A few months back somebody asked me what i wished for my little girl to become when she grows up, a Doctor or an Engineer? As astounded as i was at the bluntness of the question asked for somebody who wasn’t even ONE then, it didn’t quite come as a surprise to me. The fact that our desi kids have to go through the pressure on their tiny frail shoulders to become ‘a doctor’ or an engineer’, is not a novel occurrence. Expectations soar high no sooner they are in school, and pressure from those nosy ‘apparently well-wishing’ acquaintances who ask such blatant questions, make the struggle even more real.
I did however, answer that question with much self-assurance, conviction & clarity, because as a parent i was and am confident of what i want my girl to become.
So THIS is what i want YOU to become, little one!
I want you to become a HUMAN BEING. As funny as this statement sounds, humanity is something quite amiss these days. We have become important people, but most of us have lost our ‘purposeful selves’ in the process. I want you to become a dignified individual touching the sky with wisdom, intelligence, character & personality, but at the same time feet firm on the ground with values, kindness and compassion.
I want you to become a strong person, strong enough to reach out to people and lift, bind & strengthen them. ‘Strong’ enough to refrain from meaningless bitching n’ shallow gossiping. Strong enough to be able to share what you have been bestowed with. Strong enough to define your own meaning of ‘failure’, which is NOT based on what people say/think of you, not based on how acceptable you are from a society’s yardstick, a failure not based on how much money you made, which college you went to, how pretty you looked, how much skinny or fat you were and how many designer dresses and shoes you owned. I want you to be strong enough to understand failure as ‘failing to fully live’.
I want you to be a woman of strong character. Little one, i want to pass on MY definition of character to you. A wise man once defined Character as what you are when nobody is watching. I feel the only time when i would feel upset about what you became, is when you become a snob, a fake, or a shallow soul. I want you to be 100% Original. Yes, for THAT i am trying day and night to be the kind of example that you would want to follow. I do assume the responsibility that IF i fail you, you might perhaps want to fail me too. I am not perfect, i can be guilty many many times of being what you might not like, but i can assure you that i DO TRY. I want you to TRY!
I DON’T mind if you don’t score Distinctions, but i do want you to be a person who is in a constant quest for knowledge & wisdom. I want you to be a curious soul, always wanting to know more. I want you to keep learning, from mistakes, from life, from people. I want you to know that no matter what levels you have achieved, YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BE PERFECT. Just how much wisdom there is in this world for you to grasp, is out of question.
You have to remember that I will be THE HAPPIEST on the successes life has to offer you based on your merits, BUT I want you to not forget the REAL reason for my pride from you which would never be the levels of hierarchy you have topped, the amount of fortune you have gathered, the size of that fancy house you have built or a luxury car you drive. My pride from you will come from knowing how hard you worked all along, with how much honesty you got there, and how many people benefited from you on your journey.
I want you to know the POWER of ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’, Please, I miss you, I love you
and HONEST words spoken straight from the heart. I want you to become a respectful, empathic and courteous person, who doesn’t endow stupidity in an answer to ignorance, but learn to master the art of assertiveness with poise & honesty with grace. I want you to have the courage to say what want to say, be what you are without hurting anyone. I want you to BE BRAVE!
I have to tell you that along the way IF you wish to become a Doctor or an Engineer, an Artist or a chef, an entrepreneur or a journalist, I don’t have a problem, as long as you were powerful enough to CHOOSE & DECIDE for yourself with a killer confidence, as long as you picked your battles wisely yourself, took responsibility for your deeds and decisions and didn’t mind being held accountable. I don’t mind if you want to become a hair dresser for that matter if you are ready to bring something new to the process that has never been heard of before. I will embrace your uniqueness wholeheartedly, as long as you stand tall looking all ‘unique’. I want you to stand away from the crowd my girl, because masses often mislead. I want you to HOPE, DREAM & INSPIRE.
I want you to understand that the power of ‘experience’ is faaaar wayyy superior than the delusion of ‘materialism’. Climbing Everest provides pleasures more perennial than living in a luxurious villa, travelling worldwide to experience cultures is more magical than wearing diamonds, getting a decent education is more influential than wearing designer clothes. I want you to draw your own line for everything ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. I want you to argue with me, throw something back at me that i didn’t know of, or thought of or perhaps missed back in my humble living experience. I want you to feel, breathe and live, collect memories, gather laughter and be able to look back at it all with a satisfied, fulfilled heart and a smiling face. I want you to SMILE! I want you to be resilient, push your limits, get up ten times stronger each time you are pushed back. Give a SMILE ten times bigger and CELEBRATE LIFE🙂
No my girl, my duty as a parent is NOT TO make you a rich and acclaimed Doctor or an Engineer. I say, your profession, your problem, NO strings attached. All i want you to become is a great and inspiring Human being, a thankful soul, a beautiful heart, a knowledgeable mind. If you become half of that, my goals being your Mama are achieved, and eventually BOTH OF US WIN!