Son: Papa, what did you want to be when you were small?
Papa: I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Some days, I also dreamt of solving the water crisis in the Gulf by becoming a businessman and laying a cross-country water pipeline from Ganges to Saudi Arabia.
Son: So, of all the things, why did you then become an engineer?
Papa: Good question. Every one of my friends was either becoming a doctor or engineer and I did not like to cut rats; so, choose to become an engineer.
Son: But why? Why did you not study to become a pilot or a businessman?
Papa: I really don’t know. I guess, I was looking for a sure shot job after my studies that would pay me well, and I can take care of myself and my family.
Son: Didn’t grandfather or grandmother tell you what to study to become a pilot or to put the water pipeline?
Papa: Son, no. It was given that I would be an engineer.
Son: Strange. You did not do what you wanted to do. I don’t understand this. But tell me, if I want to be a scientist or an inventor, what I have to do?
Papa: Good question. In my view, to be a scientist or an inventor, you should understand a big problem the world faces and solve the problem.
Son: So, that is not Physics, Chemistry, Social studies, right? Why should I study these subjects now?
Papa: Actually, without understanding these subjects, you can’t understand some of the stuff scientists or inventors do.
Son: But, I have to just invent some robot that would drive the car or a car itself that runs without any petrol. So, why Social Studies for that?
After this conversation, the father and son visited a store to buy a “DIY robot” which the son assembled. The father also noticed that the son had started googling on the iPAD to learn how to build “robots”.
Wondered the father, “Hmm, why I did not pay enough attention to what I wanted in my life, at a young age as my son?”
A voice called from behind, as if it read the father’s mind, “It’s not too late even now”. The father turned back surprised. His parents lived a few 100 miles away, but he was pretty sure he heard his father’s voice.