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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dreams Unlimited




The door of the lift opened and I saw him sitting on a stool in neat brown uniform. His hair fluttered under the fan, which was throwing a strong gust of wind.

‘Which floor’ he asked? I was holding the hand of my father and must have been five or six year old. I was in awe of the man who pressed the button of the lift and the door closed softly as the upward ascent began. While coming back, again I noticed the young man in the lift who brought us back from where we had started. This is an interesting job! Keep going up and down throughout the day with breaks for tea, lunch etc.

Next, we were going through a market and I saw a painter sitting with a huge drawing board in front of him and deeply engrossed in sketching the face of a boy, almost my age sitting in a small chair. The picture was fascinating and he had drawn a face which resembled the boy! Not bad at all!

You must be wondering by now why I am narrating these small incidents which are totally unrelated. Yes, they appear incoherent but these meant a lot to me at that time and at my tender age. These were the professions I was contemplating for my future! In fact there are so many more. Each time the postman delivered letters at home, even that job was considered as fine, as it involved meeting people especially to deliver the telegrams or money orders. The one which was most impressive by far was the newspaperman in the morning! He would wrap the bundle of newspaper and sometimes the comics ( Phantom/ Mandrake) or my favorite magazines, ‘Parag’ or ‘Nandan’ and hurl it up in the air, for the packet to land neatly on our second floor balcony! He had a perfect aim and I wondered why he was not picked up in the different marksmanship games played that time.

There we no computers and mobiles so most of the games were played outdoors and the only time we played indoor games was in the hot summer months or during rainy days.
We would watch ‘Ramlila’ being enacted on stage and wait eagerly for Lord Rama to wed Sita and thereafter see her being kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. These would fire the imagination to no end. The time went by and the ones who impressed me now were my uncles in Army who would visit us in vacations. They would be dressed in immaculate Olive Green with glittering stars on their shoulders! These people were the real life heroes who impressed me more than the cine actors. Other kids in the colony wanted to become like their father or uncles. Some wanted to even become doctors and engineers. One way to fulfill the dream was to enroll for Boy Scouts and NCC ( National Cadet Corps) in the school!

During the years of Indo China war, in 1962 and subsequent wars with Pakistan, the stories of heroism of likes of Abdul Hamid who destroyed seven Patton tanks, Keelor brothers (Denzil and Trevor) both had shot down the Sabre jets , Fg Officer Nirmaljeet Singh Sekhon who shot a couple of Sabres jets before loosing his life were the tales on which I was brought up. The stories of raw bravery set afire the imagination of doing something good for the country in one’s lifetime. These stories were continuation of a saga beyond the epics, Mahabharta and Ramayana and Ramlila days. These were the stories written in my own life time by the soldiers who were as brave as legendary Arjun or Lord Rama. The die was cast and it was decided early in life to follow the footsteps of these great achievers.

I eventually did don a uniform after completing my college and joined the Indian Navy to start my career. A long and a satisfying inning involved a lot of adventure and learning besides getting disciplined. I was fortunate to join the world of telecommunications, soon after, which was just on the verge of crossing ‘The Tipping Point’. The first place I visited was Israel and was surprised to see the discipline. Everyone is required to serve the Armed forces after completion of school on reaching the age of 18 years for three years for men and two years for women. They are on ‘Reserve Call’ to join when asked for the rest of their lives. This helps in instilling discipline besides a love for the motherland. One does not come across petty crimes. One can see the young men and women manning the Golan Heights in North border with Lebanon to all along the Negev Desert up to Eilat in South. The preparedness to fight wars and terror by the state is known world over. A link to an inspirational video of what women have achieved in Israel Defense Forces is a must watch!(www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4kjNIL8prM)

Our country has grown by leaps and bounds in many areas but I am sure most readers would agree with the downslide in values, the growing corruption, environmental degradation and many more ills, are the offshoot of this lopsided growth. A sense of discipline is what is lacking and one of the ways to instill discipline is to engage every citizen in serving the armed forces and para military forces for one/ two years . The greatness can only be achieved by people and a nation which is disciplined. Many a young dreams can still be achieved just by leading a disciplined life!

Hold fast to dreams for if the dreams die life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly- Langstom Hughes

PS- Image kind courtesy Google and You Tube link

74 comments:

  1. What a fascinating life you've led. This is a wonderful read.

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    1. Thank you Lady Fi for that very kind comment!

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  2. :-) This post took me back to my own childhood and I am laughing at all the things I wanted to be when I grew up! In some sense, life was a little more real back then, without technology to make life more convenient.

    Love how you write, Rahul! Thank you for sharing!

    Happy Ganesh Chaturti to you and your family!

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    1. We all have similar kind of memories of the times gone by Vidya!Thank you for your very kind comments and wish you and family a very joyous Ganesh Chaturthi!

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  3. Thanks for sharing incidents from your life which set me thinking! Dreaming is important and accomplishing it is more important! A dream without discipline becomes a delusion..

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    1. Unless we dream how can we work for them:)Thanks a lot Padmaja!

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  4. Aha Fantastic very inspiring post Rahul sir!!! Yes Armed force is one thing that could get back some discipline back in all of us!!!

    Hold fast to dreams for if the dreams die life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly... Loved this !!!
    Your experience is like guide book to all of us!

    Keep writing keep inspiring us Rahul sir!

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    1. A big thanks Ramya and it is a pleasure to read your kind comments! Hope you managed to see the video clip:)

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  5. I remembered the Champak, Nandan and Parag of my own childhood along with many other beautiful memories. You've lead a very interesting life, Rahul! Thanks for giving us glimpses of it.

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    1. We have seen quite a few things which were similar in those days ! Thanks for your very kind comments, Rachna:)

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  6. Such a cute nostalgic peek you gave us into your life. I wonder how many kids would today dream of becoming a liftman or a newspaperman when they grow up. I agree with the discipline part, without some more attention is given to this point we can never touch the heights that we dream to reach one day.

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    1. We led a very carefree life and am always grateful to god for that!Aspirations have changed with times now, Arti:)

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  7. Thank you rahul sir, for such a post and that link to video...set me thinking.......

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    1. I am really happy that you liked the post, Priyaa:)

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  8. The Israel part just blew me apart sir. They do all things uniquely! and now we know, why there are so less petty crimes and more discipline there.

    When we were kids, my uncle asked all the kids what they wanted to become when they grow up. All had answers like doc, engineers,etc. My brother (5 year old) said, 'bus conductor' :-)
    That was because he got to give out these stapled tickets, and ring the bell in mumbai.

    Nostalgic post Rahul sir. Somehow with these posts about the old times, one never really wants them to end right. Never want to let go of those times!

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    1. Jenny, I have seen a bit of the world and Israel is a unique place which I consider as a perfect place to learn all the right values:) I am grateful to you to have found some incidents which you could relate with your own life as well:)

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  9. Phantom - mandrake WOW.. those two words brought back so many memories.

    I for some reason always wanted to join the army and sadly thats what I could not do , I still would want to ask why was i not selected..

    the video is gr8

    thank you sir.

    Bikram's

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    1. God had a lot of better things in store for you Bikram hence you did not join the Army:) Thanks a lot for those nice comments!

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  10. Beautifully written. When I was young , I too wanted to be a doctor, or at least a nurse, a engine driver, however we end up totally different. No regrets.
    Yes we should never stop dreaming.

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    1. Thanks a lot Rama to have struck chord with your thoughts and the way you too felt in younger days:)

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  11. So you've lived your dream. NIce Sir. I remember when I was young, my choice of profession changed day to day, from being a Marketing manager, to a Banker, to a teacher, to what not.. :-)

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    1. Ashwini, god has been kind to grant me my wishes and also to have nice readers like you to see my dreams being realized even now:)One of your posts stayed in my mind which perhaps prompted me to write this one!

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  12. Very nicely and profoundly written!

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Ekta and thanks a ton for the kind comment:)

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  13. Such a beautiful and fascinating life you've had !! loved this post!!

    Alessia

    THE CHILI COOL
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  14. Its fascinating how different things influence our dreams and future careers from such a young age, its so great to see that you followed one of your own, and that too, being one of bravery and self-discipline. I am not sure I know of many young people who in todays time would willingly want to serve in the navy or army. You should do motivational speaking at schools and universities and perhaps encourage the younger generation, have you though of this?

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    1. Sam I fell honored with your comment and never realized that I could work as motivational speaker:) A huge thanks for having liked the post !

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    2. Thanks fro taking the time to stop by. Have a great week!

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  15. very nice ..brought back those memories.. I loved those comics .. phantom n mandrake one time ..no computers or cell phones jus reading and reading..spending endless hours in books
    You have expressed nicely must say :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Harman ! I am happy I could evoke some happy memories:)

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  16. It was such a pleasure to read this. Love way you tied up all those little things. And thank you for the tidbit about Israel. :)

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    1. It is always a pleasure to read your nice comments Divya and also that you liked the tid bit about Israel:)

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  17. itz sounds relaxing...gr8 comics....

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  18. Good read, and Rahul Ji- nice to know about your childhood interests :) When I was in sixth sem of my engineering I applied for Fighter Pilot in Indian airforce but was rejected as I had poor eyesight. I don't know how my life would be different if I were a pilot!

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    1. Such things are never forgotten Kusum:) thanks

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  19. You have had a charming life as a young lad then an exciting and peripatetic life as a Naval Officer. At the end of it all it is very discouraging,disappointing and frustrating to see our country at the edge of a precipice:( Yes the discipline level is very low.The ills & evils are growing by leaps and bounds. And people in high places are setting bad examples what with Telecom scams,Coal gate,mining scams,land grabbing....the list is endless. Black money is on the rise and has reached gargantuan proportions. We are truly in the midst of Kalyuga as was prophesied in our legends ! Very sad indeed !

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    1. Rama since you live abroad you could easily see what discipline can achieve! The monkey business must end!

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    hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about. Can’t wait to read more from

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  21. Discipline is indeed very important, and nowadays we all lack it! You ended the post with a beautiful quote. Feels really good to read your work after so long. Hope you've been well Sir :)

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    1. Good to see you back Juhi after your prolonged absence:) thanks a lot

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  22. Childhood, I always dreamt of becoming housewife. :D

    I agree we need honesty and discipline can be good start, I think Britain have or had this rule. Not sure, read it somewhere.

    Thanks for a lovely read Sir.

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  23. Thanks Saru you must be happy as a nice housewife now:)

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    1. As a kid, I was amazed to see housewives. I am not a housewife in the true sense as I work from home. I can't work in US, so I work for Indian companies.

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    2. Saru, I know you work and that too as a Company Secretary! I stand corrected that you are a professional and who runs the house:)

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  24. My son was always a dreamer! Like you say, he used to admire everyone, everything, when he was small! I can still see the expression in his eyes.

    What you say is right Rahulji! We too should have the rule to serve at least 2-3 years/get military training and serve our country. Because of lack of discipline, people have become self-centred. Nobody bothers about anybody.

    Good to know you, Rahulji!

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    1. Indiscipline is the prime reason for the chaotic state! Hope things will look up

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  27. Great post and nicely narrated the things inspired you... And you are very true about discipline! There are many small countries set example and I wish we follow the same to achieve a greater disciplined state.

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    1. Thanks Jeevan . High time to do something before it is too late

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  28. My God, Rahul, you did want to become a host of things. As a child I also wanted to become lots of things: doctor, businesswoman, model (I can't believe that now, but its true). Thanks for this wonderful post. You blogs are a delight to read :)

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    1. Rachna as kids we dream a lot but as we grow we feel. Dreams cannot come true which is wrong! I have been lucky to see them coming true. A huge thanks for your comment and to know about your dreams too

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  29. My country Colombia had a mandatory 2 years of service. Of course, only those who couldn't afford to pay off someone to avoid the mandatory time ended up going. I don't that serving made them better citizens especially when they knew so many others who had the financial capability didn't go.

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    1. Nice to know another perspective and a big thanks for visiting my blog!

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  30. Great post. Well witten. Love the quote too.

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  31. Interesting post and your desire for various jobs are inspiring! Great to know u worked in Indian Navy. Proud of u rahul buddy :)

    Hugs
    Shilpa

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    1. A big thanks Shilpa for that very nice comment!Nice to know you too:):)

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    1. Wow thanks for your nice compliment Francesca:)

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  33. Rahul Sir,
    i think most of us can relate with this post bcoz at some point of our life we all think similar way.....
    when i was a kid, while crossing any cross road i used to watch that traffic police and think how powerful he is, everyone is obeying for making their way ahead and i used to think becoming the same.....:)

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    1. We are same in many ways Irfan and I agree with you:)

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  34. Frankly, when you narrated the job of the lift operator in the beginning, I too wanted to become one . Your posts, as I understood most often have a mention of your childhood days and your time in Army..Great read Rahul sir..

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    1. Thanks a lot Tom for liking the post:) It is a happy coincidence you read most of my posts that were about the childhood or life in Services! It is always a pleasure to see you here!

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  35. What a lovely read, Rahul. The innocent dreams of childhood and two great careers. We can't thank our troops enough for being in the armed forces. As for corruption, with more people realising why it happens in India, to my mind, that is the tipping point. I feel hopeful.

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    1. A big thanks KayEm for your kind comment!Indeed I had the good fortune to see the two ends of different jobs:) I too am hopeful that the rot will be stemmed before it is too late!

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