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Tamasha... Real or Reel Life?

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Tamasha is a movie about a boy with a passion, with a fondness and a liking... more like a love, actually. It is about a boy who loves the theatre, who loves drama and yet as he grows older, society, expectations, familial pressures make him veer towards a path of stability - a 9 to 5 job in a telecom firm - (almost like he is in a galaxy) far, far away from his true calling, and definitely very far away from his childhood dreams.

Through his actions, his reactions and his misery, Ved, the lead protagonist in the film, is telling us all a story... a story about all of us. How many people lead their daily lives thinking, "Oh, how did I ever get stuck in this rut?" More importantly, how many others wake up every day thinking, "Oh crap, not this job again! Wish I was doing... [Fill in the blank with your dream job]." Unlike Ved though, we live in the real world; not the fantasy world of films where things can change at the drop of a hat. We don't within the span of a three-hour life story have the luxury of changing profession, of ending our misery, of pursuing what we truly want or desire. Or at least doing this with little or no repercussions...

Well, maybe we do, but how often is it to a job or a profession that we dreamt about? Hell, it may not even be something we trained in or are professionally qualified for. So, while Ved was able to tell his boss in the telecom firm to 'go shove it' in no uncertain terms, and become a very successful theatre director by the end of the movie, most of us don't have the choice, or the option... and in some cases, the ability. We never thought, or more importantly never believed that it could happen to us!

Circumstances and life usually intervene to make sure your feet are most definitely grounded and your head remains in that job that you are in ... No matter how little you like it. First it is a case of, "I just graduated from college; I need that job, that money to repay all those loans." A few years in and it suddenly becomes a case of, "It is all working fine; why would I upset the apple cart? Either way, I'll keep doing what I am and will work my way up to a better role, more money... more, more, more..." Then you have a family, kids follow and that dream appears even more distant than ever! "If I leave now, I'm not sure I would be able to get a similar job that would allow me to afford my kid's schools, etc..."

Why am I complaining? Why did Tamasha have such a big impact on me? Maybe because in Ved I see myself... I see every step he has taken, every move he's made in my own life and career decisions, and can relate to every single justification he throws out there for choosing the life he did. Stability - check! Family - check! Society - check! Expectations - check, check, check! It all checks out... but unlike Ved though I don't have an out (or haven't seen one yet) from a job I don't like, from a job I know I am not made out for. This plain fact makes it even more painful, even more frustrating. I was never meant for the world of finance; my math is terrible to start with (you wonder then how someone with such a low level of math skills has survived in this industry for this long)... and that is the least of my problems. Discussions of high finance make me uncomfortable; the lifestyles of high flying bankers... even more uncomfortable; and most important of all, I just feel like I don't belong when I sit around and with a whole bunch of bankers chit chatting about the latest trends in finance and the implications of the changes in the markets. I feel like my time in banking has been a lie, a big fat lie in which I have pretended to be something I am not... and pulled along in something I am not really that good at. Am I just taking up someone else's well deserved spot, I wonder sometimes? While Ved was made for the world of drama and theatre, for me I believe my calling lies in working for the world, in working with people... a social enterprise, a government or supranational role - sure... maybe even a writer could be it. But a banker I know I am not.

However, I am always told that there is some good in everything and maybe I need to look more closely to identify that good; maybe I need to look around and appreciate what I have in relation to others. In this day and age, where jobs are hard to keep and even harder to come by, maybe having one is a plus and a blessing in itself... Maybe I should ignore distractions like Tamasha and focus on what I have in front of me. After all, there is a difference between the real life and the reel life; if not, we would all be flying around like super heroes, living the lives of millionaires and driving fast cars (at the least). However if everyone chose to ignore their dreams and follow the path of practicality, you would have a boring world... a world without any magic... a world without any passion... and a world of just practical robots... it would be a world without the life, joy and laughter such as the one created by a Disney, who once said "No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true."