Who Should I Become?

Who should I become, the little one asked, when I grow up?
Whoever it be as long as you be good, was the answer
Be the cool breeze that can softly stroke
The flower wilting under the heat of the noon sun

Be the drip on the thirsty tongue, craving for a mere drop of water
Be the friend, an ally, and strength, for the lonely one in peril
Be the soaking rain on the cracking patch, of the dry and parched-up land
Be the sheltering shade of tree, for the weary, wilting hiker under the heat

Be an umbrella to the child struggling with books from soaking from rain
Be a guiding lamp to the boatman lost, and fraught in the dark on the vast seas
Be a mother to the crying kid lost in a crowd, searching for anyone dear and
familiar, Be a boon to salvage a sinking soul, offering an uplift and a chance back to life

Be a handful of food to a famished one, saving him of his agony of hunger
Be a brother to the lonely girl, panicking to get home in the dark of the night.
Be a warm blanket of wool, soothing the shivering old from the cold
Be the folded palms offering respect, to the teacher who taught you knowledge

Be the kind, supportive shadow, helping the falling, sibling in need
Never grow up, remain forever, the loving, adorable son to your father and mother.
Who should I become, the little one asked, when I grow up?
Whoever it be as long as you remain good, was the answer.
(Courtesy, Malayalam poem)

Author: Dr. Venugopal Menon

Was born and raised in a loving family in pre-independent India, became a doctor, served Indian army, got married, then came over to America with wife and a daughter, established as a successful Allergist, raised a family of three children, was involved in many social establishments, retired, and wrote memoirs, 'My Mother Called Me Unni, A Doctor's Tale of Migration'.

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