Guest Story – Chasing a dream – Short fiction story
“Follow your dreams…do what your heart says…not what your mind says…” as Simi heard these words her mind went back to 20 years. These were the very same words she had heard then from her uncle who had come over from the USA for a vacation. He had said, had he not followed his dreams, he would have never been this happy. He was a successful entrepreneur having a company of his own and employing around 50 people. That’s what he always wanted to do. Be the boss rather than being bossed around. Now, while Prof. Jha was delivering his speech at the inaugural function of the new sports complex of JNT College, where Simi worked as a lecturer, Simi started thinking if life will ever give her the opportunity to do what she likes.
Simi was born as the eldest daughter to the Mehta’s. They were a middle class family were Simi was married off immediately after she completed her graduation as she had 2 younger sisters of whom the parents had to take care of. Simi was married to Vivek who was a mechanical engineer. Simi and Vivek rented out a small apartment in Mumbai. Vivek urged Simi to take up the lecturer’s job in a nearby college so that they could be better off financially. Soon, Ron and Rohit were born and the family needed a bigger breathing space. That was when they decided to buy an apartment of their own. With kids and a new home, the family had huge loans to pay-off which ensured Simi could never stop working as her job gave the steady and secure income the family needed. In fact she never had time for herself as she had to take care of the house, kids and her job. Years passed by and the kids were big enough to take care of themselves.
As Simi was returning home after the inaugural function, she started thinking has she ever lived her life as per her wish. Has she done anything which she really wanted to do since her childhood. Simi was very passionate about painting as a child and that’s what she wanted to be. An Artist. But her parents never encouraged that, saying painting is just a hobby not a profession. Now as Prof. Jha’s words echoed in her mind, she started thinking about following her dreams. The loans were cleared-off and Vivek earned a handsome pay to take care of the family. She thought she no longer had to be this lecturer who bored the students. Instead she could paint the canvas with all the colors she wanted and her life would be as colorful as it could be. As she contemplated this, she entered the house to the loud screams of Ron and Rohit. She thought she would discuss about quitting her job and pursuing her dream once Vivek was back from office. Excited, she went to kitchen and started cooking everything Vivek and kids loved to eat. Vivek was back from office and the family had a nice, sumptuous dinner.
Simi entered the room after finishing the household chores to see Vivek and kids playing video games. As she sat on the couch, Vivek got up, came and sat next to her, took Simi’s hands in his and started speaking. He said ‘Simi, you know our loans and cleared-off. Kids are grown up too. I have told you a couple of times earlier also, how I wanted to be an actor and when I had told my baba about it, how he had reprimanded me and put my dream to death. Now that dream of mine has started living again. I was thinking if I could enroll myself in an acting school and start doing theater and plays. I don’t think it will be difficult for us financially as you are working and I have some of my savings for a rainy day. I know acting is a tough profession until you have the right contacts, but I do want to give it a try. I need your support to be with me and kids while I pursue my interest. You are going to be there with me, right Simi?’
Before Simi could speak anything, the kids came running and hugged Vivek as they shouted ‘Yay…..Baba is going to be an actor’.
About Sheela Manohar: I am a software engineer, a doting mother to my lovely daughters.