Saturday, August 4, 2012

53. Some Guys Have All The Luck!

“When I discovered I really have no talent in writing I had been a writer for 15 years!”
“Then what did you do? Gave up writing?”
“How can I? By then I had become a popular writer.”
     Though this is just a joke I have heard, it has something common with my situation.  Though I’ve been a teacher most of my life, teaching is way down in my career preference list. Or in other words a list of cool jobs.  Come to think of it! Teaching is not there at all.

     Just take a quick look at this very concise and censored list: This is not necessarily  in order of preference.

Photographer, Photo Journalist, Journalist, Travel Writer, Writer, Artist, Architect, Civil Engineer, Draughtsman, Landscape Artist, Horticulturist, Pilot, Aircraft Technician, Rally Driver, F1 Driver, PTI, Doctor, Surgeon, Seaman, Computer Dude, Computer aided designing , Fashion designer, Advertising, Guitarist, Engine Driver…
     This, by no means suggest that I’m an unpopular teacher. According to the critics, I’m supposed to be one of the best, ever, if this doesn’t sound like blowing my own trumpet. But I hate teaching so much, I’d rather be anywhere else other than the classroom on a  Monday morning. I’d wake up in the morning to go anywhere else other than to the school!

     My ambition had taken different perspectives through the passage of time. Sounds familiar, huh? Each time I visited a circus I had wanted to be an acrobat and  I thought it would be an awesome thing to be an ice cream van driver because I would be the center of attention of all the kids and also I had the chance to park under a shady tree and eat my merchandise  if I pleased.  So time and time again it switched between fireman, bus driver, jack hammer operator, crane operator, engine driver, miming artist, drummer, girls’ school bus driver and so on.

      I became a teacher because I happened to pass an entrance exam I wrote while I was job-hunting. Teaching, a thankless job,  lost its attraction due to the extreme stress it entailed and lack of freedom. You had to live up to the expectations the society set for you.  And too much was expected of you. Job satisfaction was some mythical thing. You are rarely appreciated, but more often criticized. It had long term goals most of the time depended on luck and the effort of someone else. A baker had a better chance, because if he bakes bread he gets bread in a few hours. 

     I always thought playing the guitar would be cool, which I used to do in my free time.  Well, at least until the day I met Dhanushka, a friend of mine who worked in the army band.

"Hey, you are one really lucky dude",I said giving a light playful buddy punch on his chest.
"Why are you saying like that Henry Aiya?" Dhanushka asked. 
He always had a pleasant smile.

"Dude. Our jobs have a hell of a lot of stress. Whenever I get some free time, I love to play the guitar. It really unwinds me. I’d be doing that that all day long if given a chance than to teach a bunch of unruly kids.  But I have to return to reality."


"So you dudes on the other hand, get paid to do a cool thing like playing a guitar. Aren’t you lucky? I feel so jealous about you guys.  Some guys have all the luck and some guys get all the breaks! 
“Ha ha ha!!!”  the dude snickered in obvious amusement.

"What’re you laughing at? What’s so funny?" I asked.

"Hey dude, listen. I also used to love playing guitar before I joined the army band. Now that I have to do it as a job, I started hating it. Do you know in my free time, I don’t even want to touch a guitar.  I’d rather dig a hole in the ground than playing the guitar in my free time, oh yeah!"

I watched him letting what he just said sink in slowly.

"And do you know" he continued,  "these city schools ask for our service to train their school bands. We guys in the army band really fall over each other to grab a chance to train school bands? We love working with children, dude." 

Oh, Come on man! Gimme a break!!


  1. Hey dude
    Gimme a break ;-)

    I too need to look at my life. Did I ever want to be a doctor? of course yes and still I'm enjoying being a doctor.
    But, In the same way, I wanted to be a novelist, a poet, artist, photographer and an interior designer.
    But, what do I do now? I use to loaf a bit with a camera hanging down from the neck....
    But other expectations, they are long way gone! I Didn't even touch a paint brush for a quite a long period.
    Anyway, writing is happening in the blog. But it never work out the way i wanted it to..

    We all are in the same boat. We are not satisfied with what we have.

    1. Thanks Sindhu, for the awesome comment. I'm so happy to hear you became what you wanted to and enjoying that.

      With me, too, some of my expectatons were long since gone. Still some of them are still going strong. Well, with blogging I do both writing and painting both.

      Oh When i checked your list, I saw something I forgot to include in my list. Interior designer. Maybe I'd add it now. Thanks.

      This is really a true story, and my point was what you said at last. "We all are in the same boat. We are not satisfied with what we have."

  2. Dude

    Is it case of grass is greener on the other side.?

    I too dream of doing something else....something creative . Yet would we have been able to afford the other things that are so important to us... May be not.

    In a way , what we love is most of the time not the act of doing something, but how we think it will make us feel.....

    1. Well, JP, Sindhu said it directly. You said it classically.
      The grass is greener on the other side.
      Thanks for the awesome comment.

  3. Oh Dude ayya,
    As much as you lazy to teaching I love teaching. May be because of that I used to be a teacher since I was studing for my A/ls. By the way I also like to work as a doctor as it allow me to remove pain of patients.
    You belive or not I seriously want to be a farmer, one day I will. As I listned to many people we always worry about what we haven't and we don't care about what we have. Just we much do addmit overselves that we are made for our job and we are best for that. And then find way to enjoy our job with different thinking pattern about it.
    Ah another thing I see a teacher as a specialist doctor for mind which try to gether knowladge. Teacher can identify weaknesses of his childrens minds and work hard to treat for that weakness and improve them.
    You are smart teacher henry ayya. You are the best for it. Share that worth with students when you do that more you will get more happiness and you will enjoy the job more and more.
    Good luck Dude!

    1. Well, Giman, I'm not lazy to teach. I'm one of th most acctive around here. The thing is I'm a bit tired of the stress involved, bored of the monotony and disappointed at the rate I see the results of what I do. On top of that what the society and the administration expect from us is actually too much. we are more criticized than appreciated. Well those things are common to your profession too.

      Well, dude being a farmer is one thing on my mind too. But i don't exactly mean a farmer. maybe a Gardner, with a greenhouse.

      And thanks for appreciating me and thanks for the wonderful comment.

  4. Well i think this is the reality with all of us...till we aren't in that situation we think the others have it better, but believe me Dude many people are wishing right now that they were in your shoes. Also all people who have other jobs are where they are because of you...and believe me you are very very good at what you fact one of the best ever

    and to think of who i may have loved to become [ well i love what i am doing but let's let the imagination run wild] i think i would love to become a security that i can be awake in the night watching tv [ which i am good at] and sleep during the day [ which i am much better at] :D

  5. i also forgot to say that the art is amazingly superb....real classic Dude

    1. Thanks for your generous comment. I never think I'm the best. It's an illusion. Well will people really want to be in my shoes? I doubt. Maybe if they are unaware of the deadweight of those shoes and the chains attached.
      What you said about the security guard really made me laugh out loud. It was awesome.
      Well, thank you very much for appreciating my artwork.

  6. //girls’ school bus driver //
    well well well . . . .

  7. I never wanted to be in this field.. It was a friend of mine who filled my application and forced me to sign it. When the letters for interviews were delivered I had few hours to get ready,.In the end I got it.. A job in the government. I grew up to love it ..reached (almost) the top too.. However I had to leave it and take this foreign job to save my family life and may be my own life.... The politics (inner and outer) became too much to take. I look back now and enjoy those past moments..

    1. I also dream about the day I can go back with some financial stability to support myself and live the life I want. Wish you the same, dude!

  8. My dream was to be no one, but now I'm someone. So I'm happy with what I have right now. Sometimes its lazy its true. But becoming someone is much more worth than being a foolish no one :)

    1. You remind me of a "Beatles" song "Nowhere man!"
      I never got the impression that you were no one! :)

  9. Dude as u know the job which I do today was the choice of my dad and at that stage I was a bit annoyed about his decision but when I became a mom I understood,oh yeah ! this is the best job for me to have a balanced family life.I raise my hat to my Dad for making the right decision about our career [for me as well as for my sis, I have no doubt that she too has the same feeling about it.]

    1. I'm so glad you think like that.
      See how I ended up with something that was no where in my wishlist!
      Teaching in Sri Lanka was different. I miss it!

  10. Well, becoming a teacher is not easy. It is not easy to get out either!

    1. Well said, Dude. You hit it on the head!

  11. This is the first time I came to read your blog & I really enjoyed reading the articles you have posted. you have some really cool stuff here :)

    As a kid, unlike most of the other children,I didn't have any special ambition.(to be a doctor, lawyer etc)But later on when I was doing my O/L's I too had a list of my favorite professions.Being a pilot, detective, creative director in an advertising firm topped that list. Though those were the things I loved to do, life had other plans for me.
    So I guess that's life. we always don't get everything we want.we just have to be happy with what we have got and try to make the most of it....

    Keep up the good work dude!!!!good luck:)

  12. Well, Chams, Welcome to My blog and Thanks for the comment, too. Before replying I had a peek at your two blogs. They looked nice but still I didn't read the stuff.
    Thanks again, and one more thing I also write a Sinhala blog just like you do. And that's a rare case, and a tough one, isn't it, haha!

    My Sinhala blog's on my blog roll (මට භිතෙන හැටි)

  13. “Job satisfaction was some mythical thing”. May be you are right. I had a few jobs that I wanted to be 9in my school age). Then, I ended up in a different one (not totally). We can achieve many things in our professional life. But I don’t want. I know many who achieved a lot have miserable family lives due to many reasons. I have a happy family life which I do not want to sacrifice for anything. Ironically, my wife is a school teacher.



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