I often wonder if growing up in any other country around the world is as competitive as growing up in
India. Would I have had to go
through the countless imperceptible struggles that I went through if I had been born
in New York or London
or Dubai? There
is no way of finding this out obviously, and that is not even the purpose of
raising this question. The truth here is that India is so unique is so many ways
that it is hard to have an uneventful childhood here.
When I say that, I do not refer to something spectacular or bizarre that you might have been subjected to. It is a simple concept of economics that all starts with the country’s population. A pure demand supply mismatch, which has ensured that at every single juncture, we have to prove that we are in the top 5% of whatever sample space we are representing, so as to achieve what we are being considered for. This is applicable everywhere, be it education or job or even marriage. Because there is abundance of options here but lack of opportunities!
This had actually led to Indians being a part of all the major job markets of the world. There is a school of thought which believes that talent migration is one of the biggest dangers facing our country. Whether they are right or not, is not for me to opine about, but it just seems to be the obvious solution to many of the problems that the educated population here faces. During the formative years, everyone has a vision of their future and when you see that you can’t get that within the boundaries to which you are striped, you have to look out. This has been prevalent for ages now, with the difference that instead of moving from villages to city, you now have to “go global”. If not here, you have to make it big somewhere!
So what impact does this kind of a backdrop have on the way you think? For starters, it makes you prepared. Because you have seen so many prospects lost to preferences and reservations that you know what you have is not going to stay. And this thought never leaves you, not when you land a job after years of struggle, not when you become the best rated employee and not even when you become the CEO… For there is always an equally qualified guy waiting around the corner to prove he is better than you!
But more than that, it makes you so persistent, that beyond a point if things come easy to you, you start doubting its genuineness! I do not know how many of us have made this observation that Indians as a bunch are bloody determined! Especially when it comes to the subject areas where mind rules. Well I have noticed this and far too frequently now.
The Indian mind knows that the only form of survival is to keep getting better at the game, to make sure that the opponent is always two steps behind, trying to figure out how to catch up. It seems like we all take up a challenge when we are born and are obstinate to let that go till the very last day. So much so that, at some point of time, we may have overlooked the fact that we have already won, but are still playing just for the fun of it!