There's no such thing as a choice they say. It is all but an illusion. I don't really agree with them, probably I never will. But life and its 'terms and conditions' are busy playing tricks that would have me give in to their school of thought some day, and the day is probably nearer than it seems.
Life as a would be engineer, in a level two private engineering college, with just about the right GPA, is not all that bad. In fact, you get assured of a job on passing out of college, in the form of - on campus placement. And India being the land where IT is in, rest assured some IT firm would pick you up to join them on completion of your graduation sooner than later. But as I mentioned earlier, passing out of a second league college, does not leave you with too many options to choose from. Or if I may put it straight - it does not leave one with a choice. You take it as it comes, grab the bull, by the horns.
So when the first company visited our campus (it happened to be a TATA subsidiary), I was more than eager to get through. Not so much because it was the first opportunity, but because I thought I would love to start working under India's best known corporate banner. Hell, someone should have told me, you need to work hard to make dreams come true. So a day left for the d-day and I was playing bookings and wagers. "If I get through this one, I won't be joining the beeline for the one's that visit our campus next, will try and give all those who are a bit less fortunate, a better opportunity", I told myself.
The wager paid off, and the next thing I knew, I was on the list of selected candidates. A rather nice moment when I look back, because the more I tend to reflect on it, the more it refuses to sink in. Anyhow, time passed and we had two more IT firms queuing up to take the cream of graduates from our institute into their fold. Did I keep the promise? Not really. Because, I did try for them albeit half heartedly, and flunked. But you don't flunk by choice in an exam which was never a compulsion in the first place... do you?
And that was just about the end of it, when peer pressure got to me, and I began frantically looking for a 'second job' as 'a backup' in case...
I, who didn't deem myself fit enough for the first opportunity that came my way, I, who, I believed, had come this far riding on a wager, was backtracking on my words. Was it because life did not give me a choice in the first place or was it because I refused to see the ones that had been coming my way.
I am yet to decipher the fact from illusions, but for the record, two or three futile attempts later, I have a second job - 'the backup' as they would have me believe. And this time when I heard my name being announced at the end of a long process that included some written and PI tests, I couldn't help but sarcastically smile at the person I had chosen to be. I still believe it was by choice that I broke the deal. And choice is no illusion for me, at least for a few more days till I exchange schools of thought.
That brings me to the other question that I've been asking myself ever since job two. Who recruited me? The IT firm that had visited our campus or the other school of thought, that says, backtracking on your own words is not a sin, it is just another way of manipulating the now, the present, to suit you better. Will take some thought and more to figure out who did, but for now I am the recruit, twice over.