Since the day I got into an engineering college, my mother has been proudly saying “Majha mulga computer engineer ahe!” . I used to get amused by her pride, and it still makes me smile that she is happy for me (love you Aai :-) ). As days went by and I graduated to become a software developer, the “Computer engineer ahe” line was still there. Even when I got admission into one of the better known b-schools in the country, Aai would still tag me with Computer engineer.
The point is that sometimes you feel stereo-typed with the tag. People still ask me to troubleshoot their Windows. I dont mind doing that, but to expect me to visit their place at Borivali just because something is wrong with their Internet Explorer?? Sometimes I think I need a tag which defines my work and competency space better than “Computer Engineer”.
When I started working in a start-up, explaining to my family what I do became slightly more difficult. I was in charge of handling and building the technology on an entire organization. A lot of work which required a considerable bandwidth of know-how across the tech domain – a CTO in a nutshell. Whenever someone would ask, prompt would come the reply “Majha mulga computer engineer ahe!” . I kind of prefer IIM grad, but I dont think many people know about them – with people I mean the old aunty types, who ask your mother (in a nasal twang) “Kaay karto tumcha mulga?” The ones that sometimes do know about then quip “Oohh! Ahemadabad hoy?”, mother then simply says “To computer engineer ahe!!”” . Then I would butt in to say – “I sell shirts” rather than the oft repeated computer engineer tag.
These days I am working in a knowledge lab. We work on designing knowledge interventions and designing models which can change communities to become more productive and human oriented. I hope I got it right in this one line. My specific job entails a mini-CTO who is in charge of taking care of all technology details. Now what?!? I think “Majha mulga computer engineer ahe!” is there to stay :-)
There have been sci-fi movies and there have been sci-fi movies; But none like this one. In any sci-fi movie, you expect the human civilization to be so ultra advanced and modern, that it is set to baffle the viewer of today. It’s always shone as a rosy picture that technology being at a zenith with everyone striving to do more. Well maybe I went overboard with the striving bit, but I am sure you get the picture, right?
Idiocracy is different in this regards, it paints the real picture and drives home a point, that if the world continues as it is currently, then this scenario might just come out to be true. Especially in the developed countries (I wonder why they call them developed countries?) – See the major nations for a change, all of them have skilled labor problems. People do not have an incentive to do more … to become what they could have aspired for. What countries like India now need to do is learn from this and ensure that our people do not make the same follies.
Don’t worry, if you do not wish to think over this so much, then just watch the movie and laugh it out. Worth a watch, better still if you can think.