When the folk singer and story teller Sarah Kay Lee was young she wanted to be a “princess , ballerina astronaut” but she eventually realized she could not. When I am in a bitchy mood I would say all that she had to do was to adopt an Indian mother from Bay Area, she would be the princess of her parents life, there would be those compulsory dance classes of course it would not be Ballet it would “Bharatnatyam” or Kathak and of course her mother would supervised her homework and buttered up teacher to ensure she made grade to join the “Stanford/Berkley engineering program” so being an astronaut would be a given follow up.
But let’s get honest why not?
When I joined med-school I focused only on dentistry. Then I got married my daughter came along I had a private practise but life was good, I satisfied my creative instinct by experimenting in the kitchen you see I was handed the superwoman cape – i had to be the ideal daughter-in-law, mother, wife and have practise and ideal meant what was the accepted ideal. It meant i should not be better known than my husband I should not earn more than my husband, cooking and cleaning the house was my portfolio. Believe me I lived with this motif till three years ago.
When I conceived my daughter, I went home for delivery, and Mrs.Sonal Mansingh had her workshop. Suddenly I realized how much of dance I missed. Actually it was not classical dancing I liked garbha, gidda, disco whatever, but being a trained dancer that was the maximum I could to social acceptance.
Anyway back to my journey, my first jolt in life came when the crab called. The crab calling meant getting a warrant though I realized it was fake fright the crab had not yet settled in before I could take stock I had my first accident. As I recovered I realized my ankle was frozen it was terrible to move it. and going to the physiotherapist was a challenge. That’s when I picked dancing over again.
Somehow this time round, I did not think of anything I just started practising before i knew what was happening I was conducting classes at the school of drama and that meant researching and a journey began. It was not really tough handling practise, home, kids and theatre. Since the only non negotiable line I had was children first.
Since I focused on tobacco rehabilitation in my clinic the new twist to my career came, I became a health trainer, learning things strictly on need base, when people became aware of my theatre skills those trainings came on too. So some of my clinical appointments got translated into training sessions.
With my third calamity that is 40% burn I have re-invented myself as a technical writer of medical articles and an avid blogger.
At one point during this whole journey I had an uncle who very disgustedly asked me, “why are you meandering around.” That put me into a shell I stopped sharing my work. Another time my brother asked me, “at the end of the day how many dollars does all this convert to” I was depressed because then it did not translate to dollars.
Last month when I participated in SHEROES, Karthiga Reddy of FB used a beautiful phrase – the tyranny of OR, https://parwatisingari.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/overthrowing-the-tyranny-
When i did manage to accommodate instead of choose one over the either I found myself calmer and achieving things. It also meant lot of things I did withered away while newer ones that were more important to my greater goal came through.
As of-or/Today if my brother tells me, “focus on one thing you will be a success” I would definitely tell me it depends on your definition of success for my definition is living each minute passionately. When I am clinic I am there 100% at the theatre I there when I am writing or doing training I there.
The only non negotiable is attending to my children. Yes call me schizophrenic I am and I am proud of my versatility. I am but a gypsy on a mystic journey looking for a mythical utopia.