Today, all of a sudden, I was thinking back to the time when I was a five year old. Well, not all of a sudden, but let me continue anyway. So when I was a five year old, and had absolutely no worries whatsoever in the world, I wanted to be a cop (We all did, didn't we?). I thought back then, that it was the best possible thing to be in the world. It was my dream. So I went and talked to my elder cousin about this, and she told me that cops get shot at every now and then, and it might even be fatal. The last thing a five year old wants to think of is that. She instead said I could be a traffic police cop instead. My dream changed, and overnight I wanted to become a traffic police cop. So I started learning the signals the traffic cop at the junction next to my house made (I did have all the time in the world!). A few days later, my younger cousin was home, and I told her this. She had a different way to look at things. "But Praveen, road accidents do happen right? What if a a car went over you?". I was like damn, people always keep doing this to me.
So I went over to my dad, just like any other kid would in a tough situation, and said, hey dad, everyone keeps saying something or the other about being a cop, and they scare me. So, what are you anyway, you seem to have a safe enough job. So my dad goes like, "Oh, I'm a doctorate". Kids learn fast, but they need to be taught stuff first. I just assumed he was a doctor. Well, it sounded like doctor. So, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a doctor? That red plus sign! So I ran off to make a small red coloured plus sign, and stuck it on his door. I would have said "Voila!" if I knew what it meant. My dad saw me sticking it, and said "What are you doing?". I'm like "Well, you said you are a doctor, people should know about it, how would they if you have no red plus sign anywhere?". "Well, you see, I'm not that kind of a doctor". "Ok, what kind of a doctor are you?". "Well, I've done my PhD., I'm a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering". That was too much to process for me. I was like why do people confuse me so much?! So I didn't want to be a doctor - to begin with there were two types, and I didn't understand what one category of them did. Life moved on, and I wanted to be something different each day - a bus driver to accountant, from an engineer to an artist.
So when I was 17, I followed the public junta and partially my dream (I had too many of them), to become Engineer Thothathri. Things moved fast, and I came to do my masters. After coming here, I first used to think "I'll get into a huge company with a hundred thousand people for my internship". I then started applying to smaller companies, but those with an idea that I thought could change the world. My dream changed.
Yesterday, my mom called me up, and asked me my plans. I said I think I cook well, so I want to be a chef at an awesome restaurant. "But then why did you do your engineering and get into the technical side of things in the first place?". "Well, I'm an engineer, and we do creative things. Engineering is pure application. I'll apply my engineering skills towards food, be creative and I'm sure great things will happen. You can't tell an engineer not to be creative, its like telling a bird not to fly, or fish not to swim, that's how we are, we've learnt to think out of the box during our undergrad years!".
Have you ever had a feeling when you think the other person on the line is listening with utmost interest, but in reality they hung up on you? Yup. Same thing.
Anyway, the point is, people change, and so do their dreams. The only thing is to always have a dream! :)