I want to feel life’s romance
To jump and sing and dance
To make my life by choice, not by chance
I was extremely crazy about being an IAS officer but then one day, I dropped my plans of being an IAS. And that’s not because I had exhausted my attempts or crossed the age limit. So, in this post, Kids, I will tell you How I met the decision of not going for IAS anymore!
(Disclaimer: Read at your own risk. I don’t want to discourage anyone. :))
So on a fine lovely day, I was watching Iron Man on my laptop and as any other normal guy I became too much inspired by the character of Tony Stark (for those 1.5 hours, after which I realized the sad reality that I can’t invent arc reactor in a single night). And yeah to add, my mains 2013 was just a month away!
You can call me lunatic or over ambitious or both, but I started thinking – “Why can’t I be like Tony Stark??”. Not the billionaire, philanthropist or playboy part, just the inventor part. I mean, I am an engineer (or so what my degree says) and I should play with the natural laws and create things. Moreover, its pure fun.
The greatest pleasure we achieve in our lives is by creating something of our own!
Cook food yourselves and you will love it, paint something and you will appreciate it etc. And what if I say that your creation will be used by everyone in this world, enjoying it, benefiting from it.
As you might have guessed by now, the inevitable was happening – I was getting philosophical! Then over the course of a few days, one thought led to another and I had to ask myself the question which is never to be asked – “Why do I want to become an IAS officer?”
In a quest to look for its answer, I had to flashback to the moment when I had decided to go for IAS preparation. I vividly remember that day as a sepia colored video when a friend of mine, Ajit, came to my room in hostel and started doing meaningless discussions about our future. After like half an hour, I had decided to go for IAS! The reasons were very specific and not too hard to guess- fame and power.
Then a few more ‘like minded’ colleagues joined the discussion and we collectively imagined about bunch of cars following, people standing in rows to take a glimpse and we solving problems of our countrymen standing like heroes. In other words, we were imagining us as Rajnikanth!
Now that I think of it, it makes me feel how idiot I was. A wise man has said-
People suffer more in their thoughts than in reality.
And this wise man (me) has said-
People imagine their future job much more enticing than the reality.
Now, returning back to the forbidden question- “Why do I want to become an IAS officer?”. As of now, I have no convincing answer. After a few years of job (training) experience, I can say that what matters the most is JOB-CONTENT. Yes, I am shouting at you so that you can hear me loud and clear. And what do I know about IAS job’s content? Baba ji ka thullu! I tried it a few times but I failed again and again miserably at convincing myself. And-
If you can’t convince yourself, you can’t convince anyone!
This epic failure at convincing myself led to my failure at CSE 2013 and again at 2014 since, I couldn’t find proper motivation for preparing. What I got was just short bursts of motivation eventually proving as a ‘fuss’ bomb. Meanwhile, I was looking for my real passion and I found it in, well, a lot of things!
Blogging, Digital design, Creative writing, Music, Programming, Digital circuits design – Arduino and Raspberry Pi based automation and robotics, Statistics (after watching ‘The Imitation game’), Project management, Operations research, Machine learning and AI were the topics which lured me at one time or the other. I don’t know what kind of ugly garbage will I make if I combine all of them, but it’s super fun!
Anyways, I still haven’t told you the exact answer why have I left my preparations and my 4 year long obsessive-compulsive dream of being an IAS officer. And the reason is- drum-roll please – I don’t think I can do that job!
Am I crazy or what? Who the hell gives a damn about the ‘job’ anyways! All we care about is UPSC and the Exam and Competition and Mussourie and that Awesome training period and that Bandhgala they wear and those amazing Facebook pics with Hon’ble President of India and PM!
May be I am crazy. But may be I am Neo of this matrix. If you also have seen the classic movie ‘Matrix’, chances are that you remember the oft-quoted scene where Neo is given the choice to pick one capsule out of the red and blue one. Picking up jobs is also like that. You can be in the illusive world or you can pick the harsh reality.
I know that I am a lazy guy, but then who isn’t? I want a good night’s sleep, a nice happy morning, time with my near and dear ones and time to recreate. Give me all this and I will rock at my job (or at least, I can try my best). I want to use my skills and keep learning new ones. I want to leave a signature at my workplace. I want to leave a signature in my society, in my country, on this earth. Everyone wants to do that. But-
Right outcomes require right decisions at right time!
IAS is the most prestigious job in our country and the reason behind that is the government runs on bureaucratic framework. Obviously, IAS officers are involved in one of the most important role in nation making and their job is dynamic in nature without a place for monotony. The job ranges from day to day administration to policy making.
But (and its a BIG but), being an IAS officer is not a guarantee of happiness. Neither all IAS are happy nor satisfied. Just like any other job in this world, there is a significant attrition rate even in the IAS. And we all know the cons of this job. Just we choose to ignore them. Unfortunately, I can’t.
Power politics is a bad bad game and I am saying this because I suck at this game. When God was distributing in-born talents, I was butt-kicked out of the camp of “Top 10 skills you need to be ahead in power politics game, number 3 just blew my mind!”
But how can I dare to comment on something about which I don’t have complete information? And that’s true. But I can say one thing for sure – Gaadi, Bangla and Sahabgiri (Vehicle, Bungalow and Officialdom) are mirages. A mirage exists only upto the moment you are far away from that place.
However, I decided to ask some of my friends the reason behind their personal craze for IAS. And the most common Class-I-Preservative-used-reply I got was “I want to serve my people, my society, my country” or something closely related to this. To which I asked innocently “Would you like to join some social service or NGO if you can’t get selected?”. All I got in return was an awkward silence.
Is public administration my passion? Have I graduated in Public administration or Polity or any such social science? No, for both. I have graduated in Engineering and that too from a government college where I was subsidized using the tax payed by my fellow country men. Simply put, when I was spending my four years in college, there were a billion people on my back so that my middle class father could be able to pay for my studies without taking educational loan. But why? Because I am supposed to return my nation much more what I have received.
Now take a look around you. The place where you are sitting – The room, the lights, the floor, the windows, the fan, the AC, the table, the laptop, the clothes and everything that is either in front of you or hidden from you is there because at some point of time, some engineer has worked on it! May be not that item, but on the concept at least! And same is the case with doctors and lawyers and every other professional out there. We can’t imagine our world without them.
We want to be called ‘experts’ but we don’t want to work like that!
Any country needs specialists much more than generalists. What I really feel and I think you will agree with me that, the best ones, should never leave their fields. I have seen a number of my friends who are exceptionally brilliant but are toiling day in and out for IAS. Unfortunately for them, this ‘days’ in and out has turned to ‘years’ in and out! Young people not paying attention to their jobs, not following their job training properly and losing their valuable youth in coaching classes and notes… where are we heading to?
I sincerely believe that if all those brilliant young people, who are trying hard day and night for IAS by sneaking from their job and bunking their classes, start focusing on their ‘real’ passion and their jobs, the productivity of our nation will see a significant rise.
Many people see IAS as an alternative to their frustrating job. But how can one know that he/she will not get frustrated in IAS? And then what will be the exit plan?
No job is without flaws, but if there is something for which everyone is going, there are huge chances of it being overrated. Be a critical person, use your judgement and think about your long and short term goals before making up a mind for something – be it any job.
And so I decided to work only as an engineer. No more peeping at other side’s grass as we all know from our popular wisdom, it will look GREENER! So, I will be happy with the greenery of my own side’s grass and will water it everyday to make it more green as far as I can.
All I am trying to say is – Our job should be something which get molded in our lives such that we forget about it and then we enjoy our life to the fullest.
Life is short, do what you truly love to do!
- This is entirely my personal opinion and has nothing to do with my official position or GoI.
- Its not my failure, but my experience which has done all the talking.
- Please please please share and comment as much as you can. I expect fierce opposition (may be you can provide me the required motivation!) 🙂