Late Bloomers

Success is whimsical and not all of us are quick off the mark. Some bloom later than others

THE 30s were tough,it was kind of a challenge and I am ready for the next one! Life is full and Im just a late bloomer, said Hollywood actor Jennifer Aniston in a recent interview.The Friends star,who just turned 41, says it took her some time to figure herself.Some people take their 20s to discover who they are and I think I did more of that in my 30s because fame stunts your growth in some way, says Aniston,who married actor Brad Pitt in 2000 only to split in 2005 when Brad moved on to Angelina Jolie.

Sharon Stone set pulses racing at 34! Stone achieved international recognition for her performance in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct in the early 90's. Our own Amitabh Bachchan is also a late bloomer;success actually came his way when he was in his early 30s ! After honing skills with full-time theatre,street plays and a lot of struggle,actor Anupam Kher finally made a distinct mark with Saaransh at 28.I am glad that I did not start at 20-22.Perhaps,I would have landed some romantic role in Rajshris and would have got the title of has been by now.My launch was a big one and I have survived for 26 years!  says Kher.

In the industry where youth matters,actor Arjun Rampals Bollywood innings have finally come of age in his late 30s.Known as a comeback kid with several consecutive hits,he is now looking forward to better opportunities.His recent boxoffice Housefull was a success and he has an important role in much-awaited Raajneeti.Vidya Balan made her Hindi film debut with Parineeta in her late 20s at an age when many actresses in the past have bid goodbye to their careers.I have absolutely no regrets.. otherwise I wouldnt have landed the role in Parineeta, she says.Many artists,singers,writers,businessmen .. have a brush with fame pretty late in life.Sometimes this may be because it takes time for others to recognise their talent,but often a person takes time to attain emotional maturity.Then,a time comes when an ordinary novelist or painter suddenly transforms into a genius ! For example,Guru Dutt was considered a good director,but it was not until he made masterpieces like Kaagaz ke Phool and Pyaasa that he was truly counted as a genius! On the other hand,Raj Kapoor started by making masterpieces! Age is a state of mind, says 89-year-old Captain Krishnan Nair,who set up the first Leela Hotel,The Leela Kempinski in Mumbai,at the age of 65.I still feel that I am a beginner and have yet to learn a lot, says Captain Nair.Cine m a beckoned actor Boman Irani at 44.I have been a late bloomer in every aspect of my life.Earlier,I had got into photography at 32-33.I didnt expect cinema to take on my life, says Irani,who caught people's attention with his role in Munnabhai MBBS.According to the experts,what may take the average person 15 years to master may take late bloomers only five once their genes sync up.Even though they started later,progress can be rapid and make up for lost time.Some other notable examples of late bloomers were scientists Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.Darwin decided to publish his book,The Original Species years after he had written it.Creative energy can be trapped in many complexes that we carry with us.The shackles of these complexes are broken only when we experience life in a different way and until then we dont dare to express ourselves, says psychiatrist Dr Ra j e n d ra Barve.Even M a h at m a Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore were late bloomers.Gandhiji began the fight for freedom only after 35.Tagore started drawing and sketching much later in life, adds Dr Barve.
Corporate guru and author Gurcharan Das took up writing as his principal occupation in his 50s.Since the human life span has been increasing one can plan for two lives and have two careers, laughs Das,who took early retirement at 50 to devote all his time to writing.People are afraid of experimenting and they get into a rut.One must consider the whole life as a work of art, he says.Adds Dr Mrinalini Purandare,head of the department,Guidance & Counselling,SNDT University,Mumbai.And then,intellectual deterioration with age isnt seen these days."

While playback singers like Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal were noticed early when they had not even crossed 20,Kavita Krishnamurti got fame with Mr Indias ditty Hawa Hawai after a long wait of about eight years.Besides certain egoistical problems,I am quite happy with a slow and steady career.I was never for instant success, says Krishnamurti.

However,counsellors believe,that the late bloomers may develop lack of self-confidence."In that case they may need a lot of support to highlight their strengths, Or they could be more capable of indepth thinking and clear decision-making whereas an early bloomer may burn out too soon,"says Dr Purandare.The oldest Kapoor debutant currently is veteran actor Shammi Kapoors 53-year-old son Aditya Raj who missed the mark in early years.His two films released recently.He's now doing a cameo in Society,starring Dimple Kapadia and cousin Randhir Kapoor."I left India,directed films abroad and came back after 25 years.Now I want to act.Its never too late" says Aditya.It is more about starting something when you are ready mentally and physically.Now I will catch the tiger by its head and not by its tail.But then who decides what's the right age for anything in life he says exuding confidence.