When I went to study philosophy in the university, my family were absolutely against it, unanimously. Everybody was bothering me continuously: “Don’t go in for philosophy. You know perfectly well,” they told me, “in our town there are postgraduates in philosophy who have been unemployed for years. Nobody takes any interest in them. The moment they hear you are a postgraduate in philosophy, they say, ‘You are not of any use in the world.’“
But I told them, “Don’t be worried, I am not interested at all in your world. And I will be the last person to ask anybody to employ me. I am going to create my own world.”
My father said, “You are simply crazy. How are you going to create your own world?”
I said, “You will see. I am not going to use your world. I will create my own world.”
Reluctantly, sadly, they sent me to the university. You will be surprised – even my professors, becoming acquainted with me, told me, “An intelligent student like you should be in the department of politics, economics. What the hell are you doing in the department of philosophy?
“This is only for girls, and they are not interested in philosophy at all. But we go on passing them because without them the department will be closed and we will be unemployed. So whether they are interested in philosophy or not, whether they do their work or not, we go on passing them. They need certificates, and their certificates are not for the marketplace, they are for marriage – that is a totally different thing. But what are you doing here?”
Even the professors were worried about me. After my graduation they all suggested, “You move.”
I said, “You don’t understand – it is my subject. You people don’t belong to this subject. You have somehow wrongly entered philosophy. Perhaps you could not get entry into any other department; that’s why you entered to study philosophy. And once you studied philosophy there was no other profession left for you except to be a professor of philosophy; that was the only profession left. But you don’t belong to philosophy at all; otherwise you should be happy that I am joining it. It is my world.
I was also a student of that professor who was really ugly; later on I became his colleague. When I told him, “You just look at your face in the mirror,” he said, “But, then, why have you joined our department?”
I said, “Because I am not interested in containers – my interest is in content. I don’t care in what kind of boxes you are presented; I just look inside. My interest is in your inside. Whether your nose is flat, your eyes are crooked – I have no interest in what kind of case you have been imprisoned. I am interested in you.” But this is a human weakness: just to see the cover of a book, the advertisement of a certain thing, and be impressed by things which have nothing to do with the reality, things not concerned with reality.