Friday, May 05, 2006

Contemplating Suicide

Those who are reading this please don't get alarmed. I'm never going to do it -- no matter what. I keep thinking about it all the time, but that is just me :-)

This is just an inpromptu reflection after hearing a lot about the recent suicide at IITK. Please bear in mind that it is inpromtu and I'm sitting a stupid internet cafe right now with a sick keyboard.

It is true that I have contemplated suicide a lot many times during my stay in IITK. Not that I'm even going to do it. I'm always reminded of my family and friends and the immense amount of support that they give me and so I can never do it, but yes, I am forced to think about it often.

So why do I think about it? Mostly because my CPI is 6.5 which is miserably low for IITK, even for Civil Engg. department. Why is my CPI low? Because I do not go to class, I do not do my assignments and I do not take my studies seriously at all. And why do I do all that? I don't really know. Most probably I'm not interested in the course I'm pursuing. Perhaps I'm interested but the courses are not being conducted in an interesting manner.

I have never been interested in the grades that I get. I do not remember my tenth or twelfth board exam marks, something most people can recite without thinking twice when woken up in the middle of the night. I often forget my JEE rank -- a number that is almost sacred to most IITians. Thus the fact that each attendance has 1% wieghtage and that assignments would get me 15% of the total credit for the course are facts that are as insignificant to me as the cockroach in the corner of my hostel room.

That is why I don't take my courses serously. What matter to me is the beauty of the subject which, fortunately, some really good professors have sometimes revealed to me. Yes, there certainly are good professors in IITs. But they are few, too few. Still, I'm grateful for them.

But an appreciation for the beauty of the subject, or the scope and expase of the field does not get you a job. It does not get you a scholarship. CPI does that. And that is what I do not have. I look at my books in the beginning of the semester and I feel so excited. There is this whole world of exciting stuff waiting to be explored. But that is only till I start attending classes where the whole exciting world is turned into the dark and morose torture of exams, exams and more exams.

At the end of it all, I'm left with no sense of accomplishment at all. I feel so insignificant in this world that life does not seem worth living at all. When I look back at the three years I've been here I see nothing. There is nothing I've learnt, there is nothing I've done. Add to this the numerous people around you who are doing really great things and going really great places. (In retrospect all this complaining seems rather childish. After all there is no free lunch in this world. If you dream about getting to MIT, which is like a dream life for me, you have to work hard and you have to get good grades, no matter what. But who said contemplating suicide was a rational activity? heh heh)

And it is not only that. I have nothing to look forward to as well. At best I'll end up with a stupid software job that will most probably take me nowhere at best or somwhere I don't want to be at worst. With that kind of CPI I can never do what I want to with my life.

All this drives me to think about ending this miserable life. I'm not really sure whether it is good or bad that I'll never be able to do it myself.

14 comments:

  1. Reading this a third time, I can only say one thing -- I'm a born loser. I should commit suicide! Get up Vinod and get going, no one said life was going to be fun!

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  2. There are exactly three things in this blog that i've pondered on innumerous occasions before. (It just makes makes me wonder how a moron- Me, and an Intellectual- Vinod, can ever have the same thoughts :-)))

    One is the thought of contemplating suicide & reasons why i refrain from it. Second is, that i've learnt nothing in the past 3 years & that i've accomplished nothing. And third, i too don't remember my 10th or 12th Board marks.

    And that sick keyboard joke was really good yaar! :-))

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  3. Hmm...doesn't sound good!
    THIS IS YOUR VACATIONS FOR GODS SAKE..GO OUT AND HAVE SOME FUN!!!

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  4. It isn't a bad post, man. It most certainly destroys the "IIT is great" myth to an extent.

    Edit, tighten, add some stuff and it'll be good.

    Right now, it sounds as if you're showing off as a writer.

    And I could relate to this portion:I look at my books in the beginning of the semester and I feel so excited. There is this whole world of exciting stuff waiting to be explored. But that is only till I start attending classes where the whole exciting world is turned into the dark and morose torture of exams, exams and more exams."

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  5. "I look at my books in the beginning of the semester and I feel so excited. There is this whole world of exciting stuff waiting to be explored. But that is only till I start attending classes where the whole exciting world is turned into the dark and morose torture of exams, exams and more exams."


    Same thing man..only difference is that i have just given my 12th boards.I think you are kinda showing of.Yeh,CPI is imp.Probably you dont know what you wanna do in future..i mean in terms of your job and higher studies.
    probably you are stuck up with Silly CIVIL subjects....happens.That's why i think we indians need to think much more and above the BRAND IIT.

    I still donnow you meant what you wrote..nah not the suicide thing but you are unsure abt future.But if you are..then try diff things,
    is it some Dot com venture, MBA from some top US univ.,MS,some bussiness plan...
    etc...

    I am in a more miserable position than you are.Not egtting even 60% in boards....jaundice.
    i got your link from Saumya's blog

    Yeh..life is a tough role to play.
    http://ashish.geektext.com

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  6. "I look at my books in the beginning of the semester and I feel so excited. There is this whole world of exciting stuff waiting to be explored. But that is only till I start attending classes where the whole exciting world is turned into the dark and morose torture of exams, exams and more exams."


    Same thing man..only difference is that i have just given my 12th boards.I think you are kinda showing of.Yeh,CPI is imp.Probably you dont know what you wanna do in future..i mean in terms of your job and higher studies.
    probably you are stuck up with Silly CIVIL subjects....happens.That's why i think we indians need to think much more and above the BRAND IIT.

    I still donnow you meant what you wrote..nah not the suicide thing but you are unsure abt future.But if you are..then try diff things,
    is it some Dot com venture, MBA from some top US univ.,MS,some bussiness plan...
    etc...

    I am in a more miserable position than you are.Not egtting even 60% in boards....jaundice.
    i got your link from Saumya's blog

    Yeh..life is a tough role to play.
    http://ashish.geektext.com

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  7. @Hussain:

    a) You are not a moron.
    b) I'm not an intellectual. I'd like to be, no doubt, but I'm afraid I don't quite qualify.

    @Sindhu

    I AM doing that!

    @Anirudh

    "IIT is great" is not a myth.

    @Ashish

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  8. This is another fellow IITkian and the feelings you expressed are quite the same as mine...just that i do not even think of suicide..i think life is precious enough to be lost for nothing at all...even if i am the biggest loser of the world...
    whatever i do ..my family will always love me...

    refresh your spirits man..nothing is impossible here...
    you have brillinat examples in IIT of people with low CPI doing extremely great...

    cheerio...

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Suicide has been a topic I've only thought about when thinking of others: those that have committed it and what they wanted to achieve through it.

    I have never considered suicide. I believe it is the most cowardly way to attempt to solve things, and an attempt it is, since it does not actually act as a solution to anything. If you believe that your grades matter so much, that when you have low ones, you wish to kill yourself, then you have your priorities wrong. Grades have never been my motivation. You do not require advanced degrees to be succesful at the most important thing- life. The ambition to succeed is more important than your grades or what college you went to, or how high you scored on your boards. Infact, I could not tell you my grades from last semester, let alone high school. That does not imply that I do poorly at what I do, no, I have a full scholarship to one of the top colleges in the US. I do believe Indians have this education nonsense all hyped up. They concentrate too hard on studying. What good is all this concentrated studying? A well rounded individual, one who is well read, has a good understanding of the world, of history, of culture garners much more respect that a man who is only good in one narrow field. His sight is limited, as are his goals and his ambitions.

    Hmm, that was long and unconnected. Oh well.

    Just as long as you don't kill yourself, it's all good.

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  11. @Vinod: Sorry Vinod. I agree. IIT is great (in a sense). And no, I'm not being sarcastic.

    @Behzad: You say,"A well rounded individual, one who is well read, has a good understanding of the world, of history, of culture garners much more respect that a man who is only good in one narrow field."

    Firstly, not always true. Most IIT students would be dolts if we measured them by the parameters you mention. Yet, they get great respect. Of course, well-rounded people (however one might measure that quality) will probably get more respect if everything else is equal.

    Secondly, why should one care so much about "garnering respect"?

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  12. @Behzad:

    I know and agree with most of what you have said. I'm not sure how but I think a comparative discussion of the American (western) and Indian education system is in order. Sitting where you are, it is natural that you'll say such things. You study in an American liberal arts education system and I study at IIT and there is a world of difference between us. Second, if I'm not wrong, you have good grades and as you say, a scholarship too. You are most probably doing what you like and want to do. None of this is true about me. (Although, I do have a schol of sorts but that is largely unimportant in this discussion) I'm sure that if you talked to a good scorer in IITs you'll get an altogether different world view.

    Not that I mean to say that this way of thinking is healthy or positive. Far from it and I realise that fully. They are rather disturbing thoughts that I have been trying to get rid of for quite sometime. But as you know, these things are not really easy.

    The social and cultural contexts in India are largely different. Whether it is good or bad is a different issue but the fact of the matter is, it is difficult to get successful or respected in this country without the "narrow headed" attitude.

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  13. @ Anirudh:

    Respect, in a way, is the foundation of society. A society cannot surivive without respect. Respect for authority, laws, people and their property is at the very base of civilized life. Thus to have respect is very important, both self-respect and respect accorded to us by others. It is a fundamental aspect of human life. Do you not feel proud when you achieve something? Do you not wish to be recognized for that deed, whatever it may be? It is a base desire among us to be respected. In fact, respect is the most important variable in Vinod's post. Why does his CPI matter? Because it needs to be high for future employment/education oppurtunities. When you see a high score, or a feat that is hard to accomplish, you automatically have respect for the person who did it. Thus respect is essential, not only to be succesful in life, but to be balanced psychologically.

    Ofcourse, the parameters I gave are not always true. I was giving my opinion on such matters, and the importance I accord to different qualities. An ideal always differs based on a persons background, so it would be naive to assume that we could come up with a perfect set of parameters.

    @ Vinod,
    I know it is difficult to get respect or be successful without the "narrow-headed" attitude. It was the mind-set that I was trying to rebuke, since I understand how prevalent it is.

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  14. @Behzad: While this yearning for social respect and approval is a reality, I don't agree with it in many ways.

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