16 March 2009

The Second Most Asked Question

Here's a trivia question. What do you think is the second most asked question to kids? The most asked question, is ofcourse, "What's your name?"

The second, according to me, is : What do you want to become when you grow up?

Think about it. Almost all of us have been asked this question as we grew up from childhood to teenage life, and beyond. Whether its an aunt, or a neighbour, or even a passerby admiring us for our cuteness. And sadly, this was the same question which my mother wanted an answer to.

"What are you going to become?" she demanded to know.

Considering the fact that I was a Commerce student, who hated anything to do with Science, as well as Maths, I thought my options were quite limited. Yet even I was wondering. What would I become?

"A CA?"

I hate it when casual onlookers try to throw in their advice. They almost never know what they're talking about, do they?

One day, I was so frustrated that I went for a game of Pool. Sadly, it looked like God wanted to me to fix my career options as soon as possible. My pool partner couldnt stop talking about his plans for Chemical Engineering after 12th. Sometimes it seems like life's conspiring against you, doesnt it?

But then something happened which changed everything. A young man, in his late 20's, asked us if he could join in for a game of Pool. He wasnt the best in the business, but since we werent aiming for the Championships ourselves, we let him join.

Soon the topic came to that of future planning. "Ah, this reminds me of a friend of my grand dad. Used to be a really good guy. Funny thing is, this guy's father wanted him to be an IAS officer. In fact, that was kind of like his dying wish. Well, the fellow didnt make it though. Instead, he had to join some scientific research organisation -"

"Too bad," my friend cut in. "That's what happens when you dont plan out things properly, right? Just imagine if that guy could've made it through the IAS exams..."

The young man merely smiled. "You sound like my friend's dad. He said the same thing to his son as well."

"What happened to his son?" I asked.

"Oh, the same sad story. Except this time, the dad wanted the son to be a doctor. Actually forced the poor chap to appear for the Medical Entrance Examination. And, what do you think would've happened? He failed. Finally the guy decided to leave to Mumbai to follow his own interests, rather than listen to his dad -"

"Pity, real pity. Today's generation, all are the same. Think they know what they're doing. All this following your dream business doesnt work out in actual life."

The young man fell silent, yet had a grin on his face. We began concentrating on the pool game. Surprisingly, it turned into a stiff competition between my friend and the young man. Towards the end though, my friend was in a comfortable lead. Just as the young man took aim to hit his cue ball, he continued the story.

"By the way, I forgot to tell you the names of the two people I was talking about. The first person's name is A.P. J. Abdul Kalam."

The cue ball hit a stripped yellow ball, and it rolled into a pocket.

Seeing the stunned look on our faces, he continued. "And the other person. Well, his name is Resul Pookutty." A sharp hit, and another ball went into the pocket.

"Is this...all true?" I asked, half amused and half suspicious.

"Yes, it's all true. Sure, both of them had plans for the future. Both of them grew up thinking of their careers. But it didnt work out the way they wanted it to, did it? And see where it took them. One became the Rocket Man of India, not to mention one of the best presidents ever. The other, well, he became the third Indian to win an Oscar. Not something their fathers had planned for them, surely."

I looked at the pool table. There was just the 8 ball left. The young man took his aim. It was an impossible shot.

"So why did I tell you this story? Simple. You can plan all you want, about your life ahead. But know that it's not you who decides the future, it's the person above. That doesn't mean you shouldn't bother learning you're lessons. All it means is, believe in fate."

He hit the cue ball hard. It spun, hitting the 8 ball at angle. The ball rolled, hit the side of the pocket, spun for a moment, and then fell into it.

"And who knows," the young man remarked, "sometimes, even the impossible might happen for you."

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  1. well i guess this is true...coz at tyms fate is always playin the most vital role....
    so guys never let go of hope nd faith...it leads to ur fate!!
    gud one bro!!

  2. this is a good post :)
    its rare how strangers create an impact on us...

    so what do you plan to become now? :P :P

  3. very well written buddy. life is too short, so don't bother about trying to be practical. it's important to have a dream and chase it. wish you luck in making your choices. have fun.

  4. A very inspiring post !!..gud one dude.
    I got to knw 4rm dis post...dat watever happenz to ya..if u r determined nd hard workin..success is sumwhere down da wire.

  5. The biggest problem with the older folks is that according to them, there are only two careers:

    Doctors and Engineers...Everything else is trash.

    Hope you prove them wrong...

  6. Did this story happpen exactly as you narrated it, or have you made some modifications or is it partly fictional? Because I think this man is... nor just ordinary.

    Anyway, wonderful and thought provoking post.

  7. well written!....fate does decide most of the things in life!....well evn i havnt thought of my future plans you see...soo :P

  8. not quite
    i feel fate is nt decided by ne1
    its made by u
    fate is nthing bt wat u shud get
    if u wrk hard u get wat u want
    if u dnt u dnt get it
    fate can be changed by men of strong will lyk napolean
    they write their own fate

  9. you gotta admit...that dude's got style!
    but i woudnt call it entirely pointless to plan out what you wanna do in the future....just don't be too confident it's gonna work out the way you wanted it to....
    nice post..

  10. okkkk... first things first...

    I LUV DOCTOR KALAM!!!!!! he is God for me.

    now d 2nd thng - an excellent post.
    i jus gav my boards nd trust me evry one arnd me (xpct ma parents) want me to bcum a doctor or an engineer!!!! and wat do my parents want me to do??? u guess. okkk de want me to sit for IAS xams (tho personally evn i wanna giv dat xam)

    so m kinda xpiriencin all dis

  11. u think kalam "just joined" ISRO,or that rasul pookutty just happened to enter the world of music?nope..they had clear cut plans for their future dude.its just that their dreams and their parent's werent the same.if this teaches u anything its to always follow ur dreams...but dream u must,about ur future.fate and luck works for those who work for it...

  12. superb post bro, reminds me that i need to start blivin in fate as welll..

  13. tht was gr8......as a matter of interest, is it a true story? anyway whether the story is true or not the fact remains true: man proposes, god disposes....

  14. Well since its a filler post its quite a nice read ... but most of the post has nothing much to do with the title........and u wer or less ryin to say two things or atleast wht i thnk ur tryin to convey :-P
    1. follow ur dreams...
    2. our fates are already written...

    no connectin to da title ... well frm now on take more time for thinking up a title...... :-P :-P

  15. i loved the way the post was written.. nicely presented :)