Today morning one of my Face Book friends Inder Brara posted a picture which read, “ Life is like a camera, just focus on what’s is important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” I am sure this famous poster is a statement by some great person but is aptly applicable in real life. At least I have experienced many such incidents in life, which I would like to state briefly.
I was commissioned into Corps of Signals in 1971 and attended Signals Officers Degree Engineering Course from 1977-1980. I had done quite well on the course with a grading of A+ and had successfully designed a telecommunication practical project. I was advised by my seniors to attempt for Masters of Technology in Electronic and Communications. After the Degree course I was posted to a Signal Regiment somewhere in the eastern sector of India. When the time came for applying for M-Tech course, I filled up the forms which were to be recommended by my Commanding Officer (CO) followed by Chief Signals Officer (CSO) Corps and finally to be approved by CSO Command. CSO Command happened to visit our Regiment and things did not go well as the visiting VIP had some difference of opinion on some issue (Of course CSO’s wish prevailed). When CSO Command went back and my file for M Tech examination was put up to him, he straightway rejected it. Thus you see that the picture of being a high Technocrat which I had visualized in my mind had faded out and I had to focus on something else. So I learnt from the negatives, gave my life another shot and attempted for Defense Services Staff Course (DSSC) which aimed at tactical qualification. With hard work and luck I cleared the examination, completed my course, became a DSSC qualified officer (psc) and was assigned on many staff appointments. During one of my Regimental command assignments, one of my CO had some difference of perception about me on certain issues and awarded me a bad annual confidential report (ACR). My being DSSC qualified officer came to my rescue and I made it to the selection of Lt Col. Thereafter I never looked back and retired as a two star General. Had I done only M Tech may be I would have retired only as a Lt Col. Thus developing from the negatives and giving it another shot actually worked for me.
On the domestic from, I always pictured myself to be the architect of my family in which I was the eldest sibling. Right from my younger days, I wanted to have a house in a City (I was born in a village) and therefore aimed at this shot. I did manage to buy a plot in 1988 and then with the help of my father we built a house. This was supposed to be a joint property with two houses facing back to back on a big plot where I and my brother would stay. I would have shifted here after my retirement and at the same time kept the social linkages back home. However due to certain issues, such a scenario did not work out, the property had to be sold out. I was literally rendered homeless with accommodation in the Army cantonments being my only address. Anyway I learnt from the negatives and gave another shot to this aspect and today after retirement I have my own house and one investment property though away from my place of birth. Since I did not have a permanent residence for quite some time, two of my kids who were generally floating around with me aimed for higher studies abroad and are well settled there, having done their Masters in their respective field . So the alternative shoot in the life has actually worked and been more than rewarding. My eldest daughter who had pictured herself to be in the corporate and had done MBA had to rethink as this scenario had certain grey areas, so she took another shot at life, became an educationist and is helping Special needs Children with academic interventions; She has also authored a book.
Indeed, Life is like a Camera.