Who’s afraid of the recession? Or of unemployment or job loss? Unlike any generation before it, our ready-for-market younglings have before them what is arguably the most mind-boggling array of career choices, advertised and endorsed by political big-shots, celebrities, role models, influencers, and what marketers call KOLs — Key Opinion Leaders, many of whom may check the box labelled ‘all of the above’.
Of course, if you can afford it, you can jump ship and seek employment overseas. However, if the nose doesn’t lift and you’re stuck on home turf, or if you feel an irrepressible kundalini surge of patriotism bordering on jingoism, then ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.
Agnipath is not for everyone but a career headstart may be faster if you come from wealth and influence, helped by a generous sprinkle of sugar-free nepotism. In your ample spare time, you might inherit the leadership of a political party — if you don’t want the full-time job, you could execute your responsibilities on a freelance basis because, be assured, the old faithfuls can never agree upon another leader.
Or you might win the keys to the kingdom of the self-reliant and atma-nirbhar polyester national flag-manufacturing conglomerate that your great-grandpa founded, and choose to run a zoo with the CSR funds. You might get fast-tracked to become the titular head of a cash-swaddled sports administration board without moving a muscle on the field, especially if your dada (not the one that played for his place) is a political big-shot.
Prefer more action? Don’t fret, the playing field is wide open. For your kind perusal, here are some fascinating niche career choices that can set you up for dazzling success in Amrit Kaal.
Demolition Man: Do you have what it takes to bring condemned skyscrapers crashing down in a tornado of dust while tweeting about it with your free hand? You’re the man for this job. Of course, an aptitude for demolition also elevates you to the shortlist for the bigger job, concerning ancient monuments hotly contested by two or more religions.
Peacock Keeper: As the Great Leader plays fowl, someone needs to keep the national birds in fine feather. Because yeh dil maange mor!
Rupee-Dollar Alchemist: Wheeee! Was that a bungee jump or a nosedive? While economists watch in wide-eyed disbelief as the bottom falls out of the rupee-dollar equation, the time is ripe for some alchemy — how about some homegrown jugaad to turn those pre-demonetisation rupee notes into dollars?
Bulldozer Driver: At the rate we’re going, there will be more bulldozers at work than electric cars or metro locomotives. If you like knocking it around a bit, here’s a smashing career option. A word of caution, though: this might be a short-term career choice given how quickly we’re clearing up the rubble.
Equestrian Trainer: With horse trading normalised and hooves thundering across party lines, every political outfit needs someone who can teach its cadre a little show-jumping. Horses for courses, my friend. No irony if that sounded too much like a Sidhuism.
National Movie Boycott Activist: Another lucrative career option for couch potatoes. Sign up for IMDB — the Indian Movie Dissing Board. You get a lifetime’s supply of politically charged hashtags to trash and belittle movies that star actors of a minority community, or those that do not eat out of the Establishment’s hand.
National Pronoun Officer: When the world is finally free, and pronouns append all our names, we can sit in one big circle and play a guessing game whether you’re a he/him or a she/her or a they/them. But, be warned, it can get a little ho-hum.
Bulbul Flight Simulator Technician: Ever since the time-honoured annals of nationalist history uncovered that the great apologist of India’s freedom struggle flew out of a prison island on the wings of a little bird, it’s inspired our desi Right (Wing) Brothers to master the secrets of flight. Have no fear, because they’ve also found the instruction manual for the Pushpak Viman.
Fact Revisionist: Wanted - bright, impressionable minds that can tinker with the factory settings of true facts and false facts to make them virtually indistinguishable.
Caste Reset Specialist: It takes more than a well-strung sacred thread to ascend the intricate ladder of the age-old varna system. Have you got what it takes?
Bovine Geriatrician: When the goshalas are running over-capacity and the last grasslands have been grazed down to stubble, the superannuated cows will still come home. And when they do, someone has to take off their dentures.
Many of these jobs offer the flexibility of working from home, if you still have a roof over your head. If you are ready to exercise a little patience, you’ll have a seed fund of fifteen lakh rupees in your bank account by the time you retire. A promise is a promise, no?