NRI Pulse


Pursuing dreams, balancing career

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Shoma Narayanan is a banker by day and turns a writer over the weekend. Jiten Suchede, a graphic designer by day, becomes a chaiwallah on occasional nights. This new trend of balancing your professional life and pursuing your passion is gripping many who are going an extra mile for these “creative vents” where freedom to ideate and create is your own prerogative.

“There was no business plan. I was obsessed with the idea of opening a ‘chai shop’ one day and it has happened on its own,” Suchede, founder of Delhi-based Jugmug Thela, told IANS.

“I have a fairly intense work life, but I have also travelled a lot and during these sojourns whenever I had a drink that I liked, I recreated it back home. So the experiments continued because I was passionate about it,” he added, saying his catering business of brewed coffees and specialty teas started in February.

The option to make it a catering business initially was to ensure the 32-year-old was able to manage his professional and personal passion without “any added stress”.

For 38-year-old Narayanan, writing is a welcome break from managing the numbers game as a vice president of a private bank.

“My job can’t be exciting all the time. So writing is my way of de-stressing,” she said.

Mumbai-based Narayanan has written four novels for Harlequin India’s Mills & Boon series under its Indian authors collection.

For these professionals, it is all about nurturing their creative pursuits.

For Vineeta Grover, her ‘Po Tweet’, is an extension of her work as a creative group head in an advertising industry.

“Usually I do what my boss dictates. We also have to work on briefs; and at times, even if changes are not acceptable to me, I still have to do it because it is my job,” Grover told IANS.

But the 30-year-old’s work as the creator of personalised wedding and celebration cards has helped her give free reign to her creativity.

“For me it is a creative vent where I control, ideate and create quirky and cool stuff on my terms. It gives me freedom of expression and satisfaction,” she added.

Kanika Aggarwal and partner Sujata Sengupta are the brains behind “With Love”, a personalised gifting space that works with a group of artisans.

They started their project in December 2010.

For the duo, this was something they always wanted to do.

“We get complete liberty to do things as per our wishes. I take creative decisions and my partner takes care of the marketing part,” said Aggarwal, 25, a freelancer who works as craft development project manager.

“This is a labour of love for us that is growing slowly, but we are happy to create. When you get feedback from people, you know your heart is into this,” she added, saying she has started taking lesser projects to allow the business to flourish as her partner, an event manager, is a full-time professional and can devote only weekends.

But juggling all this is not easy.

It means sacrificing television viewing and weekend mall-trips, prioritising work, and a lot of family support.

“I have to prioritise a lot. My family comes first, but I have completely cut off myself from television, and hardly go out for movies. I read a lot because that has to reflect in my writings,” said Narayanan, a mother of two. She takes three-four months to finish a novel.

But for Delhi-based Grover, when the going gets tough, her hubby steps in for the rescue.

“My in-laws are extremely supportive. My husband too has advertising background and he understands how tough it can get at times, so when a deadline is on my head, he helps me out,” said Grover.

“Overtime in office does pinch, but doing overtime for pursuing your passion. Never. It is like bringing up a baby,” she added.

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