When boys are young they are asked – When will you become a man? Sadly people think becoming a ‘Man’ is attaining a particular age. If that is so then all boys will become men. I think attaining maturity is the sign of a boy becoming a man.

Here is a story of 3 young boys – commonality being I know them, they are boys and were all born in 1984 and are all known to me. For the purposes of this article will call them A, G and V. I call them the Orwell boys!

All the 3 boys got into an engineering college completely based on merits. All the 3 fathers could have signed cheques for 10,00,000 to get them admission in a ‘donation’ seat. All the 3 boys refused to accept the ‘donation’ cheque from the father.

I used to interact with all the 3 of them. ‘V’ was very clear that he wanted to do a Good MBA. G was sure that he would do a decent MBA, but fully paid for by his own income. ‘A’ was very clear that he would study further in his line of specialization – either in India or abroad, but largely paid for by scholarship.

On qualifying as engineers V got into IIM, Ahmedabad. A got into Maryland University (he had short listed 3 colleges in the world where he wanted to study, this was the second). G took up a job with TCS.

All of them qualified in 2007. V is working with Hindustan Unilever, A with a company in US and G has just joined for his MBA (full fees paid out of his own income – Rs. 9 lakhs saved from a stint in Saudi Arabia) at IMT, Ghaziabad.

To me these are young men.

I cannot but add another character – he is about 34 years of age. Rich, pampered kid! He did his MBA from many of the mushrooming colleges and worked in a few of the life insurance companies. They kept him in the ‘growing’ phase. However each job change was necessiated – due to lack of performance. Now as a last resort he has enrolled for a one year post graduate in a reputed institute. Fees is being paid by his mother. What happened to all the money that he earned are you asking? Well it was spent on petrol, mobikes, friends, products of ITC, products of UB group….and what have you! I would not be surprised if he completes his degree (normally in an MBA class there are no dropouts). I would be surprised if he can keep a steady job AFTER HE QUALIFIES! At 34 he is a boy.

Current update: I did the story in 2009. The current update (Jan 2014) is V continues to work in Unilever. A is still with a company in US, and has a big Indian operation too, and G works with a big consulting company in India.

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