Let me get this straight
“You mean you are actually – willingly – doing this?”
My daughter’s incredulity would’ve been funny had the scene been playing out on the TV screen, like in a Man with a Plan type of family comedy series where teens perpetually talk to parents with an arched eyebrow.
“Why should it be so strange that I might want to do a course?” I tried to keep my equanimity even as I felt fine tendrils of self-doubt uncurling in my heart.
“Who would want to voluntarily study, take an exam, go through this —?!” the last word was quite expressive of the hatred that kids have for exams.
As you may have guessed by now – this mini inter-generational drama was all about my signing up for a college course. I had a sneaking suspicion my teen daughter’s reaction was actually resentment at the possibility of not having me at her beck and call for a few months the following year when I would be in the thick of my studies. But over the next few weeks my suspicions evaporated. I found her actually happy that she had a co-sufferer now and eventually my darling even began taking on the much-despised pet-related chores off my shoulders.
The rest of the family was just relieved I had found something to plug my intermittent whining about the absence of a ‘proper’ career.
Outside, my revelation was generally met with varying degrees of interest – from an off-hand “oh really” in the middle of a rambling description of shopping in Dubai’s Gold Souk to real concern that I might be subjecting my brain cells to more than it could bear at this age. Two reactions stand out in my memory – one:
“Really – But why? What possible good can any course do now – will you even make enough to cover course fees?”
And the second was, of course, what started it all:
“I see…if you are so interested in the subject, maybe you should go ahead with it – just find a way.”
Some words, uttered by someone, in a moment of pure congruence – you never know where it can lead you.