Essay: Maggie Robb – Automatic Upgrade


The short story is about an Indian boy named Ramesh. Ramesh and his grandmother is on an air-plane, travelling to Surrey to stay with Ramesh sister and her family. On the plane, Ramesh and his grandmother talks’ about him wanting to quit being a doctor, and instead go into the mobile phone business, his grandmother thinks it is a bad idea. Not long time after this conversation, the airhost-esses came with the meal and right after Ramesh grandmother passes away. While he still was in shock, he and his now deceased grandmother moved to first class to avoid people noticing. While sitting on the comfortable chairs in first class, Ramesh take is time to think about his training time as a doctor. While Ramesh was sitting in his own thoughts, he finds a letter from him to Nani excusing that he could not come to his grandfathers’ funeral with hope of forgiveness when he had finished his education as a doctor.

Characterize Ramesh:

Ramesh is an Indian boy, who is 26 years old unmarried man. He seems to be a responsible man. Who has his own things together. He is a doctor, and his grandmother/Nani, was very proud of him. In the story, he tells his grandmother that he does not want to be a doctor, but he want to go into mobile phone business. ‘but Nani, I will make much more money in the mobile phone business. This is progress.’ In this sentence, for me it says a lot about Ramesh and his connection to his family. He somehow feels responsible in the sense that he wants them, especially Nani, to be proud of him. Ramesh would probably keep being a doctor just to make Nani happy. When Ramesh was remind of the promise, he gave to his grandmother to be forgiving when he missed his grandfathers’ funeral he thinks. ‘How very high up I am now, he thought, and how very far way.’ This is like somehow a way of promising himself, that he will hold on, on his promise to Nani. Even though he might, had other dreams and plans for himself.

Comment on the grandmother and the grandmother’s expectations of Ramesh:

Ramesh’ grandmother is a decisive and stubborn woman. She is that type of grandmother who does not want her grandson to quit something; she knows he will be successful with. In contrast to Ramesh, who sees that the mobile phone business as progress and an opportunity to earn more mon-ey. When Ramesh says to his grandmother. ‘But Nani, I will make much more money in the mobile phone business. This is progress.’ She answered ‘No, Ramesh, a doctor in the family; that’s pro-gress. This is just commercial selling like your uncle Ishaq.’ Even though he tries to make his new choice of career relevant and spin it as a good thing for the family. She does not buy it. She wants Ramesh to succeed in life, both in his career and personal life. She let that be known, in her conver-sation with a random flight passenger, she tell him a bit about Ramesh.’ This is my grandson Ramesh, 26 years old and not even married. We are travelling to place called Surrey to stay with his sister who has three children; two boys and a girl. Her husbands’ family are in the dry-cleaning business.’ In that sentence, it was as if she compared Ramesh with his sister. And it could be a complain to him, that she make sure to point out that his sister have been able to find a husband, have children, while her husband runs a dry cleaning business. Ramesh’s grandmother does not seem to have bad intentions; all she wants is that Ramesh successful in this world.

Essay about young people today:

Young people today often have a hard time by finding out what they want to do when they grow up. They often change their education, if they find it hard or maybe if they want to be something else. Some of the young people do it for several times until they find the right thing for them.
In many families, that is a big problem. Maybe it is the pressure, that they have to choose from a very young age or maybe it is because for most of it is just hard to choose. Before it was a lot easier to make a choice, if your father was a cop then the son was going to be a cop. Basically. You ended up being something as your parents. For many others if their family could see a lot of potential in the child, then they could pace that child to move up the social ladder and be higher educated then the rest of the family.

In the short story ‘automatic upgrade’, it has the same case with Ramesh; it was interesting to read how he wanted to be something that is not a higher education, such as a doctor degree. However, Ramesh chose to take the right road to make his grandmother happy and proud of him. Even when his grandmother dies, he still hold on, on his career.


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