“Beta, what do you want to become when you grow up?” a question asked to a child many a time.
The first time my little son was asked this question, he wanted to become a ‘big man like Papa.’ Smiles spread all around although everyone knew what the little kid meant – to grow up big in size like his father. My husband smiled the widest and the little son was happy to see everyone happy!
The next time my son was asked this question, he had already begun frequenting the tailor’s shop with his mother every now and then. The sewing machines, the sound, the power that came of them, the colourful pieces of cloth that the tailor so generously gave to him made my son get fascinated with the profession of tailoring. His response made people laugh and he enjoyed that because at this stage in his life he was beginning to understand the nuances of entertaining people! This carried on for a few years. I even joked amidst friendly get-togethers that I asked my son to say fashion designer and not tailor. A stereotype reaction, I would say.
My husband was transferred yet once again. It took us a while to settle down. It took people a while to address the age old question to my son, “What do you want to become when you grow up?” And this time, my son’s reply was truly unexpected. “Chef!” he said.
Oh My! Were we surprised? My husband was smiling like a Cheshire cat when he heard this because all his life he had always wanted to open up a little fancy restaurant where he would be free to cook the dishes he wanted to without any interference from his wife. I also realised that all this while; my son had been watching a lot of fancy cookery programmes on television with his father! Added to this was the fact that my son just loved food. So, this became his aim until we shifted to another city once again!
This time, we moved to a metro. Not a new place to us but for my son, moving from towns to cities was something new. So, with growing years, changing schools, jumping hormones came a change in the choice of a career. Bollywood Beckoned! With the latest songs at his finger tips, a hit at school and at home at mimicry, my son today, wants to be an actor.
When his grandfather heard this the first time he was, honestly speaking, scandalized! Our local pediatrician was disturbed too and he proceeded to advise my son about the disadvantages of being an actor, how training to be an actor would not guarantee that one would become a successful actor. And even if one did become a successful hero, one needed to know Mathematics to count all the crores of money! So, acting could be indulged in the side while one concentrated on becoming an Engineer or a Doctor!
Like always, my husband and I have neither sermonised nor influenced the probable decisions of our son’s future career. This year, he has stepped into the Ninth Grade. Still carefree, happy go lucky, yet to realise the importance of a Public Examination which he will be writing next year, my son carries on living life without a care!
A day will arrive when he will finally ask us, “Mamma, Papa, do you know what I want to become when I grow up? It is this….” That will be the day of reckoning, a day we shall wait for ardently!!
Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance journalist, content writer, editor, book reviewer and poet. She has 15 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio and television. She has worked as a Spoken English Teacher too. She runs a blog for writers called Write Space and blogs at her personal blog Muse N’ Motivation. A daughter, wife, mother and friend, she believes that there is no situation that can’t be made better. Faith, Friendship and Family are what makes her life complete.