Saturday, December 24, 2011

Talent is inherent

I believe that every human being has an inherent talent. It could be in the form of creative arts, sports, hobbies or some unusual activity which makes the person stand out in a crowd.

Super Star Rajnikanth, won the hearts of his fans with his crazy mannerisms- like his talent for throwing a cigarette up in the air and capturing it in his mouth with a flair. There are others who walk backwards or stand on one leg for a long time or sing in both male and female voices. Many others specialize or cultivate such a talent for winning awards or breaking records or just for their self satisfaction.

As a person who had been involved with the creative business of advertising for over four decades, I have had the pleasure of identifying and encouraging scores of talented people who have done very well in their chosen field of activity.

I remember Kumar, a boy of 12 and a son of the maid servant in our company. He used to spend his evenings in the studio of our office lending a helping hand to the artists who were working overtime. During his spare time, instead of idling, he would sit on an empty artist chair and doodle some drawings. Realizing that the boy had a flair for drawing, I made him a trainee artist. The boy took to the job like a duck to water and blossomed into a very fine artist becoming a junior visualiser and later venturing on his own as a freelance artist.

Another friend’s son who graduated as a lawyer, took to creative writing as a hobby which eventually became his career. He is today a Creative Director in one of the top advertising agencies in the country.

One of the best known examples of a person who discovered his talent in his mid forties and changed his career was David Ogilvy – the advertising legend who masterminded some well known advertising campaigns in the Sixties and Seventies. Until the age of 44, he was a Chef in a French Restaurant.

Age is no barrier for discovering one`s talent. One of my maternal uncles became a prolific writer of couplets in Tamil, after he turned sixty. Another cousin started displaying his artistic talent, as a painter, post retirement. One of my bosom pals- ‘Chaddi Dost’ or `Jaddi Buddy` as they say up North, has blossomed into a writer of Tamil poems at the age of 70. He writes on all kinds of topics.

I started writing my autobiography at the age of 65 and published it two years later. Thanks to the encouraging response I got for my style of writing, I am slowly evolving into a writer of short articles on a wide variety of topics. I am thoroughly enjoying my new identity as an author and writer!

I am proud to say that all the members of my family, including my grand children are talented. Hope atleast one of them reaches the World Stage during my lifetime! Needless to say that it requires somebody in the family to spot the talent inherent in a child and nurture it. Invariably it is the mother of the talented child who dons that role in any society. Though in the case of Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, it was his brother who took on the mantle, sacrificing his own career as a cricketer!

Does everybody with talent get recognition from society? Are they able to use their specific talent to come up in life?

Unfortunately the answer is an emphatic `NO`. All said and done, in the pursuit of a secure career, many children are forced by their parents to graduate in subjects they may not be really interested in. With the result that the child`s inherent talent for something goes unrecognized. The concept that a talent could become a lucrative career has still not found favour with a majority of the Indian parents who prefer to play it safe with their children`s careers! What a pity!


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