My 7 year old cousin is going through a phase in his life where he wants to be everything. One day he wanted to be spider man, the next day he swore that he was born only so he could bat like dhoni and then he wanted to be a footballer like zizou. Everything he sees around him enamors and charms him. It reminded of the time in my life when I was going through a similar phase. From the time I was 4 to the time I was 18 there were approximately 137 people I wanted to become and 3764 things I wanted to do when I grew up.
Age 5: Revs the garbage collector
I am extremely serious when I say that at the age of 5 I thought the coolest profession and the best thing to do in the world was to collect garbage. The reason was this. When I was young and amma used to give me something to eat, me being me I would invariably always drop what she gave me. A bar of chocolate, a ladoo, fruits EVERYTHING. And most of the times I would drop it in the dirtiest of places possible and just when I went to pick it up again and put it into my mouth to eat it my mom would say “chi!! Gandha hai” and flippantly throw it into the dustbin without realizing how it broke my heart to see a perfectly edible, delectable piece of chocolate go into the dustbin just because my mom suspected it had contracted germs. So most of my childhood went by with me sacrificing most of the things I liked to the dustbin. Every morning when chandu the garbage collector came home I would stare at him wistfully and think to myself “if ever I grow up I would want to be someone like chandu so I can go from house to house and collect garbage and retrieve all the things amma cruelly threw into it”
Needless to say after I attained a certain level of maturity this dream died.
Age 9: Revs the teacher
Though this sounds like an extremely sane and serious profession to choose, now when I think of it , the reason I chose it for seems extremely silly. All through school the one thing which absolutely enamored me was writing on a black board with white chalk. In class 4 there was nothing in the world I would have liked to do more than writing on the board with chalk and the only person I knew who always did this was my teacher. Because of my lack of stature though I have been monitor many times I was never given the opportunity to write the proverb for the day on the board primarily because I never could reach so high. It was such a grand thing for me to be called by the teacher to solve a sum on the board or something and I used to almost swell and burst with pride and hold the chalk as tightly as possible and do the sum as slowly as possible but that was a rare occurrence and So every time I looked at the teacher I would be like “That’s it. If ever I grow up the only I thing I want to be is a teacher and the only thing I want to do all my life is write on the board with chalk”
This dream died when amma and appa bought my sister and I a black board at home and after writing for 6 months to my hearts content the charm wore off.
Age 11: Revs the pilot
I think EVERY child would have had this dream at some point of time in their life. I haven’t known a single person who didn’t want to be a pilot when he/she was a kid. I think it is just one of those childhood things. Kya banna chahti ho badi hoke? someone would ask me and pat I would reply “Mai to badi hoke pilot banoongi” . I dunno why or what made me chose this profession but the very thought of sailing high in the skies among the clouds and wearing all those badges and stuff seemed like the most interesting and fun profession. I think this dream of mine never did die and never will. Even today I nurture a secret desire to ride a jet or at least a helicopter. The fact that I have never seen the insides of a jet or a helicopter and have a mild fear of heights is something which we shall not waste time discussing.
Age 13: Revs the sleuth
Extremely predictable. Every kid who has grown up reading enid blyton, nancy drew, hardy boys, agatha Christie, perry mason or sherlock holmes would have nurtured this dream. At the age of 13 I knew that I was a reincarnation of fatty (the main character in the five find outers and the dog. My favorite series by enid blyton). I used to dream up non existent mysteries and suspect extremely innocent people . I got the hiding of my life when once my dad had given my cycle to the cycle fellow for some repairs and I went and told him “hah!! Ramanan!!! So u thought u could escape by stealing and selling my cycle, getting some money and then claiming the insurance claims also by declaring the cycle was lost eh? (errr.. yeah. That was the way the book “the mystery of the burned cottage” ended when Mr. what-his-name would set fire to his own cottage to claim insurance claims). Needless to say my dad wasn’t pleased. Parents!! No appreciation for creativity or lateral thinking.
So because of extreme parental pressure I gave up this dream of mine.
There were so many, so many other things I wanted to become. A lawyer (the thought of wearing a black robe and carrying a rolled up white paper and shouting “your honor” gave me quite a kick and I have done it many times in the privacy of my room when I was young), an actress (ok!! U can stop heaving a sigh of relief that I did not pursue this dream of mine), a cook (never will become a good one I guess!! :(), a writer, a doctor (I grew up watching corny hindi movies so I have always had this desire to come out of an operation theatre, look at anxious family members and say “inhe dawaa ki nahi duwaa ki zaroorat hai”. Lol. Morbid!! I know!!), a cricketer, an army general (because the fact that there were no women in the cricket team or Indian army rankled me.) and sooooooo many other things that I have lost count.
It is indeed surprising and rather ironical that not even ONCE in my lifetime did I want to become a software engineer. I have nurtured so many dreams when I was young and in none of them have I pictured myself sitting in front of a computer screen and typing away to glory. Well what I am doing now is way way way better than some of the things I have wanted to become. (I mean seriously. Just imagine what would have happened had I pursued my first ever dream of being a garbage collector. Incidentally I am also doing that. Yesterday one of my team mates asked me if my variable in java had been garbage collected and if I had done garbage collection. I couldn’t help but laugh!! :D) and I am extremely happy and have no complaints but sometimes I wonder why I never pursued some of the things I wanted to when I was a kid and ended up becoming something I totally did not think of. But I think all of us have extremely romantic and exotic dreams when we are young but reality is so much different and I guess life’s like that and though right now I may not be exactly fulfilling some of my dreams (Thank god!! :P) I am extremely happy and contented and I hope I stay that way!!