Road Map to life?

This is not one of those sappy articles where I will tell you how to live your life or what are the rules that you should live by. But just something different. As kids we have very few decisions to make in life. The moment we are born the next 20 years of our lives are already planned for us. There are clear cut instructions, a Road map if you may to follow, which you have to follow precisely. The journey starts when you are maybe 3 and start muttering random syllables and your parents are overwhelmed with joy.

One fine day, you are dressed in some sort of a uniform and left at this unknown place with kids your age dressed similarly. Pre-school. Here begins your decade long journey of white shirts and grey pants/skirts. If you were a 90s kid from a middle class family, then you would have been familiar with the phrase "Humara beta toh engineer banega!"
You go through school trying to get a single digit rank because you happen to be an above average kid and "Sharma ji ka beta toh kitna padhta hai". This perpetual competition between you and Sharma ji's kid becomes a part of your school life. All tests becomes goals for you. Want a new cycle, get an A on the next test and you also learn to live that way.
Among-st all this, you have just started to have fun with friends and be a little independent or rebellious when the dreaded three year phase hits you in the face. Your parents start you off by saying "Work hard these three months then have fun the rest of your life". Lie. Blatant lies. In your face lies. College is no peace of cake, you have to work damn hard because everyone around is of the same level. And after college there might be a little relief, but I guess that doesn't stay. Well, this is as far as I have come so I can't comment on what is yet to come.
Yeah so getting back to engineering preparation and IIT. You get enrolled in coaching for IIT-JEE. Studying becomes your life and books become your companions. You sleep, eat, talk of Schodinger and Albert Einsten and how every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Yeah I know sort of nerdy.
You somehow manage to get into a decent college and finally get all the independence you have been craving since your early teens. These four years are truly the best and the most important years in your life. They not only give you a career but also make you the person you are going to be for the rest of your life. And these 4 years also seem too short, never enough time. Just as you become a little mature, you see yourself standing on the outside of those iron gates facing life.

Now, what?
What is the next task?Next Challenge?New Conquest?Where to go from here?

The roadmap that you started on when you were 3 ends here, does not give you further directions.
The paper clutched in your hands is useless now, you have to figure out everything on your own. Make your own decisions and your own mistakes. There is no rule book anymore.The roadmap to life only takes you so far, the rest is up to you. Are you game?


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