Sunday, January 16, 2011

Is there passion in your life?

 “I’d rather not live, than live a life without passion”… so announced C when we spoke.

Hmmm… I was just wondering on how to handle this situation. After all, this sounded so melodramatic. And C is one of those typical Drama Queens (DQ). And no, I am not the kind to label people for whatever behavior that they exhibit. But still, there is something distinguishing about the breed of DQ’s that I have known all my life –

* You love them when they can add just a little bit of drama in your ever so boring and monotonous existence, 
* You hate them when they expect you to just drop everything (Even if it is your job interview, or your ever-so- important date, or the most crucial deadline that could possibly re-define your career) and be around when they are in a crisis (And let’s just not get into their definition of crisis),
* You envy them for all the spunk they have in their life (& I mean real spunk!!!),
* You admire them for how they seem to just get away with all the nonsense they do,
* And however blind or deaf you choose to be, you simply can’t ignore them…

So here I was in the middle of all this… Thinking about what befitting reply I should give C.

And then I paused…

Let me look at the people all around me - There is passion everywhere. Let me illustrate what I am saying with examples of some of the people in my life

SP is a 70 year old retired man who started his first business venture when he was 66. Never in his whole life did he even think that he could be an entrepreneur. But here he was, working on the most worthwhile, prestigious and ambitious project he has embarked in his life. One which has made him a national celebrity and brought him global fame and recognition. Also forgot to mention the phenomenal network of friends he has built for himself over the past few years. His passion is to do something meaningful for the society and leave a mark in this world.

SV is a 65 years old man who is ever-so-passionate about his job. It’s his dream to make his institute truly global. Given the current state of affairs, everyone around seems to know that this will probably not happen in this lifetime. I think deep down even he knows. But still he works relentlessly. Why? Because he is passionate about his job!

IK is a 60 year old lady who is diabetic and is a heart patient. All her life she has devoted to the well being of her family. And somewhere along the way, she discovered her love for cooking. Watch her in the kitchen, and you will be amazed at her speed and creativity. Even with the most frugal ingredients and in the most limited time, she can dish up the most mouth-watering dishes that you’ve ever tasted in your life. If anyone from her family asks for any dish under the sky at any time of the day or night, she will dish it up – Irrespective of how she is feeling. Her passion is her family & cooking!!!

C is a new mother with a new born baby. Somewhere in the middle of the madness, she discovered her new passion - Writing. And I don’t know from where she gets the time, ideas and energy, But I have loved every single literary work that she has produced. She is a truly exceptional writer. Of course, most of it is still in the private domain, but I do know that once it is out in the public domain – She has the potential to become a global phenomena.

G is a very dear friend of mine – Smart, Successful, Single. Someone who has achieved phenomenal success in the competitive corporate world, is a globe trotter, has a really vibrant personal life and at the end of the day finds the time to pursue her various passions which range from music to writing to sculpture. Wonder many times how it’s all possible?, What’s the passion? It’s the passion to live and experience life – fully.

N is an interior designer - Someone whom I have gotten to know well for the past few years through common contacts. She is an entrepreneur who runs her own venture - Someone who is really talented, creative, is able to successfully work with all kinds of clients and at the same time deals with all her working staff (& dealing with labor from the unorganized sector in India is no menial task).  And not to mention that she is married, has a 5 year old demanding kid and an ever-so-busy family life. Her passion is to create something personal and exquisite for every customer and to lead a balanced life.

And I find that all these people – from different walks of life, in different phases of life, and conducting their lives in many different ways have one thing in common – Passion.

And they all are leading happy, successful and fulfilling lives.

So in conclusion I say “Yes C. It’s better not to live than to live without passion.”

And all this thinking and talk on passion reminds me of the graduation speech given by Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. And I will sign off leaving you with the excerpt of this.
On our very first day at Harvard, a very wise Professor quoted Aristotle "The law is reason free from passion". Well, no offense to Aristotle, but in my three years at Harvard I have come to find that passion is a key ingredient to the study and practice of law, and of life. It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.

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