“So have you decided what you want to be?” asked my mum.
“Mum I have told you countless times that I want to do bachelors in fine arts. I want to be an artist,” I replied.
“You are such a talented person and you are going to waste your talent by becoming an artist. Have you ever thought what kind of a future you are going to have by becoming an artist?” scolded my father.
“What will I tell all our friends and relatives, that my son is an artist,” argued my mum, before I could say a word.
“Please try to understand …,” I begged.
“Son, we want what is good for you and your future. We are older and know a lot of things that you probably don’t understand right now. So think about it,” said my father firmly.
This conversation happened 10 years ago, but it stays in my mind and I am reminded every day of it as if it took place yesterday. I couldn’t convince my parents that I want to be an artist and all they saw in me was doctor. Although, today, I am a successful doctor, in one of the prestigious hospitals of Pakistan, am I really where I wanted to be?
The answer is no. Ten years and I am still not able to fall in love with my profession. Very few people understand the concept of ‘being in love with one’s profession’. We are given only one chance to decide what we want to be and where we want to see ourselves in the future. I clearly wanted be a painter and wanted to showcase my work in one of the famous art galleries of Pakistan. This did not happen just because my parents had different plans for me and I was not able to convince them.
But now if I look back, this is one of the regrets in my list of regrets and the irony is that it is still at the top. Now I wonder that though I might not have been as successful as I am today by making that one important choice of my life, there is no doubt that I would have been happy and satisfied that I did what I wanted to do.
Today, people congratulate me on my success, but that praise does not comfort me because for me it is only a job. It took me a long time to realise that I should have chosen a career that I really loved, irrespective of any fears. I wish I could bring back the past, just to be able to take the decision of my choice.
Published in Dawn, Young World March 4th, 2017