Which Navy Do You Want to Join…?

Making a Career Choice


Story of a Smart Boy’s Dilemma By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/which-navy-is-better-career-choice.html

This happened more than 16 years ago – in the year 2001 

A bright young boy – who had just passed his 12th CBSE Board Examination – came to meet me at my home in Mumbai.

His father was an Officer in the Indian Navy (The “Military” Navy).

The bright young boy wanted some career guidance advice.

He asked me a straightforward question:

“I have been selected as a Deck Cadet in a prestigious Shipping Company. I have also been selected for the National Defence Academy (NDA) as a Cadet for the Indian Navy. Which one should I join: Indian Navy or Merchant Navy…?”

“Did you ask your father…? What did he say…?” I asked him.

“My mother says that he is too biased. She said that I must take a neutral opinion. My father agreed too. That’s why they told me to ask you for advice…” the youngster said.

“Have you thought of other options – IIT, Medical, Engineering, Hotel Management, Civil Services…” I said.

“No,” the boy interrupted, “I am not interested in all those things. I want to be a seafarer.”

I looked at the smart young boy.

He looked tough, intelligent, neat, well-groomed  – and – he certainly had the personality required of a Naval Officer.

“Okay,” I said, “how much time have you got to decide…?”

“One week,” he said, “I have to confirm readiness to the Shipping Company within 10 days. The Deck Cadet Training starts in 15 days time. Even for the NDA – I will have to report for the course next month.”

“You will have to find your own answer to choosing between the Indian Navy and Merchant Navy…” I said, “I will only help you find your answer.”

“How…?” he asked.

“You must do two things…” I said.

“Two things…?” he asked.

I said to the youngster:

“Yes. Two things. This is what you must do. Go around and talk to people – meet the maximum number of persons you can – and – find out the following information:

  1. How many children of Indian Navy Officers have joined the Merchant Navy…?
  1. How many children of Merchant Navy Officers have joined the Indian Navy…?

Meanwhile – I will also try to find out from my fellow Indian Navy officers. And – I know a lot of Merchant Navy officers too…” I said.

We met after a week to tally the data we had collected.

  1. The number of children of Indian Navy Officers who had joined the Merchant Navy was Twenty One (21)
  1. The number of children of Merchant Navy Officers who had joined the Indian Navy was Zero (0)

“By the way – I talked to some Army Officers also – and I met 3 Army Officers whose sons have joined the Merchant Navy – but – like I said – I did not find a single Merchant Navy Officer whose son or daughter has joined the Indian Army or Indian Navy or Indian Air Force or the Defence Services…” I said.

“I found out one more interesting thing too…” the boy said.

“What’s that…?” I asked.

“There are many Indian Navy Officers and Sailors who quit the Indian Navy to join the Merchant Navy – but – I did not find a single person who quit the Merchant Navy to join the Indian Navy…” he said.

“So – you have got your answer – haven’t you…?” I asked the boy.

“Yes, Sir…” the smart young man said to me, with a decisive smile on his face.

Of course – he went ahead and joined the Merchant Navy.

Dear Reader:

Have you seen a son/daughter of a Merchant Navy Officer joining the Indian Navy (or Army/Air Force/Armed Forces)…?

If you have – please comment and let us know.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


  1. These are my personal views.Please do your own due diligence while selecting your career.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/which-navy-is-better-career-choice.html

This story is a revised repost of my article “Making a Career Choice INDIAN NAVY or MERCHANT NAVY” posted online by me earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/05/indian-navy-or-merchant-navy-making.html


  1. 1
    dr. karthik Says:

    services of all kinds r good 2 anybody if u r ignorant of the real world….
    yes, shakespeare said it well –
    ignorance is a bliss !.

    on a lighter note , may i ask-
    how many scientists aspire that their wards or children shud also join similar kinds of services like themselves or as scientists..
    i shud say ZERO in spite of famous personalities like abdul kalam.

    on the contrary-
    armed forces personnel do aspire 4 similar services / jobs.
    i know of a naval officer friend of mine whose son is in the coast guard and feels gr8 about it !
    also several NCOs, JCOs r keen and many of their children have joined as officers in one of the armed forces.
    what do u say.
    am keen to learn from others` viewpoints 2 for my personal reasons.
    shud b a good data analysis case study or as a social scientist`s research on trends that r emerging in mera mahaan bharat ! ! !

    Liked by 1 person

RSS Feed for this entry

Please comment. I appreciate your feedback.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: