Exceptionally Average

Dear Readers,

Fortunately or fortunately for you, Cyclone Bulbul has decided to keep me hostage in my hostel room for the weekend. Why Bulbul, why? Such devious behaviour from an innocuous name. But I guess I have no reason to complain. Blanket? Check. Unlimited access to mind-numbing online content? Check. Coffee within a radius set by my acute laziness? Check. With my most basic needs met, I feel optimistic that my secondary need for food and water will also be met. 😊

Typing the word ‘blanket’ made me feel cosy which for some inexplicable reason triggered an image of being stuck in the middle of something. If you’re thinking of being stuck in the middle, the only natural progression of thought for any rational person is to think of averages. Duh. If you did not follow that line of thought, it’s alright. Just goes to show that you are …. How do I put this nicely??… SANE. Don’t worry, the word ‘average’ did not trigger further unrelated thoughts in my brain. So today I will rant about averages.

It’s one of those words that goes largely unnoticed. Why though? Just because it’s so average? *Excuse my terrible humour but I should probably warn you that it’s not going to get any better as you progress through this article*. Until recently, I too, used to be quite pompous. The amount of time I would worry about being average was underwhelmingly below average. (Ok I couldn’t help myself 😛 ) I guess I always found myself in an environment where doing well did not require much of an effort. Teachers and mentors, who although did not qualify me as a prodigy by a long shot, did lead me to believe that I was well above the pack. Much good that did me! Anyway, fast-forward to my current scenario.. let’s just say that I will never underestimate the word average again.  

Being surrounded by a bunch of bright people in B-school can do wonders to keep your ego in check.. and your grades too :/ It’s unnerving how my grades have shown such an affinity for hovering around the middle in the last couple of months. It’s a torrid love affair that I did not give my blessings to. Continuous persuasions that they can do better fell on deaf ears.  Even if a solid ‘9’ comes their way, they aren’t going to bat an eyelid. Looks like they’ve settled for average *sigh*.

But you know what, I just realized that it’s the average Joes that go down in history! They’re the ones mentioned in every survey that you can get your hands on.. “The average Indian believes…” , “The average student aspires to… “, “On an average…”.. you get the drift. In fact, if you are an over-achiever, your achievements are most likely to be ignored while calculating most metrics. All that hard work just to get your scores branded as “outliers” and dropped off from most calculations? So sad. xP . Oh and another thing.. apart from contributing to society quantitatively, we also do our fair share of qualitative work. One half of the society aspires to be at least average and the other half feels good being above average. Are we awesome or are we awesome?

“Here’s to the crazy normal ones, the misfits averages, the rebels medians, the troublemakers modes, the round pegs in the square round holes… the ones that see things differently exactly the way are – they’re not fond of rules the ones that abide by the rules… it really is a blessing to be in stuck in the middle.” – Yes, I’ve butchered Steve Job’s beautiful ’97 speech..

Yours – forever in the middle,

Panya.

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