For a long time I had wondered what is my calling? Which industry would I like to work for?
As child there were a few I coveted. Becoming a doctor would be swell - I thought. Yet, my love hate relationship with biology and chemistry did not keep the balance quite right. I loved Biology and hated Chemistry - Uh! that does not really work in the Indian entrance exams. Actually if you think about Indian entrance exams you can avoid Maths or Biology but you cannot avoid Chemistry and Physics. Uh! So that turned out to be a flop exercise.
So I spend my teenage years reading medical encyclopaedia and trying to fathom diseases, finding out symptoms and trying them on the hypochondriac myself. When Google arrived in later years, I tried to find solutions and details on diseases for all through the internet. It was a hobby that I loved. If anyone gave me a medical encyclopaedia I could spend considerable time reading it. It was my alternate Linda Goodman.
Later in life, when moving out of IT after doing my MBA I thought "food" would be wonderful - a match between my interest and my career. Yet, it did not work out - in a FMCG environment they take time to recruit people. Pharma, was not one of my favourites infact I had even thought all my life that it is my last resort (you know my fear about chemistry...). So though an uncle made some inroads into Indian Pharma Industry and later my father and sister (who also hated Chemistry) went into the field I remained aloof.
Aerospace industry - now that would be a dream come true - since I was small I have been interested in flying, getting into flights and always wanted to become an airhostess (now if you can imagine a 4 feet 11 inches helping a 6 feet person to haul his heavy luggage into the overhead luggage compartment, then you are the ideal person to set up an airline and employ me). When I looked at the advertisement when Indian Airforce released their first ads for women to apply, at my 148 cms I was dismayed to see the height requirement - 162 cms it said. Somehow that number always stuck in my mind - (Never mind that all those physical tests as shown in Udaan would have been impossible for me to cross).
So here I am in Brussels working for an industry and for the last two years I had a love hate relationship not really being in touch with the real work of the company. My new function sees me in the evenings hooked to internet sites reading all possible medical information on diseases. Last 2 weeks have been filled with information on patients and best ways to treat them and how they feel. I know many people hate the Pharma companies. Yet, I feel like I am doing something that is second best if I could not become a doctor. I feel like I am helping somewhere and somehow.
When I read all the information now, it transports me to those brown pages of my grandfather's medical encyclopaedia. All those feelings surface back again... One more thing that has not changed - I still cannot react neutrally when I see the pictures of the diseases.
P.S: Let us see how long this euphoria lasts.