GAPSTORY

I have been a dancer since I can recall, at the age of five, I swirled around my Kathak classes, an Indian classical dance form. Cut to the time when I was eighteen glancing at myself slyly from the mirror, juicing out every inch of Jazz in me. I am twenty one years and several stage shows old now, and my life experiences will always stress upon my competitive streak. Often I was not amongst the leading few, in the front row, in the fancy out- shining attire and at every one of such moments, I pledged to become better. Contradictive to maturity, my pledges were calmer as a child. Not only did the art form of dance synchronise my various emotions for me, but also channelized them to water my roots. Being a trained Indian Classical dancer demanded to be a culturally stimulated human being inside out, on stage and off screen, only then were you capable of being gifted grace by the art. Towards the end of my teens when I hopped branches to street jazz, I was perplexed at the broadness of character and the almost flipped ideologies that I, as a student had to communicate through my body. A struggle as it was, I soon found myself to be an artist held by her roots confidently delivering the western styles of dance. The amalgamation hence, resulted in the carving of my individuality.

At the onset of my final year of under graduation in commerce, I was certain of the configuration of the following year in my life. Being an active student throughout school and college did not seem to be enough for my heart. I had urges that demanded to be my current quest, quenching of which was necessary for the ultimate and eventual success that I aimed for. I joined Tennis lessons at a Sports Complex in my city, with kids younger to me by about fifteen years; I learnt the fore and back hands of the sport, getting better each passing day. Concurrently, I tapped on my communication skills to embark on the path of Public Relations working as an Associate of Events for a start-up, connecting with numerous companies country-wide, brainstorming marketing ideas and convincing capacities. Simultaneously, in order to achieve practical on-the-job experience in finance, my core subject, I engaged myself with the Indian Liaison office of an American investment consultancy firm which gifted me the opportunity to work in the renewable energy segment in India. With new experiences, I managed to keep hold on my seasoned pursuits including content creation, editing, poetry and dance. Six months post graduating college, I am now an amateur tennis player, an encouraged PR person, an editor, an aware finance intern and an ever learning dancer.

Life has mostly offered me scores of opportunities to satiate my desires, other times I have made them possible myself. With grounding in varied fields, I find myself fiery, dynamic and most importantly prepared for a Master’s degree/ Professional course/ Employment. As I am certain of my abilities and weaknesses, I find my six months of experimentation post college, to not only be suitable for me as regards my introspection but also my aspirations of being holistically sound. Often, TED Talks and similar platforms seem alluring to students because for us millennials, opinions are like molecules in the air. But my experience of such ‘motivational’ speeches on gap years/ academic path choosing/ concentration issues has been a bull and beer situation, I either shoot up with confidence or I slouch in negative admiration.

What drafts a human being is what she chooses to be fabricated with. There is no perfect resume, nor is there any expert path to success and eventual happiness. In the life that we live in, if we don’t snatch happiness and make it spread in the air that we breathe, we would be looking for it everywhere with a failed conquest. At the age group between 21–23, right after graduating college with a bachelor’s in hand, we Indians should be confident to analyse what our life seeks from us. I have shared what shaped me to be who I am and what it led my life to, make sure when you write one for yourself you are in a regret free zone.

Maanya Charu Kalra