She was a brilliant student who dreamt of being a pediatrician. With a Math-Science combo she scored an overwhelming 96.4 per cent. [Now that’s what also-ran eager-beaver parents call ‘good’]. Without donations and key money [yes, the latter term is not exclusive to real estate brokers, I learnt] she got into a medical college.
Her parents – school-teacher mother and engineer father – never lost an opportunity to say how proud they were of her as they were living their dream through her. And every time they paid her fee, she was told how her post-grad would be taken care of by her would-be husband. “What we saved is to get you married”.
She didn’t require much coaxing as she was a girl who was happy making her parents proud.
No sooner than she completed her medical studies, she became the wife of an eligible doctor, whose parents in turn were on the lookout for a doctor bahu, less qualified that their son.
Settling down into her new role took her about six months after which she started earnest preparations for her MD entrance. “You can study your whole life. But there’s a deadline to start a family,” her in-laws reasoned. Her husband cajoled. She initially resisted and then saw reason in their collective decision.
At 24, she became a young mother. Her books collected dust and she began slipping into depression. So she was sent to assist their family doctor. No sooner than she started blooming, than she was pregnant the second time. She cursed herself. But quickly saw logic in her husband’s reasoning. “Let’s quickly get kids off our way. They’ll grow up together and you can settle into your professional life. And don’t forget, our parents are ageing. The more we delay we’ll have no help at home.”
At 26, she was a mother of two. When the infant kept her awake at night the toddler ensured she was busy through the day.
At 30, after enrolling the second child in school, she got back to her books. A brilliant student that she was, she required no tedious effort to clear her exams. “Being a practicing pediatrician is fine. But that’s going to be a hectic life. While you treat other kids, your own blood will be orphaned…” reasoned her family. “We are talking from experience…look at your husband, when does he get home. How often does he spend time with us… Imagine both of you leading busy schedules…aren’t you being cruel parents…”
At 32, she began scouting for job offer. After a year-and-a-half she found one that suited her needs. She joined as a junior doctor in the radiology department at her neighbourhood health centre, working five days a week from 9 to 2pm.
Do you know her?
Most women take the shape of the bottle they are put into!