This incident dates back to 1993. The year I passed out from school. I was like any other normal 14-year old who thought he was grown up enough to take his own decisions. And since I had got the bare minimum to apply for any government job, I was convinced it was time for me to start the search. So, the hunt began for a job and not the dream job. In those days, getting a job was a dream.
I used to daily cycle to the district court compound (known as kacheri at Balasore, my home town in Orissa) and visit the vendors who used to make a living out of selling forms and envelops for government jobs in Railways, Army, Public Service Commission and Public Sector Banks. Although, jobs for matriculates were not many, I found one which was for "Drivers in Indian Army." I read the eligibility criteria and found that apart from the age, I was 14 years old, I had all other qualifications. I bought the form with the faint hope that "the authorities might relax the minimum age criterion in case of brilliant candidates like me."
When I was filling the application form at home, my father came to know about it and instead of scolding me for my "lofty" ambitions, he encouraged me to fill the application form and send it before the deadline. I managed to successfully post the application in time. And then began the long wait for a favorable outcome which never happened. I was upset but not for long as I got busy with my college admissions.
Now when I look back, I thank my father for having the foresight to teach a important few lessons so early in my life. Through this incident I learnt to fill job applications. He could have always told me that such a job was not for me, but by not doing so he taught me the value of a job - rather any job.
For some, failure is the pillar of success. For me, any failure is a window to have another go at what you aspire for. And for my father, however, my aspirations for the nonsense always made some sense. And I realize all this now when I can see the pattern.