26/11- guilt pangs

Continued from this post

The fervor was illuminating, the desire was pure and I couldn’t wait for class. Saturdays and Sundays classes. The timings were 9am to 4/7pm. The first weekend was mind blowing. I learnt I knew jack about the system. My claim to fame seemed to be sub standard kindergarten knowledge of the polity. Day one , I was salvaging my inner monologue ranting on about what the hell I was doing.

My class was a small room packed with twenty five of us. Took down notes on rural India, government initiated rural schemes, foreign exchange, economics, geography. I haven’t used a pen to write anything but post it notes after college. It was a struggle to spell and write fast. Topics on rural India were overwhelming. As classes progressed I saw a visible distinction between my fellow civil servant aspirants and me. I scanned the class and assumed that majority of the aspirants were middle class/ lower middle class families touched by miniscule waves of urbanization. I hate labels but yes some were typical geeks. There was a world of difference between them and me. Our ideas, speech, outlook, our sensibilities. I could talk, express my views about foreign affairs of India but they knew the real problems. The problems faced by the 9th planning commission headed by abc under the guidance of xyz. I knew who the music director of Slumdog Millionaire was.

Being a slave of globalization, weekends are very precious. The second weekend I forced myself to class.The knowledge was overwhelming, my eyelids were battling sleep, I was tried, I missed Saturday and Sunday night outs. The fervor which earlier illuminated was flicker of light. There were numerous books to be read and memorized. I was unable to balance work and studying. I would stare at the books and decide to go to bed. This routine went on for few weeks. Eventually I dropped out of class as I could not manage dealing with lousy working days and memorizing the recommendations of the 8th planning commission.

I still have guilt pangs. I always wanted to make it to the Indian Foreign Service. But I did fall short of the energy and blamed it on work. On the brighter side, the restriction age is 30 and four attempts. I still have three more attempts. I quit my job two months back. Contemplating whether I should give it another shot. I can’t afford my fervor to fall short this time. Every time I hear about 26/11 I feel all I did was talk just like everyone else.

Life returned to normalcy but I still can’t make peace when Sandeep’s father’s words at the memorial service which frequent my mind and what I see in the news. I recently read a tweet from Rajdeep Sardesai which read – every shithole in the country, theres someone whose making a positive difference. May their tribe increase.

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