Am sounding too serious these days. So picked out something written a while ago…
“What are your plans?”
The minute I am asked this, I get contemplative. Not only because I have no plans, but because I do not know how to define the idea of ‘plans’.
I can understand if a young person is asked this. Have I already given up on myself? Am I not the one fascinated by new challenges? I guess I am…yet, something inside me feels in a limbo.
A lot has happened that has made me like this. I used to be so sure of what I wanted. I still am occasionally. But now it is not what I want – it is what wants me and then I see whether I can give it anything. More importantly, can I give some of myself?
I always knew I wanted to write. I also knew I could do it along with a few other things. When I was a child I had many other things in mind. It is another matter that the reasons were not quite the right ones.
I wanted to be a doctor only because, “Bachchubhai ka peit kaatna hai”. Poor B Bhai was a family friend and he did not even have a huge protruding tummy that I could have been fascinated by. No one took me seriously.
I wanted to be a lawyer because of that crucial moment when I could stand wearing a black gown, look menacingly at my opponent and say, “Mere qaabil dost yeh bhool rahe hai”. It would be the only time I would call an opponent a friend. No one took me seriously.
I wanted to be a teacher because I felt that would be the only time when I could show I knew more than the others seated before me. No one took me seriously.
I wanted to be a hairstylist because I like using scissors. No one took me seriously.
I wanted to be a nun because they were exempt from the thought of being compared to the birds and the bees, a comparison I find highly insulting; I also did not like the sound of spermatozoa. No one took me seriously.
I wanted to be an actress because I could dress like a tart and be called a ‘pativrata’; I was also quite certain I could put in a lot of punch while screeching, “Main tumhare bachche ki maa banney waali hoon.” No one took me seriously.
I wanted to become a rock-climber because I liked those shoes with long spikes and the sound of panting. No one took me seriously.
I wanted to be a cop because I felt that if any of my family members got into trouble with the law I would knock on their door with handcuffs and arrest them, and say, “Rishtoun se zyaada farz mere liye sab kuchh hai.” No one took me seriously.
There are several other things I aspired to be, and since all these did not strike anyone as serious aspirations, no one believed me.
When I grew up and finally got my first big assignment I did not tell anyone. I returned home with a box of sweets. Pairs of eyes looked at me, then at the box.
I suspect for a few minutes they thought I was trying to tell them that I wanted to become a halwai.
Come to think of it, it isn’t that far from the truth. Only no one had bargained that this sweet shop would have only teekha and kadwaa mithai.
Sirf dard hi meetha hai.