Sunday, January 24, 2010

dream jobs

the much delayed elevated expressway in bangalore has finally been opened to the public.
though i have not been on it yet, i could see that a lot of work was completed in the last couple of months.
one small section is still to be done, but the major portions are complete.
in the last few weeks, as i had to go past the earlier entrance to electronics city beyond the toll booths and make a U turn to get back, i would be filled with thoughts of one of my old dream jobs - of a toll booth collector.

though in my professional career of about 30 years, i am only in my third job, i have switched many more among my dream jobs.

in school, i wanted to be a train dacoit! the trigger was a plastic spectacle with an artificial nose and moustache - that a family friend presented.

then, when i started learning German, i wanted to be a translator, or rather interpreter - and thereby be pat of historic moments of treaties beign signed between countries.

like a few other school friends, a railway engine driver or a pointsman - who had the power to change the tracks for a train, were also dreams at some time.

at IISc, doing some work in the library as part of the student assistanceship program - i wanted to be a librarian, who can get all the books in the world to keep on reading - till i realized that not all llibrarians read seriously. by extension, i also wanted to be in a bookshop - to not only be able to read all the new books,, but also interact with readers who walk in and help them choose. the habit of reading was inspired by my father, who worked in a bookshop.

i used to think that i could be a good teacher - for primary school children - till i attended a workshop for primary school teachers. though all the participants were very passionate about their jobs, the kinds of stories that i heard of the challenges they have seen with some children - made me think twice.

i have also dreamed to be an author - and write a book. after toying with themes of fiction and non-fiction, i felt more comfortable with non-fiction. even after identifying the theme and the name for a 'multi-modal and multi-dimensional' creation, i have not yet started, except for a blog post. [my other blog]. since i started that - in the last one year, my ideas have also become better formed.

i like wilfing. tell me if you know someone who has a job for wilfers.

i know a friend who would like to be a lift-operator.

but, i think that the job of a toll-collector is one of the most challenging and satisfying. it is a job that offers a lot of potential for constant learning; learning new languages to talk to the passing drivers; learning to be patient and keep one's calm; meditating between peak times; sit in the booth and sip coffee while watching a heavy downpour, when traffic is likely to be sparse; to read the psychology of drivers and automobiles, that coule lead to publishing research papers on 'human behavior on busy toll roads' that could lead to solutions to tackle road rage, which, in turn, can be extended to reduce or eliminate human rage, which might be the solution to the problems arising out of conflict between individuals and groups.

now, do you see how a toll-collector holds the key to a more peaceful world?
tell me what is your dream job?

p.s. thanks to those who contacted me wth suggestions for this [my 100th on this blog] post. i will try to address them sometime in the future.
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