An encounter on a train

About a week and a half ago, I was coming back to Delhi from Bombay. The gentleman sitting in the adloining seat went on talking for almost half an hour on mutual funds with his friend. He really seemed to have a depth and wide knowledge on the subject. After he finished, I could not help asking him ,” Are you working for some mutual fund?” He said “No, I am a Mechanical Engineer by training but I want to work for a mutual fund. That is where my real interest lies. I have tried several times to get into that field without success. What is the point in earning money working for something you don’t like and then spending the same money in case any health problem arises. Its not easy to switch professions”. It is a pity that training and education are given more importance than natural talent.

In real life, we have untraied actors like Amitabh Bachchan, untrained lateral thinkers like Dhirubhai Ambani,untrained geniuses like mathematician Ramanujan and even some nobel prize winners (DNA and Micro chip) who frankly admitted that their success was because of lack of formal training on the subjects which enabled them to do out of the box thinking.

Besides, Subhash Ghai trained as an actor but became a director, Ravi shastri trained as a bowler but became a batsman,Salim Khan trained as an actor but became a writer( In the book the making of Sholay, he admits that he had the gift of conception but not the gift of projection). If these people could be successful, why should other people who find their vocations late in life, not be a given an opportunity. Should thier whole lives be ruined because of one wrong decision?.   

This more or less echoes what has been written earlier on this blog. A few days back I heard a religious discourse where the speaker said that somebody asked Swami Vivekanand, ” How wise are you?” He said that I am more a fool and less a wise man because I am wise in only one thing and a fool in all the rest. Imagine a man of the stature of Swami Vivekanand sayng a thing like that.

Though Swamiji said that and the literal meaning of the word education is to draw out what is already in, it does not happen in real life as a result of which there is lifelong misery like the one mentioned above. Do not people who made a wrong decision once deserve a new chance? Should not more proactive attempts be made to know early in life where one is wise and where one is a fool to enable you to prosper emotionally and financially.

If a country like the United States has such a big problem( links on the right), one wonders what kind of problem India faces with its huge population and lack of the kind of expertise the US has.


24 Responses to An encounter on a train

  1. Rohit Malik says:

    hi hiren,

    I think we already talked. Atleast i liked your blog when i visited weeks back.

    Cheers, Rohit

  2. vaik says:

    Yeah many people just do things for the sake of money. Well when there are mouths to feed, passion always takes a back seat. Its not that all passions can fetch money and in countries like India no one is encouraged when they take a bold step like switching careers.

  3. Velu says:

    Teaching is one of the most lucrative jobs these days, with schools popping up left, right and centre. Every year, I come across teacher-aspirants, who r there b4 me, just coz the course guarantees them a job. By the end of the year, I try to convince them that a reassessment of their priorities is whats perhaps most essential, and persuades them to make a choice once and for all – whether they need to work and live a life, or live and work a life.

  4. manish says:

    Good post dude,keep writing 🙂

  5. manish says:

    Would you guys mind updating this address with the name of your newly updated blog.

  6. I agree completely with what you said, but what do you do if your passion of life lies undiscovered?

    Thanks for coming by my blog. 🙂

  7. directions says:

    thanks for stopping by my blog, your comment went into spam and I just fished it out 😀
    You have an interesting space here, I like cooking but what I do as a profession is very important to me, and sometimes things one likes as a hobby suck as a profession.

  8. Balaji M says:

    Mmm…A very interesting point. I reckon, what makes the difference between Dhirubhai Ambani or Rahul Dravid, it the courage that they have shown to take the next step of pursuing something that they really want to do.

    Well anyone can do it..if you have the courage to pursue your dreams….

  9. seabiscuit says:

    “Do not people who made a wrong decision once deserve a new chance? Should not more proactive attempts be made to know early in life where one is wise and where one is a fool to enable you to prosper emotionally and financially.”

    bah…but it was not me who made the desicion at the first time….never knew what an enggineer is but somehow everybody around me knew that i was going to be one…like if it was mandatory and not some choice or some desire….
    whatever be it but atlest the decision now can be one’s own…and as Balaji said its courage and much more importantly desire that will shape the future…

  10. shark says:

    My question is.. How will I know what my passion is until and I unless I try everything…? And I don’t think this lifetime is enough for trying “everything”.
    So finally I end up consolling myself that “ok this is the best I can get out of me! and that’s it” .

    Who knows AB would have been a great sceintist if he had tried to be one.. I mean you don;t know…. “maybe”…. We definitely cannot say NO becasue he has never disproved the fact atleast!

  11. ankur says:

    was reading the book “WINNING” by jack welch. The last section is based on finding the right job. does not adopts the same method as you say, but still the core idea is same as yours so thought of sharing with you. i am sure you would have read, otherwise a good read.


  12. I am always a bit jealous of the people who seem to know what they want from the start and have the drive to follow that goal until they attain it. I agree with a lot of what Shark said — I think that for myself personally I am happy that I’ve gone through the US educational system which allowed me to get a decent education without knowing what on earth I wanted to do with myself. But sometimes it’s a bit of a problem — there are so many things that interest me and that — at times — I can feel passionate about that I don’t know which one to choose. And unfortunately also, most of the careers that intrigue me are not exactly lucrative.

  13. Nidhi says:

    Hi Hiren

    Meaningful post.

    I agree with you, but in India, we have so many other problems rather to develop our interests. Since childhood, parents tell their child to study hard, not because it is child’s interest but just to make sure that when he grows up, he will have enough money to survive. The hobbies or interests are like part time but we can’t replace it to the study. Its luck if we able to get into India sports team or become a star but in the beginning everyone thought about getting a job to attain basic necessities


  14. shalini says:

    Interesting article….really enjoyed reading it.

  15. fantababy says:

    nice thouughts i accept your views.

  16. Cuckoo says:

    Very thought provoking topic. There are a very few fortunate amongst us who has jobs of their own choice. To do what one doesn’t want to is by compulsion (whatever be the reason), that’s the basic necessity of our life.
    It always leaves a person dissatisfied somewhere inside him. In India, mindset is changing but very slowly.

    Nicely thought subject. 🙂

  17. Radhika says:

    to have a job of your choice is really a blessing which only few seem to have

  18. Srikanta says:

    This is really a Good Topic. We should do where our happiness lies, and the rest will follow. But sometimes in our life, we don’t get the exact required opportunity to do what we want to do in our life. We get compelled / dragged by our sorroundings , Relatives to the Profesion, which we don’t want to do. But we should keep trying to Become what we aspire. This will happen in one day. This may not happen in a day or two; But will definitely happen. I have seen this in my own life…

    Really a Nice Topic.

  19. Vijay says:

    Yes, it makes a lot of difference if one likes what he/she is doing as a profession. It justs gives that one more final bit of commitment and involvement in the job, which makes a lot of difference. I can speak for it myself as I was in one such position and was lucky enough to change my field and get to what I like the most.

  20. Well said. Interest does matter a lot but it should be backed by some amount of luck. Few people are able to grab some opportunities and get huge leverage based on that. Talent is definitely identified but it requires a lot of patience.

  21. legal says:

    enjoyed reading

  22. lyric says:

    certainly quite an extreme article.

  23. zsn123 says:

    like it.

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