“What do you want to be?” Now there’s a question that’s thrown at you every other day when you are growing up. I’m sure, like me, you changed the answer to that question as frequently as it was asked. For the most part of my childhood, I spent dreaming about being a Super-hero. A knight in a shining armour to rescue some damsel in distress if you will. Off course, it didn’t matter that I was an absolute wuss. When I grew up, I was sure I was going to be fearless.
Then I discovered music. I saw my brother perform “Nasha Bhitra” (it’s a Nepali song) at some function organized by our church. I wanted to do that. I gave up that idea however, when I discovered how good (which is to say how bad) I really was. I kinda feel bad for all those people who had to endure my various “gems” when I decided to give them impromptu performances. My ambition of becoming an author, a poet, a professional football (soccer) player, traveler, photographer, all similarly got dashed one by one as I grew up.
I don’t know about other countries, but in India, it is fairly normal for parents to frequently remind you what a failure you have been. It’s part of growing up and you learn to take it in your stride as you leave your teenage and hormones behind. Plus, the constant use does takes away its bite.
I’m 26 years old now. And I’ve got a decent job which pays me enough to feed myself and my family with some to spare. It’s by no means a success story, but I believe its not a failure either. Sure I couldn’t be an author, but I can read. A treasure trove of knowledge and literature that I won’t be able to finish reading in my lifetime, even if I read at break-neck speed. I play football with kids at my neighborhood every chance I get, so there’s another box checked right there. My job allows me to travel quite frequently. I get transferred to new location every 2-3 years. I guess its not that frequent, but it will do. Most days I blare out the music system and sing along, and that makes me happy. Mostly because I don’t hear the mistakes that I make. And it irritates the hell out of my neighbors so that’s a plus. As for Photography? Well, I guess, I didn’t really wanted to be one.
What we want usually comes at a price. Ambition, hunger, the drive to do whatever it takes and sacrifice everything else is good. Important even. But I figure everyone can’t have that. I certainly don’t. Life throws at you unexpected challenges. And more often than not, what you’re given is not what you actually wanted. But you have to make the best out of it. And hey! The kids in my neighbourhood do appreciate my game!