How my Indian parents influenced my career choice during my Teen years

“A teenager’s life is like a flowing river, which is capable of making its way irrespective of situations.”

Reasonably, many of us might not agree with this analogy that I am trying to draw between a teenager and a flowing river but I think it is arguable ‘a great analogy.’ Just as a river always makes its way through all land types and meets its destiny as an ocean, a teenager is always capable enough to make his way all through the crowd, meet his/her destiny and achieve recognition.

Now let’s talk about what really happens instead of what should happen ideally. We humans, don’t let a river flow the way it’s supposed to. It’s analogous to the condition of a teenager who is not allowed to take his own decisions. We, humans, make dams over a free-flowing river,  also sometimes we change the course of rivers.

The habit of humans always interfering with the course of events never change. The same can be said about Indian parents. Occasionally, our parents become way too much possessive to understand what is best for their kid.

Humans have been harnessing energy from rivers, changing the course of rivers as needed, which sometimes is great for mankind. On the contrary, sometimes it backfires, meaning such constructions become the cause of natural disasters. Same can be said for teenagers!

When guardians out of possessiveness try to influence a teen’s decision, sometimes it does wonders, while sometimes, it becomes the cause of disasters, with life-long consequences. Now if I talk about myself, there haven’t been any disasters, I think! But neither there have been any wonders.

An aspiring CRICKETER…

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cricketer, MS Dhoni is my idol even today. One day while playing on the street I tried a helicopter shot and… And I think you must have figured out what happened next. The ball went into my house but no window was not smashed, what do you think? Was I lucky that the window didn’t break?

The window was open and the ball went straight to hit my television in the drawing-room. And yes you guessed right! From then on, I was never allowed to play cricket on the streets again.

After I grew a little I started going to playgrounds to play cricket, and I used to play for almost 4 hours per day. Every day my mother used to wait for me at the door, and as soon as I was home I used to be the most welcomed guy ‘if u know what I mean!’

CRICKETER retires…

But I was always a very good student and that’s why I was never stopped from going to play. This changed when one day I fought with some guy and left for home with bleeding lips and hand. I never came back to play again.

I started playing video games at home and my passion for playing cricket turned into my passion for watching cricket matches. Now, what do you think? Was my so-called ‘cricketing career’ finished because of my bad luck, or because of a harsh protective decision of my parents? I am still trying to figure out, whether it was a boon or a curse.Teen 2 scaled

How my Indian parents influenced my career choice during my Teen years
How my Indian parents influenced my career choice during my Teen years

Becoming a HISTORIAN!! sounds awesome…

Well, now I was growing and now just before my matriculation, there was a dilemma, what to do next?

For as long as I can recall, I was always into reading Stories of different genres.  And this fondness for stories led my interest in history, driving my aspirations to become a historian. When my father asked me about my studies, I told him “Dad, don’t worry, your son will be a great historian.”

My dad wanted that I should study in the top school of Patna as an Intermediate student. But the worst part about it was this school had no history stream!

After a series of arguments with my father, I finally gave up & I was left with no other option. I had to choose between maths and biology (to attend that school).

I thought to myself, “Somehow mathematics sounds a little better.” And the next thing I knew, I was attending my high school in maths stream. Then came a situation which I think went the way as I wanted it to go. We had to choose between informatics practice and economics as our optional subject along with physical education as our compulsory choice. I always had an interest in computers and then, there I was, studying about Computers & Programming Languages.

Way ahead…

Just before my admission to the high school and after mathematics as my stream was fixed, I somehow came to know about IITs.  I was so fascinated by the idea of being an IITian that I wanted to go there on the very next day. I made up my mind that I wouldn’t settle for anything less than an IIT. (Back then, I didn’t know about NITs.)

I was ready to do anything to be an IITian. I wanted to get Coaching from Professionals to prepare for the JEE exam, for that, I was required to stay miles away from my parents in hostels. But I had never been on my own before and I didn’t want to study in school after 10th standard as I knew it won’t be sufficient to be an IITian.

The Little KID!

According to my parents, I was too young to live alone, and hence if I had to do coaching, I had to stay in my hometown.

It was working quite okay till now, I was happy with the coaching center & was preparing well for the JEE exam.

But God had another plan for me. We can say a ‘class’ ready to cramp my plans. And so-called ‘object’ for the ‘class’ was ST. MICHAEL’S HIGH SCHOOL. I was selected in the school test somehow and now as justified by my parents ‘I had to attend my father’s dream school.’

As time flew by I was very much interested in physics and my interest in physics fuelled my liking for fluid mechanics. I used to devote a lot of time trying those problems which were far advanced from my syllabus. During that time, someone told me about the Merchant navy and I was readily convinced to be one!

 Thoughts about being deserted in the middle of an ocean with a bunch of guys with all food and comfort, being away from the rest of the world with limited means of communication, made me very happy. The long holidays of a Navy officer after continued service of 6 months or so, is another factor of why I thought being a Merchant navy officer is a great job!

Human life, death, and their preconceptions

And just before my JEE mains exam, I lost my uncle, he met with an accident while instructing workers in his plant. I think it was just 5 days before the Mains exam when I had to go to our Village to be there for my family.

I came back home just one day before the exam, and as expected, my exam didn’t go well. I couldn’t figure out why, but today when I think about it, it was probably because I was focusing too much on becoming a Merchant navy.

I appeared for Maritime scholarships and I was able to bag 100% scholarship on Tuition fee but then I lost my grandmother. We went to my village and followed all rituals.

After the series of deaths in my family, I didn’t understand back then and even today I don’t understand, why my mother and all other aunts decided together that merchant navy was too risky for me and I should never pursue such a dream.

And the only option I was left with was JEE ADVANCED. I appeared for it & got a rank good enough but ‘Good is not good at all for a general candidate!’ And now I am pursuing Btech from NIT Durgapur.

Conclusion

Such continued events of Change in career decisions & influence by parents & elders around us in those decisions is not only my story, but it happens with every Indian teenager.

“The thing with Indians is that we don’t accept our defeat which is a very positive temperament but it also makes Indian parents dream about their children fulfilling their dreams.”

 Parents don’t realize that their child may have dreams of their own which may be completely different from what they are speculating.

Anyway, we as children accept our parents’ decision just like the river follows the way humans want it to. And when we become mature enough, we realize that it is because of our parent, who influenced us to take the decisions which made us who we are today. 

And I agree with this because I believe everyone is not capable enough to make their decisions or understand what is their need and what they want during their teen years.

What confuses me is “Was I destined to be where I am today if not, has my life been shaped by my parent’s decision, or was it my random thoughts?” What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below how your initial career decisions shaped your life. Were you able to relate to my story? We would be happy to hear how your Parents groomed you in your teen years.

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