For few years now, Aamir Khan has been making December his own. This year has been no exception. His latest film Dangal is well on its way to smash his own records at the Box office. The day the film opened to some positive reviews, the world’s most productive factory and the most efficient distribution channel today namely the “forward factory” and the “WhatsApp channel” got busier than usual. Some of the forwards were rants comparing the position taken by the Aamir as the protagonist in his earlier film – 3 Idiots and now in Dangal. In 3 Idiots, Aamir was shown taking a dig at the typical mindset of Indian parents who don’t let their children follow their dreams. In Dangal, as a father Aamir completely takes charge of his daughters’ destiny to achieve “his” dream of winning a Gold medal for India in Wrestling. In whole of the film there is no evidence of him trying to find if his daughters share his passion! Be that as it may, this post is not about those films or of Aamir’s so called double standards as espoused by social media.
On the 1st day of a New Year when one is generally in a contemplative mood regarding chasing one’s dreams and passion,… the contrasting but at the same time practical themes of these 2 films of Aamir set the tone for this piece. In the context of following one’s passion in career and life few pertinent questions arise:
- When do we realise actually what’s our passion in life?
- When one needs to take decisions on educational pursuit say at the age of 17/18, do we understand what’s in store in our “passion” world??
- And do passions @ 17/18 remain passions by 40???
- And what if the passion one chooses doesn’t provide a decent lifestyle?? Or doesn’t it matter?
- What about the other narrative of doing something which comes your way and turn it into your passion???
- Does it help to pursue more than one passion in life???
- And so on.
These are complex questions with no easy answers. Hence the “Passion Paradox”! Only in an ideal world would we have all folks chasing their dreams and following their passion and be contented in life. In normal world for most, it’s an elusive chase as if you are on a tread mill!
For a lucky very few though, the passion thing falls in place nicely. They are lucky enough to identify their passion at a young age. Possess adequate talent around it. Have a supportive ecosystem at home. Exhibit a relentless drive to achieve their goals. Blessed with a bit of destiny supporting their cause to be among the best. And get handsomely rewarded for the same. Aamir Khan for example. Or a Sachin Tendulkar. But such examples are few and far between. I am sure even for Sachin there would have been days when he felt like running away from Cricket with the kind of pressure he was subjected to!
And there are some who get to pursue their passion at work on a day-to-day basis and also get paid for it. Something like what actor Kamal Haasan said of his life – “I have no complaints as I get Karumbu thinna kooli”!!! (Getting paid that too to eat Sugarcane). Or a musician for example. Even here, a passionate pursuit when it becomes an everyday battle with deadlines – it becomes a rut isn’t it??? As film critic Baradwaj Rangan an engineer by profession who incidentally left an IT career to pursue his passion of writing aptly puts it, “that following your passion, your dream, is fine, but just keep in mind that one day it becomes a job. No one tells you that, one day, the passion becomes the daily grind!!!”
So where does that leave ordinary mortals like us who don’t fit in the above 2 categories?
Here’s my personal views. Of course to each his own.
I feel that understanding one’s passion in the late teens is only “luck by chance”! For most that is a very confusing period with limited understanding of their own interests, strengths and an idea of what they want from life. As we evolve, so do our interests. So for many we get to understand our passion rather late. Having understood what gives us that inner joy, even if it’s not early in life or even if it’s not on full time basis, it is good to pick up that interest and pursue it. This pursuit in parallel to the regular job could be indeed liberating. It could provide an exit to the everyday grind.
I do believe that unlike the previous generations, this generation and the coming ones are better placed for pursuing all sorts of dreams and passion. With more exposure comes more options and more understanding of what’s in store. They could hopefully fit in more in the 2 categories I have mentioned. And hence less of this “Passion Paradox” for them! Or so I hope!
While on this, a big thanks to Aamir who wears passion for films on his sleeve and keeps churning out meaningful cinema while reminding us of following our passion 3 Idiots style or Dangal style!!!
On that note, my thumbs up to all to follow your passion and chase your dreams in 2017. Cheers!