The Call of Duty

This is a very interesting (and disturbing) story. It is a true life story about a guy I know. We are talking about a professional who has spent the most of the last five months abroad on business. He occasionally comes home and one would be forgiven for mistaking him for a guest at his home! Read on ….

In the past five months, his father has been doing all his “official work” for him – right from paying phone bills to doing paperwork for their property. At an age when he should be serving his father; his father is serving him!!! But, he says his hands are bound – “Duty Beckons”, he says.

In the past five months, he has never taken his mother shopping. “I don’t have time to go shopping with you – why don’t you go on your own? I will give you my card”, he says. Upon being told that it’s not his money that his mom wants; but his company; he retorts saying he’s “busy” – The Call of Duty is his excuse.

He has not visited his village for more than a year now. Why should he? After all, he’s this big shot who’s flying around the world, living out of a suitcase. Don’t you know his profession, his Duty, demands more of his time? Village and relatives can wait.

In the past five months, he has missed every single important occasion in his dearest friends’ lives – weddings, engagements – everything, without the slightest hint of guilt. He has never been there when his friends needed him. “Sorry buddy, I’m too busy with my profession.”

In the recent past, he has completely ignored his resolution of doing something for under privileged children. The last time he did anything for them was more than eight months ago. He has all but forgotten about his responsibility towards his motherland, his country. Why would he? He’s touring the world on the pretext of his professional Duty. Country, society, underprivileged children – they all are not as important as his Duty, are they?

In the past few months, he has put his hobbies on the backburner. He has not posted a blog in the past 4 months; and he hasn’t done any serious photography for as long as he can remember. But hey, who’s got time for some dumb hobbies? He’s a professional. His Duty takes precedence over all these irrelevant things.

Well, well. Our professional sure does sound like a villain doesn’t he? I think I need to admonish this guy – or at the very least, ask him a question or two.

Mr. Professional, here are some questions for you.

  • Isn’t taking care of your parents and keeping them happy your first and foremost duty?
  • Don’t you know your business, profession is temporary, but your relatives will be there forever?
  • Don’t you think it is your duty as a friend to be with your friends on the most important days of their lives? Don't you know the only way to have true friends is BE ONE?
  • How can you forget your responsibility towards your country? You, the youth of the country, MUST play an important role in shaping its future. What happened to all the commitment you made towards the children who are the future of the country?
  • Is it not your duty, too, to set aside time for your hobbies, interests and passions? Especially since some of your passions have the potential to make a difference in others’ lives?

Mr. Professional, it is high time you get your priorities right. You have to decide which duty comes first – the duty that pays, feeds and clothes you; or your duty and responsibility towards family, friends, country and society. Signing off with the hope that you choose sensibly.

12 comments to The Call of Duty

  • A really touching post. Hope Mr.Professional takes the right decision.

  • Best of your writing coming out in this blog. But can't see the pain in it. I can only wish for a early exit and recognition of your work. Hoping to see you soon..!

  • touching article..

  • That was a cool read....truly can see a welcome change in the style and approach of your blogs. A true sign of maturity in its message ! Keep'em comin !

  • Really heart-rending blog. But,don't u think all these questions would have been already running continuously in the mind of every Mr Professional..Is it jst the matter of PRIORITY or your FIRST duty???? I would rather put it this way... Mr Professional should learn to BALANCE both his personal and professional life. After all,to do good to society, you yourself need to be in good condition..

  • @Rahul: Thanks! Glad that other people relate to this.

    @Kiran: Thanks man .. I dint know you are also a blogsurfer :)

    @pc: Dont praise Too much - it will get to my head :D. But thanks anyways.

    @Archana: Thanks!

    @Swaroop: Thanks for the encouraging comments - you know as well as I do that it keeps a blogger motivated ;)

    @Sujata: Your comment about Balance sums up the very essence of this post! In fact I have touched upon this aspect in various posts before - like here. But never have I felt as strongly about it as I am feeling now.

  • Anonymous


  • Hey kiran,
    This is an extremly well written post. I am sure many ppl are in a similar position like this Mr. proffesional. I must say I am lucky I dont realy come into this category yet. Try my best to maintain the balance.. [:)]

  • Well written :)

    I hate professions where they have to travel excessively. Its leaves that emotional void that nothing can fill. Time, is really valuable. And spending it away from family to earn something extra is not my idea of happily-ever-after.

  • Its easy for the onlooking world to ask these Qs kiran. But only Mr proffessional probably knows n u'stands the reasons hes making the choices he did or how hard it was for him to choose in the 1st place.
    (This doesnt apply to the bit abt charity n stuuf)

    i think wats important is that Mr prof has to balance it out..between his friends, career, money, family. n yes, thats easier said than done.Mr prof will have a tough time striking the balance!I wish him luck!

  • @Dhan Shekar: I think you are being too hard on yourself. It happens to everyone - important thing is to set it right sooner than later!

    @Angel: I envy you for being able to maintain the balance! Hope more professionals take a leaf out of your book :)

    @girl-who-ate-everything: Gosh - your pen-name is quite a mouthful! You should consider shortening it :)

    On a more serious note - Im not sure whether I totally agree with your opinion. For some people, travelling is a passion. Such people get an opportunity to fulfill their passion; while on business! Its a win-win you know. Of course, how much "travelling" (i.e, tourist stuff) they can actually manage to squeeze in amidst all the business pressure - is an altogether different story!

    @pavi: Yes - I agree with your comment. It is easy for others to criticize Mr. Professional - without attempting to understand why he had made these choices in the first place.

    On the one hand, it is possible that he had knowingly ignored the ominous signs!

    On the other hand, he might have considered the implications; and yet had to take these decisions under pressure from business or something.

    Regardless, I completely agree with you and sujata that learning to balance is the answer here. I know thats easier said than done. Lets all wish Mr. Professional good luck.

Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. All the views and opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, organization, relatives, friends, acquaintances or any other person/entity.