May 3, 2008

to BE or not to BE...

It all started when I got my X standard results.
"So, are you going for engineering or medical?" asked my class teacher.
"I am taking up Commerce... ", I replied, a bit meekly.
"I don't know. I don't think I can do science..." (frankly, I had no idea why I took up commerce... all I remember is that I convinced myself that Physics and I don't see eye to refractive eye... and Biology was something that I hadn't evolved enough to understand.)
"You have such good marks. Why do you want to waste it all doing commerce? I suggest you prepare for IIT-JEE."
"No ma'am, I have made up my mind. I am taking up commerce."
She had a resigned look on her face, a look which said "If you want to screw up your life totalling numbers on the left and right side of a page, who am I to convince you otherwise?"

The above dialogue was repeated at every instance, with every known and unknown neighbour, sundry uncles, friends etc... I suspect even the street dog stopped barking when I cycled past it, thinking "I wouldn't want to waste my bark on this commerce nobody." And, I kept thinking, "What's so great about engineering?"

I came to Mumbai, joined a commerce college, and did reasonably well for myself at studies. But the questions persisted... "You know, you could have taken up Engg.", someone or the other would remark... and I would think, "What's so great about engineering?"

I did an MBA, and met some of the brightest engineering graduates from the premier institutes of the country, people who could do calculus in their mind, people who said "beautiful ^ n" when they saw Aishwarya dance, people who I actually believed could heat up a cup of tea by just concentrating their thoughts; but when it came to the Accounting course, the same people could only muster up something, which I would politely describe as an 'Imbalance Sheet'. And, I would think, "What's so great about engineering?"

Then, I got this job, and encountered strange, incomprehensible variables like gross calorific value, heat rate, p-i-n junction, ZnO coating, electrons, holes, joules, watt and watt not...

Slowly, I stopped asking "What's so great about engineering?"


PS: But, at the end of the day, I can still balance the Balance Sheet...


  1. engineering is probably the most overrated course in education... but i guess, doing an mba after commerce was of no use - u already knew wot we had in mba... so wots the point... we engineers had the biggest value add in terms of incremental knowldege gained per rupee input... buhahahahahahahahahahahaha

  2. its kind of funny, i still ask myself the same question - whats so gr8 bout engineering - even after doing it!

  3. sir we had to do one graduation rt?
    and we never knew if we shud go for MBA or MS (as was my case) after grad..(the confused me)
    now surely you know what jobs you get after commerce and engg. so we have the answer.. :)

  4. My conclusion after all these years is that "There is nothing great about engineering".

    If I had a choice I would have surely studied economics.

  5. @spiderman
    on a lighter note... thank god u didn't study economics, look at WB.. the best of economists and intellectuals in the field from there... still such a messed up state (economically)!!
    @general: as for economics.. just look at the eco grades for 2 trims in 1st yr topped by an enggr. and last i heard there were specialist eco ppl frm famed universities in class..(no i dont mean SRK)
    now offcourse u can discredit academic standard and correlation of eco knowledge n grades in class.. in that case i got no proof :P
    @out of context: in my last 3 months in london and working with i bankers here, i have met i bankers who were actually chemists (chem grads. not yr pharma shopkeeper :P), psychologists, ppl with politics, law, mbbs background.. essence grad. doesn't matter (BE or not BE) just hire ppl with rite aptitude n balanced head .. they do the job ;-)

  6. ok, sorry for the late replies all...

    @ monk:
    "value add in terms of knowledge gained per rupee input"... u can keep tht... i'll tell u wht is value-add...

    compare wht an engg grad pre-MBA gets versus wht a comm grad gets pre-MBA... average, not the top of the line... don't count those CAs, they'll mint money anyways... now, compare the pay of the same post-MBA... and u'll now whr the jump is higher...

    @ PD:
    tht's ok... we even ask "wht's so gr8 abt MBA, after doin it?"

    @ Hem:
    "we had to do one graduation rite?"
    u make it sound as if u did not "choose" to engg... tht's wht i was tryin to get at in the post...

    all my life, i hv heard tht ppl "choose" to do engg and medicine, and other ppl "are forced" into commerce and arts bcoz of low marks... so, when i "chose" to commerce, ppl sniggered...

    @ Spidey...
    Economics? yeah, and married Nandana Sen?
    keep dreaming...

    @ hem - out of context
    dude, aptitude is one thing... but i'd rather have a bad aptitude but specialist neuro surgeon than a good aptitude commerce student operate on my brain... :))

  7. Hem:

    (On an equally lighter note!)Very true. Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to the same political thought the economists from Bengal have.