IntroductionThe real world is full of success stories in every field. Once we understand what had happened in a given set of circumstances, we will be able to frame our own strategies to achieve our career goals. Those who are deeply passionate about something, need to follow some basic rules and also stick to plans specific to the five different paths, What are these five paths?
They are a) Start very early b) Continuously hone skills c) Explore distance education options d) Stick to where the market is and e) try to inculcate passions in your children.
Start very earlyBefore any human being reaches the age of adulthood, that is, eighteen years, every single decision about passion is always taken by the parents, who spot some talent in their child and then give him or her the leverage to exploit every single opportunity. Yes, the school may be requested to give special permission to take leave. Most schools do. And the flowering of the passion starts.
One has to learn from the Tamil Brahmin community. Girls who are as young as six, who show some inclination to dance, are trained under some Bharatha Natyam expert or the other. This happens as a routine and even if the family cannot afford the cost, they would even sell some family property to give a fillip to the child's passion. This is not restricted to Chennai, but the huge facilities for learning the dance form is found only in Chennai. Hence families flock to the city. The father does some business and the mother helps through some business from home, like a catering business. The earning elder brother of the sister happily encourages the passion of the child and the child becomes an expert within six hours, good enough to perform her maiden performance called "arangetram" in Tamil. Once she gets good reviews for her performance, the child, just around twelve years old, becomes a good exponent.
A more or less similar route is taken for those who show a good inclination to learn Carnatic music. In fact, this training goes on under some Guru or the other till the vital breakthrough comes from the Tamil movie world. A single song, directed by the magician called A.R. Rahman is good enough to make the boy or the girl a big star. Of course, of late, several other girls and boys from other communities are also showcasing their talent in this field and so many new singers have sprung up, even from the smaller towns of Tamil Nadu.
So the secret is to start very early.
Continuously hone skillsNothing comes without hard work. A.R. Rahman is known to be putting in a punishing nineteen hours per day, seven days a week. This kind of passion is infectious and it does motivate a big generation of singers, upcoming music directors and so on.
The secret is to continuously hone one's skills. One is told that to master Hindustani vocal or Carnatic vocal music is never ever easy. It requires a huge amount of practice, extending up to six hours at a stretch. The mastery over the different ragas, for example, is a very delicate act. It happens over a period of even fifteen years. One has to be patient and you will do well to continuously learn every single day. There is no soft option at all. The continuous honing of skills will make you a professional.
Explore distance education optionsTake this perspective for an example. Your wife is a plus two pass professional in Carnatic music. She is quite good and has also given some good performances. However, she is still not that of a professional who can make a living with her present talent. So you would have to work out a career plan for her. She could perhaps do the B.Com degree course through distance education and then go on to the ICWA course as well. This will help her to get a job in the same city, and will also enable her to spend a bit on getting some training, if need be, under a proven expert in Carnatic music.
Once this happens, she can explore options like trying to be part of some group that performs abroad and so on. This is exactly the option that is available to you.
Imagine yet another perspective. You are a good music director, and have one film to your credit. Your competitors see red and do not allow you further chances. You are a music director without much success at least for the moment. The first option is to do some small business without much of investment to keep you going. Imagine you are just a graduate. You could even take up a short-term course, in say, digital marketing, and start a small business, that will help you to supplement your income. Imagine your wife is a school teacher at a private school. That income could also come in handy until you make it big.
There are several options in today's world. The trick is to earn enough to keep the family going. The extra income is needed to allow you the elbow room to experiment and stay tuned to your passion.
Stick to where the market isIt is ridiculous to migrate to smaller cities where the scope to follow your passion is still not good. The metro cities are normally the best centers for following one's passions. The best actors, music directors, playback singers, professional Hindustani and Carnatic music experts and so on, are always based in the cities. It is always easy to network with professionals only in the metro cities. It is always possible to get expert training also, only in such environments.
Try to inculcate passions in your childrenThis is one sure method of finding a supportive environment at home. Those who do so, for example are known to find enough encouragement and support where the child even goes to the extent of doing better than the father!!
Inculcating passions in children can also lead to other advantages. The children become focussed and they are normally far more disciplined. Your wife becomes motivated that there is another budding professional in the family. Of course, you should not force the decision on the child. However, it mostly happens. Sort of naturally.
ConclusionIt is still possible to pursue one's passion in India. It is not impossible. Based on several observations of success, some ideas have been discussed above. Of course, some tinkering may have to be done to get to understand how some idea can be anchored in the context of your present and future situation.
All the very best. Try to follow your passion. Yes, you can do it.