This draft had been lying around for a long time! I had assumed it's fate was sealed like the many others and would get dropped into the Just-Didn't-work out folder. But was able to finish it and have deemed it post worthy :) This explores freedom within a boundary. is that freedom at all? Hope you like it!
I take a deep breath and gather my hard-to-find-at-the moment courage.. I huff my breath out and launch into the speech I’d been practicing in my room from the past…month!
As I start to speak, it’s as if I can predict my family’s reaction more accurately than an astrologer! Dad gives me a nasty frown, mom gives me the ‘why-me?’ look and my bro! He puts on the holier-than-thou look, shakes his head and goes ‘tsk!tsk!” Grrr! Acting the good son part down to a T!
I start talking and they all start mumbling, grumbling or in my bro’s case smirking!
What could I have possibly said to make my not-so-conservative, living-in-a-metro-city, quite well off family to become this medieval? Did I come out of the closet? Did I tell them my desire of marrying a marijuana smoking jobless bum who earns his daily bread by singing near the subway? Did I tell them I’d be part of the coming-soon-next-season of BIG BOSS?!
Nope! None of it! All I told them was this……
I want to become an artist…full time…not as a hobby but as a profession
You’d think they’d be a little more supportive as my family! But nope! Not in a million years!
They grounded me! For wanting to do what I love!
But we live in the era of internet…I can connect with anyone..geography no bar!
I got encouragement from one of the communities I was a member of…they taught me the basics..on how to setup a few things, the right equipment, the investments, the training etc…etc..
That would cost a bit…so I’d been saving up from quite some time, as I had a vague Idea on how they’d react and I was right! Damn I was! My family doesn't disappoint!
My dream? To establish myself as a graphic artist! Yeah! To be paid to do something that cool! A dream come true!
Oh! BTW did I mention I am currently a software engineer? It took a lot of thinking, courage and plain guts to take the decision I just announced…I had given 5 years to this profession and was in a good position, pay was great too…only…the job didn't excite me anymore! And what started as a way to while away time during some weekends, became more interesting than my work!
My family thought I was a fool and my mom was cribbing endlessly about my Marriage prospects looking bleak if I went ahead with this insanity!
How do I tell her that my marriage prospect is just fine…..as I have a boyfriend and both of us are pretty serious about our relationship and are planning to be a part of each other’s life forever. How do I tell her he is a techie and an extremely good one at that and is totally in love with his job. That being said, he gave me full support when I voiced my desire on changing my well paying profession to a not so regular payment of being an artist.. It made me love him more!
Seeing my family react like this made me more determined…
I wanted to follow my dream….do something that I loved…I didn't want to live in a confined space anymore..It’s not that I wanted to break rules…I just want to follow my own….
Over the course of a few weeks..I got a basic grip on graphic designing, I found a decent place to stay which was in my budget..here my bf was a bit miffed that I refused to accept his monetary hand in this matter!
Now came the matter of my moving out of my parents’ home…They were horrified at the very thought! They expected me to stay with them and get married and move out to his place! End of story…. But unfortunately for them, I had written a different story. They tried everything, blackmailing, crying, threatening, but they couldn't budge me an inch!
I immediately packed my stuff (which is pretty less!) coz the only things I own other than my clothes and electronic stuff are a bean bag and my desk which would be my dining table/head rest during a snooze/clutter magnet!
I took about a week to settle down in my place. My very own place! It is really great when you live in a place you call your own. Now that I can fully concentrate on my work, I have come up with a new super hero! And a super villain too! My hero is a lady who wears jeans and Tees, does not fly, does not have super human abilities, does not have a cape…then what makes her a super?
She is a super as she doesn't give a rat’s ass to what the gossip monger, middle aged, walking talking horror of a female thinks. She is a super coz she is the queen of comeback. You jus cant pin this one down. She’s a super coz she does what she thinks is correct and doesn't feel the need to explain the same to anyone. She’s a super coz she doesn't confirm to the rules of society. She’s a super coz she’s multi talented!
And now, coming to the super villain! What do you think of first when I say ‘Super Villain’?? Tall, Pale, Well dressed but entirely so in black (leather maybe!), Kinda Good looking in a sinister way, who happens to be super rich and is out to destroy the world as we know it?
Well! Lemme tell you, my super villain is none of that! First of all, It’s a SHE! She is middle aged, wears loud jewelry (has an even louder mouth) and dons a crisp cotton salwar, thinks she’s holier-than-everyone (though narrow minded to the core), a narcissist in denial, the list goes on…..She’s your typical aunty! The one who pokes her nose into everybody’s business! My comic strip was the daily adventures of Hisha, the protagonist against..well..the world! And in particular the super villain aunty!
Once my concept was solid and I had set the main theme of the strip, I came up with a few weeks worth of work and decided to scout for publishers.
These things do take time. I went from publisher to publisher only to have my work rejected, mocked and I even experienced a downright ‘Get her out!’ from an uncouth guy! This was when I really hit a low. I started to question myself and experienced a lot of self-doubts but what kept me from going back was knowing how my family would react and of course the never wavering faith of my man in me!
My persistence paid off! No…I didn't get a publisher, I opened a facebook page for my strip and started putting posts on a weekly basis. It slowly gained momentum and it started attracting a lot a views! This in turn got media attention and my page was featured in one of the fortnightly magazines! I gave a couple of interviews as well. Things are turning for the better, as my parents have reconciled with me and my bro said he’s damn proud of me!! A first! Now that things are bit smooth at the home front, have decided to introduce my BF to the family…Wish me luck..coz I sure as hell need it!