There are occasions during the formative years of a career that subtle suggestions or stimuli change the course radically in a different direction or a direction not thought of by an individual. I can recollect a couple of incidents.
The first one was with me only. After my graduation I joined the prestigious Punjab Engineering College in 1971. I was an average but a hard working student. One day a friend of my brother, whom I respected tremendously, suggested to me that I should try for Indian Military Academy. The rest is history as I retired from the army after putting in 34 years of a very satisfying career. Thanks to Mr. Sunil Verma.
The second occasion was when during mid seventies a recently widowed relation of ours came to spend some time with us in Chandigarh with her three children the elder one having just finished school. My uncle after retiring from the Navy had passed away and the family needed support. My father being a sitting judge of the High Court of Punjab and obviously everyone looked up to him for help and he has always been helpful. I was a captain and on leave that day. While interacting I just suggested to him to try for BITS Pilani. The boy till then was not aware of such an institution. My suggestion kindled a ray of hope and he was accepted by the institution. He is an entrepreneur today and while progressing in life has also helped his brother who runs his Nursing Home with a doctor wife and his sister who is a well known professor today.
The third incident is when our daughter could not make the grade for admission to any of the medical colleges. We were worried as she had gone into a mild depression. A friend who later retired as a General, suggested that we try for a seat in a private dental college as he had done for his daughter. We tried and were promised a seat in The Subharti Dental College in Meerut. It is well known institution but we had no money. I frankly did not knew how to deal with the situation. My younger sister came with four lakhs saying that we may return it later. The issue was as how to do so. My parents had helped me getting a flat in Noida and had been staying there. That was the only property we had. Wife and self discussed between us and came to a conclusion that we may be able to buy another house later but my daughter’s time will not come back. Against the wishes of parents, who by now had shifted to Chandigarh, we decided to sell the flat and pay for the seat. Today my daughter is a Major in the Dental Corps of the army very happily married to another major and we are also blessed with a granddaughter. In introspection we only thank my friend for his suggestion and my sister for giving us the initial money. After paying for the college we have been able to buy another flat in Dwarka of course by raising some loan.
In conclusion I can say that one does not know which stimulus or a suggestion can work wonders for anyone. Must we be open to discussions and suggestions.