This is the story of Mr JP Singh. He is a simple autorickshaw driver. But the man has real big dreams. About two years ago, I was traveling in his auto in delhi somewhere I don’t exactly remember now. I have the habit of engaging in conversations with auto drivers whenever I travel on one. They are the best indicators of public sentiments and they actually allow you to get a feel of the real India. JP was one such man. When I started talking to him, he narrated his grand plans. He apparently has three sons and he has planned in detail of their future. He wanted his eldest son to finish his physics honours which he was doing at that time. His second son was a chemistry student. And his youngest son was in his class XI that time. The elder sons were to teach and tutor his third son so that he can get into some good college and prepare for IAS (civil services) exams. He dreamt of making him a diplomat. Typical Dad he was. Big dreams. What amazed me was that the way he narrated his entire plan which was more accurate and detailed than some of the biggest military operational plans. His meticulousness was manifest in the way he narrated even the time plan for the week for his children. He was nuturing the future of India. I really appreciated his dedication and wished him good luck. And he didn’t overcharge me as most auto drivers do. But the only thing I was worried that if his plans go wrong, how much devastated he would be!! He was actually living out his dream during the thirty minutes drive.
I thought the story ended there. But as we all know, this world is a small place and I met JP again in a CNG pump when he came to fill fuel for his vehicle after two full years. I recognized him instantly and asked how he was doing and what about his sons? He replied happily that his first son has got into IIT Delhi for Masters in Physics, the second one has completed chemistry graduation and the third has joined Maths honours. With all the three, he along with his sons has decided to open a private coaching institute that would fetch more money than his one of his son joining the civil services and the others working elsewhere. Infact they are running one now at a small scale. He was so happy to say this and his excitement was palpable.
Now, what does it mean? For me, it simply meant that he did not see civil services as an opportunity to earn corrupt money whose copiousness can never be matched by any private tuition centre. He would be happier to run a tuition center and earn honestly (more than an honest civil servant). And then his flexibility. He seemed so engrossed in his plans that he actually did give me an impression that he could be more stubborn. But when I heard how he had rerouted his thinking and the course of his sons as per changing dynamics of life as it unfolded in front of him, he demonstrated that he was flexible and quick to grab fleeting opportunities. And the third thing which was staring at me was the synergy. Each of his sons was to get their masters in physics and chemistry and maths, but when they synergize they produce more than their sum total. They produce an entire coaching institute. And JP was an average Indian middle class person. What more, he earns a daily living by driving an auto rickshaw. With his limited knowledge, if he can think so much, what would happen if he is trained formally in a management institute and would run an organization? What a wasted talent!!
In information ops, there is a terminology called the OODA. It stands for Observation, Orientation, Decision and Action. It is said the second O is the most important of them all. So, people like JP give me a lot of confidence in our people. In this madness of resurgent India, there seems to be a method. It may take another generation to translate into concrete results, but then our direction seems right. Lage Raho India. Lage Raho JP!!!!