Bengaluru Udipi Garden Park, Saturday 6:30 pm
“If you didn’t finish the work before Monday, consider yourself fired”, the words flashing in my mind continuously. It’s a pleasant evening and the park is filled with the chirping of birds, romantic conversations of couples, the innocence of playing children, and a lot of joy. Such an amazing evening! everyone seems to be in their different world of joy except me. I am sitting lonely on a bench and trying to feel the essence of the beautiful evening. But despite all my effort, I can’t.
Sorry! I forgot to introduce myself. Hello, my name is Raghav and I am an IT employee. Generally, people think that an IT job means, heavy salary and good life. So everyone forces their child into the IT industry. Just like others, I am also a victim of this rat race. When I am in school, I always wanted to be an inventor unlike others, I wanted to achieve something in life. I entered my Engineering with a lot of hopes and goals. But that feeling didn’t last long. I started to feel the pressure of my graduation. Despite my expectations, the college just seems like another school with a tag named “Graduation”. Despite my curiosity, my performance became weak in college and I was labeled as a failure among my teachers, parents, and all other relatives. Soon I completed my graduation with a very low percentage. And then, everyone started to blame me like I committed murder. Those every one includes not just my parents but also all other gossip relatives.
I wanted to start my own business right after I am out of college. I worked very hard for that and created an application prototype to establish a startup. I can’t imagine the reaction of my parents when I told them my startup idea. Guess what, they scolded me like I am going to rob a bank or committing a serious crime. Every relative in our community became a legal advisor to my parents and forced me to take a Job. In people’s thoughts, “Job is secured, and business is risky”. But people forget the fact that the successful IT companies today are also startups once.
After too much drama, I decided to come to Bangalore to search for a Job. Oh! I forgot to tell you that I am good with computers and coding. Despite my performance in college, I was able to improve my coding skills by watching online tutorials. After so many sleepless nights, I got hired in an MNC with a basic package. You should see everyone’s reaction when I told them the news. My parents on one hand very happy that I did as they told and relatives on the other hand pretending to be happy since their only topic for gossip was gone now.
I thought getting a job will help me to improve my skills and lead a happy and successful life. Soon I realized that I was wrong. The work became boring since every day I have to repeat the same process. Soon my curiosity getting disappears and I am just working for a monthly salary.
All my past scenes are flashing on my mind as I am sitting idle in the Park. I looked at my mobile to check the time, it’s 6:45 pm now. I turn around as I heard some voice. A couple is sitting on a bench near me and talking. Seems like they are in their world enjoying the evening. By watching them, I started to remember her. My first and only love Rachana.
Thinking about her made me smile forgetting all my work pressure. If everything works as my plan, we could’ve been together now just like the couples in front of me. I met her in college and, at first sight, I deeply fell in love with her. You got to see my reaction when she accepted my proposal. It felt like I won all over the world, so amazing. But it all changed when she left me, all she wanted it to marry a successful person, and here I am a failure, not only in my studies but also in life. I was still broken when she married an NRI and left to the US with him, leaving me alone, as a FAILURE. But still, I don’t blame her, because it’s my fault that I didn’t dare to stand for my life goals. If I worked for my goal despite my parent’s and other relative’s goal to take a job, I might have been succeeded and we could’ve been together had a wonderful life. “Life has no mercy on me”.
A small tear ran down my cheek while thinking about her, I was such a fool that I left both the love of my life Rachana and my passion for my startup behind. All I am now is mere corporate labor who is working day and night all month for my monthly salary. My parents may be proud of me and my relatives may respect me now, but all they see is the salary amount I receive every month. They don’t see my struggles inside the office, they don’t see the humiliations I am facing, they don’t see that I am dying inside to do the job which I don’t like, they don’t see the times I used to cry alone. All they see is my monthly salary, and they don’t care about me and my desires. I am a mere money-making machine and to them, I am a successful person and an inspiration to all, how tragedic.
In many middle-class families like mine, children don’t have the freedom to fulfill their dreams and goals. Even they don’t have the right to set goals for them. How can they dream when their career plan has been made on the same day they were born. They were taught to compete with others at every moment in their lives. School, college, marks, and career everything they need to copy from others, sometimes I use to laugh when they say that this is a competitive world. I want to ask all of them whom we are competing with and why we need to compete with others while we can live our own life. Guess what, if I talk like that, I will be labeled as an arrogant and stupid person who doesn’t have any respect for others.
I checked my watch, the time is 7:15 pm, I smiled as the words of my manager flashed in my mind, “If you didn’t finish the work before Monday, consider yourself fired”. What can I do, I am just labor, I have to survive in this IT field to protect my respect among my parents and my relatives. All I can do is curse my life and get to work.
I have seen so many people forced to enter the IT field only to fulfill their parent’s wishes. I have seen so many people leaving their passions under the pressure from parents and relatives. I have seen so many people working for a very low salary to survive. Most of them are the victims of this rat race. I don’t know what’s wrong with this generation and we can’t change it. But we can change the next generation if we want to. When you become a parent, try to respect your child’s dream and let them have their childhood. It’s not a disgrace if your child wants to work for their dream instead of yours, everyone can have their own life. So live it fully with your heart content.