Thursday, March 26, 2009

If I dream, why do you scream?

As a child, I had one unswerving dream; I wanted my name on the cover of a book. I didn’t know what it would take, but I knew I wanted to be a published author. In my dreams, I have sat through award ceremonies and rehearsed my acceptance speech. Though pragmatism and life’s journeys steered me away from professional writing, fate brought me back to it in a rather interesting way. A few of you know that I rent writing space to give my creativity and relationship with words, true fruition. With God’s grace and my family & friends’ support (there goes the speech):-), my second book, “Inner Voices,” a part of the short stories collection published by Mirage Books, came out this week. It’s an incredible feeling because the book happened at a time when I was least expecting it.

Years ago, Madhuri Dixit made her return to Bollywood with the movie Devdas -- a movie that won her a Filmfare Award. In her acceptance speech, she said “This is for all those people who thought I should pack my bags and bid adieu to Bollywood.” Her words stuck with me for all these years. At that time, I was appalled at her superciliousness; today, I clearly understand her word choice. The film industry and critics judged her and wrote her off. Her return to Bollywood was a slap across anyone who thought that Madhuri was JUST suitable to be defined by relationships--a US-settled doctor’s wife and a mom of two. People had dared to dream for her.

Growing up, I saw my dad partake in multiple activities, aside from his day-to-day job. All the lazy folks, with a prosaic mind, said, “You always keep running uselessly.” My response to them is that he wasn’t running around; he was pursuing his dreams, which of course, an average mind and soul couldn’t comprehend. That is why they are just run of the mill while my dad dreamt and aspired beyond ordinary. This is not a daughter’s bias speaking; it’s the voice of a human being trying to make sense of this average, presumptuous world.

So where am I going with these three separate, yet not mutually exclusive, scenarios? Like my dad, Madhuri Dixit, and me, several of you reading this, probably have been in situations where people have felt the unsuppressed desire to counsel your life’s choices. I, for one, have been advised to think, feel, and dream a “certain way.” “It’s time to take it easy. Why are you running? You are always joining something or the other. What is this new workshop?” My schedule doesn’t tire me; I feel effete with the verbal baloney.

Most people are happy with the humdrum of daily life. Nothing wrong with that, but at the same time, it’s not fair to judge someone’s prodigious dreams. Maybe the sanctimonious preachers are people, who haven’t done much with their lives, so they feel threatened by anyone who dares to dream beyond their banal existence. Don’t these people get that cherishing the path of mediocrity and chastising extraordinary is a reflection of their own languor?

More until next time.

Copyright © 03.26.2009

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame." - Oscar Wilde


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your second book!!!!!!

Pooja Nair said...

hey there..congrats...m also one of the authors of this book..feels great to be in league with some of the best writers :) do tell me if u cud get a copy of the book


J said...

Beautiful article. Good Luck with chasing your dreams. There is no stopping you. Very proud of you.

Sandhya said...

Dearest Sweta, so well put. Dont ever let the naysayers get you down - what sets you apart are your dreams and your convictions. Everyone should live rich, full lives and not be defined by their day jobs....and I admore you for doing that. You are one amazing woman! On that note, I get back to tending to my one year old :-)

Anonymous said...

you rock. keep them coming.

My two cents said...

Pooja: Thanks for the kind words and congratulations to you too! Send me your email i.d. I'd much rather send you a note, if you'd like, instead of a scribble on my blog.