Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

Papa kehte hain, bada naam karega!

Last night, I was pursuing some long procrastinated work. The job was quite tedious and I had to sit up late into the night to get it done. As always, Amarok was blaring my favourite songs through my Creative 4.1, while I worked away. I’m in love with the Amarok shuffle algorithm – it beats the shits out of every other audio player in the market, even iPod/iTunes player, for that matter. My recently acquired the habit of putting all songs on shuffle comes from using Amarok – the song selection is eclectic in the best possible way. Hats-off to the community for the brilliant work on the music player! ๐Ÿ™‚

It was roughly 2 AM in the morning, and I still had miles to go before I sleep. ๐Ÿ˜ Nevertheless, I saved my files, switched off the monitor and flopped onto my bed, with music still on – albeit in low volume. It was time to call it a day. The ending notes of “Wish you were here” were fading away, probably taking cue from my sleep-deprived eyes. I’d almost slipped away into the valley of deep slumber when the Floyd song had concluded.

That was when Amarok decided to do a back-flip.

The psychedelic notes of Floyd gradually crossfaded to early-nineties jazz beats – complete with trumpets. Any Floyd fan would die for an encore of the favourite track – hence, the crossfade proved jarring to my ears. Enraged, I woke up with a start and rushed to the keyboard to plus the “Ctrl+V” shortcut for the next song.

I stopped, midway.

The jazz beats gave strong deja vu. The trumpets, the generous use of nineties’-electronic guitar; it was one song I thought I’d never forget – yet, I couldn’t place it fully. I sat down on the bed, as my head lowered itself involuntarily, as my mind raced through the portals of my long-term memory, in search of the track. (I could easily have walked upto the monitor and switched it on to check the track out, but somehow, I didn’t.)ย  That was when the jazz beats paused momentarily, and a resounding male voice ensued.

The same voice that muttered “Aal izz well!” – the voice of Aamir Khan! I listened in silent recognition, involuntarily smiling in the process, as I listened to Aamir’s (famous) monologue from his debut-movie “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak”:

Doston (Friends),

Aaj college ka aakhri din hai, (Today’s the last day of college)
aur aane waale zindagi ke liye sabhi ne kuch na kuch soch rakha hai. (And all of you would’ve thought what to do with the rest of your lives.)
Lekin maine apne liye kuch nahin socha hai! (But I haven’t done that!)
No, really I mean it.
Aur aaj, aaj mujhe baar baar, ek hi khayaal aa raha hai… (And today… Today, I this thought repeatedly comes back to my mind…)

As Udit Narayan‘s voice took over from Aamir to sing the rest of “Papa kehte hai bada naam karega…” (My dad’s told me that I’d be famous.) – I couldn’t help lip-sync and sing the entire song, prancing about the room – in elation and goosebumps!

As the song concluded, I realized that I was smiling incessantly. I felt so ironic and overjoyed. Turns out that even I’m at the fag end of my college life, and I’m still at crossroads regarding what to do with the rest of my life, while the people around me have more or less zeroed in on their futures.

And the best part is, there used to be a time, I emphasize, there USED TO be a time, when my ‘Papa’ used to constantly reassure me that I’d have a “bada naam” in life! ๐Ÿ™‚

Not having a clue about life used to bug me big time – it used to inculcate this huge wave of depression in me. Having already chosen the wrong career option three years back, and struggling to escape from it, I couldn’t make another mistake with my life – this fact used to plague me badly. Constant thoughts about careers barraged my mind with needless anxiety and I was confused. Even though I’d reached an interim conclusion about the career that I’d (hopefully) be pursuing post-B.Tech, the daunting task of preparing myself for it still scares me – considering the fact that I’m a habitual procrastinator afflicted by the ‘lazybones-syndrome’.

But this song, made the confusion seem ‘fashionable’ and actually inspiring. The first stanza of the song literal translates to: “My dad reassures me that I’d do well in life, but I’ve no clue where I’d end up.” But unlike Aamir Khan, I don’t have an inspired, teary-eyed dad watching his happy-go-lucky son sing glory about his long lost father’s belief in his capabilities. In my case, well, circumstances (many of which were self-made) made my dad openly retract his assurances, which is the worst thing a dejected son/daughter could get. But the song kindled sweet, long-lost memories of doting-praise and patient, endearing-encouragement – I got my much-needed recharge! ๐Ÿ™‚

Perhaps, my dad was watching at a singing-dancing me through my room door’s peephole, silently-inspired, with tears welling in his eyes!! ๐Ÿ˜€

P.S.

Donโ€™t feel guilty if you donโ€™t know what you want to do with your lifeโ€ฆ
The most interesting people I know didnโ€™t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives,
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still donโ€™t.

From Baz Luhrman‘s Sunscreen

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