It was the June of 2008 when I finally decided to pursue Architecture. Up until that moment, I really had no idea what to do after my +2.
I had lived in Pune, in the same house for 18 years. I went to Gurukul, a day boarding school, for the entirety of my schooling. Later I went to Modern Junior College for my +2 and studied in the science stream.
My mother is a Lecturer at that College. She teaches the commerce students. My father is an architect. He shifted from practice to teaching a few years ago. Both of them never pressured me to do anything in specific. They are quite open and they wanted me to choose for myself. They never really forced me to do anything. They simply explained to me the logic behind making choices. I was too small to understand back then but I guess what they were trying to teach me was that there was always a choice. Whatever I did, I needed to think about the repercussions. As a result, I have always made my own choices. Sure they guided me, but in the end, the choice was mine and mine alone.
My school was based on more or less the same principles. I was taught to question everything. It’s our right after all. They encouraged questions and helped us find our own answers. (I later realized that our Principal who was responsible for inculcating these ideals was my grandmother's student.)
The thing about making your own choices is that it’s the most dangerous two sided weapon you can wield. Sure, I had all the freedom I wanted. I could practically decide to do anything. But if that decision backfired or I didn't like it, there was no one else to blame. It was all on me. That was the price of the choice.
So it was no wonder that I was a bit apprehensive about what to do after junior college. I practically loved to do everything. So I took an aptitude test. Thought that might help me figure out something about my abilities. But again the results were no help at all. The councilor informed me that I had an excellent score in all the fields. Basically, I could do whatever I wanted. That just added to the conflict inside my head.
I tried to recall everything I had ever aspired to do or to become and I could only come up with one thing. I always wanted to be a scientist. But again, I interpreted that word in a very different way. For me, a scientist was someone who studied everything. Not one particular branch. But rather the whole tree. And that is not something that happens these days.
There was one person who I thought would guide me the best. My drawing teacher, Vasudha Kulkarni. She was one of those people who knew me enough to help me make such a choice. When I went to meet her, the first thing she told me was to do what I wanted the most. So I told her that there was no profession that would allow me to do what I really wanted. Because what I wanted to do was to learn everything there is and more. After a very long conversation, she told me to talk to my father about Architecture. That was one field that I hadn't really looked at. I had watched my dad work enough times to assume that all there really was to it was the drawing. That was the biggest mistake I had made.
The more I talked to him and his friends and colleges about Architecture, the more I started to realize that that was probably the best "base" to have. I started realizing that everything around us is Architecture and it was probably the only thing that bound every other thing together. I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to say that that was the tree I was looking for but it was as close to the roots that I could get.
So after another long chat with my teacher I finally chose to become an Architect.