I completed one year at work on the 15th of this month. Since I had somehow escaped giving a ‘joining treat’ or ‘completion of first month at work treat’ or ‘completion of 6 months at work treat’, I finally ended up going out for dinner with the boss, and the rest of the operations team. Somewhere in between discussions about the latest books being read, how much time who spent reading what, out of the blue, my boss said ‘ So did you want to be a writer?’
The question was a passing one, and I obviously answered in the negative, and there was no further discussion regarding it, but it did get me thinking about all that I had ever ‘wanted to be’.
As far as my memory goes, the first person I ever idolized was Kiran Bedi. And so came the ambition to become an IPS officer in future. Mind you, it was never just the police force; I had to be Kiran Bedi –2. The idea of riding bikes, punishing criminals, and on the whole protecting the world from evil (all the while looking extremely smart in short hair, which I already sported at the time) was extremely irresistible to my 5 year old brain. All the more when they started airing ‘Udaan’ (the story of how a young girl goes on to become an IPS officer again) on television.
This ambition, or dream lasted for quite some time and it was a while before I decided to shift to the more acceptable, and prevalent idea of ‘I want to become a doctor’, and later to a more specialized ‘I want to become an eye doctor only’. I was glad that I had finally made a mature decision in life, considering I was already in class 4 J. Somehow, this dream had a short life, and our classroom in 7th standard was situated right next to the biology lab. As luck would have it, I happened to witness an actual dissection of one of the cute white mice they kept in a cage outside the lab. I always knew this was part of taking biology as an elective, but somehow at that time, it took me exactly one minute to decide that I would never be able to do that. Furthermore, since this was just a mouse, and you had frogs, and earthworms too. And so ended another ambition.
As the perfect plan for life had failed, there was an immediate replacement/alternative required. And what better than something related to my favorite subject that year. As I found reading about the Indus Valley civilization, Mohenjodaro and Harappa more and more absorbing, I decided that all I wanted to do in life was to discover more of the buried past. I had to become an archaeologist, and excavate unknown areas, where for all I knew, I would stumble upon another historic civilization, and enlighten the world further, with my discovery!
I had high hopes with the plan, and I blame my mother for having spoilt it. She apparently could not visualize me roaming around in the sun, looking for broken pieces of earthenware or metal weapons. Her description of the job somehow made it seem not so interesting anymore. Infact I still tell her how she had cost the world, the discovery of the most interesting civilization ever (like I said, you never know!)
My English teacher in class 9th felt that I needed to pursue a career in journalism. That really delighted me, and I didn’t pause to think that the basis she had for deciding this was a few essays, letters to the editor, and a few book reviews we were required to write as our summer assignment. This, backed by the fact that I read quite a bit, made me believe that this had to be it. But that would mean taking up Arts after class 10. And in my family, that wasn’t even a distant possibility. So the idea was dropped.
Since I had already decided against sciences (I still cannot understand Physics), and Arts was not an option, it was commerce. With a vague idea that I would probably follow my father’s footsteps, and go work in a bank, I took commerce, much against the wishes of all my science teachers in school, who believed that a geek like me had to become an engineer, or a doctor. But it didn’t happen.
And I still believe that what happened, happened for the best. So here I am, 8 years later, already a year old at my job. And thankfully, I have no regrets. Would I have made a better police officer, or an archaeologist is something I would never get to know. And somehow, it really doesn’t matter anymore J!