Turning 18 with HT: ‘Armed forces give you a life of honour and prestige’
This Pathankot boy, who wants to fly high, has dedicated himself to his mission for the last two years, forsaking even the ubiquitous mobile. Now all set for NDA, he’s just got one resolve -- to stay on the pathpunjab Updated: Feb 01, 2018 11:31 IST
Name: Raghav Arora
Born: April 4, 2000
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute, Mohali
Badge of honour: Cadet Quarter Master Sergeant, Bravo Squadron
On turning 18
It’s the start of a new phase in life. It brings both new responsibilities and distractions. The challenge is to work towards your aim and not be led astray.
What I want to be and why
I have always wanted to fly high as an air force officer. It’s because I have always thought of the sky, and not the land, as my terrain. Nothing can beat the thrill of flying at double the speed of sound. No one in my family is from the forces, I joined the AFPI so that I could work towards it.
Fear and fantasy
I am not afraid of anything in particular. My only fear is of getting distracted and not fulfilling my duties and long-term ambitions. I dream of becoming the air chief marshal of India.
What makes me happy
I enjoy a good bonding with my comrades at the institute. It gives me a high when we accomplish tasks together. I also enjoy spending time with my parents and elder sister.
I can’t live without
I can’t imagine life without my family and friends.
What makes me angry
I get angry when I feel some cadets deliberately flouting orders. An order is just another step towards an aim, it must be followed.
Am I happy at the moment?
Yes, I am enjoying my time at the institute. All of us are brothers in arms and we have the same goal.
What religion means to me
I am not into rituals. I believe religion has two faces to it. It helps us unite till the point we are secular, but it can become divisive if we turn hostile towards other religions. It is unfortunate, but this is happening these days. The solution is to build a place with room for all beliefs. The armed forces have all-religion places of worship, which drive home the message that all religions are one.
Role of social media
It can be helpful as it connects you to the rest of the world and you can gain tremendous knowledge. But this too needs to be used within limits. It’s important to ensure that the time you spend on it is productive.
My idea of India
India is the world’s largest democracy. There are so many varying viewpoints here, ranging from moderate to extreme. We have to ensure that our democracy, economy and defence work in tandem to be a successful nation.
What I admire the most about India
It’s a great country, nowhere else do you get so much liberty. I also love the concept of ‘jugaad’, we help ourselves despite lacking in R&D.
The change I would like to see in India
We should invest in research and development. This will not only bolster initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Startup India, but will also tackle social issues. Right now, we focus all our energies on solving social issues, which change with every generation.
What money means to me
Money is important to lead a decent life but more money doesn’t necessarily translate into happiness. The armed forces not only offer good money but also give you a life of patriotism, honour and prestige.
My role model
I derive a lot of inspiration from my father. He is a doctor-turned-entrepreneur. A self-made man, he set up pharma factories by dint of sheer hard work.