The New Generation of Rising Stars

KuruBy: Athithan Kurukulasingam

Fear, an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. Growing up as a child I feared the dreaded class presentation or the speech one would have to give in front of his or her peers. I’m sure I’m not alone when I suggest that most kids hate being in the spot light. The sense of anxiety that took over at that age could not be put into words. The tension that would arise waiting to hear your name being called out was unbearable. Things did not get better once it was your turn. Clammy hands, dry throat, a voice that could barely register a decibel, these were all some of the symptoms we faced. The feeling of euphoria that would erupt after those dreaded minutes ticked by are still registered in my brain today. I hated putting myself out there plain and simple. I thought to myself, why put yourself out there in order to be scrutinized by everyone? Why be put under the microscope and be dissected for every little thing that you did? To me at that time, it all seemed pointless. Flash forward some years down the road. I have effectively broken out of that shell that had shackled me throughout childhood. The person I am today is a total opposite of what I used to be. A fragment of my old self one could say. Being shy and self conscious is a normal part of life but it effectively limits your ability to put yourself on the map. It is a barrier that can hold you back from achieving great heights. Once one can learn to control the fear anything is possible and we are seeing the by-product of that in our Tamil community.

Today, we are living in a new generation of rising stars. Kids are relentless in the pursuit of greatness. We are seeing more and more people of any age put themselves out there without the fear of being judged. When I was growing up, I never really knew a Tamil singer my age apart from the kid next door that used to sing at family functions. In the technologically developed era that we live in today, one can upload a clip of them singing on YouTube and it can go viral instantly. I’m just using singing as an example but of course this can be expanded into many other categories. Now I see my fellow Tamil people putting themselves out there like never before and it’s an amazing sight. Sporadic success is from the past and now frequent breakthroughs are of the norm. While I argue that we are seeing more and more rising stars today, I would like to stress that more can be done. First of all, we should all do our part to promote local talent. I feel that this is a very crucial point. For every person that receives instant success there are just as many if not more that don’t. We all know of that person who is trying to promote themselves. That next door neighbour that used to or still does sing at local events now has the platform to put his or her self out there to a wider market. Remember what it was like for you as a kid to go and stand up in front of the whole class. No matter how good, bad or mediocre the person seems to you,  we should applaud their efforts. It takes a great deal of courage for one to put themselves under the microscope. For every person that has that secret talent that only a select few know about, I call on you to put yourself out there. Showcase to the world what you have without fear because you may rise to a level of greatness that would otherwise not be possible. There is nothing to fear but fear itself, why hold back the next great Tamil dancer, musician, poet, vocalist etc…There is always a way to break through.

One of my best friends Kunatharsan Thevarasa is a prime example of a man who shed his fears to promote himself on a bigger platform. Kuna was that shy quiet kid who loved to make everyone laugh. To his close friends he was the one who would talk the most and crack everyone up but in a larger setting he was that quiet kid who went about his business. Kuna possesses a wide array of talents, one could say he is an all around package. Dancing like the Ghana King that he is, cracking people up with his comedic skills or acting out his favourite scene from a movie. Kuna has it all. The skills that Kuna possesses are off the charts but there was one catch, he feared putting himself out there. The frequent attempts by our friends to get him to showcase his talents went by without success. Kuna just wouldn’t break out of his shell; however, one day Kuna along with his friends decided to join the UTSC Assassins, a local university dance team. By joining this dance team Kuna set off a series of corresponding events. He started hosting Talents shows which made people rip at the sides from laughter from the barrage of jokes he would dish out. The response he got from people expressing their approval of his work made this shy guy feel like a million bucks. From that moment onward, Kuna started to break out of his shell piece by piece. The talents that were so readily available to be showcased to his friends were now being shown to a wider audience. Kuna now did not fear being watched but rather embraced it. As a friend so eloquently pointed out to me a couple of days ago, Kuna likes making people smile and that is what drives him to succeed. He is without a shred of doubt going to make it big in life. He is now embarking on a new challenge of directing a short film called “Ey Kunjayee” where he can showcase his many talents. It is broken down into a series of episodes and covers a variety of topics that affect a majority of our Tamil youth while keeping the mood light and hearty. The instant success that Kuna received from his first couple of episodes did not go to his head; however, it made him more hungry to put out a better product. He is one of the most down to earth guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and it is quite astonishing to see the change that he has gone through.

We all have that ability to pursue what we love to do. One should not let their dreams and aspirations go to waste. Once you embrace fear rather than run away from it, an endless stream of possibilities await. We are seeing a large influx of rising stars and the ceiling isn’t capped. We shouldn’t be afraid of putting ourselves out there. As a final note I would like to bring up the difference friendship has on an individual. My friend Kuna is surrounded by friends who love him and wish him nothing but the best. For every step that Kuna took, he had friends by his side to support him and help him overcome his fears. His friends joined the Assassins with him and those same friends are by his side acting alongside him in “Ey Kunjayee”. Overcoming fear when faced alone can seem a monumental task; however, facing it with your loved ones can make that task seem much less daunting.    “Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins”(Charles Stanley). Fear should be embraced and faced head on and only then will success be truly attainable.



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