Many years ago, when I was in school, probably an eighth grader, going through the struggles of school life, including math and other nightmares, one of the things that brought me solace was going window shopping with my mother.
My mother was and still is an avid window shopper. On that particular day, I remember she wanted to go to an exhibition in Bandra, a popular suburb of Mumbai. We set off and landed there on a warm sunny day. The exhibition was held under a huge tent, where many stalls were set up one after the other in a long row. After a little recce I happened to spot a palmist sitting in a corner, animatedly explaining to a client about his future. (I supposed).
This sparked a curiosity within me. I always look at palmists astrologers and fortune tellers with a sort of disbelief because all this mumbo-jumbo as I call it is just for one's own ego validation of sorts I believe. At the same time, to sort of test them, I'm curious enough to maybe take a chance and listen to their 'made-up' story.
That day was no exception. I went to the palmist with an attitude to test him. He greeted me with a grin, that made me feel not very hopeful of his accuracy somehow. I put out my palm, I don't remember now if it was my left or right palm, but I did allow him to carefully peruse all nooks and crannies of my little palm.
So he said (in Hindi ), "You are a science student, and you are in a medical field."
I smiled at him, this wasn't true at all, in fact, the opposite. I was an Arts student with no inclination toward medicine at all.
Then he said something interesting. He said, "You can be whoever you want to be. You have the potential to be that. If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor, if you want to do something else, that will also be fine. You can do what you really wish to do."
These words had an impact on me. I remember leaving the exhibition that day, ruminating over his message. 'Is it true? I asked myself. Can we be who we want to be? Like ever?
Fast forward many years ahead, I worked at a school as a primary schoolteacher. One of the best years of my life, I would say. Also, I am a businesswoman and enjoy that role as well, with my store at Kala Ghoda called Mysore Creation
His words somehow stuck with me 'You can be who you want to be, is. a huge statement. Almost prophetic. I did wonder if it could be true...
Then my father and uncle had heart trouble, and at that time, I took on the role of a doctor in the family, taking care of their issues and I remember one particular year, 2016 to be precise as being a blur between doctor visits and hospitals and medical insurance offices.
Thereafter, fast-forward many more years, I met a wonderful man who is now my husband. He is a renowned homeopath and I currently work with him, learning case-taking processes, and general clinic administration. It is almost a full-time occupation, and extremely satisfying on various levels.
The bottom line is, all my life, these words of that very unassuming palmist stuck with me and I realized the gravity of those words.
Imagine telling our children, that they can be whoever they wish to be. Imagine the possibilities, the growth, the potential that may carry. Imagine that this may give them the freedom to explore, to reject, and to take on what they feel they can do.
One of my favorite authors is PeterReynolds. He has written the most inspiring children's books which I feel every adult should read as well. Here too the underlying message is that a child can be who he wants to be and his journey is uniquely his or her own. There is nothing right and nothing wrong. Only creative exploration of one's deepest wishes for oneself.
When this scope and freedom is given to any human being, I do believe that the possibilities and potential within each one can be explored to the fullest, as opposed to helicopter parenting and too much pressure on our children that makes them shrink and rebel and then lose their way in life only to meander along, not knowing what they really want.
I would recommend reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds for everyone.
Do tune in to my podcast about this book here: https://www.shukritasankaran.com/podcast-1/episode/2fcdef03/a-dot-of-inspiration
And to conclude, just remember to pass on these wonderful words to the children of the world.
'You Can Be Who You Want To Be'.
Maybe this may just change somebody's perception completely, to know he/she/they can always accept who they are and who they are going to eventually become.