Thursday, August 14, 2014


Ramblings of a Retired Mind


If you travel on a road which others have built – then you will reach the destination where the road goes.

You will reach the the destination those who built the road want you to reach.

You will not the destination you want to reach.

It is true, isn’t it?

Since others have built the road on which you travel, you will reach the destination which the road-builders want you to reach.

In a metaphorical sense, it is the same with the journey of life too.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” which they want you to reach.

That is why you must plan your own life according to the “destination” or goal that you want to reach.

Unfortunately, it is easier said than done.

How do you land up travelling on the wrong road on the Journey of Life?

It all starts when you are small, too young to understand things, too immature to formulate your life goal.

The moment you enter school, your parents decide what they want you to achieve – the “destination” they want you to reach – and your ambitious parents start planning your life accordingly.

Your teachers play a role in this too.

And you are quite clueless to understand anything.

It happened with me too.

In Class 9, I was put in the “Science” Stream.

No one asked me my choice, because probably I was considered too young to make a choice.

In our school, there was a simple rule – only those “weak” in mathematics were sent to the “Arts” Stream.

And, unfortunately, I was good at Maths.

Sometimes, it is a great misfortune to be good at something you don’t like.

Later, my parents, teachers and “well-wishers” decided that I must appear for the IIT JEE.

I cleared the JEE, studied Engineering, got a B. Tech. degree, and reached the destination they wanted me to reach. 

The same thing happened during most of my working life too.

It was others who did my career planning.

The HR bosses in the Navy decided which courses I should do, what areas of expertise I should specialize in, which ships I should be posted on, my appointments, everything.

And I kept “travelling” on the “path” they planned for me and I duly reached the “destinations” they wanted to me to reach.

First, my parents and teachers planned my life.

Then, the Navy planned my life.

It was only after retirement that I had the luxury of planning my own life according to the goals I wanted to reach.

No longer do I have to “travel” on roads that others have built for me.

No longer am I reaching “destinations” that others want me to reach.

Now, I am my own master.

I decide my goal, I plan my life, and I “build” my own road towards the “destination” that I want to reach.

But I can do this only now, after retirement.

Just imagine what could have happened if I had been given an opportunity to plan my life in school.


I trust things have changed now and young children are being given greater independence to decide their own destiny.

I really don’t know, so you tell me.

Are young children being given the freedom to plan their own lives?

Or are parents still planning the lives of their children and making them “travel” on roads towards “destinations” that the parents want their children to reach?

Or are some parents trying to achieve their own unrealized goals vicariously through their children?

If you are a young student, remember that you have to plan your own life according to the goal you want to reach.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” they want you to reach.

And once you have travelled too far down the wrong road, it becomes difficult to turn back and you are left with no choice but to continue travelling till you reach the wrong “destination”.

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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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