“Oh, no! Not another Goddess!” Two Goddesses had already put her mind into enough turmoil without a third Goddess adding to the confusion. But she was curious who this Goddess was and what she would have to say.
Shruti had often heard the term ‘thinking man’s sex symbol’. She had never seen any difference between the sex symbols of the thinking man and the dumb man though. They all looked the same to her - sluts showing skin on television for money. But now with the appearance of this Goddess, the term took on a new meaning all together. She was dressed in Greek battle armor and had a fierce aspect to her as well. No one could mess with her. Her grey eyes had a deep soulful expression and spoke of great wisdom.
“I am Athena, the Goddess of wisdom. I generally keep away from the squabbles of my step mother and her rival. But your intellectual abilities have impressed me and I want you to realize your potential without falling prey to either of them. So I thought I would come and have a word with you.”
Damn! Every Goddess made sense in her own way. Athena was now making absolute sense. Shruti was passionate about her work. Ever since she had seen ‘Giant Robot’ on television in her school days, she had been fascinated with robots. It was her dream to build an intelligent robot. She had not let it remain an idle dream and had worked towards its realization. She had applied herself to her studies and topped her board exam. She had rejected admission offers from country’s premier institutions and instead opted for a private engineering college that had a dedicated robotics program. She had again aced the course and managed to secure admission to one of the top universities in the US for her post-graduation. After her studies she had managed to secure a job at the robotics division of Sony. She had been one of the key members of the team that designed the robotic dog Aibo. The next step was to design a human robot. She was leading the project at the company’s India research hub.
“So what does Shabir think of your work on positronic thought networks?”
Now what was that? Shabir’s opinion on positronic thought networks? Well, come to think of it he would not make head or tail of all that. And she doubted if he would at all be interested either. Shabir was not into all these techie stuff. He was the marketing guy. Suits, restaurants and wine tasting were his forte.
“So you want to spend the rest of your life wining and dining, discussing about football and world politics?”
She realized with a start that she and Shabir had no common interests. He would never understand her passions for research. What had she been thinking? She felt so relieved Hera had convinced her not to get carried away by her hormonal surge. What a disaster it would have been! Surely her parents would make a much more sensible choice for her.
“So you want to become a good daughter, eh? Marry into a traditional family, cook for your husband, take care of your kids, be a custodian of family values? Very nice! So what about the robotics research? When will you find time for that?” Athena’s grey eyes were flaring.
“But I love my parents. I can’t let them down,” Shruti protested.
Athena’s expression softened a bit. “Who asked you to let them down, dear? Tell me. What is your dad’s greatest ambition?”
“He wants to see me in Stockholm, receiving the Nobel Prize,” Shruti replied hesitantly.
“So isn’t that where your focus should be? Don’t you want to make your father’s dreams come true? Not everyone is gifted with brains like yours. I cannot bear to see you wasting it away on plain trifles.” Athena’s passion was just infectious.
“So you are suggesting I not marry at all?” Shruti blurted out.
“Though I am a virgin Goddess, I have nothing against marriage. It is just that you need to find an intellectual companion. You need someone who can think at your level. It should be someone with who you can discuss your work, someone who understands your aspirations and supports you. Have you heard of the scientists Marie and Pierre Curie? That is what I call an ideal couple.”
That made sense to Shruti. All these Goddesses made perfect sense when they spoke. No wonder they were Goddesses. But Athena made the most sense. She wondered if Hera or Aphrodite made an appearance again, would they again be able to sway her.
Athena continued after a pause. “But do you think you can leave it completely to your parents? Though well intentioned, do you think they are competent to fully assess the intellectual capabilities of your prospective spouse? If you want to get married, it is you who has to wrest initiative, my dear. But you need to guard against being swayed by impulses and make a rational choice. If your choice is strongly grounded in reason, you would be able to convince your parents as well. After all they wish only your welfare.”
“Been working too hard these days, Shruti?” She could feel a man’s hands shaking her gingerly.
“If you sit late into the night, working on the research, this is what happens,” he added.
She had dozed off at work. She opened her eyes and looked into the face of her colleague Benjamin. Benjamin was seven years her senior. He had been her mentor from the day she joined the company. He was one person whose passion for the work exceeded hers. He had been so involved in his work he had not even found time to marry and settle down. Suddenly a strange though occurred to her. “How would it be if she were to marry him?”
She had never looked at him in that angle before. But every day she spent hours conversing with him and she loved every moment of it. He did not make her go weak in her legs like Shabir but she was sure she could spend eternity with him without getting bored. Interesting idea! But she did not know his thoughts and then there was the matter of her parents. There might be some resistance due to his being from a different community, but they would eventually come to love him as a person, she was sure.