One Mind, Many Dreams.

Warning : Reading this may upset people I know personally and who may have said things that I quote so please be kind and use discretion. I love you all, anyway.

I know people, like my best-friend from school, P who did his engineering while I did Architecture – he got a job like everyone else while I still did Architecture because its a longer course (and is still not over – for those who think I’m chilling in Chennai). He just knows he wants to work for the forces. He left his corporate job and is preparing for SSB. I recently (read, July) had the opportunity to act in a Short Play (Short + Sweet, Chennai, 2016 ) and this was, by chance – because I went against my usual habit of ignoring messages and actually replied to a friend who was the director of the play.  Okay, coming to the point, I got a chance to meet other actors, writers and directors. To us, the lay-folk who only enjoy cinema and read gossip blurbs or the Times of India – actors just happen to be and earn big bucks and splurge it on controversies that we can use as ice-breakers at work. But the truth is, getting a job as an actor for a somebody is really tough in a country where every third person wants to be one (Okay, you knew this). I think you can become a politician, more easily, if you’re erudite and tactical enough. SO – I met all these people who just KNOW that they want to be an actor – regardless of where they are right now – they’ve left jobs, homes and families for this. Every text, every expression, every meeting – they only talk about their passion and I’m left aghast. Like, ‘sapne mein aaya kya tere?” (did it occur to you in a dream?). It probably did.

Such crystal dreams don’t occur to me. I’m usually in morbid situations in dreams- running around with people I may/may not know in strange set-ups that may/may not exist.

Every month – I have a new ambition. I get influenced by movies, books, people, magazine articles and of course, social media. Its not easy. They say – trust in the magic of beginnings. I do – but then it fizzles out. And something new takes it place. Its not easy – when you’re pursuing a degree; want independence; super-fast WiFi; good food; social life; a job which feels like a holiday; security – it just doesn’t all materialize in one night on a platter – much like how we’d like it to. Some people just get stuck in the grind of everyday mundane jobs to support themselves and a family. Or run behind their passion – a train they may/may not catch. Or live in the delusion: ‘Aayega – Don aayega”.

Don gaya tel lene.

No parent/well-wisher/aunty/uncle-ji who owns a shop/dhobi-wallah/already-established-friend/Data-scientist-cousin-in-the-US  likes it when you tell them you want to become a Screen-writer or Casting Director – Art Manager – Art Director – Critic – Media Producer – Shift to another city – Get a flat- Buy a dog- etc:-

“Does it even pay well? What – I’ve never heard of it. Its just tricks – to scam your generation into doing odd-jobs no one else wants to do. Are you crazy? Interns are unpaid labor – even the dhobiwallah knows that. Pune? Tomorrow you’ll go to New York also. Pehle na you lose weight and leave that Facebook wagera. Some Hunky Dory became a screenwriter – doesn’t mean ki you’ll become one, too. Please keep your room clean, first. And what about the five years you spent cutting cardboard to become an Architect (or whatever you studied)? Who’ll pay for rent? Accha, leave all this blogging about movies which some other person made and share serious views on your blog. Get married before 25 – movie mein dekha na – that actor also said that only. Kya? How many degrees do you want? PINK dekha PINK? Yahi hota hai  outside world mein – go, go get your flat ab. Accha jao – sab karlo – Director bhi ban jao. Artist bhi ban jao. Go ask your Michel Gondry’s mother if he spoke to her in this tone, ever. Remember Ankita? She’s working in that advertising company – she’s getting married in November. You’re still sending in CV’s to these funny companies. What do you want to do with the rest of your existence? Ja, main nai poochti.

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You got my point. And its all in our best interest. No parent wants their kid lying broke in some dingy corner smoking cheap cigarettes regretting why they didn’t take up that Accenture wala job. Neither do they want you as an added attachment to the house (unless of course you’re a boy, in our patriarchal country). And I agree with them. This is not a rant as much as it looks like one.

Its a dilemma that I realized, more recently, a lot of us are facing but because we want to maintain the status-quo of being happy – we don’t share it. We just write poetry because its a hobby. We don’t tell people that it gives us more pleasure doing than data-entry because poetry doesn’t pay – unless of course you write something that goes viral on scoopwhoop. No one writes Facebook statuses about how they fought with someone who thinks their dreams are worth nothing. No one tells you how much it hurts to lose a job because you could’t focus on your work. No one tells you how bloody scared they are about life, itself. We blame our social status, lack of money, parental pressure, etc – and continue doing what we do best – nothing.

But all that is when you have some tinkering clue about what you really want to be. Thomas Zacharias (okay, I not-secretly have a crush on him and he Instagrams as @cheftzac) knew he wanted to be a Chef. Though it looks like he’s always smiling as he grills salmons and posts pictures about inspiring local cuisine – it took him a hell load of effort to become the Executive Chef of the Bombay Canteen (believe it or not, one of the many reasons for me to want to work in Pune is so that I can go to Mumbai to see this place designed by a firm called The Busride – where I will work, one day.). A snippet of that effort (posted with permission aka DM that he may/may not read, on Instagram) :

On the contrary, another person I got introduced to, thanks to all the weird research I do – is Shanoo Sharma (@shanoozeing on twitter) who is the Casting Head at YRF Films. And she didn’t just land up this job in one year or even two. She has the experience of working as a hair-stylist, bartender, waitress, singer – and pretty much everything she wanted to try. She has no degree to her name and at one (or many) point was tagged by well-wishers as someone who could not stay in one job for more than a year. And look where all that has lead her to. She now gives actors their breaks. She calls her job a holiday and has the authority to work from where she wants, when she wants. She does a job she’s obsessed with and this didn’t occur to her in a dream. She is India’s top Casting Director. Ranveer Singh, Parneeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt – and many more happened because she thought they could happen. And her story which I read is here .

Closer home, in Chennai, someone I actually know did something out of his dreams. Shyam Renganathan just gave his first TEDx talk in VIT, Vellore – and why? Because he didn’t just sit around moping (okay maybe he may have done that at one point) – when he believed that he could be funny. He didn’t want that engineering life – he stood against joining a B.E course and went ahead to do what he loves doing – he’s now a Standup Comic, RJ, Web Series (Black Sheep)  Actor and I don’t know what more he will do. It was definitely not easy – or fun, when he decided to take a step back and change course. But he made it. Its not an easy world for dreamers but then again, people make it.

And these are just some examples that I’ve stumbled upon. Okay, let’s take Sushant Singh Rajput – for those who are living under a rock / From another country  – he’s a Bollywood actor who recently acted as M.S Dhoni in his biopic. Besides that, he has starred as Byomkesh Bakshi and as a lead character in Kai Po Che, the movie based on Chetan Bhagat’s Three Mistakes of My Life. He didn’t become an actor bas aise hi kyunki sapna aaya. He was first an AIEEE Topper with AIR 7 – then a student in DTU – a dancer in Shiamak Davar’s Dance troupe – a theatre artist with Ekjute – an actor in Hindi Serials – and finally, an actor. This journey was a long and strenuous one. I haven’t interviewed him but I sure as hell know that he didn’t know he’ll be acting as M.S Dhoni in the year 2016 – when he was giving his AIEEE. Not everyone knows for sure. And you know what, its okay.

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You can thank me later.

I say this to myself whenever I get a new idea – that’s daunting – that makes me look jittery and unsure – which I agree I am. But what’s wrong in that? I’m afraid that I don’t know. But at least, I accept that I don’t know and I’m trying to know. I’m giving my everything – I’m working hard and looking at prospects- I’m applying to places which resonate my beliefs, somewhat. I’m looking at originality in a field dominated by trends and popularity.

But that doesn’t stop me at marveling what Michel Gondry does with a few colours, a paper and a video camera. It doesn’t stop me from reading scripts written by Woody Allen and Rebecca Miller. It doesn’t stop me from thinking what Greta Gerwig thought before signing up for Frances Ha. It doesn’t stop me from watching Wes Anderson movies back-to-back noting down things I like – joining FTII forums and discussing Bollywood – watching Anurag Kashyap’s speeches on Film-making – noting down email addresses of Production houses I would like to intern with – sending my CV to Art Management firms just to see if I fit the bill. I’m trying. I don’t know if its right – I don’t know if job security is the secret to success. I don’t know if I’ll ever end up in Mumbai writing films like Juhi Chaturvedi and Gauri Shinde. I also remember promising my best friend, Sarkar, that we’d write scripts for Korean Drama together, when we were in college. Maybe we should have done that.

Its all a bit unsettling when you see your friends going to pursue their Masters in the US, UK and Singapore – or when they post “FMS / IIM – Life be like” pictures on instagram – and you’re still here sitting before a screen.

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Being afraid is normal and so is stalking celebrities on Instagram. Reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (by Mindy Kaling) instead of Lean-In or Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (or whatever its called) – is absolutely OKAY. Crushing on celebrity chefs who don’t even know you exist is OKAY. Reading never-ending tumblr posts on inspiration is OKAY – as long as you don’t lose yourself in another person’s world and come back to your own to build yourself up. You’re not alone. You never will be. Talk to people and get to know things instead of being shy and apprehensive. Throw yourself at opportunities and learn things that can’t be learnt on lifehack or buzzfeed. Get out of your shell and give yourself a chance to feel vulnerable.

It doesn’t matter where we are as long as we know we want to try harder and make something out of this opportunity we call life.

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The Unspoken

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up.
Because if you pick it up, it dies and ceases to be what you love.
So if you love a flower, let it be.

Love is not about Possession.

Love is about appreciation.”

– Osho

Tumultous emotions stir up a storm in my mind as I try to make sense between hurt, joy and the hazy emotions of fondness. And I cease to make sense to anyone I try to explain my dilemma to. At one hand there is a promise of a lifetime full of laughter and joy but there is distance and on the other hand, lies this stubborness of possession…a security, a warmth hard to explain. Despite the fact that it is baseless because its a clap where only one hand is participating….the enotions still singe when you know you can’t have something you appreciate so much.

And every day , you only fall deeper…. fooling yourself that you’re over it and this is no great milestone and you’ll cross it in no time. You’re all happy and confident … displaying that facade of a smile while youre tearing up inside with conflicting thoughts.

You cant keep yourself from trying to pluck the rose despite the fact that its put up thorns so this beauty of your simultaneous existence never ceases to exist. You understand the rose’s reason to resist you because it shares no mutual appreciation besides the fact that you’ve come to share a certain companionship in the recent past.

But there is this well of hope that has been pushing people off the ledge, making them do things that are either extraordinaire or flabbergasting. And this hope instills a certain foolish longing and stubborness … you begin to believe that you could keep the rose alive with your own golden strands of life force. You know how precious it is to you. But you fail to express it the way a bard would convince a naive listener. You just sit beside the rose, relishing the symphony while it lasts, holding on to every bit of fragrance that wafts towards you. You know you would never pluck the rose against its wish… and your hope begins to wane…turning into pain.

And your comrades pat your back and try to degrade the image of the rose in your eyes so that you can leave it behind. You nod your head, stand up even and dust yourself… preparing to leave but you’re lost in a bedlam of voices in your head.

You know its best if you let go of your fascination and walk towards the reality but your fever dream calls you back..
Moreover … whenever you sat beside the rose , the rest of the world seemed to disappear and …. it kept you safe in another dimension…always whispering the right words, the warmest of phrases that made you feel so inexplicabky happy….you only wish that could happen once more. The rose innocently calls at you, not knowing what you’re going through and simply waving off your facade of ignorance as your childishness and turning away from you…

You want to explain but you know it wont make any sense to this world as they only see bits of the story and they know not how much you value whatever little you experienced.

The road ahead is unclear but when has it ever been too clear?  The rose still stands… while I sneak a look at it and think to myself, I wish things were the other way around….and Indidn’t have to be the one to choose… whether to walk away or persist.

Social (network) -Evils !

    Twitter Bug caught you yet?

THE FEVER:

It starts off with the change of a cover pic or liking a particular status or an amazing picture of your friend being dunked into a pool… or Celebs announcing some huge-happening in their life like, ‘Say hello to Kyra, my new born!’ and a few hundred likes to that or ‘Check out my Album XYZ on iYunes!’ or it could be a family member writing on your wall, ‘That dress you wore for my daughter’s first shower was totally inappropriate! Unacceptable. But thanks for turning up, anyways!’

There is always interesting gossip, someone winning a prize for being the Douchiest Human or maybe well, some guy moved into Beverly Hills by fluke and everyone’s J-ing on him…or The Kadarshians are pranking each other and throwing GUCCI footwear and Kate Spade bags on each other instead os Snow Balls for X-Mas! Or someone just got into a relationship and everyone’s commenting on their status but in their hearts ,’Let’s see how long this one lasts…’

And sure there are some genuine moments when you meet (online) someone who you’re crushing on (they can’t see your CRAZY ‘OMG’ expression)or a long-lost friend. Or something you shared and getting 100+ likes! Mamma-Mia!

Or new movie trailer news; what’s up on The Vampire Diaries > Is Elena Switching Boyfriends… or on True Blood > Is Sookie, perhaps, considering a teeth-gap-removal surgery before choosing Eric or Billy-Boy ?

And of course, the new TROLL pics are gaining quite some audience.

But the most addictive are chats and those Zynga games. I myself play three of them … I mean who doesn’t love living in the Mansion of their dreams with the most amazing looks and all that!

Or you could just be a sales promotional person whse JOB is TO BE on FB or twitter?

Coming to twitter, its a step more exciting as you meet your stars (so-called, at times) one-to-one. You know where Oprah is going to hold a Charity Ball, you KNOW who  Ms. Swift is going out ; whether Justin Bieber really plans to choose the lucky 17-year old girl whose writing this post right now and take her with him? (Got a lil’ ‘lead-away’) … or whether Lance Armstrong really is sending his kid to Basket Ball Coaching or whether Adam Levine plans to leave Anne v (that ain’t happening, is it, Adam?) … or whether One Direction’s stomach is upset because Niall ordered this whole Pizza from XYZ… blah! blah!

You can tweet all you like to gain their attention… but the sad part is > a million more people are doing just that at this moment so your chances are one-in-a-million. And the odds don’t look so cool to me. But we try, any ways!

We also make loads of new friends only its hard to recall their names coz its like @kidrauhlbang or @harryssugarpot or @LynchUp @DianneEatsCarrots @WriterGoth etc etc (those are not real and if they exist > haha!)

THE PROBLEM :

   

All these freebies really are enjoyable, flaunting off your creative talent and posting it on your wall so that everyone reads about in their feeds… check others’ statuses and commemnt relentlessly on them despite the fact that you’ve run out of cheeky and cheesy lines and left with sheepish stuff. Never Mind.

Time is a SOAB sometimes, because it adjusts its speed according to what we are upsto :

When we are drowning with piles of work and hitting deadlines… Times like to impersonate Usain Bolt and run Lightning-fast.

When we are stuck in long journeys in a boring train or cramped between two gossiping ladies in a Church sermon etc etc … it likes to choose slug-speed as though its paralysed or some sheez.

Well, when we are wasting our Precious Energy on social networking site MINDING OTHERS’ BUSINESSES … Time likes to hide away and catch the Bullet Train and before we know it, its gone!

And we are still left with ideas that need to be put into action, work, assignments, this and that. Those with kids and family are into a deeper hole.

THAT’S THE PROBLEM. These interactive sites can waste your time. And you have no Time Controller Device so stop thinking of it. Yeah, I know if only some Mad Scientist had INVENTED that rather than crazy ju-ju that made Super Heroes!

THE EFFECT:

You are left behind at work, your ideas still sleep snugly in you TO-DO’s and DO-IT-TOMORROW’s . And you’re, well, upset. Haven’t we all been there and done that ?

THE SOLUTION:

Please for Santa Maria’s sake stop taking your TO-DO’s and DO-IT-TOMORROW’s seriously instead of fliccking them aside because what now seems casual and unimportant can be the red-hot NEED-IT-NOW , tomorrow! And then do NOT regret!

Its all in there (your grey cells ) … your will to take the work up and STOP whiling away time. I’m glad youcame by this article because even though you probably know everythinhg I said, you need a little PUSH to run that extra mile. I know it. Writing this stuff, motivates me, myself. Hope it does the same for you, my Readers. Well, all the best with kicking Procrastinating on its butt and using your Social Networking Skills (which no doubt, I’m sure, are amazing) in MODERATION!

If you know you can do it… YOU CAN DO IT!! Get outta the addiction … and start getting a real life 🙂

Addio e prendersi cura (Goodbye and Take Care)