Saturday, March 7, 2009

From Banking to Ballroom: Part II

Once you enter the corporate space, you cease to have a life. A ten hour workday, add to that about two hours of gruesome travel. Day in and out. You’re a living machine with bottled up emotions, frustration and dissatisfaction….I found respite in Salsa. After months of contemplating and research I finally walked into a studio with a friend and took up Salsa Classes. Gradually, Salsa became indispensable for me. I would rush from work in order to reach class in time. It became the highlight of my week. Over a period of time, I moved from someone who was just learning Salsa to someone who started teaching Salsa. I became a weekday dancer and a weekend teacher. I found a lot of pleasure in teaching and dancing. Unlike other days, I was up and enthusiastic on Sundays. That was a day when I taught, from morning to evenings…some people catch up on movies, some people read, most laze…. I unwound with Salsa, on my toes all day long.

For someone who was so aimless and relatively short on enthusiasm, I surprised myself when I realized two years passed by and I was still as enthusiastic every Sunday. Teaching Salsa gave me the satisfaction that I desired…I changed jobs, sacrificed sleep and socializing, but Salsa was the only constant. I guess that was the time when the seeds of rebellion started taking root…

This was compounded by the fact that I had started stagnating as a dancer. I was thirsty to learn more, still am…I hope to continuously push myself. Improvise and innovate. It is important for me to add value to each and every student of mine.

Salsa wasn’t a hobby anymore, it became a passion. So I decided to take things to the next level…

For months I analyzed, studied, I tried to pick up from the best that was offered and that was desirable, using others stumbling blocks to pave my way. It was all there in my head…but no execution.

How could I ?

A ten hour workday, add to that about two hours of gruesome travel. Day in and out………..

MBA’s today are bred like domestic animals. We were supposed to be the fierce breed, the people who took charge, the innovators, the non conformists.

No, we’re just a bunch of hungry cows who want to get to the greener pastures without getting our feet wet in the stream.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

From Banking to Ballroom: Part I

I come from a middle-class, moderately conservative joint family. The lineage boasts of bankers, CA’s, doctors, lawyers, teachers et al….Well …I…am….a Salsa Instructor!

Even in my wildest dreams I could never have imagined that I would take up teaching dance professionally!

I come from a family where education receives the utmost importance. Any form of art would be perceived only as a hobby. No further encouragement would be given to it.

My family has always been a service-oriented one. A stable, salaried job was what my family felt would be best for me. I had been trained to follow the herd, so I followed…the grind of Management School followed by a stable job, a good salary….I was on the right track, I was “a suitable boy”…though, not for long.

Even with the money and the perks, I found something a-miss. I was just living my life day in and out, nothing to motivate me, nothing to look forward to. Financially, I was at peace. Internally, I was still unsatisfied. I was unsure about what I wanted and I felt aimless. I had a lot of unanswered questions. The only sure part was that, this routine was not what I wanted for myself. But, I was equally apprehensive about doing anything else…honestly I did not know what else to do, I was bred for this! And now that “I had it all going for me”, I really did not want it.

Maybe I needed a better job ?

So I got myself the fancy, coveted well paying Investment Banking job…yet zilch on satisfaction

The internal turmoil cannot be explained, it’s like a pain which you cannot pin-point. I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling like this, I’ve had conversations a many with my friends over weekend dinners about this struggle, but all was forgotten by the time the bill was settled.

Motivation, primarily in the form of power, position and money is sought after. Mind you, not everyone looks for job satisfaction, even if they do, it could be compromised by any or all of the aforementioned factors. Whereas there are some, who wouldn’t mind drifting away…it’s not that my friends don’t want to do anything about it. Either they’re victims of worldly obligations or simply haven’t reached that tipping point yet…

There comes a time, amidst the chaos there is an explosion of silence…you can’t hear anything, you can’t see anything…all the apprehensions and insecurities cease to trouble you….you just have to spread your wings…and take that leap of faith.