Following your passion can give you pursuit of happiness

It’s tough to leave a life of comfort and proper rules, but some non-resident Indians chose to do just that

By Author   |   Published: 16th Jul 2017   12:00 am Updated: 17th Jul 2017   1:57 pm
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Sanjay Thumma

Calm, peace and comfort, who would like to leave such a life? Chances are not many. However, a few individuals chose to give it all up to pursue their passions. Like actor Avasarala Srinivas who made his debut in the film ‘Ashta Chamma’. He returned to India after completing his education in the US. The actor holds a screenwriting diploma from the University of California, Los Angeles, and took acting classes for a year at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York City. But the urge to return home soon overpowered everything else.

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Avasarala Srinivas

If he hadn’t gone to America, he would have never realised what he loves. “I was always interested in acting, but as usual I followed the herd and did some other course. But after going there and living with Americans, I decided to follow my heart,” says Srinivas whose parents were unaware about his plans until the trailer of his first movie released. “If it ever comes to learning, I will go back to the US,” says the actor who has plans to purse social psychology. However, it’s not a happy ending for everyone, for some it can be a bitter experience.

Irked by red tape

As Sanjay Thumma popularly known as Vah-chef and the founder of vahrevah.com found out the hard way. Used to the systematic procedures for operating restaurants in Chicago, USA, the red tapism and rampant corruption back home irked him. “India is a nice place to live in, but when it comes to running a business, it is the most corrupt place ever. I never faced any troubles in Chicago since things used to get done in a day, but here nothing happens in a day or without bribery,” says Thumma. Preparing food for people to enjoy is what Sanjay liked to do. So after a premeditated decision, he shut down his four successful Indian restaurants there and came back to India. “Cooking is my obsession and I wanted to share it with the world so I started recording cooking videos but it became quite difficult to manage the restaurants simultaneously. So I sold everything and returned to India since production costs are less here,” says Thumma.

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Suman Kapur

While some return to pursue their passion, for the sake of children or to spend time with their elders, there are also those who prioritise their feelings of self-respect and return to India.

Hurtful comment

Professor Suman Kapur left a well-paying job in Tampa, USA, after someone made a comment that they wouldn’t be hiring Asians anymore. Currently Dean at BITS Pilani, she says, “I was an assistant professor at H Lee Moffitt Cancer Centre there. I was in a panel for selecting new faculty when I heard the comment. Their thinking was ‘there were already too many of us’ it was like a warning signal to me. A few years later, they would have asked us to leave too. So I returned to India to continue my work here and joined Ranbaxy Laboratories.” She went on to set up a lab at Chitrakoot with the help of Nanaji Deshmukh and started her research. Through her work, she got a chance to see rural India, having always lived in metros.
Sometimes taking chances does lead to success, if one has the patience to see it through. After all, a proper skill is admired anywhere.