During those four years of undergrad engineering studies, each one of us had created a Utopian World in our minds. A World we were sure we would step into after bidding goodbye to our coursebooks. A World of boundless money and endless fun. So obsessed we were with this dream, that many of us (moi included) abandoned the very coursebooks that were supposed to lead us to this said Utopia. As the saying went, “Job toh mast waali lag hi jaayegi yaar, kya padhke dimaag kharaab karna?” (“What’s the point in studying when we’re gonna get a job anyway?”). In the end, that philosophy did turn out to be true, but once we stepped out into that World, so to speak, we realized that the Utopia really didn’t exist. Rather it was another Murphy’s Law which we learnt was applicable universally: that which is illustrated above.
You know it’s true if you’re a working professional, and if you’re still one in the making (technically speaking, that is), you’ll realize this soon enough. A lot of money and a lot of fun cannot co-exist in life. They simply can’t. The reason is simple: the more you earn, the faster your life becomes. Unwinding does not remain much of an option. Things you imagined you’d do every day become a once-in-a-while indulgence, and the much-touted luxuries of life become part of the mundane. And if you’re on the other side of the equilibrium, you might have a lot of time to enjoy life as you know it, but your wallet would be proportionately thinner. And if you’re in that equilibrium zone like I am, with enough money and enough time, you’ll be far, far away from the madding crowd you want to be part of.
The truth is, there is no Utopia we dream of in our college days. Indeed, now that I’m working, I know that the real Utopia was the college I which thought was a mere stepping stone. When we make the transition from academics to work, we simply must adapt to the changed circumstances. And we end up doing that, as the sands of time mould our thoughts, preferences and dreams in the direction of the real world. And that is the essence of finding happiness in what you do. Those who work high-paying, high-load jobs end up finding happiness in exactly that. And those with slimmer paychecks and more time end up enjoying the finer aspects of life. Needless to say, I’m happy too, happy with where I am right now. Initially, there are certain things we all dislike about our new lives, but gradually we grow up and understand that the grass is always greener on the other side of the meadow. Cheers.