I remember the early years of
my career at IIT Madras. Difficult days to recount. There were very few of
my age in the department and almost every faculty was a good 15 years older
than me. I kept feeling some uneasiness in the air. This feeling kept
growing by the day to the extent that I thought the other faculty members
in the department were constantly scheming against me. There were many
moments that pushed me into thinking of quitting the place.
The isolation meant that my
focus grew on the negativity around me. This feeling kept
pulling me down and I wasted all the time lingering in negativity.
Obviously, the result showed in my performance.
With almost 7 years wasted
away and gone by sulking, whining and fighting through thoughts, behavior
and action, one day I woke up to the reality of my abysmal performance,
thanks one of my mentors who was kind enough to subtly point it out to
I decided to stop looking
back and took steps towards a wonderful world that I am in. Ever since, I
have been enjoying every moment that I spend with this campus. A
shift that I would never forget in my life.
The moment that shift
happened, everything seemed to fall in place. Whether it is getting
students to join me in my work or publishing or taking up new problems or
creating newer things and way - everything excited me! If number of
papers were a measure of such a shift, looking at the graph above you can
easily guess when that shift occurred.
Today, I see a lot of my
young colleagues going through a similar rut and I feel helpless. A lot of
emotional energy is lost. I am not for unwarranted advice. In only
hope this story of mine helps them realize that they are searching for ghee
when butter is at hand!