MOTIVATION: Mayflies - Do UPSC aspirants have something to learn from them?


MOTIVATION: Mayflies - Do UPSC aspirants have something to learn from them?


You might be wondering that how did mayfly figured out on a page where we are supposed to read something related to UPSC Exam or the very motivation that we seek to go ahead with our preparation. Well you’ll have to read the following description of the life of this small fly to have insights to your answers.

Many of us go through phases of intense disappointment, depression, failures while on our journey to prepare for this coveted exam. Many are even afraid to step on this path fearing intense competition; some are allured by the high rewarding jobs in private sector and are disenchanted with the very idea of a career where we get to do something for the society and nation we live in. The idea of self gratification and fear of the pain and hard work one is required to put in acts as deterrence to many. Well we need to look at the inner motive which geared us to IAS exam. The ephemeral life of a mayfly and the sensual pleasure that it seeks (this is nothing but the interpretation of an author of the life of a mayfly) will make us ponder on the idea of very purpose of life.

The life of a mayfly starts with a stage where the eggs are laid on the running stream of water and from where they fall down to the bottom of sea and are then rested on the underlying rocks. The eggs go through processes of molting which is nothing but a stage in development of the mayfly. However various predators in the form of snails, caddis fly, larvae feed on these eggs and only a few manage to escape being the feed of other beings.  Sheer amount of luck you see, There is nothing that the eggs could have done to save themselves here. This (The sole prevalence of luck) is not the domain where humans are supposed to carry out their Purusharthas (Goals).

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The nymphs molt again and many of them are further eaten by frogs and fishes as they develop in their successive stages. The instinctive tendencies of these nymphs make them move upstream towards the surface of water as they develop and finally they’re able to open up their wings as a developed mayfly when they reach the surface. So we have here a fly who has just arrived at the spot and is ready to gaze at this amazing world. Isn’t it similar to the stage where we step in to prepare for this exam? Well its just a matter of imagination and correlation.

Though if you suppose mayflies to be heroes in certain way you’re wrong. They aren’t going to make social service their goal or even something as difficult as UPSC to crack as their aim. They’re all ridden by instinctive tendencies to seek mate for sensual gratification as soon as they gaze the world. They all gather in swarms above the stream to seek their potential mates to lay the foundation of next generation. Within minutes of mating the male mayflies collapse and die out of exhaustion and the females fall down on the water stream and die after laying their eggs.

This is all about the life of a mayfly, Their short lifespan of less than 24 hours and even few hours or minutes in some of their species, All they do is seek mates to lay the foundation of next generation. How bland or tasteless life you see. It is all but a matter of length of lifespan, humans might live for 100 years but what we do and seek makes all the difference. The goals we seek and the effort we put in makes us different from these creatures. We often get distracted by the fancy lifestyles of the people in our social circle and we question the worth of putting in so much of headwork for a carrier which might not offer us the perks as great as that of an employee of MNC posted abroad, The fame as great as a bollywood actor but one is sure to feel proud of a carrier which offers potential to fulfill the social and individual aspirations, to not just seek personal gratification but to make a difference in lives of others and above all an opportunity to become a mini universe of knowledge in oneself if  we prepare for it extensively, this I think is enough of an inspiration to tide us over all the lows that we go through, the restraint that we need to exercise for this demanding phase of preparation, to realize that things are not as great for us as mayflies where they’re all provided with their potential mates(Though they too compete for their potential match).

There is nothing more painful for the serious aspirants to fail to make to any one of the 3 successive stages of examination, One is bound to feel low, but to heal again and strive for worthy goals or to fall and die like a mayfly is all our choice.

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