She is a brilliant girl. An achiever. She always tops her class. Her parents are constantly praising her, encouraging her and egging her on to keep up her efforts with promises that her future will be bright. They have her life all planned for her. She is in her final year of graduation. She will get some work experience for 2 years, then do an MBA, then work for 4 years before she thinks of marriage. She is often told to concentrate single-mindedly on her studies and not think of anything else. Everything else can wait. The girl works hard. She slogs. She is cited as an example to her younger sister. But she is never happy. She has got a prize job in her campus selection, a position her peers envy, but she is not interested. What does she want to do? She does not know. Just before the exams she runs away from home. All her family and friends are flummoxed. They did not expect this from her and don't know why she has done this. Of course she is eventually found and brought back with the help of the police and the college prinicipal allows her to sit the exam though late. Planning. Single-minded concentration on her studies. Postpone life for later. When is that later, given such a tight, well drafted plan? With these targets, that is all she will be doing all her life or that part of life when she could be living and experiencing life, learning from life. I am sure these parents will also decide who is 'a good match' for her and of course, they will know what is best for her. Of course they know her better than she knows herself. They only want the best for her. But just who is to decide what is her idea of 'best'? And then, once she is married, that would be the end of life in a certain sense (especially in our society). So when does she get to live life? When does she get to enjoy? When does she get to be a normal young woman like others her age? When does she live for herself? Is there any guarantee she will not be burnt out by the time she gets there? She is obviously already feeling burnt out enough to run away from home in her quest for some freedom and fresh air. Is it not enough for a person to be average, lead a decent, normal life and most importantly LIVE in every sense of the word? When will parents learn?