“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort (but) you cannot have both” – Brene Brown.
The family was having dinner – Ma, Pa, GrandPa, Daughter and Son! As a usual practise, this was the meeting ground for the entire family to have ritualistic discussions on everything and life in general, each night. And each one would look forward to it. Today’s hot topic was the daughter’s choice of higher education and the prospective career. She wanted to pursue film making and this was her one chance to convince her family that it was the right thing to do. She was really passionate about it but the family didn’t relate to her. Because all through her growing up years she was never fond of either films or television. Then how did all this talk of ‘passion for cinema’ suddenly crop up they were all wondering!
“But I really want to do this. And FTII is an esteemed Institution. You know only a handful seats per year and I have got through. This is my big chance!” She was on the verge of breaking down because her mother was not agreeing to her decision.
Her mother’s point of view was that – one, she didn’t want to send her so far away; and second, not for film making at least – had it been IIT or IIM, she would have given in. How will she support herself in life if she doesn’t have a stable career and one hears a lot about the struggles of filmmakers. She didn’t want her daughter to face the same.
“But you only taught me that one should always follow one’s heart. And my heart is in film making. I really want to do this. Why don’t you’ll see how badly I want to do this? What has happened to you’ll? Dad, why don’t you say anything?”
Her dad didn’t completely agree to her mom’s point of view. But he was also cynical about the film industry. His point of view was that it is a big bad world out there and we have no connections. “How will you break in? I don’t want to see my daughter disappointed in the end! And this is not a field where there is a set system – where you apply when there are vacancies or get promoted every year or get bonuses or pension or any overall security.”
“But then if Mr. Bachchan had thought of security, he wouldn’t be who he is today. Don’t you guys go crazy even today when you see him on Kaun banega Crorepati?” She had decided she was going to put up a strong argument.
Finally, the grandpa intervened. “Can I just say one thing? Had I not taken the train from Lucknow to Mumbai 50 years ago, none of you would have been here. I wouldn’t have had the job that I did, then the business that I dreamt to set up, then my life partner whom I met on Marine Drive and then this house which boasts of the best view of Mumbai even today. So, bachi ko jo karna hain karne do. One day she will make us all proud!”
The daughter jumped in excitement and hugged her Grandpa. He hugged her back.
“Beta, but always remember what you are choosing is courage over comfort. The roads are very different. Yours is going to be the more difficult one – with a lot of challenges and lows – the lowest of the lows. But promise us you will never break down nor will you look for a short cut that comes with other compromises. You will stick to your principles and surrender to your passion. Success may be delayed. But it will certainly be your gift. Go.. Do us proud!!”
An important parenting tip: Never decide against the wishes of your children’s dreams or ambitions. If they want to pursue something; always support and encourage them.