Thursday, 21 July 2016

13 Years In The Making ...

“We have chosen millions to represent us. And through trial and error the chosen have done their duties. But as creators of time and space and everything in between we always looked and longed for an individual who would, with free will become the man we wanted him to be. And through ions and ions we waited but none could show us the true mantle of the lone wolf. But then, a miracle happened. And then through that miracle we finally found our soldier. Our warrior who with free will would do the ultimate sacrifice and in that process become the legend who we always knew he would become.”

-The Book Of Prophecies. 

Prick. Jerk. Selfish. Asshole. These are the few words that would describe me if you met me 13 years ago here in Los Angeles. I had come here for my 4-weeks intensive acting workshop at the new york film academy back then and at that point of time the only thing I did was think about myself and what made me happy. I didn’t care what my parents thought or how much pain I caused them or to my family. Trust me, you would had hated me back then as well. And as the years passed and the more life started to unfold in front of me, the guilt of being that prick engulfed me like a storm!  I couldn’t accept the fact that I had become a mean self-centred arrogant asshole and the only way I could ever get my redemption was to come back here and make things right. Well, as they say, “The Universe will unfold all it’s wonders to you when you are ready.” And now, 13 years later I am finally here at La La Land and I can proudly say that I am now on the road to my redemption.

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."

Like the billions around the world, I am also amazed by America. I am attracted towards her culture, her movies and her way of life. And for many years now I had dreamed to come back here. Even my siblings wished and longed for it. But because of busy schedules and prior commitments, coming here was always delayed. But 2016 was finally the year when we were meant to come back to Los Angeles. Right now I am here with my dad and bro and in August my sister, my mom and my brother will be joining us as well. Back in 2003, I was turning 19 so the rest of siblings were way younger to me which meant that we used to go only to the movies and to theme parks. Now, in the age of apps and maps, we have become grown ups and we four rather help our cute old-school parents to find places to go and see and visit and to dine. Before I go any further I must say that we are here only because of our parents. Mom has always been the rock and the silent guardian of the family who has kept us together and dad through his sacrifice and hard work is the reason we are here. I am truly blessed to have them as parents and also truly blessed to have such lovely siblings. Speaking of siblings, my younger brother Rimoh still feels surreal to be here! He sometimes comes up to me and says, “Bhai I can’t imagine I am here in La!”. And seeing his face filled with joy truly warms my heart. Touch wood he is having the time of his life! From grading 10 on 10 on his Screen Writing course at the NYFA, to going out and living the life true La style! He is destined to live and make it big here and I know that one day very soon, that dream of his will come true. And I can’t wait for the other two to arrive. I know it will be fun when I will see my sister go for the same 4 weeks intensive acting workshop which I did and to have my youngest bro Nama with me to watch all the latest films. All great things are truly worth the wait.

"You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it."
-Lionel Messi

But this blog isn’t about all the fun we will have here as a family. This blog is about the opportunity that has given to me to find my redemption. A redemption 13 years in the making. Before coming here I had it all figured out. I had told myself that I will go to La and be like a normal person. I told myself that I will make new friends, meet new people and also go out to clubs and famous restaurants. But now I realise those plans were of a Mimoh long dead. I am not that guy anymore. That Mimoh died a very long time ago. Only remnants are left, which try to surface from time to time. But in the battle between the man who depended on others for his emotions and the lone wolf that I have become now, the lone wolf is winning and whopping that old mimoh’s ass! And I love being the lone wolf. As I said before many a times, “You get used to anything if you stay around it for a while.” So now, I am way more happier and comfortable being alone than being surrounded by people. Al though I am a devotee of The Punisher there is this one line from The Dark Knight Rises I want to share with you and no, it isn’t of Bane but of Catwoman and she says, “What can I say, I am adaptable.” And I see myself as an adaptable creature as well. The moment I settle in to the place that I am staying, I make it my home and start functioning myself around my given environment. Whether it is the roads or the food or even the places where I will be training, I figure everything out as soon as I can and then I make a plan of action and go about it. And now, it has been 2 weeks since I have come here and I can tell you I am very happy about how my schedule is like. I know I should be enjoying and chilling with these two months that I am here but what can I say, Training is what I do best and “The Wicked Never Rest.” 

"Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don't let anyone limit your dreams."
-Donovan Bailey

I am right now in los angeles! I said that again ‘cause I want that to sink in. I mean this is La La Land! The land of Hollywood and the galore and the music and streets filled with tourist and movie bill boards everywhere with amazing amusement parks and men who look like greek gods and women who aren't less than angels! And I really mean that. the very 1st morning here I had gone to ihop for their lovely black coffee and the waiter who came to give me the coffee was truly drop dead gorgeous! If my guess was right, I bet he was also a model or an inspiring actor. And the women … well … wow! I mean every other girl here is stunning! Whether it is the crossfit trainers or the outstanding dancers at IDA, I must say, Los Angeles is truly the City Of Angels! You see people from all across america trying their luck in the movies and sometimes you even get to see people from different countries who have settled here. It is truly a sight to behold and I shit you not, I do go “Wow!” every other day over here. So ya, I must be kidding myself to be the lone wolf right now, won’t I? But you see, that is what it is. No matter how beautiful these people are and no matter how tempting it is to step into those “Normal” shoes, I can never be that guy. And the truth is, I was never meant to be.

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift."
-Steve Prefontaine

People don’t understand. The truth is that they have tried but in the end, they don’t really get it. I have been called many names and I have been misjudged and also hated by many for the way I am. Someone once told me that I deserve to be alone. That a person like me should never have friends and should never be a part of any group. Al though back then I took it as a huge offence, today when I put the pieces together I realise that I am intact that guy! I mean how can anyone be friends with a guy who spends his entire energy towards his responsibilities? I wake up in the morning, make coffee for myself and tea for dad and rimoh. Then go for a run. Then do the laundry, then give dad his medicines then help him cook lunch, serve him luch, eat lunch and then clean the dishes. After that clear the trash, change, go for Crossfit and then my Hip-Hop Classes, come back home, heat up dinner, give it to Dad and rimoh, then eat, then clean and then go to sleep. That is my everyday schedule here  in Los Angeles and from today, I have also started my Improv 101 Class at the UCB every wednesday. I only get saturday and sunday afternoons and evenings free which I use to go and watch the latest movies in Imax. So ya, with this routine and commitments I don’t think anyone can bare with me. And I don’t even blame them. I mean, this is who I am. This is me telling the universe that I will make things right. That I will make amends with the chance given to me and through this process finally find my redemption which I was waiting for 13 years. I want to be a good son to dad. I want to be a good brother to rimoh. I don’t want mom to worry about us. I want to make sure that I am there for everyone, even beyond my own happiness and wants ‘cause deep down I know that only through this commitment and sacrifice can I finally become the man I was born to be.

"Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough, You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it."
-James M. Barrie

You must have seen on The Discovery Channel that when we are about to be submerged under water we grasp in the most amount of air. And when a boxer is fighting the 12th round of the fight and has no energy he gives his one last punch with all his effort and might. That very same way those remnants of the old mimoh consume me sometimes and I suddenly feel this feeling of loneliness. I feel overwhelmed and choked up and vulnerable. I get this deep sense of longing and also a feeling of emptiness within me. I feel the need to vent out and open up and talk to someone and this voice inside of me seeks self-pity and asks, “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me how I am?”. But if you have seen the movie Alexander, when Alexander is in stress of being King after his Father Phillip is murdered, his mother slaps his twice and screams at him and tells him, “You are King now! Start acting like one!” And just like that, from that feeling of being hollow and needy, I shake it off, take a deep breath, close my eyes and remind myself of my goals and what it is that I truly want to achieve. And what I want is Greatness and I won’t ever settle for anything less, no matter how difficult it gets. Greatness requires sacrifice and all men who become kings know that they have take that walk alone. That at the top, there shall be no one there for them. It will only be the kings and their shadows. But they also know that the climb, the sacrifice, the dedication is worth every bit of it. My dad in fact asked me today, “Have you made any new friends? Why don’t you stay back after class and try to connect with new people?” And I told him, “Dad, I am a very friendly guy, trust me, but for someone I don’t know why people don’t want to make friends with me. And truth be told, I don’t even try to give any signals. I put my headphones on, I mind my own business, greet everyone with a bright smile, give me 100% in my classes and then silently I come back home. I don’t even know how to make friends anymore.” And since the last 2 weeks I have been watching all the movies by myself and trust me I am having a gala time doing so. The old Mimoh thinks he still has a chance to take over me but I know I am way stronger now and there is no way in heaven, hell or earth that that Mimoh is ever coming back.

"You have to execute. You have to sacrifice your body. "
-Pedro Martinez

So why did I tell you all this? To have your pity? No. To make you like me? No. I told you this ‘cause this is who I am. And this will one day be my story. I shit you not, all that I imagined me doing a few years ago, is what I am doing now. Whether it is training alone at the Ufc gym or walking alone at the Hollywood Walk Of Fame or even staying home alone when dad and rimoh are out, I am doing all those things exactly how I imagined. Truly, the universe gives us what we manifest and what we believe in. No matter what people think of The Secret or the Power of the Universe, I really believe in it. And I know through my commitment, dedication, sacrifice and focus I will one day very soon earn my greatness. Today, when I hear my Improv Batchmate tell me that I am ‘Pretty Good At It’ or when I hear my Dance Teachers tell me to stand in front of the Class and to come for all their classes and hear the other students and managers tell me That I’m Good and see Trainers at Crossfit take my video while Back Squatting, I am reassured by the universe that I am on the right track. I know it isn’t easy. There will be times when you feel like quitting. When you will feel like giving in. But I promise you, if you stay the path, you will be rewarded. Whether it is the countless hours of studying for your board exams, or that one girl you wanted to ask out for prom or that one Audition which you knew would give you that big break, stay at it. Believe in yourself, believe in the power of your dreams and know in your heart that your sacrifices won’t go in vain. Hard work is always rewarded. Discipline to your cause is always appreciated. And patience is always returned with all your dreams coming true. You will stumble and fall, you will loose hope, you will also maybe loose your way. But believe and know deep down that you were meant for greatness and that no emotion, no feeling and no urge can be more powerful than the desire to succeed. So go forth your dreams and make them come true. It took me 13 years to come back here, at the same Oakwood Apartments, at the same ‘M’ building and at the same city where it all began. Now, after all these years I am on my way to greatness. And I know that I will be rewarded for my sacrifices. It’s because I believe. I just hope you believe also.

"There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice. "
-Simon Sinek

This is Me, Mahaakshay Chakraborty. And this is My Story.

With All My Might,

Your No.1 Fan,

Mahaakshay Chakraborty.


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Road Ahead ...

“And so this mortal went ahead in his journey. A quest to find himself in the hidden parts of his very soul. And when he travelled across the seven oceans and the highest peaks, he realised that he wasn’t destined to be normal but to be The One. Not only because he had the will and might of the gods but because he had the power of belief.”

-The Book Of Prophecies.

In a few hours I will be on my way to the airport. I am going for two and half months to the land of the free and the home of the brave. After 13 years I will finally be going back to Los Angeles. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am. But beyond the excitement and the rush of going back there I feel this deep sense of responsibility. Like I have gotten a chance by the mighty universe to get even more better. In these past few months I have done courses in Comedy Improv, Salsa, Hip Hop and gotten the taste of Crossfit. I promised myself that I will emerge myself in my preparation for the great opportunity that very soon is going to come my way. But since it was decided a couple months ago that I was going to the United States I decided that all the training should be put on hold and all the energy and focus should be directed towards Los Angeles. And you know me, I find the true, spiritual meaning in everything that happens to me and lately I have started seeing the positive in every situation and trust me, even though the situation may not change, you surely feel a whole lot better when you see what you can be grateful for even in the midst of normality. Trust me readers, all that happens, happens only for the good and when you have the power of belief, anything is possible.

"Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination."

Do you remember The Dark Knight Rises? Do you remember Bane’s character in it? We all know that he was a Merc for hire but do you remember when Alfred is giving Bane’s introduction to Bruce Wayne? Do you remember what does he say? He says, “Master Wayne, what I see isn’t just a man on a mission, what I see is the Power Of Belief.” Many people have asked me, “What is it that you want to do with your life?” And I simply tell them, I want to be a part of the movies now and forever. And then they ask, “Then why aren’t you doing what others are?” And I reply, I can and without your knowledge I actually do all those things but what I also do, is prepare and keep my focus and make sure that I learn and train and use all my energy on making myself better because I know that one day my time will come and when it does come I will be ready. And this answer isn’t a sense of arrogance but it is my Power Of Belief. A belief so strong that it will one day change the world. A belief with such will and might that one day I will shine as bright as the sun. A belief with such purity and focus that one day I will no longer be in the sidelines but in the spotlight.

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."
-Greg Anderson

You all know that I went to Phuket last year, twice. And both those times and in fact, also at every new year’s eve I have this custom I follow. I play a few stages on either Medal Of Honour or Ghost Recon Future Soldier and I hear the song Stupify from the rock band Disturbed. Even tonight, I have followed the very same custom. It is like I am reminding myself who I truly am and what responsibilities lay in front of me and what all I need to do in the 2 1/2 months that are now in front of me. It is me showing myself that behind the iron clad skin, my soul will always be on a quest to learn and explore more. That deep down, I will always be grateful to the universe and to my parents and to my family and to my life itself for making me the man that I am today. That every thing that has happened in my life has brought me to this new exciting juncture of my life where I will only evolve. So before I leave, I will put my headphones on and Stupify will be heard by the nerves of my brain for the trillionth time and everything in the universe will look beautiful and the siren of the gods will be heard.

"We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile."
-Earl Nightingale

So what is in stored for me in the city of angels? Well, first it is the UFC 200 expo happening in las vegas which I really really wanna go for ‘cause I will get the opportunity to see and meet the amazing ufc fighters and also take pictures with them! it will truly be a dream come true for me! And it is on the 8th so I can tell the jet lag to take a hike ‘cause I will be going to vegas! And then it is the grand UFC Gyms which are located all over LA for me to choose from and be a part of. I have waited nearly 6 years to train in a UFC Gym and very soon that dream of mine will come true! Then it is the endless places and spots where comedy improv and stand-up comedy workshops are taking place for me to choose from. Since I have done till Level 2 here it would be great to see what level 3 has in stored for me over there. I also goggled Parkour and Crossfit gyms which I can join and I will also be enrolling myself at the IDA Hollywood Centre.  The International Dance Academy in Hollywood. It is one of the most renowned and popular and recognised dance centres in Los Angeles and when you see their students perform their hip-hop moves on youtube you will agree with me that it will truly be an honour to be a part of their centre. And of course when I will be done with kicking a 1,000 kicks at the UFC gym and sweating it at and learning new dance moves at IDA and trying to come up with spontaneous jokes at the comedy stand-up studio, I will be touring the Universal City Walk, watching all the latest films, and taking a gazillion pics and keep snap chatting as much as I can. So it looks like I have a very busy 2.1/2 months in front of me. And even though it took 13 years for me to go back, I can tell you right now, every moment of that wait was worth it. 

"Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home."
-Matsuo Basho

So once again I embark on a new chapter of my life. I embark on a task to make myself better and make my parents proud and prove to myself without a shadow of a doubt that I have the will and determination to go beyond the call of duty. To be the best version of myself and to push harder when I can’t anymore. I thank you all for being my readers. I thank my family for this opportunity and I thank the universe for giving this feeling of bliss. I can’t promise if I will blog from there but if I do I will share all my bliss and joy with you as well. You see, the universe is a friendly place and I am a firm believer in the power of it. I know I am connected to it. And I know it is with me every step of the way. You can harness it’s power also. You can also find your joy and bliss. Never doubt it. Never give in to the negativity that you feel may cloud over you sometimes. Find the greater good. Seek the happiness and it will cone to you. Rumi said a very wonderful thing once. He said, “What You Seek Is Also Seeking You.” Ask yourself the question. Go on that quest and your joy will come to you. So before I go all I can say is that I have beautiful road ahead of me, which is filled with excitement and joy and learning and bliss. And everyday I will the grateful for the blessings the universe showers over me. I hope you do that also.

This is Me, Mahaakshay Chakraborty and this is My Story.

With All My Might,

Your No.1 Fan,

Mahaakshay Chakraborty.