Mumbai Memoir 85- Leaving footprints in the bygone year in Mumbai.
Here we are in a brand New Year! The arrival of the New Year brings along fresh hope in every mind. Learning from the mistakes of the past and by taking new initiatives we literally reboot our lives with a positive mindset. After experiencing a fantastic travel time at Goa, the last month of the bygone year sowed fresh seeds of creativity for me, which I believe will bear fruits in the New Year.
On 2nd December last year I presented my first ever webinar on the topic ‘Mind Management in Media Careers’. Throughout my teaching/training career so far, I have only been lecturing ‘Live’ in classrooms & through workshops, but, with the enthusiasm of contributing something positive towards mental health awareness, I went for it. The webinar was organized by Sound Ideaz Academy, to which my organization- Mind Matterz (A Psychological Guidance Unit) is associated with since year 2010. While setting the webinar, though there were initial technical hiccups, my colleague Dhiren Khantawal (Marketing Executive at SIA) & myself ‘never gave up’ till the end.
After multiple recording takes, we did the final 21 minutes recording in a non-stop manner! The main concepts discussed in the webinar were how to create & sustain one’s Focus, Positive Attitude & Creativity while pursuing one’s media career. Here is the webinar link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir_T232bSjE
Yet another initiative I took last month (for the first time ever), was of directing a musical skit at the SoundIdeaz Academy’s convocation event. The students of SoundIdeaz Academy (SIA) mostly hail from music and sound related background. The academy grooms them to be Sound Engineers and Music Producers with various diploma courses which they have been conducting since year 2010. The Director of SIA, Mr. Pramod Chandorkar is a well-known Sound Engineer, having 20 plus years of experience in the Indian Film & Music industry. Besides being a Sound Engineer, he is also an educator and has high regard towards imparting qualitative Media education. The COO of SoundIdeaz Academy, Mr. Anshuman Chaudhary and his team (Jaishwaree & Abhijeet) invited me to direct a small theatrical performance that would promote Mental Health. Though I am a professional creative writer, I had never put on a ‘Director’s hat’ ever in my life. I still went for it, cause I strongly believe good writers can evolve into becoming good directors. In my heart I knew that with the right team with me, I just had to be sincere in my execution of the skit and everything else would fall in place.
Within 2 days everything got finalized and on the following day we performed accordingly. The skit was titled ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaraa’ (which literally means ‘Life won’t come Twice’) which aimed to address the recent suicidal deaths of two talented musicians- Chester Bennington (Vocalist- Linkin Park) & Karan Joseph (Jazz Pianist-India) Chester, inspite of the fame and money he earned, was suffering from Depression & had been a victim of substance abuse. On the other hand, Karan, who was a struggling artist, was trying to make it big in Bollywood (Mumbai’s film & music Industry). Both artists were very talented, but their life was short lived, due to mind related issues.
The 5-minutes musical skit, talks about how success & failure is going to be a part of one’s Media career, but what’s important is to live one’s life in balance & to avoid extreme behaviour. The performing team comprised of talented students of SIA named Shrey Sharma, Ashwin Pinto & Kirtan Modi. Mr.Abhijeet Tayung, who was in the role of ‘Sutradhar’ (co-ordinator) is a talented actor and also a professional associated with SIA in the Marketing & Operations roles. My special thanks to Jaishwaree (Sales Executive/Counselor of SIA) who first came to me with this wonderful intention of presenting a small skit based on mental well-being. Student volunteers like Aslam, Rutudhwaj & Abhishek Singh too were very co-operative as the team subtly encouraged the audience to fight their mental battles & Live Life to the fullest cause ‘Life Won’t Come Twice’! Here is the video link for viewing the skit performed at SIA’s 7th Symphony on 14th December last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQCfKwn4wnE
All in all, the New Year for me started with a content mindset of having used the bygone year to the best of my ability. I strongly believe that the seeds that we consciously sow in our ‘past’ will bear fruits in our ‘future’, one just has to make the best of the ‘present’ and continue life’s journey by walking from one milestone to another!
Happy New Year to my readers!
Photo Credits: Shraddha. C. Sankulkar