Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, June 19, 2008

By Nisma Elias

‘Me, me it's my turn!' yelled seven year old Tashfin from the corner. 'Alright, Tashfin, what do you want to be when you grow up?' I asked when it was his turn. 'I want to be a policeman and catch all the bad guys' he said standing up and even showing me the imaginary punch he would knock out the 'bad guys' with.

All kids have ideas and dreams about what they want to be when they 'grow up' and Tashfin is one of many. Sometimes, they remain fixed; sometimes they change frequently. I wanted to be a nurse one day but then decided being a scientist with mad science hair was way cooler. Of course, that leads to another dream and so forth…until one day it's all over too soon.

'Yes, there were many different things I thought I would do when I was younger' says Mr.Golam Haider, a businessman. 'I always thought I would go into the army but then it didn't work out. And now I have a totally different profession and I am happy with it.' We've all seen movies and heard songs about how following your dreams is the only way you'll ever be happy; but of course that is hardly realistic. So what happens when those shining dreams of yours turn into stones, unable to be pursued?

'I always wanted to be a musician' reminisces Touhid, who is a teacher now. 'I loved to play the guitar but since it didn't mean earning a fixed amount of money and also due to family pressures, I had to give it up. Sometimes I wish I hadn't but there are other considerations you have to make in life other than your dreams.'

For many of us, sacrificing our dreams is nothing new. Sometimes, it does just boil down to what makes us happy and what would make others happier. Do following our wishes and desires actually make us happier or is that just in films?

'I had always wanted to be a doctor' says Dr.Nilofer Ahmed, a General Physician. 'I would watch my father in surgeries and knew I wanted to do what he did. I do feel blessed to be doing what I've wanted; because I know I wouldn't be happy otherwise.'

Being a child makes everything, including that decision of what to be when grown up, so much easier. At that stage in life, life seems to be more or less black and white. There are things that you want to do and things you don't. Children also seem to think they know what life is all about. 'I can't wait to grow up!' says bubbly ten-year old Zara. 'There are so many things I want to do! I can own my own house and do whatever I want! University also seems to give less homework than school. My sister certainly does not seem to have any!' I'm sure Zara's sister would beg to differ with her younger sibling on several facts. How growing up is not all about fun and freedom. How with freedom comes even greater responsibility and burdens. That apartment may also be gotten one day but it will also likely come with a monthly price tag.

I can completely identify with Zara though, on the wonders of adulthood. It seems just so much better than childhood and the constant nagging and scolds one gets I thought it was very unfair I couldn't drink coke every day when I was six, but my parents could if they wanted to. But it all really is just an illusion because no matter how matter what problems children have, they don't have to worry about the harsh realities of life. There is always someone to take care of their hurts and pains and someone they can depend upon, if they're lucky.

The wisest thing is to just enjoy life the way you can, whatever stage of it you're in. There are ups and down in everything, it's how you make the best of it. And here's to those fond childhood memories of being able to fall asleep watching cartoons all night to wake up in your little bed every single time.



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