I visited my friend yesterday. He was sitting morose, with his head in his hands; as if all hell had broken loose. What are friends if not help and cheer up a soul in need. So, I asked him what was the matter. He said his 19 years old son had decided to join ‘A Dangerous Profession’.
I remember about forty years back when I wanted to join the Indian Navy what was the reaction of my father about my joining “fauji” (military man). So, I asked him knowingly:
Me: Ah, I got it now; he wants to be a sky diver?
He: No, it is more dangerous than that.
Me (resuming fresh): I got it; he wants to be a professional bungee jumper?
He: No, nothing as simple; it is more dangerous.
Me: Perhaps he wants to be a worker at Sivakasi Fire-works factory?
He: Even that is safer in comparison.
Me: Maybe he wants to be a nuclear scientist working for Al Qaeda.
He: No, no, no…
Me: Perhaps a driver in Mumbai?
He: That’s dangerous but we still survive on an everyday basis.
Me (I knew this time I was close): He wants to go to Pakistan to teach democracy?
He: No; it is frightfully more dangerous…
Faujis don’t give up so easily. So I tried again:
Me: River rafting?
Me: Deep-sea diving?
I tried for next fifteen minutes, and still the reply was no.
Me (resignedly, finally): What then?
He (with an expression that said, “You will never understand”): He wants to be a cartoonist.
Me: That’s bad; but, at least he confided in you about that. I know nothing can be worse. (remembering friends are there to cheer up friends in difficulty) But, things are a-changing. Who knows, a few years from now, even this profession may just become safe?