There comes a point in our lives when we start questioning, things around us, within us! Existential crisis is rare at a young age. To me, it happened when I was just 23. I had started off with a new job after MBA, with all the excitement and energy as everybody else does.
It was a regular day at the office. I went up to my boss and asked him, ‘What is it that excites you?’
‘What keeps you going every day?’
And, then, I recall, he told me, ‘I want to buy a BMW next.’ I mean there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his answer. But at that very moment, I realised that I did not have answers to the questions I had asked him.
I told myself, there has to be more to life, more than owning these material possessions. Something that makes you want to wake up from the bed and say that, ‘Hey! This is something awesome that I am going to do.’
‘This is something awesome that I am going to create.’
‘This is something that can move people, touch their lives, create an impact in the society.’
A few days later, without giving much thought, I packed a rucksack, with bare essentials, and left Mumbai, where I worked as an Area sales manager, in search of my true self.
I hit the open road. I travelled from the Himalayas to the Andamans. I even tagged along with a bunch of friends who had to be there for a startup event in Barcelona. Yeah, I can get desperate at times! Especially when it comes to travel. I had no idea where life was going to take me next. But I was just enjoying the ride. I met people on the open road – artists, entrepreneurs, saints, visionaries, who inspired me to the core and gave a new direction to my life.
Meanwhile, I discovered myself, my true self. Somebody who likes to talk to people, random people. Somebody who wants to listen to their stories. Somebody who wants to tell stories, share stories. I felt a sense of belonging to the world. I felt, at that very moment, I became someone from somebody. I believe, only travel can do such magic to you. When you move out of your routine lives, break out of your comfort zone, you become capable of things you had never thought you could be capable of.
I started to pursue my long lost dream of becoming a storyteller, with conviction, without fear, or doubts. I would travel and write. Travel more. Write more.
I wanted to write a story, that has an impact, that helps me channelise the energy of the youth, that inspires them to take a stand and do things their heart desires to.
My characters: Myra, Kabir and Sandy, is just one of you, trying hard to lead the lives they wish to. They eventually start up a company together, but the story is more about breaking free from the old routine lives to be able to embrace the new. The journey, the emotional journey, that one has to take, to be able to live their dreams.
But, unfortunately, life is not always a fairytale ride. There came a point where I realised I had made a big mistake not taking up enough freelance assignments and my bank balance was nearing a zero. Another mistake that I made was, I presumed, literally presumed that my family would not support me with my unconventional life choice and therefore never told them what was I really up to. I learnt from the mistakes I had made and moved on.
Let me tell you this. People who love you, people who care for you, are really important. When you decide to take the plunge, make sure, they are a part of the journey.
I finally completed the book. Yeah, I felt victorious. I felt that the most significant hurdle had been crossed. Until I started writing to publishers and never really heard back from any of them. My heart shattered into pieces like a glass, literally.
Then, I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing through the Pen To Publish Contest. It was a chance to be heard. It was a chance to reach out to the readers. I participated and was overwhelmed by the reviews my book garnered. Positive reviews started pouring in, and my heart was back to its original shape. Perhaps, stronger than the previous one!
A message that I would like to give to everyone is, don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can not do. A lot of us have a misconception that to pursue our ideas, to startup companies, we need to be super rich, or blessed. It’s absolute nonsense. I come from a middle-class family, and yes, it is hard to convince your parents at times, but in the end, nothing is impossible. It can all happen. Just believe in yourself and your dreams. Work hard. Work every day. You can and will do wonders. In the end, everything that does not work out sums up to the things that do. The idea is to never give up, never give up.
Through my novel, I want to say it out loud that we, the youth, are the future of the nation, and it is the time that we boldly pursue our choices. Let’s build the India of the future through entrepreneurship, because each one of us, no matter where we come from, has that one idea that holds the potential to touch a million lives. This is my dream.
I am sharing my book’s trailer just to give you a sneak peek of what ‘On The Open Road – Three Lives Five Cities One Startup’ will be about!
It’s going to be the 1st Indian Fiction Novel on Startups, and it’s now up for pre-orders.
Here you go: http://amzn.to/2EG6w8b