Pressured performances

Subroto Debnath, the most helpful and decent guy amongst the bunch of people I met during my three years stint at college for my Bachelors degree; armed with a Masters Degree in Information Technology, he was one of the most amazing untrained dancers I have ever seen in my life and I will never really forget the happiness I noticed on his face whenever he danced. Today he is a banker in a leading private bank in a remote corner of Assam.

Mr. S.R, A talented actor, director, musician lyricists, script writer…in short he had every quality to become another Jahnu Baruah or for that matter another Karan Johar. Armed with a Masters degree in Mass Communications and Journalism and the topper of his batch, he is today a Officer with the Indian Information Service and based in Delhi.

The above stories are just two examples. Everyday I come across so many  such stories when most young people who are exceptionally talented and gifted in a particular field  try to find their career options in a totally different field in the name of parental pressure, job security, economic stability  etc etc.  The stereo type mentality of the society we live in, the aspirations of our parents to see their unfulfilled dreams being fulfilled by their sons or daughters, the societal prestige and position one earns when you become a so called “Sarkari Officer” are all collectively responsible for building the pressure, indirectly forcing these young minds to do something they never enjoy doing and literally die a silent death inside.

From the last few years a rat race in the name of Engineering and Medical coaching has started to make its presence felt even in this part of the country as well. And, so instead of being happy to be promoted to class xi or class x, a student, more so an average student becomes sad, because they very well start realizing what the next three-four years hold in store for them. Only a student understands what it takes to manage between three-four tuitions, regular classes in the school, and then coaching classes for preparing for the engineering and Medical entrance exams. Parents are also not to be entirely blamed; after all they are parents and they always think the best for their children’s future. Only parents know how they manage all these huge expenses in the name of providing the best of best education to their children putting all their personal needs on back foot.  And in spite of all these when you fail to crack the entrance exams, your world shatters and you feel no less than losing a World War.

But amidst all these, what we probably don’t see or rather we don’t like to see is what a student likes to do. Why can’t one encourage a child to take up dance as a career or for that matter writing as a career if they like doing so? Why should one’s pride and prestige be intact only if their sons and daughters are qualified as engineers, doctors or a Government Officer? How justified is it to emotionally force one’s daughter who is qualified with a Hotel Management Degree to take up the job of a teacher in a school just because they don’t like to see her working in a hotel?  Why can’t they encourage and help their daughter to start her own small business if she is willing to? Will they not be proud parents if someday she wins an award for the young entrepreneur or her success story finds a place in a book- which is very unlikely in the routine job of a doctor or an engineer? Why can’t people tell their children that happiness does not lie only in an AC room, in a posh office or in drawing a fat salary cheque. Happiness is in learning to do perfectly what one wants to do. Happiness lies in being able to have a peaceful dinner with one’s family or being able to accompany one’s dad to his office for his farewell meeting on the day of his retirement and not attending a board meeting when one’s sister delivers her first baby or when one’s little  brother cracks  the interview for  his dream job. These emotions don’t require money and no matter how much money one earns in life one will never be able to buy emotions. One can never be happy in life if one is not happy from inside.

If one has talent and if one is willing to pursue his career in anything he likes to do and feel happy about, then nothing and simply nothing can stop him from becoming successful. Of course one needs to be a little smart and think of innovative ways to be able to keep the cash flowing to his account. If they survive the struggle period during the initial days of their career, they can survive any hardship in life. If one earns a mere Rs. 5000 a month, can take care of his daily expense with it and still manage to save enough to buy a small gift for the mom on her birthday or repair the dad’s broken specs, trust me they are more successful and richer than that top honchos of the company or any successful doctor whose family don’t see them for days and whose aging parents have to find a shelter in the old age home.

There is absolutely no problem failing in life, but there is problem if we stop fighting the odds and take failure as our destiny.  I sum up my thoughts with the hope that no news of Teenage suicides will hit the headlines when the HSLC and HS exams are declared this year. “Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated”.

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