Engineering the Perfect Dream



The children gave life to beautiful poetry as the three judges – two English teachers and I, found ourselves oscillating between being entangled in the perfectly delivered lines  and the dilemma of deciding which candidate was better than the other.

The trophy went to the most-deserving class and the individual who had put up a perfect show, but we all agreed that every one of the kids who had confidently come up the stage and performed was a winner at the English Coral Elocution of Grade 5.

I had looked back from my seat set before the stage and was overjoyed to see eager parents encouraging children, not for the Science Quiz or the Science Olympiad, but the English Elocution.

This being an Indian school outside India does not change the fact that we are striving hard to produce more Engineers than mosquitoes with the dengue virus.

Science and Mathematics becomes the subject in focus. Always.

Luckily, this has nothing to do with learning and understanding the intricate pattern of our complex body functions or enjoying the magic of numbers but just the key to realizing the dream of adding another Engineer to the outrageously increasing number.

If by any stroke of bad luck, the child took interest in the literary works of great authors and poets, it was gently nipped in the bud before the interest snowballed into the love for Literature.

The perfect child of a parent who yearns a respectable place in the society becomes an Engineer.

A software engineer will be the perfect cherry on the cake of aspiration.

Pledge your enslavement to a non-Indian-based software company that will promise to keep your bank account consistent with a 6-digit number and slogging a couple of extra hours not only adds color to your appraisal and keeps the boss happy, but is a sure technique to be treated to a grand welcome by your family akin to that given to the valiant warriors who return to their kingdom after a fierce battle.

If you wish to take your dreams abroad, then divine intervention in the form of a deity in a South Indian temple will be a sure help for quick and easy attainment of the US visa.

A few slipped disks, rising blood pressure and heart ailments after hours of neck-breaking dedication can be taken care of with a gentle sweep of your insurance card but rest assured that your dream home becomes a reality.

As a five-year-old, Sid said that he wished to become an astronaut after he watched an episode of Mickey Mouse singing and dancing around the rings of Saturn and during his time on Earth, he hoped to juggle a career of racing on the Formula 1 tracks and become the next Tintin.

But now that he is well aware that dancing around the rings of Saturn has its risks and aspiring to become an investigative journalist is akin to being on a literacy mission in Taliban-occupied Afghanistan, he says he is looking into a few safer options.


32 responses »

  1. Beautiful thought provoking post. I would say the society has shaped itself into these set ambitions given to the IT boom involved. 15-18 years back, the population of software engineers was 10% of what it is today back then. Back in our school days, the most important ambitions were doctor, pilot (as usual), bank sector, government, teaching and so on. Software engineering was far away from our ears :-).
    People see the success rate, the time factor, dollar amount involved in each profession and have started shaping their child’s journey accordingly. The larger set of population goes into the IT as the journey to achieve a good standard of living is faster and certain out there. It does come at a cost (stress, health, pressure) as highlighted by you but people have embraced it happily. No doubt the travel, Medical, Gym, entertainment industry are flourishing.
    Some who still respect the art deep down their hearts, play the dual role and live happily with the tag line ‘XX by profession and artist by heart.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ravisidula, and thank you for your feedback which so beautifully conveys what I want to portray and what your rightly point out that “Some who still respect the art deep down their hearts, play the dual role and live happily with the tag line ‘XX by profession and artist by heart.” is so so true.
      I wrote this after I came across a few parents who have forcefully directed their children’s dreams towards becoming the privileged software engineer and become a part of the increasing population of them. Yet, there was one family I know who has let the child follow his dream of aspiring to be a designer. He is doing extremely well and progressing very fast in his chosen field. Kudos to them.
      It is my belief that we cannot use their lives to define our status quotient in the society.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The pleasure is mine to comment on this beautiful article penned. I infer from your articles that you are a teacher by profession. This is one of the most prestigious profession that I respect from the heart. The power to shape the young minds and influence them as a leader is indeed a great responsibility – My Salutations on that.
        I can completely understand the coercion and undue influence on today’s generation kids. It is important parents follow their children’s interests too. Good to know about the family who respected the feelings of their kid 🙂


  2. Thought provoking words and true facing the realities of our life. In order to make a lot of money this is what is required today in our society and children with so much talents are totally left behind when they become of age and when they search looking for jobs. All big companies only want CAs, Engineers, MBAs, Science graduates but no one is ready for other beautiful fields of activities. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so unfortunate when we see across the world this undue pressure on children to go for medicine or engineering. I wonder whether parents ever asked their children what they want to become. The mad rush and status-conscious are so worrying. We need to change our attitudes first when we speak about igniting the mind. The points are very well discussed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Woww!! you write brilliantly. The context in which this blog is written is very pertinent. We don’t need glut of engineers. Most of the them will end up driving ola and ubers.
    Our children should be encouraged to take up whatever they want to. Let them follow their dream. Let’s be winds benetah their wings rather than despots who dictate their dreams. Checkout some of my posts as well. You might like.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So true. The field has become too saturated. The sad fact is that there are a lot of engineering graduates but there are very few “engineers”. I really hope that things change really soon. I’m a first generation engineer but it was my stubbornness and my intense love for maths and physics that led me to this field. 😀 But due to increasing numbers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a job. (P.S: This might seem like shameless self-promotion but you might like this post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Living in Dubai I get to see a lot of expatriates from war torn countries who are not able to afford basic degree let alone an engineering degree because they cannot send their children to home country nor afford the exhorbitant fees here. Makes me realise how lucky we are .Going to college is mostly affordable and earning a degree is taken for granted in India.
    The dynamics by the Millenial Indians is changing. With globalisation , there are more options at a click, as ” follow your dreams” is their mantra and sky is the limit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! So well explained, Chitra. Never thought of this in that direction though. What we take for granted is a matter of great achievement for another. Loved the thought. Hope we realize that too, just as I did. Thank you😀😍


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