Sunday, May 12, 2013

Am I that good?

A friend of mine, in a chat today evening, deferred to me in glowing terms, calling me an inspiration to him and many others like him as I seem to have taken up a bold challenge of going away from my comfort zone (a modest clinical practice and life with my family in Mumbai) to work in Saudi Arabia for some specific objectives.

I was wondering ... am I really that good, or am I selfish to leave my family and my patients to work for the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Every coin has two sides, and while it is true that your true measure can only be reflected by the opinion of others, it is equally honest to mention that my decision was, in a way, a sort of desperate measure to make more money so that I can live off that extra income by indulging in things that I have always wanted to do, but haven't been able to due to the financial crunch I faced while I was in Mumbai. The other objectives, namely, to perform Hajj and visit Medinah, to try and clear the British MRCPCH exams, and to learn to be independent and to make my family independent (read more about my objectives here.) seemed to pale in comparison to the one pressing need to earn more money.

This may seem to be a cruel conclusion, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to grow in credibility in my mind! Even so, there have been sacrifices from both sides; while I have struggled all alone in this country of Arabs, my family - esp. my wife Nishrin, but also my children, and definitely my parents (my dad, alas, is no more, but more than anything else, he kept asking for me for over 2 months before he passed away) - they, too, have sacrificed their time, their needs, their feelings and their priorities - to make up for my absence.

Yes, to be honest, they have benefitted too; one, they no longer have to bear my overbearing presence, my short temper, my interference in what they call "feminine affairs", and so on; two, they are able to spend more on themselves without worrying as much as they had to when I was with them and barely able to satisfy their many desires; three, they have learned to be independent - are more street savvy, are more confident of being able to manage worldly affairs that they never used to worry about when I was there (since I always used to do those tasks for them); four, as their dad is not around to keep an eye on them, both my daughters have tasted a little bit of freedom ... but I daresay, I trust them not to do anything foolish ... and so far, they haven't. In fact, they have made me proud by being there for each other, for their mother, and for their grandparents ... as I am not there.

So, to conclude, the benefits of my emigration far outweigh the disadvantages, and this is what keeps me happy and going.


Lakshmanan Krishnamurti said...

It is good to accept new challenges and explore new frontiers. Every time accept such a challenge you are tormented by guilt and fear. Guilt of leaving, the guilt brought on by the impact of your moving on others around you. Fear of losing what you have, for what may not turn out to be what you had hoped. In general, so long as you preserve and nurture what is most important to you, moves to explore new frontiers turn out to be enriching experiences. Most of all pay attention to your family. They are ones who ultimately, really care about you.

drashok said...

Hi Taher,

It is wise to introspect with honesty.

My mind asked these questions to myself?

How much money is enough money?

Should we be striving to fulfill our and family members desires as opposed to needs?

Is it not time for the young ones to learn from life facing hardships their own way?

Where ever we work, working in the attitude of serving the higher earns merit and leads to fulfillment.

Best wishes,
Ashok Koparday