Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a musician. To make music that I love, that inspires me, and that understands me as well as other listeners has always been my goal. To be the next Beatles.
I started thinking about seriously pursuing music as a career when i was in class 9; by the time I graduated school, I knew that there was nothing else that I would be happy doing. By my logic, happiness should be the primary reason for me to do anything. But it’s obviously more complicated than that. I want to be able to earn enough to support myself. I want to be able to earn enough to someday support a family. I want to earn enough so that i can use my money on people who truly need it to survive, unlike others who enjoy money for it’s luxuries. As much as we can say that money doesn’t matter, unfortunately, it matters a little too much.
My parents are both PhD’s and professors in college, so for me to drop college was never an option to them. As much as I disliked going to college, being in an institutionalised system, and having to give exams, my three years in college taught me more than I thought it would. Not only through some of the material we studied (English Hons. DU), but through meeting people, talking to them, and generally observing the way that life in Delhi functioned. There were two things related to my post college period that I learned through these three years. Firstly, that fact that I wanted to do nothing other than music was reaffirmed more strongly than ever, because I knew I had it in me to maybe make it somehow. Secondly, I realized that in a country like India where only 5% of the population listens to the kind of music I listen to (which is loosely labeled as “western music”) , there is still more than enough scope to earn good money, and more than enough people to be inspired by my music.
As a musician, what I like doing best is performing. However, there are so many other dimensions to explore not only within music, but with the arts as a whole. Having been inspired by friends and other professionals who have stabilised themselves through art, I was very clear on what i wanted to do after college. I wanted to explore as much as possible, and also take my time to establish myself within the scene, while figuring out how exactly I’m supposed to be doing that. There’s no single method of doing it; you just have to go for it, give it the time it needs, and hope that it works out. As of now, I’ve decided not just to take a gap year, but to take the 3-5 years to stay in Delhi and try and work it all out. It’s scary, risky, often unsatisfying, and always tiring. But I feel like it’s worth it for me, even with the chance of it not working out.
I don’t want to grow old and be grumpy, thinking that I could’ve been what I’ve always wanted to be, but instead decided to do some fuckall thing that does nothing for me, because I was too scared to put it all on the line. I want to grow old and be happy, knowing that I did what I truly wanted to do. Or at least that I tried to.