Aug 10, 2012

On being a fresher

...a new fish into the gigantic sea of opportunities and competition.

One month back I graduated from an engineering college. “Happy Independence day”, greeted one of my peers. “What Independence??” I questioned back in wonderment. “Well you are no more a student now. You are free from the shackles of scary classrooms, boring lectures and enforced assignments”, reasoned my friend. 
Well, my friend was right in suggesting me to rejoice the completion of my academics but sadly I couldn’t respect her thought since I didn’t felt any independent space around. I had a reason.  I had the fear of getting suffocated in the toxic atmosphere of unemployment which I was to breathe in next.

“Ho! Good old days, the heydays”, I whisper to myself now, as I think of my college days. My college life was not any hunky-dory type but quite satisfactory. I was one of the well-known faces of my college, well-known for being a Kashmiri Muslim and somewhat for being good in academics and other activities. Also my debating and hosting the college events had won me a good number of admirers. I ruled the roast. Period!! What now? The game is over. That part of me died a month ago. Now I am no more a student, not anymore. I am no one in actual fact. My identity…as big as naught and as small as iota. Now I have a new name. They call me a fresher, a new fish into the gigantic sea of opportunities and competition.

I have been sitting at home from the last one month now. Though I am not a clock-watcher or a couch potato, I rarely go outside except for an interview. I restrict my social presence to the four walls of my room with my only two aides- headaches and depression. God bless the freshers, I pray.   

I am 23 now. I feel awkwardly bad asking my dad for a little money to have a simple haircut, not to talk of the money needed to fill the job registration forms or should I say to fill the banks of the employers. I have a conscience, and a sense of responsibility. How long can I live the life of a remittance man? Many of my schoolmates who jumped into business have made fortunes once they left the school. And what I have earned is barely a degree worth I don’t know what. It makes me lament the loss.

Being a fresher I am not supposed to sit back at home in my mother’s lap. I cannot afford to corrode my aptitude like this. I have to explore for jobs and hence I do. I desperately do. But everywhere I go, I find the big bosses asking for an experience or an expertise, the only thing a newbie carries not. Sometimes I wonder how the God-blessed experienced people are born. Are they born with an experience certificate in hand? I question.

Agreed that an experienced person is more valuable than a fresher but what if the latter proves more worthy once trained.  We need to respect the young talent and cultivate it rather than murder it long before it blossoms. Let there be a system to welcome both freshers and experienced at the same platform, equally or in some other measure. Let the freshers earn some experience by learning so as to transform their creativity into productivity. Else in the least bit what my poor sanity wishes is to roll back to the good old times of my father's and fore father's when there were colossal jobs waiting at the doorstep only to choose the befitting. How cherished were those times, I can only dream.    
Off the boat and a bridge too far.. 
Keeping eyes on the prize and the wheels come off ..

[P.S This post is dedicated to all the freshers. Kindly note the above opinion totally belongs to the author.]