12th of January,2012 marks three years of my working in Kasturba Medical College International Center as a Lecturer in the department of Biochemistry and Genetics. Well, does it call for an evaluation of these years, in terms of achievements and failures? Does it require introspection about the journey until now? Does it demand celebration to mark an anniversary? Does it bring out drawing boards to plan the year ahead? Or does it manifest a down-the-memory lane journey with reminiscences of noteworthy and not so noteworthy events?
Just as I write the above options, I realise I could do with it that I do in my job all the time, make a multiple choice question out of it! Well that would then be a flawed question because there is one option, the last one, missing. “All of the above”.Evaluation and more importantly self evaluation is a very difficult task. We generally tend to be either too harsh on ourselves or too lenient. Evaluation thus is rarely just. To simply put the evaluative process to rest it would suffice to say that the last year of job was balanced in number of positive and negative achievements. Yes, I say negative achievements because even though an event turns out to be negative, the derivation of the moral from the event could and in all certainly usually does prove to be handy in the future.
Introspection is and should be a constant process ideally. But we like doing it only on certain occasions. And topping the chart of occasions are anniversaries. Introspections about a job position are funny exercises sometimes. You may find yourself at one time the right man in the right place, a more deserving employee, a filled-with-ideas person who isn’t in a right environment, and the ever encompassing I-could-have-been-in-a-much-better-place feeling. It is hard to be content, but with minor disappointments, I feel I am pretty content.The word sthitapragya means one who doesn’t get too happy in happiness or too sad in sadness. Buddha was sthitapragya. I have always been moved by that philosophy, an easy to sound but difficult to practice philosophy. We usually end up doing one thing more than the other. Though I have never believed in celebrations of occasions, I increasingly begin to feel it is important, even if not for yourself for people around you. If it beats the above mentioned philosophy, so be it.
The time I began writing this essay, the same time I got into a debate with a friend regarding the dictum ‘live each day as if it were your last’. I told him that I do not believe in this concept for if it were so; would we work so hard, save money for future, take immaculate care of our health, plan, plan and plan? Of what grand use will all these come to? We have been wired to plan for the future, however philosophically foolish it might be. Complexity in life is an ever increasing process and thus in the need-to-do list gets added more items and more humongous ones at that.Down-the-memory-lane is a journey that gets tiresome as years pass by. Is it because we get bored or too tired or both of them? The vivid memory of when something is new continues until it has become old. But then the job of teaching has a remarkable feature which has always attracted me and that is there is newness in every semester, every year. The new students bring with them new challenges, new psychology, new interpersonal skills and new experiences. And that is just the running water that gathers no moss. Given that fact, a year of select incidences would warrant another essay.
It had escaped me that today marks end of another year in IC as we and everyone popularly calls it. Complacency I guess. While the first anniversary is always special, no matter what, the second one is much awaited for permanency in the job. When both of them are achieved it probably leaves the third not so keenly to be looking forward to. But that is an excuse. Whether it is three years or thirty years, every arriving of this date will be cherished, celebrated and counted.