Inspiration is like the Manipal rains. It comes unannounced and when you least expect it. But when it does, close the umbrella and allow yourself to be soaked for when the chips are down, you may look for just that tiny source to keep the fire in your belly stoked.
I remember a very old story. I think it was the board exams. I may be sixteen then. The demons of fears were gnawing me.
Unfortunately just before the Chemistry examination, a friend collapsed. His father was away. So we had to take him to the Hospital. All the while I was worrying about the exam but he was a friend. He had to be tended. I was sitting in his bedroom waiting for him to fall asleep so I could go home and revise. It was a sparse bedroom. There was just his bed and a study table. Suddenly my eyes darted to a calendar hanging right above his table. There was no picture just the gist of Bhagvadgita. Ten simple sentences in hindi titled ‘ Geeta ka saar’. Suddenly something magical happened. I felt all the knots in my stomach vaporising and I could actually feel the tension go away. Later I moved on with life but that sensation stayed. As I grew , I was hungry for more . I tried to read the Bhagwadgita. But what I got from those ten simple sentences couldn’t be experienced in the whole of the book. I didn’t give up. Even in Miami, I found one in the local library and read it. Encouraged by a very dear friend and a devout Krishna disciple, I even tried chanting. I visited the local ISKON temple. But I couldn’t find the connect. That one sensation I was seeking to relive alluded me.
Till today, I have to close my eyes and transport myself to that one magical evening whenever I am depressed. I can’t feel that sensation but there is solace.
No dreams are big or small. But they have to be chased. Sometimes inspiration may be just that fuel.
Last night after coming back from the store, I had my feet in a bucket of warm water, nursing a drink and casually surfing the TV and planning to write the concluding part on Air travel . On the AXN, I spotted my favourite Simon Cowell. He has given some amazing shows like Britian’s got talent, America has got Talent, American Idol. He is branded as the meanest judge. But I find his rasping comments thoroughly entertaining. He is fair but impressing him is not easy. And then i saw him. His name was Chris. He was a trash hauler. As if that was not enough, he had recently come out of Rehab. He had a wife and a son to support; not exactly a spring chicken. In short nothing was going right for him. When invited to sing, he said he would like to sing his own song. He had penned the lyrics and composed the music. It was about his fight with drugs and how he came out clean and how life is precious and not to waste it away. Hollow words if coming from someone else. He was sensational. Sheer raw talent. Even Simon was overwhelmed. He declared him a star only if he remained off drugs. Not easy. But for his sake I sincerely hope he does.
Life offers everyone at least one chance. No one knows when it comes. But when it does, grab it with both hands. Anyone following music may know about another such story. Her name is Susan Boyle. She came from a very ordinary background from Scotland. In her middle age, she too had a very sad life. A spinster with zero social life, she worked hard to make a living. But she got her break in her late forties, when people start planning their retirement. Her debut on ‘Britian’s got Talent’ was sensational. I think she got more than a million hits on Youtube. Today she isn’t Lady Gaga. But still makes a very comfortable living. Not a mean achievement in the competitive world of Pop Music.
The final story is of a porter, Jamie ‘ o’ Neill, in a Hospital in UK. He worked by the day and wrote at night. One day he was spotted by an agent. Impressed, he enquired if he wrote anything else. Shyly, this man showed him his novel. ‘ At swim two boys’ is written against the backdrop of Irish war. I have visited Ireland. It is not the friendliest of countries. But this writer remarkably brought out the human face of the war striven country. The writing is fluid and transports you to the village with consummate ease. One actually feels that he is living that life. Very skilful.
He was offered a six figure advance. Again his age, you guessed it, early forties..
Nothing comes without hard work. There are no free lunches in life. But keeping your eyes on the goal post and looking for those tiny bits of inspiration may help you in achieving your dream. Just like Chris hopefully does and Susan Boyle actually did. But even if you don’t , there is no shame.
You could be proud of yourself that you tried.