What I wanted to be…

Daily writing prompt
When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At Age 5, I was in Bhopal – a new State Capital of a newly formed Madhya Pradesh State and my father who was in GAD in Mumbai secretariat was transferred with a few of his friends in different departments.

So we travelled by train from Mumbai to Nagpur for a marriage, then to Raipur to meet my Grandma, Uncle and a large joint family before coming to Bhopal. That year I found 4 friends, neighbors whose father and my father were like foster-brothers. This family was devotee of Avatar Meher Baba and I travelled with them to Pune for Baba’s Darshan. We also went to see Shirdi SaiBaba, Upasani Maharaj, Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon and Hazrat Babajan of Pune, Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur as 5 of them were called Sadgurus of Meherbaba.

The travel was tough, we had to change trains. Me and my mother dropped at Murtijapur where my father’s sister lived with her husband – they had no kids, he was a Station Master.

He allowed me to sit in a Steam Engine going to Amravati for a track check and return. It was such a fun. Putting Coal and Wood into the furnace and regularly pulling the whistle to shoo away any cows, buffaloes crossing the rail line.

I DECIDED, there and then – this is what I want to be – a LOCOMOTIVE DRIVER. And I also decided that once I grow old, I would be a Railway Station Master like my uncle.

What a wish. We did visit them later when they were in bigger depots, junctions like Bhusaval, Amravati, Beed and in all places my pastime was to travel in Locomotives and go make friends with drivers.

Later, of course, I lost my father when I was 12, and had to change town to Raipur and under some depression – my dreams changed, I started doing menial jobs to assist my teacher mother – a labourer, an assistant to electrician, an assistant to carpenter and also as trainee to a Barber without my uncle’s knowledge who would have prevented it. I also made friends with a Milkman and learned to milk, cows, goat, buffalow and clean them of all the muck to get one half of litre of Pure Milk daily for me and my mother.

Life is such. We all dream. But the lasting lesson I learned from Avatar Meher Baba as a devotee was “Mastery in Servitude” Mastering Service+Attitude and giving / being of service to others with a service attitude. That helped all thru my different careers including in Sales or later in management of people or Profit Centres.


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