Optimistic Pessimism

It’s official. The bad times are here to stay. First, it was just the dismal numbers and rising prices. Now, entire jobs are being pruned to the tune of hundreds of thousands! In the beginning, one could adopt a leftist stance, exhorting those anti-liberalization outcries during the heydays of the pre-no-confidence motion UPA government which, our venerable ‘proletarian’ leaders loquaciously announced, “saved the country from a ‘bourgeois’ credit-crisis in an imperialist nation”. As we all know now, these feeble measures have proved to be nothing more than heckled-rhetoric. The much-touted stock boom that has now been ruptured to smithereens topped the list of casualties.

The worst part of the story is it’s not just about the economy. It’s about safety and right to survive put at gunpoint, quite literally, by dastardly attacks!

As a citizen of the nation, I’m enraged and flustered. My blood boils at the sight of mindless carnage and monetary faux pas that have threatened our very existence. I’m already feeling the pinch. My future (read job prospects) is more-or-less doomed with the very phrase named ‘campus placement’ twisting itself into an endangered cult. Infosys, which did a PPT at my college the other day, drove home the point (all through tongue-in-cheek humor, nonetheless!) that future placements would remain a giant question. The MBA dream, which still remains my passion, is gradually turning out to be my only escape-route. But with even IIM grads fighting to get an ‘elite’ pay-packet, the road ahead is going to be a challenging one. I don’t really know if I’m worth it, but I will die trying. At least, that what I tell myself these days. All said, I can only gnash my teeth with cynicism and angst; I’m impotent. Yes, I can’t serve the state and the nation which made me what I am.

Every cloud has its silver lining. I happened to lay my hands on an article in the op-ed of a leading national daily, today. It was very inspiring. The author spoke of how the recession was indeed a period of opportunity in disguise! History suggests that recessions have produced the best innovations. The IBM PC was born during a recession. So was Oracle, Forbes and countless other multi-million-dollar firms. A recession brings in opportunities that an optimistic period never had. Necessity, being the rightful mother of invention, ushers in radically new ideas, which apart from tackling the bad times equips us with strength to emerge winners once the bad blood is pulled out. Steve Jobs speaks from his personal experience on having to start over after being fired from Apple, which he helped co-found: “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner, less sure of everything.” He went on to win the race and is now back in Apple as the CEO!

Image Courtesy: http://www.brainstock.com/

Similarly, these in-your-face terror attacks did show the solidarity of our nation which held hands in unison, irrespective of caste, creed or gender, in condemning the attacks. Religious divide, the prime motive of the attackers, proved to be a nonsensical entity in the face of brutal loss of human life! People forgot all social divide to fight, sotto voce. The spirit of India, though garnished, pulled a straight face, all set to have a rightful redemption. Political games were booed by the public. Power shifts happened and the government did take some worthwhile action!

My point is, every coin has its flip side which will show itself once the going gets good. Change will come. If a home-grown mallu could be the runner-up of Miss World, if an African American could battle countless odds and vanquish the topmost job of the globe,

P.S. Watch ‘A Wednesday’. Worth a watch for every ‘common man’ who wants retribution! Emulating the movie is a moot point, though.

The last ink drop: Due to impending exams and tight work schedules, I won’t be blogging until mid-January. Readers and commentators please excuse my absence from the blogosphere. I will catch up with you once these damned exams are done with! Hopefully, my Internet-issues will be sorted out by then.


By hari

A twenty-something support engineer, web developer, blogger and journalist who makes the web a better place for a living, at Automattic. Immensely passionate about WordPress! Also loves books, music, movies, and drinking hot cups of coffee on rainy evenings. Dreams of writing a book, someday.


  1. hehe.. that was a + sign written all over that post..

    true, Adversity is often the mother of invention.. lets hope this global ‘meltdown’ (aargh, i hate to use that word) is leading to something like that..

    about the terrorist attacks, im not so sure that im satisfied yet.. we still havent given a befitting reply to the perpetrators of this unforgivable crime.. despite the side-positives like the unanimous anti-political sentiments rising nation-wide, and such, we are still proving that we cannot put enough pressure on a nation that has been clearly proven to be fighting us on our soil.. we look to other nations to do it for us.. and dictate our policy.. while we ‘exercise restraint’..

    saw wednesday.. awesome movie.. wanted to write a review abt it..

    and abt ur placements.. dont worry dude.. by the time ure out things will straighten out hopefully..i know that feeling of ‘impotency’ that strikes us at some point in our engineering career.. throw it away, its just negativity..

  2. Great post,Hari!!Would love to hear what Infy(my employer) actually told you folks .n then, isnt this recession scaring the bloody living day lights out of everyone?believe me,it is!About the feeling of impotency ,amazingly well said !
    Prolly the only thing we could do is fight ..and whats life sans the struggle??

  3. well i hope recession doesn’t take us back to the pre-liberalisation days when the job options were only the government sector jobs …hope they don’t impose the “permit raj” to tide over this most debilitating period…

  4. wow…feelings explicitly conveyed!!!…could feel the tension in ur nerves….

    ya…and thanx again for the immense contribution to my vocabs:P…

    btw…u seemed to combine 3-4 posts in 1…economic crisis,mumbai attack,omanakuttan,obama….all packed into one;)hehe…intresting read tho!:D

    all the best for ya xams…
    1 doubt:willya b able to keep ur resolution of not blogging till mid jan??…i doubt:P

  5. Hari quite a good post da, quite nice observations. I’ll say you do have to worry about the job factor. On my visits to the IIM’s where i visited friends, there was a pall of gloom rather than the bubbling atmosphere which normally previals in such insti’s.

    @ Soorya – Working in a PSU isn’t such a bad thing. It always depends on what kind of people you work with or the policies in the company. Even if the company’s bad if the people working with you are good, then you’ll have a good time working too. Also in the so called non productive PSU’s you join as a middle level executive with people under you and more responsibilities, unlike the IT field where you’re at the bottom of the pyramid. Check out the work profiles of top PSU’s like ONGC, NTPC, Indian Oil etc and then check the profiles of people working in Infy, Wipro, Satyam etc. I’m not saying the IT field is bad, but there are a lot of unseen sides to the professional life that you’ll know only when you’re in one organisation. So keep your fingers crossed.

    PS:I’m also against going back to the permit raj system.

  6. @ Hari:
    You guessed it, man. And yes, meltdown is a cliche now.

    Nobody is satisified about the terrorist attacks. We'll have to see what history offers. Something worthwhile might happen. The relations between India & Pakistan have strained, visibly, though. 🙁

    I've stopped thinking about placements. 😀

    @ manoranjini:
    Thank you, chechi! 🙂 Will tell you exactly what they told, directly to you. 😀

    Rightly said, Life is nothing without struggle!

    @ S. Soorya Narayan:
    I really don’t think that situation will emerge. Private jobs can’t just go extinct, all of a sudden. The permit raj is one of the worst things about our country, period.

    @ Neethu:
    Thanks. I chose to sum things up, rather than write elaborately on each topic. Besides, concise posts rock, na?

    I’m goanna keep the resolution. 🙂

    @ Abhi Chettan:
    True, bro. Things are going real bad. 🙁

    permit raj sucks, again

  7. @ abhi: That bit on PSUs sure was enlightening.
    1.It always depends on what kind of people you work with or the policies in the company-Exactly!
    2.Unlike the IT field where you’re at the bottom of the pyramid-The race has to begin from the start-point,esp in the technical field where there is no other way to actlly learn the job.A manager who doesnt know the job will not gain respect.
    3.Unseen sides to the professional life -True..
    Life-be it in PSU or IT sector isn’t easy,depends on what kind of hardship you are ok with facing-tough life doing what you know n like Or …

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