Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Statement of Purpose

I have received some remarks from friends on how this blog lacks a certain seriousness and directionality so this post will hope to infuse a bit of both. I will discuss my professional plans in this post and since that is a very serious matter, I believe that people will place me in that plane.
Though I seem to (outwardly) be proceeding in a stable, channeled direction and my general future positions in life seem fixed in some ways; my career interests go off on a tangent, retrace or even teleport elsewhere.
Getting married – I got my undergraduate degree certificate last week. It states that I am now an engineer (a technologist actually but for this argument they are all the same). On an archived article on, I had read on how the average doctor in Bihar gets 50 lakhs in dowry and the average engineer is bid for a crore (this was in 2006). Maybe I can quote India Today rankings and ratings on Anna University (my bachelors’ alma mater) and even get bid for higher. This income may be completely exempted from tax withholdings as well. The trick in this matter is to find a good prospective family that still does comply with these rules (these dratted liberals and non-conservatives are making the search worse by the day). I’ve already got photocopies of the Tehalka article, the India Today ratings as in 2007, a copy of my degree certificate, a bona fide certificate from my old department and my ocular prescriptions in a portfolio that I will release one day when I go to Patna (though I may not have to go that far – I am confident that I can find some sensible people in my native province for sure). If I do manage to complete my PhD, I could probably bargain for another crore. Marriage is a viable profession.
Beer production – Though I happen to be a non-alcoholic, I have friends who are very devout to the spirits. I have often seen how they claim to be moderate and that they are concerned about their close friends’ drinking habits. There is an open market of frustrated Biology students that wish to drown all their sorrow, joys and relatives in beer. I will probably pool ideas and capital (from my nuptial deals) with friends and start a beer that would be targeted at these biology workers. I have a background in Industrial Biotechnology that means I am tailor-made for this business (I have to be). The tentative name for this beer is ‘Topo I’. Because it is supposed to help you unwind.
An eatery – Of all the places that I have eaten at, I have found that my favorite places never have the ambience or the service that food critics talk crucially of. They are quite the opposite in fact. But they do have a certain magic that really makes you swear by some of their creations and makes the place a haven (I will elaborate on these in some later post). There is something in the food and the feel that makes it what is called a ‘cult place’. You have to go there every Sunday with your buddies. I am thinking of using the aforementioned capital to establish a small cult vada pav joint in Chennai (what the people ignorantly call “chaats” there have an emetic effect on me) that does sell real Batata vada made in real desi ghee and stuffed in real Maharashtrian sour pav. It will be a ‘first ever’. Marketing will be done entirely by word of mouth and direct customer care. It will be cheap, it will be hot and fresh off the tawa and it will be in a small shanty. And it will sell.
House spouse – Though I expect a stone-age rationale from my would-be father-in-law, I happen to be a liberal and a strongly egalitarian one at that. I have been in this graduate program for a little over eight months now and I have noticed that I do not have a great passion for science that many of my friends accord to. I have been a 9 to 5 scientist at best. But I have realized a new side of me through this period. I love keeping house – cleaning, cooking, purchasing, generally managing the house. If I do manage to find a prospective bride that would conform to the previous conditions as well as earn for the house, I can see myself happily settling down as the home-maker. My mom is a M.A. in Econometrics and back in the seventies that was supposed to be quite a classy field. However she chose to not work and I have spent a sizeable part of my teens asking her why she wasted her degrees. Now I know why it was a great decision.
The entertainment industry – I have often been testified as a quality entertainer is my circuits, probably for my talking style or my memory of movie comedy tracks. If all such testimonials are of real credibility, then that may auger well for a spot in the entertainment line. Since stand-up comedy is catching up real fast in India, I have been romancing with the idea of a small scale foray into it. However some more detailed testimonials argue that I quickly lose flavor and appeal and that could be a real problem. Fortunately I have another new talent that I could make quality use of. I have shown a remarkable patience and even liking for conventionally-trashed, unintentionally comic and technically jarring cinema. If I could strike a deal with the guild that makes such cinema, I could end up being paid for actually watching them. But I need to explore along these lines further.
And finally teaching – This is a traditional occupation. My grandfather was a school mathematics teacher before he joined the imperial navy. My father is a microbiologist who teaches bankers how to bank. I am currently in the academic line and in a certain thrust position for an academic life in research and teaching. Once I finish this PhD and if I sustain the patience for a post doctoral stint, I could probably have enough juice to land a research and teaching position in some university and I could nicely settle down in a quiet corner of the campus and walk my dog in the evenings. But I am not so serious on this one.
I have also played with the idea of having a mix of the above. Land a bride who brings in the pesos, make her work, establish a cult eatery and pay someone to make profit for you, manage the house and teach on the side and such; basically combinatorial delivery of the same goods. The challenge now is to put them in order and start from some point. Any suggestions?

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