It was another busy day at the clinic.Dr Panchali Dey stretched her limbs and leaned on the backrest.Her eyes darted over to freshly unpacked novel of her favourite author,luring her to dive deep inside.But the watch confirmed that she was still away from that blissful leisure.

" Madam..Last patient for today.Should I send her in?" Her secretary's voice echoed through the room.

"Sure..Waiting.." She assumed her professional pose.

A lanky girl walked inside,along with her mother. With a tense posture she sat down,eyes scrutinising the floor.

" Meenakshi Choudhury, fifteen years old...hmm.." Panchali cleared her voice,eyeing the document.

" Madam,Minu has stopped eating almost since one month.Her grades are getting dangerously poorer with each passing day and she sits in her room locked up most of the time.She'll be appearing for her boards next year and this is giving us serious frights." Her mother blurted each and every word.

Panchali looked into her eyes.Those dark deep irises told a different story,melancholia seeping out of them.Weren't they similar to another pair she's thoroughly familiar with?The ones which she sees each day in front of the mirror?

She touched her hands.

"I would like to speak to Meenakshi alone,if you don't mind."

The mother walked away,disapproval painted on her face,muttering unintelligibly.

" Dear,a disease is half cured when we accept its presence.Do you really feel the same way?"

Panchali flashed her brilliant smile.

The girl looked up this time,a tinge of surity touching her eyes.

" Yes,I do need help. And I want to be cured."She spoke each word distinctly.

" Ma'am, I could never be the perfect daughter to my parents.They want me to excel in academics,to be the best in everything I do.They don't understand that I hate binding to specific rules for studying. The only thing I love is karate which I've been learning since five years of age.Muat all of us be doctors and engineers even if we don't want to?They say that I'm a disgrace in the name of a daughter and that I'll die a painful death with no money or none to look after me because if I don't work hard,I won't get any job.Why can't I choose my passion?

Her voice broke at this point.

A set of incidents flashed before Panchali's eyes. She was in no better position than Meenakshi, but she chose to renain undeterred by the mockeries hurled at her. A victim of polycystic ovarian syndrome,she was an overweight woman who was dumped by her boyfriend of almost two decades. He gave her an ultimatum of one year to reduce weight but she chose to walk a different path.Only there was none to help her at the time.Walking all the way to a psychologist wasn't a very common occurrence during her time.But this young mind needs to be saved from the definition of "perfect" as coined by society from time immemorial.

" Dear,you know what,we all are unique and perfect imperfect in our own ways.That's what brings out the beauty of individual differences in this earth. We can never life our life truly if we want to be perfect according to others' standards. Just make sure you get a satisfactory grade in your upcoming boards and keep chasing your dream of becoming a novelist.We all shine in our own way and that's perfectly okay." She said.

Meenakshi smiled.

" I don't want to be perfect ma'am.I just want to be me..A mere human of flesh and blood who honours her emotions,likings,dislikings and respects others' view as well."

" That would be enough for me.We'll be meeting again in the next session."She held her hands.

As the girl walked away,Panchali sighed, contentedly. She was lucky enough not to fall prey to society's idea of a "perfect human" characterized by good grades,obedience,marriage when another perfect human is sought and kids thereafter.....It's time another young mind is shown what actually perfect means...

To be happy and contented with one's own dreams,desires and goals....

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