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Wedded to Profession

by Lakshmi Menon

Last week my friend Asha paid a visit to my house during one of her short visits to India. We hadn't met each other for many years. We grew up together in school. Aftr the pre-degree Asha turned to Medical world as per parents could afford to send her to a private medical college paying huge amount of donation. It was their prestige issue.

Asha became a doctor even though her desire was to become something else in the sports field. To satisfy her parents ambition she had to sacrifice her own interest.

During our conversation, I asked her, "Tell me frankly, Asha. Why didn't you think of a marriage in all your life?"

"I had no time to think of a marriage," said Asha without looking at me. "I'm a pediatric psychiatrist and all the time involved in the children's problems."

"Profession is different and your personal life is different," I said.

She just smiled at me, without responding in words.

I knew very well that she was forced to take up medicine as her profession. But after entering to the medical profession she had to sacrifice her own life too.

Somehow I decided to drill the idea of a marriage into her mind, as her dyed reddish grey hair attracted my attention. "Don't tell me that you're so much devoted to your profession that you have no time even to think of choosing a partner in your life. See, I want a frank answer from you as to what is preventing you to get married."

"Do you really want a frank answer?" asked my friend with a mischievious smile, after a minute's thought.

"Yes, of course," I said, firmly.

"Then, listen. I still don't like to
be a doctor. But what can I do now? She looked at me, "I know you won't believe it."

I was really stunt. After so many years of her studies and practice how can I believe that she still doesn't like her profession. That question rang in my ears repeatedly.

"I have no other choice now. Whether I like it or not. I have to get along with it. Because I studied medicine I am in that profession today. I'm wedded to my profession. It's something like a marriage. After a marriage how many couples live together under the same roof despite their dislikes to each other. I have heard from my own parents telling that they just continue to live and their marriage go as they have to, not that they really enjoy each other's company."

"We're deciding about our life at an immature age of 16-17. We may be either compelled by our parents or even with our own impulse to take a profession. By the time we are matured enough to understand whether we have chosen the right career or not it is too late to change over. So we just cling on to it. That's all. Only very few people can afford to change their profession and opt for a passion. I developed a hatred towards marriage. Once I'm married I'll be forced to live on that whether I like my partner or not. Otherwise, I wil have to take a divorce, which I don't like. Tell me what's wrong in remaining as a spinster?" asked Asha with a smile.

"I wish you good luck, Asha. At least in marriage you can make a decision since you're no more a teenage girl," I told myself.

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