Subscribe Get your free monthly copy

Latest Issue

Follow feeds

A Plateful Of Art, With Science On The Side?

 This is an oft-repeated complaint, and yet it needs to be voiced, because no solutions have been discovered yet. It started when I caught some of the Step Up movie while doing some mindless matinee television surfing. As I watched the dancers fret over their showcase dance performance and have dancing companies come and scout for talent at their art school, I wonder why we haven’t seen much of that at home, here in India. Art generally plays second fiddle to science or inevitably bows down to the craze of the nation, “engineering”.
I know that movies aren’t exactly a parameter of life, but it is common knowledge that the West takes art seriously. We hear about colleges offering a major in dance or music and many students actually going for it. There apparently are many scholarships offered for such programs too. Art is given its rightful place, and respected as a form of expression that requires as much creativity and genius as any other field does, both at the workplace and at home or in society.
I hate to criticize, but can you tell me honestly if you haven’t heard conversations like this before in and around your neighborhood?
Aunt/Uncle/Parent : “So tell me beta ,what are your plans for the future?
Son/Daughter/some teenager :”Yeah, I’ve always been interested in painting or photography or some visual medium like that .”
Parent :”Woh sab toh theek hai beta, but let’s get serious. What do you plan to do for a living??
Kid:”Yes, I mean it seriously. I’ve found I’m good at it, it’s not just some new hobby.
Parent: “I don’t understand why you always go off on a tangent like this. Can’t you be a grown up about your career? Look at [Fill in name of elder sibling here].Look he’s a doctor now! Can’t you...”
And so it goes. I’ve been a victim of it myself, when I wanted to major in Economics or English Literature. The worst part of it is no one is wrong here. You can’t blame a parent for wanting to look out for their kids. In an extremely competitive land of the Indian junta, you sometimes have just one opportunity to make it big, and they just don’t want you to mess that up. In a family where financial troubles loom large, and insecurity becomes the topic of discussion at the dinner table, people tend to veer others towards tries and tested careers like engineer, doctor, banker, etc.
Ironic isn’t it though? That this kind of prejudice should exist towards art in an era where our nation’s pride, A.R.Rahman wins global recognition for his music? Where reality shows are held every hour of the clock to discover the next singing or performing sensation? Where Carnatic singers’ concerts are booked solid during the “Kutcheri” season? Where millions of dance schools select students from hopefuls every year and introduce them to the professional industry?
What’s the problem then? Is it a fear of the unknown, a instinctive desire to stick to family tradition? Or a mere battle of wills? Whatever the reason maybe, the result is that kids have to lock up their precious ballet flats and ghungroos, or give away their electric guitar, and erase a shining dream from their eyes as they stick to the…what is it? The “conventional” route.
We’ve got to do some attitude improvement folks. Unless you want to unknowingly extinguish a spark even before it got a chance to burn brightly.
So, the bottom line is... I’m hungry. For once, can you serve me a plate full of art, with science as a side dish for a change?


About Us

Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
-Read what young India has to say .
- Comment on articles.
- Anybody can Contribute.
- Simple, humorous, vibrant.
- Uncensored opinions
- Stories of the common men & women
In short, Good Times