Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Show me the sign!

Last night I sat thinking what I was doing, where my career was headed etc etc...

I have been through such contemplations almost as many times as I have tried quitting smoking... and both activities had been equally futile and worthless given my lack of decision and action... so I set about on my fantasy flight (and self-serving intellectual rumination) about what I should be doing to be really life happily...

I theorized that as humans, there are some things which we do to earn money.. we call that a job, for e.g a programmer coding away 8 hours per day at Infosys, an I-banker analysing an M&A project for a client or a copy writer thinking up concepts for selling soap... All these activities are done for the benefit of others, and hence they get paid for their services.

After spending about 80% of the day in such pursuits, humans return home and feel the need for something which relaxes them, makes them happy.. something that sets them free for a while.. before returning to the shackles of their well-paying jobs! These few moments are when humans indulge in art... music, movies, photography, painting, etc. Art is what helps them tolerate the next day at the job...

So that brings me to the people whose job itself is art? Arent they lucky coz they get to do full time what normal people can only afford to do for like 5 % of their lives? Do they feel the need to unwind and chill-out so that they feel rejuvenated enuff to 'endure' the next day at work... or do they just rest before they can 'enjoy' the next working day?

I had thought I had taken a giant leap towards self-actualization by leaving my consulting job and joining this entertainment agency at half the salary. But after 8 months here and with not much work happening, I am forced to contemplate again. I am trying to tell film makers that I will market their films. So I am googling, thinking a bit, making presentations and calling up channels. Now thats not very different from what I was doing during HR consulting (except that there I was calling up HR managers). So, are all jobs.. at the end of the day just jobs? I thought so.

So, I have two options... either accept that I will spend 8-10 hours per day doing my job, get paid for it and spend about an hour enjoying the arts (movies, music, books, etc)... or I stop having a job and move into something which is a 100% creative profession. I have to become an assistant director (AD).. and slog for donkey years and hopefully direct my own film someday!

What a preposterous idea! I am such an idiot... how can I throw away an engineering+MBA degree and become an AD who maybe sorts costumes for actors and cleans sets for a film? How do I expect to survive at the pittance ADs get? What about all the aspirations and hopes my family has from me? How will I live without those occasional shopping sprees and dinners? How can I be so hopelessly romantic about life and build up such illusions of utopia? Had I lost all sense of reason and pragmatism?

These thoughts were similar to the ones I had when I quit my job as a content writer at JAM Magazine and went to pursue my MBA. And an MBA I did... but I am still ranting about the same frustrations 4 years down the line. Would life have been different if I'd stuck to that job as a content writer? Would I have evolved into atleast a scriptwriter in these 4 years? Did I simply waste time doing that MBA coz I've already chucked its benefits by opting for my current job? When faced with such a barrage of questions (which have a common answer - U STUPID!!!), I generally switch off and go for a smoke... and I did.

So, last night, while I smoked my 1000th 'last' cigarette, I randomly browsed through my contacts list and came to a name Sunaina. Now this gal is a one of my b school fren's girlfriend. She went off to UK to pursue a course at the London School of Economics (LSE). After her course she came back to India and wanted to join media. So my friend asked me to speak to her and guide her. This was 2 months back.. she spoke to me and I told her about the various options available, etc etc. Since quite some time had passed I called her to check whether she had landed a job. And she tells me that she is an AD with Imtiaz Ali. I was pleasantly shocked... she was doing what I wanted to do! Suddenly she was the mentor and I was the newcomer asking for directions in her industry. But we couldnt talk much as she was in a rickshaw and the traffic noise was too much.

I returned home after the smoke and as I lay in bed... I started thinking about becoming an AD. The shooting, the locations, the script...creative orgasm... I was having spasms as I twisted and turned in bed... God, what was happening. I felt like running out on the roads and screaming with joy! But I controlled myself and went off to sleep...

This morning it was back to my job, another day of nothingness at the office, as everything I am working for is on 'hold'. Yet another day... and I had forgotten most of last nites thoughts!

And then suddenly I remebered not having finished my conversation with Sunaina. So I called her... she was at work, so I asked her where she was working. She said "VIP plaza".. I was like "Thats my office building!!!" And then in 5 minutes she was down and we were talking. I learnt about her initial struggle and how she landed the AD job with Imtiaz Ali. She was looking at the casting department and was finalizing actors for the various roles (apart from the lead actors Shahid and Kareena Kapoor). I felt inspired n I told her to look out for something similar for me...

I came back to my cubicle and in some time got a call from a friend Tushar. He and I had lived together and shared our passion for creative work during my days at JAM magazine. Tushar had always been more focussed than me and is already doing a lot of photography while studying films as he wanted to become a director (even while he does his job as a brand manager). Tushar informed me that he had quit this job (he was doin it till now to support his family) and was getting into film-making full time. Infact he was at Famous Studios looking for an opportunity in editing. I told him that I wanted to meet him and we decided that this weekend would be a good idea.

Another hour passed by and suddenly I got a scrap alert from Orkut? It was a 'Hello.. howz u.. long time' type scrap.. but it was the first from a guy called Nitin. He had been a friend at school.. we lost touch for about 10 years and then about 6 months back I came to know he was in media and most recently had been an AD on Mighty Heart (Daniel Pearl's story). I immediately called him up, we chatted a bit about school and we decided that we should meet up this weekend, when he would be back in Mumbai from Nasik.

I came back to my cubicle after the chat and sat down....

And suddenly it struck me like a bolt of lightning...
I had spoken to Sunaina after a gap of 2 months...
Tushar had called me after maybe more than a month...
Nitin Gaikwad had scrapped me for the first time and the last time I spoke to him was more than 3 months back...

And all 3 of them were into film making.. 2 of them were already ADs. What a coincidence.. 3 people, who dont know each other, who belong to different sets of people I have known at different times in my life... they all chose today to enter my life again on the very same day! I got a strange feeling... almost as if I was standing at the center of the universe...

I remember Paulo Coelho's line in The Alchemist-"If you really want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it"! Was this a conspiracy... by God? Are these signs of where I should look for my destiny?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higher quality than the [url=http://kalaroshop.com/]UGG Boots[/url] is cheaper, Kalaro provide better Sheepskin Boots, Slippers, Shoes & Apparel.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.xmjbtz.com]厦门无抵押贷款[/url]:企业、个人、正规、无需担保、无需抵押、低利息贷款,五万至500万,手续快,放款快,无需多收其他费用,诚信无忧,欢迎来电。

按揭房可代月供的40倍。

[url=http://www.xmjbtz.com]厦门无抵押贷款[/url]、厦门企业贷款、厦门个人信用贷款、厦门个人企业贷款、厦门个人贷款可用房产一押二押、买卖贷款、房屋按揭贷款、汽车贷款等。

联系电话:0592-5731600 / 15060742315

http://www.xmjbtz.com

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higher quality than the [url=http://kalaroshop.com/]UGG Boots[/url] is cheaper, Kalaro provide better Sheepskin Boots, Slippers, Shoes & Apparel.

11:47 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Add to Technorati Favorites