Owing to available diversity in almost everything, Is making a choice a pleasure or a pain? The way we chisel our life often depends on the choices we make, the decisions we take. Knowingly or unknowingly choice has its own, often unacknowledged, role to play in any individuals life. Most people do not have a single protocol that they would like to follow. I definitely fall among the ‘most people’. Okay now, I know for sure that the first thing I want to drink in the morning is a cup of hot filtered coffee, but making a choice begins as early as during the breakfast time. I rarely have a gut instinct for this morning ritual. I stand in the kitchen for a while playing in my mind, the pictures of flavored oatmeal, eggs and bread. The game isn’t over when I choose one of them. It moves on to oatmeal: with strawberries, peaches or blueberries (?) (I spontaneously ignore the banana’s) :P, eggs: scrambled, poached, bulls eye, or boiled (?), bread: plain, toasted, or sandwiched (?). Phew! Crazy right? Can you imagine the chaos in my head when I stand in the closet staring at my wardrobe and wondering what to wear on a date? I’m am not sure if I’d be considered judgmental but I would like to assume that this entire confused criteria is a “girl thing” (it may not be totally true). Moving away from trivial choices like food and clothing, often life’s journey puts you at crossroads where you have to make life altering decisions. I vividly remember making TWO such choices and in detail below, is one of them. 🙂
Exactly a decade ago, this very month, I had to commit to an area of study. Throughout my childhood, my career dreams varied outrageously between becoming a doctor (cardiologist), a lawyer, a politician, a writer or an actor. Engineering was exempted from my list of choicest careers attributing to my fear/hatred for Math. So, in June 2001, I CHOOSE to stick to the surgeon calling in my head and took a major in Biology, Physics and Chemistry. I had seemed to turn a deaf ear to the threats of failures, late nights on over turned buckets (under the yellow bulb), no video shows, study during darshans, sleeplessness (dozing during prayers or at every other chance) and enormous tension that could cause your head to explode. Anyways, I dwell on those 2 years as the most memorable ones at school. We were deliberately divided into the PC girls (Physics, Chemistry) and the AE girls (Accounts, Economics). Whichever group we belonged to, we felt an upsurge of joy during the Sanskrit and English classes for two reasons. One, we would get to meet our AE girls, (we couldn’t adjust to the division after 10 years of togetherness) and two, we would get 40 minutes of uninterrupted sleep. 😉 I always loved Biology, the Chemistry teacher and hated Physics for all reasons. I still remember gulping my heart down my throat and tasting a few salty tears when I opened my Physics notebook to check my 1st Unit Test marks with shivering hands (I had scored a 27/50). 😦 I never fared well in Physics, ever, even with high doses of night outs and night food (bread with sweet malai). My choice also deserves a certain amount of credit for helping me realize who my “bestest friends” are. Together we cried, together we laughed and together we fought to achieve our respective goals (I am reminded of how a friend, Natasha always consoled me when I scored low in Physics and I did the same for her Math). Anyways such was the pressure that I still continue to dream about giving my 12th grade boards all over again and I wake up startled and sweaty. Also, I have learnt that standing by a choice is as hard a making one!
All in all, 10 years have gone by, and I am proud that I did learn to stick with the sciences despite the hardships. I feel like a cockroach, an ace adapter and a survivor. 😛 Perhaps not exactly to the surgeon part, but at least to being a researcher. At the current moment, I am an unemployed graduate, with no sort of regrets. My position is similar to a man from my dad’s favorite book, Maha Prasthanam (particularly in the poem “Sandhya Samasyalu” meaning evening hassles) by Sri Sri (a Telugu poet). My dad used to read this poem out to me from time to time and I remember being intrigued by this young unemployed man who is practically penniless and yet goes to Udipi Sri Krishna hotel one evening, and there he is caught in a dilemma, to make a CHOICE between a plate of Semyia Idli and Badam Halwa (perceptually more expensive). Well, the choices we make and the pain we undergo to abide by them! Actually it is justified, life is not always a bed of roses right? It sure has its worth, cause at the end of the story, we are the ones who solely rule our lives and it is in our hands that our choices and happiness lie. I’m glad, I choose what I choose. 🙂
Note: I must acknowledge my good friend Deepika Gurung who gave me this wonderful idea to blog on choosing our majors. She was my English/Sanskrit study partner too. Will always love you girl.