I sometimes think that before we are born, we are programmed with what we want to be.
Years ago I met an old lady and old ladies in their mid-seventies are usually chatty and remember things that happened ages ago very clearly. She told me when she was six/seven years old she used to play with a school friend, like many children they loved role playing. She preferred standing by the blackboard and hush the other kids and tell them” I am your teacher.” Her friend, on the other hand, used to parade inside the classroom and say ‘ I am the Queen of Egypt.’ The first child, the lady I met, grew up to be a teacher. The other child, the wannabe queen of Egypt, grew up to marry a lieutenant in the Egyptian army who later became the successor of President Naser. His name was Anwar El Sadat, therefore becoming the first lady of Egypt for a good number of years, for about ten years until Sadat was assassinated in 1980.
After hearing this story, I tried to remember what did I want to be when I was a kid. When I was a child I had no passion for school, I was a daydreamer and always wondered why the teachers wanted to grab our attentions so badly. I hardly had any passion for any subject especially the math class. At some point there were timetables that we had to memorize and who didn’t got punished by standing up facing the wall, the easiest table to remember was the one anything multiplied by one equaled one.
By the time I reached the fourth grade, I had started to enjoy biology the experiments, and I was particularly fond of drawing the human heart, not the cartoon version but the real anatomy with aorta pulmonary artery and atria and ventricles. A delatialed antomy illustration was in our biology book. But one day on a holiday when I was alone at the boarding school, I sat down cutting and pasting few paragraphs and building a story in an old copy book, something clicked inside me. I liked what I was doing.
Few weeks later I grabbed the copy book and sat down and started a discussion with my boarding school mates. Two of them were sisters, we were sort of eight years by then, I addressed the sisters and told them I am an author and want to write their biography. Their stories were interesting; they were three sisters, the third sister was five or seven years older and staying in a different section at school. The school grouped children based on their age. One of The two sisters was my grade, but she did sound a bit older, because she was so clever and serious, she once criticized me like an adult for wanting to play, the other girl probably one year younger than us and was in different class. The intelligent girl and the older sister were brought up together, the other girl who was grade younger was introduced into the family when she was five or six years old. They said that their parents kept her with the grandparents when they worked in Saudi Arabia for some reason. So three children including a boy who was in another boarding school, the Victoria boarding school for males were living together, and this girl was sent off to live with the grandparents. She looked different, though, she had lighter hair and skin, thinner and taller she probably might have looked after her mother.
Me the eight-year-old author wanted to write a biography about their lives. I started asking questions, they were cooperative started answering my question, but some how I don’t know how the discussion became so heated, and they began fighting together and begun attacking each other like the guests in Jeremy Kyle show. I was so surprised by the impact of my interview and questions on those invincible sisters. I was a lonely child they were a pack in this boarding school. I had no intention to turn them against each other; it just happened I was asking the right questions. The intelligent girl always tricked me but for the first time I ever tricked her, it was the first time it dawned on me that I possess some intelligence to trick people. They were fighting hard that the nanny had to interfere and had to report this to the supervisor.
This interview was not the last one; this was not the last heated discussion. But when I started asking questions aimed at one person, I was the one under attack. It seems that I had a talent for asking questions that piss people off. Therefore, I stopped. I do not need this Jeremy Kyle kind of talent in my life.
But I still think of writing all night before going to sleep. I think of all those heated discussions. I am a surgeon now. Writing is like surgery one has to train and practice to perfect their technique. Writing just like surgery you should be cut out to be a surgeon, but not everyone cut out to be a surgeon becomes a good surgeon, there is a lot of hard work and training and above all dedication to be a good one.