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Confused employee wading through Nerd Nirvana

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Location: Hyderabad, AP, India

Program Manager Microsoft IT India

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I am to B.E, so I will BE

Amidst all the cacophony and pandemonium sparked off by an army of relatives who have converged home for my cousin's upanayanam (coming of age function), a small insignificant thing happened in the wee hours of today morning: I turned 22.

This birthday is especially special [typical Madrasi tautology :-)], for it marks the culmination of four years of labour at Anna University :- come May, the 200 year old institution entitled the College of Engineering, Guindy will open its doors and kick out the class of 2003. Of course, in two months, I will most likely join another century-old institution - but that is a separate post in itself.

I, along with 800 odd others who embarked on this journey four years ago, am (almost) a Bachelor of Engineering. It's a scary role to play. In the days of yore, kings, princes warlords and barons were exalted people, for they provided their subjects physical security from a world that was quite capricious and unsafe. The hapless subjects were only too willing to pay their tithes to a fat overlord in return for the protection accorded by his army.

In later times, when physical security was more or less taken for granted, people revered the priests (and priestesses) and theologicians (and theologiciennes), for the peace of their minds and their immortal souls. These then, were the new aristocracy, and young hopefuls gazed at the clerics with awe, and a desire to aspire to that position.

Then came the Age of Reason, and the prayer-book touting monk was swept away in a wave of scientists. Five centuries saw the rise of scientists of every kind, with newer and newer innovations marking the turning of the calendar.

Today, when the technology we use has almost conquered and subjugated our daily lives, it is but natural for people to turn to and revere those that control and make technology. Today the exalted are we, the engineers, and our minds and deeds do have the potential to affect millions of lives, as repeatedly emphasized by an untiring Engineering Ethics professor in a class of sleepy, apathetic students.

With such power, Spiderman reminds me, comes great responsibility. And my resolution for this year is to embark upon another journey with this in mind. May I be able to witness, in a half-century's time, my hand in being the motor of our era and time.