Degree, Pedigree and all that Jazz!

I recently started watching the American TV series Suits again after a break of couple of years. The plot  revolves around Harvard educated lawyers and amongst them is one black sheep, who is brilliant at what he does, but does not have a Harvard degree. Apart from breaking the law (practising law without a degree), the more important thing is that the law firm hires “only” Harvard Law Graduates. And they are quite snobbish about it. As Louis Litt says, he does not want to impure their sanctum with people who have not studied in Harvard.

This does not happen only in TV shows or movies. As they say art reflects real life. While hiring people, recruiters give importance to education and what alma mater he belongs to. People graduating from eminent institutes are given preference over others. No doubt, the quality of education might be better in those institutes, but it does not guarantee that the candidate will perform better than the ones belonging to lesser known institutes. In Gujarati we have a saying that “Bhantar karta Gantar chadhe” What you have learnt in life is more important than what degrees you have.

Sadly, people get blinded by the superficiality. Take the case of Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi. Rahul Gandhi is supposedly Harvard educated (he got in Harvard due to quota system (with or without donation) and then was moved to another college in Florida (apparently due to security reasons), where he completed his graduation. While Narendra Modi is not much educated (his degrees are debatable) and the opposition feels proud in mocking him to be a chai wala (he used to work in his uncle’s canteen). It does not matter that under Rahul’s leadership, the Congress has failed again and again to regain it’s lost glory and Narendra Modi has an experience of being Chief Minister of Gujarat for 22 years and won majority in Loksabha in 2014 due to his excessive campaigning.

Rahul Gandhi has been an MP of Amethi (Gandhi’s homeground) and avoided losing to Smriti Irani just by a whisker in 2014. He has been active in politics since 2004 and has held various positions in the INC and affiliated parties / organization but he has no achievements to show for his more than a decade long political career. The only reason he is being promoted as the next Prime Minister of India is because of the surname Gandhi. Even in his political campaigns he comes across as an immature individual who is just interested in taking jibes at the opposition.

Narendra Modi on the other hand has been involved in politics since a young age and the work he does is for all to see. (Not a Bhakt, but I do see him working relentlessly towards India’s development – My only grouse with him at the moment is that he exaggerates in his speeches and does not stop his own people from goofing up)

It is a sorry state of affairs that someone is awestruck by Rahul Gandhi because he is “Harvard educated” and ashamed that the country’s PM is a chai wala. Whatever you have against Modi, at least you should be proud of the fact that your country gives someone a opportunity to rise against the odds. That a mere canteen wala boy can be a Prime Minister of your country one day. A bus conductor can become a famous movie star and earn love of crores of people globally. Tiffin Carriers can become a case study in Harvard. College drop outs can become entrepreneurs.

Unless and until we change this attitude, how are we going to tell our kids that marks don’t matter? How are we going to stop kids from killing themselves because they fell few marks short of the cut off percentage? So let’s stop being snobbish about the education and degrees and instead give importance to the knowledge and skills of a person.


Life was becoming rough,
Everyday had become tough,
It seemed I had lost it all,
And happiness had taken a fall,
Lived a dream for many years,
And then it left me in tears,
I was left with no hope,
Every moment was difficult to cope,
But now it is the end of that phase,
Now only happiness is what I chase,
Doing what I love to do the best,
Enough time to play, Enough to rest,
Bike Rides & Night Out,
Outstation trips without a doubt,
Weekend Mornings for a game of Cricket,
Evening time with a movie ticket,
Meeting friends all old & New,
Staying up until the morning Dew,
All these things I had missed a lot,
A few good lessons that life has taught,
Life has its own Ups & Downs,
Sometimes u laugh & Sometimes u frown,
It’s no good reason to live in the pasts,
Live your life till the time it lasts!

– Sujit Shetty

Live Roller Coaster!

Some days life is like walking on a plain road, some days you encounter steep hills on the way as well. But on some days you would also find your day is nothing short of a ride in the most exciting roller coaster. Sharing here one of the most thrilling days of my life!

Up: Boss calls me to meet him. We discuss work to be done for a new client. The meeting goes on & on. I am excited as it is one of the huge media company at the moment.

Down: Me & H leave together from work. The walk till the station is our time to talk about our life & life’s plans & part of our daily routine. He is not keeping well that day & needs to leave at 6. He is hovering outside boss’s cabin to tell me that. I am stuck in meeting & not able to leave with him.

Up: Boss knows about our routine, realises what H is upto & tells him not to worry & he would drop me to station personally. H leaves. I was grinning inside, not sure how H felt about that.

Up High: Boss rides a bullet & I get to ride a bike for the first time in my life. I was fatter back then & not sure if I would fit on the bike. Thankfully, boss had a slender figure & I managed. The first time on the bike was THRILL MAX. Of course I was scared a lot but thrilling nevertheless. I was also carrying a bag of files to be carried for work to the new client next day.

Up Higher: it was monsoon & raining. The feeling that I had just been on a bike for the first time made me euphoric along with getting the assignment of the media company. The rains helped in surging the excitement. I had kept my umbrella & the bag of files on the shelf in the train.

Down Low: When my station arrived, I got down without my umbrella & the bag. I reached the auto stand & realised something was missing! My bag of files! I panicked & started crying & didn’t know what to do!

Up: There was a girl next to me in queue for auto rickshaw. She saw me crying & asked me the reason. I told her about my bag. She told me that she had a friend travelling in the same train & would ask her to get the bag. There was hope!

Down: This happened years ago & mobile phones were not so easily available with everyone. Neither of us had a mobile phone.

Up Higher: That girl’s friend had one. We rushed to the nearest PCO, called her up & asked her to wait at her station with my bag. I called up my home, told mom about the situation, thanked that girl profusely, rushed back to station, took the next train available, found that girl’s friend, grabbed my bag, took the train to home & cried happy tears!!!

This is one experience in my life that I will never ever forget!!! I still think of that girl & wonder what would have happened if I wouldn’t have met her. Miracles happen in a strange way & for strange things!