Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Brother-In-Law's Graduation

I know, of late, this blog has become more of a journal, a narrative of whatever is going on in my life, rather than the expression of opinions and thoughts that it used to be more often. But there is just so much going on in my life these days.

On Sunday morning, after the visit to my mamaji's place, we set out for Philadelphia where we were to attend Jatin's brother's graduation from Wharton Business School. We didn't know before hand if it was in an open air place or an auditorium. As it turned out, that particular day was especially windy and not too sunny. I was carrying a jacket, since I am not yet used to the weather in the area in general, but Jatin wasn't, and he did feel pretty chilly.

So anyway, there were about nine hundred people in the graduating Class of 2009 and it did seem like a huge number when they filled up a huge stadium. It was a little overwhelming for me, and also for Jatin to an extent, since Jatin's graduating class had only about eighty people in it. There were a lot of Asians in there. The number of Indians was definitely more than ten percent. And lots of Chinese and Japanese folks. According to the awards lists and my general perception, those are the most hard working folks of the whole lot.

They invited Nobel Laureate Mohammad Younis to address the students. He talked of how he has been a banker for the poor, especially for the women who had always been brought up to believe that they should not touch money, and if somebody should handle money, it should be their husbands. It's pretty remarkable, how he has made women in rural Bangladesh more independent, financially and otherwise.

One of the students who spoke on behalf of the others mentioned how none of them thought, when they left their jobs two years ago, that a lot of them would leave this platform with a degree but no full time job. It's quite hard hitting but true. I'm amazed at the courage that guy had, to say something like that on that stage, in front of the graduating class and their families.

Speaking of families, when the Dean came to address the students, he asked them to take a moment to thank their families for their support and sacrifice. He asked them to stand up and face their families. This is something so basic, so fundamental, and yet we forget these things along the way.

We took a good look around the campus after the ceremony. University campuses in this country are generally quite large and beautiful. The University of Pennsylvania is no exception.

This was the first time that I attended a significant event in my new family. It felt good, I felt more connected to the family.

2 comments:

amitbhatnagar said...

"One of the students who spoke on behalf of the others mentioned how none of them thought, when they left their jobs two years ago, that a lot of them would leave this platform with a degree but no full time job."

Yup.. That was surely a bold thing to say at one's graduation ceremony. And that's really scary to imagine!!
:-|

Bhavya said...

By the way, Bhatti, wahan pe itne Indians mein koi Amit nahin tha :P