When I was a little boy of six, I would press my face onto the cold, hard glass and look out on the majestic planes on the tarmac, and dream and imagine myself in shiny black boots, a crisp white uniform with a gazillion medals and stripes pinned in neat rows on the front and a smart black hat -- an Air Force pilot.

When I grew a little older, during Chinese New Year, my uncles and aunties and all those distant relatives would pat me on the head, pinch my cheeks and gush and swoon -- "Aiyoh, Kheong's such a smart, handsome boy!" and "Ah-Sao, your little Kheong's going to be a great doctor or lawyer right?" And when I told them politely that I aspire to be a pilot they would whisper amongst themselves in hushed tones and scamper over to my parents in distress, while all the time giving me worried looks and uncomfortable smiles.

When I became of age to enter Flight School, my parents would restrain me, pull me back and with hands on their hips and with firm resolution extol -- "Ah boy, listen to your parents. You're still young. We know what's good for you! We think you should become a doctor."

And when many years later, I reflect back on my life, I watch the boy with the fever close the door behing him, sweep my eyes across my small office, and look upon the thermometers on the table, the posters proclaiming "Exercise to a Healthy Lifestyle!" on the pale-white walls, and the stethoscope hanging on my neck, I lower my face, clench my fists and curse my Singaporean parents.

Hate it when your parents think they know what's best for you (when they don't) and chart your entire life for you (when they shouldn't)? I'm pretty happy that my parents are respecting some of my life decisions and are not selfishly stamping dreams into the ground. Welcome to the 21st Century, parents!

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