This is not the first time I have received Congratulations, and as always it feels good. However, a scary thought runs through my mind this time. This might be the last Congratulations I received. I have mostly been congratulating for some or the other academic achievement. I stood 1st in my school in Class 10th. Congratulations. Got selected in JEE 2002 with 811 rank. Congratulations. Got a job in Hindustan Unilever. Congratulations. Cleared Civil Services and got into IRS. Congratulations. Now got selected again with a rank of 36. Congratulations. But, now what.
There are no other exams that I'll write now and no other ranks that I would get. That means a sad end of the student life that was full of exams, results, failures, successes, ranks and congratulations. But, now that I shall be turning thirty, life shall not be the same. I am hoping that I shall be joining the IAS by August and after some months of training, will be posted to some place to look after the administration of a block or a subdivision in some district. There would be riots, road blocks, dharnas, unemployment issues, schools not running properly, power cuts, human trafficking, caste violence and god knows what else. And I shall be expected to resolve these issues. Gosh!! This is scary. Damn too scary. What if I am unable to deliver? What if I don't have a solution to these problems? How would I answer those who would hold me accountable for anything?
Will those people go and "like" some stupid Facebook status of mine or comment on my random blogs? Will they congratulate me that sometime my pictures came in some newspapers for clearing an exam? No.Not at all. They would tear me into pieces. I have got a job to do and I should better know how to do it well.
In that case, how does it matter whether I am rank 36 or 66 or just 6 or even 1. If I am a sloppy officer then I am no good. These ranks and these newspaper clippings and TV interviews will be forgotten in few days. So I don't need congratulations this time. I need "All the Best" and "Good Luck". And most of all I need a pretty good training. I am counting on the Training Academies involved that they must have devised ways to train us for such diverse challenges.
If there is one Congratulation that I aspire for, is that 30 years later when I turn 60, someone comes up to me, reminds me of my 30 years of service and says, "Good Job Done".