What it’s like to be 24 for an Electrical Engineer turned Software Engineer (aspiring Entrepreneur).

It’s 13th December 2013 21:00 IST. I am drinking tea and pretending to read Hacker News but the fear is crawling in my mind. I am going to be 24 years old on 15th December 2013.

I don’t want to be 24. 23 is complex enough for me and I can’t lift the burden of being 24. I know I can’t help it, it’s just the inner child in me that’s trying to play tricks with my mind, thinking of some mojo.

So what’s bad about being 24?

Well for starters, the fact that I live in India is enough to make my life complex. Here in India, being 24 and bachelor means a perfect candidate for groom. All the relatives (especially aunties) keeps asking the same three questions:

Where do you work?

What’s your salary?

Have you thought about marriage?

I mean literally, give me some personal space. I am just (about to be) 24. I have to achieve some things in my life first. I have set some goals. I am just not ready for commitments yet.

In India it’s hard for people to believe that a person can be successful by bootstrapping his own business. The term “Entrepreneur” here in India is a synonym for “Jobless”. If you are not employed then be ready to hear some harsh comments from your relatives (though you don’t even know their first name, but their comments do matter to your parents; it’s still a mystery for me).

Nobody here cares about your open source contributions on GitHub (98% of Indian population have not even heard the word “GitHub” in their entire life, yet everyone acts like they know this stuff) or how good your code quality is (IMHO work quality is severely underrated in India, everything just needs to be done, the end quality does not matter, it should just work, that’s enough), the only two things that matters here are:

If you don’t fulfill any one of the above criteria, you are worthless (or go do an MBA, maybe then society will respect you), this may sound amusing, but it’s the bitter truth about Indian mentality.

Luckily for me, my parents were supportive to let me switch from Electrical stream to Software stream, and motivated me to pursue my dreams. And here I am, happily trying my hands on Software (and loving every moment of it).

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.