Childhood dreams

Last Updated 30 September 2018, 17:47 IST

As a school kid, my first dream was to become a firefighter. When my ‘chaddi dost’ convinced me that a firefighter doesn’t fight fires on a daily basis, I desired to be a bus driver instead. But when I saw the stylish mannerisms of one of our bus conductors, the decision to become a conductor like him was instant.

When my classmate Mary informed me that her uncle, a train driver, would travel all over the country with his family free of cost, I started tying a scarf round my head imagining myself to be an ‘engine‘ driver.

Soon, the engine driver had to give way to an airplane pilot after an air-hostess took me to see the cockpit on my first journey by plane. But my mother didn’t want her only son risking his and others’ lives mid-air and made my desire vanish in thin air.

Literally exhausted with career options, I decided to join the noble profession of teaching and this received wide acceptance. But when the time came for choosing my career, the job of a policeman landed in my lap unexpectedly. Though becoming a cop was the most popular desire among my schoolmates, I had wanted to be different. When all my efforts to change my job turned futile, I grudgingly accepted what came my way.

My career as a cop gave me umpteen opportunities to realise all my childhood dreams, albeit in fleeting moments. When a cop’s son, a pilot, made me sit behind him in the cockpit of a passenger plane for a considerable time, I became a commercial pilot. And when I sat in the simulator of a Hawk aircraft at Bidar Air Force station, I became a fighter pilot!

When deputed to the Road Transport Corporation as its Director, I travelled in buses all over the state to learn the nitty-gritty of a busman’s life. I ate with them in bus stand canteens and roadside dhabas and enjoyed the tastiest foods. Though I didn’t drive a bus, I performed the role of a conductor too. When a conductor took me to meet his former colleague, I was delighted to meet the heart-throb of millions, Superstar Rajinikanth!

As the Head of Police Training, I taught trainee police officers regularly and partly realised my desire of becoming a teacher. In this capacity, I was once travelling by train to Hubli. The Railway SP, who came to see me off, asked me whether I would like to ride in the train driver‘s cabin up to Tumkur. I said yes and sat with the diesel locomotive driver who graciously allowed me to try my hand at the controls. Near Tumkur, he suddenly pulled me aside and applied brakes real hard. His keen eyes had seen a suicide attempt and he had saved a life, and, also me.

Towards the end of my career, I became the Head of the Fire Force Department and in which capacity I got to ride a fire engine and also ride five floors up on a fire ladder.

When I retired from service, my children asked me whether I had any regrets for choosing a career which wasn’t my childhood dream. I told them that by joining the Police all my childhood dreams had been fulfilled.

(Published 30 September 2018, 17:45 IST)

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