The Oxford dictionary defines ambition as, “something that you want to do or achieve very much “.
So basically it deals with desire. The desire to achieve, Desire to prove, Desire to be at some place, maybe.
But what if I am desireless? What if, I don’t really want to prove anything to anybody? Is being unambitious dangerous then?
Don’t frown or get me wrong. But to me, it’s all a trap. And you know it too. It is. The cobwebs of daily life, the quagmire of these desires…do we think about them?
I’ll give an example here.
Sometime back I went to Bangalore for a month-long internship. From the place I was living, to my office, was an hour-long journey. I had to go by the overcrowded, and the last option of locomotion (read: bus). Every morning a herd of laborers were squeezed into that moving iron box and every evening that same box used to drop me back. After a day or few, the faces became familiar. Initially, I was fascinated to see the tags of IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Sapient on their neck. Later found out that they were similar to the pugs who sell the ‘Vodafone network.’ These tags were invented for dogs.
On my third day I remember, I sat beside a dog of my breed (read: another engineer). It was 8:30 in the evening. After the initial Hi-Hello, he opened up!
“I saw you staring at my tag yesterday. Dude, you want it?”
“No,” I said, feeling awkward and embarrassed. I give a college guy look, and maybe he saw his past in me.
“No, you can keep it if you want.” He said with sheer sarcasm.
“No, to be honest, I was mesmerized by this tag. This is the dream for many aspiring engineering students.” I said with a grin.
He moved back a little bit, took a sigh, and said.
I had answers to this, I could start and then go on saying, but I refrained. And he continued.
“Can’t those ‘aspiring engineers’ see that this is all a trap. These buildings, high skyscrapers, all these things, they stop pleasing you once you are out of this ‘aspiring engineers’ phase. And then you land in the mid-life crisis. You consult doctors, get on medication, you think that watching a movie, going to the pub on weekends is the solution. You go there, you think you enjoy, you fake that smile because you have to fake it, you’ve spend bucks on that alcohol. Don’t get me, wrong buddy, I might appear to be a pessimist or maybe I am one, but this life has made me like this. You know, there are people who really want to do this IT stuff, but they are very few. Even those who say that they want to do this, take a 360-degree turn after just two years. People like me, don’t live, just exist.”
He said this all, in one go, without even stopping to breathe. It all went like one gunshot.
I could understand his frustration, seeing the same kind of crowd in the bus, and I am myself struggling in my engineering.
“Look at this bus. Full of those ‘aspiring engineers’. Half of them are saving for a car. They’ll buy a car, thinking that their journey to their office will be better. Now, look out the window, that man in that aulto, getting irritated by this hour-long traffic.”
I just smiled at him now. He wasn’t angry, mind that. He was saying all this without even changing his expressions.
“Okay bye, buddy! Don’t mind me, forget what I said. Enjoy!” He got down in a hurry. I think he missed his stop talking to me.
Now, I was in thoughts. Although he told me to forget this, that was just a formality. Why are people getting so much frustrated? Why is there a dissatisfaction looming in the air?
That whole evening and night, I was completely lost in this question. The answers are obvious, there’s no mystery. But then the deeper question is that, if we know the question, if we know the answer then why do people get into this trap if it is? Why are people becoming a part of this again and again? Why is it that half of the engineering students end up hating it? To be honest and also think about the other side, some have a fear to move out of the queue and fight the opposite sides. Some have a fear of making his/her parents understand the changing equations of the changing time. Unable to get off the risk-taking fear, and the fear of judgement, they keep following the track which shows the sign of “dead end”.
The common path of engineering and medical is taken without even a thought, that where the calibre actually lies. Even I became a part of this. But you can’t expect a 10th standard child to have a clear horizon and crystal thoughts about his future.
I once said to my father, “Papa consider this as your success, that your son is able to think about the other things in his life, that you’ve provided a platform where your son is trying to explore life, without the fear of losing. It’s your success, that along with survival with the basic amenities, I wish to conquer my pursuits which are different from the usual routines. Your success lies in my quest.”