Growing up?

That life has for us on the wrack
Nothing but what we somehow chose;
(Robert Frost)

Thursday, June 10th 2010

The past…Reminiscing about your childhood usually conjures up a tingling “those were the days” feeling. Crisp nostalgia, fresh like the smell of laundry your mom let out to dry on the terrace… Playing football in the rain with your friends until it started pouring; the flashes of super heroes with their crimson capes, Captain Planet smiles and the “saved the day”s cartoons; the eager anticipation of the Walls music as you emptied your piggy bags for ice-cream; Baraf-Pani, Oonch-Neech, Chuppan-Chuppai..Simple playground friendships with the only drama of kutti and dosti and pinky finger break ups…and children dreams- like flowers of gold: fragile and grandiose.

When I was in fifth grade, I had my head set on becoming a vulcanologist. The idea of climbing mountain peaks like Mt. Fuji and Vesuvius excited me. I had dreams about standing on a crest surrounded by mist and cotton-candy clouds, studying ashen rocks and fossils for signs for volcanic activity, taking Richter scale readings and collecting ash samples. I used to gloss over pictures from Pompeii and Krakatoa, and had an avid love for the science of Geography. In fact, I was even convinced that the occasional Margalla bush fires I saw glinting somewhere in the horizon were (God Forbid!) sign that there was lava somewhere in those mountains. I was indeed a quirky child, but I had a passion for something.

Then the events of September 11th took place, and though unbeknown to me, there was something ominous about the way the world would change as I knew it. I began to follow the news, curious about what was happening around me. I started reading newspapers and my favorite channel became BBC News. Soon I was active in class discussions in history class, debating current events and Pakistan’s policies. I, like many other children in the country were concerned when we heard about the “Axis of Evil” and the terrible events that followed Bush’s speech. The War on Terror and an invasion on Afghanistan was announced, and we were all shocked that everything was happening so close to home. I wanted my country to take a stand against this aggressive method against terrorism and wanted there to be a pacific solution to the problem. Instead, Pakistan was used as a US base under a policy that was nothing short of neo-imperialist. I wanted to change the fact that we were so downtrodden as a country and we’re so dependent on western powers (financially primarily)…I wanted to pursue a career in politics, as a leader who could bring change from the corrupt ways of the past…

Yet as the years have passed by, while I’m still intrigued by the idea of making change, I realize that the path is not an easy one. Just having good intentions and a desire for change is not enough. You have to have an intense drive, an astute diplomatic sense (and perhaps even something Machiavellian) if you are to survive the dark world of politics. So it was easy to imagine being a part of the government in seventh grade, and it’s funny that I had a greater sense of what I wanted to do in life than I do now. I find it strange that I was more concerned about a career then, than I am now, when most people my age in fact begin to find themselves in university. I still want to make a difference in the world–but time will tell how…



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6 thoughts on “Growing up?

  1. Just be yourself … and you’ll see how many lives you touch, by staying true to your soul. You can’t see the change, you wish to bring about, if you continue to forget who you really are, right NOW, in this moment.

    It will take time, I understand. Sometimes we go out to change the world, and in the end return to ourselves. And sometimes, it’s not the world that we end up changing, it is ourselves.

    This is how magical this place is, and that’s why I’ll always advise you to BELIEVE that there’s more good, more joy, more harmony, more perfection, more synchronization on planet Earth than you’ll ever be able to see, hear or feel, all at once 🙂

    Happy discovering…!

  2. I completely agree. I had more direction in life in 7th grade. 🙂 Now I just have a vague idea with no definite career path. Ahh i remember our discussions. ❤

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