Six months ago:
“So what are you doing these days?”
“I am pursuing my Masters in Literature.”
“So you want to be a teacher?”
Enid Blyton’s St. Clair’s made me yearn for the midnight feasts and quirky French teachers of English boarding schools while Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe led me down a path of unknown solitude and voracious adventure. To paraphrase an oft-used analogy, ‘you are what you read’. That is not to say that everything penned by a great author was gold for me, there were some definite ‘snooze fests’, but not every legendary movie is exciting, nor is every vacation part of the bucket list.
My degree in economics only spurred me deeper into my own world of art and expression. Having been guided by a gifted teacher in school, I strove to bring out the literary in even the most mundane of economic indicators. I strongly believe that the humanities were meant to interact. Thus Capote’s Holly Go lightly left the pages of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and entered an article on the Great Depression.
My Masters allowed me to step into the institution whose glass I had previously just pressed my face up against. But then truly, ‘two roads diverged in a wood’ and a young mind saddled with social expectations and conventions looked uncertainly at the fork in her path. On one side lay academics, the route that every passerby recommended on the other the unexplored road towards corporate life.
Literature, or any art form for that matter, was never meant to exist in isolation. It symbolizes a journey through subjectivity, the search for a muse, the light that makes sense of the world around, one cannot hide from that world. My foray into corporate life has been just that, a culture shock but one that shall leave me much richer for it. After many hours spent working and reworking my resume, and facing intimidating interviews, the road less travelled seemed to be exceedingly daunting until Extentia offered me a role. I was entering a whole new world.
For instance, Extentia’s platform for all things innovative in technology, Techquarium, showed me how brain waves are tracked, boxes talk back, and that a different world is only a mask away. But one may ask, ‘How does a student of literature make sense of the digital frontier?’. What most don’t realize is that words can describe any wonder man can invent. As innovations reach new heights language lends them a helping hand. A boat needs both oars to sail forward or else it will be destined to travel in circles.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that those with a taste for the humanities often see the most common place situations and experiences morph into grand metaphors, a partial parent transforms into the blind King Lear, vanity comes alive in the self-absorbed Narcissus, and a motivated boss could reflect Alexander of Macedonia. An artist may have a brush and palate but without a vision, his canvas will be forever blank. Each passing day at Extentia provides me fresh perspectives, knowledge, and experience. Perhaps one day my canvas shall soak in all that I have seen and learnt, then I could proudly say:
“Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
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