When I was small and had no worries in my childhood, I dreamed a lot about what I would become when I'll grow up. There were many friends and acquaintances around me who had ambitions and a zeal to achieve their dreams in future. Some fantasized about becoming pilots after they got aeroplane toys as birthday gifts each year. Some wanted to become a great racing driver like Michael Schumacher when they saw his red Ferrari on TV. After watching Indian Cricket team play every time live on home ground, millions of little hearts shouted for their favourite cricketers and visualized themselves on the cricket ground with an Indian team jersey and a MRF bat in their hands. When I became a teenager, many of my friends got inspired to become a teacher and teach in front of that black board in future. They adored their teachers and geared up for that position every year on Teacher’s day, when girls got an opportunity to dress up like their favourite teachers and teach their subjects to a class for few hours. Some were very good singers and the most sought after during every cultural event in school. These students wanted to carve out a career for themselves in the field of professional singing in future.
But can life be that easy? No. If one has to follow a dream, a child or a teenager needs to first realize that it is his/her dream. How will a mere 10-year-old girl realize that she has a great potential to become a hockey player in future? It is impossible for a 12-year-old young boy to know about his strengths as a good batsman. Children show their talents without any hesitation. They openly declare that they want to become this or that when they'll grow up and then noisily go off to watch cartoons. If their passions can be seen and realized at an early stage, it could only be by their parents and teachers. If proper guidance and related professional coaching can be given, it is the decision of a parent. And every parent wants their kid to excel in life by earning well when they grow up. And that includes the most sought after fields of engineers and doctors. If an only son in the house gets into a government job, the family life will be secured. When it’s the ultimate time to decide the future career option of kids, only those professions are considered wherein a kid can earn more than his father or at least equal to his father at any cost.
Another point is lack of proper attention towards a kid’s talent or passion. Often a child’s dreams or a teenager’s talent is considered as childish and taken lightly. Why? These are kids. They don’t understand a thing. And cannot be taken seriously! That’s what the mindset of the grown-ups sometimes becomes regarding their kid’s interest in some particular field or a hobby. And so many times, children are forced to go for following a profession that will satisfy their family and secure their future. Another dirty secret is about the society. If a father is an Engineer, how can his son/daughter be a guitarist in a professional band? Will that be acceptable by their relatives and neighbours?!
One of my cousins, a long-distance relative, is a good cricketer. He is an all-rounder and playing Cricket is in his genes. There have been many cricketers in his family beforehand, playing for their respective teams at regional levels. He went over-board whenever a Cricket match happened in the country. If possible, he travelled in trains and buses to catch a glimpse of a live match in a stadium. He cherished every memory of all the cricketing moments and re-lived them after coming back to his hometown. But there was no one to give him a professional training. No one to give a proper guidance. He tried his best for two years on his own. He had many gap years due to this in his life, but he worked hard on the field and aimed only to become an Indian cricketer playing at international level. But his family conditions forced him to pursue a lucrative job in a bank. He was forced to give up on his dreams. He studied hard and cracked his MBA. Today he is working at a managerial position. But ask him if he is happy with his life and he will just stare silently at this question and ask for the latest cricket updates. It hurts him so much that he has left playing at all in retaliation.
I always wanted to become a journalist. I didn’t mind whether it was print or electronic journalism. The sight of news anchors breaking live news to public makes my heart feel proud about themselves. My own maternal grandfather was a print journalist in Navbharat Times. People say that a pen is mightier than a sword. And I can totally relate to it. But my keyboard is mightier than a pen these days. Thanks to blogging! When it was time to actually start pursuing my dreams, the old argument started. I am a girl. In electronic journalism, there is lots of travelling in a bid to do any news coverage. My people declared that I won’t be able to do that. Coming to print, my maternal grandfather died when I was in class 8th. After him, there was no one to look upto for guidance and critical opinions. When he was alive, we both used to sit in front of TV and watch the parliamentary debates. After he was gone, I was thrown into the crowd, to do what others around me were doing. Ofcourse, I argued and fought. But my opinions were not taken seriously, since I was marked as a teenager with a lot of day-dreams. And then I ended up doing engineering, becoming an IT professional and writing this blog.
It can be frustrating to realize later that if somebody had just backed us up, we could have been doing something different in our lives today. Something that we were passionate about. Something that we could have done because we wanted to do it very badly since our childhood. Sometimes, we look back and just break a smile. We have jobs in our hands, we are earning well and so not to fuss anymore. What will change the past anyway? Why to go on about dreams when they one can never achieve them? This is just a matter of opinion and opinions differ from person to person. But people like me do not refrain from trying. One can follow their dreams even now. There are many people who are working in companies and at the same time, chasing their dreams side-by-side when they have free time. It’s never too late to start following your passion. Age is just a number. Maybe one day that time may come which will make us re-live our childhood dreams and make them a reality. It is all upto an individual. How well you can face the world, satisfy your family needs and then follow your dreams too. This all depends upon us. Till that time, we can just switch on a TV, watch 3 idiots, keep a hand on our hearts and utter ‘Aal izz well’! :-)