The Weekend Leader - Create history

Dream big, stay hungry, stay foolish but stay positive

Rashmi Bansal


Vol 2 | Issue 36

There are times in life when a man is gripped by an idea.

An idea so audacious and foolish that the world laughs at him.

Advises him to be sensible, to quietly give up.

One such foolish idea gripped Paresh Mokashi, well-known Marathi theatre director. It all started with a casual reading of Dadasaheb Phalke’s biography, written by Bapu Vatave. Paresh was struck by the story so strongly that he started seeing things in front of his eyes.

“In 4 hours I finished the book of 200 pages and decided then and there to make my first ever feature film on the pioneer of Indian cinema!”

The trouble started when Paresh went around looking for a producer.

“I wanted to make a movie in Marathi, without any stars, without any songs,” he laughs.

There were absolutely no takers. After waiting for 3 years, Paresh decided to produce the film on his own. To do this, he mortgaged the property his family owned in Mumbai.

‘Harishchandrachi Factory’ was made on a ‘big budget’ of Rs 4 crores, in Marathi, without songs, with actors – not stars. The film went on to achieve commercial success as well as wide critical acclaim. In fact, it was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars for the year 2009.

Paresh Mokashi’s struggle to make the film he wanted is one of 20 inspiring stories featured in my book ‘Connect the Dots’. And although the details of each story differ, the underlying theme is the same.

Believe in yourself.

Be passionate.

And above all, stay positive.

There will be naysayers, there will be hurdles. But the mind which is without fear and the head which is filled with conviction, will find its own way.

I have had the privilege of interviewing MBAs, non-MBAs and social visionaries for my books. No matter what the goal, the method to achieve it is blind faith and a sense of hope.

By ‘hope’ I do not mean the gamble of a lottery ticket. Betting your future on someone else’s actions is escapism. But belief in one’s own vision and purpose, coupled with common sense and hard work, is the engine of human progress.

Then, after testing your strength, your resolve and your resourcefulness, Fate sends you a gift of Serendipity. A chance to come out of the darkness, into the light.

After years of rejection and humiliation, Bindeshwar Pathak got such a gift, while sitting in the office of the Patna Municipal Corporation. The Chief Secretary had given orders to remove the eyesore of ‘open air toilet’ opposite the Reserve Bank building within 24 hours.

The Chief Engineer was in a panic. He turned to Bindeshwar and asked, “Can you do something?”

Without a clue as to how he would do it, Bindeshwar agreed. And thus, after running from pillar to post for years, suddenly landed his first contract to build a public toilet block or ‘Sulabh Sauchalaya’ using ‘pit privy’ technology.

The rest is history.

You too can create history, instead of just watching it unfold around you.

Start small, dream big... Stay hungry, stay foolish, stay positive – that’s all it takes!

Rashmi Bansal, is a bestselling author. Her new book ‘I have a dream’ is on social entrepreneurs.

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