It is perhaps the most beautiful word in the English language. Something which makes even the most pitiable person smile, something that sends chills up our spine, something which makes our hair stand up.
Whether it is the pleasurable sensation of night, or the constant, almost incessant day-dreaming which is characteristic of the youth. And that includes me.
I am here for a self introspection. What are dreams? Do they come and go as life goes by, or do people have a dream that lasts forever? Do dreams come true? And perhaps what I want to rant about most-what happens when dreams die?
My life has been a boulevard of broken dreams. But in this boulevard, you will find some dreams which I shattered myself, some which paled away in this world’s rat-race. Some dreams which others bred in me, and still some other which lie waiting in the crevices, still alive, but afraid to reveal itself.
I am about to take you on a journey into my mind. Into my dreams which never bore fruit, which soured quickly and rotted away in my mind.
Welcome to the Boulevard of Broken Dreams…
My earliest dreams were of becoming a paleontologist. I wouldn’t however call this a “dream” because it had nothing to do with anything. Just the fact that my uncle had bought me some dinosaur figures which piqued my interest about the whole dinosaur issue. I remember wanting to excavate my backyard and wanting to find a huge dinosaur skeleton buried under the debris.
This faded away pretty quickly, and for a long time, I remember walking around telling people that I wanted to be a scientist. What kind of a scientist? No idea. But in my defense, I was 7 at that time. I remember burning all kinds of leaves in the hope of making a discovery. But, as you probably have guessed, no luck there, or I wouldn’t be here writing about my broken dreams.
And now we enter the real world. And in this real world, I was introduced to a competitive side of me. A side which wanted to get the top marks possible, every single time. And in this time, I have to say, I probably lost a large part of me. I became a gladiator, who only thought about beating everyone and becoming the winner. I studied in my own special technique which assured maximum results in minimum time, and I succeeded. I had cartloads of free time then, but I wasted away that time, watching TV, and goofing around. I never, once, thought about my future, about what I wanted to do in life. My life had become a soulless existence.
My definition of a job had changed by then. It had gone from being “do what you love to do”, to being “do what you are good at”. And that is the crossroads that I am at now.
But did I have any genuine dreams? Yes and no.
When I was 12 or 13, I read Harry Potter for the first time, and from that instant I was hooked. But I didn’t settle there, I wrote my own series. A rip off from Harry Potter, admittedly, but my first dream. I wanted to be a world class writer.
After that dream got buried in the rush of everyday ideas, I got the same idea that EVERY teen in this world arguably has. To be an actor. But there was just a tiny drawback. I had never acted before. I did not act in school plays or anything, but I was a regular on the stage. I grew up around audiences and microphones. Ever since I was four years old, I had been getting on stages for recitation, speeches, action songs, extempore, declamation and a variety of other verbal competitions. And I would work hard for them, and not to blow my own trumpet, but I won a whole lot of those events. I even beat out kids older than myself. So when I am on stage, I am not nervous, I am not nervous in front of an audience, and certainly not with a microphone in my hand.
And I thought a big break came for me, when I was invited to act in a local soap. A small role, in one episode, and one small dialog. But I was thrilled. I immediately accepted and if I may say so, nailed the scene dead on. This was my supposed big break, but with a minor complication.
Issues within the channel buried the soap forever.
And it sort of buried me.
The acting bug lay dormant in me for so long, but now after watching India’s Best Dramebaaz (IBD), I seem to get that urge every now and then to pursue an acting career. But my parents, normally the Best Parents Ever, tend to be dream killers. Besides that I have no idea what to do. I have no interest in the course I am doing, I am fed up by this sick, monotonous life that I am living.
But this is where I am terribly stuck. I don’t have a dream. At all. All of my dreams are muddled up in my head. This is becoming a noose strangling me to death.
But despite that, I still remain a firm believer in the power of dreams. I dream a lot. A LOT. Not all of them come true. And many probably never will.
But that’s the thing about dreams. You never know. Maybe, after I complete my degree, I will get into acting. Maybe I’ll be an anchor, entertainer or talk show host. Maybe even a writer.
This is what keeps us from giving up. This is what gives us hope to push on through the darkest of times. This is what keeps us dreaming.
And that is why I said in the beginning, dreams are the most powerful things in the world…
[FYI: IBD is an Indian show featuring children of ages 7-12 in a series of acting challenges. Their performances are totally out of this world, and you often wonder if they are kids. And this is my enabler right now…]