When I was posted to Dimapur, Nagaland, on CGM promotion, initially I was taken aback. It is 2600 kms away from home and is considered unsafe as the problem of insurgency persists in north-east India. Then, I remembered my father who took transfers as a challenge and readily accepted them without grumbling. He, without a second thought, went to even those places which were backward with little amenities.
He worked as a headmaster in Zila Parishad schools of Ananthpur district. He was a strict disciplinarian and a man of principles. One of his students was riding a bicycle without heeding to the national anthem being recited in the morning school assembly. He considered this disrespectful and punished the boy for his lack of discipline and patriotism. Whereas, my father would stand up and salute the flag whenever the national anthem was being sung, no matter where he was and what he was doing. The boy that my father punished turned out to be the son of a powerful local politician, who felt insulted and saw to it that my father was posted to the remotest village in the district. He also sent a message across, that if my father would apologise to the politician, he would consider the cancellation of the transfer order. My mother initially asked my father to meet him and sort out the matter appealingly. But my resolute father took a firm decision and accepted the new assignment. In the new village, we faced a lot of difficulties and challenges. I and my siblings would study in kerosene lantern due to lack of electricity. Medical facilities were deficient. My father had to commute long distances for fetching even basic commodities.
But he never repented his decision and never compromised on his principles. He used to say that Lord Ram was happier in the forest than in Ayodhya.
Recollecting this incident on retrospection I took inspiration from my father and relocated to Dimapur although I had to be away from near and dear. I decided that I will bravely accept any challenge that would come in my way.