The American Dream

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 by Kratik in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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American Dream? Don't know what it is, but it feels like I'm living it.


Words, they often tell the story,
But they are entwined with feelings so brittle that they change so readily.

Pictures, they often let you relive the moments,
But they pull you into the past ever so easily.

Memory, it never forgets what it has to remember,
But in its own mesmerizing way, it keeps you attached, aimlessly.

Silence, it helps you experience that empty space,
But, it’s that space which makes you come to terms with reality, pleasantly.

How often it happens that you can look back, pat yourself and say, “Yes, I have lived the dream.” If you ask me, I don’t even know the definition of a ‘dream’, but I wouldn’t be shy in saying that I have lived it in this past year.

December 27, 2011 was when I landed in the United States with a heart full of dreams. Who was I? No, I was not Spiderman! I was a small time soccer journalist, who wrote for the largest soccer website in the world, who was told he had ‘fans’ (bullsquat, I say!), who marketed one of the biggest soccer clubs in India, who hosted games in front of a thousand of people in mammoth stadiums, who did a little bit of soccer analysis for Real Time Sportscast and who believed that making a person meditate and spiritual knowledge can transform a person’s life. Kratik, who? Even I didn’t know. In fact, I am still discovering. But irrespective of whoever I was, I wanted to be someone bigger. I had heard about the ‘American dream’ and I wanted to live the American dream.

When I began my journey at the Florida State University, the ‘Seminole feeling’ didn’t take as much time to settle in as within the first couple of weeks, I was on the board, working as a soccer analyst for the university’s soccer team. Having prior experience with soccer obviously helped as I got to work on my dream software, Prozone. Unlike my time with my undergrad degree in engineering, grades at FSU were never a problem. Yes, I worked my socks off but it was all God’s grace that grades panned out better than I had expected them to.

With time, I met some amazing lads. Soccer fans, F1 fans, guys who taught me American football and guys with whom I experienced the FSU life, you know what I mean ;) As time passed, I realized that I was actually doing well. But there was something still missing and my intuition told me that it was my will to make a difference, my will to make people meditate, my will to spread Sri Sri’s message, my will to transform lives. And it was all God’s grace that I managed to do all that. How? He has his own ways.

I got a teaching assistantship for two of my four semesters at FSU! I taught four one-credit hour courses in ‘Stretch and Relaxation’. I taught yoga, meditation, the secret to smile…In all, I basically taught a spirituality course. Lol. Why?

I once asked my spirituality teacher, “Why do you teach all this? Why don’t you feed poor people by the money (that you charge) instead of giving out all this knowledge?” And his reply was one that gave me a path to walk on. He said, “We can, but if I give them food for 2000 bucks, how many meals will I be able to serve? 25 meals for a person? Instead, I give them knowledge, it is priceless and lasts with them for a lifetime. What do you think is better?” I remember pausing and saying, “Wow!” Knowledge like this and people like him have truly helped me shape my life.

So, when I look back, and ask myself, “Did I do the right thing in teaching yoga, meditation and spirituality, and not just not normal stretching?” Absolutely! Spirituality is very different from religion, and I highlighted that. In my courses, I never spoke religion. In fact, I told Christians to believe in Jesus and know that he is taking care of them; I told Muslims to have faith and believe in Allah and know that he is there, and I told Hindus to believe in Ram and Krishna and know that he is ensuring that his/her life leads to perfection. Same implies to Jews and Buddhists as well. I just spoke one language and it was called spirituality, which revolved around the fact that our lives are taken care of and that we do not need to worry.

I also taught few stress relief sessions at the Big Bend Homeless Coalition. It was amazing! The expressions of people after coming out of meditation were priceless. I should have filmed a Mastercard commercial right there. Lol. Those homeless people were so special and under enormous stress, more than what a normal person can even imagine, and making them meditate was an exceptional experience.

Okay, back to FSU. It was the fall semester, the end of August, when I met some of the finest chaps in America. They weren’t the Michael Jordons and the Lionel Messis of this world, but who they were, were truly wonderful people with great hearts, who knew how to celebrate every moment, how to be supportive and how to live their life to perfection, and that’s what made them bigger and better than even Jordon, Ronaldo or Messi. They were about 25 in number, maybe more. They laughed, they enjoyed, they partied, they lived in the present moment, they…just lived every moment as it came and in the process, taught me how life was to be lived at FSU. In fact, when I look back now, I would say that they were the missing link in my time jigsaw (if there is anything like that lol) at FSU. It was them who were the reason that, when I think about all those times of the fall, it lets me believe that I lived my semester to perfection. I am still friends with them and it feels like an absolute blessing.

Meanwhile, I had applied to a number of places for my internship and I got in to my dream company, doing my dream internship: IMG Academy and an internship in Performance Technology and Sponsorship. I still remember sitting, with a friend of mine, as a marketer in the parking lot of our team’s stadium and saying, “How cool would it be to get to IMG?” And here I was, at IMG!

I still have over a month left of my internship at IMG and during my time here, I have not only worked with some of the top American football college athletes, but also, I have got a chance to meet Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Floyd Sam and Juninho. It’s been awesome and it’s all God’s grace.

Now, why did I write about all this? Well, I don’t know. Maybe because I just wanted to. Actually, no. There was something that has really been biting me. What is it? Not the most heart-warming thing, off course. The thing is, in ten days, I am going back to Tallahassee, and it could be the last time that I see so many people. Why? Because if I don’t get a job, I go back to India. Marketer for a year and a half, journalist for two years and a sports analyst for over two years, am I not worth a job? I don’t know. But as I had taught in my courses, my Guru’s message, my life is taken care of, so, I need not worry. At times, I give myself a lesson. Lol

But if this is the last time that I meet some of my friends, especially those 25 or so fun-loving mates of mine, what I can certainly publish is that I will miss them to extremity.

PPPPSSSSSHHHHHHHH…enough of getting emotional. Bigger picture. As I had said, “I came to America to live the American dream,” and thanks to God’s grace I lived the American dream. Frankly speaking, I don’t even know what the American dream is, but my experience couldn’t have been bettered.

For making my time a truly memorable one, a special ‘thank you’ to Miao, Shuai, Paul Sheffield, Eric Parks, Pamella, Erin, Laura, Ellen, Alicia, Brittany, Katharina, Smay, Justin Garner, Parker, Sarah H, Carlton, Andrew Young, Jim, Steve, Kristen,  Nindiya, Gary Galvez and Jennifer, Matt Cline, Caroline, Amanda G., Max, Christian, Mikey, Lauren B., Sara, Del Toro, Nicky Yang, Ashley, Stephanie, Lance and Tiffany, Joshua Peterson, Nick Downey, Ozi, Neslihan, Kosuke and Yue Ji, and my MBA buddies: Lancer, Claire, Tony, Albert, JR, Justin, Julian and Dan, and my mates who have graduated: Ryan Pekerek, Ryan Pham, Logan Liles, Justin Mason, Sid sir, Javier and Wang Suk, and all the Indians who have always stood by, and all the teachers…all of you are true rockstars and the reason why FSU students rock the world.

Love,
Kratik

4 comments:

  1. vivek says:

    Great Post!!!! in a limited time, You have achieved more than any one else could ever thought of achieving!!!

    Kudos!

  1. Ya Kratik! I'm proud of all you have accomplished my man! Im glad we got to meet.

  1. shilpa says:

    v nicely written...loved it :)

  1. Daniel says:

    Great article bud!! I enjoyed reading every line and you've accomplished so much!


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