I thought it was time I introduce this question to the kids. I went on to help them with options. "You can sell scooters like papa or make scooters and cars or you can be a teacher like Nanu and Nani ma and masi, or you can be a singer or a dancer. Or you can also be a soldier in the Indian army," said I.
Hrit (eagerly): Yes mama I’ll be a soldier.
Naisha: And I can be a girl soldier.
Me: Yes but then you have to eat well because you have to carry heavy guns and walk a lot. You need to be very strong.
Naisha (retracting immediately for nothing is worth ‘eating well’): Then I’ll be a fairy god mother…. Oh but I don’t have any magic. Ummm… I’ll be a teacher.
Having settled one child’s career I turned to the other one.
Me: Hrit what will you be? You want to make scooters or cars or busses?
Hrit: No mama I want to be a bus driver.
Me (Pretending not to mind): Why do you want to be a bus driver?
Hrit: Because it’s so big … and strong (?).
Me: Will it be a city bus or a school bus?
Hrit: ummm… a city bus, because it goes to many places and is red and pretty.
Naisha (Butting in): Mama.. mama… I can be a bus didi.
Hrit: That’s a great idea Naisha.. then I’ll drive a school bus and you can sit near me.
Me (getting worked up by the minute and trying to steer the conversation in a sane direction): Hrit you can drive other things like planes or jets…
Hrit: Yesssss I’ll drive a plane.
Naisha : .. and I’ll be plane didi. I’ll give everyone food and nibu paani and juice.
And so we settled at that --- a pilot and an airhostess.
When the time comes for the final choice, I do hope I have the strength to accpet their choices... and to also allow them the freedom to change their minds. Once at least.
I must confess that an unusual career choice would make me uncomfortable.... unusual by my standards of course. But I promise to try.. hard... to let them be.