Lessons of life

After a lot of finely honed research and detailed study involving the scientific process called ‘making up’, I have come to the strong conclusion that most parents in India fall under two broad categories:

1. Stupid

2. Idiotic

After all, isn’t stupidity which drives many parents to aggressively push their children into coaching classes for IIT entrance tests or such similar studies even when the kids are barely out of kindergarten? Equally, isn’t idiotic of other parents to remain dangerously dormant and not thrust their children into such classes? Quite simply, both the set of parents have made a huge mistake by becoming parents.

Let’s face it: The bottomline is there is no way that a normal parent can retain his or her normalcy in these times.

And I blame the Pakistanis for this state of affairs. Oops sorry, I got carried away since we Indians tend to point fingers at Pakistan for everything, including clogged sewers. Actually, I blame fate for creating Pakistanis whom we have to blame for everything. Another thing that is blame-worthy is the education system which taught us the word blame in the first place.

Anyway, degrees from an IIT and then an IIM are deemed to be the summum bonum of education in India. Don’t even for a moment wonder what the heck is this summum bonum. The beauty of these foreign phrases lies in the confidence with which they are used and not in their meaning.

My general feeling on these foreign phrases is that they are so useless in their original language that they have emigrated into English for better prospects, like the IITians and IIMians do. In general it is advisable to be wary of anybody using phrases like summum bonum or quod erat demonstrandum, which I suspect are the Latin swear words used by Pakistanis to blame India for blaming them.

We were on the way to IIT and IIM before we got into that skirmish with summum bonum two paragraphs ago. Now let’s turn back to where we started. So why are IITs and IIMs considered so desirable?


IITs have emerged to be be among the top-notch engineerial institutions of the world through technical creativity, as represented by the fact that they don’t have the State Governor foisted on them as the Chancellor. Why State Governors are deemed the titular heads of most collegial  institutions in the country is a mystery bigger than even what they decided at the recently concluded Copenhagen summit.

Imagine somebody like N D Tiwari as the Chancellor of an university exhorting students, at a convocation ceremony, to rise up to the occasion and not give up even when they get old in life. It will be pornography in podium.

The other great charm that IIT education holds for students is that most of them would not be in a position to attend the convocation ceremony and wear the ceremonial gown and that thing on the head which defies description.

When they eventually tote up all that is ailing the education sector and what is behind the increasing rate in college drop-outs, the shame of having to wear the convocation robe would be high on the list. Who designed these palpable eye-sores and what purpose the convocation cap serves, apart from making the wearer look definitely ugly, is a question that begs to be asked. So beg and ask the question. Ok, only a blind person could have come up with that design.

The convocation cap is so hideous that the first thing that students do upon getting their graduation is to throw up the cap in utter and obvious relief. Most IITians, by virtue of the reality that by the time their convocation is announced they are either in an IIM or an overseas institution, are unable to make it to the graduation ceremony, and hence don’t have to endure the mortification of wearing the convocation cap and the see-through gown.

Education in the IITs also prepares the wards for the tougher challenges that lay ahead in the IIMs, which is where they assiduously learn to forget what all they learned at the IIT. And that is why IIMs are so much in demand.


If the IITs represent all the technical excellence in the country, then the IIMs obviously stand for managerial brilliance as represented by their ability to use words like ‘paradigm’ or ‘praxis’, the meaning for which is unknown to the normal world outside of management universe.

When you, with an MBA tag under your belt, stop using tooth powder and instead take to toothpaste, you are making a mere choice. But with an IIM degree, you can actually make a paradigm shift from powder to paste. This is the comfort and credibility that an MBA from a true-blue institute really provides you. Still, I think they are still to invent a sentence that can possibly feature ‘praxis. But MBAs, unmindful, manage to darn in ‘praxis’ stubbornly somewhere, (mostly in postal address, I suspect).

And this is not alone; the greatest life-saving skill that an MBA degree imparts has to be the ability to make Powerpoint presentations, without which time will virtually come to a halt in the corporate corridors.

Let me illustrate with a practical example: K Balakumar writes Crank’s Corner and readers enigmatically cry.

Just see how wonderfully this simple line is depicted with the help of a Power Point presentation.

Ok, due to technical glitches you don’t see that Power Point image here. Technical issues are always a part of Power Point presentation, and  it is quite possible it’s done deliberately to eat up a lot of time.

If the image made it here,the MBA-type presentation would not only have  taken up a lot of space and time, but would also have left many wondering whether the persons shown to be reading Crank’s Corner are crying or trying to emigrate out of this country.

And talking of emigration, degrees from IITs and IIMs would be extremely useful.