I observed him carefully again. Here was a boy sitting on the opposite birth to me. My age. Hair reaching up to the shoulder, shirt unbuttoned to the waist and jeans folded up to the knees. I assumed he too was going to
He told me that he was one of the twenty successful candidates to be selected from a hundred thousand applicants. He told me that his institution was one of its kinds in the country. He told me that his institute’s alumni included great names like Nasseruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. He told me that he was a student of the National School of Drama.
He too had a viva-voce during his entrance test but he was asked ‘what lights would best suit the stage while staging a murder scene.’ He too has internships to worry about but those include ‘training schoolchildren to stage famous plays.’ Finally, he too is tensed about his placements but that depended upon choosing between the theatre and the screen.
I flipped through the pages of his diary. It countained notes on the types of the modern stage, stage lights, latest costume styles, a list of all oscar winning movies and dramatis personae of plays he had directed in the past.
I asked him: “How? How could you build up the courage to choose such a different track?” His reply was: “I knew I was born for the theatre. I have been acting since I was eleven and staging plays in the town since I was fifteen. I knew I had to do this or else I do not know what I could have done.” Such was his confidence, his zeal to do things differently.
I wondered how many of us had unique talents that suffered in the hands of compulsion and stereotyped professions. I have known great actors and lyricists masked as engineers, authors and painters left craving as unwilling technocrats. Will we ever realise that we do not know what we want to actually do in our life. Quoting the play ‘Love in December’: “Most people do not know that they do not know what they want to do in their lives.” How true. I still believe that there is still time to seek what our heart seeks. I still believe that we ought to keep looking. The alternatives galore.