Your choice as long as it is our wish!


Parents always have this obsession that their kids must become either doctors or engineers and shine like the sun! Hence once the kid finishes his/her tenth exams they promptly enroll them in the maths stream or the science stream. Now chartered accountants are ruling the world so commerce group also has the same love for the parents. Any other group does not exist for them and the schools are even worse. They do not even offer any other courses other than the three major streams.

My daughter secured high marks in tenth standard. But her interest was in the field of arts and hence did not want find the need to go into the only/regular options that were available in the schools. She wanted to study Psychology, History, Economics, English literature or any new language. I would have visited close to twenty five schools in the Chennai city and found just one school which offered these kinds of subjects. The government has approved over twenty different subjects to be included in the curriculum but none of the schools do that mainly because nobody opts for them and it is not lucrative for the schools to hire teachers and offer those courses. Such is the state of our society!

My daughter chose History as her subject for her undergraduate degree. Friends and relatives started advising us when she first chose arts stream for her +2. Their first outrage was how can you spoil her future by allowing her to choose something other than Maths or Science stream. The second outrage was she hasn’t even taken commerce group, what will she do in the future? You as parents must force her to change her mind and make her study something useful. Well, you can imagine the intensity of the outrage after she joined B.A History. People openly said to us that only those who do not get admission in any other stream opt for history. We did not tell them at that time that our daughter is likely to make history one day 🙂 She was adjudged the best out going student and also won the gold medal for standing first in her college when she graduated. Now she is pursuing her higher studies in script writing/dramatic writing. How successful will she be in this field, only time will tell. But right now her pursuit in this field is giving her immense satisfaction and is preparing her for the future.

Every child is blessed with a unique talent. It is the responsibility of the parents and those close to the child to encourage him/her in the field of interest. True, in some fields it takes longer time to establish oneself. It may also not be lucrative initially. But history has shown that those with passion have always succeeded. The encouragement given by parents provide the required self confidence to kids in their early age. Not everyone is gifted with talent in areas like music, dance, sports, writing and drawing. It is an inherent quality! But the catch here is that success is not always guaranteed just because you are talented. Hence you cannot blame the parents. All they have is the children’s trouble free future in mind. They do not want them to take up their passions as full time careers and suffer later.  

This subject causes so much agony among parents and children. Only professional courses provide security in life and pursuits in fields like sports, fine arts (music,dance) will only bring woe is the strong belief of our society. But those with special talents live a miserable life when they are prevented from pursuing their passion. This in turn leads them to be dis-interested in their studies which in turn leads to further rift between them and their parents. Quarrelling with them and getting angry over petty matters become a daily occurrence in such households. There are kids with learning disability like dyslexia and ADD. Such kids normally are interested and happy to be pursuing in the field of sports or fine arts. Encouraging them to do that increases their self confidence and their inherent talent. 

There are parents whose support and encouragement given to their kids with special talent are so enormous that they have to be show cased for the world to see them as model parents. Children born in poor fisherman’s family or daily labourer’s family have gone on to win awards in the field of sports in the international arena. Parents of such kids literally forego their most essential needs to provide their children with coaching, buying special equipments for training and the required attire, shoes etc and have even gone on to send them to the Olympics. I am amazed by their understanding and applaud their dedication!

Those pursuing their passion must have an alternative plan to earn money if they are not able to make both ends meet in their chosen career. Otherwise they will be considered total failures by the society. At the same time it is very sad for them to give up their passion since a part of them literally dies when they do so.

If a person with a lovely voice and a talent in singing does not take the effort to pursue that interest it is certainly a tremendous loss to himself and the music world. So is the case with people with other passions. But with out the family support nothing can be achieved by these people. So parents have a huge responsibility in really evaluating the talent of their kids, making an assessed judgement and then encouraging them in their chosen field. Getting a college degree is not the be all and end all for every one. Of course only time will decide the success or failure of that person but the passionate one pursuing his/her special goals will enjoy happiness and immense satisfaction in the present, Why, in fact always! 

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nandini Vishwanath
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 12:32:10

    My story is the same as your daughter’s 🙂 I did Arts too post Class 12 and shocked everyone. But no one could be happier about my decision than me and my family. Also wanted to thank you for coming by and talking to me on my blog. I just wanted to say that I’ve spoken to doctors and counsellors. And I’ve gotten over what happened. In fact, hardly worry about it and lived rather independently alone in India and the US since then. But the day before’s incident shook me a little bit thanks to the whole car chase and because the police bungled it up. Thanks again. Meant a lot.


  2. Viju
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 02:38:57

    I definitely want to come back and read this post in a few years. That’s when I hope to have followed my mind and made a career decision about things that I would enjoy doing to my heart’s content. My choice of studies has been solely my own choice, for the most part. But there’s always a small regret that I should have done something related to music on the side, if not as my main thing. Well, I am making small steps to get there, and I hope I do soon :-)Thanks for this wonderful post which shows how openminded the supermoms of this generation is!


  3. amas32
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 02:46:01

    Thanks Viju, mede me happy by your comment 🙂


  4. Jagan
    Apr 07, 2012 @ 22:29:47

    🙂 such a beautiful approach to a child’s career. This topic is really close to my heart, since I was one of the less fortunate right-brainers stuck in the Math-Science streams in +2 without even knowing why I had to be there. Like you have mentioned, my Math/Science education has definitely given me all that security and the kind of profile that my parents wanted for me. I am more marketable as the “pride of the family” this way. But am I what I ought to be? My poor old man and his wife are never given to such thoughts.There are times I regret it deeply and wish I could go back in time and change it all over again. But I have accepted the fact that I have come too far down this lane to change anything and have learnt to struggle with the numbers.I wish that at least my kids don’t have to go through the same harrowing experiences and get to build a career that is to their liking.Very poignant! thanks for the post!


  5. amas32
    Apr 08, 2012 @ 02:53:50

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Yes, what is done cannot be undone many times. But we can look forward and be wiser with our experience. You can not only help your kids, but also other friends' kids who may be experiencing what you experienced in the past 🙂 Thank you.


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