Saturday, June 25, 2011

Of College Interests And Careers

Nothing new to say here. In fact, there must be a gazillion English movies around this theme. Hero / Heroine was really good at something in college. Life forced them to move on to something staid, normal and uninteresting. The event that forced the move was something spectacular or tragic or tragically spectacular. After 5, 10, 20 years another event forces them to look back, reconsider and then pursue their interest. Happy Ending and the credits roll.

This fact of life really struck me last night when I was over at a friends place for dinner. In college, he had started something with a group of friends. The venture had a decent run and had garnered good publicity. The friends could not continue with it and moved on to other things. My friend went on to do his MBA. Recently, he had quit his job of 7 years and joined another company in the same space as his earlier venture.

So yesterday he took out some old newspaper clippings where his venture was featured (like in the movies, his mom had compiled it :). Lots of stories came pouring out - some told with pride, some a little ruefully but nevertheless I could see the enthusiasm with which the friends had pursued it and the challenges they must have faced as young trailblazers. The good thing was that he had kept in touch with how that particular industry was progressing and now he was in a place where he could do more work with experience and maturity.

Briefly, I reflected on the stuff that had interested me (other than the lovely lasses :). Well, I was a member of the 'Western Dance' team and had represented college. About 8 months back, I had joined dance classes. It did feel great to shake a leg and I was on a high after each class. The whole teaching format sucked though and the instructors were really young. After four classes, we went for a holiday and I came back with a badly injured big toe. Using this as an excuse, I never went back. I also liked playing sports, was a decent enough Table Tennis player. I still try to be physically active and drag my a** to the gym thrice a week. I read books then also and continue to read actively. I am a member of a library here and trust me, no work of fiction in the murder / action thriller genre escapes me.

What I want to say here is that unlike the movies, the majority of us didn't have an event that pushed us out of our interests. We followed the mainstream, got an education, joined work where we got a break or where our parents wanted to see us. What I want is for you to take that pause and reflect on what interested you earlier. It need not be something that will take you down a new career path but could at least rekindle a passion that keeps you occupied in the otherwise free time after which you moan that you didn't do anything satisfying at all. Or maybe you would end up doing something that becomes a theme for a movie and then you will say on Oprah that - 'Y'know I read a blog that inspired me to start this thing off.....'. You'll never know till you don't tread that path.

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart - Buddha

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