Being born in India is like being born with a head tag that reads out one’s career. Right when the baby drops out or sometimes even before the sperm has hit the egg, they are destined to become something. “Hey, I want to have kids” both the parents talk. But it’s a bit different here, it’s like “Shit my favourite uncle died of cancer! Let’s have sex and give birth to doctor?”
The kid learns unscrewing a bolt, and the parents are already proud. They are pleased because they want to make the kid a mechanical engineer, and this unscrewing somehow makes them feel like it’s progress. Doesn’t make sense? Shouldn’t either! “I always wanted to make you a doctor, son” Come, one dad, I always wanted to be born in a mansion with 24 servants. I couldn’t choose my parents, neither can you determine what happens to me.
When I was a kid, I always dreamed of holding guns and standing at the border, chanting slogans of my country. If the tables had turned and my country was to be vanished and occupied, I would still be holding a gun, but I would be called a militant. Career is a joke! Professions are just labels we created to make things easy; they are only labels.
I felt relieved when my schooling was finished. Didn’t even know what those subjects had to do with my life, but I was promised that they would somehow help me. I happened to visit an uncle who lectured me for an hour. He said I should take engineering as my bachelor’s degree and also study my masters in some foreign university. I never knew why people would do those things. Like studying in international institutions, as they cost a lot! I thought they were going for the quality of education. But it was only later that I realised they needed quality of certification and not professional training.
An MA History from Danayya Institute from Dilshuknagar looks blech. But the same certificate with beautiful words and designs looks attractive. Who doesn’t “Woah” at a guy who had done ‘Masters in Liberal Arts’ at Stanford University? Did they feed him with diamonds? I don’t think so. But you can definitely buy diamonds with the expense of studying outside.
Many people talk only about what they studied in the US or the UK. They won’t tell you how they paid their tuition fee. “What are you doing in the UK, Kaushik?” “Ah! MS! The US not the UK!” they say. They won’t tell you how many drinks they served to the customer as a bartender. They won’t tell you how many windshields they have wiped to be able to buy the flight ticket home. Their struggle is real, and their pain is genuine. Just because a parent’s uncle died of cancer, they decided to donate their kid to health services. They had the kid brainwashed from school and pushed towards medicine.
While you sit here watching TV and telling your neighbours and relatives that your son is studying ‘Doctor’ in the US, he is cleaning pukes out of bar tables! Congratulations, It’s a bartender! The destined doctor you gave birth to had to see a hard life in a place that is not home because of your little fantasy. You could have instead donated your sperm if you wanted to help people medically! Maybe give something once in a while to hospitals? No! You had to have a kid that does what you can not!
Somewhere after realising that he actually wants to become a dancer, your son has already spent half of his life satisfying your doctor-doctor fantasy. You dream of your son becoming a top surgeon, buying you a car and a luxury villa. It is not wrong to imagine such things. But why doesn’t it strike to you that your kid has the mind to have some dreams too? What if he/she is dreaming of singing on a stage? What if she wants to be a stripper? That surely is a possibility!
Have a kid, if you want a kid, or your condom broke! Your dead uncle is dead. People who want to become an engineer will become an engineer. People who want to treat your madness will become a therapist. Just because you can’t fix your flat tyre, don’t have kids and make them a mechanic.