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A young boy's dream to fly big noisy planes
While many other people his age were trying to grab their first driving permits, Shiv Kapur went ahead and got a Commercial Pilot's License from Florida. By the time he was 23, he was already sitting on the 'left seat of an Airbus A320', after becoming one of the youngest Captains that India has produced.
Shiv joined Pathways World School Gurgaon in 2004 and graduated in 2006, which was the second batch to graduate from Pathways. We commend Shiv on his remarkable journey so far and whish him the very best for the 'sky' ahead.
Shiv Kapur Interviewed by Pathways
Q1. A note on your childhood.
I grew up in Calcutta in a simple household - went to school in the morning and played sports in the evening. I wasn't a very bright student and have seen bad marks in subjects that I did not like. I did, however, have very encouraging parents who would push me to excel in what I had interest in.
Q2. At what point did you decide to become a pilot? Please describe your journey from a young schoolboy to becoming the 'Pilot in Command' at Indigo?
I still remember my grade 2 teacher's angry face when she caught me drawing planes in my books and asking me to "GET OUT OF CLASS!" I remember this badge from grade 4 career day saying " I want to be a pilot! " It was a young boy's dream to fly the big noisy planes, which stayed alive in my head till the very end of my school life - pretty much forgotten by the rest of my family.
Post grade 12 at Pathways I was very clear about what I wanted to do despite having been accepted in University for a Bachelors in Aeronautical Sciences – my family of course very encouraging and agreed to let me pursue my dream. I got my Commercial Pilots license in Florida, came back to India got my Indian License and started applying to all airlines.
Indigo, despite being a small organization back in 2008, came across as the most professional with their speedy answers - I decided to go ahead with them and was on my way towards becoming a First Officer for an Airbus 320! In 2011, I just about met the requirements to apply for the post of Captain - I completed my training and checks and was sitting on the left seat of an Airbus 320.
Q3. You have reached this stage at a very young age. Your thoughts on this accomplishment.
There is always something new to learn and something more to achieve - I draw my drive from my belief that I still have much more to achieve and many more miles before I sleep. One can only excel if there is always a bigger brighter carrot in sight and out of arms reach! The learning curve should tend to infinity.
Q4. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
5 years from now I see myself as a trainer with an airlines - this will help me nurture bright minds and help me enhance my skills and knowledge helping freshers evolve into skilled Commercial Pilots and eventually Experienced Captains. I am already in the middle of the process to be the first level Trainer in my organization - 3 check flights to go. Once this is done, I will identify my next goal and walk a new path.
Q5. Please share your experience of your time spent at Pathways? Your most special memory at the school?
Pathways to me was the best 2 years of my life. It was and is my extended family. We lived together, laughed together, cried together. Pathways is a place where one could learn at their own pace and the process transcended way beyond just books.
There cant be just one cherished memory – I've lived a gamut of experiences at Pathways, right from simple and stupid to outright crazy! I remember the post dinner walks around the amphitheater just laughing at absolutely everything and of course the time we were punished for flooding the hostel on Holi.
Q6. What message would you want to give to all our students and children in general?
Treat "Pathways" in light of its literal meaning! In my life Pathways has been a fantastic learning experience, which has helped me pursue my dreams and shape my life in the best possible way. The structure of the school is such that one needs to extract the best out of it since there is no forced learning. At the same time,I would advise you to have a blast because this time will never come back - but work a way out to balance it with what the real reason behind your journey with pathways is for. Study well, live better.
My dad told me something when I was in grade 10 which I can never forget. "A well balanced few years working hard at laying your foundation will lead to the most comfortable 50 odd years ahead." He asked me to have all the fun possible but give a little more time than what I thought was adequate for studying!