WHY DO I FAIL TO ACHIEVE MY DREAM?

Since my childhood, I had the dream to become an Architecture. Whenever I find any huge and modern infrastructure, I stare at it, even today I do that. Almost every other day my dad scolded me for stealing pins, paper clips and staple pins from his work desk and using them for the designing of my cardboard houses. After school and at free hours I used to spend time working on it. Modern infrastructures have always marveled me. Then, whenever any elderly person questioned me what do you want to become, my answer was “I want to be an Architecture”.

My three childhood dreams were – Will build huge modern buildings, will go for a cruise journey and my first international destination will be Thailand to see white elephants and then to The States. Though in the course of time I didn’t become an architecture but my first International flight was to Bangkok and Chiang Mai; hope the cruise one will fulfill someday.  

In our life, every day we dream colourful dreams and make fancy wishes. When a black shiny Lamborghini overtakes, we peep-out from our SUV and silently whisper within, “I wish I had”. At times we find attractive couples on road and silently urge “Aww…they are ‘Made for Each Other’, wish I have”. We visit our Elite friend house, we see his luxurious four-bed apartment and starts dreaming for such a posh apartment. Though we don’t need such an apartment still we either think about it or do everything on earth to get it. Alas… often much of our dreams never fulfill and we start cursing our life on earth.

We dream colourful dreams and always strive to bring it to reality. And, it is good! Even before a child takes birth his parents start dreaming about his future. They say (especially the fathers) my son will be an engineer, my son will be a doctor, so on and so forth. Yet sometimes we find our dreams won’t go our way and we start regretting.

Here the biggest question arises – WHY DO I FAIL TO ACHIEVE MY DREAM?

IS IT WRONG TO DREAM BIG?

No, not at all! In fact, it is our dream that generates the passion in our heart to achieve it. It is that passion which excites us even to go through many trials to achieve our dream. But often this passion and eagerness for the achievement of our dreams become uncontrollable. We start compromising with our ethics and morals. Finally, we had to pay a HIGH PRICE!

The Bible says,

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.

A man reaps what he SOWS…”

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MY DRIVING DREAM

One of the most cherished childhood memory is when one learns to ride a bicycle. I still remember when my father taught me how to ride my bicycle without supporters. He instructed that I have to take one round of the park and he will be holding the bicycle from the rear end. With hesitant and scared pedaling,  I started my way and was continuously telling my Papa not to leave his grip. When I was about to complete one round, I saw Papa standing at the start point and smiling at me. He said- “Look, you have learned to ride your bicycle yourself! “

Years later,  when I was officially an adult and riding my scooterette,  he coaxed me to learn his bike. Though I was hesitant initially,  he was sure that I will learn. And yes, I was riding his bike with gears all by myself! From 2 wheeler,  we progressed to 4 wheeler and he helped me to drive as well. Though he was always there to guide me, I couldn’t muster the courage to drive alone.

In after years,  when I moved to Dehradun,  my uncle helped me to gain confidence while reversing. He also let me drove his car in the enclosed township of his office. I was gleaming with joy and beaming with confidence. But,  only one thing was missing- the traffic! I knew how to drive, but not on the roads full of traffic.

After marriage and babies,  I wanted to be independent and so started taking lessons from driving school. The classes were over and the instructor told me that I only need to practice daily. Whoa!  Now that was tough. As they say – you cannot learn driving with your husband, I had no one else to look up to, who could go with me for my practice sessions. My husband tried to teach me though,  but with so many instructions simultaneously, I went berserk. With honking horns at traffic signals and following my husband’s diktat, my driving lessons became chaotic and stressful. Gradually, I lost confidence and hope. I don’t know whether I will be able to drive a car myself someday or not,  I feel it’s my unfulfilled dream. But “it’s only unfulfilled dreams that keep you alive”! So, probably, someday, somewhere, I will be driving my way through, all by myself.

INDEPENDENCE IS MY DREAM

NOTE: Excuse me if you find this write-up similar to “My Bucket List” but nevertheless it’s a part of that list.  And most importantly don’t draw any serious inference from the title for I am leading a blissful life.  And before you get sneak peek into my dreams here’s a small story that I want to share with you all:

In the year 2017, I met a stranger on my way back home after picking up my daughter from crèche. He approached me and asked me if I could just walk down the street with my baby and cross the VILLAN. Yes, you read and heard it right, I said Villan as I was accidentally offered a role of extra in a Flemish serial to be aired this year,  Undercover (name of the serial).  Yet no clue when I mean which month and if I will be seen or not, that was special to me as I earned for the first time after my marriage.  That was petty but was MINE.  I lived my otherwise so far elusive dream that day.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We had to do four to five re-takes (I was perfect in walking though).

My Independence – Financial Independence has always been my dream. I have mentioned it so many times before as well.  I did enjoy that before getting hitched in wedlock. From taking petty odd tuitions to being an executive in a financial institution; from meager 1K to 30K+  per month in Indian currency and I had it all.  As the digits changed, as they ascended they gave immense pleasure. The increasing purchasing power in hand did boost up my confidence in being an equal supporter and contributor in the family.  Evolving standards of living did mark their presence felt in our merry times, felt fortunate and blessed.

Now after almost a decade of apparent unemployment (don’t miss to read between the lines) and reading innumerable times “We Regret To Inform You” I still yearn to live my dream once again. Though I am blessed to have a roof over my head and a comfortable life with no dearth of any sorts I have realized it was not the amount in hand but the role and the place in the set up that mattered.  The sense of being equal and being able to contribute makes a whole lot of difference, that’s my opinion though.  Nevertheless, that would take away nothing from millions of housewives working 24×7 to make things work and keep the flow intact for the family and I am an active member of this section.  Trust me, ladies, we are doing absolutely great!

But my longing for a job (my dream but not a dream job, will talk about it in another write-up) is not about just money only, for the Belgian Tax System suggests me to cool off my heels at home. For me it’s about my identity, interaction with the world outside, new learnings, regaining my confidence, enhancing the horizon of knowledge and more importantly it’s about one’s preparedness for the uncertainty that lies ahead in life. When life throws lemons at you, you be ready with your apparatus to make lemonade out of it 😂.

You can safely call me materialistic but my experience says that a pay cheque in your hand is not ONLY about purchasing power but it’s also about enhanced confidence of being an active partner when it comes to running affairs of the household; it’s about equally able to question as answerable you are; it’s about giving your family/partner an assurance that they are not alone in their journey; it’s about better preparation for future ( as said by the richest man Warren Buffet two streams of income are always better).

And this is what I suggest to my near and dear ones – strive for financial independence to ensure stability in the long run for economics do have an impact (if you know what I mean).

So I won’t stop dreaming about living my dream with and for my family. Though a lazy bug I am, I will surely work out a way to the realization of my dream one day – Hopeful and Willing too.

Anyways I  won’t mind facing the camera again 😂😂😉 (that’s called being over-ambitious and fantasizing).   Any suggestion on this path of dream realization is welcomed.

TRIUMPH IN FAILURE

 

Wings, I had wings

To soar high without any attached strings.

 

Dreams, I had dreams

To be the cream in the midst of creams.

 

Goals, I had goals

To touch many parched souls.

 

Ways, I knew the ways

To move on ahead along the coasts and the bays.

 

Steered, through every winding road I steered

No hill, valley or desert I ever feared.

 

Pinnacle, yes my aim was the pinnacle

To reach there, I needed a miracle.

 

Efforts, I put in hard and smart efforts

And I was offered all available supports.

 

Changes, alas there arose changes

In the contours of life’s ranges.

 

Questions, many questions

Gripped at all times the head and heart.

 

Faith, in God strong faith

Was the anchor while the river was in full spate.

 

Alone, never did I feel alone

Remembering always that God is still on the throne.

 

Own, never would He forsake His own

In hopelessness I would never bemoan.

 

Shine, for His grace shall on me shine

And not let me sorrowfully whine.

 

Hope, indeed I have a blessed hope

That I would in darkness never grope.

 

Victory, awaits me sweet victory

To bring an end to this journey’s story.

MY DREAM OF BEING A WELL-KNOWN DANCER

I just love to step into my dancing shoes – literally and figuratively. Dancing makes me happy and confident. It is one of my so many passions and since I was a kid, I wanted to be a well-known dancer. Now let’s define ‘well-known’, it has a different definition for each person and for me, the definition kept changing over the years.

I never had any formal training in dance, so quite soon in my life, I realized that I won’t go far with this ambition. Did I take any formal training? No, because I was busy with life and always had my hands full of something or the other. When I started working in GE Bangalore right after college, I was absolutely delighted to know that they had a dance group. They had multiple different events all throughout the year enough to keep this dance group on its toes. In my 8 years stint in GE, I have done at least 15 or so performances. Some of them were repeats but yes, those were performances. I loved that time of my life. Late evening and weekend practices, learning those new moves and always eager to teach coaches. It was a fun loving group which gave me a lot of friends.

However, there were some consequences of being known as a “dancer” at my workplace. When I left GE, I knew for sure that I would never mix up work life with my dance life. The two don’t blend well together because at my workplace I want to be known for my work. So, I joined Philips with a clear goal in my head that work would mean work alone. At the same time, I also conceived my son which meant I had practically now no time for a dance. Being a new mom took a good amount of toll on me.

Still, I did not give up. I took up Zumba when my baby was just 4 months. And the first time I did Zumba, I came back crying because I realized how stiff and heavy my body had become to even think of dancing ever. Slowly and gradually, with years of Zumba training – I could sustain more than an hour of the session. I even had the ambition of becoming a Zumba instructor myself – but gave up looking at my fitness levels.

Where am I now with my dream of being a well-known dancer? Well, people at work still know that I dance well (though I am not known for it). I still do Zumba but limited. I sometimes try to practice on my own in my bedroom on some Bollywood numbers. Recently, I choreographed a couple of dances for kids in the apartment and performed myself also in a group. This was done on Ganesha chaturthi last year. A few years from now when my son grows up enough, I can probably take up dance classes for kids or maybe even adults. I would definitely do something about it, just waiting for the right time. I hope that I don’t stay this busy with my life all my life to pursue this dream.

THINK BEFORE YOU DREAM

Think before you dream!! Do we really need to think before we dream? Does dreaming need careful preplanning? What then would be a dream that requires careful calculations and speculations?

This may seem to be an article with a negative note. But, I chose to write it so as to give a peek into many dreams that are left unrealized. I have seen many dreams shattered simply because things didn’t eventually add up when the time came for the rosy dreams to see the light of the day.

Instance 1

A boy excelling in his studies had lofty dreams of making it big in life – to go abroad for higher studies and fulfill his ambition. He was confident of making it big. When the time came however, he had to give in to emotional pressure from his parents who wanted their son to stay close to them and not go abroad. “We don’t want you to excel, just doing decently in your career is enough for us”, were their very words. There was no space for the dreams and aspirations of the son. The son was torn between two equally vital options – either choose career over parents and live with a lifetime of guilt or choose parents over career and regret not making it big in life. No amount of logic or patient explanation could succeed in persuading his parents. Reluctantly, he had to bow down to his emotional self and chose parents over career. He came to this conclusion that he ought to have dreamed according to his parents’ thought process and not his own – he would not have to live with the regret of unfulfilled lofty dreams, then!

Some may say that the son could have done a better job at convincing his parents, or he may have taken a bold decision of achieving his dreams and then his parents would have been proud enough not to hold a grudge against their son, or some others may say that the son was too emotional. Whatever be our respective opinions – the truth is that such a dilemma is faced by many people around us. Is it then wise to think, measure and calculate before dreaming and aspiring?

Instance 2

(Would be better understood by Indians who are familiar with the age-old caste system)

A young successful professional in her late 20s desperate to marry the love of her life who is successful, of the same religion, of an impeccable character, but of a different caste. Assuming initial hesitation, but eventual acceptance by her parents, she has nurtured her love for twelve long years only to face threats of dire consequences from her own beloved family members, when the time comes for her love to fructify. Threats of mass suicide of family members, murder of the boy and his family, coercing a marriage with a caste member at the earliest, creating ruckus at her workplace – all these make her say in lament, “I should have known my parents mindset well before basking in the bliss of love.” Torn between the dilemma of leaving the one with whom she has dreamed of living and loving together and losing her parents who are ready to kill themselves for the sake of caste honour, she sighs, “I ought to have thought before dreaming!”

Instance 3

A young uneducated woman, widowed in the eighth month of her pregnancy, abandoned by her family, raped on the streets while alone with her baby turns to prostitution to fend for her little one. She dreams of a good future for her son. Years pass by and the little one is now a young educated man. Coming to a knowledge of his mother’s life, he hates her for it. With piercing pain in her heart as she reflects over agonizing years, she says, “I wish I had thought before dreaming of a bright future for my son! It would have been better to have begged on the streets and taught my son the art of begging.”

Some may say that the woman could have chosen some other means of earning money – maybe as a maid or by begging rather than selling herself to a brothel. Some may point at the heartless son. Whatever be the case, this is the untold story of sacrifice of many women. And, it is true.

Instance 4

A mother of two decides to walk out of an abusive relationship so that her children are not exposed to aggression and violence everyday. She dreams of an emotionally healthy environment for her children. She works hard to provide for their needs and wants. She showers the best possible love and affection on them. However, one grows up to be a truant and another a rebel. A Counsellor tells her that these disruptive behavior patterns are largely because of a father-absent family. Tears flowing down her cheeks, the mother sighs, “I ought to have thought before dreaming! Had I put up with the domestic violence, maybe my children would have been well-adjusted with a father still around them!”

What then? Should/can we always think before dreaming? Is it possible? Won’t many of us stop dreaming, then? Are properly planned dreams feasible always? Is it not necessary for people to understand the dreams of others and ensure that they are fulfilled? Do properly planned events become successful always? If not, why are we so reluctant to accommodate the dreams of others?

Worth pondering, for sure!

CREATE THEM, NURTURE THEM AND THEN… PUBLISH THEM

Around 18 years ago, on one of the nights this happened!

It was 1:10 am and I was sitting at my study table lost in my thoughts staring out in the blackness outside my window. It was quite some time since I have had a look at the watch and when I saw it – I was shocked.

“Oh my God, it has been almost an hour since I did anything constructive. What the hell am I doing wasting my time before the important Maths exam tomorrow?” I felt my heart racing and I quickly checked how much revision was still pending. I realize it is going to take at least 2 more hours which means I cannot sleep before 3 am. And the exam was at 9 am. Less than 3 hours of sleep before an important exam. Phew!!!

This used to be my situation almost every time I studied before exams. So, the question why was I wasting my time when I had so much study to be done. What was I really doing with my book open in front of my eyes, holding a pen but just staring in the black night – thinking? It was day-dreaming.

I was in a habit of day-dreaming anywhere and anytime. But what I dreamt about was something that’s always been very personal to me. I usually dreamt about some stories. Those day-dreams were something like a movie that’s running in my head with the difference that I am not watching those but I am actually the main character of the movie. Those movies sometimes were related to me being the topper of the class and most preferred student by all teachers. Sometimes the stories were around me solving some mysteries. There were also stories in which I would fight with some goons to save somebody’s life and people would call me “super-girl”! Well you get an idea – I was a teenager then.

It was some time during my 9th standard when I decided that I will write down my day-dreams (these weird stories that cooked in my head). And I started to do that. To my surprise, when I would write the stories down – they would turn out to be much better than what I would have thought of. Good thing was that I could read those stories any time without forgetting and actually could build upon them.

It was an interesting time – I had made a few characters (all of them had some part of me). I would make them do whatever I wanted in those stories. I would make them travel places, solve world problems, be courageous and strong. Most of my characters would always end up contributing to the world in a big way. Some of my characters were also scared of the world, some would just end up committing suicide.

In front of the mirror, I used to spend hours and hours enacting a particular character of my story. Because I just had to know how would she/he feel when a particular situation comes up.

I don’t have all those write-ups (only a few). I couldn’t maintain those because I usually wrote in my notebook, at the back of my school work etc. If I could just go back in time – I would love to preserve those little treasures.

This is how the story-teller in me was born. I love writing but more than that I love writing fiction. I love creating those characters and weave their lives up. I love wondering how a particular character would do in a certain situation. I love making these characters my best friends – these people in my head that I can talk to and understand. These people comfort me, they understand me and they even guide me. Some of them are really personal and I might never publish them to the world. But there are many of them who are ready to come out in the world so that people can also know them.

I was busy writing my own collection of short stories couple of years back. After my son was born, this project took a back seat. Someday I believe I will have them published. Though one of my stories has been published in a book named “Your’s lovingly” and few of them got published on webzines (including Candles).

For now, I enjoy creating stories for my son who loves listening a story from me before his bedtime. He loves to listen to them under the moonlight just like I loved creating them.