It was three decades back choosing a career was a daunting task. Picking up the science stream was considered a privilege. It was like a herd mentality to pick up science, commerce was unheard of and humanities were given a cold shoulder, says Preeti, telling us how she became a writer, while she set out to be a doctor, exclusively for Different Truths.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
These lines by Robert Frost are apt for me as now I stand and introspect my life. Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone. But in my mind, I know they still live on and on. But how do you thank someone who showed you the path your true acumen?
It isn’t easy and all I want to say, “To Mam, with love.”
It was three decades back choosing a career was a daunting task. Picking up the science stream was considered a privilege. It was like a herd mentality to pick up science, commerce was unheard of and humanities were given a cold shoulder. Being academically bright everyone felt science and then opting for a career in medicine was the right choice. I felt I should follow my close friends who were opting for science. They wanted to pursue medicine. I too started preparing for the common medical entrance exams but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. My friends cleared and I was in despair. I shuddered at the thought of spending my time with cadavers.
I knew it was not my cup of tea as the words of my English teacher in school resounded here. Where she found me to be a wordsmith, and I had a flair to write. She felt I was a fit candidate for journalism. At that time, it was a path less travelled. I was in a dilemma as I had always scored more in English compared to science. But since I had chosen the stream, I decided to go in for research work. I still felt I might discover the Elixir of Youth.
I completed my doctoral degree and managed to get a Research Associateship for a period of three years during this period my mother was a la Mrs. Bennett (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) finding suitable matches and each fellow she met was the right guy to be her son-in-law.
But I had the true spirit of Eliza Bennett i.e., Mrs. Bennetts daughter from Pride and Prejudice and I couldn’t choose a guy without a mouth and a spine. I was a good judge of character and my independent streak and self-sufficiency would not let me make a faux pas while interviewing a suitor. My feminist ideas gave away when I was introduced to a scientist. I thought he was my Lochinvar and would give wings to my dreams. As Jane Austen wrote in that novel, “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”
But I was wrong as his work entailed a lot of travelling and I had to trudge along with him to remote places. Such places had no opportunity for research work or journalism. Kids’ entry into our lives changed my thought process and I took a sabbatical to raise them. The minute they turned into teenagers, time hung and I looked every bit like Shakespeare’s Ophelia from his play Hamlet. I was the typical melancholy queen always lost in thought and in an abyss of despair.
With the advent of technology and coming off computers, I gained an insight into the world of net surfing. This was the time when I got my Eureka moment and I knew I had to follow my dreams to become a prolific writer. Sitting in the confines of my home I could pen and publish my views.
I had always admired authors like Jane Austen, Barbara Cartland, and Louisa. M. Alcott – all female authors. I am a romantic at heart and wanted to try my hand at writing love stories. I warily started penning down my thoughts. One fine day still assuaged with fear sent it for publication to a reputed site. Soon I heard from them and the story had been published. I was like an ecstatic child. From then on it was no looking back and today I am well published in print and digital media.
I took the road less travelled and meandered from cadavers, rats to writing. Truly enjoying the journey, can proudly say I have metamorphosed from a caterpillar to a butterfly while chasing my dreams.
Photos from the Internet
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