• By Yash Lamba

I was 9 years old when I played a witch in a skit competition. I had bagged the role because of my shrilly, high pitched voice and a unique laugh that would have made any witch proud. The rehearsals went just fine, but during the final performance I tripped on a rug and fell on the stage. Hundreds of students broke into laughter. I was very embarrassed, but somehow I managed to get up and finish my part. For the next few months, I was sure that I would never perform again. However, today I see that fall as the defining moment that encouraged me to take up theater as a serious extracurricular activity.

There is a saying that the world is a huge stage and we all are performers. We don’t know the end, we simply work towards it. I feel that it is true. I spent 5 years learning computer science at IIIT-Delhi. For the first three years, like many of my batch mates I had ambitions of being a researcher or a developer at some tech giant. However, then something happened that, no matter how cliched it may sound, changed my entire life.

In their quest to create well-rounded individuals and not merely academically sound individuals, IIITD decided to organize a 3-month long theater workshop for the students. Despite having a pretty low turnout, 12 to be exact,  the institute lent their support and encouragement to the interested students and went ahead with the workshop. The workshop was supposed to lead to IIITD’s first stage production, ‘Life of Galileo’. Since, the number of participants were low, each individual stepped up to play multiple characters.

The workshop made me fall in love with acting all over again. The rehearsals were so much fun especially volunteering to step-in for female co-actors in their absence. The over the top sessions were a laugh-riot. Sometimes, we laughed at jokes and at other times we laughed at each other. Intertwined with all the fun, was so much of learning that I got a tremendous confidence boost. Consequently, the artistic part of me started thinking about pursuing acting as a career.

Thereafter, I did a diploma in acting from Barry John Acting Studio. This 4 month course made me realize that the only way a person can become a good actor is by practice. Practice is the key to become a better actor, just like it is the key to become better at everything we do. The 4 months allowed me to identify my strengths as an actor and surprisingly also as a director.

During my school days, I had directed quite a few plays and skits, but never had I given a thought to film-making as a career. Now, I am giving it a serious consideration and would like to become an actor-director in the future. Since, completing the course I have been actively working on honing my skills and craft through practice. For me, it is the start of a long and hard journey. But as the saying goes no pain, no gain.

I seriously feel that we get only one life and hence, we should live the way we want to live. Every individual must follow his dream. No matter how small or big, if you have a dream you must follow it. Some of you might think that these are just idealistic words and the repercussions of failing in the process outweigh the pros of succeeding. I would respond to this by saying that do not let that thought hinder you. Agreed, success and failure are not in our hands. But trying is. It is better to try and fail, than simply regret not trying.

To conclude I would like to share a suggestion that I was given when I began my journey. Never be afraid of failure, but make sure that you act smart and do a reality-check every now-and-then while in pursuit of your goal. If you have been walking in the dark for long and don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, then remember to correct your course. Nevertheless, do not let the fear of failure stop you. After all ‘Darr ke aage jeet hai’.

Yash Lamba
B.Tech Class of 2014, M.Tech Class of 2015