An anesthetist I know has decided to quit his job and move to another city.
He is doing so not because he is not happy with his current job, but because his daughter, who is a talented Carnatic classical singer, wants to train under some guru in Chennai.
In order to support his daughter’s career goals, our man is shifting base. The fact that he is an anesthetist, and a good one at that, allows him the freedom to shift cities more easily than, say, a surgeon in private practice. Having to build a career and reputation in a new place all over again would be nothing less than a curse.
On the other hand, a doctor is getting his son admitted to a local, small-time, private engineering college, though the boy got admission in other cities with better colleges. His reason: his wife and he wanted his son to live with them. He refused to understand that the parents’ decision was rather unfair to the son’s future prospects.
I have thought about the first example a bit seriously: how much would I be willing to forsake for my family? No, not for a life and death issue, but for something merely potential, like a better prospect for a child or a better job for a wife. I have realised that I could do it, provided the family members could accept the implications and repercussions of my move. In fact, I have long made a standing offer to my wife to take up a high-paying job in a First World country, so that I could become a house-husband (is there a politically correct name for this post?), dealing with the kitchen and garden, apart from taking up a project to write a magnum opus, the kind that publishers would throw their cheque-books at me for. I have also promised her free sex if she accepts this offer.
To cut a long story short, she has not even bothered to respond. She plans to keep me in bonded labor till such time as her interests are not fulfilled. Which probably means I will work till I drop.
Would you shift base for your spouse or kid? In the first example, the doctor who is shifting to Chennai is also into Carnatic music. What if your kid or spouse were to want to do something you did not believe in or share? Would you still disturb your career for that? Comments??