I am a black sheep in my family. Oh no, not that black sheep where the rest of my family is jet-setting and winning Nobel Prizes and I’m sitting and doing drugs with people of dubious nature. I was born in a family where all; cousins, second-cousins, one hundred and fifth-cousins, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces, all are scientifically inclined. They are either dreaming of, or studying, or already are, doctors and engineers. And I live in a culture where your profession is decided by your gender, at birth; if it’s a boy it’s an engineer, a girl, a doctor, and if your vocation is something other than engineering, medicine, law, or business, eyebrows are raised and you are labelled a good-for-nothing. And here I am, I spend all my time reading books and writing articles, I want to pursue journalism, I have no interest in the four certified professions. BLACK SHEEP!
Ever since I was a child, I would try to read anything that came in my hands. Initially, my parents encouraged reading. But soon it became obvious that it was more than a recreation, it would spiral into a vocation if not checked, and I found myself getting pushed towards maths and science, being registered for various science, maths, and cyber Olympiads, and being expected to ace every one of them. And my mother banned me from getting library books home. She tried to force dreams of becoming a doctor/dentist/surgeon/gynaecologist/doctor for god’s sake! on me. She forced me to take science in high school, even though I had ridiculously low aptitude for it. She regaled me with stories of how much a doctor is respected in society, and how much thanks their patient gives them. She emotionally pleaded with me to consider a career in medicine. But I would not budge. My eyes were, and are, fixed to my goal of journalism.
Which brings me to the question, how many other people are so emotionally suffocated and overpowered by their parents’ dreams for them, and how many have given in to their dreams? True, parents have given up a lot for us to get an educated, and it is their right to dream of a future for us, but it is also our right to have our own dreams, find something WE are happy about, something to fuel OUR passion, not our nosy neighbours and relatives who, in turn, feel it is their right to judge our choices and criticise them and us. It is our right to be, or not be, interested in a field which may not have many takers, but which satisfies us and in which we know we will be happy. It is inhuman, so to say, for parents to force completely unrealistic vocations on us. This may seem like a rant but thousands of students go through this, day in and day out. A girl may have the makings of being a J.K. Rowling but is pushed into medicine, does that sound fair? A boy can become the next Obama, but is instead forced to become an engineer, no, that does not sound fair! Parents, please let your children nurture whatever dreams they want, though they may go against yours, because it’s their life, they do not deserve to be stuck in a job they absolutely detest, studying something they loathe. Sincerely.