Great Indian Curry

Choices of a Proud Under-Achiever

I was born in India, much like the other 1.4 billion of us. And since we are remarkably over-populated, a majority of us have always aspired to sneak into some first-world countries, the lands of Dollars and Euros. With better opportunities, lesser competition, cleaner public toilets, and nicer people. 

Back in India, since this is a country of 1.4 Billion, we have a diverse and tightly-coupled social structure that comprises an intimidating number of aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, neighbours, tenants, landlords, and in-laws. Thankfully, we stepped into the golden era of Vasectomy, when people volunteered for some “Chop-Chop” which turned them medically incapable of shooting out those super-fertile rainbows.

Beauty Creams for Wrinkled Faces. What About the Wrinkled Brains?

So this well-knit social fabric comprises many menopausal aunties and retired uncles who are blessed with ample free time and nothing particularly productive to do. I mean, they weren’t very spectacularly creative or gifted people during their prime tenure; not too eager to pursue unconventional dreams or think beyond the regularities. Now at their wrinkled age, it would be unfair to expect them to engage in thoughtful discussions, influence or enrich, nurture a  hobby or positively impact anyone. So what do they do? Well, a significant pastime of most regular seniors is to get overly curious, inquisitive, and nosy about the affairs of others in their family tree. 

They love monitoring and scrutinising your professional, public, and private life. Inventing gossip elements that would be considered objectionable in most societies. 

  • Does your job suck? 
  • Are you underpaid? 
  • Are you overpaid? 
  • Should you get married? 
  • Should you produce kids? 
  • Should you run away with the neighbour’s daughter? 
  • Should you get drunk and hump around? 
  • Should you do drugs and go to jail? 

They have a conclusive opinion on all of it. And they issue social merit cards after skilfully weighing your “achievements” against your cousins, colleagues, and neighbours.

Anything unconventional which their wrinkled brains are unable to measure is therefore termed as “under-achievement”.

Engineering Was An Acquired Skill. Available at Retail Outlets (called “Who Cares Private Engineering Colleges”) 

I have been part of the IT fraternity for 14+ years. My merits as an engineer, developer, project lead, and manager have been widely acknowledged and appraised across the organisations I have worked for. My clients, subordinates, and bosses would absolutely vouch for my sincerity and dedication. Precisely speaking, I consider myself adequately competent and successful.

Yet Engineering is an acquired skill, which has been up for sale at retail outlets (called “Who Cares Private Engineering Colleges”) at a net investment of 4 Lakhs and above. Depending on your choice of Wi-Fi campus with Central Air-Conditioning, stunning decors, landscaped lawns and state-of-the-art libraries, etc.

On the other hand, Writing, similar to other creative skills, is inherent and God gifted. The passion of thinking beyond the regularities and putting them into a creative canvas is a pleasure that most people are oblivious of. I have always loved writing, and the prospect of monetising that passion to create a brand identity always thrilled me beyond imagination. 

The Cash Registers had Multiple Orgasms

So over the last decade, I decided to prioritize my creative skills over the acquired engineering skills. From voracious blogging to venturing into commercial writing, I evaded every space and opportunity, earned several dozens of retainer clients, built an amazing team of writers, and set the cash-registers to multiple strong orgasms. 

This is my brand, a self-made identity that makes me a satisfied man. Though, a striking majority of our social guardians have no clue of what we are upto. I mean, freelancing and the prospects around commercial writing are utopian concepts to most people with regular office jobs.

It was a Choice, Unrelated to my Professional Merits

But here’s the twist. Being a part of the IT fraternity, I have never traveled abroad to the lands of Dollars and Euros. And that hurts my social merit card. At least to the wrinkled Uncles and Aunts. Well, in my defense, not traveling Onsite was an informed choice I made. And that’s totally unrelated to my professional merit. 

I am proud of my choices, my dreams, and what I have achieved so far. 

17 replies »

  1. Well, I am in peace with myself. Not too concerned if the world feels the same. I know I have done well so far and that’s important to me. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  2. It sounds like you’re in a good place. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for your visit to mine. I don’t monetise, being fairly incompetent in that sphere and lazy besides.

  3. I am Asian so I know what you mean. With all my degree and stacks of education certificates, the elders wanted me to be able to make a ton of money or have a high position in some big corporate business. But I decide not to, instead o focused my energy on bringing up my children. But I continued to work at a retail job that I mostly enjoyed while working on my blog and social media. I get the billed paid but still maintained my identity.

  4. But I am sure the elders must have felt that you chose the wrong profession or couldn’t monetize those certificates. But yes, to me, pursuing your passion and identity is so important.

  5. Cannot agree more…..Essentially every individual is different and unique in a way. So comparing them on a generic scale seems unfair. Thanks for reading.

  6. I guess it’s Universal, the hardest people to please are your own relatives, specially the older kind, they expect from you so much! Regardless their own colorless lives.

  7. Well, the social merit card is a thing across geographies and cultures 🙂 But then, that’s what keeps you motivated…Right? 🙂

  8. ♡ 😂🤣😅😆😁😄😃😀🙂 ; your wife (bit premature maybe 🤔 ?) is stalking you with her catlike skills just like my future wife you dirty dog just like me (let’s NOT!!! sniff each others butts though 😃) My Brother, My Friend and Festive Greetings to you and your family…especially the “wrinkly” ones; an ounce of wisdom in a ton of nonsense is worth its weight in gold, a bit like pigs and pearls


  9. This is a relief…I thought the nosy breed of relatives exists just in our country. Call me selfish, but I am so glad there are people out there across geographies facing similar problems. 😀 😀

    Thanks for reading.

  10. Interesting and entertaining. Had me chuckling this morning. I needed a good laugh. I find it difficult at times to focus on myself, and make decisions that is right for me especially when the world is watching, being nosy, and comparing. It’s a constant battle to shut out the noise.
    Aside from menopausal and wrinkled brained what other adjectives that we can apply to folks that don’t know how to mind their business and let others live?
    Shriveled, dated, historical figures.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and world with us.

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