The drive to do something meaningful always allures us. Somewhere down the line, most of us dream of doing the same. But it becomes difficult when the world of responsibilities and of expectations encloses us. This claustrophobic world becomes us but somewhere inside a part of us starts dying. We are smiling, yet not happy.
An instance of this world of expectations is seen when parents are academicians. You are expected to study in top notch institutions and to have a work profile which is among the best.
Let’s suppose if those institutions are St.Stephens for pursuing Chemistry, then post-graduation from IIT-Kanpur, and last but not the least it’s time for Cornell University for his doctorate. A doctorate must also be in sciences, right? But not in this case, as he chose Environmental Toxicology for his PhD.
You might be thinking of this as a real high profile job of an academic or a scientist. But, then he started working as an activist for Narmada Bachao Andolan. He was behind the bars for the same reason as well, yet proud of it. He earned less that INR 2000 per month in the initial phase of his life.
Does this shock you out of the stupor? So read this.
For seven years, he and his band survived by singing in only 5 concerts. In order to support the family, he sang in Jaagrans (an eventful night where Hindu devotees prays Goddess Durga) occasionally.
You must be thinking, how can someone agree to walk this path simply because he wants to chase his dreams.
Obviously he had to face adversities. Agreed, he did face them but he was happy. His family supported him.
And today we know him as none other than Rahul Ram, and the band is none other than ‘Indian Ocean’. Indeed the very same who sang and composed for movies like Black Friday, Peepli Live, Gulaal and Mastaan.
Even today him and his band Indian Ocean don’t pounce on every opportunity to sing. They have a keen interest in the motive of the movie and the relevance of song. This is how much they are focused. It’s not about the money bags.
Then again, you must think, may be he got lucky because his family was supportive. He definitely was lucky, but only because he took a chance on himself. That 9-5 job or that routine job surely doesn’t make everyone happy.
Rahul Ram in his Foundation Day’s speech at IIT-Delhi, asked the audience to question themselves, ask if they are happy.
Are they having “fun”? “You may be good at the job but not happy.”
He further continued,
“I cannot tell these to the people who don’t have choices, but IIT people have choices. You won’t starve as being a part of IIT. You will be poor for a very long time. But it won’t matter… but I don’t think I am happier than I was when I was poor for 20 years. Be prepared for taunts. Keep self assessing. You need a backup. Your passion should not hurt anyone… Be prepared for the consequences. ‘Be happy’ comes with lot many things in life.”
Something similar has been said by Dushyant Kumar-
कौन कहता है आसमान में सुराख़ नहीं होता
एक पत्थर तो तबियत से उछालो यारो…
नामुमकिन है कुछ तो वो है नामुमकिन सोच,
उस सोच को दिल-ओ-दिमाग से तो निकालो यारो…
अँधेरी रातो में तू चमकेगा सितारा बन के,
उस कल के लिए आज खुद को तरसाओ यारो…