The passion fruit

“I am celebrating life” said ‘Sneha’ my colleague’s daughter, gifting me a beautiful pair of earrings. She looked very cute with 2 little pigtails.  I had thanked and asked her what the occasion was. This was the reply given by the 13 yr old bubbly girl.

This statement swept me off my feet. I had to blink away the tears as they stung my eyes. Sneha had returned from cancer medical center after six months of grueling chemo sessions. Yes! She’s as cancer survivor. Sneha spoke about how mundane and colourless her life had become, until she’d discovered that she was dexterous at twisting ordinary paper into extraordinary designs. Her parents had bought the necessary materials and she had nurtured this interest, slowly it became her passion. This was what kept her alive she said. Now she looks forward to creating new earrings and gifting it to others just to see them flash that dentifrice smile. I could see the sparkle in her eyes and zest for life.

A few days ago my neighbor walked into my house with a little jar of her famous homemade pickle. I couldn’t decide what was shinier. The sheen of steel in her hand or the smile across her face. “Aunty your kids are away and uncle is always on tour and you look younger by at least 10yrs. What’s cooking?” I asked. She said “beta a whole lot of theplas, kakras and these pickles.” She continued – with kids and husband away I’d started feeling unloved, there was no one to appreciate my culinary skills. Until my friends persuaded me to sell my delicacies.” Now I’ve become aunty the entrepreneur.” People enjoy my food, I enjoy their appreciation. My passion for cooking has made my life blissful.

She was the second person in a short span of time who had told me the same thing. I was happy for these people, but what they told had struck a chord deep down. I’d started contemplating on whether I was alive, or did I have a life at all. I want all of you to ask yourselves the question.  Am I doing what I really love to do?

While I was in this frame of mind I was honoured with the opportunity of meeting Babar Ali. He holds the record of being the world’s youngest headmaster. He’s from a far flung village in West Bengal. He told us he was passionate about teaching. He and his friends played ‘school’ in his backyard. Under privileged kids not only joined in the game but also enjoyed it.  The local IAS officers observed that this had become a mini school. They contributed necessary materials. Finally the government legalized this school. Now 900 students attend it. Anyone with a mere passion to teach can be a teacher there. So, Ali shared that his passion for teaching had turned into a full-fledged profession and this kept his spirits high.

These were all people who did what they were passionate about irrespective of the monetary value attached to it. For just the love of doing something.  That night I was watching the idiot box when the Amway ad helped me spring to life.

I didn’t want to be that lady in the ad whose name plate says – lost a star guitarist! I didn’t want to look back at my name plate which would probably say – lost a passionate writer!  It was then that I decided to extend a new lease of life to my dormant creative spirit. It was then that I walked through the doors of the toastmaster club . So, what have I found here?  More than I’d expected. Something that money can’t fetch.

  • A wonderful set of inspiring friends who’ve adorned me with colorful ribbons.
  • Novel ideas to write about
  • And that surprisingly vibrant self whom I’d forgotten.

Don’t look back and think of what could have been, look ahead and embrace what can be. Before signing off I’d like to quote the poet Khalil Gibran “Rest in reason, move in passion.”

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