Poor Post-Doctoral Fellow

September 4th, 2010

37, and jobless! Studying… rather researching and researching… now left searching for a job. That’s Subho for you. A hostelmate of mine who over the numerous packets of Britannia Pure Magic, became a friend in 1996, and remains a friend till today.
The only genius friend I have. But, alas like many a true genius his academic achievements have not translated into a good job and monetary gains.
Subho has spent dozens of hours trying to get me to understand what it all those 0s and 1s in programming actually mean. He’s tried explaining to me what writing algos (as he refers to algorithms) mean. It’s another story that I remain as well versed with super-computing, his forte, as I am with sky diving… even after these 15 years.
We are an IT superpower, but only a BPO super-power not the one for those who are really computing wizards. Our IT industry needs, cyber-coolies who take orders from the other time zones, not people who are capable of thinking… creating something anew.
That’s what he’s told.. all the time when he approaches many an IT firm that has itself splashed all over the news pages boasting about itself and about the country’s IT prowess. “Your place is in the West, maybe in the US, not in India. Your skills are useless here.”
Approach an MNC IT firm… and he is handicapped by the fact that his doctorate and post-doctoral fellowship come from India… the land of cyber-coolies. His degree may not after all be worth the price of the paper it is printed on… they probably think.
I am reminded of Grigory Perelman, the Russian genius, who solved the Poincare Conjecture and remains a recluse, living with his mother.
Subho stays with his mother alright. But, he is more human than Perelman. Thank God for that. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been in touch with me.
He interpreted Noam Chomsky’s phonology for me… whatever that is.
His guide has now advised him too the same as the great Indian IT firms. “Go abroad.”
“I have no money even for my passport that needs to be renewed,” is his refrain. “I am running on my reserves.”
The algos he wrote are now the property of his guide who is travelling the globe presenting the papers at seminars on super-computing.
There… another “brain in the drain”.
Why should we cry about brain drain then?

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