By Anuva Kulkarni:
Remember how the Wizard of Oz gave the Cowardly Lion a spoonful of courage? Sometimes I wish there really was such a thing. How many times have we heard other people tell us, “Do this, this is good for you”, or “Don’t let go of that! How could you?” I’ve also heard, “You’re taking a huge risk, I don’t know if you should.” And “That’s not wise. Are you crazy?”
Who decides whether it’s right, wrong or lost-your-marbles crazy? How do people come up with these opinions? Basically, they’re telling you to go with the flow. Do things because thousands of others are doing them — because that’s the way they’re done, and always have been done. And most of us do go with the flow. But do we have the courage to follow our heart? What if I wanted to go down a completely different path? What if what I’m doing right now isn’t “me”? If I really did what I love doing, will I end up being okay? Or will I land up in a ditch and suffer painful humiliation after all?
How many of us have asked ourselves these questions? But when we don’t find the answers, we bury them back inside our minds and carry on. Or, we voice them to a few friends, and the result: You think too much, they say. Take a leap of faith, they say. But sometimes, the doubts weigh you down too heavily to be able to leap. You need to cut them away before you can run the race again!
For that is what life has become — running a race; race for grades, race for admissions, race for a job. We must keep up, and keep looking ahead. But hardly anyone stops a moment and thinks, “All this, for what?” Are these the only things that can lead you to greatness? And what is greatness — is it just fame, money, diamonds and cars? Does the promise of making a good life for yourself beat the feeling of having someone by your side, sharing in even the most trivial of happenings, being a ‘witness to your life’ ? What life is good without someone to share it with? And the joy of going to work and enjoying what you do — not just pretending to do so — that’s unbeatable.
Right now I’m in an airplane, looking out of the window, at the world below. I don’t see the people, their expressions or hear their voices. I see mountains stretching on for miles. I see a sparkling river winding its way through the scattered villages and fields. I see fluffy clouds and blue sky. I see the bigger picture. Life too, should be about looking at the wider perspective. We all have unique features, and unique fingerprints. Doesn’t that mean we’re all unique personalities too? Like pieces of a puzzle. They’re all different, and no two pieces can fit in the same place — each has a place of its own. So how can something that worked for someone else be guaranteed to work for you too?
We as a country now need originality and innovative thinking. We must open up new avenues and be the vanguard of a new, modern, developed India rather than following the long-trodden paths that we see. How can we know what’s in store for us unless we try? Only by being original did great discoveries happen. Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci all have their own stories. It’s time we all made our own.
(I realize it’s easier said than done, but if you could share your story, I’m sure we would all appreciate it. I guess we’re all looking for inspiration and a little nudge!)