As an ex-IAF officer's daughter, I'm bound to be biased about this subject. I've actively tried to keep the bias at bay. Please feel free to leave me a comment, if you find my post preachy in any manner.
I don't claim to be a gyan guru, but I would just like to explore what a glamourous life is made up of and understand how it contrasts with the defense life. I agree that just like any other profession, the Defense profession has some pitfalls and a big factor of work place hazard. If one overcomes these situations, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - a life of valour, pride and all round personal & professional development. The other day, I read an article in Times of India that a lot of young Indians don't want to apply to the Indian Defense Forces as they don't find it as glamourous as an IT career.
With friends in the IT industry and I working in the financial industry, one thing I can definitely vouch for is that my father's life when he was serving in the IAF was of much higher quality than what I have. Whenever, he talks about the early phase of his career, I start contrasting it to mine, and I always think that I wish I had that luxury. I don't know about the people who took the survey or people in general, but personally I've always felt that life in the forces is of much higher quality which to me is the glamour quotient of the Indian Defense Forces.
When one talks about a glamourous life, especially middle class Indians like me and you, we would say that the celebrities and the likes of Shoba De and Vijaya Mallaya live a glamourous life. The fact is that we can also live a glamours life, we can also get to do horse riding, flying a micro-light, para sailing, taking out time to play a sport without worrying about a client deliverable and visit exotic locales. What I've just stated are things you would find on the recruitment page in the perks sections of the IAF, Indian Army or Indian Navy career website. As an insider, I can tell you that's all true. Just like the HR and Corporate leadership tell us that you have to show the enthusiasm and we'll make way for you, the same is true for the forces too. Coming back to glamourous life, I would list the following as characteristics for saying that though I'm a middle class Indian, I live a glamourous life:
- Quality of life - A good balance of work and co-curricular activities.
- Family Time - Getting to spend time with family and not working most of the waking hours of the day.
- Conducive Environ - for personal and professional development for self and family.
Here, I would like to take a moment and remember the dialogue from the movie Vijeta, where Om Puri explains to Shashi Kapoor's son that Indian Defense Forces can also be viewed as a career option and not just with a patriotic fervour. Aren't the points listed above what we want from our careers? I don't know about you guys out there, I definitely dream of such a profession. Some place, where we are able to pursue our other interests, in addition to our professional demands. Money is important, but not at the cost of health and eating up family time. Though, there is also a second side of the coin.
When one enters the academy, the occupational hazard aspect starts and it only grows as you get commissioned and stationed at various stations. This occupational hazard includes anything from physical injury to death. As stated in the Heroes, another hindi movie that recently came out - that death is the death of martyr and its for pride and honour.
Honour to me is most important in life, and the defense life ensures that. The patriotism is inherent. You have to be a die-hard fan of India to survive the training and the profession there after.
All in all, to me a glamourous life is one which gives us the freedom to not only pursue our career but also pursue our interests and hobbies and a life of honour & pride. I would like to end by borrowing a part of Rabindranath Tagore's poetry that the training and career in defense force prepares you for a life "where the mind is without fear and the head held high."