Do what you want. (Or maybe don’t)

Note – This was initially written for Project: Ink. A project started by some A level kids in Lahore. You can read it in full here . (Also check out the other stuff they’ve done, it’s pretty good.)

I’ve never really known what I wanted to do in life. When I was 7 I heard the word “Doctor” and “Engineer” for the first time in my life. I probably heard it before as well but I decided to stick with 7. It’s a nice age to start off with. Now if I wasn’t South-Asian I would have probably heard the word doctor when I actually needed to go to an actual doctor and the word engineer if I decided I wanted to build a bridge but I *was* one so inevitably and like most of us out there.; these two words were the motivation for everything I did from about 7 till I was 18.

I stopped hearing the word doctor when I was about 14 though because my dad was a smart guy he knew a hopeless case when he saw one and he knew a couple of major miracles were required for me to become a doctor. I had no intention of proving him wrong because that required me putting in some extra hard work. My mother on the other hand, like all Pakistani mothers, believed that her son could conquer the world and literally become  if not  Dr. Greg House, at least a great doctor.

Now at 14 the only thing I was good at conquering was a couple of Big Macs in under 2 mins but she believed change was right down the corner and I could achieve great things. A part of me really wanted to prove her right but then again that required actual work so I let it go and told conscience to stay shush. “There will be a lot more to do for mom in life” – I told it.

So with one profession out of the question, there was only one other thing left that I could be and that was to be an engineer. There were no other Engineers in my immediate family, my brother was sent to be a computer scientist but the day he graduated we found out he was actually majoring in something else, my dad had the “Well played son. Well played.” look on his face which I haven’t really forgotten to this day.

So with no one in the family being in the profession the pressure on me was high. Right before I graduated from (high-school) with mediocre grades I was subjected to the “do anything you want to do but I would prefer if you were an engineer, Pakistan mein aur kisi cheez ka scope ni hai” talk. Which in my head sounded like this:



I decided to go with the former (dreams can wait, food can’t). I still don’t get why exactly I chose the path I did (the food and shelter incentive doesn’t explain it all). When I looked towards people around me for answers, the conversation usually went something like this:

Random Auntie who watches HUMTV Dramas for a living and gives advice in her spare time: Beta, go for engineering.

Me: Why?

RAWWHDFLGAIHSPT: You’ll make a lot of money! (Which is completely untrue btw and saved for a rant for another day)

Me: But I don’t want to make money.

RAWWHDFLGAIHSPT: You’re not going to get married then.

Me: I don’t want to get married.

RAWWHDFLGAIHSPT: You won’t have kids then.

Me: Never been fond of kids.

RAWWHDFLGAIHSPT: Wow! aren’t you miserable.

Anyways, the path was chosen now all that was left to do was to actually get into an engineering institution. After about 10 rejections I finally got into one and there started my engineering journey. The first thing I did on this journey was to check the number of girls in my class which looking back wasn’t exactly the best of the starts but it is one  which I remember fondly. (There were four btw if anyone is interested. Now currently where I am there are 0. So if you’re looking for a life of gender mixing I would strongly suggest another career path).

Now three years into Engineering I’ve grown to slightly love it, because over the years I’ve realized there isn’t particularly anything else I would have liked to do or anything else I would have particularly been good at. So what’s the whole moral of the story here? I don’t really know, but the few I can think of are

a) You could do something with your life that you don’t want to do and just hope that one day you’ll end up liking it and live a happy life.

b) You could do something with your life that you don’t want to do and probably end up never liking it and live a miserable life. That’s an equivalent of being forced to eat baked turnips completely against your will.

c) You could just screw everything and do what you want, if you actually think you can pull it off that is. Otherwise please don’t try it or embarrass yourself.

That is pretty much it, you can read Alan Watts trying to sum up what I was saying.


One more thing, guys trying to be fashion designers and bloggers and those people who sell ridiculously tasting cupcakes at insanely high prices,  please stop embarrassing yourself. We’re going through enough as it is, find something else to do. (And no but this is what I want to do is not a valid excuse).

7 thoughts on “Do what you want. (Or maybe don’t)

    • I’m trying to think of why I added bloggers to the list but I can’t remember, it does look out of place though now that I think of it. (Also it’s more of a hobby than an actual profession I guess.) BTW I’m still waiting for an online copy of that book. =P

  1. HAHAH. OhmyGod :’)
    Probably exactly what I needed to read. Thanks!
    Going through the same crises.
    I guess I’ll end up being an engineer too now. :’)

  2. LMAOBICSRTIATSIH(Laughing My Ass Off Because I Can Somewhat Relate To It And This Shit Is Hilarious)😀
    My dad wanted me to be a dentist, my mom wanted me to be “Something Really Big And Auspicious”(Hope they make such a ridiculously smart ass degree that moms want) and my brother wanted me to be an Engineer.
    I screwed them all and went into my passion… computer(And no, it was a choice, not because I was a low-graded student who had nothing else to do so she chose computers to be allegedly a Science graduate and grab a great “rishta” in their future. Yes. Girls in Pakistan do that.)

    And I had a question to ask… Why in the name of holy bananas did you chose to call yourself Hamster? Attachment problem with a dead childhood first-pet or something?

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