“What do you want to do in life?” quizzed my senior under the tutelage of whom so many of us had flourished. A riveting discussion of varied perspectives about pursuing an MBA abroad had come to a screeching halt. For the first time in about two hours, I was dumb-struck. Thorough research for months had given me statistics, facts and ideologies about a lot of things that were once alien to me. But all that research fell short of answering this perplexing question.
As a coping mechanism to such an unanswerable situation, my knee-jerk response was “doing an MBA and settling abroad.” It only took me a jiffy to understand that the question was one far deeper than the answer suggested it to be. Reviewing that discussion two days later, an intriguing thought presented itself to me. I realised something important.
Young kids dancing in marriages or family get-togethers is a refreshing sight to the eyes. It rejuvenates one’s mind and showcases the innocence of these lovely beings. When we look at this from a different perspective, we can unearth an unsaid thought process that prevails over a majority of the population. Finding teenagers and adults dancing to the tunes of the DJ in such events is as likely as finding two oases together in a desert. Though it might sound like an over-exaggeration, it underlines the fact that as we grow up, we develop a sense of inferiority that questions every step of ours.
“What would the others say?” has shackled the wings of bathroom singers and amateur artists alike. In retrospect, we realise that the kids below a certain age have not been exposed to such thinking. Here lies the source of their carefree nature, one admired by many. More than curbing our hidden talents, this way of thinking has clouded our ability to dream and has eradicated our will to chase our dreams.
“I want to break into the Indian cricket team.”
“I want to explore the wilderness of outer space.”
“I want to serve the nation as an army officer.”
Alas, with the bridled ability to dream and the inferiority complex I had developed, all these remained dreams that were too good to be chased.
We have all been emboldened by our well-wishers to chase the wildest of dreams. The harsh realities of life switch up our fates and throw us off track at a young age. On entering the twenties, we gather the motivation to take the challenges of life head-on to do life-impacting things. But soon we realise that we have come a long way from the crossroads of life where we had to take the road less traversed to reach our childhood goals.
We are caught in the conundrum of life. When we had the opportunity to chase our dreams, we didn’t dare to choose the road not taken. When we finally muster the courage to do so, the opportunity no longer presents itself. I wish to be a child again, not because the going gets tough from here on, not because I’m not ready to take up responsibility, not because I’m scared of the treacherous journey adulthood presents in front of me but because the idea of dreaming like a five-year-old and following my wildest dreams seems very appealing.
On this note, I embark on a journey to reignite the child in me by doing something that has been on my mind for an eternity now; “becoming a writer”. The idea doesn’t exactly mean that I’ll become an author or a poet but it falls under the broader bucket of being able to put in words the infinite thoughts that my overthinking mind generates. Though it is a small step, I hope it catapults me into becoming a child again. I hope it helps me leverage the benefits of a mind neither clouded by perceptions and ideologies nor hindered by obstacles.