Monday, November 16, 2009

THE RAT RACE

Competition. Still, Lata Mangeshkar has survived for more than sixty years in the make-believe world of glamour. In the same world, Amithab Bachchan has lasted for more than forty years. And, in an fiercely competitive world of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar is still going strong even after twenty years!

All these legends have survived in their fields, the fields notoriously known for man-eat-man kind of competition. They have seen the ups and downs; they have faced ridicule and destructive campaign against them. The critics and cynics have written them off several times... and, still, these 'heroes' have stretched their necks out... and gloriously!

On Saturday evening, I accompanied my son, along with my wife, for the induction programme of his NID preparation course. The National Institute of Designing, which my son wants to get into - we are told by the coaching institute - is extremely competitive. There are only 90 seats on all India level, for which thousands of aspirants are trying. The exams are not the stereotype ones; they demand one's creative best... one's ability to think 'out-of-the-box'. On Saturday, the speaker was trying to drill a hole into the youngsters' thick skull: "Wake up all of you - Sid's... It won't be a cakewalk."

The speaker was emphasizing on one thing more than anything else: Passion. And, I couldn't agree with him more.

I know, my son needs to have tremendous amount of desire for NID; he must make it a single-minded goal; he must be determined... He must plan in an organised manner, trade-off... give up on some easy-comforts... stop day-dreaming and approach his goals realistically... Maybe, he also needs a bit of luck, God's grace. But, when he has that 'Passion' - which the speaker was again and again emphasising on - I think, the rest will fall in place.

Lata Mangeshkar has survived; Amithab Bachchan has survived... and Sachin Tendulkar has survived. The rat race, the cut-throat competition - when were these things not there? Which field is free from them? There are only eleven seats in the Indian cricket team... and millions of young men are dying for them! There are only ninety seats in NID... and thousands of young men want to grab one of them.

My son is one of them.

Will he make it?

I do not know. I only wish and support... and try to motivate, counsel. The rest depends on his passion... the fuel that fires every rocket up into the skies. He needs to to have enough of it in his belly.

I know it very, very well.


GERALD D'CUNHA

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