Happy 10th Ria! Double digits, whoa where did all the time go? Here’s wishing you all the happiness and contentment that is humanly possible. You are an amazing kid, I was going through old pics and put together some (okay a lot) of the pictures from the past 10 years. It has been a great journey me learning more than teaching. Hope we can successfully bring up your dad and turn him into a decent specimen in a few more years…. have fun in the meanwhile …love you more than anything else….
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This is one question that has been on my mind for a while now “what do I want to be when I grow up”. Now I believe that by thinking for a long time about this question I have a vague idea. It’s more of an idea about what I would want to be like rather than a specific career goal. I’ve arrived at it after looking at people around me, essentially my parents, understanding what is important and what is trivial and finally answering my own question. I would like to be the best at whatever I finally choose to do in life.
The important things I have understood, mostly by observing my own mother, is that I want to be truthful. Truthful to myself about what I am doing. Being true to others is easy what is difficult is being true to your own self. I understand that whatever my mother does is done with all her heart and soul. She never starts something that she cannot or does not finish. It could be a huge software project at office, a beautiful art project at home or a simple thing like reading a book, she gives it all her energy and makes sure she does it with focus and finishes it. That for me is something I want to be able to achieve when I finally arrive at my career in life. I want to persevere and complete my projects rather than give up and walk away in the middle just because I run into problems. I have observed my father as well and from him I have learned that it is very important to think, research and be well informed about what one speaks about. He has shown me that it is important to be compassionate and helpful to everyone around us, to go out of our way to solve problems. He has also taught me that it is important to be independent and disciplined in life and not be too worried about norms that the world runs by rather write my own rules. He also tells me that there are lofty ideals of doing good for the world and making a difference to humankind however one should rather focus on doing whatever one is doing to the best of their abilities, the world will take care of itself if everyone stays truthful.
So yes at the end of the day what I would like to be is an amalgamation of all of these and so many more qualities. What I finally end up doing will depend largely on my journey. I could be a doctor, a software programmer, an innovator, a scientist, an artist, a social worker, an author or I could just go backpacking around the world and blog about it. Whatever I do I will do it with dedication, sincerity and persevere in my quest for excellence because end of the day my competition is with myself and I want to do better every day than I did yesterday.
nine and three quarters
One especially sweltering Saturday morning I woke up and figured I had nothing interesting lined up. The pool was undergoing repairs so a swim also was out of the question. That’s when my mom, who was sitting curled up in her favourite chair with her kindle, pointed to the book shelf. I ambled over and noticed a section full of Agatha Cristie books, another with P.G. Wodehouse, still another with Jhumpa Lahiri and some many other familiar sounding names. Finally a section with J.K. Rowlings. Hmm the covers looked like these could be books that younger readers might enjoy. Instinctively I picked up a book titled “Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone” which I found out was the first of the Harry Potter series. And that is how the journey began, Harry with his luggage trolley ran into into the pillar in the center of platforms 10 and 9 and landed on platform number nine and three quarters where the Hogwarts Express was waiting. The journey into the intriguing land of wizards and magic of friendships forged in the most most trying of circumstances and enemies vanquished in the most spectacular of duels had begun.
Once I had bitten the bait there was no stopping, I read all seven volumes almost on a trot, back to back to back with a breather in between for the first term assessments though I remember reading HP on the sly even when giving the FTEAs. Finally as I finished the last page of the last book that came out of J. K. Rowling’s pen I felt sad and wondered “this journey took me almost half an year to complete, I love the storytelling, wish there was more”. Later I read about the hardships that J.K.R. went through in her life before literally winning the lottery with Harry Potter and how it was just a matter of sticking to the plan, being gritty about making something work. I understood that to be able to craft such amazing fairytale like lives one had to stay the course and be patient. The journey was not just about the learnings from the HP books it was from JKRs life as well, I am so glad my mom pointed out the book shelf that summer morning.
Let me sleep for five more minutes
5:45 AM the alarm goes off. This is the third alarm in a series of alarms spaced 15 minutes apart. Mom and dad are out walking or running or cycling or swimming or just sitting and talking. Ira my younger sister is cosily snuggled into my side breathing heavily ignoring the alarms like me. Let me sleep five more minutes.
The main door opens and closes, dad is whistling and calling out to Ira and me. Ira bounces up all sunshine and daisies and everyone is rolling about in our bed, Iru and I going “eeewww you are all sweaty”. He’s been out jogging with mamma. Ira bounds off like the little mutt that she is with mamma. Let me roll over and sleep for five more minutes, just five.
Ira has had a bath and is all dressed and ready for school, the alarm goes off again this time I know it’s 7:35 coz I can smell the coffee from the percolator, dad’s onto his second cup of the day while he prepares breakfast for me and Ira. Mamma is calling out to me urgently now saying she’ll leave without me if I’m not ready in 5 minutes. I continue to stay put, it’s a Thursday for heavens sakes, the weekend is so far, let me sleep for five more minutes.
The door opens and closes, moms gone. She’s taken Ira with her. Dad’s on the phone with his client in Australia, to think it’s already past 1PM in that country. Let me continue to sleep for five more minutes then I’ll get up and enjoy my self sanctioned holiday. 8:30 AM and I’m finally up. Dad’s busy on his workstation, moms at office and already in the middle of her day, Ira is at school doing her ABCs. What do I do now? I get ready, have the eggrolls dad had made for breakfast and settle down with a book watching the waves roll in and the sea gulls soaring over the mangroves outside the window. Oh boy, time does move slower once one is up.
The day is done and everyone is back home. I am happy about my break from school but it’s done now. I missed all my dear friends and most of all Anshu maam. It’s fun to take a break but it’s even more fun to go back to school the next day. So my bag is packed, my uniform is on the chair, the checklist for bedtime is all ticked and I’m off to sleep. Tomorrow I will wake up on the first alarm and make sure I am at the door at 7:40AM right beside mamma and Ira.
5:45AM, the third alarm goes off…. I’ll sleep for just five more minutes!