In the hustle and bustle of routine, a common regret people have is their inability to pursue their passions. We spoke to those who have managed to navigate both boats without capsizing either.
Afshad Kelawala (25), a PR professional, finishes a typical work day at 6pm.He then spends the next four to five hours rehearsing for his new play which will be staged in August. Although his daily schedule may sound impossibly exhausting to some, Kelawala has a different opinion. “Acting is like a stress buster,” he says. Along with his regualr job, he makes sure to find time to perform at least two new plays every year. His ‘high point’ as he mentions came last year when he got an opportunity to act with Boman Irani in a play titled Rusty Screws.
Similarly, Garth Dmello, a geologist who works in the oil and gas industry, is also a keyboardist regularly performing at Blue Frog, Hard Rock Café and also at a number of music festivals across the country. “Music is second nature to me; it needs no effort at any time of the day. I started it as a hobby and never thought it would take off as much as it has today,” he reminices. With a proper week plan in place, post work, Dmello teaches music on Monday, on music production and mixing for the next two days and performs live gigs on Friday and Saturday. “Sundays are ‘do-nothing’ days and that is important too,” he quips.
In an era where time is scarce, Kelawala and Dmello have managed to carve out a share for something they love and like them Suhrith Parthasarathy, a full time lawyer at the Madras High Court attending litigations and interacting with clients and other lawyers in the evening also regularly writes on football, cricket, tennis, history among other things. His work has been published on popular print and digital platforms. “I ensure that I have my readings for the day with me, so that I can use my waiting time in courts effectively. Finding the time to write is the difficult part,” he says. He devotes an hour or two to writing whenever he can. “It's hard to do this, but I enjoy writing too much to give it up,” he explains. Kelawala agrees, “I cannot have any social commitments as most of my shows are on weekends. Even on weekdays, there is no chilling after work. These are small sacrifices to make for something you really care about,” he says.
The satisfaction of pursuing their passion notwithstanding, they all agree that it cannot become their sole profession, “I receive cash prizes and pay,ents for my pictures from magazines according to their rate cards but wildlife photography is an underpaid profession,” says Praveen Siddannavar, who works as an IT professional on weekdays and is a photographer on weekends. His photography career started with a regular digital camera documenting family vacations. Gradually, his work was published in different magazines and he won various awards for his photography. “I have travelled the world on projects but I do believe it is essential to have another job to earn your bread and butter. I have seen a few youngsters who got carried away and lost jobs due to their passion,” advises Siddannavar.
Ultimately, there is a unanimous agreement that if one really wants to follow passion, all the obstacles can be circumvented in some or the other way. “Maybe I am better off using my time writing on law work, which, in the long run, might be more remunerative. But I enjoy writing on other topics”, says Parthasarathy. Dmello agrees, “It’s important to do something you love. Whether to pursue it as a full time profession is a personal decision but we all need to do something that excites us and doesn't feel like work.”