Thursday, October 23, 2008

As Wall Street falters, angry Indian mothers scream: “Why didn’t you become doctor?!”

Upper Montclair, NJ—Indian-Americans who went against their parents urges and became bankers instead of doctors are really starting to feel the heat.

“The day I got laid off, my mom same-day aired me an MCAT book,” recounted Manan Desai, a 25 year old investment banker turned medical student. Seated next to his mother in their New Jersey living room, he continued: “She threw in a stethoscope, a pair of scrubs, and a note that said: ‘Stop embarrassing me.’”

Manan looked down sadly at the ill-fitting blue scrubs his mother now forced him to wear constantly, and his eyes told how deeply he yearned to be back in his crisp, Wall Street attire. “My loafers look terrible with these pants,” he said miserably, pulling at the legs of the scrubs to uncloak his Ferragamos. Manan slung the stethoscope around his neck like a noose, let his head hang to the side, and croaked out: “This is worse than death.”

Mrs. Desai, a portly woman dressed in a sari, traditional Indian garb, seemed vindicated. “At least now Manan can become a surgeon, no more of this stupid stock business.” Able to freely mold his broken spirit, she pointed authoritatively at her dejected son and added: “No more white girls, either.”

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