Saturday, July 7, 2012

What do you want to be?

While reading a novel titled "Balancing Act" by Meera Godbole-Krishnamurthy ( a must read for any mom torn between her kids and her career), I was fascinated by an abbreviation used to denote a common question - WDYWTB  that expands to "What do you want to be?" Of course, this is a question all of us have encountered when growing up, at times excited and at times harassed by the same question. But if you think that this is a question reserved only for kids, think again! Haven't you faced this question at various junctures in your so called "grown-up" life? Not sure of others, but I have had to constantly evaluate the choices I've made in the context of WDYWTB! Anyway, now that I am a mom, I like to play around with this question off and on with my soon to be six year old, if not for anything else, at least as a great source of entertainment. Abhay for one loves picturing himself in different roles - as a bus operator, a pilot or a lawyer (I not lying, he did once say he wants to grow up to be a lawyer!) or simply a daddy! Off late, thanks to his obssession with Hindi Movies, he has taken a particular liking to a character of a cop in a recent block buster movie. Ever since we watched the movie on TV, he has been obssessing over the role of its lead actor (Ajay Devgan) as a police officer and insists on posing like one for each and every photograph. So right now, Abhay's answer to WDYWTB is Singham!

It is interesting to note that we identify ourselves more in terms of profession/job we intend to take up rather than a dominant quality that defines us. Frankly, this is something I realized when I read “I want to be” a little Princess story by Tony Ross. When I picked up this book from the British Library, I thought it would be something on the lines of the kind of profession or a calling the little princess might choose when she grows up. But it was much deeper!  The little princess feels that its time to grow up and wonders what she should be. When she asks her mother, the Queen, what is the best way to be, her mother points out that she should be kind, like her father. When she turns to her father, the King, her father in turn asks her to be loving, like her mother. She then approaches the palace staff engaged in various kinds of jobs – the royal cook who considers the best way to be is to stay clean, the General’s choice is to be brave, the Admiral’s pick is to be good at swimming, the Prime Minister’s advice is to be clever and the Doctor places being healthy above everything else. With so many choices, the little princess is confused! She finally turns to her maid who asks the most important question of all – “What do you want to be?” to which the little princess tired being the littlest in the literal sense, says most of all  she wants to be ‘TALL”! But her even more little brother looks up at his big sister and points out that she is already tall! J Both of us loved this book and Abhay wanted me to read the ending again and again. Of course, I had to ask him WDYWTB – to which he said he wants to be an actor! J


  1. :) i've been reading a tony ross 'princess' book to kabir too... except i'm reading him "I want my Potty" ! for obvious reasons ! anyway, abhay looks set to be an IPS officer in this photo... hey another 'mom's book you may want to read -- for yourself, not for abhay -- is 'Bringing up Vasu' ... it's available at Just Books... quite funny and what we all identify with

  2. Thanks Deepa! Will definitely reserve that one!