Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homecoming of an Engineer

Dear Parent,

On behalf of the Bokissam Ananthapadmanathan Institute of Technology and Science (B.A.I.T.S), we congratulate you on the acquisition of your very own in-house Engineer. We know it’s a labour of a few years’ sacrifice on your part, and a few lakhs of rupees which were duly invested during the maturing phase of your Engineer, which included buying everything from Study books, Macbooks, and Smartphones with Facebook. But now, after the graduation ceremony, you can take home your very own Engineer for a few months of happy returns – a privilege enjoyed only by parents of a bonafide Engineering Graduate.

You’ll notice the New & Improved bits the minute he steps in. When he deftly slips out of those priceless sneakers without even removing the laces. We know it’ll shock you, and send you into fits of rage, but then we must implore you to take a deep breath and remind yourself that while you may be done paying for your kid’s education, you are still left to pay up for your banker’s kid’s college. And you’ll also admit to the fact that you cannot just ignore that act of nonchalance from your Engineer. It’s a skill they pick up at college, and a skill that’ll hold them in good stead when they start working for the IT Company, which will send them the employment offer letters precisely 8 months and 17 days from today.

In another two days, you may notice that your Engineer is hardly noticed. He is fast asleep when you leave for work. He is never at home when you return. After dinner is served, he quietly heads to the study, to catch the latest episode of the documentary called the ‘Big Bang Theory’. And he quietly polishes off the leftover food in the refrigerator every night. You may find it odd, but it’s a habit that's been inculcated during the four relentless years in a hostel.

A week later, you may find that your Engineer is also given to mood swings. After studying the trends among the three batches of graduates from B.A.I.T.S, we can attribute such behavioural patterns to the following reasons:
Being asked about his MBA preparation
Being asked about when he’ll start earning
Being asked about what he studies online every night
Being asked to help around the house
Facing rejection for a friend request he sent to a girl on Facebook

A month later, you may find that he’s even more moody than ever before. Again, there are some new considerations:
Does your Engineer get enough of pocket money to catch a new movie at IMAX every Friday?
Does your Engineer get enough pocket money to go out drinking with his buddies every Saturday?
Does your Engineer get enough pocket money to pay his previous month’s phonebill?
Does your Engineer get enough pocket money?

Finally, nine months later, when he does get posted to a new city for his job, he may probably indulge in tantrums every time you call him. But are you surprised? Your Engineer is setting foot on the real world for the first time in his life. He can’t meet his needs by sulking alone. Imagine having to spend your own money for four to five bottles of beer every night, barely a month after you’ve started earning? And besides, that would eventually solve the problem of over-consumption, which may have been one of your earlier concerns.

It’s surprising isn’t it? After having endured him for those 259 days from the time he was done with college till the time he got a job, you may still be surprised how he figured it all out within a month at the work place. Well, that’s how your Graduate has been engineered. His life falls in place, normally at the very last minute for your Engineer.

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