As a child I believed I was made for science. I come from a family of surgeons, doctors and scientists, among the first Indians to be enrolled in British-run medical schools and colleges in pre-Independent India. Chemistry was my favourite subject in school and I wanted to become a scientist like Antoine Lavoisier. When anyone asked me about my ambition, that's what I would say. Until, April 1996. 1996 was an important year not only for me but also the entire Indian subcontinent. It was the year the Cricket World Cup was jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. My favourite players were Pakistani and Australian and I watched all their matches, read up all I could about them and knew their batting and bowling statistics by heart. Pakistan did exceptionally well in the tournament till they met the worst opposition in the quarter-finals, India. I did not watch the match. The fall of an Indian wicket would be attributed to my presence. I sensed the hostility in the drawing room and have never watched India-Pakistan World Cup matches since then. After the match I realised that my favorite bowler Waqar was 'smashed' by my friend's favourite batsman, Jadeja. Those two overs had cost Pakistan the match. The next week, I became the target of snide remarks during any debate on Indo-Pak cricket. The newspapers carried stories about how distraught Pakistani fans were that they warned the team not to return from Bangalore or else they would be killed. "Eleven graves for eleven losers." At that point of time, I chanced upon this piece, "The Last Namaaz in Karachi," by Javed M Ansari in India Today. I was so moved by the piece that I wanted to write, and write like him. I was 13. From that day, when someone asked me what I wanted to become when I grew older, I would say scientist or journalist.
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