A Flame in Turmoil

As you may have guessed from my absence that I've been terribly busy (assuming, no, rather hoping that there are people who actually care about this blog), I kind of feel bad for not writing for a while. Life has been such that there was some travel and then there is growing pressure of my MS graduation coming closer.

I don't know how to explain the situation that I'm in as clear as I hope I ought to tell but I'll give it a shot anyway. Basically, I'm looking for PhD positions at various universities and turns out funding and stuff is terrible rare these days. And I had two unofficial offers from two normal univs in whom I was never interested in the first place and the profs sounded kind of pushy and wanted me to say yes immediately, which made me shrink away further.

I mean I would rather continue with Prof. X rather than go out and find a worse devil to be my jailer for the next 4-5 years. But lately, as the awesome universities I've applied to are acting lazy in sending me back their decisions (rejections?), I am constantly haunted by an old conversation that I had with Prof X.

"So Tanja, did you figure out where you gonna do your PhD?"

"Uhmm, no? I just finished applying. How can-"

"See Tanja, you must decide fast. I can't hold funds for you till the end. Either you continue your work here at 'Jaali University' or you tell me right away that you plan to leave. I've a Japanese girl on my top list that's planning to come here for PhD, I can't support you once I hire others."

"B-b-b-b-b-b-ut, how can I decide before hearing back from any univ? Couldn't you give me some time to decide? ("Oh you bastard, don't you blame Japan now" <- This is what I wanted to say but couldn't say)

"I don't care where you go. I need a PhD student starting from the next semester, either you or someone else. Maximum, I can wait till February, after that if you come to me asking for PhD funds, I certainly can't help you. Have a good day."

And with that he trotted away, that son of a ___, leaving me in turmoil. This happened three months ago, and so far I'ven't got a single offer. And I don't know what's gonna happen to my future. Worst case scenario, I return back to India, jobless and hopeless, with a degree which no one cares about.

***

Three days ago things somewhat changed. A university has now invited me for a campus visit on their expense; it's not an offer yet, but it's something like a streak of light, a droplet of hope, a flicker of a flame, or really I think it represents the loose, abandon, window door in my dark and dusty attic.


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Current Book: "Selected Stories" by Edgar Allan Poe
Current Music: "Powerless" by Nelly Furtado

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7 comments:

Shreya said...

Good luck Tanya...hope everything works out! Will keep my fingers crossed for you!! :)

sunil deepak said...

If prof. X at Jaali university is someone you don't like, staying with him for 4-5 years would be hell and you will hate it all the time, so why worry about wasting precious years of your life with somone like that? If it does not work out with some where you really want to go, wouldn't it be better to change gears any way? :)

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

Hey, I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I found some nice posts here. I might have commented on some of them, maybe, maybe not. It has been alarming to hear about more and more Indians abroad facing the kind of struggle that you are facing. However, we do not always know the reasons for why things happen to us. What prompted me to leave a comment was your dejection at things if they don't work out.
1. Education is about what you get to learn, not the degree at the end of it. Invest your time in the learning and forget about whether your degree is cared for.
2. Jobless is a good thing, it frees you up to do what your heart commands you to do. Jobless is a good thing because it stops stoking the fire of overconsumption and filling the pockets of your employer. Jobless is good, since it opens up the possibilities that you might not have looked at if you have a job.
3. Hopeless is a myth. Hope is perhaps the only thing that is keeping all of mankind going at a time when everything around us should make us feel defeated.
4. Worst case scenario - you will be home.
Keep the faith. The best is still ahead.

Deepak said...

i hope you are able to pursue Ph.D from an institute of your choice. All the best

CYNOSURE said...

well...all the best for your PhD... :)

Arkantos said...

Just keep saying, "Aal izz well" :P

Tanya said...

Thanks Shreya, sunil, Deepak, Cynosure, Arkantos...so very sweet of all of you!

And thanks so much Subhorup, reading your comment gave me a new surge of motivation and a feeling of fearlessness...thanks dude...thanks a million..

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My little body is aweary of this great world. An Indian PhD student horsing around in Europe.

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