- Following your passion off the beaten path
Following your passion off the beaten path
After the debut of her book, ‘What About Passion?’, which talks about the journeys of 12 engineers who found success in non-engineering careers, author Priya Dalvi speaks to Café about what drives those who choose to follow their dreams
the last couple of years, there has been a familiar
stereotype that can be seen in films,
memes, satirical YouTube videos and regular conversations among friends – that
is the life of a typical engineer. It is common knowledge that engineering is
one of the most sought after degree courses in the country and it is a
profession that society at large favours as a good choice of profession as
there is that perceived sense of security and potential ‘bright future’ that
comes with the job.
What’s also common is to hear about how engineering students
want to pursue different interests and jobs after they graduate. While such
decisions are often met with scepticism and lots of discouragement, there are
those who follow their passion, come what may, and end up creating successful
and inspiring life stories for fellow dreamers.
Priya Dalvi, an information technology engineer from Goa College
of Engineering, Farmagudi, has covered the real stories of 12 such engineers
who took up their “sphere of interest”, as she terms it in her book ‘What about
The book talks about the journeys of these twelve, who are in
their 20s and have created stories towards success.
Addressing these stereotypes about engineers, Priya believes
that the wisdom and knowledge a person gains during their studies helps them
later on, giving them an edge in their respective fields. “Thus, the degree one
is currently pursuing won’t go waste if they decide to pursue their passion
later. There are plenty of things that we learn during our education tenure
that certainly help us, not just in our careers but life on the whole.
“Education and passion should go hand in hand. When one is
taking up his or her degree, whether engineering or something else, one should
try to explore other fields and identify what suits them. For instance, today,
all creative fields are linked with technology, so any technical degree one
pursues will help them in their career, regardless of what their area of
interest is,” says Priya.
Priya herself has an interesting journey of self-discovery,
where she nurtured her passion for writing since her schooling days at Jawahar
Navodaya Vidhyalaya (Valpoi), right through college and getting a job with a
software company in Pune, where she took up blogging, focusing on her travel,
adventures and experiences.
Buoyed by the strong response she got for her blogs, she decided
to try a biography blog. That’s when she met a computer engineer turned
musician and happened to interview him. This, along with her own thoughts on
the subject, led to her conceptualising the theme for the book.
Observing that it can be a tough battle for any young engineer
who wishes to take up a creative career or follow their passion, she explains
that what inspired her to take up this project was seeing how these engineers
remained committed despite the odds and how it all worked out,
The book also highlights celebrities like international DJ and
producer Anish Sood and Indian women cricket team player Shikha Pandey,
recipients of national awards like filmmaker Aditya Jambhale and youth leader
Raghuvir Mahale Purhohit, as well as other engineers who are now leading
figures in their fields like Chaitanya Malik (agriculture/farming), Jyoti
Pandey (fashion designing) Sameetha Dessai (events/ digital marketing), Anuj
Prabhu (actor), Radhika Redkar (paper craft artist/ gallery owner), Akshay
Parvatkar (film screenplay writer), Ashwini Krishna (social enterprise) and
Anup Muraraka (musician).
“With the help of the 12 stories of young engineers featured in
the book, I have touched upon various challenges a young passion seeker is
likely to confront, and also attempted to provide practical solutions. Some of
them are: How do I convince my parents? What if I fail? Will I make enough money?
What will society say?,” adds Priya.
Besides the stories and challenges on these entrepreneurs, every
chapter has a dedicated section that attempts to provide practical solutions on
how to convince parents to take up a career of choice, various definitions of a
dream, message to the passion seekers, relationship between education and
passion and some interesting facts about engineering.
“Today, the craze of following one’s passion is trending so much
that the young kids are abiding by it without even understanding the crux of
it. Being passionate is good, but that’s just not enough to chase your passion.
It’s extremely important to endure the pain that may come you way. To excel in
your sphere of interest takes hard work, dedication and the spirit to keep
going despite of the hurdles. Sometimes, passion seekers fail to understand
this and end up in a mess, maybe by leaving college or their jobs without
proper planning, etc, and then they are tagged as ‘frustrated engineers’. The
book attempts to touch base upon facts like this,” adds Priya, when asked to
Given that the book, which took almost a year and a half to
complete, was launched at her school’s national alumni meet by All India JNV
Alumni Association, Priya says she is very pleased with the response it has
received so far: “It’s just been a month, and responses are pacing up. I’m
happy. What makes me happier is the fact that the youth are able to resonate
with my content.”
online comments like “It is what I have been looking for” and “It is a
mandatory read for all young passion seekers out there”, Priya has certainly
struck a chord with the youth.