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Do we really encourage our children to follow their hearts? Or do we force them to dance to the tunes that move ours?
The atmosphere in the Bahl house was tense. Something unusual had happened two days back. It seemed that Dr. Bahl and Dr.(Mrs) Bahl had both received in a shock. The Bahl couple — the best doctor couple combination possible (he a cardiologist and she a gynaecologist) – proud owners of numerous degrees and felicitations both national and international immediately felt all their hard work and pride biting the dust in a moment’s time. Their seventeen-year-old son had shared his intention of becoming a musician and dedicating the rest of his life to playing and synthesizing music after his class 12th!
A doctor family of many generations, Rishy Bahl was the only son of Mrs. and Mr. Bahl whose shoulders bore the heavy burden of carrying the family tradition of picking up medicine and becoming a highly paid medico in the country. While they were fine having him pursue music as a hobby for which he was gifted with the best of instruments and allowed to appear for international university examinations, nothing beyond that made its way through the parents’ minds. The left side of Rishy’s brain was as logical and competent as his right side was creative and fertile which made him perform well as a science student as well as excel in piano recitals! Something which was becoming a bane for him.
Under parental pressure, Rishy had filled in forms for all the entrance examinations including dentistry and was blackmailed to appear in all of them. One day as he returned home after appearing in one of the exams — he felt extremely frustrated and torn. Though he had tried his best to ensure that he wasn’t successful in any of the exams — yet, he shuddered to think about what if he made it through any of these exams; what if he never got the chance to pursue what he wanted for the rest of his life. He felt tormented. He decided to put his step down that day and explicitly say “no” to everyone’s playing with his life. He was determined to confront everyone who came his way that day!
However, destiny had its own plans. At that very moment, Rishy got a call from the hospital. Mr. Bahl, his father had a massive attack! Though Mr. Bahl was saved, the incident killed the thought and the courage that Rishy had mustered to confront his parents about his dream in life. Well, as the results of various entrance examinations came out, it seemed his efforts in ensuring that he failed in them were successful. However, considering the happenings at home — Rishy proposed something to his parents. That day a deal was locked. A barter was done! That seemed the only way Rishi could live his dream.
His chain of thoughts broke as his name was announced at the felicitation. The final year batch of dentists was getting felicitated today with their doctorate. Young medicos were beaming with happiness and excitement for the next phase of their lives. Some of them would join reputed hospitals while others would start their own practice. But there was one person — who simply felt free today as he wove the plans to just play his piano incessantly. Yes, today was the day of his independence. His part of the barter had been fulfilled. After Rishi received his degree — he handed it over to his parents and said — “For you — mom and dad. My part of deal is the done and now please let me be free. I want to leave and pursue my dream.”
Mrs. and Mr. Bahl were speechless; they had thought that the years of hard work would change their son’s mind but in vain. Rishy had done his bit to ensure the family tradition and his parents’ pride in their circles remained and now they had to keep their word. He was now Dr. Rishy Bahl.
Rishy went ahead and pursued his dream and passion to become one of the best musicians in the city, country and then was acknowledged worldwide.
It was the annual piano concert of my bestie’s son. I was just accompanying the mother-son duo as the son was performing and at some point in my life I loved playing piano so much. Rishy was the chief guest. As he addressed the audience with his story — he had only one message for children — to listen and follow their heart and more importantly for the parents — to encourage kids to live their dream instead of pushing their own dreams and aspirations! How lovely..
What could have been a better way to pass on to a lovely message from someone who didn’t stop but went ahead to chase his dream and passion — a musician who happens to be a dentist! Someone who followed his heart.
My chain of thoughts got interrupted! Buzz, buzz — I silenced it — my mobile. It was my boss looking for an update. With some courage, I switched off the phone. I was thinking about what I had wanted to do but couldn’t many years back. How I could but didn’t follow my heart!
(Inspired by incidents in the life of Mr. Ricky Kej, Grammy award winner — a renowned musician and conservationist with a doctorate in dentistry! His speech and story at my child’s piano concert inspired me to write this to pass on the message, hope it moves you also and touches somewhere deep in the heart! )
Because it’s important to listen to and follow your heart!
First published here.
Image via Pexels
Present - India Lead - Education, Charter for Compassion, Co-Author - Escape Velocity, Writer & Social Activist. Past - DU, Harvard, Telecoms-India and abroad read more...
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My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Beauty is a very clever, very evil capitalist tool. It traps those who have it into hanging on to it for dear life and those who don't into mutilating, torturing themselves to achieve the unachievable.
I recently wrote a piece about MP Shashi Tharoor’s tweet in which he had shared a pic with six women parliamentarians tagging them and saying “Who says the Lok Sabha isn’t an attractive place to work?”
There was a rash of comments on the post shared on Instagram, which ranged from “chill, it’s just a compliment” and “stop overthinking compliments”, to (worried) men lamenting about “these feminazi”.
Here’s my answer to all those comments.
Short film Saving Chintu doesn't moralise, but the themes of love and acceptance subtly embedded in its core flow organically throughout the narrative.
Short film Saving Chintu doesn’t moralise, but the themes of love and acceptance subtly embedded in its core flow organically throughout the narrative.
Saving Chintu is a film that has drawn my interest ever since I read about its making. So, I took the opportunity to watch it while it was screened online as a part of the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) 2020.
Directed by Tushar Tyagi, who is also the co-producer along with Ritika Jayaswal, the short film promotes inclusivity. It also addresses the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community. In a parallel stream, it further, throws light on complex issues faced by society such as child adoption and HIV.
For the first time in her married life of three years, instead of a silent declaration, Mrs. Prasad heard the sound of her own voice.
For the first time in her married life of three years, Mrs. Prasad heard the sound of her own voice. As did her mother-in-law.
This story begins when the silver screen in the cinema hall flashes ‘Intermission’ when dim lights suddenly come to life and you turn your neck to peer into the face of the person who shared your armrest for the last one hour; when suddenly your senses become aware of melting talc, sweat and stale tobacco hanging in the air; when hurried feet scramble along the narrow corridors to doors marked ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ or to purchase the soggy packet of salted chips
One such hurried pair of feet belonged to Mrs. Prasad. Clutching a packet of popcorn in one hand and her daughter’s hand in the other, she walked into the E row. No one knew this, but Mrs. Prasad loved watching trailers—the promise of action, two bare-chested men leaping from orange viscous flames, unscathed and unhurt, the woman throwing herself into the man’s arms unabashedly, a grey trembling sky, and the woman sharing her umbrella with her man. Mrs. Prasad waited for one such tale to unfold before her eyes. Finally when the ‘No Smoking’ placards started flashing on the screen, she heaved a sigh of relief and watched the trailers run with childish glee.