My husband and I are the stereotypical Pakistani couple. He is an engineer from a prestigious university, I am a doctor from King Edward Medical University which one of the top college in Pakistan.
Our story is typical too. We had our nikkah when I was still finishing up medicine. We got married just as I graduated. I shifted to Europe and walked away from career. No, I was not forced to do so. My husband had made my job prospects clear the moment he proposed. My parents told me to take some days to think about it. I made my choice on my own, knowing full well what it meant.
I didn't always wanted to be a doctor. As a child, I changed my mind over what i wanted to be every 6 months all through my school years. I had wanted to be a princess, artist, teacher, archeologist , astrologist, scientist, author, physicist etc etc. I remember when it finally came time for me to choose, I told my parents I didn't want to work. Their loving reply was to choose the thing I loved to learn. And so I did. They never kept the condition that I better not waste their money by not working.
We have shifted around Europe. I never pursued to get my licence registered,since every country has its own long procedure.
And now I find myself surrounded by idiotic articles and reports and videos abt 'Doctor brides',claiming girls study medicine only because they want to get a good proposal.
- First do people know how hard it is to get an admission? It took everything I had to get there. It takes just as much to come out as a doctor on the other side. With all due respect, aap ka putar itna awesome nahi hai kai is ke khair mai medicine karoon. Guys, please stop having delusions of grandeur.
- Secondly if it really does increase marriage prospects,how is it any different from girls dieting and working out just so they can have the size 0 figure. Or girls going out decked in make up, fancy clothing to make themselves attractive. Why is that OK?
-Thirdly, people go on and on about how it's a loss of workforce. Here is the thing, I earned that seat. I worked hard, my parents paid the fees. It wasn't a charity. If your 'ankh ka tara' boy deserves it, tell him to stop roaming the streets with his friends and sit and study. We girls don't have some special books or course that we do that help us get better grades. We work for it. Even in medical colleges, u see the non-seriousness of the boys. They would skip classes,not attend wards, and not complete projects that are major part of the final grade. And these boys are the ones who worked enough to get in! So stop acting like a spoilt brat.
-Fourth stop telling me 'itna parnai kai bad kuch nahi kiya!'. I am not sitting in front of the TV, munching samosa all day long. I have a husband and children, I cook, clean,pick and drop the kids, the list is never ending. Most days i drag myself up at 6 am, and collapse in bed at 11 pm not knowing where the day went.
What's sad is many girls are reading all these articles and feeling bad, when they shouldn't. Whether the choice was their own,or as a result of the circumstances of life, it is OK to walk away. To choose to do what's best for you and your family. How can that be bad? How can then society be mean enough to say 'us nai to kuch nahi kiya!'?
I have never regretted choosing my family over my career. I do admit, my husband's repeated affirmation of the skills I brought to the family from my medical background help take away any tiny bits of residual remorse. My husband has always valued my knowledge.
I am sorry for any girl who was forced to choose between family and career. I truly am. But I will not accept being insulted by a media who lack better topics to discuss.
At the end of the day, no one has the right to tell me what I can or can not study. And no one has a right to tell whether I should or should not work. Because here is the thing. It is none of your damn business.
Dr. Sara Zafar Khan
Dr. Sara Zafar Khan
KEMU Batch 2009