What defines talent? That's a question that's been driving me crazy the last few days as I try to figure out what are the things that define me.
I always thought I sang well. Critics didn't trouble me in school. Even when I lost a competition, I wasn't too upset. When I went to college, I wanted to audition for a classical music group. I was taken to the room of a girl, one year my senior. There I was, someone from a small town, taught by a teacher who learnt from a government college. When she didn't know my guru, she asked me if I knew a specific Kriti. I answered in the negative and was told I'm not fit to be part of a classical music club as I didn't know something so basic. This is not a movie where I manage to sing and snub the bully. I just stopped trying and walked out. The person who's usually the epitome of confidence felt so pathetic that day.
It's not a tragedy because I found other things to do and keep myself occupied. But how much this incident affected me is evident by the lack of my singing. In hindsight I realized they're all bullies and are not the best judges in the first place. If I'd been committed, I could have continued to do what I wanted to do.
My commitment was definitely questionable then. Now, as a relatively mature adult, my need to get back to things that defined me is making me evaluate a lot of things that happened in the past.
It's high time i go behind things which matter to me and pursue them even if I'm not the best, because, fitting a mold can only happen if someone like you exists. If you're going to define the path, go ahead, break all the molds.
Become a photographer without DSLR and a singer without a fancy guru. One size cannot and will not fit all and at the end of the day, your commitment and interest is all that matters.
I'm reminded of my favorite quote by Calvin Coolidge:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence
Talent will not- nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent
Genius will not- unrewarded genius is almost a proverb
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent