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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Dr. Preeti Talwar is a science doctorate, freelance writer and blogger. She is passionate about writing and has made her mark on print and digital media. She has published in The Chicken Soup Series. She has worked as an online proofreader with Thakur Publications. Her passion is to write and become a prolific writer. Her other hobbies are painting, reading and cooking. She is a perfectionist and wields the pen and ladle with elan.