“… And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”John Keating, Dead Poets Society
The basis of art and aesthetics can be routed through human indulgence in social backgrounds. Oscar Wilde’s famous quote is an exploration into the same idea, “Life imitates art, or art imitates life.” It is a matter of perception then, which part of the quote resonates with you. But we can never know for certain, for the perception changes with time. In college, the best platform is given to you, to test the truth in all claims of art – performing or fine. In college, we walk in with interests and desires, and by the end of it all, we feel a surge of joy that derives from our acting in favor of our passions. But everything comes with effort. More often than not, this effort is exhausting, and hence we fail to register its worth. What we don’t realise is that this effort is what makes all the difference. To observe your personal transformations, the best choice you have in college is to participate in a performing arts society.
Western music, Indian classical music, western or classical dance, drama, fashion, choreography, debating and fine arts, a whirlpool of societies are open to students. Emphasis is always laid on having the interest, the skill is developed with time. Many students join societies in colleges that don’t require a lot of their time. It is terribly true that more people join societies that don’t require a lot of effort; because a certificate comes easier that way. We must realise that a society is more than a certificate. It is an experience. For instance, my classmate did not appear for the final round of selection of the drama society in my college because it requires your unwavering attention. She said, “I wish to focus on my course, societies are secondary.” It will not be sensible to refute her argument completely. In its entirety, college becomes more than the course. Your subjects will define you, but your choices and explorations will leave an impression.
Every performing arts society has certain rules and regulations that the members must comply with; and not without reason. Music requires you to avoid certain foods that can harm your vocal chords, and riyaaz (practice). Drama requires as much discipline as it requires dedication. Dance requires constant perseverance, and pains. For this, all these societies require you to practice; and for that, you need to give at least 3-5 hours a day to the art. You will need to sacrifice a lot of “fun” with your classmates and a lot more classes. You might not be allowed to take leaves from the practice sessions, and might even have to stretch your longing for home, because you will have to practice even during holidays.
You will miss out a lot. But you will gain more. Going out to perform in fests and events, spending time with your passions, and with like-minded people, you will learn more than you could ever have hoped for. You will most definitely find yourself in this chaos. And that’s your biggest takeaway from this.
We are always told to follow our dreams. In school, many of us participated in a multitude of activities. But as age becomes a multiple of 10, most of our hobbies become mere words in our CVs. Life is too short to do everything. We need to learn from others too. We need to learn always. That is the purpose of living. But what is living without love? Finding your passion, and then working on it, to perfect it with time and become better every day, that, I bet would be enriching! And it is only true that you don’t have to find time for things you love, they find you. All you have to do is to respect this art, and to learn to find your anchorage in it. Time management is for other tasks, this art requires you.
Some people call dreamers fools. Maybe we are fools because we believe in our dreams; because we know that every dream has a life. What it needs then, is a being, where it can become alive. It needs us.
Feature Image Credits: Mahi Panchal for DU Beat.