Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Weaker Sex

The Weaker Sex (Earlier ‘Varanasi Revisited March 2008’)

“… They called their marriage ceremony off and returned groom back home without marriage because they were asking more dowry than they initially asked for. …”

Refer Indian Express 18th May special edition news about 3 girls who returned grooms back home.
(Author’s Note: I always think what happened to them. This story reminded me three other stories that I have came across. In this post, I raise a question, not putting my point of view)

I had been wondering all through my education why there were always a section called “woman’s condition” whenever they describe a society in any age or under any ruling? Perhaps the reason is that if woman, the weaker sex, had better condition, then the people at the bottom of the pyramid are treated humanely. When history would read early 21st century, it would say women were treated equally to men. The sad thing about history is it doesn’t reads below the layer and perhaps for good. See no evil, do no evil.

I find it very visible that female is still suppressed half of society specially after seeing these three real stories.

Story 1 [Bangalore]: An educated, born in respected family, software engineer who lives in a posh area of Bangalore and is a – so called – typical of gentlemen. A guru, supposed to have practical solutions to all real life problems from ‘how to clean carburetor’ to ‘how to find your real love.’ Let us call him Mr. Guru. This story, I found three months before leaving Chennai for Varanasi.

Mr. Guru cites this example of having happiest family life that “he” built. The example has big part as his initial marriage life which is full of frequent beating of his wife to straighten her out to make her follow his way. And when father-in-law interfered, he said that she was either a daughter or a wife, if father thought that she was his daughter take her to her paternal home, else – let him to handle her. One time in the story, Guru makes a comment that is rather explicit to mention here, where he says she liked beatings at some other times. And asks the audience why the father shied away when he mentioned this fact (Likely, this might be a fake to spice the story up)? At this moment, pupils (listener) make a laugh and agree. Supposedly, few months of beating made his wife a good woman. And they lived happily ever after.

Story 2 [Chhattisgarh]: This guy is a heavy drinker, almost lost his job due to alcoholism, once, but being in a government office no one expelled him. He was married eight years ago when he was presented as a responsible, educated and real shy guy from a very reputed family background. We will call this guy, the Drunkard.

The next month after wedding the wife of Drunkard reported his habit of drinking and occasional slapping and beating which were ignored by wife’s family as initial unsettlement. Then later Drunkard got notice of being expelled from office because of absenteeism (as the wife reported, it was due to husband’s alcohol love). Although that didn’t take his job away and he had started drinking heavily. The wife found out he had been a big drunkard and lazy even before the marriage. Beating was a daily routine now and more brutal.

Wife’s family, afraid of her life, took her back home; kept her happily for seven years. Now, she had become a social shame and financial burden to her parent. Moreover, second marriages are more a loose character issue than a symbol of ability to take strong steps in India. So no one would marry her. She went back to Mr. Drunkard.

I met her on the way to Varanasi. On asking how Mr. Drunkard behaves now, she replied this is a part of life all she hoped that he would stop daily beating, someday and she didn’t care whether he kept on drinking.

Story 3[Varanasi]: The guy is a philanderer, married at 32, a typical of UP guy, full of ego on nothing – a government employee. The relationship went smoothly with wife for almost six months until the girl wasn’t pregnant. Afterwards, the guy’s skirt chasing became visible to blind eyes. Call this guy, Womanizer.

Womanizer used to squander all of his money on women, took debts from friends and finally wife paid. This cycle went on until a big fight between the couple, the guy left home leaving his wife alone in last months of pregnancy. The girl didn’t call anyone until the condition became critical on the day of baby’s birth.

Girl brought back to paternal home for couple of months, the guy never showed up for next few months. After few months, the initial decision to leave the guy and live independently seemed to be against social security as well as social reputation. Remarriage was impossibility in UP and remarriage with a girl carrying a baby is next to impossible.

Now (when I was in Varanasi), my friend was describing that the girl’s parent and the girl were agree to send the girl back to Mr. Womanizer on his terms. The guy was tightening all the bolts to make sure that his side of business kept running.

The question is whether the glass is half filled or half empty? Are we correct when we say marriage is an institution - A custom that for a long time has been an important feature of some group or society? Aren’t we forcing to see half full glass? Is it possible that glass is actually half empty? Is it true, by our animal behavior, that female is, in fact, the weaker sex?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reply: Uneducated Literates

Rarely you get a comment that is a mix of suggestion, criticism, answer and question. Here is one and I really liked it. Reply to this comment would be so explanatory and justified (may be controversial) that I could brainstorm in discussion for hours. Here is the comment posed on my previous post Uneducated Literates and follows my reply.

You went for nightouts for your projects, you studied and toiled with all reverence and you landed up doing a job where mere diploma-holders could suffice. Who asked you to do a job like this? Who stopped you from doing R&D? Who asked you to join the herd of sheep or that of penguins for that matter? The answer is simple dude, its "you"!! You could have sought a challenging career even as a photographer, you could have excelled as school teacher with all your knowledge. But no, you from the very beginning were after something else. And let me give you a simple suggestion my friend, very few places give you both of what you seek. So, stop cribbing about what companies are doing, because you yourself are in that very mess(i suppose). Go and join CERN if you want to do some high-level research and drill down your brain to the brink. You are talking about India as a country, look at yourself dude, "you" are India and so are all of us. Cribbing is the favorite sport for Indians. So let Mr.S be happy with what he is doing, rather stop your whole body from burning and do some good.

-Anonymous Comment

I am not sure what you mean by 'cribbing', I use cribbing for copying. But from the context that you are talking about, I feel you mean 'frustration outburst' when you use cribbing. So, lets take one-by-one bottom up questons of yours.

First thing, I am not writting something that is a consequence of some 10 minute frustration and I shed it down on blog. Yes, I was frustrated at the very moment when Mr. S described, but afterthought made me realize that the dream he was running behind could have been achieved some three years back, plus he would have been a specialized in the work he was planning to do.

If he could have joined a NIIT J2EE Expert course, he could have been learning technology specifications for 2 years, a certification from Sun and we would have had a strong Java developer. He could have add-on more expertise during his career.

The problem here is career guidelines are hazy. We follow mob psychology, so if Mr. S's cousine did his B.E. in Civil Engineering then he joined Infosys, and now, after 3 years in Infosys, he is on on-site assignment in USA. We follow that path blindly without looking at inefficiencies in that. And, actually, that's justified for it is verified. But... had there been a open minded thinking over the process, you see a guy learnt Civil Engineering for 4 years, does some hefty swift course for a quater of a year that enables (and perhaps specially made to enables) him to clear Infosys interview process. Do you find it smooth? I do not.

The same could have been achieved in a better and effective way. People know that Civil Engineering isn't paying. And if paying, it's not the craze. It is not the one where mob push lies. And moreover, we have tracked path to USA with the guy's brother as example. I ask why would anyone bother trying anything new? (Although it saves few years.)

It itches when you see all these potential, who could have started adding values long-back, is doing interview passer courses that enable them earn 8000 INR/month. And then they wait clock to tick away 2 years so that, they can apply a job where they ask 2+ experience.
It is too procedural. It is boring. Are we having all these branches, engineering colleges estabilished and mashrooming up to produce software engineers? You cant deny the preciding statement. And if you agree, then I ask another question. Is it correct? Isn't it a removable inefficiency. All my post says why dont we have courses that creates software professionals by keeping courses based on real market demand, instead of openning engineering degree colleges that make Biotechnologists, Mechanical engineers who later become software developers.

Now let's take on why I stress people doing diploma in engineering instead of degree. I am not sure whether you are following or not Ranbaxy is in rumour for ownership change. There have been long debates about IP, about patents, R and D and about egnineering and pharma grads. The main thing out of this story, India is a developing country with lot of cheap labour and heavy natural resources. It is economically favorable to be a producer than being inventor, at least for the present times. To be a producer you do not need engineering grads, or at least, you do not need bulk of engineers because you are importing alrerady-in-use technology from some foreign country which is well verified and approved. The technology won't break on daily basis in a manner that need engineering skills, all it need diploma guys who can manage them efficiently without getting frustrated. And, if you want to know the truth, India's current biggest automobile manufacturer RnD unit is a joke.

Let come back to "me" being India part. You are correct that we are the youth of the nation - we drive the country. I have that realization. I did had childhood dream of having my own version of R2D2, could be easily achieved by joinind Honda or probably I may go for higher education, some heavy duty RnD. I like those stuffs. But it is hard to stay sane when see lies opening up. You go mad when you see the best of our country labs are miles behind the sophistication they claim. You break to find out some of really nice labs are as useful as Pandora Box because of several reasons.

It is frustrating to see misguided talents and at the same time to find out misused resources and bubble boasts. So, who told me work in mob's way? I reply, I decided. I chose not to work in an area where we aren't frontiers. I decided to accumulate talent and streamline them. I dream to make an invention driven, innovation mativated environment. I look for the next big thing. And that is why I decided not to go for CERN but to create another CERN. Are you with me?