Saturday, May 31, 2014

575 – A code to friendship

One of my favourite Indian movie is a 2001 released “Dil Chahata Hai”.  One of the reason I connect to this movie is the road trip by three friends to Goa.  Almost a half decade before the release of that movie, I had enjoyed a similar journey with my friends.  However, similarity of trip just ends with the highway.

Unlike the movie, our ride was an ageing Premier Padmani and in that soap-box we were eight of us, with just one skilled and under-aged driver.

I remember that evening, when the mid-night children made a impromptu plan on a park bench and embarked the journey without consent of parents or girl-friends.

That road trip had some of the craziest moments of life, including a song and dance routine to tunes of “Yaari-hai iman mera yaar meri zindagi” in the halo of car's head-light – on NH-17.  A mad dash and skinny dip on some isolated beach of Konkan.  A sleepy driver running the car off road almost in to a villager's hut.  Running out of money and sleeping under moon in the cold of night.  But it had equal amount of camaraderie when we were in trouble with locals, resourcefulness when we were short of money, team work when we had to move the car with a broken gear-box to a garage.

Life has changed since then, our success have been measured on various scales at different times of life ... on scale of academics, binge drinking, hits with girls, number of visas, job, social standing and money.  All of us are scattered in various quadrants on each of those graphs.  However, if our success are to be plotted on graph of friendship, we would all be in the same quadrant – a quadrant with high on trust – high on affinity.

We never made those planned 575 kilometers to Goa and yet when I look back, for me that plan for 575 kilometers still remains a code to friendship for a group of boys.  A group of boys who still calls themselves ... “The Gang With Bang”.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Passionate? Fuel it!

Indian Premier League, an entertainment sports league has a recognisable visage of glamour and tinge of corruption through match fixing. However, under all those headlines hogging incidents it is also a platform for unknown sportsmen to showcase their passion and who else exemplifies it more than a young man in his forties. Praveen Tambe or PT as fondly called by his team mates.

Let's rewind three decades in past to maidans of Dadar, you could imagine two teenagers sweating to sharpen their cricketing skills, probably unknown to each other's existence. One of them has natural abilities gets noticed as prodigy and is recruited in national team. He proves the faith shown in him, earns respect from all greats of game, accolades from world over and love from every cricket crazy fan, he goes on to be the jewel of the nation. The other not so lucky, but passionate no less, he keeps knocking the wood and waiting for opportunity for three decades before the lady luck similes at him.

Parallel to those two stories there is another story unfolding in same city at same-time. A young ophthalmologist is diagnosed with a kidney aliment. The young doctor is advised a prognosis of little over one year and suggestion to get life insured. I am sure a furor of thoughts ran through his mind, questioning the gods for whatever they would be, worried thoughts for his ageing parents and so many others, which I can't even imagine.

But in those times of adversity he finds the fire in corner of his heart and he makes a conscious decision to conduct free cataract surgery for poor and needy, as long as he exists. A decade pans out, the aliment is long behind him and in his hands a world record hundred thousand cataract surgeries. Dr Tatyarao Lahane, goes on to be the dean of prestigious Sir J J hospital in Mumbai.

Three stories of passion, one story goes through the road of glamour, love and recognition and yet staying honest to his inner passion. The second stories travels through misery, hardship and probably being ridiculed, yet the theme of story is about staying honest to his inner passion. The third is an extra-ordinary story about fuelling the inner fire of passion in a personal tragedy.

The spectrum of passion is wide, it can ignite early in a prodigy or test a late bloomer, from knowing what you want to getting ignited by a turn of life at a cross-road, but what passion needs is enough fuel in belly. If you believe in your passion, keep fuelling it, keep living it.