Saw Tamasha, the latest Ranbir Kapoor flick? Was inspired by it? Wanted to leave everything else and start your own theatre group? But then, thought that it was too good to be true? If your answer is yes, then wait till we introduce you to Baljeet Randhawa. An engineer with fat paychecks who decided to chase his dreams without giving a second thought! Read on..
The Road Less Traveled: Episode 3
“Before pursuing writing as my profession, I worked with Jindal Steels for 2 years after graduating from NIT Bhopal as a Metallurgical Engineer in 2011. To be very frank, when I look back, life was good then. A perfect comfort zone with fat paychecks; but dreams are dreams. It took me 2 years to realize that to live your dream you absolutely need to let go of that comfort zone! Comfort zone is a lie.
I knew, I was born to write. Though I used to write while working, it wasn’t enough. So, I took a decision to take a break from work, just for a month, as a trial period – to be alone and write. No phone; no one to talk to (other than strangers). When re-joined my workplace, I couldn’t make peace with life. I was back into something which I didn’t want. The thoughts that the time was pacing by, and I had to take a stand now kept haunting me. Within the next two months, I adamantly decided to quit my job and decided to take the road less taken.
When I shifted to Mumbai, I had no idea of what I was going to do. An engineer’s life is starkly different. Before getting out of college, most of us already have pre-placement offers. When I came here, I was clueless. I started applying for jobs through media job groups on facebook and eventually joined an ad agency as a copywriter. However, in the months that followed I realized that it was not the kind of work I wanted to do and I am glad that I knew what I exactly wanted.
Writing was my passion and because of the faith I had in myself, I could keep my senses in the right direction. Eventually the hazy path became clearer. When I thought of quitting my second job, I was already in talks with my friend Rehan and we both wanted to start our own theatre group. We were aware of the fact that theatre would definitely take time to establish us, and it won’t pay us much but in this industry, patience matters a lot. So, yeah with the initiation of Dream Stage Theatre Group – things started to shape up like I desired.
Would I consider it a success? I would like to answer it in the following manner. For an artist, the only success parameter is his audiences’ response or the awards. They both count, but I won’t call them as my success parameters. I have come to tell certain kind of stories; I have come in this field with a purpose; whenever that purpose would be served – I would call my life a success story. And, surely I don’t want this to happen till I turn fifty.
Considering what I am doing now, I am quite satisfied with the kind of work I do. I run my own theatre group – for which I write, direct and produce. I am working on a couple of writing projects with Scriptors India (A Start-up Scripting Agency) and with that I also freelance as a screenwriter for TV. With time, things will definitely get better – because I am positive and can confidently say that I am doing what I am supposed to do and I don’t regret a single moment of my life. Life is too short to invest in regrets.
On a lighter note, I would like to narrate an incident which I can recollect one from 2015. During one of my theatre shows called Taboo Talks, I had invited a famous theatre actor, Rajit Kapur Sir via Facebook. It was a random shot and I was not very sure that whether or not he would be interested. He not only showed up, but also appreciated the show. He even asked for my number and personally called me up to congratulate and provide me his million dollar feedback. I was like on cloud nine that day. Later, he invited me to his office to talk in detail about my work.
I would like to share one more story (while writing this line, I already have three more in my mind… I must calm the storyteller inside!)
I was waiting for my train at Guwahati Railway Station; where I met a bunch of youngsters of my age and stated having a casual chat. A girl among them asked me that what I did for living. I answered that I am a writer. The next question kind of shocked me. She asked “Do you write for <Some TV Show>?” I was like HOW DO YOU KNOW. She answered, “That’s my favorite show!” and she added, “I am your fan!”
I can’t explain how it felt to hear those words.
On this note, I would like to take your leave. A few words of wisdom from my side would be: Be Patient. Be honest with your work. Enter this industry for the love for your work; fame, money will surely follow!
Following are some of the links you might want to check out if you are interested to know the kind of work I do in detail:
Link to the FB page my Theatre Group: https://www.facebook.com/DreamStageTheatreGroup/
Link of my poetry/blog: http://rhymingthoughts.blogspot.com/