Growing up with an identical twin in India to progressive parents, there were several life choices that came my way.
But, how does one know which is the right fit? Or, as we Indians believe, what was written on my head? A bit hard to look at one’s own head!
Between the ages of nine and fifteen, we were trained as star athletes by our father in our own backyard where he created a high jump pit, a long jump pit and a short track to practice taking off from the blocks. We went along with it happily, mostly due to some native talent. We set records, appeared on the covers of magazines and were called “the jumping twins”. That ended one day when during practice, Mother appeared and reminded Father, “Don’t you think that’s enough? They are going to be doctors.”
We read like paper, books and writers were fast becoming extinct. I LOVED words and would look new ones up in the dictionary and make sentences. Clearly, we were nerds but the word didn’t exist in the indian vocabulary at that time.
I told my mother I wanted to be an English professor. But my mother said, “you are too bright to do that. You should go to med school.” And that’s where we went.
At that time in India, there were two kinds of marriages: tradition or arranged, or what was referred to as a “love”marriage. I met a med student a few times in the cafe and decided I was in love. A bad decision, having never dated anyone or even interacted much with male classmates. My parents grudgingly agreed. They might have thought better him than nobody. That marriage fell apart in 19 years when we finally came to realize we were so different in our upbringings, values and life choices. I have two beautiful daughters from that ill-fated alliance that I cherish.
Instead of a healing physician, I opted to become a professor who helped educate those doctors…
Instead of becoming an English professor, I ended up being a fiction writer…
All these paved my way to finding the art of acting that I fell in love with in my 60’s!