He must have been about eight or nine when I first met him. The hand that offered me a bunch of grapes belonged to a cute face and a lanky frame. We shared a room quite a few times in the next couple of years. His parents, both of them close of friends of mine, moved to a different city, but we still kept in touch regularly. The contacts turned few and far in between the normal twists and turns that life takes. At the so called crucial juncture in a young one’s life, he was very clear which way he wanted to go. The existential angst happened after graduation. To follow the trodden path , making a living and loving something else, enslaved in a false sense of security or follow his heart and be secure in the knowledge that he did what had to. That was about less than half an year ago. A couple of weeks back, he was a part of one of the boutique cafes in the charming by-lanes of Kochi , capturing the hearts and palettes of many a guest with the dishes that he churned out,the notes that wafted from his guitar and a voice that sang out to their souls. Today, he is the lead singer of a well known music band travelling across India.
He got it right as his FB status rightly said on the day of his first major performance, “Send out a thought to the universe and your dream comes true.” Yes, dreams do come true, when you chase them relentlessly and never give up.
His father and I have had multiple conversations on kids, education, life and of course, dreams. We were brought up to believe that financial security was of utmost importance. Probably because that is what our parents strived to have. And maybe that is why we go all out and say we want our children to do what they want. But, sometimes I wonder, do we actually believe in it completely? If we do not, what is it that is pulling us back?
In the past three years, son has not wavered from what he wants to be – a professional footballer. As he is growing up, we as parents have starting thinking what if that doesn’t work out, shouldn’t he have a plan B? We see kids who are better than him, and wonder whether he has in it to actually make it. If not, what then? Yes, I know, it is too early, he is just about twelve, and he is doing pretty well in his studies. Are we unconsciously transferring these little insecurities to him?
Maybe, I need not worry. His dreams, like that of my friend’s son, remain focused. In his mind, he is the best. When people say today’s kids lack focus, I feel like laughing out loud. They are the ones who are much more focused than we ever were. They know exactly what they want and how to get it. The disconnect is in whose focus it is. Our generation has residues of our parents in us. And our kids seem to have already shaken us off or is in the process already. Their definition of happiness is totally different from ours. Yes, they are scared of failure, but unlike many of us, they are not scared to give it a chance. And, in the process, teach us a thing or two.
Like son asked me the other day,
“Amma, what was your dream?”
“To be a writer”
“You still can be”
Yes, the little one is indeed growing up.
One of my favorite songs say it all…..