Saturday, April 17, 2010

Look for signs!

It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise if I say, what we become ultimately in life is an extrapolation of what we were as kids.

Though I agree many people metamorphose into different individuals vis a vis what they were when they were kids, I would like to keep my faith on my introductory statement.

The fact remains that each one of us is wired differently. And each one of us has his own passions and strengths concealed within, deep within. And the best thing is that these passions and strengths are manifested time and again fitfully from early childhood. Sadly, most of us fail to read these signs and the bud that is eagerly wanting to bloom is nipped with apathy and ignorance. Instead of fomenting the early signs, the natural tendencies are curbed to a silent and sad death.

I have a few classic examples of people around me that drive this point to the hilt. Let me share with you my most favorite.

Manju, a tentative and unsure 18 year old girl 5 years back was a distant cousin of my friend Sanjay. Sanjay’s father had adopted Manju considering her parents modest means of survival. Manju was given a decent familial atmosphere and a decent schooling. But there seemed to be a problem. Manju kept failing in her subjects. No amount of personal coaching helped Manju better her scores. Manju barely passed her exams to inch forward. She just couldn’t study. Already burdened under her uncle’s patronage, she was unable to extricate herself from the ignominy she was subjecting herself and her family. She began to help the family more in their domestic work to feel valued. Her foster parents thought it better to get her married; a practical and natural option under the circumstances. Manju would be only 18 then. Sanjay somehow wasn’t able to take this decision on his stride. He started looking for signs. Signs that would help him lead her out of the darkness. To his relief, Sanjay found that Manju’s heart lay in painting. She had a natural eye for design. He got her admitted to Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Bhubaneswar and she began responding favorably. He began to observe the erstwhile hidden glow in her eyes; the glow of self worth and esteem.

The long lost confidence masked under her meek demeanor suddenly opened up. A self branded ‘black sheep’ till now amongst her more talented and able cousins, this self revelation was like a volcano waiting to erupt. Sanjay kept doing his bit bombarding her with the necessary moral boost. He equipped her with all modern skills of design and arts: animation, 3d, cartooning etc.

Manju ‘s work soon started getting attention in town. She began featuring in art galleries. After her BFA, Manju got through a premium design company in Bangalore with a pay package that would put any fresh engineer to shame.

Last week she was interviewed for a position in London, by a digital graphics company that worked with the Oscar winning movie, Avatar

I can’t help but salute the spirit of Manju (who calls me Ravi Bhaiya) and most importantly his brother Sanjay who looked for the signs in her. If it werent for him, Manju would have been killed today in spirit and in mind, resigned as a domestic homemaker in some remote village in Bihar.

Do you ever feel clogged, suffocated, chained to your job and circumstances that you never wanted to be in first place? If yes, then it could be that your natural inclinations while you were young were shortchanged for a more socially acceptable option. Your may not have till now reconciled to that arrangement till now.

In all probability, if you have been a victim of pursuing a forced choice in life, you might met out the same injustice to your younger siblings or kids. Promise yourself you won’t let that happen. Instead, look for signs in them. Let the bud bloom like Manju.


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