That Revolving Light !

Cochin. 22nd Sept ’08
That name plate and revolving light with a siren on, has so much going for it !! The common man bows. The traffic gives way. Prospective (rich) fathers-in-law will kill, for a son-n-law with that kind of light. The District Collector in essence, is the administrative head of the entire district, and hence is entitled to the privilege of the blue siren !

Many years ago, the allure of the civil services beckoned me as well. Teachers told me, that ‘for your IQ’, i would get through easily. That was in class six. I took them seriously. A few years later, i realised that they were kind souls, and certain acts & words were out of kindness. And nothing else !

Well, to be fair to them, i did score some decent marks and was an above average quizzer. (Those were different days. The closest i come to quizzing these days, is the quizzical look that seems to keep me perennial company )!

Constantly egged on by relatives, friends and family, i thought i would have it too. The revolving light atop the car and unmitigated power. Besides which, the thought of ushering in change & a new way of doing things and making a difference did lurk. I swear. (And i have a strong feeling that Obama somehow took that theme from me)!

In that hope, there were issues of Competition Success Review that were picked up with great regularity. Profiles of people who did make itto the civil services were analysed. Idolised. We also had a few neighbours from the IAS. Talking to them helped stoke a fire too. ( If they could do it, i could too )

And then, one fine day. I gave it all up. To put three years of life ( assuming that i cleared the exams etc) on the line, for a distant promise of power, a revolving light & possibilities of impacting society…. didnt quite add up.

With a promise to stay socially engaged and strive for change, in whatever i did, i walked away. Much to the dismay of many. Till date.

The MBA came along. Life took a different turn. And I didnt have regrets. Still dont. That revolving light dream was firmly on the rear view mirror. What remained for a few years, were the old dusty issues of the Competition Success Review ! With reams of material on how to give interviews and group discussions ! And those profiles of people who made it. Idolised once. Dropped then !

These days, however, a revolving light passes by, an apparition of possibilities turn up. Maybe i could have done a better job, i think, than all those who made it ( perhaps by continuing with Competition Success Review )!!

But that thought refuses to linger. Am happy here. I didn’t have to stick to that magazine and read arbid interviews and come face to face with BSRB question papers !

The road forked long ago. And i took the one more traveled. And am glad i did. My life has evolved in a very different clime ! In a different light ! My calling has been elsewhere.

7 thoughts on “That Revolving Light !

  1. Ms Cris says:

    Congratulations (not sure if thats the right word for the occasion!). Good to know you are happy with the path you took. Cause its not too common these days. Unless you equate money to happiness.

    >>(And i have a strong feeling that Obama somehow took that theme from me)!<<


  2. Ganesh says:


    After having been with you when you were driving both in Bangalore and Mumbai, I get this feeling that you should have cleared the IAS exam only to get that car with flashing lights so that somebody else would be driving your car and the flashing light would clear the hassles of traffic.

  3. manuscrypts says:

    actually both are well trodden paths, perhaps the quest for flashing lights and power more so than the mba, dontcha think?

  4. Priya says:

    The common man bows.

    Really??? I have never seen tho’. So who is flashing to go in that car now?

  5. Kavi says:

    Ms Cris : Thank You ! And yes. am happy the way i am !

    Ganesh : You seem to be giving a ‘regulator’ of traffic better twist to the IAS !!!!!! 🙂

    Manu : I think so ! The numbers weigh in favour of the MBAs. but the other path is not necessarily virgin territory !!!

    Priya : Of that i am sure. You just need to visit a district collectors office to see the power and consequent ‘bow’ !

  6. Aleta says:

    “District Collectors Office” ~ Interesting to read about this and about the belief of its importance.

    Collectors, in general, aren’t looked upon with great interest, rather with dislike, the necessary evil.

    I’m glad that you are happy with the road that you traveled. We spend so much time with our jobs that we need to be happy with the choice.

  7. HOBO says:

    I wish I was judge.

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