I am a software engineer

This is how he’d introduced himself to Kichu and everyone else in the room in 1998 – and to anyone and everyone he’d ever met since he’d started working a year ago.

And Kichu had remarked “No you are not. Only what you do for a living is software engineering – but YOU are NOT a software engineer.”

At that point this was quite a path-breaking statement. It made him wonder – “hmm in that case, who am I?” but only for a fleeting moment, and then he forgot about it though it hung around annoyingly at the back of his mind.

If I could travel back in time and see the sincerity in this man Sanjay-ver-1998 asking that question again, I would grab him by the collar and shout into his ears “THROW AWAY YOUR IDENTITY!! THROW AWAY ALL TRACES OF EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF YOUR SELF-CREATED IDENTITY – ALL YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE YOU HAVE BEEN ACCUMULATING AND BUILDING ALL THESE YEARS!! Find out who you are – and then recreate everything – everything again – from scratch. And this time… be REAL 🙂 ”

But luckily that’s more or less what Sanjay-ver-1998 actually ended up doing a little bit. And now he puts his name in big bold letters in a colorful blog – and may even occasionally introduce himself with “I am a software engineer” again just to be practical – but without meaning it literally anymore.

Hmm… I wonder what Sanjay-ver-2010, if one exists, will want to shout to me… 🙂


[Btw Richard Bach describes this concept of imagining himself in the past/future in his book The Bridge Across Forever – though I liked Bach’s other books more and this is not one that I’d really recommend, it had some interesting ideas].

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