DIL KUMAR ALE MAGAR
KATHMANDU, Feb 6: When I remember my childhood, I immodestly argue with my friends and colleagues that my early ages were as playful and as imaginary as those girls in ‘Little Women’ except that I am a male. We used to roam wild and free, and always sticking around the pack: those were the carefree days- totally unaware and ignorant of even a little practicality of households, and of life. Our hobbies had no limits. Our parents never asked too much about the way we were, which I later acknowledged that they knew our little world meant much to us; and none of us, as a child, would have ever thought that hitting marbles and rocking the smack down would ever shape such a platform that would determine our ambition.
When I look years back in the days, it summons inside me a kind of great dissatisfaction that- if I was within reach of each facet of that child I would have much material even to write an infamous autobiography. My proper reply to the elders led me from being an engineer to an army when asked about my ambition, while I was busy writing and directing acts; and it invites within me with so much disappointment that those popular comedies did nothing more than collecting lots of laughter and a huge mass of audiences.
As a matter of fact, I strived a lot, to again starting over my career as a movie script writer and even directing; and it never got off my mind that my father had spent a lot of fortune so that I could be a good teacher or become employed at a five star hotel, not a script writer. My sister had much belief in astrology, and was much concerned about my career crisis. She once convinced me to consult an astrologer. The astrologer, after having looked on the electronic reading of my birth chart, added to my frustration: that I will not be able to do well in theaters; which literally affixed mishap over mishap to my fortune. Next day, in school I did much survey on my students of what they really wanted to be in future. Each of them prepared a one page long essay as assignment on their ambition and dream jobs. Surprisingly, one of the students’ essays drew much of my attention, who had written that he was willing to pay any price in order to fulfill his dreams.
As a child, I had evidently developed a clear ambition, and unquestionably I did well, too. The student’s essay had undoubtedly stirred all the questions that were left unanswered. After much contemplation, I triggered rounds of questions if I had put the effort of every living moment into reaching my goal, ‘Obviously not!’. My family had afforded my study since I was in playgroup, so they wanted me to be what they wanted me to be; and I was not quite likely to be odd shattering my parent’s dreams; and of course, the astrologer had his own way of advising people.
Two days later, I ran to one of my wisest friends looking for the answer. He has had days and nights of practice in spiritual science, and has gained high level of understanding on life and people. I explained him the reason of my visit was the hell of confusions on understanding the way I do not. He kindly led me to his personal library where he had stacked almost thousands of books. He took a book and turned to an article of Nassir Ghaemi’s The Psychology of Ambition, in which he had brought the reference of the beautiful eulogy that Ralph Waldo Emerson gave upon the passing of Henry David Thoreau. Emerson had stated if Thoreau’s genius had only been contemplative and if he had been fitted to his life but with his energy and practical ability he would have commanded a great enterprise and become engineer of America; not the captain of a huckleberry-party. It really was a cup of coffee to me for each morning. Why would Thoreau choose the huckleberry-party!
Emerson’s eulogy also gave me a food for thought about the cab driver living next door. That evening, out of curiosity, I gave him a short visit- I do not normally hang out with him- only to ask why he had chosen to be a cab driver. ‘I am not well-educated.’ I instantaneously piled another question, ‘Do you not want to be successful and famous?’ This time, he jumped out of his couch, grabbed my arms, drove me towards the window and pointed towards his cab which he had parked across the street, ‘That is my cab. I own it!’ He had his name stickered on the front door of his cab- SAM’S CAB. Later he explained to me that Sam’s cab was very famous downtown. He had no high ambition; and it would be quite unfair just to disparage Thoreau of limiting himself to captain. That cab driver positively had taught me to keep simple ambition, but being a ‘Formula One Champion’ would make a lot difference.
My parents had no idea of the puzzle that I was trying to solve since I joined high school. They had a choice in me, and always wanted me to be in a governmental post or join a reputed school simply because I will not be unemployed; but high hopes and getting a permanent contract letter at a company are not the ambition as I define them. Ambition is the habitual setting of goal or goal striving that you build through your childhood to adulthood.
What wondered me much was I was not even minimally spending as much effort on striving on writing a script, than merely thinking about it. Paying the price I call it. But, most importantly, only desiring and preparing ourselves to paying the price at any cost is not enough. What counts is the trick to master the ambition we have built. We need to be persistent and consistently follow our dreams and not give up. We can achieve whatever we want, as long as we are willing to pay the price. (Clinton, W.J) If you want to be a writer, you need to spend every moment learning how to write, working on writing, meeting other writers and publishers and agents. Do that for decades on end, and, it is not unlikely that you will become quite the writer. It is just a matter of realization and decision to pay for it whether in early twenties or thirties of our life. Ambition matters.
After having come to much understanding, I started preparing for the movie script that I had long been thinking of.
(This article was previously published on Republica Daily.)