THE KID GROWS UP AND LOOKS BACK
So i was talking to a couple of my friends yesterday when we accidentally veered around to our childhood dreams and what we thought we would grow up to be. That took me to a new thought what if i went back 20 years ago to visit my childhood self. Will the kid recognize me for what i am now? And will i look kindly on the kid for what he was doing back then? An intriguing question which made me take a trip back on a time machine and observe my 11 year old self. And here’s what i found
1) The Betting Master -the kid was an incorrigible risk taker and daredevil – when i recently went to a school reunion by schoolmates some of whom had only been on nodding heads basis even back then with me remembered me even after these many many years as challenge ganesh- for the kid always had a reputation in school of never turning down any challenge or bet. My schoolmates said that the easiest way to get me to do anything was to bet me that i couldn’t do it and then watch me take it up. The kid could never resist a challenge despite how many times it led to the headmaster rooms for a lecture on breaking necks. But me the grown guy i am the poster boy of playing it safe nowadays eschewing all risk – i even have a driver nowadays to avoid the hassle of driving in heavy traffic.
2) The Bully Beater – the kid was always ready to fight and for others. – when i younger i was taller and larger than most of my classmates and school mates so i never had an issue with being bullied. But nevertheless whenever the kid saw other little boys being bullied and harassed by larger kids the kid used to jump in and fight. Torn clothes, torn knuckles, broken watches broken glasses were all part of everyday life for the kid. The kid used to get lectured by everyone around him to walk away from fights which were not his own but he never did turn his back on little kids being bullied by seniors. The price of adulthood is i have learnt to choose and pick my fights and learnt to let others fight their own battles- whether its a good thing or not i dont know.
3) Speed thrills- the kid was fiend for speed he loved nothing more than going on roller coasters again and again- the scarier the better. In fact the kid once promised himself he would buy Disneyland so he could ride all the roller coasters all day long- once he grew up. But poor adult me haven’t even been to Disneyland yet. And travels around town in a big SUV with the best safety features money can buy- how the mighty fall.
4) Fire in the belly- the kid was sure he was going to change the world and he had an uncompromising belief that he was destined to do so – he devoured a lot of books on revolution, communism, nihilism and other ways to bring about the revolution for a better world. That belief has slowly eroded with time and the adult me knows that its too big a project for me to take on. Its enough if i can change myself and be the best i can be instead of being on a world-crusade mode.
5) Mr.Teresa – the kid was a bleeding heart liberal out to help others all the time..the adult is far more responsible and knows when to help genuine cases after having been preyed upon once too much for being empathetic to others.
So what would the kid think of me now? To be honest i would say he would be a little disappointed at what i am right now and wont listen to my explanations of what it means to grow up and being responsible. But hey, who listens to kids nowadays?
P.S. I dedicate this post to my buddies Minu and Mahesh who gave me this idea while talking over our childhood ambitions- mahesh to be batman and minu who wanted to be a nun when she grew up.