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LIFE AT SEA IS NOT JUST WATER AND SHIPS- A SAILOR ON BOARD

LIFE AT SEA IS NOT JUST WATER AND SHIPS- A SAILOR ON BOARD

Pilot? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? As kids, we dream of becoming so many things, but with time we change ours wants to something more realistic.  But not everyone does that. I am one of the few lucky ones who are today what they dreamt of being as a couple of 14-year-olds. 

COULDN’T HAVE ASKED FOR MORE

My family shifted to Ahmedabad before I was born. We live in a 350-years old house, and it’s still as sturdy as a rock. My father owned a small gift article store called Mufeez collection, yes, it was named after me. Presently we have a different business as the gift shop got burnt in the 2002 riots.

My school years have been the most unforgettable years of my life. I was a fairly bright student with playfulness inside me. Your school years define you and that’s absolutely true. We were a group of eight boys who were inseparable. We have been through each other’s thick and thin, be it about women, career, money, feelings, etc. I am one of those blessed people who still share the same bond with their childhood friends.

IT WAS TIME FOR ‘THE TALK’

From nursery to high school, to higher secondary school. We have been together ever since. Even changing schools could not separate us. I couldn’t, or should I say I don’t want to imagine my life without them.

Our board examinations were approaching, and I was completely caught up in things that shouldn’t be occupying my mind at such a crucial stage. My entire pack made me sit and had ‘the talk’ with me. It was the first time something like that was happening. We all passed with flying colors, all eight of us.

THE SEED WAS SOWN AND I WATERED IT EVERY DAY

When I was in high school, one of my relatives introduced me to the field of the merchant navy. As a kid, I was fascinated by the uniform, the authority a man holds, the chin up and pride, the sea life. for a point, I was not thinking about anything else but this.

I still remember the day we first had the internet installed at our place. The first thing I searched was the ‘life of a sailor’. Now I started my research in this field and my interest just went on increasing every single day. By the time I was 16, I was adamant about my choice. I completely had shaken off all the other career options from my mind. I absolutely had no idea about this job, didn’t know what to do, how or where to start, I just knew I had to do this. It just felt something made for me.

The only thing that I was clear about is that I never wanted to go into business, I have seen my family go through the hardships, I couldn’t have done that.

ONE STEP CLOSER

I had now cleared my entrance exams and gotten into Asia’s top marine college. My morale was at its peak. It’s been 6 years in this field now. I have never been more content in my life. The one thing that I honor most about my field is that its totally cleaned spic and span of nepotism. No one can reach the highest level without having to go through the lowest, doesn’t matter if you are the captain of the ship or the owner.

I HAVE POLISHED MYSELF ENOUGH

You have to start from scratch. The captain today was a cadet someday. The experience acts as the stripes on the shoulder. I still remember my first sail, I was so excited. But as a cadet, you are bound to do all the petty jobs. So it was initially a little monotonous but unavoidable. After completing my 3 years of cadetship and I appeared for a higher-level examination. I was now promoted to the third officer position. I made a lot of mistakes initially but hey, that’s how you grow, isn’t it? Some things I learned from my mistakes and some from the others.

But today, I have polished myself so much that nobody can question me on my job specification.

LIFE AT SEA IS NOT JUST WATER AND SHIPS

Life at sea is definitely not easy. The tallest hurdle becomes managing your professional and personal life. I am the only child to my parents, which made them take a lot of time to support my decision. They were skeptical initially but came around since it was what their son wanted to do. My extended family still criticizes the choice of my lifestyle, how will I manage my own family someday? This cannot be a lifetime way of living. But I and my parents are really happy with what we have and how I am doing, and that’s all I care about.

EVERY BLESSING WAS COUNTED

I love my job, life at sea is more than water and ships. People will never get to experience something I do. Once I step down from the ship, I have absolutely nothing to do. I can do whatever I want without having the stress of going back to work on a Monday morning. I have the time and money to spend.

The biggest con I would say comes when you are searching for a life partner. Not every spouse has the willpower to stay separate for half a year. It was more of a task for me, but I was lucky enough to have found the one. I am just happy to return to a home where people are waiting for me with curves on their faces.

The Instagram handle of Mufeez Valiulla.
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