I take a moment and look back into my last years at engineering college. During those days, Campus placements/recruitment was the hot topic among my friends. We were to soon graduate from one of the finest colleges in the country (R.V.C.E), and it was inevitable that most of us had a job in our hand even before we graduated. So the questions was not whether one would get a job. Instead, it was whether one would get a job in the sought after IT company.
And in this quest for the dream job, we would go through an ordeal of written tests, group discussions and personal interviews. The most common question during the interviews would be “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” I wonder why that was so important to have a definite answer to that question. I don’t even remember what my answer to that question was. And I guess the panelists who interviewed me wouldn’t remember it either.
Many people answered with clarity of their future positions in the IT industry. Team leader, Project Manager, Software Architect, etc were some of those answers. I don’t know if that was really their thought or an answer to impress the panelist to get a job. After graduation, almost everybody faces this question in nearly every job interview they face. When it comes to this question, there is very little room for innovation among panelists. But, one question asked to me was slightly modified, and it did question one important aspect about my work.
“Do you see yourself shooting at the age of eighty years?” asked Krishnaprasad (called KP among media circles), the former editor of Vijay Times (now defunct English daily), when I was showing to him my portfolio for a photographer job. “Yes,” I replied honestly. This was nearly five years back.
The point that KP tried to investigate was, if I was passionate enough to spend a lifetime doing photography. And this emphasis for passion is important in my honest opinion. One has to be passionate about the work he/she does. A smart-phone advertisement says “Do what you Love. Love what you do.” This is true. I wasn’t in love with my first job as a software professional. There was something else calling me out.
It has been little more than five years since Friday, 13th October 2006. It was my last day at a software company. I left the job to lead the life of a photographer. By the way, I didn’t even have a professional camera then.
In the last five years, I have held jobs as a photographer in newspapers, got few scholarships and fellowships to travel abroad and study photojournalism, won couple of awards for photography and film-making, made a documentary on a subject that I was passionate about, published a book, left the job of a chief Photographer at a publication to go completely independent with my work, fell in love, broke my heart many times, laughed, cried, laughed again, finally met the woman I’d spend my life with, and eventually fell in love with her. As this year comes to an end, I will soon be getting engaged to her.
Five years back if somebody asked me the question on where I saw myself 5 years later, I wouldn’t have answered with the exact above details. I wouldn’t know how the five years would unfold. Nobody would know about their next five years in detail. And I think life would’ve been boring if we knew exactly how our future would be.
But, one thing I was always sure of five years back. I saw myself doing things I loved, things that I had my heart in, and things I was passionate about. I saw myself make decisions that I believed in, irrespective of their outcomes, and have no regrets. I saw myself listening to my heart and pursuing my dreams. That’s what I have done in the last five years.
Where do I see myself five years from now?
Five years from now, I still see myself continuing to do things that I love. Life, I love you.
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