I find it very courageous on Chetan Bhagat's part to pen a book where he describes his in laws in such detail. And live to tell the tale! So I decided to take a deep breath and follow suit. Its interesting how sometimes people connect not merely due to relationships but merely a similarity in nature.
I write about my father in law not to earn brownie points (though those wont hurt:)) but simply because he 'gets' me. A fighter pilot by training (how cool is that) he could easily have retired from the Air Force and stayed at home doing what he likes best - reading and writing. Except that he realized that they come a close second to what he truly likes best - flying. So here is the next contender for my series on people who reinvented their lives. At an age when many choose to sit back and reap the benefits of a lifetime of work, he went and signed up with Air India. If you ask him why he chose it over doing the PhD that he's been thinking of, he would softly smile in that you-have-so-much-to-learn way and say it was simply because they let him fly for another 6 years.
So he went and moved literally to the other end of the country - Cochin. The beauty of the place may be lost on him due to his schedule. He flies 4 times a week, usually to the Middle East and back. His flights are at obscene hours in the day, 2am or even 9pm. His body clock has probably given up and decided to follow his mind. But his absolute dedication to the thing he loves is what keeps him going. He diligently studies for the exams pilots have to continuously pass and needless to say, he gained the reputation of being one of the fastest growing ranks in this organization as in the Air Force. He redefines cool - he can pull off a leather jacket with the same élan as a business suit. And if you ever saw him on the dance floor with his son, you would gape in awe, unable to pick a favorite!
But this is not why I connect with him. Like me, more often than not, he prefers his own company to that of others. He will be content in spending an entire day with his book and not get flustered. His vast repertoire of knowledge will not be shared with you unless you specifically ask him - he is not one to give unsolicited advice. And years of introspection have given him what many of us aim to get - peace of mind. He is one of the most content people I know. At peace with himself, who he is and what he has.
There are not too many people I admire. But a lot of what he is, I would love to be. Cheers, to a father in law many would envy me for!!!