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Guns and Roses

July 4, 2014

When girls think of roses and romance and music, do boys think of guns and and rebellion?!

Inspired to write this one lol. We were all sort of rebels in our teenage. Had I had better family life, I would have been able to appreciate the ’80s better. There is this college get-together coming third week (July 19-20), this being our 25th year, in a restaurant where girls are joining from around the world, with the faculty invited. During the same dates, hubby’s alumni batch have also booked up a sea-side star hotel away from the city and some 200 guys from around the globe are meeting with families (hubby flying in exclusively to attend the meet). So happily giving my college get-together a miss to be with hubby’s on their 2-day convention with themes and games and parties and shows. An event management company has taken over and the guys have roped in popular anchors and comperes. Sound like real fun. Guys do take it all to a different level altogether. But may I ask, would men miss their re-unions – for the sake of their wives. And would they miss a chance ever to show off to the world their families. Being a woman automatically places you in a secondary position in this society.  It so happens that I am not too keen with my re-union so harbour no regrets. But what otherwise. Our family photos are already uploaded in the men’s club website with our profiles. Their university owns a fine alumni club in the city complete with all amenities. Things like this we girls cannot even contemplate in our dreams. So there is only one place my man will ever hang about when in the city in evenings – with his buddies by the side of the bar and swimming pool in his alumni club. Men’s life.

Whereas we girls opt for shopping together for clothes followed by a lunch in crowded family restaurants where we invariably go dutch – we never allow a single girl to expend.  Guys will not go meet alumni friends without a liquor bottle first. Girls who come home get me flowers and fruits. What a world of difference.

Graduate college was no fun. For a while evaded getting hitched to my college pals’ group in Facebook. Someone still found me out and added me up. The horrible thing is, the professor I hate most is in the group as well.  (But my school peers are my besties for life. We have a fabulous group, and we have frequent re-unions – our annual date is Jan 26th, the Republic Day. We are close-knit and very loyal – great alumna like none other).

The years 1986-89 in math department in my college were (the beginning of) my worst (yet to come). (In this period, lost 11 first circle blood relatives including my grandparents. Very traumatic, turbulent period upto 1993.) To a large extent our personal life has a role to play in defining how our college life/career might be shaping up. Our priorities change. When our future is at stake, there is no way we can think of endangering that for the sake of lofty ideals. Atleast that is my philosophy. Dreams are for those who can afford them. What about us middle-class girls for whom marriage-talks begin as early as we start our high school (For a fact, 2 of my school/class girls married in the summer we finished our board exams Standard 12).

The Math department of my college had a great track record.  We were university toppers and we held record for scoring maximum centums in the city. To maintain it and pass on the baton, we girls were pushed to extremes to work harder. College timing was 7.30-1.00. Most days we girls (and without exception I) went on empty stomach to college that barely had a decent canteen. Bus boarding time was 6.20 am. Math is a heavy subject. Right on day 1 we opened our pages in R D Sharma (referred until today in all math departments through out South Asia – No.1 standard text book in Calculus) – to volumes of calculus.  My lecturer ‘S’ scribbled in the board for next 2 hours covering 2-3 chapters like a whirlwind. Fresh out of school, most of us had neither the energy nor the ability to comprehend what was going on. The terrible truth is, we were not even asked our names or given an introduction. No time – we were math department and our syllabus was vast. Our referred text books were slim in contrast, and you have no idea how much volume of working just a single page might cover – in a single equation/summation or whatever. One sigma is enough and if expanded totally, could cover pages and pages!

Welcome to the world of Mathematics!

That first day in college, I regretted for the first time in life, having loved math to bits – and for the first time even wished I had opted for arts groups instead. My interests in school days baffled me out completeley – maths was my first love, but so was literature and even history. Said bye-bye to history with class 10. Literature was downgraded in list of priorities. Math was challenging – and some like me needed this kind of therapy (!) to keep us in check, who knows! Literature or whatever might have been interesting but wouldn’t have been enough still… There was this quest for more, that which needed your brains to be squeezed. And what better than mathematics to give that to you. Got more than what we girls bargained for!

Why can’t they give degrees fusing history with mathematics and literature! That would have been my No.1 choice. I wish our colleges have electives like that, like they have in US universities, anything to go with anything. 

The assaults started the very first hour, our very first day in college campus: Calculus followed by Trigonometry-Algebra, Analyical Geometry, Statistics and Numerical Analysis. Hour after hour for 7 hours (7 sessions) except for brief lunch of 30 min inbetween and no other break. Assignments and tests followed – the rigour far worse than that in school even during our board exam years like in standard 10 & 12.

One of the greatest casualties from attending my college is that, our self-esteem takes a beating. When compared to my peers in other colleges, I was aware I had been more than good enough, but just like me, over half of our class never measured upto the eyes of our professors.  We always fell short of their ambitions and expectations. No appreciation, no encouragement, no kindness AND NO INSPIRATION nothing – which are the chief characteristics you wanna see in your teacher/mentor.  After all, I am the daughter of one such kind teacher. What a disappointment our Math department was. Sometimes, mere academics can’t be enough. Our soul, our heart may need nourishment. I wish I had had a lecturer who had stopped by my desk and asked, ‘why are you sad?’ instead of barking at me, why my grades were not upto the mark in class tests, threatening me with stopping me from appearing for university exams. At one point of time during 2nd year, I looked almost like a skeleton. So now why should I meet up with my faculty or my batch mates. What an insensitive lot they were.

One greatest asset was the unbreakable spirit, hope and attitude that I inherited. I was determined to be happy, determined to succeed.

So who has the time for anything else when your hands are full with mathematics. All I can recall is working out reams and reams of calculus – because failure was staring right at our face. Something most of us were not used to ( (its also true math requires rigorous practice). But until today Calculus – both differential and integral, have proved to be my strong point and first love – what started as a challenge became an obsession in a few months.The subject was stimulating even if the pressure was too much. There seemed to be no space for anything else other than math in those 3 years for us girls. It is the way with math/science streams. Only way.

What a way to spend your last of teens. Waiting at the bus stop at 1.00 noon, reaching home to a locked and unwelcome and cold house by 2.00 hungry and totally deflated, who can ever have the will to think of boys or politics or movies or whatever.

But I did hahaha! Thanks to my school girls who still kept visiting me for weekends, who insisted math was not all life. Outing with them was good, but I had to get back for completion of my assignments whereas they were always free of such monstrous commitments.

The second year was a period of stability as we math girls got used to the feel of mathematics in our system,  but in the third and final year, all 5 papers were math papers. Real Analysis, Complex Analysis to name a couple. Toughest and vaguest papers to master. My life achievement is scoring a centum in Real Analysis, not so easy to crack. City records maximum failures in this particular abstract paper. But Real Analysis fascinated me like anything in the third year for the challenges it presented to my volatile mind. You had to have that knack to understand it inside out and once you did, it could come to you like a clear, steady, rhythmic flow.  ‘Real’ helped me in rediscovering my love for mathematics that I had come to doubt. For the first time in my life, I started appreciating the genius in mathematics and its applications in other sciences and everyday life. Abstract definitions and proofs and theorems started making sense, atlast.

But for those who give up before reaching this stage, math can be a nasty demon.

Until today algebra and calculus are like mesmerizing mantras to me even if of late I am losing touch with my bases – calculus had a similar effect on me like reading a good English fiction. Solving a 2 page problem could give one a heady feeling. Nothing like when you can prove the theorem side to side and underline the conclusion: Thus, LHS = RHS !!! Chess is another obsession even if I am not a thinking strategist. The mere challenges chess can pose to our brains makes me crazy about chess. Next is everyday Crosswords in my newspaper ‘The Hindu’ – not the cryptic one but the solvable one. The last but not the least is the love for Scrabbles. Ofcourse now I play the online version with a nice group of Facebook friends. Even Chess. Addicted to Facebook Wordscraper, a best online version of Scrabbles, an Indian developer’s application (so also is Chess online format like Chesspro & Chesslive).

Our school held elections to student council but our college did not. Our pupil leader was ‘chosen’ by management based on academic performance. Sports was a strict ‘no-no’ in our campus – but there were exclusive colleges where players were groomed routinely. Our lecturers never thought of us as vibrant happy-go-lucky teenage girls at the threshold of adulthood; they were only interested in one thing: making us work harder so that the college record was maintained. The more you worked harder, the further tougher were the goals set to accomplish.

Our physics and chemistry departments were equally worse off. Atleast we math students were spared the practicals, my chem friend would enter college by 7.00 am and would leave for home by 5 pm ONLY on completion of lab, and never before that. She suffered from typhoid by third year drinking unclean college water exhausted after pracs upto 6 pm one day and even had a relapse.

Our class girls were bookworms – very few were wild (at heart hahaha) like  me (!) – may be this is so again with math/science streams.  3 more girls from my school joined my math class at college.  One is in US today. She used to be the wildest. For protest she used to take off her top in the 2 min gap in between lecture hours in front of the whole class. Can’t think of any other rebellion. Now this same girl is posting booze pictures taken in Las Vegas regularly (in FB). She for one thing, is not a fake. Lucky she got away with her antics in the campus.

Most girls are doing well today. Soon after I graduated, my college started MCA program, one of first of its kind in the city, and we math graduates were given first priority. I missed the course wholeheartedly for 2 reasons: i had had enough of math and my graduate college and secondly i was paying  my own fees giving math tuition at home. MCA was expensive. Yes, I had started tutoring class 10, 12 students as well as Math grads in I year college. I was senior now! Earned handsome in college days/vacations.

Family circumstances also forced me to take up full-time summer jobs for 1.5 months every year until I graduated (including PG days). Money factor was important – with all our funds locked up in parents’ names to be handed to us once we settled down. The money earned in my college days was a life-saver. Mostly remember only tired and hungry and angry and unfair and tearful college days.

While so, aghast at the way my peers are greeting our lecturers today in a totally phony tone owing them their future. In a fix now. So was it me who never fitted in or is it the girls now who are faking their affections. Facebook is like a set stage for some of us to act out our roles. Why should we want to prove to anyone who we are. Those who know us know us better.

Greatest advantage in graduating in math is that, it helps you in cracking all competitive exams with flying colours.  It did for me – from customs to central excise to railways to bank exams (recruitment drives), I cleared everything in first attempt but chose to work for bank which was a safe option (or so I thought). Our names always figured in first list of all entrances – kudos to our computing/math proficiency. (Another advantage is, you need not ever have to send your kids for math tution.  I taught my son math at home upto class 12 if and whenever he needed that extra bit of coaching.)

But what college fun is there for math students. We still managed to beat the odds. Some of us still broke barriers and participated in inter-collegiate culturals. Creativity was killed brutally and on the spot in my college. Getting OD was not easy, but I and some girls still did. My favourites in those times were Loyola culturals and MCC culturals. It was like an impossible feat. 

Many in my batch went on to do M.SC. math or M.Sc. applied math or MCA. A few married immediately on graduation.

PG in Econometrics was a sea-change to my math department. M.Sc in math was always the first choice, but it is not cake walk and definitely not for the distracted kind like me. We have to do justice to the subject we choose to study.Econometrics is basically like scientific explanation of otherwise theoritical Economics. It is concise in content, like a sleeker version of economics. Every theory is explained with proofs so that makes it a fascinating subject. Statistics and numerical analysis papers were the best in the course that took in 50% math and 50% economics graduates. Theories seemed like too much of assumptions to those of us with math background. A math mind is not trained to accept elaborate explanations just like that. We understand figures best. We need proofs for everything. ‘Ifs’ and ‘buts’ do not exist for us.

But I found Micro Economics and Macro Economics still interesting – mainly because of a rebel lecturer, a 40 plus man. We both hated each other I guess.  He was down right arrogant and he still seemed to know who were ‘the head strong’ in the class. He taught us also ‘International Economics.’ Yes from DU, famous for student politics. I guess he was thrown out/transferred for rebel activities mostly (but not sure). A chain-smoker. He hated math graduates who he thought had no business getting enrolled in a basically Economics course (because as such we were laymen when it came to economics and had to be taught from the fundamentals a,b,c). (We the novices to Economics ended up toppers in our class when we finished our course while the Economics background students had arrears papers in Stats etc.) (I had difficulty accepting whatever he reeled out – any theory for that matter. As I said,my math background proved to be a great hindrance in lapping up everything dished out on basis of presumption. ‘If demand goes up, the prices go up’ my lecturer started the first day and I said, ‘why?’ ‘I can give you a 1000 cases where it isn’t so!’ There started our games.

In truth, I was enjoying my new found freedom in my new university- a govt college. We were under the direct auspices of Madras University, right in the campus. I found that I could question a man hahaha and render him speechless lolZ.

Anything to everything from Malthusian theory to Keynes was circumspect in the math graduates’ eyes – guess we made our Economics lecturers look like fools. 

My prof had this habit of singling me out for my opinion and giving me sharp retorts and one day on vendetta I asked him to quit smoking in class rooms as it bothered me. ( he was … a rowdy LOLZ but charming rowdy 🙂 ). He asked me to show the legal clause and from next time when he entered the class, would turn to me and say, ‘with your permission young lady, I will lecture you smoking for next 1 hour!’

But thanks to my rebel professor for the first time, some of us found interest in discussing politics. Undoubtedly he was a communist (Marxist) but in that age, it makes us fall in love with communists hahaha. PG days were lighter – for the first time I came to discover what truly college life is all about. There was more and respectful interaction between students and the faculty. The mental pressure was not there to ‘prove.’ For the first time I had male lecturers who were not keen about discipline but were very gallant towards ladies.  First time co-ed experience for most of us girls too. First times boys exposure for me. But it was not the boys I liked in the college – it was the lecturer hahaha. Quite a phenomenon he was.  My Mills & Boon hero! Men don’t come like that anymore!

Sometimes it does make us wonder why we tend to like any particular ideology, particular men, particular subject etc etc. Our idols could be responsible for this kind of (ir)rational/(un)biased thinking?

Through all this, I still managed to find time to enjoy life, music, books and friends’ company – I owe that to my genes. My maternal grandfather and my mother must be.

Who has time otherwise for politics in college days. One of my best friends was enrolled in city Law college (5 year course). She used to entertain us girls with law college stories. Law college was very politically active (by Indian standards) in those days – in the sense they were good at stone throwing at buses, eave-teasing girls etc etc. (They maintain status quo 🙂 to present times). Some joined the local state Dravidian parties wanting a (future) career in politics. But most shied away honestly from controversies.

My law college friend used to be so vociferous, politically active and all that during our college days. Like, she was not into politics, but just into debating on politics. She was also into rallies, speeches, demos that kind of thing, typical of law college politics. Our school group was spread across numerous city colleges and not all had bad times as me. She, my friend was like a typhoon – so forceful. It was a pleasure just listening to her rattle her victories in the campus. She would regale us with countless stories about protests, strikes, walk-outs, etc etc. To me it all sounded like another planet. My friend joined a senior for practice on completion – who shared similar notions – a married man in his ’40s with whom she got ‘close’. All this started with innocent ‘national politics’ only. And govt policies. And notorious public law suits. After 2 years and immense pressure from us friends, my friend finally left him. This is the effect rebel activities can have on girls. A man double her age conquered her mind long back with mere words, and to this day, she is lost and unhappy in her marriage of over 20 years. Girls can never be the same as boys – a little daring we get and try to share the same stage, we risk losing our soul to someone dangerous that can shatter our lives. This loss could become irredeemable. Some men set very high standards for us – and we are weak in our ways – like kind of emotional. Girls just can’t have it all. Me not a a sexist.

Or should our ideals always be the wrong and unattainable.  

The same law college girl is today a mother of 2 kids. An only child to her parents, with such an ideology and thinking, the way she has embraced domesticity steering clear of law practice after her first pregnancy sometimes shocks me as well as saddens me. ‘No more ideals now’ says she and would not approve of rebellion in her college going daughter today – student activism goes a long way into our psyche perhaps. In young vulnerable age, when someone or something imprints in you something so strong, it can never be undone or dislodged ever again so easily. So who pays the cost. The men will move on, but we girls get stuck in emotional muddle.

Times change, people change. Especially for girls, world changes upside down when we get married.

Whatever little rebellion left in us girls dies the day we enter our marital homes. Our dreams become our partners’ dreams, our aspirations become theirs, our home becomes theirs, our success becomes theirs, our life becomes theirs. For better or for worse as we state it in the marriage vows. We have to have no desires, nothing. First we are under our fathers’ care, then our husbands take over. And then sons arrive to dictate terms to us. A few years into marriage on my resignation from work, a friend asked me , ‘yaar we were also ambitious girls, since when did our men reduce us to their sleeping pills?!’ 

Those who juggle both family life and career do it at a great cost – by limiting their growth or sacrificing on family front.

The truth is also that, some of us like me, seriously would like to put family first. We would like to have both worlds but I know its just not possible – atleast in my case.

Indra Nooyi, a graduate from MCC, Madras is CEO of World Pepsico in the US. Proud that she is from my city. Yet she says, she is a bahu, a mother, a wife first.

http://www.businessinsider.com/pepsico-ceo-women-cant-have-it-all-2014-7?IR=T

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Women-cannot-have-it-all-PepsiCo-CEO-Indra-Nooyi-says/articleshow/37689157.cms

Read this last night that got me thinking ever since. I have also read Sudha Narayanamoorthy (Infosys founder & mentor)’s story.

http://www.citehr.com/17449-love-story-narayana-murthy-sudha.html

Have to add another friend from teens to this list of influential personalities in my life She is now a doctor in US. She and I used to pore over ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ and ‘Sunday’ in those days – we were both very much into politicss, a rare thing to see in girls of our times. But I guess most of our hot debates/discussions centered around reservation issues/LTTE etc not much otherwise. Life has tamed this friend too – she now lives a very busy life with 2 daughters. Not a rebel but highly ambitious about her chosen field right from a very young age.

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So what about college going guys who are rebels.

There was this Mandal Commission report on Reservation Quotas for SC/ST and other minorities accommodating more seats for reserved categories that PM VP Singh wanted to implement in the year 1990. The DU student Rajiv Goswami set himself ablaze by way of protest during month long demos. His self-immolation is remembered by most of us college-goers of the time, until today. So what did that solve. Have things changed. The rebellion was quelled by the govt in no time.

With the mushrooming of excellent private universities, we have all learned to circumvent the quota issue except when it comes to govt medical colleges and IIT, IIM etc – the top tier institutes of learning in the country.

Long after in 2013, the world came to know of existence of one Arvind Kejriwal who also grew up with some (soft) ideals. I will always support him come what may – because he for a change is a man of action, not mere words. He is doing something that most of us will never dare to. 

I am talking of miseries of mathematics – there is Kejriwal who attended IIT and yet nurtured political dreams and career so very passionately. He must be a very balanced guy to have come to manage that.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, my son’s generation voted for the first time. Most voted for BJP and some for AAP but Congress drew a blank 🙂 . Students’s interest in politics was kindled by BJP and Modi somewhat, but they are back to books already. Atleast they got to know of the electoral process, about the EVMs etc and how organized the entire exercise is. They are impressed with the way governments are elected in this country, especially with the smooth transition of power. Now this I think is very, very important. Lok Sabha 2014 is more of a learning process to Indian youth – for our first time voters. I believe, in college class rooms there were 2 sides – BJP and AAP but there hardly was any heated debate/discussion/argument. Only passive exchange of ideas. Evolution in the making? Maturity in student population? Coming of age of democracy in this nation?

No student  unions in Tamil Nadu atleast, and none mostly at national level to my knowledge except for those one or two, naam ke vaaste. No pupil leader/student council in educational institutions. My son’s college has only class reps – mostly the guys volunteer because they need someone to represent them with faculty and management.

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India could be a secular democracy, but when it comes to student politics, we have never had a dream (?) run like some of our neighbours seem to have had. So far as I know, there has been almost NIL political agitations by students (or perhaps minimal like token representations). DU and Osmania university in Hyderabad are rare exceptions, along with a few more from the communist states of Kerala and Bengal. Kerala has elected a congress (state) govt for the first time – but my best friend is from Kerala who I visited last year. Her father is still a Marxist – refreshingly so. But admits times are changing. There are 2 divisions in Kerala: CPI and CPI (M) (labelled the LDF and UDF) as the communist party split into 2 in India. Both tough it out against each other but for the first time disillusioned with successive communist regimes and appalling corruption in Kerala politics, the locals voted for a change.

Telengana movement for bifurcation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra (coastal Andhra) and Telengana was mooted over a decade back. Although Osmania students did hold violent demos (that were dispersed as quick by the law enforcement agencies), it cannot said that the student movement was instrumental in making Telengana a reality today.

Student politics is dirty word in India and governments (State/Central) do not give in to student blackmails.

Personally i do think along the same lines.

1. As a math student and as mother of an engineering student, I do not support student politics in campuses.

2. My son’s college was closed for 10 days by management (who wanted no trouble) when students protested against ongoing genocide of Tamil population in Sri Lanka last year. My son swears, no actual college student was involved – and the students had no clue who the protesters were – who were outside elements planted cleverly by some political parties to brew trouble against JJ’s ruling govt. The govt ordered immediate closure of colleges and hostels for 10-15 days. Result: the semester suffered. All weekends, on re-opening, were made working days to complete the syllabus and labs were hugely hit. Study hols were cut and semester exams were crammed. So this is what college closure means to professional students. Can they afford it.

3. Students who have more time for this kind of activity (read politics) like those pursuing art and social sciences degrees can think of such distractions, especially if they are blessed with doting, spoiling parents!  Strict no-no to middle-class please. Our future is at stake. Not everyone can become an XXX you know 🙂 .

4. If it is my son raising a slogan or holding a banner, I shall spank him hard and bring him back to books! I don’t have to, my son is fun loving but very serious when it comes to his academics/career plans. I get SMS in my phone – all his CAT tests scores and in case he leaves the campus early without a pass.

5. Is glorification of student rebel/political activism and romanticism of student hooliganism correct. Is it healthy. However noble the cause could be. However justified.

6. What is the age of college students. 17-21 maximum. My boy is 20 years now – coul be a graduate already had he studied arts/social sciences. One more year to go – the fourth and final year this is, as he is pursuing an engineering degree. What maturity he has. He is into music, sports, cars, dreams, girls this kind of thing. He completed his internship this summer and Industrial training during last. Next year he has project lined up. Right now he is preparing for masters’ entrances -giving his GRE right this month. Thinking ahead by next 10 years. Wants to do some tech courses/computer aided in next 6 months to support his degree and build up a healthy profile. I think this is normal. This is how guys and girls are down here. Have always been.

7. My hubby and his brothers attended engineering and medical colleges in those days, all govt colleges. My doc BIL played for both football and cricket teams while my man represented his cricket team as opening batsman and legspinner. No politics involved. Even sports, they left behind in college.  My hubby is senior to me by 3 years, my eldest BIL is older than me by 13 years.

8. My FIL retired as Superintendent Engineer in TNEB and he was one of foremost electrical engineers of his times. With his own hands, he told me many times, how he brought electricity to many rural and backward villages in TN in the late ’60s and ’70s. During the 1977 emergency declaration by Indira Gandhi, he was invited to a rural school as chief guest for flag hoisting on Independence Day. He was suspended from work with immediate effect (for his rebel activity of hoisting national flag in a school Independence day celebrations) and re-instated back only after the new Janata govt took over long after emergency was lifted. With 5 kids in school and professional colleges, my in-laws suffered for no fault of theirs.

9. We the middle-class therefore want nothing to do with politics. It is not for us, as we have neither time nor patience/energy for this kind of activity. This thing has potential to damage our lives forever – or change the course of our life.

Along the way somewhere we Indians also got materialistic by nature. Ideals are nothing compared to means to a better life.

10. I am grateful, student rebel/political activism is not too pronounced in India. Do recall the signs like AISF and DYFI (communist) printed on my college walls – but our college never had a union or elected student council in the first place.  These student unions were obsolete with dwindling dis-interested office-bearers and membership.

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At best, college riots sound romantic.  So did India lose the plot here? Why did student movements by-pass us? 

There can be only one plausible explanation: that India was consistently stable during the period, despite a series of wars with China and Pakistan in an otherwise peaceful era. So nothing effectually necessitated student movements across the country. May be declaration of emergency did in late ’70s. Only now I have come to appreciate what a wonderful, quiet time the bygone generations could have savoured in the ’70s and ’80s even if they did not know of the computers or mobile phones.

One thing to quote from our text books. The war victories are not gloated over. Instead, there is a regret that the 5-year plans had to be shelved with the consequence of Indian economy shrinking to a related degree. This is precisely the war effect on India. Only 3 lines mentioned wars: one line about 1961 with China, one about 1965 and one in 1971 that ended with creation of ‘Bangladesh.’

By and large, the ’80s were peaceful. The serenity of the ’70s must be owed to the Iron Lady Indira Gandhi even though most of us have come to hate the Nehru-Gandhi clan ever since.

If there is something I can re-write about ’80s, I would like to script different my own story.  I can see how much my friends enjoyed growing up in the ’80s. They all have happy homes today because of what the ’80s gave them.  Me too.  For me things still worked out, because I made sure it did that way, and also because I have a rock solid man for support – who puts up with me through good and bad. 2 people keep voicing that I could be suffering from ‘bi-polar disorder’ in my life – my husband and son – within the 4 walls of our home. They put up with me through my erratic, eccentric mood swings – and for their sake, life is worth living, traversing the roads of tearing thorns. Life gives you the reward – but the wait could be too long and excruciating. Still only half the journey is over – ahead lies the rest. The psychological ’80s effects – I am reeling under even now. Scars of a lifetime. A paradise called ‘college life’ was lost, crushed by my faculty and the college management. And they haven’t a clue. True, to that extent some of us girls grew stronger, but will our teens ever come back.

Still, happy for whatever proved possible in the ’80s in the limited scope of my petty world. Sometimes, things happen for our best. Like ‘Pi’ this is what I parrot to myself. An enrollment in a social sciences/arts stream could have proved disastrous to some restless creatures who could be wanting more and more! Enough is simply not enough! May be Mathematics happened for good – like a therapy that kept me occupied totally for 3 complete, crucial years. These are formative years for youngsters – mind-shaping years. Mathematics kept some of us girls reined in.

 

 

 

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