Shipra is doing her Masters in Development Studies from School of Development Studies, Ambedkar University, Delhi. She did her Bachelors in Philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi University. She is also the winner of the Internshala Guest Article writing contest, the topic of which was “When I was a child, I wanted to become…” Shipra’s dreams have kept changing, and she tells us how she finds excitement in uncertainty.
When I was a child, my dream was to become, well, a series of things. Each day came with one new dream and ended with another.
Apparently as a child way before I actually knew how to spell doctor, I wanted to become one. And when anyone used to toss the question about what I wanted to become when I grew up, I would very proudly pronounce that I wanted to become a doctor. It was the only profession that I was aware of and practically the only “real” profession I was in ‘visits’ with. There was a funny thing about ‘being’ a doctor – it made everyone happy, and thus gave me self-assurance to re-say it again and again whenever the question got asked. All I knew at that time was that if I become a doctor I’ll get to wear the white coat and scare people with syringes. Thus, I fell more and more in love with this game of becoming a doctor.
Then when I grew up a little I got exposed to movies. I started wishing I could be an actress. With the dream came a major problem. I knew then, i.e. at the age of 7 or 8, that I could act and dance but I knew for sure that I could not sing. With time I started realizing that I was in fact growing as a tolerable singer and a pathetic dancer and actress. Then with my connection with the TV world, as I grew, I recognized that I wanted to become a secretary. Secretary I wanted to become, for the sole reason that I would get a rich and handsome businessman, fall in love with him and live rest of my life in luxury on his money. Simultaneously, during that time itself, I wanted to be journalist. I wanted to wear khadi clothes with a side bag and cover ‘true’ stories. But then I got a reality check, I realized that I wasn’t really a good writer. So very peacefully I made journalism sneak through the door. So now I was back to my secretary ‘dream’.
Then at the age of 14 years I wanted to become a soldier. I would like to admit that there was no patriotic reason for my choosing it, I rather was influenced by a TV serial which was about soldiers. For a while I was a soldier, only waiting for my other aspirations to follow. I had a friend one year senior to me whom I saw wearing a lab-coat for practical classes. Seeing the white lab-coat, my love for being a doctor asserted itself again. I knew again and became almost sure that I was meant to become nothing but a doctor. Although I would have been required to buy the coat a year later, I bought it then itself and started wearing it at home and began to look in the mirror admiring myself. After 10th I couldn’t get into the medical stream in the school and thus had to bid good bye to doctor in me. I wasn’t sad about it, because I realized that things that look pretty from far are not that pretty to get.
Anyway, I entered the commerce stream choosing one out of the remaining streams got left for me. By the end of 12th standard I was sure that I wanted to do either economics or accounts. But as we all are aware that an average scoring otherwise brilliant student doesn’t really get admission into good colleges in Delhi University I also could not get a seat in the course of my choice. So I settled for an Arts subject. After getting into this subject I realized (in the true sense!) that this was exactly what I wanted to do. This is my field and I love this subject. Suddenly, the subject which was certainly not my first choice seemed like the best choice for me. In my first year of Bachelors I decided to go for IAS after the course. I was sure that I had finally realized the aim of my life. But in three years the dream kind of fainted, and when I woke up it was a little late. And I could still fulfill my dream if I took a gap year and had gone for extensive studying. But, as usual, I was happy with myself and could easily convince myself that IAS was not my cup of tea and that actually I didn’t really want to go for it. Convinced, I started looking for other options. Like in the case of engineering, I was from the very beginning sure that I did not wish to go for MBA. So thankfully at least one option was eliminated from the bunch of opportunities.
Later I realized that I wanted to go for rural development. I don’t know how influenced this choice was. But I like to believe that I decided that this was my field of interest, rationally. But like always all the good institutes were already in the mid-process of selection. I applied at one good institute but couldn’t qualify its interview level. Now the big question came back again, “What do I want to become?” and I still had many options left. Then suddenly I comprehended my interest in sociological topics, which later ditched me too. During this process, I recognized that the subject I did my bachelors in was a beautiful subject, and I wanted to do my Masters in it. Eureka, I got THE answer I was looking for. This is what I wanted to do. I gave the entrance and interview for my subject and got through, but during this process I had given one more exam for development studies, which had completely skipped out of my mind. Till the date I went to submit the fee for the development studies course, I was convinced that I was going to do Masters in the subject I did my Bachelors in. And now I am doing Masters in development studies.
I am still in the process of dreaming, breaking my dreams and dreaming again. If one asks me if I have become what I wanted to be I would say that it was never a doctor, the actress or secretary that I wanted to become, I wanted to have a dream. These dreams help me during this journey of life. I have raised them, nurtured them in my mind. They are a source of comfort to me.
In fact, I was always living my dream. People actually have to wait till a certain age to fulfil their aspirations and dreams, I luckily didn’t have to wait so long for it. I feel that the people who don’t know what they want to be are luckier than who know what they want to become. We people have the excitement in life, the privilege of choosing whatever and whenever we want. Thus we are enjoying life at a little larger scale than the rest, with that beautiful uncertainty. I know I would reach to some end someday, but for that end why ruin my present? I am sure when we reach there we’ll have enough time to think. I feel I am a lucky person because every day I wake up I have a new dream for myself, sometimes possible like becoming a mountaineer, sometimes a bit less than possible, like becoming an X-men with the power of fire manipulation.