“I wear my science background as a badge of honour”-me to myself after failing to decipher yet another piece of poetry
By luck or by bad luck, I landed a CGPA 10 in my tenth grade report card, something that virtually served as a big, red “Tested, OK” stamp on my forehead after an assembly line of sorts. Hurray, I was “smart enough” for science!
I could as well feign modesty, but who would believe me? So, I’ll be very blunt in putting it forth: we scienceys were the supreme rulers of this world. And well, the students who studied the arts were merely loafing around because they weren’t as good.
It wasn’t just us, everybody said so. While we sat in the recess solving Thermodynamics, they wandered about having a life. A life, of all things!!?? In fact when news floated of someone achieving something great in co-curricula, it would be considerable to us only if that person was studying science, for well there was nothing else the students of humanities did anyway.
But then well, school ended.
Standing at this vantage point, thinking back, my plummet into the dreary, dreary world of PCMB was probably best explained by Newton’s concept of Inertia- going with the flow.
Post school, I have opted to pursue a Bachelor in Science degree from Delhi University. Having lived in a world where my entire school life “I’m from science” scored me extra browny points with neighbours and relatives, it comes as a bit of a cultural shock when the same phrase is met with unamused, judgemental stares in college. For this is a world where studying Newton over Freud doesn’t really warrant me the “A-section”**.
College pushes you to expand your horizons and look beyond the dusty textbooks of Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry. And that push isn’t subtle in the least.
Sitting at the lunch table, I often find myself burying my nose in a plate of noodles, picking out vegetables with all the concentration in the world as my friends from English honours discuss the Metatheatrical references in Shakespeares Dramas. While debating the rightward shift in World Politics, when they stop to ask for my opinion, “I saw a pretty green bird!” is all I have left to say for myself.
While they sit discussing, debating important social issues plaguing the lives of the likes of us, I find myself breaking into the Periodic Table song in my head (which I don’t think I remember correctly anyway).
Like I said, it wasn’t as much passion as mere inertia that led me to study science and prompted me to revel in my thick-headedness thereafter.*** So, once again, being very blunt here, I do not think I’ve ever been a part of a lively discussion involving Dalton or Kekule. I don’t think my subject has ever served as anything but a burden two days before an exam for me. Probably the only reason it had ever intrigued me was the fact that it gave me more avenues for quantifying myself in the form of countless competitive examinations.
All things considered, it’s probably a scathing indictment on the mentality of people in the society that I was cited as an example to my cousin who had dared to opt for the humanities back in school days. Yes me, the person who survived two years on an unhealthy dependence on black coffee and spending a damaging amount of time scrolling through Science memes. Being mentally unhealthy does help you score browny points in this society.
Above everything, the realisation that probably hurts the most is the fact that my peers studying the humanities (the ones that weren’t Sharma uncles’ favourites; the ones that had been lesser mortals) are the ones that broke the state of “constant motion”, with good judgement and awareness being the “external forces”. (ref. First Law of Motion)
I hope this moment of candor doesn’t get me in trouble, but I don’t think I would’ve had the guts to study what my artsy friends do or interpret things their way and I concede, there might just be a chance that we aren’t the supreme rulers of this world. But that’s too far fetched a notion, as of now.
Signing off, revelling on pretty chemicals, funky smells and blatant pseudo-superiority.
* I do not own the picture.
** The “A-section” in school was where the students opting to study science were admitted; The “topper- section”.
*** I realise there are countless of people who are actually passionate about the sciences. But lets be real, what’s the ratio?
Aarnav’s Note: Sorry for the long delay between the guest posts I had promised. 3 more friends of mine are working on their posts, and I’ll try my best to get them to you as soon as I can!
Sumedha was a year ahead of me in school, and a fellow editor of the Annual School Magazine. She is one of the very few seniors I consider a close friend. Well known for getting roasted in our group, she’s helped me timelessly when it came to Chemistry (Wouldn’t expect a NEET student to help with Physics & Maths for JEE, would I?). She’s been a nice guide to me whenever I was facing issues in dealing with exam stress.
She had PCMB for her +2, and admit it or not, that is the toughest stream you can possibly have. The fact that she survived that is the reason she gained my respect.
Authors bio: I’m Sumedha Sengupta, a student of B.Sc (H) chemistry, first year. I’ve forever relied on exaggerating my uselessness as a coping mechanism. I write to provide myself yet another medium for this self-deprecative gratification. I plan on being a researcher someday (my views above were sort of hyperbolic, derived from things I have heard my friends say over the years). Waiting to hear from ya, I have a blog…. Check it out? Find me on instagram!