24 August 2014

Software Engineers of Bangalore: What's with the backpack, dude?

You don't need a keen eye to spot a quintessential software engineer on the streets of Bangalore. The city's lousy with them. In fact, you don't even need an eye: just hurl a brick with your eyes shut, and you are likely to hit one (or more!). I've known Bangalore for 8 years, I know! :-)

Most of them are nerds and geeks (obviously, they are 'engineers', duh). And that shows in everything that they do, or don't. Eye glasses, HUGE smartphones, laptops, t-shirts-jeans-sandals combinations, semi-grown beards, head/ear-phones, a startled or hunted (insecure?) look. Virtually impossible to miss. And then there's backpacks! Oh, the backpacks! To me it seems like a typical Bangalore engineer's 'look' is incomplete if he isn't carrying a backpack.

Why the backpack?

You are not en-route to your MBA coaching classes. You're not out shopping. You aren't really carrying a laptop in it, either (it's true most of the time). I see you hanging out in one of the malls (or the Brigade road), alone or in a herd, window-shopping, mostly, doing little else. So, no real reason to carry that stuff-holder on your back, right? And yet, you cannot head out downtown without it! It's not (sorry, but it's so not!) the coolest fashion-accessory, even for guys, so it doesn't make you look any less boring. If anything, it mostly nullifies anything cool or attractive about your appearance. And yet, you wouldn't part with it if your life depended on it. So here's my question: what's with the backpack, dude?  

The reason I'm picking on backpacks is because I find them to be the most putting-off of all the nerdiest, geekiest accessories, physical appearances, and characteristics. I cringe when I see your loud t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers colour combinations. I roll my eyes on your ridiculously large phones, but they are still in my tolerance limits. I'm okay with your complete disregard to the state of your beards, hair, etc. I know that's the typical look of the species, so I won't even argue. But that backpack gives me a twitch. Sorry, but it does. 

Really. (insert sounds of crickets chirping)

Don't get me wrong, guys: I'm one of you! An engineer among the krillions. A self-proclaimed nerd with tech-oriented hobbies and interests, even in entertainment. I unwind watching 'how it's made' and 'how do they do it. And I wear glasses. :-) So I can understand and put-up with almost all of your obsessions and quirks. But the backpack is a bit over-the-top even for me. 

All said, I respect your nerdism, and I have no serious prejudices. I just took this chance to jab at you a little, my brothers. If you see yourself in the description, have a good laugh! So, Peace! :-)

Thanks for reading!

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