The first step is always the most difficult. Let me tell you a real life incident. It was way back in 2006. I was at the crossroads of my career when I had to close the animation company I founded and was looking into uncertainty. I wanted to make a film, but I had no idea how. The time coincided with the date of a wedding of my dear friend Sumesh. So I decided to take some time off and head into a small little place called Kollur, a temple town in Karnataka India. From here there is a 12 km trek up a mountain where Shankaracharya attained his siddhi. It was a peaceful place, I remembered. The first time I trekked up there with my friends, I saw lightning below my eye level, the colours of the sky magnificently purple, and the rains wonderful and romantic. I was always dying to go there back. But there was a catch. I was alone. The 12km trek happens to be through a jungle with no inhabitants except wild bulls and leopards. There was a sighting of a tiger two months back I was told by the motel owner.
I stood at the entrance of the forest for 45 minutes. I wanted to make that journey, but I was scared. What would I encounter. People during the journey had warned about Naxalites hiding in there. They said, animals can be more sympathetic to humans than humans themselves. Those 45 minutes took so long to pass. Then finally, I stepped into the forest. My heart beat so fast that I could feel it in my head. I started singing out loud to get a feeling of having company. Soon, as I kept walking, my heart slowed down and I started enjoying the view around. The winding paths, the intermittent grasslands filled with flowers, the cooing of the cuckoo… the journey became beautiful. I met two other people and the trek got livelier. I trekked for 5 hours until I reached the top. The scenery was exactly the way I had left it a couple of years ago. The pundit in the temple offered my spiced buttermilk which I gulped in all the happiness. I looked down the path I had come and reflected on my situation in life.
The future was uncertain. So was my trek. People told me not to follow my heart, there were perils on the way. Fear is always present in the beginning never later. It is the journey that matters. And when you reach your destination, you can always look back with pride and realise that the fear that held you back for so long actually never mattered at all. Had those 45 minutes of procrastination stopped me from undertaking the trek alone, maybe I would have never made my first film.
I listened to my heart. I embarked on my journey. I got my first break as a Feature Film director 7 years later in 2013. The film released in 2015. It bombed. For various reasons. But that’s another story for another time.
So for those who are holding yourself back wondering if it is worth the plunge, you will never know it until you take your first step.