“What do you want to be when you grow up?” – The second most common question which bored grownups put before clueless kids. The first of course is – “What is your ‘good’ name?” Pestered kids like me would come up with a new ambition at regular intervals to lend some variety. In my early years, I wanted to be a grocer because my infant belief was that grocers never needed to purchase anything. Slowly as the lure of the lucre dawned on me, I switched my loyalties to the bank manager. Again addiction to action movies made me opt for another vocation – the army. With time and maturity (?) the fighting spirit died out.
But the magic of the moving pictures accompanied with sound remained ingrained. I wanted to make movies. My friends amused me demanding lead roles. Some of the nasty ones wanted villainous roles with a few rape scenes (at that time only flowers, birds or fireplaces symbolised copulating couples on celluloid and only villains had the liberty). But education ruined all my plans. I started off to become a geographer, went three-fourths of the way in economics and finally landed up becoming what my blogger profile says.
Filmmaking is too uncertain a profession and I wouldn’t definitely land up being the next Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen or Satyajit Ray. That’s what my father a connoisseur of the art house stuff felt. He and the vast enormity of my paternal and maternal family extensions felt that I should rather attempt for what is the ultimate dream of the dowry-demanding, bride-burning, female-foetus-killing Indian heartland – the Indian Administrative Service. For better or worse I never attempted that and nor did I fill up the forms for the film institute.
The desire still lingers. But today, nobody asks me – “What did I want to become?”