Life is a Tight RopeWalk
An Inspiring Life Story of Vijay Nallawala
“A small town boy who was lazy, steeped in self-pity, without faith in God or respect for anyone. Introvert, vain and unwilling to heed well-meaning advice.. His escapist world was filled with books, books and more books. Story books that took him to a fantasy land and conveniently kept him from facing harsh reality. One quality he had, though, was a passion for Art. He could draw pencil sketches that were admired by one and all. His Art teacher at School advised him to pursue it as a career, which he promptly brushed aside.”
This is as good a description as I can honestly come up in a few sentences about the kind of being I was in my childhood through teen years. I did have my share of problems, for sure- a troublesome beginning due to separated parents (rare in the 1960’s in India) and lack of a doting father figure. However, it was my inability to cope with these circumstances that made me an abject loser. A happy childhood is an indispensible base for emotional stability right through life. Looking back, without being harsh on myself, I feel I could have done better, especially with so many kind people willing to help.
“Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of man. We are free agents and man is more powerful than matter.”
It is said that the mind manifests many of the circumstances we find ourselves in- my poor health was nothing but an outcome of this negative attitude of self-pity. I was diagnosed with Asthma when I was a 12 year old. What was a mild affliction, progressively worsened and spiraled out of control over the years. More feed-stock for my self-pity! Here too, I ignored all common sense remedial measures in the initial stages which could have eliminated the illness to a great extent, viz., exercises, yoga, meditation as were suggested by well meaning people. The attacks got so acute that I landed up in Intensive Care Units of Hospitals in a critical state on several occasions.
I completed my Bachelors with Financial Accounting in 1982. Although I was a bright student, lack of interest and effort meant I never did full justice to my talent. Having fixed my sights on joining my maternal Uncle’s family business after Graduation also meant College was just for the sake of acquiring that Degree.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it for yourself.” Whitman
What changed then? The day I joined my Uncle’s business I realised that I was like a fish out of water. My arrogance and conceit were totally misplaced. The real world was way tougher than the fantasy world of my fiction books. Here you needed to be street smart, be on your toes and learn everything from scratch. The first few months of my new learning curve were anything but pleasant. As I gradually picked the ropes I learnt possibly the most important and fundamental lessons of my life. After a seven year stint which ended with a bit of acrimony, I ventured on a journey of my own. I always have been a free spirit and setting up my own entrepreneurship venture, Frontline Communications, was like a dream come true. I then ventured into the nascent field of Audio-Visual equipment rentals
“Deep down in every human soul is a hidden longing, impulse and ambition to do something fine and enduring. If you are willing, great things are possible.”
Network 21 gave me the utmost creative freedom and the feather in the cap was when Beverly Sallee a Global top-notch leader of Network 21 rated us as the best Audio-Visual team she had come across the world. Zafar Hai, considered as one of India’s finest short film makers demanded the highest standards of quality, but then these challenges got the best out me. It was a proud moment when he introduced me as the best Audio-Visual professional in India to a very senior Tata group executive! It was this kind of appreciation that drove me to greater and greater effort and creativity. Another thing that set me apart from other vendors was reliability and commitment. Once I even got myself discharged from hospital to attend an important event against the Doctors’ advice! The commitment was driven by my deep passion.
I am a firm believer in destiny and while attending all these Events I had the God sent opportunity of learning from some of the finest minds of the century: late Dhirubhai Ambani, Narayan Murthy, Stephen Hawkins (the Quantum Scientist), Aditya Birla, Ratan Tata and a host of others. More importantly the universal message of progress, co-operation that these great minds communicated began to form my thinking too. I was also fortunate to have The Siddha Centre of Meditation as one of my clients. For a number of years we were associated with their weekly Satsangs which was in a way the initiation of my spiritual journey. The Art of Living and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also were clients and influenced me similarly. I was actually paid to attend these stupendous learning sessions which taught me Meditation, Yoga and Spirituality! This is why I feel destiny deals outs it’s cards, it is for each player to play his hand to the best of his/her ability.
“People are like stained glass windows, they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed, if there is a light within.”
There seemed to be no looking back in life and business until destiny struck another blow, (this time, an untimely and unexpected one. I just couldn’t accept that I had been afflicted with Bipolar disorder. The initial struggle was sheer torment. I believe that I underperformed in probably the most productive decade of one’s life (41- 50) due to this condition. I wound up our business and embarked on a career in an entirely unrelated field: Financial advisory and Life Insurance. Looking back, the decision was largely influenced by my defensive mindset. Not one to attempt anything half-heartedly, I got engrossed in my new career and did very well here, too. In fact in 2008, I qualified for the coveted MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table), a prestigious association of Global Financial Professionals. Gradually my passion for this career too started to wane.
There were a few years of abject inactivity due to my slipping back into depression. My search for solutions and relief from my misery led me to my life changing moment. My elder sister had been hospitalized for the dreaded Dengue and I’d volunteered to stay with her in Hospital. During that week I finally managed to read the Bhagvad Gita. My faith in God had always been 100%. The teachings of the Gita answered all my questions about who I was, consciousness, eternal life, birth-rebirth cycles and the law of Karma. It had a great calming influence on me and gave me the power of detachment, the magic wand for discovering peace. My spiritual quest made me more reflective. I believe each one of us has immense inner strength. Instead of tapping this inexhaustible resource we conveniently blame external factors for our circumstance and diffuse our focus.
It was in March, 2012 when I first met Yogesh M A, a Digital Marketing and Blogging expert. At that time I just asked him to set up a website for my business. I took a liking to the whole idea and thus came up my Blog, www.vijaynallawala.co.in. Writing and communicating has always been a passion. I have my presence in the Social Media where my influence has been steadily growing. (KLOUT rates me a ‘Pundit’-a thought leader, one who commands respect from his peers.) I took the leap finally and abruptly as is my wont- a creative soul just had to find ways to express itself.
I am also an aspiring author, have facilitated Training and Seminars by professionals. I love music, reading, Writing art, driving, nature, cricket and travel.
I aim to communicate and open up to readers worldwide, which Blogging allows me to. My deepest learning has come from Mentors, reading, introspection and experience. At a certain stage one feels it is payback time. I’ve received the kindness of so many helping hands through the years that it motivates me to do the same.
Meditation, God and my unshakeable faith in Him have been the constant thread that has held me together in times rough and smooth. Understanding of the self has brought me peace. I strongly feel that the best days of my life await me.
Vijay is a Creative Writer, BLOGGER, Mind-Mapper, student of Economics, Cricket and Tennis Enthusiast, Satirist and Spiritual Being.To know more, visit:-