I have a confession to make – I suffer from a malady called complacency. Having been afflicted with it for a while, I’ve raved and ranted, held detailed discussions on the subject with family, friends and even acquaintances, but it keeps coming back (like a bad cold and my obsession with all things retro). I guess the reason why this condition is an inseparable part of my life’s soundtrack is because I haven’t really, actively done anything to snap out of it. Why I’m putting this out into the universe (which constantly conspires to give me what I don’t want – sorry, Paulo Coelho, I just don’t buy that famous line of yours from The Alchemist), is because I need a push. A great big push to get myself out of a long stagnant situation, one that fails to inspire in any way. I won’t go into further details but I’m sure some of our readers can relate to my predicament – be it in their personal or professional lives. “It’s of your own making,” advise my well-wishers. But this kind of gentle chiding is not enough – one needs someone or something that will inspire you in a major way, to take that drastic plunge, make that big change, whatever it may be. While browsing at the Sharjah International Book Fair recently, a friend decided he wanted to check out writer Chetan Bhagat’s session discussing his latest novel One Indian Girl. While I do often feel like the ‘grammar police’ when confronted with Bhagat’s overtly colloquial writing style, his storytelling ability is doubtless to be admired – that special connect with a vast majority of the public isn’t easily accomplished and the banker-turned-author seems to have hit upon the winning formula for literary success in India. In response to an audience question over his change of career, Bhagat elaborated on how he really wanted to do something different and was persistent in his ambition to be a writer till he reached a point where he didn’t really need the day job anymore. It’s a topic he has touched upon earlier on many occasions, but somehow listening to him in a live forum was inspiring, energising, and made impossible dreams seem within reach (I’m sure there were many more people in that lively audience that thought so too). His speech wasn’t the big, impressive push I was anticipating, but it did serve to remind me of the lesson that hard work, persistence, and the right attitude play a big part in transforming one’s approach to life and goals, and how at some point I have to stop this useless, annoying whining, and embark on a brand new adventure with no fear.