The Art Of Not Giving Up

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    15 August, 2015:Determination is the key to success is what I always heard all my life. I have always searched for the true practical understanding as to what determination is. I asked my mother and “Being focused!” is what she always replied to my questions. When I asked my father, “He said being successful.”

    But somehow I always felt that the answer to the question of ‘What is determination?’ remained a forever quest. A question whose answer had always been vague, whose vision or the concept was always unclear. Eighteen years went by, but the specific elucidation had yet been unknown for me.

    My eyes had wandered all these years just to know how it feels to be determined. But as soon as I enter my college, I saw a man, with a constant smile on his face. As I moved towards him to ask some hay wired questions about my new college premises, he smiled a smile which showed that he never had any worries which led to him asking me everyday, “Kevu che beta? Sab maja maa?”

    I had always been curious about the level of peace he engulfed in himself.

    My curiosity increased when one fine day through an event of our college I was allowed to dance on the grand finale. I was expecting any senior of mine to teach dance, but was shocked when I saw that same man as our Dance coach. The man who increased my curiosity led me to another question mark. And when he got into the dance, what I saw was an extraordinary gleam in his eyes; the shine of contentment and shimmer of feeling complete. It gave a trigger to my questions which kept me in awe since childhood “Is that determination?’ I asked myself.

    I thought one day, today is the day I will get an answer to my question! I went straight to him and asked him, “What was that gleam in your eyes?”

    “Huh?” was his immediate reaction.

    “Oh! Sorry! What is your name Bhaiyya?”

    “Log toh mujhe Yogen Bhai bulaate hain. Tum bhaiyya hi bula lo!” He said with a laugh.
    “What was that gleam in your eyes while you danced? Why didn’t I see that in me, through all these years of dancing?” I put up my question again.

    “Because I felt it!” he said this and I was in awe.

    I decided to sit with him and know. Know, the secret of being contended, the way he was. A person who is born and brought up in the proper town of Vadodara where I reside with half the standard of living  that I am born with but still more tranquil  than me.

    Neither did he have a financial stability, nor a unique and constant support to pursue his dream of dancing.  All he had was a passion. Dance was next to oxygen element in his life.  He did odd jobs to get money to learn different forms of dance. The most secure being my college dance coach. He learnt every dance possible to satisfy his hunger for learning but still regrets that he did not learn the dance which constitutes his country. The strangest part is that this man isn’t working or dancing for the sake of money. Even though he has his own financial crunches, he teaches underprivileged children for free. He works as a clerk in MSU in the morning and then works till 12 am at his dance academy. Well, not that it is a piece of cake for him. He has to hear from his wife, his three year old baby who missed his father. But passion is his drug. He believes it is what keeps his blood running through his veins, but also fears the fact that  his passion will give up to a stagnation. Maybe his body will stop supporting his moves, his grace, and his poise. What would happen that day? This one thought flushed out all the blood from his face.

    Not that his students have not given up on him or showed their backs and never looked back. But, “Unki tarakki mein meri tarakki!” is what kept him up on his feet.

    “Where do you get so much inspiration from?”

    “My guru Kanu Patel! He is the sole reason for my dream today!”

    “Aren’t you scared of your failures?”

    “No, I have been through them! I auditioned for DID but the opportunity slipped through my hands like the sands of time.”

    I was shocked for a second. I whine over the smallest failure, whereas he is ever smiling even when he saw his big leap just snatch away from his hand.

    But now I got the answer for my question which lied in me. Determination!

    It is when you know what you want and you will never give up on it. Even when stars get rough, the path is blurred, or if there is an apocalypse. Not giving up, is an art. An art of living for the reason of constant breathing, Yogen Bhai is one being an epitome of such an art.

    By: Anokhi Dasgupta, India

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