Sunday, September 14, 2008

Are we the instant era?

All of us in the current generation have grown up hearing about how our ancestors had some harrowing times in building their lives, economies and indeed countries. A large part of their efforts has resulted in the modern generation that we have today.Their sacrifices have significantly contributed to the goodies that all of us enjoy today.

But, I have been wondering for a while, whether that concept of a dream job actually exists? I mean, this whole concept did not even exist in previous eras, when most people were just about finding ways to meet 2 ends meet. They were unable to (completely because of circumstances) look at things beyond the concept of their lives (to a large degree - you have exceptions everywhere). But, look at us now. We are part of the instant generation - instant coffee, instant tea, instant career, instant relationships, instant policies, instant solutions, instant preferences, instant(read impulse) purchases, instant publicity, instant "sporting greatness", instant jobs, and so on. We are obviously a result of the generation that we find ourselves in, where we want everything in the span of time that we find ourselves on this planet.

But, in all this, that concept of building something over a very long-term, seems to be a rare phenomenon these days. Of course, I am equally to blame - as I belong to the modern era. I am however, in awe of people who have managed to do that. I mean, look at that thing called Google - it did NOT exist right up till1997. And how it has transformed our lives - including giving me this chance right here to blog! There are so many other things that have become instant.

I do not expect the long-term horizon too much these days, but that is the core part of what I learnt in my MBA(but never applied it!). Companies want instant results, bosses want instant answers, clients want instant solutions, customers want instant gadgets that does everything & so on. That concept of strategising, building something long-term & sustainable seems so rare these days. And having lived in Bangalore all my life, I can tell you that the IT revolution has its immense ramifications, right up to the matrimony market. What I mean is, if one is a non-IT pro in Bangalore, its considered a cardinal sin! I just don't know why the aunts/uncles, and "downtown/market" conversations revolve around, "Oh, my son is going onsite to the US!". This invariably leads to the cliched response from a passer-by, "oh, where?"..and so on! Its IT, that rules the roost - instant "marketeability" of the prospective candidates, you see!

And when very recently, the one man in India, Dr, Singh(he sure is King in my books!) did something that will sustain India's energy problem for the next 4-5 decades maybe, you have these jokers from CPI-M, with their pre-historic notions calling things the way they want to. And the so called opposition party, trying to score points that it was when they were in power that they had the vision to initiate the process of India going nuclear. Again, instant publicity!Why!

Or, that "honourable" human being called Mamata Banerjee, who will do all she can to stop India from creating the next revolution in the car industry. Poor Ratan Tata, from hero to a nonity, in no time, thanks to the 15 minutes of fame that Ms. Banerjee wants. And she is taking on a man with a Cornell degree, for Christ's sake, and someone who has so much of vision in his life and for the country's auto sector! Again, the instant

Having seen all this and having been a victim of the instant mania myself, I am beginning to think that we are not the modern set of folks in this new century. I think, we should be remembered as the instant era - just like we had the neolithic era et al!


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