Monday, February 14, 2005

To Be or Not to Be

I had this teacher in undergraduate college who had a poor eyesight and a poetic mind, on the lines of Homer. We greatly appreciated the former, since it made proxies and naps easier, but the latter inevitably led to poetic torture on unsuspecting souls within the confines of his cabin. The two would manifest together wonderfully well every morning at the bus-stop, as he would wait for his bus to college, along with a few of us. Narrowing his eyes to figure out the approaching bus in a distance, he would ask "2B or not 2B"? 2B was, quite obviously, the bus to college.

Not that this story has anything to do with my blog. But, yes, that oft-quoted and widely misused line of Shakespeare has often made me wonder. If one thinks about it, life is all about chasing dreams and giving up on the chase; for you are not sure "to be or not to be?" While you are panting by the sideway, exhausted by that last chase, you see another dream flitting by; and lo and behold, you are off in pursuit.

My earliest ambition (that I can remember) was to be bus driver, a passionate dream I shared with my cousin brother. A big bed would be our bus, and we would take turns in being the driver, a smallish bucket performing the crucial role of the steering. Our offering was complete with tickets, which the passengers (mostly reluctant elders) had to purchase.

Why I gave up pursuing that dream I cannot remember; but I suspect poor pay and lack of future growth were the prime culprits for that particular dream's untimely death. I did not brood too long over the demise, though; for I was convinced that in me lay hidden a promising murder mystery writer. Endless afternoons spent reading Feluda (a detective created by Satyajit Ray for children), Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes invariably ended with me deep in thought, plotting my next masterpiece. I did write a few short murder mystery stories, with pathetic plots and even more ridiculous reasoning.

As I grew up, I wanted to be, in turn, a singer (a dream thwarted by constant protests from my occasional audience), a cricket commentator (a dream I have given up on after watching the comedy show called "Harsha Ki Khoj") and a film director. The last dream is rekindled every time I watch a Satyajit Ray movie, as I appreciate its subtleties, nuances and simplicity like a wide-eyed kid watching a kaleidoscope show.

Of course, here I am today, having completed my PGDM from IIM Lucknow, working in UTI Bank Bombay, with all my childhood ambitions a distant dream, pursuing something I never wanted to. Coming to think of it, through every single career move in my short, uneventful life my dreams never got realized; but the dreams others dreamt for me, somehow seem to be taking shape.

There are those occasional moments (precipitated often during states of inebriation) when I make solemn promises to myself-"enough of this endless shit which goes by the name of a job, the tryst with destiny has continued for long, the time has now come to redeem my pledge, to realize my dreams." But such promises are inevitably followed by dour mornings (totally sober), as I yet again trudge haplessly to office.

Some day, I might follow my heart and direct a wonderfully obscure movie, understood by five men worldwide. Till then, a life more ordinary continues.......

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Blogger saba said...

hmm...good to see that ur senses haven't dulled at least...

1:09 PM  
Blogger Rajeswari said...

'twas a very pleasant read coz there r very few such admissions made by other ppl. with which you can relate yourself to such a big extent...hope a day truly comes when we all end up doing what our hearts want and not just something that makes us successful in 'their' eyes... have you evr wondered why is it that doing something 'meaningful' is always easier than doing something really 'frivolous'?

10:10 PM  
Anonymous upama said...

i have 5 points to make:1.if u r the bus driver, make me the cleaner or helper.i would love to shout howrah giris park sallek...2.if u r another agatha christie,make me the schizophrenic murderer,..3 if u r singer i'd love to be the microphone...4.if u r serious abt becoming another harsha let me know i'l give u pack of fair & lovely...5 hey director i'd love to be the heroine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:06 PM  
Anonymous the other driver said...

besh likhechish amar to join korar age thekei bitrishna.tai ager anek plan thik korechi work out to tao bhalo j oto swapno dekhechish ami to anek lok dekhchi jara bodh hoi taka chara swapnoi r kora jabe loke tader niye ja swapno dekhechilo takei tara nijeder swapno hishebe bhebe niyeche......kaukei dosh deoa jay na product of the situation---'bicycle thieves' dekhe ami biswas korte shuru korechi no one is a sinner.....all unfortunate consequences of a vile thirst..

2:40 AM  
Blogger Rajk said...

It's not the most original of themes, yet something about the honesty of this post, so laden with post-adolescent angst and childhood dreams, so full of the memories of the past, the realities of the present and the hopes for the future, draws you magnetically towards it. You made me remember my dreams through your dreams, not necessarily because they were similar. That's a tell-tale sign of artistic merit.

Maybe the next dream will float into your life than flit past. Dream on.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Rhea said...

the most beautiful part of a dream is that you can live in it for a while...i hope u keep living in your dreams while living to keep up with the dreams others dreamt for you...and when you have lived enough..........venture out in your own world.coz it is truly beautiful.
all the best!

5:03 PM  

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