I have been postponing this post for too long now. I wanted to pour my heart to you from a long time. My heart is heavy and needs a companion. My parents and best friends tried to share the load. My parents have been the greatest support system, but few things still remain unsettled. Lately, I have realized, that it is I and only me who can reduce the burden. But you being my humble abode, my heart wants to let you know. For I know you would listen to everything without telling, the following:
- "Just manage for few more months." Well, I would have if I could. Wouldn't I ?
- "You talk like you have lost it!" Oh, Do I? Sorry, my bad I even told you. Because you lost me.
- "It's okay. Things will be fine." No, it’s not okay. I have tried and waited for too long for things to be okay.
To no particular problem in life but in general, these are the reactions that people have given me. Distant relatives to close friends. It is life, not a small scratch or injury that will go away in some time or will heal. When scars are too deep, the time it takes is tremendous and all reasoning seems absurd. Somewhere deep, I feel, it is my bad that I shared the load with people which couldn’t get or did not want to, and although I knew most of the people did not care about others problems and they would judge me instead of helping me find a solution. I have learned it the hard way.
So many ask me why it that I am grumbling. I am well-off. I have a good and respectable job, supportive parents, a monkey brother, good bunch of friends, a good set of hobbies and popular (probably). I maybe living someone’s dream. But there is a demon inside me that wants to pursue my dream, not work on someone else’s dream or be someone else’s dream.
This demon has tried to take shape and express itself but often people don’t understand. In the race of being economically independent the dreams we have or at once we dreamt are lost. I have been watching a lot of TED talks and reading a plethora of articles on finding out what my passion is so that pursuing it would feed the demon inside. Maybe I am in denial because my parents wouldn’t approve of what I want to pursue or probably because the society would never get it. The latter I don’t care. As of my parents, they are my backbone and reason for success. I am no prodigy child but I am successful in my own small way which my parents are extremely proud of. So yes, my parents’ consent do matter a lot to me.
As far as the TED talks are concerned what I have observed in these people who quit their job after they found their true passion had one thing in common, they got really lucky. No kidding. Seriously, they just stumbled upon it. Another significant difference was most of them were non-Indians or were NRIs. Not that Indians haven’t achieved great things and followed their passion but in India, there is this gender stereotype. Parents want their girls to be economically independent because they have seen broken marriages and obviously have their own reasons. But when it comes to taking risks, they just wouldn’t allow them, even if the lady is ready to. It's all about playing safe and being in the 9-5 job irrespective of their interests. Blame the rising woman security issues as well. Then there is this prestige issue. Because some nosy neighbor or relative will ask in some near future why their daughter is working in an NGO after a degree in engineering and then in MBA, for had she followed suit she could earn really well. All parents have to say is it’s her choice and they support her decisions. Sadly, it doesn’t work out that way. Gentlemen, I can hear your voices too. The men are usually allowed to pursue their dreams, but I feel hardly do men have time to think about dreams because they are busy trying to satisfy the needs of his family, fulfilling his parents' dreams and being economical independent is an unspoken rule. We love watching movies like 3 idiots, praise the protagonist but hardly try to take the lesson from it.
So when I entered my 20s, my life changed and the reality was miles apart from the dreams. I don’t know if my dreams had outdated or I had a reality check. But what I have come to realize is I need to re-define my dreams.
When I was a small kid, all I wanted was to finish school as soon as possible and start working and being independent. Then I realized it wasn’t easy. We had courses to choose. Colleges to go. That phase I loved. What I did not know was jobs are not what movies or Ekta Kapoor’s serials show. Getting a job is a very difficult task. It has to be respectable with enough money to survive in a metro city. Once you are inside a posh 9-6 job, you realize working isn’t easy if you don't love your job. You think you will be giving presentations to clients, presenting your idea, but instead excel sheet is what you would be doing. When your parents boast of your job and career all you can do is smile because they don’t know what you are doing inside the full air conditioned, vending machine equipped, beautiful recreation rooms and glass enclosed workplace. More than work you learn one thing, that’s life. So many first times, and kind of people that you would be surprised. Every time you feel you have met all kinds of people in this world, a new kind evolves to amaze you. The politics within is played much better than the politics outside. The ordeals have just kept on piling and not being a quitter I take these problems as a challenge, but nowadays things are going out of hand driving me insane. You are the one who kept my suicidal thoughts and call to psychologist away.
While I make changes in my own life and in you for the best, take care.