A few years ago I was invited to conduct a workshop on CREATIVE THINKING at the S.P Jain Institute of Management at Mumbai. One of the participants in that workshop was my nephew Siddharth.
At the end of the day Siddharth took me aside and told me ’You know my parents—they have the usual values of security , taking up a secure job that guarantees a monthly salary blah blah.. but I am keen to enter the movie industry. What’s your opinion?”
I replied ‘Siddharth I can tell you from my agonising personal experience of applying the wrong criteria while making career choices. My advise is this—go where your heart takes you, do whatever ignites you passion. When you do this no one can say how far you will go but the journey will be exhilarating’.
Siddharth felt empowered. I could see that in his smile and body language as he walked away.
Much of what he did may be well known. I can only summarise—He entered Tamil films, became an assistant to Maniratnam, acted in a couple of films including ‘BOYS’ a name by which he is now known. Then he entered Telugu films where he is a top star, made a mark in Bollywood in ‘Rang de Basanti’ where he was noticed and praised even though he acted in the company of show stealer Amir Khan.
The lad is now in the news following the release of his Hindi film STRIKER.
This movie is different from the song and dance routine that is seen in most Hindi films.. It deals with the dark world of slumlords, gangsters, gamblers, job agents who dupe innocent people, endemic violence, love, betrayal and longing— almost entirely shot in the dingy confines of a slum in Mumbai.
What struck me was Siddharth’s superb confidence in himself as he essayed his role as a man wronged by gangsters. losing his family members to deathly violence, and struggling to lead a respectable life in grimy surroundings.
Siddharth impresses us with the ‘ flow zone‘ in which he acts. Never under any stress—this may be his stepping stone to a big career in Bollywood, Never considering himself as being watched and of being compared with other contenders to the top slot in Bollywood –in short he exhibits in this film and in real life an attitude that says in effect—heck I am in movies because I love this medium. I am passionate about it and am enjoying every minute of it. Not for me the kind of job that was mine for the asking—A Wall Street job, or a marketing guy with an MNC or a cushy future in an international consulting company.
These are the hallmarks of a man in the flow zone. Let me tell you more about this.
In my opinion the error some make in choosing a career is to be excessively influenced by what I call external conditions—salary, perks, bonus, stock options, foreign posting, green card –the works.
Few ask themselves the question—It is true that this particular career offers all that I could ask for but will it ignite passion in me? Or there will come a day in the not to distant future when I shall have to drag myself out of bed every morning cursing that the night has ended and another day of drudgery begins? Or will I have to tell my wife to ring up the boss to tell him that I was down with fever even as I was on the couch watching the Zimbabwe vs Bangladesk cricket match ?
People like Siddharth took my kind of advice and decided to take a journey towards fulfillment in doing what one has a passion to do. When you do this you are in the flow zone when things fall into place—your mind is willing, body eager and spirit enthusiastic. There is harmony within you and music emerges, music that can be heard by many others.
This music that can be head by the discerning is what is called Shruti.
‘ Striker’ has an interesting innovation—people in North America can watch the ENTIRE movie on YOUTUBE for a mere 5 dollars.
Those in Europe can watch it free.
Watch it if you care for serious cinema beyond songs and dances.. .It has its moments of humour but you will chuckle not roll in the ailes as in a Johnny Lever film