How important is it to follow one’s passion and give in to one’s dreams? Indispensable, if you ask Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, the Bollywood actors who presented Hindustan Times scholarships to 25 students from various city schools.
Both actors studied engineering before they opted for the unconventional profession of acting. Speaking in front of hundreds of students at the seventh edition of Hindustan Times Scholarship Programme 2016-17 on Wednesday, they emphasised the importance of making gut decisions, as they cited their own life experiences to drive home the point.
Rajput said he dropped out of Delhi Technological University when he realised that he wanted to be an actor.
“All of us act all the time. I decided that I will make sure I get paid for it,” he said.
Sanon, on the other hand, said her transition from an engineering student to an actor was more gradual.
“While pursuing my BTech, I didn’t know what my passion was. I tried modelling, more as a hobby than a profession, for a while. When I acted for a TV commercial, I really liked it. Finally, I came to Mumbai leaving behind two job offers,” she said.
They also tried to assuage the sense of insecurity among students and their parents, when the former choose unconventional career paths. When a student said she was not sure if her passion of playing squash will take her anywhere, Rajput said, “People told me that it’s very important to have money, recognition and relevance. I had none, but my passion kept me going. Now I have all the three.”
Sanon suggested that children should talk to their parents and convince them about their ambition. “Show them how passionate you are. But keep doing what they want you to do on the side,” she said. The actors also advocated restructuring the education system to make it easier for students to realise their aspirations, although they had different approaches from each other towards formal education.
Rajput said, “I was a bright student, but I didn’t understand much of what was taught in the school. The kids are made to learn things which are not useful in future. Education must be structured around kids’ passions.”
However, Sanon pointed out that very few students realise their passion at an early age.
“In school, the students should be taught a wide variety of subjects. If you haven’t studied psychology, how will you know if you like it or not,” she asked.