Saturday, July 30, 2016

Which Navy is a Better Career Choice – Merchant Navy or Defence Navy (Indian Navy)

Making a Career Choice
Story of a Smart Boy’s Dilemma

This happened more than 15 years ago  in the year 2001.

A bright young boy  who had just passed his 12th CBSE Board Examination  came to meet me at my home in Mumbai.

His father was an Officer in the Indian Navy (Defence Navy).

The bright young boy wanted some career guidance advice.

He asked me a straightforward question:

“I have been selected as a Deck Cadet in a prestigious Shipping Company. I have also been selected for the National Defence Academy (NDA) as a Cadet for the Indian Navy. Which one should I join: Indian Navy or Merchant Navy...?”

“Did you ask your father...? What did he say...?” I asked him.

“My mother says that he is too biased. She said that I must take a neutral opinion. My father agreed too. That’s why they told me to ask you for advice...” the youngster said.

“Have you thought of other options – IIT, Medical, Engineering, Hotel Management, Civil Services…” I said.

“No,” the boy interrupted, “I am not interested in all those things. I want to be a seafarer.”

I looked at the smart young boy. 

He looked tough, intelligent, neat, well-groomed  – and  he certainly had the personality required of a Naval Officer.

“Okay,” I said, “how much time have you got to decide...?”

“One week,” he said, “I have to confirm readiness to the Shipping Company within 10 days. The Deck Cadet Training starts in 15 days time. Even for the NDA  I will have to report for the course next month.”

“You will have to find your own answer to choosing between the Indian Navy and Merchant Navy...” I said, “I will only help you find your answer.”

“How...?” he asked.

“You must do two things...” I said.

“Two things...?” he asked.

I said to the youngster: 

This is what you must do. 
Go around and talk to people  meet the maximum number of persons you can  and  find out the following information:

1. How many children of Indian Navy Officers have joined the Merchant Navy...?

2. How many children of Merchant Navy Officers have joined the Indian Navy...?

Meanwhile  I will also try to find out from my fellow officers. 
I know a lot of Merchant Navy officers too...” I said. 

We met after a week to tally the data we had collected.

1. The number of children of Indian Navy Officers who had joined the Merchant Navy was Twenty One (21)

2. The number of children of Merchant Navy Officers who had joined the Indian Navy was Zero (0)

“By the way  I talked to some Army Officers also...” I said, “and I met 3 Army Officers whose sons have joined the Merchant Navy  but  like I said  I did not find a single Merchant Navy Officer whose son or daughter has joined the Indian Army or Indian Navy or the Defence Services...” I said.

“I found out one more interesting thing too...” the boy said.

“What’s that...?” I asked.

“There are many Indian Navy Officers and Sailors who quit the Indian Navy to join the Merchant Navy  but  I did not find a single person who quit the Merchant Navy to join the Indian Navy...” he said.

“So  you have got your answer  haven’t you...?” I asked the boy.

“Yes, Sir...” the smart young man said to me, with a decisive smile on his face.  

Of course – he went ahead and joined the Merchant Navy.

PS: Have you seen a son/daughter of a Merchant Navy Officer joining the Indian Navy (or Army/Air Force)...? If you have – please comment and let us know. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. These are my personal views. Please do your own due diligence while selecting your career.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories 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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Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This story is a revised repost of my article "Making a Career Choice INDIAN NAVY or MERCHANT NAVY" posted online by me earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url:

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