Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rock On : There is a price to chasing a dream

In the closing frames of the film “Rock On”, a lilting melody wafts through as the credits flash by …”kuch to arzoo kijiye… phir dekhiye, phir dekhiye………” the screen shows how the guitarist Joe (Arjun Rampal) starts a business of identifying new musical talent and his wife (Shahana Goswami) till now involved in the business of selling fish and entirely frustrated by it finally leaves the job. The other characters in the film too begin to pursue their dreams and passions that they had identified in their younger years but had then chosen to bury it deep as they left the carefree years of their youth behind….

But pursuing one’s dreams and passions is not as easy obviously or else every one would be doing it all the time and there would be no need for exhortations to this end. Indeed the biggest graveyard in the world would not be found in any cemetery but in the arena of dreams turned to ashes, passions buried deep and desires ruthlessly cut down to size before they matured enough to bear fruit.

In the film itself, Farhan Akhtar gives up his role as the lead vocalist and settles into the stressed but predictable and materially comfortable life of an investment banker. Arjun Rampal, who stays a guitarist doesn’t fare as well and he and his wife are able to make ends meet – not because his musical passion pays off but because his wife begins a business of supplying fish to Mumbai’s big and happening parties- she detests the work and the manner of people she has to deal with and the way she has to conduct the business ; but in the end – because Joe is a wonderful guitarist but a terrible sense of career, it is her job that puts food on their table.

The secret of a successful passion chase is persistence. Indeed life as such is about persistence ; but persistence is rather a hollow word when the battle that you are fighting is one that you are fighting alone. In Farhan Akhtar’s case, his father’s intense disapproval of his son’s career as a musician makes him don the conventional role of a banker and a similar lack of support from his family ensures that Purab Kohli ends up as an assistant in his father’s jewellery shop.

Life as the makers of “Rock On” seem keen to emphasize is about second chances all right but it is also about getting the right kind of support to ensure that one is able to capitalize on the chances that come one’s way. Without that support – be it from peers as it happens in the film or be it from any other source, one may get any number of chances in life but they will never get us any where at all.

Most of us do not need to be told to Rock On. We want to; we would love to; we want to spend our life rocking…. It is just that many of us have been stopped in our tracks by blows that have left us lame and crippled…. And now no second chance or second wind is enough to convince us that chasing our passions is a good idea at all…..

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