Vibing with SRK of Zero

It was a much anticipated multi starer featuring King Khan, releasing on the Christmas weekend and boasting of some slick cutting edge(supremely expensive) VFX. What could possibly stop it from grossing 300crores or even enter the 500crore club?!

But alas the reality is here for us all to see. The movie released in December of 2018 and almost two years later (we’re in the second half of the year already!) SRK has had no release and hasn’t signed on anything either (there are rumours of Rajkumar Hirani stepping in to revive King Khan’s career (oh the irony) but at this point, it is, for most part ‘conjecture’).

But what am I trying to get at? Well, while making the movie the makers of course gave it their all. And that is all one can do from their end. Invest and surrender yourself to the project, with all the faith you have, giving it your all and then some more.

For who can predict the outcome? Definitely not the best trade analysts in the business. For as we saw, despite it all (best director, massive publicity, Khan Khan patch up and two stunning co actors), despite the glorious career and majestic heartthrob status – it all came to naught.

Sigh. That is EXACTLY how I feel.

Wait up?! why am I vibing to SRK???

Lets backtrack a little.

Let me explain. I strived for a decade, single minded-ly focusing on my dream of being a radio jockey and hosting a show on air. You know how it is, “itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai, ke har zarre ne mujhe tumse Milane ki saazish ki hai. Kehte hain ki…agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.” And it did happen! After numerous struggles, auditions and never hearing back, it FINALLY happened! I landed a full time show that I hosted Monday to Saturday at a leading radio network in the country (India).

And I did well. Even if I say so myself. I loved every minute of it and the love from the listeners was a good yardstick to measure my growth and the popularity of the show (check out the RJ page on this blog itself). Fast forward to three years later. Realization seeped in with each passing day that there was a difference between work and workplace and that difference mattered more than any of us ever account for. Despite living the dream I wasn’t happy or contented. I couldn’t afford to continue that way as it affected my demeanor and eventually the show. I would never make that compromise, not for my listeners and hence bid adieu to that office. Definitely one of the hardest decisions in my life.

What came next was equally harder. Unbeknownst to me or the world there was a pandemic brewing that would soon disrupt each of our lives. My plans of completing my MBA, exploring and learning on our international immersion in Singapore (it was to happen at NUS), returning and looking for work that I loved to do, all while hosting gigs were all erased with a swirl of a wand. Poof! Evaporated into nothingness.

The consequence of this was that my break has now extended to seven months and my job hunt…well…I’ve diversified and applied to various roles, most of who I never hear back from. And if I do it isn’t favorable. Fair enough given the current scenario and my niche background. I’m accepting and adjusting to this reality.

What I haven’t been able to come to terms with, are the patronizing folks who come across my profile and choose to not see beyond my last designation. ‘Coz of course there is nothing more to a person, not skills that could be transferable to other roles and fields, not the fact that I’ve up-skilled and literally done a whole MBA from ISB nonetheless and definitely not the fact that a person is waaaaay more than the one aspect you choose to focus on!

No my rant isn’t over yet. It’s worse when said patronizing person happens to be a fan and ardent listener of the show. And that has happened multiple times now. People end up recognizing me from the show and then want to know how an RJ ended up applying at their firm. I’m going to spare you the details of that pity cum fan boy call. I’ll tell you this much though – that conversation crushes me. It’s hard enough to give up this celebrity persona I worked so hard for and come to terms with the reality of the pandemic. I didn’t need the salt sprinkle on my wound.

And somewhere I’d like to think SRK and I are these kindred souls who despite all the fandom, success, hard work and status are sitting home, not doing what we love and enjoy the most, not being able to practice our craft, which isn’t just something we enjoy and are really fabulous at but something that others love us for as well.

Image courtesy – Apb news

Well until I can find something to get behind (for that is when zero becomes valuable), I shall attempt to stay afloat and be a sunflower who always tends towards the light.

Image courtesy – country living magazine

PS : Thank you for making it thus far. If you found yourself rolling your eyes at this self aggrandized rant, I’m sorry. I assure you I usually try to be a lot more positive but job seeking is a frustrating adventure sport sans the adrenaline rush. It wears you down and it doesn’t help having a niche skill. Not in this economy anyway. If you’re sailing in a similar boat, my heart goes out to you and I hope it gets better soon.

Love,

Z

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