The passion of a dream can never be underestimated nor the power that it
generates. I have not come across a stronger example of this than through
the eyes of a long lost friend I knew in India. During my medical education days, somewhere in third year, I had the fortunate luck of becoming friends with Anil.
Anil was a normal , average looking individual who was 2 years
my senior. He was finishing medical school in six months. What no one
knew or saw was that for Anil the word Dream was spelled as AMERICA.
His life, his goal, his aim, was to reach there. He could not give you adequate
reasons and whys for that dream , but you needed none when you saw the
ferociousness of his focus. I have seen people succeed by perseverance, I
have seen people succeed by toil, but in Anil I saw something extra- it was
an intensity that burned his soul. For him the focus of living was a land he
had never seen. He had to be there.
I tried to write his story but could not do justice to his forceful passion
and so I limit myself to this one example of how much we must desire so that
we may succeed. It will also go to show that perhaps being a little mad and
obsessive in pursuit of a dream may be an important ingredient in any
recipe of success.
One stormy night, when the rain poured like rivers and the skies thundered
like the angry oceans, I sat snug in my chair in my hostel room trying to
comprehend why hypertension and smoking are linked. The pages of "Text book
of Medicine" by Davidson lay open upon my table. The dim table top lamp was
the only light I needed at that time in an otherwise dark room.
I caught the whine of Anil's bike over the sound of thunder, and I heard him skid and
halt right in front of my ground floor room. When I darted out to get him in
I could not believe what I saw. Anil was drenched in water, his hair
plastered to his scalp, he wore nothing on him but a tennis short that clung
to his wetness like a swimming trunk. Raindrops glistened on his naked body,
that seemed to be heaving with gasps of effort.
Then I saw his face.....It had the look of a man who seemed to have done something incredible. His eyes
blazed red , and his nostrils flared with each breath he took." Nirvi", he
said " Come with me , this very moment, I have something to show you".
I looked at the rain, I looked at the darkness of the night, I looked at
the dry nightgown I wore. "Anil", I said "It's raining and.....". I could
not say any more. I knew it was that moment in life when you had to die for
a friend if that was the need. I also knew that procrastination would be
Some passions were worth being stupid. I didn't know what Anil was
up to or what was to happen, but I took a step forward into the rain. I did
not lock my room, I did not change my clothes, I just stepped out into the
rain and sat behind him on his bike then we roared away into the night.
Twelve to fifteen minutes later we were in front of Anil's house. He led me
in through the back door and we tiptoed through the hall lest we disturb his
sleeping parents in the room close by. We reached his room and he closed the
door behind us. We stood there in the dark, inside his room. He whispered
in my ear, "Behold my passion" and switched on the lights.
I blinked twice before I could comprehend his work. One wall of his room had
a wall to wall plastered map of the United States of America, but that had
been there before. Today, it was his bed.
From the four corners of his bed stood four poles and all the poles had a large flag of the United States of
America carefully pinned along the length of the sides in unfurled state.
Four flags of USA, surrounding in entirety a small bed. Four Flags, all
painted fresh oil colors by hand, four handcrafted maps. Every star and
every stripe, every edge and every margin carefully sewn.
The room dazzled in the riot of colors. The smell of fresh paint filled the room. I looked at Anil
and saw his hands, hands smudged with rain and paint hues of red,
white and blue. He was grinning ear to ear. His eyes were on fire. I had no
words to say. He said , "I am going to sleep surrounded by my dream". I
just hugged him and said, "Yes , you will".
Anil made it to a Medical school residency in United States of America six
months later. He left India never to return. I could not see him off at the
airport but that picture of him sleeping on the bed surrounded by American
Flags was etched in my mind forever.
Was it an Obsession? Was it Paranoia? Or was it just the Passion of a Dream?
I never knew. I never cared. All I knew was that it worked for him.
The Passion of a Dream.
--- Copyright © 1999 Dr. Nirvikar Dahiya --- India