They couldn’t just let you roam about in your shorts, could they?
The first time I was asked this question, I stroked my chin thoughtfully and replied ‘elephant’. To my seven year old mind, picking up water in one’s trunk and then spraying it on everyone around seemed to be the coolest thing possible. Also, I wanted to be real tall.
As luck would have it, neither happened.
By the time I had turned nine, I had devoured almost all the Enid Blyton books and was now of the firm belief that I was born to be a detective. I would look at the milkman and paper guy with suspicious nine year old eyes, but sadly, they never stole anything for me to report, and become famous. In ’92, a curly haired marathi boy swung his bat on a large Australian field and I fell in love with him and the game. They called him Sachin. In my dreams everyday, I was on a pitch with him hitting boundaries and winning matches for India. It is the greatest testament of devotion for Sachin, that even in those dreams, I let him always score more runs than me. Maybe just two or three more, but I did. Of course, I refuse to tell you that I still have those dreams.
Like most other boys, at some stage I wanted to be a pilot. At the tender age of twelve, I sat in an airplane for the first time, was airsick and vomited so much that the adjacent passenger sarcastically asked the airhostess to pass me a bucket since a packet did not seem enough. In retaliation, I promptly vomited some more, and all ambitions of flying a plane were hastily rejected.
As the teenage years floated in the kaleidoscope called life, each twist showed a new shape, a new dream. One day I wanted to be like Maneka Gandhi ,err not biologically, I mean I wanted to join the SPCA. Another day inspired by Nana Patekar’s ‘Prahaar’, I wanted to join the army and that evening I did a full four pushups. Don’t laugh, now I can complete sixty in one go without breaking a sweat. The fact, that after the sixtieth, I would be wheezing like an old cow and lying flat on my back for the remainder of the day with a glucose drip in my mouth, is to be ignored or to be treated as delightful honesty on the part of the adorable author.
Over the years I became a software engineer, wrote some code that shocked the bejesus out of most teammates and clients, and moved on to pursue knowledge, as in, MBA. I set my focus towards MICA, the premier Media and Communications Institute in the country, sure that it would provide me the chance to flirt with creativity and maybe even marry it. What Mica did, eventually, was make me aware of a new love – conceptualizing videos and ads, although laziness seldom allowed me to execute the same. Mica was like this big river, where we were all hippopotamuses. We lay in it, lazing, doing nothing but still overly satisfied. In that cauldron, I discovered that my existence was governed largely by sports, and a love for writing. College finished too soon and I felt the familiar disappointment of returning to a desk job that served no purpose other than letting American clients improve their business.
Now, as joining date approaches, the urge to follow either of two callings, a travel writer or a career in sports management, intensifies. Happiness, I am sure, would enclose its chubby fingers around the rough callused hands of a man known as ‘Travel Writer Jobs’ or ‘Team Manager Jobs’ (No relation of Steve Jobs).
In enthusiastic haste, I scampered all over the worldwide web in search of sports management jobs. Besides scores of other options, Google also let me know that I could apply for ‘High Performance Manager – Vanuatu Islands cricket team’ The vivid images of motivating, pushing and driving a weaker team to victory over a dozen mightier teams rushed me towards the ICC official website. Now, the Vanuatu islands are a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, famous for volcanic eruptions. Their cricket coach, Mr Pierre Chilia, though, is considerably less likely to erupt, he is actually a sweet tempered, sensible man. In his reply to my enthusiastic mail, he informed me that the selection process had already commenced, so I could go back to square one and draw doodles there. Lol, a managers job for a national sports team sounds way far fetched, but hey in the author’s defense, ask the women in his life and they’d tell you that romance, even with an impossible dream, had always been his forte. Amen.
A couple of weeks and I’ll be sitting in an office in Gurgaon analyzing data. Mails have been sent to a dozen sports marketing companies but they do not like recruiting humans anymore, it seems. And companies that employ travel writers do not have computers. Why else would they not reply to me? ;)
History will, still be kind to me, coz I, intend to write it.