What’s next?

This is a question that I was asked multiple times during my vacation to Kerala last month. It was perhaps a way of conversation for them but I did not really have a good answer for this one despite knowing well before hand that I would be asked this question. For the past two days, this question has returned with a vengeance and has forced me to think along a future trajectory.

My bad graduational injection means that my life needs an orbital correction. Based on various conversations I had today and yesterday, these are the options I have narrowed it down to:

1. Go to Russia and learn about rockets
Russia is a country I admire for their rocketry prowess. I love the shear volume of rockets they have and they launch every year. It is a trade that I’d love to learn and it’s best to learn from the best. I am looking at Universities that offer post-graduation courses in Aerospace Engineering/Rocketry/special machines. I learnt that admission for international students closes on June 20, 2011. I think applying for the 2012-13 academic year will give me the benefit of learning some Russian and in the meanwhile accrue some work experience.

2. Join the Armed Forces via the Short Services Commission
I’d love to be in the Engineering Core of the Armed Forces and help use space to improve India’s military prowess. This option is a bit clouded because I’m not entirely sure why I want to do it and is my father’s dream (he has not told me so openly  – but I see it in his eyes sometimes) of what I should be doing.

3. Get some job – marry and settle down
I know it makes you go eek in your guts but for some people it’s a very good option. At various points in my engineering degree, experience has made me want to do this. Complete my degree – get some job that pays well – marry and settle down. Not exactly path breaking but gives you time for hobbies like astronomy, weather man, philosophy etc.

More options are yet to be considered – like being a liason officer with ISRO, going to Bhutan and settling down there, going back to my older interest of working with a museum, becoming a weatherman or becoming a sadhu and wandering in the Himalayas . I probably wouldn’t do some of these out of sheer laziness but these are thoughts that have passed through my mind as answers when relatives in Kerala asked me the question – What next?

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