My mother studied only till class 10. My father passed class 12 and joined the family business. They were, in a way, afraid to teach us. We always studied on our own and somehow managed to be in the top ten in our class.
When it was time to decide what subjects we would take for our graduation, my brother was told to take up commerce and join the business. My father said that he can go to the University to sit for his exams, but eventually he will have to sit at the shop. I was too young to understand what would have gone through his mind back then; but if it was me, I would have definitely revolted.
When I passed class 12, everybody asked me what I wanted to study. Frankly, I had no idea. All my friends came from a family of doctors, journalists, the works. They know what they wanted to do. I thought of following their league since I never thought of a career per se.
I had taken up commerce after high school. So the obvious choice for me would have been commerce in graduation as well. But with all the career counselling drama that my friends were going through, I thought of giving my subjects some importance as well.
It was then I decided to go against the family tradition of taking up commerce! I had already started publishing my poems in the local newspaper and so, I had to take up English. I wanted to learn about Shakespeare, read Pride and Prejudice and know more about Wordsworth. With one subject in mind, my heart was already in Bachelor of Arts.
I thought of taking Psychology as my second subject. I was deeply interested in human psyche and so this was an obvious choice. Now the third subject should have been either History or Geography, but I found those two really boring. And so, to neutralize the effect of a bold step, I decided to take up Economics!
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the subject. But I also wanted to keep my options open. Taking up Arts was a bold decision as far as my family was concerned. Economics could give them some relief. Frankly, I don’t think my family understood the concept of choosing your subjects, they just thought that the world was studying Commerce and their daughter should not be left behind!
In the time to come, I was the first one in my family to take up an MBA degree. The boy I chose was from IIM. I thought my parents would be proud. Alas, they didn’t know what IIM was!!! Anyway, I am glad I did #StartANewLife with the right thing to do and not the in thing to do. It was a life changing decision, and I’ll always be proud of it.