Wednesday, November 28, 2012


When is the Right Time to Retire

A few days ago I received an invitation from my erstwhile institute, the DIAT Deemed University Girinagar Pune, to deliver a guest lecture next month. 

This evoked memories of my previous visit a few months ago to DIAT when I had been invited to deliver the inaugural lecture to a course I used to conduct earlier.

I speak well and was well-versed on the subject of my talk and my lecture was very well received and highly appreciated.

My former faculty colleagues were quite delighted to meet me and after witnessing the enthusiastic and energetic manner in which I delivered my lecture and observing the excellent response from the audience, everyone asked me:

“You are still in full form. Why did you retire?”

In reply, I told them this story.

The great cricketer Vijay Merchant who was at the peak of his cricketing career suddenly announced his retirement after scoring a century against England

When his surprised fans and fellow cricketers asked him why he had unexpectedly decided to retire when he was at his prime and in top form, Vijay Merchant replied:

It is better to retire when people ask WHY? rather than WHY NOT?

Think about it.

Look around your workplace.

Observe how your colleagues, your seniors, your juniors and others treat you.

Do they consider you a relic of the past?

Do they tolerate you as an old fogey because of your past successes and reputation?

Are you past your prime?

Or are you at the peak of your career?


Is it time for you to retire?

Why not retire at the peak of your career?

If you retire at the peak of your career you will be fondly remembered for your competence and successes.

Or do you want to wait till you reach your level of incompetence and cling on to your job until people get fed up of you and start commenting behind your back saying that it is high time you retire.

Remember, it is always better to retire when people ask “WHY?” rather than “WHY NOT?”

Retirement from your job does not mean retirement from life.

In fact, after retirement a new exciting life begins when you are not a slave to your job anymore and you have the freedom and time to do whatever you want and to pursue your passions.

So, when you “retire from your job” make sure that you don’t “retire from the world”.

This quote by Dr. Samuel Johnson aptly describes what you must do to begin a new exciting life after your retirement from your job:
Exert your talents and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride, or cowardice, or laziness, drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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