>> Saturday, July 26, 2008

The love affair one is envious of.

(note: Wikipedia has it all wrong. Go read the book to know what it is all about.)


What I Could Do With My Life- The Way of the Economists

>> Thursday, July 17, 2008

(Yes, I will be talking about Economics again.
No, I have not entered a rut. I am graduating in the subject. What else do you expect me to write about? When I try getting a degree in African Pottery, I will write about African Pottery and its possible toxic effects on the gastric juices. Till then, I will write about Economics.)

By this time next year, if I have not actually managed to write everything incorrectly in my development paper as my dreams seem to predict, I ought to be a graduate. However, as is almost obvious by the level of intelligence one usually displays on this blogspace, 60.5 percentage of Indian graduates are not employable. All students of Economics immediately fall under this marquee, namely because, when real life does not measure up to theory, we attribute it to errors made by statisticians. In fact, in the blame game, we attribute anything to statisticians if it makes us look good. Marriage between a statistician and an economist is, thus, amongst one of the worst nightmares of a marriage counselor. Of course, most jobs earmarked for graduates do not provide statisticians, resulting in the unemployability of economics students.

Let us form a flowchart in our minds, since I do not know how to create one on blogger. The educational path of a graduate divides automatically into two parts, an MBA or Masters. We will not consider the former in this analysis as I would immediately start weeping uncontrollably if anyone tries to interview me.

A masters degree usually ensures

  • The geek tag
  • A job
  • Pretty much nothing else
And now we will revert to my favourite form of writing- point wise discussion.

1) I take up the job


I have absolutely no idea. There was a vague explanation somewhere which said we would
have to predict GDPs and stock market fluctuations. There have also been whispers of bulls and bears. But since I plan to take up Mathematical Economics, questions I would be certainly be incapable of answering in job interviews are
  • What do you think will be next year's GDP?
  • What was last year's GDP?
  • What is GDP?
  • What are bulls and bears?
  • What is a stock market?
  • What is a stock?
  • What is macroeconomics?
  • What is economics?
Pros: I will have money if employed.
Cons: Probably no one will employ me.
I would still be clueless regarding what the subject is all about.

2) I get desperate and decide on the Ph.D
This also has different repercussions. So sub dividing the topic

a) I do the Ph.D. and take up a job
Refer above.

b) I stick to researching economical stuff.

No one really knows what economists research, least of all the economists themselves. We begin by trying to find out a correlation between the shininess of a jellyfish and its sexual life (Translated : A jellyfish!! Ooohh pretty!! Do you think it has a girlfriend?) and end up with results on the marital stability of men who own charter boats. We automatically create a model on the basis of our observations and pretend it describes the economic conditions of fishermen.

Of course, sometimes, policymakers think the sexual life of jellyfish is exactly what the countries need as a pick-me-up in these times of desolation and degeneration. Hence, Nobel prizes are often awarded randomly to economists on the basis of the prettiness of the paper clips used. So the probable effects of doing research are :

i) I win the Nobel Prize
  • I will be famous.
  • I will be rich.
  • I will have a model named after me. Palit's theory of monopoly whorism has a nice tang to it.
  • I can finally be an author, even if to a niche reader base.
  • I will finally be invited everywhere, and not only because my great-granddad had two many kids, assuring an unending supply of relatives.
  • I might accidentally figure out what the subject is all about.
  • I will be famous.
  • I will have to give lectures. For which I will have speak slowly and enunciate properly. Something I have never cared for since I was seven.
  • I will be doomed to either a life of celibacy or multiple divorces.
  • Every budding economist will hate me.
  • Someone might figure out my model is actually based on a statistical error.
ii) I do not win the Nobel Prize

  • I can still be an author.
  • If I force Calcutta University to add my book to the recommended texts, the royalties will be decent. But only just.
  • I can have a blog about Economics and people in love with the subject can read it and have a crush on me.
  • I can finally be an aantel.
  • I would still have to lecture people. I would probably end up being the vague, scatty professor who always trips while entering the classroom. Also, my students will hate me.
  • I will be the poor cousin of Nobel prize winners. The only parallel I can think of is being a weatherman-on TV, but only to give the newsreader a break.
  • I might end up coming back to Presidency and then complain vaguely about the lack of attendance in my class, enabling my HOD to give me gloating looks.
  • I would only have the option of dating economists, never getting the chance to meet anyone else.
  • I will have no money.
  • I may still not be able to figure out what the subject is all about.
This is roughly, the sample space of total possibilities in my chosen career path in the next twenty years or so. Since this has been my first attempt in long term thinking, it probably comes as no surprise that I am in extreme panic mode. However, these make nice blog posts. If anyone can come up with alternative career prospects for me, please mention them in the comments section, and I will analyze them too. Of course, when it comes to choosing, I will probably just draw lots. But that is next year's tale.

(p.s.1 Apparently I have crossed my 50th post. So happy 50th to me )
(p.s.2 I miss Maths. I really, really miss Maths. I do not remember missing my best friend this badly. The loneliness is killing me. Does anyone know how to get over this loss? I have been advised that drink does not help).


Chronicles of Part 2 Exams- The Examgiver's Fear

>> Friday, July 04, 2008

The heart of a young girl is a precious gift which should be given wisely. No sole man deserves to be loved wholly and completely by a young, pure, virginal heart in the spring of youth. Hence,

"So this is the final comprehensive, holistic, exhaustive list of the men I am in love with right now. Class hottie, Physics Department hottie, random guy we saw in the canteen last month, the guy standing behind you right now and Johnny Depp."

"You forgot Ronaldo."

"Oh, yes.... Ronaldo. "




A sacred silence pierced by the drone of mathematical formulae being memorized all around was thus the high point of my Maths exam.

Pre-examination conversation often ranges from the desultory to the conventional. Barely reaching peaks of "Oh My God, when was this chapter added in the syllabus?", it fails to appeal to a connoisseur of interesting conversations. Then again, when you are meeting your classmates after six months, you tend to forget what brought you together in the first place. Sometimes, it takes examinations to make you realize what you knew all along, how much more amazing face-to-face conversation is.

"So, you know right I have sort of decided to dump Economics and do something else. I keep on asking everyone what options I might have, but none of them have had those clear moments which follow a revelation, when you realize, oh, but of course, that is what I am meant for."

"Ever wondered about thinking it out yourself? You know, discovering for yourself what you are meant for?"

(Accompanied by a deprecating glance) " I did that. How do you think I ended up in Economics in the first place? (Sigh) Bonky, what do you think I should do with my life?"

(Random stranger joins in the conversation)
"Ritika, can I bank on you for the Modern Algebra part? I heard you are having problems with 3D. I could give you a hand with it."

Lots of blinks follow.

"Who are you?"

More blinks.

"I am your classmate. I sit behind you. I was the one who gave you one of the objectives of Land Reforms."

"You know me?"


"Ohh. Hey, what do you think I should do with my life?"

I was waved at by a thief. Or a cat burglar. I did not really get to know his nom de plume. First I watched him get in and out of windows. Then he watched me taking videos of him getting in and out of windows. Convinced that this was the start of a beautiful friendship, he waved at me. And he kept on doing so till I decided I was traumatized enough to go call up Bonky and then tell her in details of the burglar's deeds. It mostly involved the climbings and a shiny object. I conjectured the man was smuggling a largish damond. Bonky thinks it was a
knife he was planning to throw at me to kill the sole witness. The fact that the distance was considerable (can never judge distances, lets just call it considerable) did not dampen her hypotheses-excitement. The more prosaic Pingu thinks he probably dropped a coin. But we never pay any attention to her opinions anyway. They are always right and boring.

"Sometimes I wish some female had created the world. It would be so perfect and full of non fattening food. Also no exams. But some male hyper competitive mind came in and ruined everything."
"Hey, you never know. God might be a female."
"Rubbish. Females are perfectionists."
"Are you? Am I? Amir Khan is a female?"
"That is because we have been created by a bachelor God. Female Gods must be perfect."
"True. Maybe ten years from now we could all live in a world run by females."
"We would probably be dead in ten years. Hopefully heaven is run by females. And lots of Vodka and icecream. I am definite heaven is a place full of vodka and icecream."
"Female gods would have probably included background music in their created Earth. We could have gangsta rap on our way to the exam hall."
"Or Bhojpuri stuff when its true love."
"Or Dido if its not."
(gleefully rubbing palms) "The world would be so confused. Muhahahahahahahaha. No one would know whether they loved someone or not and then we would come in and pick up the best guys and play Enrique. They would think we were their soulmates."
"Oh, but I hate Enrique."
"Noooo, not him, you have an appalling taste in men"
"I lurve him"
"Yeah. Lao him. Totally"
"Yup. Lao."
"But I do not really know the lyrics."
"Oh, we will make them up as we go."

And we happily proceeded to sing "shadher lau" with made up lyrics until they allowed us into the classrooms where Bonky tore her shoes and then we both got lost and ended up in the boys' section. Much fun was had until we were directed to the right room.

We also gave a fairly decent exam which went on to prove exams never make sense anyway.


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