Struggle8 mins 230 8 mins 230
Sanju's talent as a singer bloomed when he was in his twelfth standard. Before that people heard him crooning trendy film songs and their rendition was not too bad either. Though he was not a family of singers so getting patronage to take up singing as a career was not an automatic choice. Sanju knew that very well and he knew that it would be a struggle all the way. He himself was undecided to take up singing as a career. Merely just because of a teenage fad he had started singing. It all started in the bathroom while taking a shower. Sanju had not even thought of taking training under a Guru because he knew it would be negated by his family. Singing cannot be a career option for a middle-class family where a 9-5 job would lead to a secured life ahead. Once his mother had told him this. Then onwards Sanju knew that efforts were futile so he just let himself flow with the time and hope for the best.
Just after he had given his class twelve boards and was waiting for the results when a chance opportunity paved his way towards a singing career. A singing competition was calling for applications from aspiring singers. Sanju registered himself and very soon the competition was on its way. The majority of the applicants were without formal training. The organisers were scouting out for talent who could fulfil the slot as playback singers in the film industry.
Due to the promise shown by Sanju, he was screened with five others and were given tickets with an accommodation facility in Mumbai for a fortnight. This was a rare opportunity out of the blues for Sanju. His dream was taking shape and Sanju decided come what may but he wouldn't budge an inch from his dreams whatever were the obstacles. He confided this with his mother the only person whom he trusted the most. His mother was also in a dilemma about what she should do. She wanted her son to live his dreams. But she knew of the uncertainty that lay ahead and finding success was a tight rope walk. Also, she feared how to break this news to Sanju's father and his grandparents and the rest of the family as theirs was a joint family. She knew that none would support Sanju.
As usual, there were no takers for this idea of Sanju and his mother couldn't convince the family elders to grant permission. But Sanju was determined and he knew that there was a long struggle ahead for him. Even though so young, Sanju had a mature mind. He had learned of the struggles of many young and budding singers of his age. So he had prepared himself for all the hardships ahead of him. The most difficult part of the struggle would be on leaving home by missing his loving grandparents, Dadu and Dida who were very dear to him. But Sanju had steeled himself from within to bear all forms of hardships.
Very soon after seeking blessings from his mother, Sanju left home quietly without telling anyone. He knew that he had to leave his laziness behind in order to realise his dreams. To change the status quo, Sanju had to thrust himself with a greater force to change the orbit of his trajectory so that he could get into the faster orbit, the orbit on which travelled the star performers on their path to superstardom.
At the academy, where Sanju had put up for his initiation into the performing arts workshop did Sanju realise the nuances of the struggling world from the glimpses he got. But side by side of struggle was adulation and motivation which made struggle look not so drag but an enjoyable one. Showing promise, Sanju quickly got to sign some two-minute advertising jingles. He earned his first buck and it made his struggle look like a cakewalk. Getting the feel of real money earned by himself, Sanju temporarily forgot the difficult picture of the struggle. Definitely, Sanju thought, no one would want to glorify struggle without any real cause. Time was fleeting past at jet speed. His internship at the music academy ended without much fanfare.
Sanju decided to stay on and try his luck. He left the academy and through a broker took on rent a single room apartment in a city slum as the rent was cheap. With the money he made from singing the jingles, Sanju could continue for a couple of months.
Within these few months, Sanju hoped to get some good contracts to keep him afloat. He had not brought any money from home except what had been given by his mummy from her meagre savings. Sanju dare not seek financial support from his Dad. Because that would be like sacrificing his inflated ego and self-esteem.
After his going away became the news, his father had become very angry and his grandparents very sad and depressed. They all spoke to him but he didn't speak beyond monosyllables purposefully avoiding big conversations and let the emotions get the better of him. With his father, all sort of communication came to a standstill.
Then for Sanju life at the slums threw up unexpected challenges and Sanju braced himself to face them headlong.
His early morning Riaz or singing practice with his harmonium or guitar was frowned upon by neighbours. All their houses were cheek in jowl with Sanju's rented apartment. Sanju had to face their wrath for disturbing them with his full-throated crooning. Sanju was in a dilemma. For a life of singing, he couldn't avoid his early morning practice. He had to make improvisation. He could not move out from this home as the rent was cheap and affordable. So early morning Sanju took his harmonium and went to the seafront and finding a secluded spot opened up with his throat at full blaze. This became a routine for him. However, during the monsoon months, this became another challenge. Then he had to devise other techniques but he rarely gave his practice a skip. From the frugal money he had, he had to appoint a teacher, a guru to teach him the finer techniques and to help improve his skills. But it was not only a struggle all along. Sanju found intermediate success in between and this helped him be buoyed.
Then while participating in a singing competition, one music composer took fancy towards him and signed him up for his upcoming film. Sanju's song became a runaway hit. In a few months, his record achieved a golden disc. He had made so much money now that financially Sanju's struggle was certainly a thing of the past. Also, a string of contracts followed so money wise there could not be a concern.
Sanju seemed to get over the thought of being in struggle mode perennially. He was now being adulated beyond perception for the success he was achieving. All of a sudden his life of drudgery seem to change. A lot of fan following with numerous fans regularly tracking his activities both over social media and in actual life became a new normal. Sanju not accustomed to being 24x7 in the limelight was proving to be irksome. It was difficult to negotiate so much adulation and criticism all simultaneously and remain calm and ever-smiling on camera. This was a real challenge and a new struggle.
Much female following had increased. One of his music directors to whom Sanju was indebted had a daughter named Prity. Due to the often rehearsals with this director Sanju came in close proximity to Prity. Being a modern girl being brought up in a privileged ambience Prity had a certain 'airs' about herself. Sanju couldn't avoid but be acquainted with Prity. So a relationship grew. Sanju also getting the love and care of a feminine companion let himself get indulged. Little did he know that there was a humongous wavelength gap between the two due to their background and due to upbringing. Sanju who had to fight almost near poverty like situation during his growing up days and now basking in countless wealth and a companion who had been born and brought up in the lap of wealth, both had a revelating situation. At every step, there was a huge conflict of behaviour and then compromise. At the receiving end was Sanju because he knew how middle-class people adjust by compromising. Sanju had to depend on someone to look after his finances and manage his appointment and program. Prity was the most ideal person in such a situation having watched her mother manage her father's business deals and now lately she had been managing her father's appointments and finances herself. Sanju had brought his mother to his new luxurious apartment. She was very overjoyed seeing her son getting so much success. But she also couldn't manage her son's affairs now as she had done all his growing up life. So she had to return to their native place and leave Sanju to be at the mercy of Prity. Not that Prity didn't love Sanju. She adored him more for his successes and prided herself when she was shown on the camera with Sanju.
Now, Sanju had to confront this different type of struggle which was a huge challenge for him. He found that fame and success were all temporary and it was even more difficult to maintain the position achieved. Sanju had seen super stardom dwindle into oblivion within a few months due to a string of failures. He, therefore, had to keep himself amongst fame, success and money to keep himself and his relationship alive. So it was a struggle all the way and a whole lot of slog.