Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Passion as an occupation

I was visiting a friend on a social call.  During our conversation my friend’s wife was complaining that her son, who is an Engineer by qualification, was not doing a regular job but was too busy pursuing his passion for music.  She also told me that he is part of a popular music band, which not only gives performances  across the country but is also involved in creating original music albums.  When I asked her if the boy earned enough money, she beamed with pride and said, “yes- though it is not regular he earns good money.  In fact I am maintaining his bank account”

“So what is the problem?” I asked her.

“You see, he keeps irregular hours.  He works through the night, sleeps during the day.  For several days he doesn’t come home at all.  I get terribly worried!”

I told her not to worry because even in the corporate world executives keep irregular hours and work very hard to come up in life.  I tried to convince her that while many young men / women take up jobs in pursuit of money but don’t enjoy their jobs – at least her son, though a qualified engineer, is pursuing his passion as an occupation  at a very young age and already earning good money.

In the creative world of  music, drama, films, etc., it is common for people involved to keep irregular working hours and not getting compensated enough for their efforts  in the initial years.  Only when they get name and fame, they start earning  big money.

I don’t think my friend’s wife was convinced.  However, I came back from the meeting   very happy for their son. Because I have great admiration for youngsters who are focused and who
pursue their dreams relentlessly.                                           

In recent years, I have been reading case studies of a number of middle aged professionals giving up their lucrative corporate careers to follow their  passions.

Closer home, my elder son-in-law, who was a CEO of a BPO  unit of a software group quit his well paying job recently (at the age of 48) to pursue his many passions.  One of his passions is Food and he was keen to get into the food business.  His idea of starting `Idli factory` to produce rectangular idlis coated with Milakapodi and marketed under the brand name Madras Bars is already doing well in the market as a convenient, take away food for all occasions. Though he continues to work hard, he looks far more relaxed in his new avatar as an entrepreneur where he  is his own boss!

Last week I met a senior citizen who has got involved in promoting kitchen  gardens to produce organic vegetables on the terraces of people`s houses, using a technique he picked up from Israel.  He had spent nearly  three decades doing  jobs in the  private and government  sectors , using his formal qualifications that he acquired in college.

But more than all the jobs he did to earn a living, he seems to be enjoying his current occupation as a promoter  of kitchen gardens the most.  His passion for gardening has become his new occupation.  Proving that age is not a barrier for pursuing one’s passion in life! And that a passion can also be converted into an occupation instead of just remaining  a hobby!

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