Tuesday 13 August 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 169

Life is a wheel
 13.8.2013, Mumbai

This is one of the saddest stories of Hollywood, a story of stardom and bankruptcy, part true part exaggerated. A story of a star Sylvestar Stallone…It is said that at one point of his struggling days, Stallolone was so broke that he stole his wife's jewellery and sold it.
It did not end there, with time he turned so poor that he was homeless and slept at the New York bus station for days depended on charity for food.

His lowest point came when he did not have a penny in his pocket and his dog was unwell out of not having eaten for days. Stallone made a decision and stood outside a liquor store to sell his dog to any kind and wealthy stranger.

He waited long but the stranger arrived and bought his favorite dog, rather his family for just 25 dollars. It was the darkest day in Stallone’s life and he walked aimlessly on the streets of New York city crying... 

Two weeks later, Stallone watched a boxing match between Mohammed Ali and Chuck Werner and it changed Stallone’s life.

He wiped his tears and began writing and a script was ready in believe it or not in just 20 hours! Stallone was happy with what he had written and began visiting production houses. The studios were willing to listen, saw potential and offered $125,000. Stallone was willing he had just one request. He wanted to play the lead.

The studio was not willing. Stallone left their office with his script. A few weeks later, the studio called Stallone and increased the offer to $250,000 for the script but they were still not willing to cast him as the hero. Stallone refused again. The Studio hiked it to $350,000 Stallone declined, said the script will come with him as the hero.

Exasperated the studio gave in locked the deal for $35,000 for the script and let him play the lead. The film was Rocky and it won 4 Academy Awards that year - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editor and most important, Sylvestar Stallone was nominated Best Actor. There is more, the film was even inducted into the American National Film Registry as one of the greatest movies ever!
The story proves that if you are convinced and follow your dream, you can bring miracles but there is more…

Stallone did not forget his hard times. He built his home and heart brick by brick. With money in his pocket he drove to the liquor store in anticipation of finding the stranger he sold his dog and life to on a desperate night. He waited for three full days and night watching every face that entered and exited the store and finally, the face he recognized turned up at the spot.

Stallone recognized his dog. The dog recognized Stallone and the stranger did not need too many words to fill in the story. He was willing to return his dog to Stallone but without a bargain and extracted $15,000 and Stallone submitted without regrets. He was happy his dog was with him and would never keep him hungry.

There is a moral to the story. Life is tough and opportunities will often pass you by, but one must never stop dreaming because nobody knows your true potential except yourself.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

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