Updated: Jul 13
Bio: Subodh Goel is presently working as a Co-Pilot with Zoom Air, the newest premium full-service domestic airline of India. Multi-dimensional and versatile, he has worked in the hospitality industry, made a successful career as a Software Engineer, owns a telecom business, and is a successful Co-Pilot. When he is not flying airplanes, he loves to spend time with his family and friends. Quite active on social media, he is popular in his social circle too. Watching movies and reading books are his favorite hobbies. He believes music for him is pure soul.
We all have dreams we wish could come true. Some dream in deep slumber, while there are few nut cases like him, who dream with open eyes.
Subodh’s dream was as old as he began to remember things. Childhood is an innocent period of life to realize what one wants to grow up as. Here he was, a child who was obsessed with airplanes. His mind never stopped working and questioning to know more about planes. He told himself, he would grow up to fly airplanes. Becoming a pilot was a dream that never left his sight.
There’s a saying ‘Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans’. This is exactly what happened with Subodh!
Years rolled by, he was now in college. A bright student with a good PCM score he enrolled at Delhi University to pursue Maths Honours. Soon college life seemed dull and worthless so he started bunking college. Instead, Subodh joined the Delhi Flying Club and managed to get my SPL, a student’s pilot license in the year 1994.
The day he got his SPL, he was in a fantasy world of his happiness. It was his first step towards realizing his dream. Subodh had it all planned in his mind. Everything seemed so perfect and easy, until that moment when you stand in front of your parents seeking their approval.
‘Our generation saw a boom of engineers and doctors’, recalls Subodh. ‘No other qualification or profession was deemed equal or above it. So it would not be wrong to say that we had a rigid set of parents, who always thought they knew what we wanted and what was right for us’. Really! Subodh was not an exception either!
Lack of funds and high cost of fees turned his parents non-supportive to his career option. He was disheartened. Least he could do to express his disagreement with his parent’s disapproval he defied to complete Maths Honours.
This was Subodh’s first heartbreak. It was such a setback that he lost all hope. Rather than making it happen, he let life happen to him.
He wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into for over a decade. Now that the time has passed, he has made peace with his yesteryears. He mentions that it was not worth it but sometimes people need a jolt to get back on track. And that’s exactly where Subodh was headed to!
He enrolled in a Bangalore University for a Hotel Management Degree. After the completion of the course, he worked at Oberoi Flight Services as a Catering Supervisor for six months. Later joined a Delhi based Dominoes Pizza outlet as a Customer Service Representative. He was still unsure and unsatisfied.
He was fighting his helplessness by ignoring the thoughts that wandered to picture himself as a pilot posing proudly in front of an airplane.
Next few years Subodh was juggling his life, workings jobs he never intended to, changing professions he never dreamt of; and lastly, living in complete denial.
Though a short-lived profession yet he successfully completed four years with an IT company as a Software Engineer. The journey from a trainee to a Senior Software Engineer was not easy but did prove fruitful. His company sponsored him for a client visit to the United States of America. This trip got the bells ringing in his ears. Nothing is impossible he thought but at the same time, the age clock was ticking faster. He was no more the young adult who was chasing his dreams like crazy.
Once again he gave up the prospect of becoming a pilot.
Still unsure of his professional agenda Subodh reluctantly joined his father’s telecommunication business in the year 2005. He also got married in the same year. Before he realized he was a parent. Fathering two kids now, a daughter aged 11 years and a son aged 5 years, he feels accomplished in his personal life.
Subodh considers his wife Dipti as his strength who not only believed in his dreams but also supported him when the opportunity came knocking his door.
Everything happened quite later in life. Post marriage and after working for two years with his dad Subodh decided to start his own telecommunication company in 2007. His business flourished and the next three years went by smoothly. But due to market fluctuations and changes in mobile operator’s policies his business slowed down.
This was the jolt that hit him hard. The first time in a decade he sat to think what he had planned for himself and what he was actually doing with his life!
Though Subodh firmly believes nothing, we learn, ever goes wasted, yet his whole life seemed a series of wasteful living. For he was not living his dream, he was just rambling through life. He did everything except for what he really wanted to do. He was going insane thinking what next?
He justifies, the answer was a simple ‘Follow my dream’. But the question ‘How’ was not that easy to answer!
During his rough days in 2010, he bumped into one of his school friends, Preeti Dutta Gupta. They were not only school mates but also classmates. Both had a good time reminiscing old times together. She invited Subodh and his wife to her house. That’s when he met Preeti’s husband Captain Sanjoy Dutta Gupta for the first time.
A chance meeting with his old friend’s husband turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He learned that Sanjoy was a senior pilot with renowned airlines in India based out of Delhi. Subodh casually shared with him his unfulfilled dream of becoming a pilot. Sanjoy not only encouraged him to realize his dream but paved avenues too. From then on, Captain Sanjoy Dutta Gupta became his mentor.
Aware that there would be a lot of finances involved, Subodh was giving it a second thought. He had over a decade to save money and that he did. The only reason he was reluctant to start afresh was that now he wasn’t alone. He had a family to sustain. This is when his wife extended support and there was no looking back.
Subodh joined the Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation (HICA), Karnal. On 31st August 2011, he lived the moment of his first Air Experience. He has not stopped flying since then!
In 2013, he completed his training in flying, cleared all DGCA exams, and applied for his commercial pilot license (CPL). This was the year Subodh and Dipti were blessed with a son, who's now 5 years old. The day finally arrived when he received his CPL. 4th April 2014 has been marked as a historic day in Subodh’s life.
As his telecom business was not doing fairly well since 2011, so he was now job hunting as a co-pilot. It was a year-long process to apply for and find a suitable job, as some airlines in India do not appoint fresh pilots after the age of thirty-five years. He was already nearing forty. Subodh was a bit disappointed and for a moment doubted his decision to live his dream.
Destiny always throws a stroke of luck in our life. In the year 2016, it so happened that a new airline started operations in New Delhi and had openings for fresh co-pilots. With the reference of Captain Sanjoy, Subodh’s resume was taken into account, and he was soon hired as a co-pilot. The CEO of the emerging airlines was considerate enough to give him a fair chance.
It’s been two years on the job, still going strong, and satisfied. Subodh never stopped dreaming, since the day he realized that our dreams are the visions to plan the future of our choice!
Subodh says, ‘I have never been happier than I am today by Just Being Me’!
Acknowledgments by Subodh: My first acknowledgment goes to Captain Sanjoy Dutta Gupta who not only pushed me closer to my dreams but also encouraged me to accomplish my dreams. A Big Thanks to my wife, my better half, for believing in me and supporting me throughout. No thank you is complete without acknowledging the good wishes of our parents. I am who I am today by the blessings of my mom and dad. A Big Thank you for always keeping me in your prayers. Thank you to my parents-in-law for having faith in me and keeping calm while I was risking their daughter's future over my dreams.
A Ray of Hope: Dream and believe that dreams do come true. Giving up is easy, but stick around for as long as the little voice inside nudges you to keep moving in the direction of your goals. Faith and Hope are merely words until you believe in them.