Saturday, May 14, 2022

What can I be!


It’s not very often that both my children (who are almost nine years apart ) are pondering over the same things.. and when that does happen .. the difference in their respective situations seem even more glaring and bemusing! Not too long ago, my soon-to-be seven year old daughter was quite taken in by Niyatee Parikh Sharma’s “What can I be”? (It’s a different matter that I managed to find time to blog about it a couple of months later!) She was fascinated by the interaction that the mother-daughter duo have about what the daughter wants to be when she grows up!! Round about the same time, my son was going through his own “what after-class-10” pangs and “What should I do - dilemma” dominated his thoughts and our thoughts too …and continues to this day as he finishes his class 10 Board exams! While he is clear on what he does not want (“Im done with science for life”! he screamed as he finished his science exam last week)… he is still not clear about he what he sees himself doing! While there are a couple of obvious choices .... he has been in "yet to decide" mode for quite sometime now. Unlike our generation who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, the Gen Z today are spoilt for choices and seem jaded with the endless possibilities that lie before them. While  there are many who have figured it all out and are already on their decided path, there are many others who are yet to decide on their future course of action. But having already scaled up the physiological needs and probably even psychological and self-esteem needs,  as per the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow’s “Pyramid of needs”,  most kids today are directly onto achieve “self-fulfilment”!   Ever notice that the question or doubt about the “scope” of a particular choice that was uppermost in our minds back in the 80’s or 90’s does not even cross their minds today!  Of course, it’s most desirable that they are probably making choices solely based on their interests, but can they sustain their interest in the choices that they’ve made … and as parents - it’s a fine balance between being control freaks and being too pliant! With too many choices creating too much confusion, I just hope the saying “When people have too many choices, they make bad choices” will not turn out to be true!


Anyway, having just finished his class 10 Board exams, and that too four days earlier than others who had opted for Hindi as second language, Abhay is not mood to think about his future as of now, and he is simply super thrilled about being in his own words “Done with school!” …and believe me there is no looking back there! As if to celebrate this milestone, we revisited Aadya’s once favourite along with her older brother (so as to nudge him into thinking about it) - “What can I be by Niyatee Parikh Sharma and illustrated by Vibha Suryanarayan, brought out by Tota books. It’s a wonderful conversation driven story wherein a little girl wonders what can she be when she grows up and her mother assures her that she can be anything she dreams of  - from an architect, just as they stand before an anthill who are the most amazing architects of nature, or a mountaineer  or marine biologist as they sit by the lake watching tadpoles, or an archaeologist as they excavate shells from the earth, and many such choices, as they juxtapose them with related creative and explorative activities around nature. A wonderful light hearted read that makes for an interesting parent-child activity about life and career choices that your little one may want to explore. Vibrantly illustrated, my little one could very well relate to the little girl’s dreams and aspirations and the narrative inspires kids to create their own path!  As we finished reading this book, Aadya confidently declared that “I want to be an artist”!  Wow….I only wish her brother is as clear minded as she is about what he wants be!  😊

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