Chapter 3- Paying Dues Professionally

Monday, June 30, 2014

Every single instance of a challenge that won't be easy to ace, reminds me of this track, I heard eons ago during an ear training session.

It's as if I feel this track helps me keep a straight face in the times of adversity. Physical damage caused by medication, mental degradation due to the physical damage, plus all that one bears when you're not exactly the type that believes in pleasing everyone. This state further decapitates me when I am rash ridden.

Currently, my face is as swollen as the erstwhile ruling party's head in our country. The rest of the body is covered with rash too. It doesn't feel much except when I feel like tearing up the insides of my body and kill everyone without rash in my sight. This comes as no surprise to me because it's a regular feature from my 'academic life' when I'd be busy reading text after text in Western Philosophy and try to decipher George Berkeley while hating on my life and rash. Years later, when life threw this opportunity at me, to get my groove back, I get rash ridden on the bed on the last day of freedom, before starting out with the 'job' that I have been harping about.

This last week was nothing short of exciting. With a (Marwari) friend's Bachelorette that concluded last night, there's her wedding to look forward to, this week. I made it through to JNU written round for M.Phil in Cinema Studies, which is quite a feat for me because this is my third attempt at their written entrance (after Foreign Language Bachelors and Arts and Aesthetics Masters) and that was extremely frustrating all along. Imagine, trying step after step and constantly failing at it. Well, even if I don't make it through the viva (which I am as sure as death, I won't), I'd not die with a regret of having failed JNU at all points in my life. However, a green flag from them would make my head sore higher than ever (no puns intended).

Besides rash, I found out today that I cleared Masters with a whooping first division. Haven't bothered to tell the folks cause it seems as natural as breathing and as boring as eating bhindi masala from the tiffin during office lunch hours. I know, the analogies seem to make no sense but then neither does my life and that, my friend, is what this post is heading towards. Maketh no sense, never. Last week also brought about sibling's first adult birthday, which clashed with my second try at failing NET. For those of you who are oblivious to the miseries of wannabe academics, NET is a qualifying examination for assistant professorship. However, the true intent behind this exam is to test the patience of the candidate appearing for the same. The exam is conducted twice a year, once in smouldering heat- Indian summer and the second in Canadian Winter (that our country's weather seems to be taking inspiration from). Both the occasions, demand one to travel atleast 35 kilometers away from your residence and sit in the extreme weather condition, as if testing your grit and mettle to survive students. If this isn't the true purpose of NET, then let me add, they also test your integrity to see if you overlook typos, incorrect answers in the multiple choice offered and badly framed questions (some of which make no sense). It's a precursor to your life at any university in India- be it Delhi University or Lovely Professional in Ludhiana.

I don't mean to sound bitter but if one is to really make a difference, as much as a single drop of water does to the ocean that sustains it, ours isn't a country for that. If that's your goal in life, my polite suggestion for you (and perhaps me for, as well) remains for us to work like mofos and get the fuck out of here so that whatever little we look forward to achieving in life- be it that job, or a position or simply a life of better options- it is available to us after we put in the requisite labour. Paying the dues, in full cash. Hiring new man-power in life to blog about. Contact through this blog if you're willing to be written about in this mad journey that is trying to make a mark in academics yet, I'd like to buy a lipstick from the salary drawn after slogging with that corporate job. I feel as though I'm in constant need of stories and people, just like the next crime reporter from the neighbourhood media house. 

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