Please tell us about yourself
“To be who you are and to become what you are capable of becoming – that is the ultimate aim of life”.
I was born on the 2nd August 1989 in Dalmiapuram. It is a self-sustained township near Trichy,well known for the cement plant -Dalmia cements. My father works there as a fitter. He is my frame of reference for discipline and character-building.
“All that I am or hope to be, I owe it to my angel mother” quipped Abraham Lincoln. The statement is absolutely true in my life. My mom is my guardian angel. She is the one who taught me through her wisdom, the right principles of life.
Ever since my childhood, I wanted to be great in everything I do and I was allergic to being average. I did well in academics and sports. I took part actively in all extra-curricular activities like drawing, writing and singing and left no stone unturned. I had the mindset that ‘if someone has to be the best at something, why can’t that someone be me’.
I cherish my positions as ‘School pupil leader’ and ‘President of literary Association’ as some of my biggest honours that I’m thankful for even today. As I passed out of high school, the management honoured me with the title “THE STAR OF HONOUR”, which is the highest title given to the best student of the batch.
I passed out of higher secondary school with first mark in Biology group. My School is the place which identified my latent abilities and gave me the confidence that I could achieve anything I put my mind to.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and fascinating career?
Graduation time came and most of my batch mates chose various branches of engineering, a few took to medical studies and others chose accounts and banking. In my home town, there had never been a person who had pursued Marine Engineering before me. I wanted to be that first person to walk boldly into the unknown. I heard that it is a laborious profession being one of the most dangerous and challenging.
I never wanted a career that involved sedentary work like sitting in front of a PC all day long. Indolence is death to me. I was so interested to understand how machines work, their mechanisms and troubleshooting. I was an introvert spending most of my time with books and inspiring ideas, more than people. With all these puzzle-pieces falling in place, it struck like a chord that Marine Engineering was tailor made for me.
Being born in a middle class family, if I pursued a Marine engineering degree, my father would face huge financial constraints. Yet my father was so supportive. I still remember the day of my college interview, when dad put his arm around my shoulder and said “if this is what you aspire to be, go ahead. Don’t worry about anything else; you are going to be great”.
Tell us about your career path
I finished my graduation from Chennai School Of Ship Management with flying colours and distinction in many subjects, got selected in campus and joined a company called Wallem Ship Management in 2011 as a Junior Engineer.
Going around the world was my dream and the first foreign soil was Germany. I sailed 9 months in the Atlantic on a bulk carrier.
We marine engineers, have exams conducted by Merchandile Marine Department, Directorate general of Shipping & Govt.of India, which issues us the C.O.C – the certificate of competency based on our operational and management requirements at sea.
After one long year of struggle, I cracked one of the toughest exams in India and became fourth engineer in my company. If you ask any Merchant Navy officer, he will tell you horrible stories of clearing those heart-crushing oral and written exams.
I have been sailing since then and currently I am working inboard a Norwegian car carrier ship – NOCC Pamplona.
Life at sea is completely different and is very difficult for a land-lubber to comprehend. But for a big-time loner like me, looking at the Sea and the sky every morning is a heavenly experience.
I have been to many countries like Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, United States, England, France, Denmark, Morocco, Lithuania, Singapore, Algeria, Turkey, China, Japan, Korea…the list is too big.
What do you love about being a Marine Engineer?
Being a marine engineer gives me enormous pride because I am one of the five technical heads working onboard colossal ships that plough through the oceans of the world. My work circumscribes great responsibilities and being accountable for the smallest operational changes. Miss one plug, the size of your thumb nail, and your ship can sink to hit the Sea bed in a few hours. That is one of the reasons why It can go like “for the want of a shoe nail, a battle was lost” and why seafarers are highly paid with all the luxuries and allowances. . Shipboard operations are very critical and it takes a skilled engineer to handle crises, make decisions quickly and run these mega structures in a safe, seaworthy and economical manner.
“Don’t just read about great men of history, seek what they sought”.- those lines keep reverberating in my mind every day.
I am an ardent reader and I love reading motivational books and biographies of great men. I believe that time is the most precious asset in life and I hate wasting time. Our life is short and learning all the skills. I possibly can is my tagline. I have been exercising since 2008 and physical fitness is of paramount importance to me. The body is a temple and clean habits keep it clean. The gym is my church and that’s where I go everyday to get blessed. I forge my mind more than the body when I work out.
I play cricket , basketball ,table tennis and many other games even on the ship. Pencil drawing and water-coloring are my favorite pastimes.
What are your future plans?
My greatest dreams are to become a Chief Engineer in my field and a great motivational speaker. To set the snowball rolling, on my 26th birthday I joined a club called Trichy Toastmasters. Little did I know then, that this club would transform me into an extrovert and my beloved club members encouraged me to start my journey in public speaking.
I want to explore the range of possibilities of my mind and body. I didn’t know that I could dance well until my first year of college. I didn’t know I could excel in public speaking until few months back. I didn’t know I could play a guitar until last month. We are powerful beyond measure. The secret is to open our eyes quickly and know that as a fact.
Your advice to students?
Throughout my journey I have faced a lot of critics and people who didn’t believe in my dreams. Right from school days I had peers who would try to belittle me. I learnt in a later stage of life that it is necessary that when you have an uncommon desire to become great and walk away from average, you will have negative talkers around you but the secret is to silence them with your achievements.
I strive and thrive on challenges no matter how big and approach life with a different game-plan.
Journal writing is also a favorite pastime because I believe that if your life is worth thinking about it is worth writing about. Discipline gives you strength. Hard work and single minded focus are my biggest maxims.
Today when I face my audience I tell myself “I am not an entertainer, I change lives”. I tell youngsters “everyone must fall in love but not necessarily with a man or a woman, but with a dream, a vision.”
This is a world of possibilities. Everything is possible .Any dream, however big, is possible. Trust me……
Contact Jagadhees at email@example.com