Ram Gopal Varma Blog #109. Work.

We are born, we are tended to by our parents, we go to school, spend years getting educated without having the faintest idea of what exactly education means, and the day we truly understand it our education would have been finished. We only realize the value of the so-called education when we are given a position to apply it in a practical sense and most of us would be pretty much lost. That is because the emphasis our parents put on us was to get marks and never on education.

So to get marks we, by heart, we copy, or study specifically towards questions what we think will be asked or study studiously so as to get distinction but not even having a thought or an idea in hell, how and where we would be applying most of what we study. It amazes me that throughout my growing years not once did my parents or teachers tell me that the purpose of education is to get knowledge and marks are just a proof to an outside world that you do have that knowledge. Due to their insecurity and also their own ignorance or over looking of the purpose, the thrust they put on us was always to get marks which hopefully could result in better jobs.

And then when we get a job the thrust on us will be to work hard in pretty much the same way as how they thrust education. My grandfather who was a Civil Engineer used to hammer into me to work hard both in my studies and when I was doing a job in the construction of Krishna Oberoi Hotel in Hyderabad. He told me that he used to wake up by 4.00am everyday throughout his life. When I asked him how come some guys who wake up at 10.00am are more successful than him, he used to get angry.

I wanted to tell him that it’s not about 4.00am or 10.00am and it’s also not about what you do in the time that you are awake but it is about how you are feeling when you are doing that is what the point of life is all about, but for fear of being slapped I resisted that as he was a pretty aggressive man. I believe that if you are constantly doing what you are doing just because you are told to do or because of your fear of tomorrow or because of commitments and responsibilities you would have truly lost the whole purpose of being alive.

Life is but a cycle of, we are born, we grow up, we get married, we have children, we make them grow up, we make them get married, we get old and then we die. God or nature or whichever thing, gave us life is only to surely take it away and as long as it is ultimately only that, why not just make the best of it.

My people keep telling me that I work too hard. In reality I never worked in my life. Work is something I define as what you have to do. But if you want to do it, it becomes a pleasure and I always did in my life only what I wanted to do. The trap of programming society puts us in and religion and morality create in us a guilt for whatever we love, and a fear of rejection and failure and the constant pressure of raising to expectations.

As long as death is inevitable there is no question of any of us having a state of permanent success. Life in itself is a process, for example in my college days I used to sometimes have problems with raising 40 rupees and today sometimes I have a problem in raising 4 crores, but what I feel about it in that particular state of mind is exactly the same. Everybody thought I made a bad film in Drohi but it’s only because of Drohi I met Urmila and it’s only because of Urmila I made Rangeela. It’s only because of Sanjay Dutt’s arrest Nayak got shelved and everybody either sympathized or gloated depending on their relationship with me over the misfortune without realizing that it will resurface as Sarkar. So in effect everything in life is connected. A present day success can be the start of an impending failure or vice-versa. So as long as everything is so uncertain, why worry about it and just do what you feel like doing at every single moment of your life.

‘Forget yesterday, live today and fantasize tomorrow’ is the motto of my life and it has always been that ever since I was an unruly kid, and a so-called irresponsible youngster and an erratic and eccentric adult.

With the first money of about 2 lakhs I got for my first movie, my grandfather was after me to buy a piece of land in Jubilee Hills to secure my future and I went ahead and spent it on the interior decoration of a rented office which I anyway was supposed to vacate in a few months time. My grandfather predicted to everyone that I will be a massive failure because of this attitude of mine. Throughout his life he worked very hard without once thinking what exactly he is working towards. I failed to explain to him that the few months’ pleasure I would get in staying in that office with a d├ęcor of what I want to experience was much more than my fear of what will happen in the future if I become a failure.

If all your work is geared towards securing yourself against failure and death why live at all?