Childhood hopes and dreams: debunked!

Let’s get right to it, and I’m addressing everyone who has every wanted to be someone, something, anything in life and not just the writers. Growing up you could have wanted to be a doctor, and I’m sure most of us had imagined this one because of the importance society places on it (as I did once – tsk tsk). Or you could have wanted to be an architect, and falsely so because you saw your neighbour build tiny houses out of cardboard and thought it would be fun to ‘do’ (like me!). Or you could have wanted to be an actress (or actor) because the ladies (or gents) in the TV and movies looked so glamorous and you thought it would be fun too (like I used to when I was yay big). Of course, at that time I didn’t even know what the word ‘glamorous’ even meant!

Just take a moment and jot down the number of professions you changed in the course of growing up, how many options did you give yourself? One? Two? Three?, or maybe more, a lot more? And how did you finally arrive at what you are currently doing, or trying to do. Now go back to your childhood (not literally of course, otherwise every one might think the story of Benjamin Buttons was actually true!). Have you ended up with any of those professions you professed you loved/admired and wanted to be?

I’m willing to bet that most of us will say no to that question, and very few will find that they did end up in one of the professions they preferred as a child. Why is that so, by the way? That growing up we fancy so many professions, only to end up in a completely different thread? Like me for example. I used to say I wanted to be a doctor, and I believe that was because everybody else was saying the same thing and as kids we tend to copy one another. That’s how we learn, right?

Well, imagine that? If it had come true, then all of us would be doctors, and we would barely have one patient per doctor because simply there are too many of us. And where does that leave the rest of the world? Yikes!

After that, I wanted to be an architect, then an actress, then for a brief while, an air hostess. I have absolutely no idea why I chose these professions. Maybe they looked fun through a child’s eyes. But, several years on, I have found myself traveling down a road I had not even fathomed existed as a kid.

I wanted to be a writer! Pretty much since I was about 14. And though I had no idea how I would do such a thing, I have nevertheless travelled down a road that has occasionally nudged me deeper into writing, be it short stories, poems, novels or scriptwriting. I have done them all!

How did I reach this decision? Utterly by accident, a happy accident, but an accident nonetheless. A day without homework nor reading material, and a teacher telling me not to sit idle. That’s what it took to make sure I travelled down this road. It might come across odd to many people in these modern times, but I’m a believer of fate. I used to say I’m going to be a writer with absolute resolve that the whole universe has conspired in a way to make it so that I hold true to my word. I cannot say I can prove it entirely, but this has happened twice to me: in later years of high school, whenever asked, I’d tell people I’m going to be a movie director one day.

Guess what? I have been there and done that too now! It’s like opportunities presented itself to me and offered me options so I could keep my word.

Childhood dreams and hopes are  child’s play – fickle, fun, and ever-changing.

I did not grow up dreaming to be a writer, nor a movie director – but today, I am both! (Or at least trying to be). If you find yourself being lead down a certain path and you are curious or excited by it, I’d say give it a go. You never know where your heart truly lies till you have given something a red-hot go. It makes deciding on a life long career that much easier and pain-free most days. Even if the destination is fraught with bumps, I can guarantee that you will love every moment, the good, bad and the ugly.

(A photo still from the movie I co-directed/wrote, Sweet Marshall. Image courtesy of PFA)

Special effects – Gory Indulgence

Beware: This post contains gory pictures that may or may not be to your liking.

While I’m sitting down trying to take another break from reading papers for assignments…I thought, why not show you all another side of me. Something else I love doing other than writing…one day maybe I’ll get professional training. I really want to!

I’ll let you in on a little known secret about something that holds amazing interest for me: Special effects! Not the CGI kind of effects, but the actually cosmetic/prosthetic effects we so readily see in fantasy/sci-fi/period pieces/crime movies or TV shows. I’m talking about warty fingers and green faces, of gashes and gaps, or aliens and monsters, and of the olden days of life without technology and etc.

Few years ago, during my involvement in making a feature film, Sweet Marshall, I had a fabulous opportunity to practice something I had never done. I mean I draw and paint, and can do general makeup very well, but blood and bullet holes – I had never tried. But when the time came, and the film required some cuts and bruises, and bullets hole injuries, I was more than happy to try my hand at it. I mean how hard could it be painting on people’s faces and bodies than on canvas and paper?

Well…it was a bit hard, at first. People aren’t flat as sheets are we? So, during the 5 weeks filming, I was the resident SFX makeup artist, even though I had never done this before. But I could copy things really well – and a simple 1 minute lesson from a pro had me later on doing on-set SFX throughout the duration. I have to say it wasn’t what I had expected.

I LOVED it! Thoroughly enjoyed the task of making wax and paint and makeup resemble wounds and gashes. I would be lying if I denied how much I loved practicing it. This new-found interest had me going out there into the art stores the following years and getting a children’s practice set for SFX moulding wax and a small bottle of blood. Here are some of the damages I inflicted.




SFX(Bullet hole, facial gash, neck gash/tear) _All FAKE and done for Halloween

hand gash

(Hand – severed thumb stitched back – for Halloween)


(Diseased witch – again for Halloween. Got few screams from trick-or-treaters, though I’m not proud I scared my 10-month old niece :-S).

What do you guys think? 🙂