Saturday, December 31, 2011

the journey of a fulfilled dream: 2011 in retrospect

Perched in New York City, studying film at the New York Film Academy... a bustling, glowing city of skyscrapers and filled with art and artists on every street... studying the one thing i've loved all my life... its a dream come true. I can't help but feel an ocean of emotions churning inside me. and yet, beneath this ocean of waves, i feel a calm sense of serenity. and it flashes as an undisturbed smile on my face at all times. a calm i cannot explain with a few words. a calm that comes with knowing that i've listened to my head and chased my dreams and yet, kept my heart in the right place. always.

The realization of this dream is no doubt important to me, but what i've come to realize that to me, even more important is how it came about.
Living through this one year, has been chaos. Some of the deepest lows of my life... and some of the most memorable highs. (yes pun intended, if you insist). And yet, now when i look back, it all falls into place like an artwork of planned chaos.

The year began with a decision that broke me to pieces. A decision that was the 'right' thing to do - as much ever as my heart may not want it. for once, i listened to my head so that one day my heart wouldn't hate me. Following which i gathered my pieces and traveled across the country. Wondering to myself if ever the pieces would be whole again. In some of those pieces were memories worth cherishing for a lifetime. and in one of them, words: "i'm waiting for you to rise from the ashes you've burned yourself down to." i will. i promised.

Having traveled like vagabond across the country, sleeping on stations and forests, biking though multiple sunburns and treating my mind to hundreds of new experiences and sights, i came back home to another major decision. Changing cities. Leaving the city i love the most. a city i feel for, the city i grew up in.

Within the next week i had six job offers from different cities. and i chose one that was paying me no more than what i was already earning. Anyone with common career sense wouldn't do that. But i did. And it was the first high of that year. The reason i picked the job i did, was Indira Das - who would be my boss for the year. and the best boss i have had till date.
The first time i met her, i had already decided to take up the job irrespective of what salary i'm offered. because unlike most people in the advertising industry, she didn't come across as someone running the rat race. we didn't have an interview, we had a chat. and i had already decided to move cities. so if i had to, i might as well do so working with a truly genuine person. no matter how precious, money is still just paper at the end of the day. and as time proved across the year, it was the right thing to do. i still love her as a friend and as the best boss and mentor i've ever had. (and indu, i'm publishing this because you have already quit. or i wouldn't have. just the way i haven't published my farewell letter to you yet - which i still haven't given you either)

Having moved to a new city where i had just one friend, and still hurting memories swimming in my heart it was like being in rehab. and it is then that i realized what difference even just one good friend can make. not that i did not know it, but to feel it when you need it the most is an experience in itself. especially when emotional breakdowns start manifesting themselves physically. my welcome to bangalore was being admitted to the hospital. but overtime, things got better again. and mansi, thanks for being there all this time. for once the kid was taking care of the dad :) and i don't know how i would have gotten through without you.
Not to mention that in this time mansi started dating my dear friend sriram, and soon she left bangalore for mumbai to be closer to him.

Some more time passed by and i was alone in bangalore. slowly and steadily making new friends, living new adventures - some of which i better not mention here. And that's when i met mukta. a person i hardly knew but was such a gem of a person that i couldn't help feeling genuinely happy with. Soon she got booted out of her apartment and i had a new roomie by default. but every single day with her as my roomie was a ton of fun. it made the loneliness of bangalore and its lack of intellectual stimulation a thing of the past. I had found a new friend worth keeping for life. and as fate would have it, it was time for her to move to mumbai. (again) to be with her boyfriend and pursue a real career.

All this while i was drowning myself into work and more work and yet more work all the time. utilizing any free time i had for working out to keep my mind off from wandering into thoughts i didn't want to spend too much time on. With the passage of time, things got better. Well, they didn't really have an option - i had my rocks by me always - no matter how far i maybe - Poorabie (the white side of my soul), Ketak & Sanjeev (my 2 brothers from different mothers) and the one person who only keeps getting closer to my heart with every passing year of ridiculing each other, Reema. No matter how far i am or in how much pain, i know all i need to do is to share my heart out to them, and i'm smiling again. These, by the way, are people i can love from across continents and still feel the love.

As they say, things have a way of happening when you least expect them to. Towards the end of the year three bombs drop on me:
1. my boss tells me she is quitting (which leaves me no logical reason to continue with my job at the given salary, away from friends and loved ones, away from the mainstream film industry and in a city that provides minimal intellectual stimulation)
2. and at the same time i find out a new course at New York Film Academy has begun admissions (to which i immediately applied to and the rest is history)
3. and the most important....
i started falling in love with someone
A happy creature with an open mind. a non-judgemental individual, with the heart of a child, the soul of a free bird and the most caring hands ever. and the more time i spend with her i sense a feeling of calm within me. a feeling i haven't really known for a long long time.
in midst of all this flux in my life, when i'm with her, i'm calm again. but its not just calm. its different. its a calm filled with love. love that's unquestioning of all the million visible cracks in my soul. and its not momentary or just created by her presence. its a feeling she leaves in me. a feeling that i feel even now. miles away from her. in New York City. or wherever that life could take me.
but having this feeling also makes me realize one other thing - no matter how many dreams i achieve and what heights i reach - they would all be empty without the love i've been blessed to receive. they would all be empty if it were not for the love we share.
and its a feeling and a realization i cherish.

So finally, as i say goodbye to year full of lessons in unconditional love and care, i just want to thank all those who make my dreams, dreams worth achieving. And promise myself to be as deserving of the love you all have bestowed upon me as i can possibly be. and this includes people i haven't mentioned here today.

Love you, always.
Pushkaraj Shirke

PS: I Love You


  1. Hey Pushki - always knew you had heart - just didn't realize it was this big. :)
    That said - thank you. Your words will certainly help ease some of the guilt I felt about not spending enough time 'mentoring' the team. With our crazy workloads it seemed like I invariably ended up having to chuck people in at the deep end while hoping like hell they could swim!
    This has been one HELLUVA year. But we came through alright didn't we?
    Here's to more dreams coming true. Cheersh. Indu

  2. :) we came through for sure. through a year full of emotional challenges for you too! and as only time can do we came through - in the most awesome ways possible :)
    go gt that ink you wanted btw - would suit you :)
    here's to daring to be. daring to do. daring to live the way we want to. 'ADEMUS'. cheers!

  3. thnx pushki.. u knw every once in a while.. when i start feeling.. a lil blah.. smhow.. u always come up with something.. an artwork, some video... some annoying comments or such beautiful notes.. yo cheer me up.. to make see clearly.. what am i doing and u so so so happy for you.. you have gone through enough for a happy soul like you.. and u deserve every bit of happiness you are getting now... love u alwayssssssssss :*

  4. Each time dastardly thoughts of 'Will the Monkey ever forget me now that he's this far away?' come into my silly head, I'll read this post and allay my fears.

    Living in the same house as you has been crazy, and that's the part I miss most about Bangalore. The Empire butter chicken stints, the 'watch-a-movie-a-night' routines, the 'Marathi jokes' in a strange land (remember 'bai cha janma?'), the annoying 'CLEAN YOUR ROOM' fights, the 'Moo, you're SO FAT' annoyances, are few of the gazillion memories I have of you. :)

    It was beautiful having a family in a strange city. :) Bangalore was home because of your madness. :D

    I miss you. It's a bittersweet feeling, you know - sad about you being in a strange country altogether, but that's alright. I don't know anyone else who deserves more happiness than you, and your New York stint is making you happy, so all of us are happy here.

    Love you loads, and come back soon and get me the Times Square!!! :D

  5. @mansi : "are you not enterrttaiinnneeda!" lol
    love you too beavera :) btw, carol met her, you havent :) so when i'm back, you shall meet my awesomeness :)

  6. moosaurus, no matter how far i am, i'll always find time for a 'moo! you're so fat!' joke :D
    and the epicness of the BAI CHA JANMA joke is unparalled till date! it has ruined many moments for me coz i ended up laughing!
    yes, it was beautiful having a family in a strange drab city - but the good part is, family stays family no matter where you go :) and so do good friends :)
    im coming back soon to have more barista time soon :) and yes, i'll get you the times square :)
    PS: mooo! you're so fatt! :D lol


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