My father would sometimes stop to take a deep breath and say, "You won't get air like this anywhere else, Sanjay." He would also look lovingly at the browns and greens of the vast fields. Although we do not own the land and we only work for the Andy Anand Farm; my father calls it his land. This is where he was born and raised. He loved this land. This land was his whole world. My father had always wanted to be a farmer.
I, however, had other plans. We are a family of farmers but I really want to be a doctor. This is why I wake up extra early everyday; so that I could start and finish my farm chores early and then make it in time for the free school which is within walking distance from our house. I knew I have to study hard if I wanted to be a doctor
It all started when I met Dr. Ishaan, a real doctor, in the only hospital in our village. I couldn't stop talking about Dr. Ishaan for days after I met him. It's just so surreal to meet someone who isn't a farmer.
One afternoon, I saw Dr. Ishaan walking on the farm, a huge smile on his face. Finally, I mustered up enough courage to talk to him. "Good afternoon, Doctor. My name is Sanjay. What are you doing here on the farm?" The doctor smiled at me. "Good afternoon, Sanjay. I'm just trying to reconnect with the land. It's been a while since I last worked in a farm. Do you work for Mr. Anand?"
"Yes. My family has worked in the Andy Anand Farm for many generations. You worked in a farm, Doctor?"
"Why, yes. Where do you think I learned how to become a doctor?"
I looked at him, perplexed. "What do you mean?" The doctor smiled patiently and said, "What do you give to someone who experiences pain after a long day of working on the farm?" I said, "Turmeric in their tea, Doctor."
"Right. And what is the most effective way of treating insect bites or repelling insects?" Dr. Ishaan asked. "Neem, doctor."
"Right again. You see, Sanjay, the farm is a great teacher with many lessons no book or degree can give you."
"You mean by working on the farm, I am also learning how to become a doctor?" I asked.
"Yes. Learn everything you can from the land. Then take that knowledge with you when you go to school and you will become a better doctor than those who got their knowledge only from books."