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.

francesha

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.

18-1476780023-untitled-4
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.

b7dbb3241d20169d8147a7e8409a5b59

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.

anigif_enhanced-6367-1395022463-1_preview

Advertisements

Khwaaish

image

The other day I was banging my head against the wall wondering what my dream really is? Is there like, one major dream and then sub-dreams or what?
And I read this from an old blog post, today.

I think I want to intern at various design places…no matter what they design, do theatre, video-log, do a TLC show where I show people places they need to get going to. Visit all the places we stayed in when I was a kid.

Maybe this is a clue. Maybe I should believe in the Universe or listen to the people who love me and step-up my professional game.
Well let’s see. Let’s get done with Thesis, first.

Arrivederci

Who.

This is the part of my life where I start understanding who I am. Who I want to become .But there is no saying who I’ll become.

image

Its not easy to figure it out in a day, months or now that I come to think of it, years, maybe. Every week I discover something new about myself; the people around me, the potential I have and how it affects the others. Every action reverberates. It brings something new to our life. Like, just last week – though short – I’ve lived through a journey on a brook (were I a little paper boat this sentence would have made much more sense than it does, right now). If you know me then you’d probably have heard the word Thesis at least ten times a day on an average basis. The poor parents, close friends, roommate and partner go through much worse. All they hear about is : Thesis. So much so that my Dad doesn’t discuss anything else, he is attuned to my nature- keeping track of my progress and encouraging me in whatever way he can including the occasional hearing to remind me a theater play or a movie should not be my focus and that I should start focusing on also getting an internship. Parents are farsighted. That’s probably why I’m in a college and getting to write this post, right now. The point being – when you start becoming more vulnerable (and this is purely by choice – a shade of mindfulness, maybe?) to the things happening around you and there is no saying whether its good or bad – you realize how real things can actually get. Your interaction with people is not based on the that moment or even the moment before. Our entire life affects every action we take. Over the years the way you think, react to things, accept criticism or pain, respond to threat, appreciate another or learn something – have all evolved. You’re not the same person you were two years ago (in my case, a month ago). When you look back at the things you said last weekend after the jury went bad and you were all red-faced and puffy-eyed – would make you laugh at our childishness (nudge, nudge, that’s me).

So give it time. Let things sink in, be processed until you’re sure about how you feel before expressing it outside. You’ll be surprised how a little thinking before speaking can help in the long run. After my rather unexpectedly weird jury I took a time off the maddening heat of the thesis. I spent time with friends, read good things and waited for the answers to come to me. And come they did : in a newspaper article, that too, believe it or not and by next week it may actually turn into something life-changing. Open to these new experiences. Anyway, lots of following up to do and a test tomorrow. I’m going to try writing more here so that I can get to a clearer thought-process.

Also I’d like to thank you all for the support : all your comments and remarks mean a lot. Keep them coming. Which blogger doesn’t love comments? So just feel free to share things with me- always receptive. Hope you had a great weekend. Waiting to actually hear from you and learn something so yes, write to me.

Arrividerci.

Note To Self

If you’re not proud of what you’re doing.
Then stop.
And if you can’t…
Then ram yourself against whatever it is that’s not letting you be everything you CAN be.
Because, baby, no one’s going to push you everyday, but yourself.
Be your own Hero.
Do what you must, so you can be proud, happy and content or just dance to smooth jazz music. And think about it later.
But do something, you must.
Love.

Arrividerci

Help & Charity

Honestly speaking, whenever I help someone (if at all I’m I’m in a position to be helpful) I’ve noticed I do it regardless of the returns or consequences. And they are small things, really. Never help with the expectations of reciprocation. Because sometimes what you ask for may not be in their power to give or so they might think. Or maybe they just forget. Nobody owes you, Friend. You own Jo one. So help because you want to and because you’re human and for love.

Now, about Charity. Oprah Winfrey (even though she made TV Shows about the things she did…perhaps, to inspire others) said that you shouldn’t speak about the Charity you’ve done because then you’re just boasting and that kills the entire idea of being good. Starve the ego, fee the soul, remember?

Its not tough and I know its not a pressing issue. But trust me, there is a happiness that you attain when some one smiles because of you. That will give you sleep at night. Wishing you most and more on this Easter Sunday. Love.

Arrividerci

Note To Self

If you’re not proud if what you’re doing.
Then stop.
And if you can’t…
Then ram yourself against whatever is not letting you be everything you CAN be.
Because, baby, no one’s going to push you everyday, but yourself.
Be your own Hero.
Do what you must, so you can be proud, happy and content or just dance to smooth jazz music. And think about it later.
But do something, you must.
Love.

Arrividerci

All that Meets the Eye.

Being plain Jane is an experience in itself.
Its not that I don’t take time or I can’t plan to dress well.

I just feel comfortable in my skin, the way I am. And I need not hide the blemishes I have because they are part of me, too.

If beauty were only physical, then this world wouldn’t be the amazing entity we think it to be.

Because all wonders would meet the eye.
You would never have to dip your hands into the cool water to feel its beauty because all its enchantment would be in its form.

What meaning would fragrance have?
Or music even?
And what about words?
The million things they make you feel…all in the distance between two periods?

Meaning, depth, experience and beauty go together. Physical beauty is a blessing, yes. But it’d be rather phony without all its inner enigma.
Love it all.

Ignoring Clarity

Clarity really seals the deal. Some times we we’d rather ignore the plain answer because the heart loves the fallacy. It likes to believe what we want is in the process of happening even if, in reality, the odds are against it.

Is it a kind of intellectual inertia that keeps us from clearly defining what is and what’s not? Or do we just allow our theories to soothe us until denial is no more an option and staunch reality hits us?

It happens with me all the time. I like to believe I’m a practical person despite the dreamy ad excited way I talk, sometimes. But those are rare occasions when I’m giddy with excitement. Anyway, I’ve noticed that when I really want something, say an introduction to a person I like but don’t have the guts to approach in the manner I wish I could, I hope that things fall in place and we get introduced by chance. But as all good things come to an end my fallacy breaks too. Short lived excitement leaves you high and dry.

Instead, why not cut the chase? Just agree to the current situation and let go. You can’t have everything and everyone in your life, now, can you? Not unless you have all the time in this world to stalk and befriend people, eventually.

Sometimes its best not to put too much of our hop or affection on any one entity before things materialize because we have enough to deal with already. Heartbreaks and let downs do not have  an open invitation in my life, at least.

Breathe easy. Let go. Give your heart and mind, a much needed break.

Arrividerci.