‘What do you want to become when you grow up?’
This was my singular answer to this question, even when I was a ten-year old. My mom used to laugh it away. I felt that she thought I was cute. I was wrong. She thought it to be foolish, and immature, and I was completely unaware of her feelings.
I was brilliant. My teachers called me an ‘Unbeatable Child.’ I sailed through school and college with flying colours. And it was not long before I entered medical school. Yes…
No, I wasn’t there by choice. I needed to study literature. I told my mom outright. She brushed it off with a carefree air. I didn’t want to join. I did all I could to convince her.
‘Mom, you don’t know what I need.’
‘You need a shrink,’ was the reply.
I was drained and disillusioned. She thought I was crazy, or maybe had a brain tumor. For me, it was hard to believe that I couldn’t choose my career, harder to believe that my own mom was the wall in the way. The mom who was herself a literary example, it was her bad gene that I had got. And yes, she didn’t have the right to trample on my feelings, had she?
‘Study!’ Never in my lifetime had I to hear this from my mom, as much as I had to now. The reason being obvious, I stopped studying once I got into the medical school. Sometimes while I was in class, I wondered, how in the world did I get myself into this situation? It made me sick, physically, mentally and socially. I can tell you from my knowledge of medicine that this is the definition of Disease.
I really didn’t understand how someone’s peace of mind and heart could be less important than what a distant relative or some family friend thought about you. Maybe your kid is more important than your status quo, maybe!
After one year, I’ll be a doctor. It has been a long journey. A really really long one. The time that was supposed to be the best time of my life, was the most painful. But life has moved on and so have I. And by now, things are suddenly less difficult. The feeling that I get when I wear my white coat is unexplainable. All of a sudden you feel superior than rest of the world. You’re one of the best people the country has. You’re the hope of the sick and dying. I’ve come across many poor, miserably sick people who look at you as an angel from heaven. And many times I was forced to think that there couldn’t be a better profession on earth.
After years of confusion and disorder, I have the things less confused now. Literature is my passion, and medical, my profession. So what if I went into the wrong university? My passion is right. And it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Maybe that won’t make me a brain surgeon, but trust me, even my knowledge of medical school won’t make me one either.
This time, my mom will have to understand. The way she always understood what food I liked, which clothes I wanted, what colour my room should be, the exact same way. I’ve decided to choose literature as my specialty. Yes, another school after my medical school, but a different one. My soul deserves it. I’ve managed to piece it all back together again, and I can’t let it fall apart now.
My mom is my best friend. But her reasoning about my career has always been three million light years outside my scope of understanding. Maybe one day I’ll understand her better. Not today, not now.
Maybe one day she’ll understand me better. Maybe one day I’ll make her proud, in whatever way I want. Maybe!