't wish for any reward/criticism/recognition /appreciation from folks around you . Work should be an "End in it self , it shouldn't be an mean to and END" . there is noway a group. a country or a group can learn this . this freedom from peers is a individual quest . you have to fight it own your own and inside your head .

My Recommendation :Read Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
( i think you have read it :-) )

Good Luck

Balaji Sowmyanarayanan said...

@Swathi, Prashant
I'm with you Swathi that things will change for good soon enough.

Prashant you need proof? You are the proof. At least for *me* thinking on the lines outlined by you, you are a proof. Bit complex reasoning? :)


Thanks Balaji , that was a n ice thing to hear

soo said...

i agree with are living proof...think i've really lost something along the way to "conform" You have all the answers as usual...:) Thanks a lot, great post!

Beji said...

Read this post for the first time's GOOD!!
Makes more sense today I guess!!

the who said...

The whole structure of how and why we make our decisions is so complex that i've stopped analyzing it. But you've been brave to do that. Everytime i've tried to think about it i've come across different and even completely contradicting experiences..
1) Do we really know what we really, really want??
2) Do we always want the same things as we wanted them when we wanted them real bad??
3) Is it my fear of being an outcast that wants me to confirm or the humility of accepting that i could be wrong??
4) Where am i crossing the thin line between following my heart and following my conscience (here comes not wanting to hurt parents and all)
5) There are some who have made it big sticking to their right beliefs and some who have by moving on from their not-so-right-for-them beliefs... where do i figure??
And many such questions...
But then there are two things that i have come to know from asking these questions
1) The girl who married her lover despite all odds and is happy has had an equally REAL experience as the one who married her lover despite odds and is unhappy. What i mean is that we each have starkingly in contrast but equally real experiences.. so who was right or wrong anyway?? THERE ARE NO SACRED TRUTHS
2) Life is a set of different experiments. Sometimes i follow.. sometimes i stand alone. When i choose to do which depends on who i am at that point in time. And i keep changing, learning... and also unlearning.....

Phew!! long comment!! your posts incite the unstoppable thinker in me :)


@The Who
Hmm ...thats some food for thought. I can relate to what you are saying . I've been there .

"Every time I've tried to think about it I've come across different and even completely contradicting experiences."

Ayn Rand has something to say about it In her Novel "Atlas Shrugged" to quote her "Contradiction Do not exist , if you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premise you will find one of them is wrong "
so lets try to examine your observation on this benchmark

"Do we really know what we really, really want??"

Yes I guess every one know deep down inside . we might not be able to articulate it or follow it but somewhere at somepoint of time each one of us know THIS is the thing He/She want to do . remember peter keating ?? Even He knew what he wants [ to be a painter ] and try to do it toward the end of story.

#3,#4,#5 are same thing .
Are you willing to bear the cost of probable failure ? and most of the time biggest cost is losing the approval of friends ,relative,family etc .
there is noway to know the outcome beforehand . but you may find a good way to think about it in these line . these lines I read somewhere

"What I experienced in my life is only one of the ways of living life. And you should know it as one of the possibilities and not as a certainty. Sometimes, you got to make your own mistakes. Just remember to be true to yourself and that life never stops.”"


Anonymous said...

nice writing ,just gonna turn 25 in next few hrs ,so i was just checking posts on net regarding that ,u really write very well ,

it seems as if u no wis going on inside or proably all of us ,

i dont whether u build ur compnay or not but my best wishes are with u



Thanks Rahul , and Happy Birthday :)

Anonymous said...

janaab kya likhte hain aap; lagta hai saakshaat bhagwaan likh rahe hon...keep enlightening us...i think u'll make me a better man(seriously)...i'm already quoting you everywhere


Prashant Singh said...

@aashish : Thanks .I am glad you liked it :)

Shobhit said...

Very insightful blog post though i am sad to read this .I can identify with the concept of local maxim I have always opted for them. i was wrong .

Btw you wrote it in 2005 ? how old are you ?

Prashant Singh said...

@shobhit : Thanks . We all opt for local maxim at one point or another . but some time some local maxim are fatal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prashant,

Accidentally stumbled upon your blog. I must agree your analysis gave a different dimension to my thoughts. Good one buddy. Keep it coming.