BENGALURU: I have wanted to be a journalist since my English teacher in Class 5 encouraged me to read the newspaper. However, it wasn’t always the case. If the events in my life had played out differently, you’d have seen my photo with folded hands on the first page, instead of a humble humour column.
One of my earliest memories in life is a visit to our home by one of my father’s colleagues. This gentleman was an astrologer of sorts, and he wasted no time in ‘reading’ my palm. After squinting and frowning at my palm for a while, he declared that I would become a ‘minister’.
My parents were thrilled, but I broke down into copious tears. I had been brought up on a steady diet of mythological shows. I wanted to be the ‘king’ that I watched on the TV shows, not the old ‘minister’ who advises the king on important matters. But when I think about it after all these years, it doesn’t seem like such a bad option.
Of course, there’s the minor issue of me being in my early 30s, but it is politics we are talking about here. ‘Youth’ leaders of the country are well over the age of 45. And there’s no real retirement age in the field - you retire from politics when you die and leave the earth. There are no exams to sit for, nor the excruciating pressure of years spent in preparation. No CAT, or GATE, or GMAT. If anything, basic knowledge of the Indian Penal Code could come in handy when cases are slapped against you. You need not have a degree from a prestigious institution. For all you know, you could also be a criminal. Which other field allows for such flexibility?
You might not be an expert in any particular field, but you get to determine the nation’s policy on anything from cinema to bridges. And the work in itself isn’t too hectic - you could work while surfing porn from your phone while in the Assembly. Where else will one get such
flexibility? Then there are the working conditions. You can work from home every single day of your career. Forget spending hours in traffic - the roads start and end from your house. You get flexible working hours, with trips to Delhi thrown in every few months. And once there, the
subsidised food in the Parliament canteen ensures you have no need for Sodexo coupons.
Your appraisal only happens once every five years, and even then, the expectations from you are so low, you could win a second term simply by not being a murderer. And must we even discuss the scope in this field? There are foreign trips to be made. There is the ability to convert your black money into white without even stepping foot in Switzerland. Your family is taken care of; in fact, you could provide for three generations after you with the income you make. And when you finally leave your job, and if you’re lucky, there will be an airport or hospital named after you - immortalising your name for generations to come.
You tell me - is there really a better field to work in?