This is the story of 18-year-old boy who loves music and wants to pursue a career in that field. He recognised his love for music much before he could make money out of it. However, his father wasn’t too happy with the idea of him pursuing a career in music. His father believed that music isn’t a serious (money-making) career and compelled him to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) because they come from a family of Chartered Accountants and also run a college that teaches CA to aspirants.
The boy’s mother, however, was supportive and stood by her child. But, she always had to balance her opinion with the husband and the son on the Opposite sides. This was also the time I met the father of the boy in the elevator at the AP Secretariat two years ago, with one of my senior colleagues. It was around 9.30 pm after work and I was talking to one of the senior colleagues who was complaining about his college-going son’s behaviour. During this time, the father of the boy who was in the elevator with us joined the conversation and began talking of son’s behaviour. We stood in the lobby and the conversation about his son’s interest in music began. I was talking to the father of this boy and trying to make him understand why it is important for him to support his son’s decision and allow him to experiment with a career in music. (I gave the example of a cousin whose father didn’t allow him to pursue music and his career is in ruins).
The father was dismissive and kept telling me about their family’s history of CAs. I stood my ground and said he was being unreasonable to his son. And, after an hour-long talk with the father, he was still not convinced.
A year later, the boy moved out of his house to stay with a friend and pursue his passion. Anticipating that jamming sessions would trouble the family, he made that wise decision. Despite the father not being convinced, that boy took the bold step with the support of his mother.
Again, a year later, I hear from his mother that he researched about the music courses he would like to pursue and got an admission into one of the German Universities he had applied for. This news gave me goosebumps and I was ecstatic. It was a great feeling to see how this youngster knew what he wants and eventually, convinced his family about his career.
The story of this 18-year-old boy from a Telugu family is a testimony to what this generation of youngsters can achieve. We are a more sensitive generation, growing up with information explosion, social media and everything “instant”. But, there’s not much we are doing to work towards what we like or care about.
Here, I would like to talk about the youngsters the Telugu states. In most Telugu households, the focus of the parents in terms of their kids’ careers has been limited to Engineering and Medicine. We are brought up with unnecessary “caste” conditioning, with the view that marriage is the only “happy destination”.
Our movies reflect that too. For instance: The only aim of a Telugu hero is to make the girl fall for him. That’s shown as his only achievement. Our craze for movies goes beyond the screens, it gets into our households, our castes and we obsess over them so much that we have different fans associations even hurting each other physically. (Love for an actor is good, but shouldn’t end up in fanaticism). We fight and troll other fans if they don’t subscribe to our views.
We need to realise that our parents might not have had the exposure that our generation has. Conversations with our parents are very important to keep them in the loop. They might not understand what you want but we can still make the effort. Our efforts and interest in pursuing what we like will gradually bring about a change in our houses, if we continue to exhibit consistency in it. We need to remember that friends will always be there to stand beside us, but once our parents understand us, they will support us in any given situation.
It is our generation that can learn and grow out of these limitations. Do not forget where you come from. But, grow out of petty thoughts; don’t divide each other on caste/religious basis; encourage each other to do better and impart your skills to others. This way we all grow and stay humble.
We need to develop a reading culture. The Internet is not only about social media and stalking other people. It gives us the opportunity to learn about numerous things and provides mind-boggling information if we use it wisely. It keep us well-informed and makes us progressive, not only in our thoughts and ideas but also in our behaviour.
Consistency and patience is they key. We are a generation that can make a large scale impact if guided, rightly. So, why not keep the promise of our generation to our parents and make amends to ourselves in order to dream big and achieve what we can, with what we believe in.