Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Passion of The Apoorva

There are a lucky few, who know about it. Even luckier, who experience it as their career. And the others just spend their lives looking for it, or are ignorant about it. Yeah, passion! Passion is what I am talking about.

Note: The title is picked off directly from The Passion of the Christ. Please dont get the wrong idea that I am indulging in any ego-boosting activities by saying "The Apoorva".

During some casual talk with some colleagues the question came up, "Why do you work?" Many had the obvious answer. For money. Some said to have a better life, stability etc. No one came up with a "I work because I am passionate about this stuff."

Makes me wonder. How many of us are really working for something we are passionate about? When I said you gotta be passionate about what you do, I was laughed at. Half of them didnt know what they were passionate about.

Do I know what I am passionate about? Nope. Or... maybe I do. But I have had countless heated discussions whether its sensible to work for money, or work for passion. I firmly believe if you work in something you are passionate about, money will flow in. Anyone who is making big bucks is invariably working in something he is passionate about. And those who are working in something they are passionate about but hardly make any money, I think they are Happy! How many are there who make a lot of money in something they are not passionate about and end up happy. In the long run, you wont be happy.

I have a friend who walked into my office few days back and proclaimed, "The next job I have will be a $100K+ job." When I probed further, he had no clue what he would like the job to be, just, $100K+ job! Such people scare me! I probably used to be like that few years back. I remember I didnt look into Tata Telecom during their on-campus placements becuase they offered an amount not acceptable to me. I didnt even bother to find out what the job was. Bad move! Thankfully, things have changed.

But I still wonder, what am I really passionate about? Coding? I write code all the time. But I could live without it. Probably. Just about. With a lot of difficulty. but it might not kill me! Once I thought I would enjoy doing just about nothing. Sit around, sleep, eat, sleep. That would be wonderful life. Dont work, just live how I would like to. I tried it. 1 month and I was bored to hell!

One smart chap told me that he is passionate about making money. Heh! This person I know (wont name him) is obsessed about amount of money one can make at gas stations. He worked at a gas station during college days (in New Jersey there is no self sevice. Gas stations need to employ people to fill gas into cars that pull up). He has seen a lot of money there. Says if he loses his job, he will work on a petrol pump. Will never return to India. The day he has enough money, he will buy a gas station. We were at a Benz showroom. The SLK caught my fancy and I mentioned how classy the convertible was. This chap commented that he has filled gas in it once.

My good friend Mask. I have pointed out to
voidfilms in the past (I did the voice for one of those animated characters by the way). True passion. I didnt really see him too bothered about grades. About whether he passes or flunks (mind you, he never flunked). But walk into his room and you are walking into a mini-Disneyland. The walls are painted with life-size figures of Aladdin. There is the flying carpet with the Genie. The princess (I wonder how he could create a woman with a figure like that). And of course, good old Abu. Each life-like, almost 3-D drawings, done by him. When he set off on the project, I thought there goes his room! How wrong I was. On the back of his door are these words engraved in wood - "I will work in PIXAR and win an OSCAR". Pure passion! He went against convention. Shun the career path a B.Sc in Microbiology has to offer. Worked for free. Moved to Pune since it offers more sanity to an artiste (although most of us know what art he is practicing there). Started living in his "Animated World". Today he is the lucky few who lives, breathes and drinks what he is passionate about and never reads my blog!

Of course, passion takes its toll. Hadicaps you mentally. Makes you walk up to your girlfriends mom and say "When can I stop calling you Auntyjee and start calling you Mummyjee." Bird and myself tried to talk him out of this filmi dialogue but not much use. I left India few days after that talk and I haven't heard from Mask since then. I hope Auntyjee agreed in that change of name, else Mask will end up drawing caricatures of her all over!

Like always, I am wavering away from the topic. Asked to choose between passion and money, I'll grab passion anyday. Many people make enough money. Very few make a difference. Those few are people who are passionate about what they do. Once again, I wouldnt mind being in the minority. Which side does your balance tilt?

9 Comments:

Blogger Anita Pillai said...

Thanks for the post! It just reminded me that I used to be really passionate abt coding before I let complacence set in. I am all pepped up to work today (Plus the fact that I have a major deadline today also helps set the “mood”}!

May 05, 2005 10:36 AM  
Blogger abhi said...

passion ... hmmm ... bhai once again, come back to india

- Hi, my name is Abhijit. I am an alcoholic

May 05, 2005 11:38 AM  
Blogger Arpi said...

"When I probed further, he had no clue what he would like the job to be, just, $100K+ job! Such people scare me!"
Easy to say that when you make 100K pal. For someone who makes 40K, a 100K job would be cool. Passion or no passion!

May 05, 2005 1:01 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Arpi (btw, which Arpi are you, I know a thousand Arpi's by now): You have a 100K job you dont like for 10 years. Or you have a 50K job you absolutely love for 2 years. Whats your pick? If its still the former, lets talk the day you get into something like that.

Abhi: Bhaaaaaiiii... every post gets me closer to the home soil. I'll be back to good ol' Mumbai. Soon! And that alcoholic thing reminds me of a passion I had forgotten.

Anita:
while (yourStatement)
{
cout<<"You are welcome. Now code away";
}

May 05, 2005 6:47 PM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

Very inspiring. Methinx the difference between a person following his passion and a person just existing is...the courage to make it happen.

May 06, 2005 3:33 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Smithy: Me agrees! :-)

May 07, 2005 12:11 AM  
Blogger SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

Hey Passion is wht I look for too- I inculcate passion into jobs tth lack my passion n have been successful so far..So I guess I have been having the cake n eating it too...:)Will shift to core passion in a month

June 08, 2005 2:44 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Just a few days back I was thinking of the same thing and even blogged it. I certainly believe passion rules any day :-)
http://danvision.blogspot.com

June 10, 2005 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

passion filled 50K Vs lame 100K ....this got my attn:
if earning or making money were the sole aim in life, I would be better off selling plastic buckets and boxes in India , rather than putting in 18 years into dump sci/tech education. I know lots of people making lots of money like that.
Learn to make money serve you, not the other way around.

some day the geeks will inherit the earth....

February 06, 2006 2:22 PM  

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