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Posted at: Apr 5, 2015, 12:34 AM; last updated: Apr 5, 2015, 12:34 AM (IST)

Listen to your heart…

Do what you love or love what you do is the simple dictum to guarantee a happy life. But it is not that simple. While some are lucky to know what to pursue from the word go, others reach that Eureka moment through trial and error
Listen to your heart…
Ravinder Singh


On an early morning last September, as Patrick Pichette enjoyed the sunrise with his partner Tamar after an overnight climb to Mt Kilimanjaro, her out of the blue question, ‘why don't we just keep on going’, made the Google CFO realign the priorities. He bid adieu to his professional life this month to make way for personal life to follow what he loves—to explore the world.

Like Patrick, many others from Chandigarh too asked the question as what makes them happy…and left their mainstream professions to follow their heart. Here is a bit from their journey…

BrPen drive

Author, publisher Ravinder Singh was happy when he joined Microsoft and happier when he quit it! This engineer is on a happening journey. He joined Infosys (dream 1 check) when an unfortunate incident made him pick up a pen. The result — I Too Had a Love Story — a novel that made him an overnight sensation. Buoyed by initial success, he kept writing and working when he realised his dream 2 — MBA from ISB, Hyderabad. As if good luck had just begun…he wrote two more books that were well received and then he got placed in Microsoft (dream 3 check). 

Some eight months into his ‘dream’ job, it was identity crisis that hit Ravinder. “When sitting in an office cubicle, I thought about books. I had this sense of betrayal towards the company that was paying me so well.” One weekend he was in Jaipur Literature Festival, chased by fans for an autograph; the next Monday his boss asked him about the status report he was due to submit.  “I had to chose between the two—Ravinder who writes codes or the Ravinder who writes books!” 

He chose the latter, and turned to writing fulltime. “If I could come this far writing an hour a day, where could I be when I wrote eight hours a day made me take my call,” he admits.

On his own for more than two years now, there are many things that he enjoys and little that he misses… “Every Monday is a Sunday now, I work seven days a week but at my pace.” He also misses his old office — standing next to the coffee machine and sharing sports scores, wearing crisp shirts to work. But he is working to get all that and more. Busy writing and taking out the first batch of three books, he aims at making his publishing venture Black Ink a success.

Boundless joy
Vaneeta Kang

If pursuing one’s dream is important, so is to earn a living. Work on both till you can turn your passion profitable!

Vaneeta Kang went through an interesting rally of career before she found her true calling. A graduate, she did fashion designing but later opened up an event management company followed by taking up a marketing job. It’s a year back that she set up Boundless Journeys wherein she takes people out on adventure tours — snow drives, as far as Leh or even weekend getaways. “An eight-to-eight job sapped me of my energy,” opens up Vaneeta who decided to quit her high paying job because she wouldn’t get leaves enough to pursue her passion— rallying. And, then she mixed both. “A year of Boundless Journeys, I have met many like-minded people who crave for adventure,” says Vaneeta who takes them on adventure in safe and controlled environment. Challenges sure are aplenty, especially when you have a family to look after. But life is fun. Just back from Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2015 where she was a marshal, Vaneeta is raring to go.

Double return
Amardeep Singh

One must take that one calculated risk; anything done with passion is bound to be successful. For Amardeep Singh, his calling came through his friend circle. Most of his gang chose hotel management course and socialising with chefs, so he thought of owning up one too. An MBA, circumstances made him do most of his studies through correspondence. After a stint with Jet Airways and Spicejet in the cabin crew, then with Citibank, he played his big gamble. A cousin of his after completing hotel management from Australia offered him help to run a restaurant in Hisar, his hometown. Amardeep sold his house in Mohali, bought a plot and set up Double Spoon, a fine dining restaurant. 

Three years later, it is a self-sustaining unit today. “Double Spoon is just another restaurant like any other in Sector 26, but since it is in Hisar it is a big thing,” shares the 27-year-old restaurateur. 

His venture is now Hisar’s landmark and Amardeep enjoys attention. “People are loaded with little exposure and I am trying my best to draw army officers, doctors, those in the insurance sector to my restaurant.”

Creative impulse

When pursuing passion, enlist the support of your family. Financial crunch can be dealt with but you need support of your loved ones to keep going on your chosen path.

Fabric and fashion always attracted Yashi, though she found her true vocation going through the circuitous route of engineering, MBA and a longish corporate stint. 

Working for 15 years in companies like Tata, Yashi didn’t let her dream of designing die. Some three years back, unable to curb her desire to don a designer’s hat, she started her venture along with her job. 

The initial period was tough. An eight hours job, interacting with clients for a few more and playing mum didn’t come easy. “I worked for 18 hours a day around that time,” shares Yashi, who seeing her venture click, quit her job. She has been on an upswing ever since. 

“Though, I picked this up late, I don’t have any regrets. My corporate experience helped me dealing with my customers. Getting work done is one thing, making a client happy is another,” says Yashi whose Nari Designers Studio in Panchkula offers ethnic, western and Indo-western outfits. 

“I love being my own boss though dealing with workers isn’t an easy job either.”

Brimming with success
Vimmy Ahuja

There would be many who would stop you from taking that chance but if you have it in your heart, go ahead. And, have patience, any venture wouldn’t be successful on day one. Don’t lose heart if things don’t turn out to be what you dreamt of. Be consistent and you would eventually realise you dream. 

Panchkula girl Vimmy Ahuja duly did her engineering from Punjab Engineering College, worked with Mu Sigma in Banglaore, Chicago and San Francisco before making a move to do what she loved the most–baking. The Cupcake Village is a year-old now, Vimmy is happy with her home set up that’s fetching orders not only from the country but also from Germany and America. “When I was working, we would have cooking sessions every weekend and that’s what I loved the most.” 

So, she did make that big move a year back. Right from raising awareness from how a cupcake is different than a muffin (latter is bread base and bit dry) to finding customers, Vimmy has come a long way. “Chandigarh still doesn’t have that Mumbai or Bangalore’s culture of grabbing a cupcake, so we turned it around as a gifting option.” So, if you want to make someone feel special you can order a box of six cupcakes customised to your needs. What she misses the most is the  Saturday off she would get in her corporate job. “Apart from that it’s one heck of a journey. Meeting new people, knowing their stories and turning them into tasty, tasteful treats is the best thing I have done for myself!”


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