“Back in school I was never one to venture into any mischief. However, one thing that usually got me in trouble was accurately (and apparently offensively) impersonating every teacher to ever grace my classroom, which was actually my first foray into creative arts.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been someone who equally indulges in activities like dance, theatre, music or sports, while ensuring education never got sidelined. While I did streamline my interests over the course of my teenage years to just a few, I made sure I never limited myself to only mastering one.

Do I feel I should’ve mastered one skill to perfection instead of being a Jack Of All Trades? The answer is most certainly not.

Pursuing excellence in everything I try irrespective of the material outcome is greatly enjoyable for me, all while finding the few things I’m uniquely suited to dominate. This attitude has maximized the number of peak experiences I have had in my life. 

A great advantage of branching out is you’re no longer apprehensive of trying out completely new things. When I started learning my first ever dance routine 15 years ago, I was scared to death about the performance that was over a month later. But in the past four years, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve learnt a routine a day before the performance.

It also teaches you to empathize with the broadest range of human conditions and truly acknowledge and appreciate the vast scope of human accomplishments. Only when I newly delved into content creation this year did I realise the extent of work that goes into editing and screenplay – how I may not have noticed these efforts while watching films and other incredible pieces of art in the form of videos.

Developing just one skill sounds a lot like eating the same meal four times a day for the rest of your life, you end up missing out on variety which is essential if you want to spice everyday life up.

This became clear to me during the two years of JEE preparation when I had to forgo almost everything I enjoyed. Looking back at it now I realise that I was a prisoner locked in my one-dimensional pursuit of perfection in something that was just a tiny portion of what I wanted to do in life. I desperately needed a creative outlet.

The two hours of my life that I began investing in rehearsals became my alternate reality; two hours in a day when the character I was portraying lived through my body and soul. This embodiment of different roles not only gave me a better understanding of people’s feelings, thought processes and the situations in the appropriate context, it also introduced me to a whole new possibility of learning positive lessons from their character traits.

Having tons of interests and hobbies also meant I ended up with multiple friend circles, sharing a different dynamic with each one of them, enabling great adaptability each time I face a fresh crowd. I feel comfortable in finding common ground with strangers because out of the several things I’ve tried, they’re sure to have tried at least one and there’s my ice breaker!

While I’ve always seen this positively, one thing that throws me off is when people ask me what “label” I like to go with – Mechanical engineer? Actor? Dancer? Data scientist? Theatre artist? Content Creator? What can I say, I’m too complex to categorise for my own good!”
-Sinchana Hegde

Curated by Jijiss Basil Joy