When I Grow up

Dear Friend of my Heart,

I saw a middle-aged man sit beside a sapling and speak to it of everything he knew about trees. He seemed to know a lot about trees. Heartwarming, said a passerby. Absolutely horrifying, said another. I looked at the latter inquisitively. She said, “there is nothing more distasteful than to tell a sapling what a tree is like.”
I wanted to know if she believed in education. She said, “actually… there is something more distasteful than that… asking a sapling to behave like a tree.”

Only the other day someone tried to tell me that it is difficult to make a living as a poet. I thought of an English teacher from middle school. What deep admiration I had for her. Then she got married and probably shifted to another city, or at least shifted away from my life. She had asked me after reading some of my short stories, “Why don’t you become a writer when you grow up?” I was confused. I just looked at her. In response to my disorientation she said, yes but writers don’t make much money. It left me even more confused, if anything. I still don’t know what to be when I grow up.

This afternoon for some time I was with these reptilian beauties…

Mister C, my favorite neighbor 
Miss S | Skink before you think | reptilian cousin |

Someone asked me if I wanted to be a wildlife photographer. I said, “what?”

Someone asked me if I wanted to be a writer. I said, I Skink before I think.
I skink, therefore I am.

Well, I could go on, but that might be disrespectful to your sense of time. Maybe not. Would you like to be more reptilian when you grow up?

Eager to hear from you.

Much love,
Prashant Nawani


  1. We want to be so many things. And yet, we miss out to be who we are in the very moment.

    I wanted to be so many things. Looking back, I actually was so many things already—without realising it. Not all that I wanted to be, though, but what I never thought I could or would be.

    What if I stopped wanting to be, and just am. Will in the power of presence my truth manifest.

    Life is a journey full of surprises.

    Note to Self: I’ll step aside with my limited mind and let you take me where I need to go.

    Scary thought, though.

    Grant me courage. 🙂

    1. Hi Lavanya! I hope you have been well. Lovely to hear to from you.
      I am also mostly outside of wanting to be something these days…
      “Life is a journey full of surprises.” I am most grateful that it is.

      Note to Self: I’ll step aside with my limited mind and let you wander, as you please…

  2. Well if you are seriously asking that question, then I’d fervently tell you no, I don’t want to. I can consider being one, but I also have the option to believe what I want to believe and feel it, right?
    Let me tell you a backstory.
    When I was in 5th grade, my teacher asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” during our essay writing class. I wrote “I want to be a nurse because….” The answer was inspired by the poster of a nurse I saw on our classroom bulletin. In 6th grade, I was asked to win an inter-school chess tournament. I did what I could, but the final game resulted in a draw. Years passed, and I was asked to be a teacher. So, I took the test for the English language course but, when the results came, suddenly my name was listed under the literature course. At that time, I thought it didn’t matter where I should be or what course I should take, I passed that was what they asked. I did become a teacher without really thinking if I wanted the same though. So, I got home with that news and as expected, everyone was happier than I could ever be. I thought I should feel happy. Lucky and ok because they were happy.
    I spent 20 years of my life doing all of that. Did I complain? No. Got hurt? Yes. Had regrets? No. Wish? Absolutely.
    This time, I spent 7 years putting my heart all over the place. Trying to see where it would fit. Along the way, I encounter feelings of surprise, anxiousness, sorrow, and sometimes, confusion and anger. And then, I let my feelings go. I even got episodes where I let my emotion stray one minute and chase after it the next.

    There was someone I admired and so wanted then, as well. For two years, I was like a beautiful koi waiting to be fed by him. But then, he relocated, and all the music disappeared together with him.


    I think I’ve thought more of myself as a floating restaurant. Not as a reptile. But perhaps, this time, I can share a cozy shelter for a wandering one.

    1. I like playing chess. Without the board though. Also, without a king, maybe an April queen… I never wanted to be a nurse myself, but I did want to give people anesthetics. I still think the world would be so much better if a lot of us are given anesthetics, the ones that make you unconscious. That doesn’t seem too smart though. We are already almost always unconscious…
      I first thing I wanted to be was an artist, the one who paints. My father would tell everyone that I was an artist. But I wanted to be a forest ranger when I was older. It all comes together in different ways. For the longest time I also wanted to be a philosopher… then I realized that it is a myth.
      With the hope that these seven years would now give you the sweetest fruit ever and that you are at peace, I will go and be whatever I feel like… take care!

  3. This was a delightful read…thought provoking…humorous and gentle and bittersweet. So much focus on “what to be” and so little on who we already are…life is so confusing! Thank you for visiting my page, which allowed me to find yours!

    1. Hi Carrie. Thank you for giving these words a voice in your head. It is a really beautiful feeling when someone is actually listening.
      Sometimes life is so full of clarity though! It’s like you know exactly who you are. It cannot be said out loud… but you know… as soon as you try to get a hold though, it’s gone. I think it’s best if we cannot say who we are. There’s still chance for us.
      Your poetry is most delightful. also for me nightjars are the most mysterious birds ever. I have never seen one, only pictures, but I love listening to them. And damselflies I absolutely love. They are like little fairies… and their world is a fantasy land to me… put that mystery and magic together and we have your blog title. I had to see for myself. 😀

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