Saturday, June 7, 2014

Only ENGINEERS can write books

I write this a largely satisfied man. Largely satisfied.

I had disastarous nightmares just before the release of my first book that none would pick it up, and I would receive death threats from those who mistakenly picked up. But Touchwood, the response has been terrific so far - been getting exciting feedback, shipments are going at a decent clip and so on..

But, not everything has been hunky dory, as I woke up this morning to see this email.

Dear Mani,

I just read your book. And must I say it was terrific.....*effusive praises hidden for the sake of humility*....Every single line of the book....*hidden praises*...I will propose your name for knighthood...*extremely adulatory text*....

And it went on for a few more lines, the contents of which I have consciously left out to be not typecasted as boastful. But, the mail ended with a line that made me seethe with anger and made my blood boil with rage.

"The only one thing I still can't come to terms with HOW ON EARTH CAN AN ENGINEER LIKE YOU WRITE BOOKS? ENGINEERS ARE ONE OF..."

I stopped reading after that. Had he been in front of me, I would have done exactly what Mourinho did when some reporter once congratulated Chelsea for playing good football. I would have ripped the last bits of the microprocessors of my laptop up his...

But, he was someone whom I have never seen or heard from before, hence I took a pacifist approach and calmly sent out my well-thought out reply.

Hello Sir,

Thanks for your mail..I will cut all crap and get straignt to the point. I want to give you three reasons why you were completely wrong about your conceptions about Engineers. I am sure you will agree at the end of it that if at all there was a clan that was born to write stories, it is us - THE ENGINEERS

1. Engineers have the greatest stories in mind

My engg college was in Chennai. Well, yes, technically, but that was if Chennai was next to Pondicherry. Because, my college was literally closer to Pondicherry than to Chennai. I travelled approx 50 kms up and down for college everyday. Now, don't be surprised when I say that I was the closest from a engg college to a city in all of my group of friends. One of my friends, Shalil Kumar Guha, studied in a college in Durgapur, for whom the closest known of civilization was Kolkata, a further 200 kms away. Another friend, Raj Dhoreliya, studied engineering from Jabalpur, where they still consider Harappa/Mohenjodaro as the most advanced cities of the world.

Now, imagine, the amount of travel and hardships each of us went through in our blessed engg buses to make it to those lectures. If only, all the engineers decided to write stories about all the dreams during those 4 yrs of sleep.

2. Engineers have mastered the art of imagination

For most of the guys like me when in school, joining engineering was about the most exciting thing life could ever give us. Of all the things that excited us about engineering - the foremost among them was the freedom from the Boys school regime. Finally, all those re-runs of Minnale/Saathiya we watched would have its day. Or so, we thought then.

But sir, you won't understand or believe the pain we experienced when we realized that our boys school was heaven. Never could you have seen million dreams shatter to pieces at the same time as when you notice guys on the first day of their engg college.

For the girls with whom the next four years HAD to be spent with - every single one of them looked like cousin sisters of a Kovai Sarala (Now, If you don't know who she is, google up for reference or visit any of your nearby engg college). And that too, with the boy-girl ratio in engg colleges at 1:100, meant that there were 100 guys sweating it out in the gym to take KOVAI SARALA out for a binge date with Dominos Pizza.

But, looking back at those four years, there couldn't have been a better teacher than Sarala to teach us those hardlearned lessons in creativity, magination, fantasy as we tried to desperately fit Sarala's figure into a romantic trigger our minds craved for.

3. Engineers have what it takes to "Wield the long handle to Good effect"

From Point 1 and Point 2, I am sure you're convinced that Engineers have the best imaginative stories. Ever. I can understand what's running through your mind now. Haa, flash of brilliance anyone can have. One can write a few short stories or a sonnet with that. How can they write big books about it, anyways? Right?

Well, I am sorry. You're not Right. Our competitive training and meticulous exams over four years have well prepared us for this final hurdle.

Here I propose a simple exercise for you. Goto the nearest library, and pick up a copy of an engg book and memorize the definition of a Diode. Don't worry, its just a two lined definition, not even 20 words. Memorised? All ready. Now, answer this question which is posed to every engineer before their graduation ceremony.

Explain Diodes in not less than 60,000 words. (16 marks)

I guess I have removed all cobwebs of your doubts with that single question. Not a single enigeer who has graduated has failed to get a 16 on 16 for that question. My friend Harendra Rathore still holds the Guiness record for writing 75,000 words for that question.

I hope its all clear to you and you agree with me that if at all there is a clan born to write stories - its the ENGINEERS

I have been very patient with my explanation here, in the hope that you'll avoid all reasons for me to file a defamation suit against you. Apologise profusely to all my engineering brethern or prepare a bail bond in advance.

Yours Lovingly,


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