Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Dreamed a Dream......

You can be anything you want in this world.

Growing up as children this was something every single teacher told us at some point of time or the other, I always thought that it was one of those common cliches that adults used while talking to kids such as - ‘You’re too young to understand’ , or ‘I’m not angry….Just disappointed’ &  my favorite ‘You’re Grounded’ !!!

I never gave it much thought till an orthopedics theory class in the final year of my study at medical school.

No, my professor didn’t actually say ‘You can be anything you want in this world’, and yes, now that I think of it, at that point of time it had been years since anyone had said those exact words to me.

Post lunch theory classes in any professional college are a kaleidoscope of every possible sleep state imaginable, in this regard it was slightly more difficult for us because our classroom was a mini auditorium in the basement floor of the hospital, sitting there on a full belly with the a/c set to a snug 27 degrees, our white coats serving as soft blankets was like being gently cuddled by a giant teddy bear. 

Staying awake was a challenge, while some students relied on writing down everything the teachers said, others counted on reviving their lost passions for poetry, sketching, and songwriting to keep their heavy eyelids from closing.

All this happened with our cell phones set on vibrate because we all loved the SMS blasts that went out to everyone when something funny or weird happened during the lecture.

It was the first theory class of the semester so I will admit that there was a little excitement in the class which meant that 90% of the students would pay attention to what was being taught for the first 10 minutes of the class, every other day it was the first 5 minutes cause that was when the attendance was called out. Please don’t judge us :-)

The first image came up.

Wait, this wasn’t the image of an X-ray or an MRI, it was the picture of the ocean with an inspirational message, 20 lines long.

My phone buzzed repeatedly.

Texts came from all four corners of the classroom, more than 50% of them had the same content - Did you get that, what’s he trying to say?

For once I chose not to reply to because this time I really got what that message was trying to say.

I don’t remember all of the words that were on that slide, it was really, really long, but here is what I made of it - 

Reality may be different but in your dreams you possess the unique power to create a world of your own, in your dreams you can be whatever you want to be, do whatever you want to, and no one can take that away from you.

Just the day before this class happened a classmate of mine had dedicated a funny poem to me which ended with the words ‘You will never be a rockstar’, truth be told I never really wanted to be a rockstar but after the recital when the laughter faded some part of me was left bruised.

The professor proceeded with the topic for the day but I decided to focus on the message that he had just shared with us.

I switched off everything that was going on in my head right then and started dreaming, I imagined a world where I stood facing a crowd of 20,000 excited fans smack down in the middle of Madison square garden entertaining them with nothing but my voice and the sound of my acoustic guitar.

For approximately an hour I sang to them songs taken from my mental playlist, they clapped & they sang along with me. When I stretched out my hands they cheered and as I walked off centre stage they kept asking for more.

I found closure on the whole rockstar problem and like the first slide on my professors power point presentation said, nobody could take that away from me.

2 things happened that day, firstly I lost out on my attendance because I forgot to say ‘present’ when my name was called out, but it didn't matter much to me because that afternoon I learnt one of the most important lessons of my life - to never ever underestimate the power of dreaming and imagination.

The Pursuit of Happyness is an amazing film that is based on an incredible true story, it is among my all time favorite movies.

One of best scenes of the film takes place on the rooftop of a building where Will smith and his son are shooting hoops, the 5 year old seems to be great at the game.

Dejected by a sarcastic comment from his father he throws the ball away, that's when Will gives him some of the best advice I have ever seen on film before -

“Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something, not even me.
 You got a dream... You got to protect it. People can't do something' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want something', go get it”.

At this juncture in the movie Will is penniless and without a home, his wife has left him and his only source of income is trying to sell a virtually unsaleable 'bone scanner'.  
He has to support himself and his kid while working incredibly hard at an unpaid internship.

Quite simply put he practically has no reason to believe that things will get better let alone dare to dream.

His dream is to turn the internship into a full time job at a stock brokerage.

Things take a turn for the worse when he loses his savings because of unpaid taxes,he ends up moving from one homeless shelter to another with his child, at one point of time they are forced to spend a night in a public restroom.

A cynic may argue by asking why did he choose to pursue that internship when he could have taken a job that paid him something, but that's the problem with dreams, some of them are too precious to just abandon and move on.

The internship finally comes to an end, Will manages to sell the last of the bone scanners in his possession and spends the evening at the beach with his son, for a change they stay at a hotel and fall asleep watching TV.

The penultimate scene in the movie will draw you to tears.

Will is offered the job and he rushes out to the street, his hands are shaking and his eyes are filling up, the joy in his heart is evident, he looks up at the skies with gratitude and in the background we hear his voice say the words – This part of my life... this little part… is called happiness.

When we dream of seemingly impossible things, the people around us will not always be supportive, it’s not because they don’t want us to be happy, their reasons can vary from genuine concern about our safety or a theory that our plans are too lofty to attain, too impractical to achieve, our closeness to our friends may even lead us to believe that we can’t do it.

There are dreams that we forget as soon as we wake up and there are nightmares but every now and then we have dreams that keep us from sleeping.

If you have a dream that falls into the latter category start by protecting it, like a fresh sapling in a pot that needs to be nurtured feed your dream with positive reinforcement and motivation, work on your plans a little by little, on some days you will make strides on others you will have to take it one step at a time, if you slow down even more, don’t stop, you take it breath after breath but never stop believing never stop dreaming.

There will always be a hundred reasons not to do something, and sometimes the only reason pursue after a dream would be your desire to see it come true, believe it or not quite often that is all that it takes.

As I conclude the post for this month I want you to examine your hearts to see if you have dreamt of doing something in your life and held yourself back, I want you to start believing in yourself again and I wish for you to go after them.

To those of you who are currently working on an impossible dream I pray that you achieve them, and even if you don’t I hope that you can look back on your life someday in the future and say that you went all in, you gave it your everything, you tried your best and that you never gave up because the fact of the matter is this-


Until Next Time