A young man, thirty nine years ago, chucked a respectable job of Freight Broker to fulfill his dreams of becoming an actor. Another genius, a pass out of the much vaunted IIT ignored scholarships from top foreign universities to serve the mankind. A little while ago a lad, carrying the tag of being into the two best educational institutes of the nation, snubbed tempting jobs of crores of rupees to start his own business. The three men had one thing in common – they followed their heart. In case you are finding the talk a jargon, let me simplify it for you — Amitabh Bachchan- the bollyowood actor, Shreesh Jadhav – the social activist, Sarath Babu – the entrepreneur. They all chased their dreams and are today proud of their choice.

In countries abroad when a graduate comes out of college, he is free to walk out of the stereotype job to work in a garage, to do odd jobs of his choice, to take the road less traveled. But we Indians are known for our tolerance, even if it means estrangement with our desired career. The hesitation to pursue one’s dream career has assorted factors.

There is a set of people who know what they want and how to achieve it, but are overshadowed by the fear of being ridiculed in the process of their achievement. They are haunted by nightmares of people mocking them. Stigma dilutes their passion. To them I would like to quote a saying by Swami Vivekananda — “Each work has to pass through these stages – Ridicule, opposition & then acceptance.”

There is another set of highly imaginative people who dread consequences — “What if the road doesn’t lead me anywhere? What if the road ahead has a dead end? What if the road is hollow?” Well, in that case I also have important ‘what ifs’ fears. What if Atlas drops the earth, What if earth’s gravitational force intensifies and pulls down the sun? We would all be ceased to exist. But for those what ifs of future you wouldn’t want to cease your on-going life. Would you? Such fear only helps create more planners and no one to execute the plans. For them a Mark Twain’s quote should work — “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Another most prevalent factor which doesn’t approve of one’s discretion is –over concerned parents, according to whom kids should always remain kids. “Let Rahul do that, not you” is what parents have in their say. Fine, let Rahul be the next Galileo, not your son. Parent’s concern oversees their children’s dreams. And such hapless kids end up settling down on the sofa listening to every thanksgiving speech by every supposedly celebrity. They live in perennial attacks of despair.

I know I am getting too hard on parents. In reality they cannot be totally blamed upon because they try to bring up their children in a manner they were raised by their parents. And things as we all know were different in the generation prior to ours and theirs.

Different minds, different mindsets. Killing mocking people, conquering the fear of failure, cajoling parents to succumb to dreams are not out-of-reach task. They can be sorted out. But there are roadblocks bitter than these – masculine money and absent opportunity. In the first case the obligation to keep the lamp fires burning falls on the successor the family; in such scathing situation traveling a non- precarious road assures reaching the lamp oil. Gold overtakes goal. Duty derides dream. In the second case beginners are bound by the lack of opportunities. Ideas remain ideas. Zealous turns zealot. Their problem finds no solution. Perhaps, like our money banks, rehab centers and insurance policies there should be more institutes that would fuel the new talent to kick start. After all, we get only one life and what life is life in which the biggest dream remains a dream.

Suhani Dewra

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