To follow one’s dreams? Or to follow what’s ‘safe’?

Posted: April 29, 2013 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So I’ve been told quite frequently these following words – “ This guy, no matter how many times you try to talk sense to him, his thick skull always gets in the way.” Well, most of the time it’s in Tamil, sometimes in English, and once or twice if memory serves well, in Hindi.
Now, the context for them all vary. In one case, it’s like insults. Ranging from yo-mama jokes to insults about my appearance, gender, math skills (Shut up and stop laughing, I still passed so HA! ) and mostly academics. Most of my close friends already know that unless I’m unsure or ask for advice myself, I wouldn’t take their advice, even if they’re right. I suppose you could call me stubborn, dum, short-sighted, proud, egoistical etc. And maybe I’m all of that , or none of that.

But here’s the real thing, every bit of advice I get, whether It’s good or bad, I always listen. I may not follow, but I always listen, and consider what would happen if I do follow it. Most of the advice I receive from my friends are always centred on trying to help me, or shield me from mistakes I could be making. It’s quite heart-warming to find that even though I could be a condescending jerk at times, they still look out for me and blah blah. But I wonder, what if I said that the only reason I don’t follow their advice, I don’t share their concern is because it doesn’t make me happy to follow them? That even though my actions right now could be making me happy for like a month or two, and end up hurting me for a year later, I’d still do it?
Well, If you’re going to ask why on earth would anyone do something as stupid as that, I’m going to give you a cliché answer – “Life is about being happy”

I know right. Lame. Unrealistic. Unlike what we were trained to think since childbirth.
“Life isn’t about being happy, life’s about being smart, surviving, and coming out on top.”
And let me ask you. Why? Why about survival? Why do you guys want to get high end jobs? To give you comfort in your old age? You’d rather waste 40 years of your life with specialized education and working night shifts in your office to earn 2 lakhs per month so that when you’re 60 you can retire and spend the twilight years of your life in a fancy arm-chair?
Well, I have nothing against that plan. It’s a good plan actually. Insurance. Certainty. You’re sure to lead a comfortable life with 20 servants looking after things for you and your family. If That’s what makes you happy, go for it! I’d be the first guy who would support you if that‘s what makes you feel worth it. But ask yourselves this – How many people like you have already achieved that, and when they’re old and tired, how many have regrets so deep that carrying them alone kills them?
“I wish I could’ve become a professional paint-ball champion”
“I wish I tried climbing the Himalayas”
“I wish I became an ethical hacker”
“I wish I followed my dream of being an international guitarist”
“I wish I could’ve become a gym-trainer”
“I wish I became a director”
“I wish I became a pilot”
“I wish I became an artist”
“I wish I could travel around the world”
“I wish I became a masterchef”
Oh I could go on forever.
I ask them, “Why couldn’t you?” They answer – “It was a stupid dream, not really useful in the real world.”
Then why are we still carrying on like this? Are you really going to blame it on the system?
“This education system is the issue! They make engineers and doctors seem like the best! The mindset of society that if you’re not an engineer you can’t win in this country.” Go ahead then. Do whatever the society tells you. Be AFRAID of adversity. Be AFRAID of disappointment emanating from people you care about. Let that fear guide you to do what others want you to. Don’t take risks. Be smart. AVOID the consequences ENTIRELY.
Makes so much sense when I say that right? It’s because it’s not the society’s mindset, it’s YOURS. There are people all around who make it amazingly well even thought they don’t follow engineering. Maybe they got their B.Tech degrees, or even masters, but in the end, it’s always only a backup for them. They don’t be people they don’t want to be. They follow their dreams, and as simple as that, they achieve them. Sure you could say it’s not that simple. There are always pitfalls and stuff. OBVIOUSLY. Do you think you’re so special that people would give you whatever you want? You’re nothing. You mean absolutely nothing. You always did. Don’t let anyone tell you different, because it’s a lie. And if you want to be something, be the one who wants to be something. That’s the start.
I want to show you guys a small video, my friend Saran Rishi in my class made about his upcoming short film the perceptionist. He’s a B.Tech student btw,and not that attuned for it either. He wants to be a director. And his passion is so strong, you can almost feel it here.

Obviously, I love it. I think it’s pure genius. And for a B.Tech student to come up with this with a limited budget, a hostelite who has very little time outside campus (college rules), he made this just like that. Oh, he didn’t need a B.Tech degree for this btw. Just saying.
I want to be a guitarist. My main genre of interest is metal. My own mother thinks it’s noise and not worth playing. More than 90% of my friends think what I’m playing is crap. A few know that I worked hard to get my skill at this level. I don’t have inborn talent. But with over 90% of people telling me to stop, why am I continuing making ‘Noise’? Because I like it. I know that I’d get very little appreciation. I know that I may end up being called a guitarist wannabee, hell I bet some people already call me that. Over 3.5 years of playing the guitar, and THIS bullshit was my first recording.

I myself think its crap. Not even worth replaying. But I uploaded it anyway. Why? Because I worked hard to be able to confidently play something like THAT. I have NO inborn talent. I have NO high speed learning potential. I’m just an average guy who plays the guitar because he likes it. I touch my guitar, All I can think of is just what I can play, how I can play, and why am I thinking this when I could be playing? I cant express what I fell when I do play my guitar. It’s content, happiness, joy, everything is just beautiful, amazing, and I feel so happy, it’s almost unrivalled.
I don’t want to loose this feeling to something as mundane as a fancy arm chair made of sandalwood. I don’t want to lose it to be able to order 20 servants around to pick me up and carry me up the himalayas, I don’t want to lose it to wasting my life working for a company to whom I’m just an investment, and not even human. I want to keep it. And I will. To the grave.
I just hope You guys can understand what I want to tell you. I have so many things I want to get out of my head to tell all you guys. People who care about me, or not.
Dream on.

Srihari S

Amrita School of Engineering

  1. ssrihari says:

    Reblogged this on Awake and Arise. and commented:
    One of my earlier writings shared by Campus writing.
    Yes! 😀

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