The Stories Of 15 Inspired Young Indians Who Chose Their Dreams Over Stability [Vol. III]

The Stories Of 15 Inspired Young Indians Who Chose Their Dreams Over Stability [Vol. III]

“My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Some succeeded, some failed, most had mixed results… but it is the effort that’s heroic, as I see it.”

 – George R. R. Martin

We believe you’re familiar with our fascination for those who lead double lives professionally, that we explored through the lives of different individuals across India. These are the guys burning the candle at both ends, and doing a fine job at it. Then, there are those who choose to go off the deep end and vouch completely and irrevocably for their dreams (and no, they don’t get much sleep either). For these dreamers, we have another kind of respect, albeit an equally special one.

It takes immense courage – and a healthy dose of madness  – to put an end to what is potentially a financially stable life, to pursue your real calling. So we scoured the space for individuals who have, at different points in their lives, taken a step back and re-evaluated what their dreams meant to them before deciding to throw their entire weight behind them. Here are 16 individuals who’ve truly followed their hearts, and won us over while at it.

[We take on this list yet again, since there’s no dearth of passionate dreamers and wanderers. If you missed the first few compilations we did, catch Vol. I and Vol. II here. Additionally, all names are presented in alphabetical order, and not in any order of preference.]

I. Abhishek Mishra | Persistent. Optimistic. Focused

Who: 29-year-old Abhishek Mishra entered the corporate world right after earning his engineering degree, followed by a Masters in Marketing & International Business and an MBA . Even though he liked his job, he was constantly haunted by a sense of dissatisfaction and uncertainty.

Always having enjoyed sports and endurance activities through school, he realized that the corporate world was not his cup of tea when he ran his first Ultra Run. He quit his job in 2014 and decided to take up his love for endurance sports, more specifically, triathlons. Earlier this year, he became the first Indian to complete the 161 km run in the Kutch desert - ‘Run the Rann’, and is currently training for the Ironman.

In his efforts to spread awareness about fitness, he started his own company called Tabono Sports & Entertainment Pvt Ltd., which focuses on structured health and employee engagement programs for corporates. They are also a running, cycling, triathlon and sports event management consultancy.

 “Dreams are aspirations that are hard to fulfil as they keeps on changing.”

On his  passion for endurance activities:

 “I believe that you need to be passionate about at least one thing to be able to live your life with complete satisfaction. A job shouldn’t be just a way to pay your bills. For me, it couldn’t get better than helping people to be happy and fit, which is why I am always filled with energy. I believe once you go into these kind of activities,  simplicity is something you will start enjoying more than anything.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“The pressure from the society. Everyone close to me, be it, family or friends, were not very happy with my decision. But, I made it a point to not lead a life based on the others expectations from me.”

One line that inspires him:

“Bhagwaan Ke Bharose Mat Baitho, Kya Pata Bhagwaan Aapke Bharoshe Baitha Ho”(Loosely translated as, ‘Keep working and you will find the way.’)” - from the movie, Manjhi

You can follow Abhishek on his Facebook and Twitter.

II. Adarsh Munjal | Obsessed with food. Possessed by food. Dedicated for food. 

Who: 27-year-old Adarsh Munjal is a food writer and entrepreneur who is popularly known as The Big Bhookad on social media platforms since 2010. He shares his culinary experiences on his website, and in March 2014, he co-founded a professional food-photography venture with Snehsha Tank, called Lensplate, which caters to various restaurants and hospitality brands in the country today.

He kick-started his career as copywriter in digital & social media while he was still in junior college. Once he graduated in 2009, he decided to pursue a dual life of working at digital agencies during weekdays so he could feed himself; and devouring food during weekends.

He finally decided to focus only on his passion for food and left his job at The Glitch as their creative director earlier this year. Today, he is engaged in food photography for various clients in the F&B industry and is focussed on building content properties with television channels and other MCNs, to launch his new on-screen career as an anchor of a food or travel show.

“Being a writer or a brand strategist is not as easy it seems in a country like India. Most similar professionals get categorised as mediocre (and ridiculously underpaid) armchair thinkers. On the contrary, very few digital professionals like me usually have the courage to explore 5 different jobs in 7 years to finally realise there could be a way to pursue a new-age career.

While I disappointingly still get introduced as a “content entrepreneur” or a “food entrepreneur” even today, I’m just trying to be a guy who’s helping F&B brands sell delicious food through a new perspective, a new idea or a new kitchen, every day,” he shares.

“Dreams are meant to come true for those who choose to fly, for just a few, like you and me.”

On his passion for food:

“As a kid, I used to begin my day by asking my mother, ‘Aaj khane ke liye kya hai?’ The first thought in my head is always about the food I should be eating on that day. ‘Aaj Khaane Mein Kya Hai’ is the tagline of my blog, and that is also the motto of my life.

Now, I live to eat and I live to discover the new dishes that are being created by the new chefs out there. Mostly, I feel lucky to have this opportunity in my life to watch my dreams come true or not, while most fail even to try.”

The Biggest Challenge:

From responsibilities like paying rent or salaries on time to building new ideas for potential clients, every new day brings along a new journey of new challenges. Every week, is still a 7-day-working week. Every month, still ends with setting new goals. Every quarter, still strengthens the faith I have, to watch my dreams come true soon. In this long pursuit of success and happiness, I’m still far away from home; but now, I have finally realised that happiness is something in my liberty, it’s who I am and it’s who I choose to be.”

One line that inspires him:

“Never toss the coin son, fate is on both the sides.”

 You can follow Adarsh and his camera on his Lensplate website, and on 
TwitterFacebook and Instagram. You can also follow his food diaries on 
The Big Bhookad on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

III. Aditya Munshi | Adventurous. Passionate. Dedicated

In 2003, Aditya Munshi graduated college with a law degree and went on to work as an Associate with a corporate firm that only had international clientele, but he didn’t enjoy it one bit. He found the job depressing. What he really wanted was to set up his own ski resort in the Himalayas. Since he didn’t know about the costs or details involved in doing so, he met up with a career guidance counsellor, who advised him to pursue a Hotel Management course in Switzerland.

After completing the course, he started his career in 2006 as a Management Trainee at the Amangani in Jackson Hole in USA. After this, he worked with several hotels,and currently he works in the front office for COMO The Treasury

“Dreams are making things happen with hard work, dedication, prayer and a little bit of luck!”

On his passion for hotel management:

“I really enjoyed what I was studying and meeting so many people from all over our beautiful planet. I have lived and worked in 5 continents and my passion for adventure and nature is taking me all over the world. I am so grateful for having so many fantastic opportunities to work in such exquisite locations.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“Initially I think it was difficult for my dad to accept that I was moving away from the law, but after he saw I was happy in Switzerland, he realized it was for the best. The biggest challenge I face now is, trying to explore as much of this planet as I can in this short life.”

One line that inspires him:

“Not all those who wander are lost.” - JRR Tolkien

 IV. Aneesha Kotwani | Ambitious. Humble. Headstrong.

Who: 27-year-old Aneesha Kotwani co-founded the company Regenerate Music OPC PVT LTD, and she is mainly involved in artist management, media and marketing. Prior to Regenerate, her experience in the music space only involved a few months work with Red Bull and a few temporary jobs she had with music companies in London, even though she sees music as an integral part of her life.

After working with a media agency in London, she moved back home and continued at the same agency’s Indian office. However, with time she realised that she neither enjoyed her work, nor had the comfort of like-minded individuals around her. Having experienced London’s eclectic night-life, when she moved back home she saw her hometown’s night-life as incomplete. And, eventually she met Bhishma Sagar and started Regenerate. “My approach towards work at Regenerate is more of following my heart and executing what I as an individual would like to showcase to the outside world,” she trails off, happily.

 “Dreams are important because they always precede a goal.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“To keep myself calm and composed throughout this journey! Of course, nothing in life comes easy, but it is important for any individual to remain grounded and not let anything get to you. That’s a key challenge, not only for me, but for everyone out there who has given up a job for their dream, as in most cases our so-called limitations are nothing more than our decision to limit ourselves.”

One line that inspires her:

 “The determination to win is the better part of winning.”  - Daisaku Ikeda

 Follow their work on Facebook , Twitter and on Instagram so you can stay updated on what’s happening in the music world.

 V. Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi | Gregarious. Passionate. Innovative.

Who: 27-year-old Bahaar Rohatgi started working for Amarchand Mangaldas Suresh Shroff & Co. in Delhi after completing her five year B.B.A., L.L.B. course from Symbiosis Law school, Pune. And, this lawyer by day is an artist by night.

With several high stake matters and publications to her credit, she had an impressive work portfolio and in 2014, she was promoted to the position of a Senior Associate. But, she had another calling. 2011 onward she had been working part time as an artist, and she used to sell her art primarily through word of mouth and Facebook uploads. 

Although she enjoyed the challenging work life of a lawyer, deep within her there was a hunger for something more. Even though she would get urges to just paint, her work commitments always took precedence. “I would often imagine being in an artist’s studio, going wild on the canvas.

I would stop sleeping to quench the creative thirst and paint away. Weekends were fruitful, when I was spared from office work, household chores, social commitments or if I wasn’t consumed by the haze of the laze J,” she shares, “People who knew me well always called me ‘Lawyer by the day and Artist by the Night’ or ‘Duracell Battery’! The fact is, being a nocturnal while having a demanding day job, is neither wise nor sustainable as fatigue and sleep would overtake me at the oddest hours.” Despite it being a tough call, her yearning for a creative path encouraged her to pursue her art.

“Dreams are about being conscious beyond control. It is an experience of drenching oneself in words unspoken, living life with arms wide open. Conscious of where the script begins, but fully aware that the rest is still unwritten. “

On her passion for art:

“It feels great that I can finally introduce myself as an artist. My family has been instrumental in helping me pursuing my passion as it was almost impossible for me to leave my job. With time I realized that my passion for art was so overwhelming, that after a point- money, promotions- were not governing my life. Having a hybrid mind of a lawyer and artist has its own benefits.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“Lawyers are not allowed to solicit work, but for an artist, PR is everything! I often struggle with the business aspects, even things like making a website, identifying a reputed gallery that would help  promote my work are the real challenges I face, as I want to really focus on creating art and not digress from the same.” he confides,  “I could really do with someone handling social media for me, as well! Rampant copying is a huge problem. Only yesterday I came across an Instagram account who posted my work and is passing it off as her own work.”

One line that inspires her:

“Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something, not even me. Alright? You dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” – Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happiness.

VI. Benpramar Das Laitflang |A wanderer with a passion to eat, cook and explore.

Who: 32-year-old Benpramar Das, who goes by the name ‘Ben’, is a self-employed, self-trained cook, whose specialty is northeastern Indian and Asian (primarily Japanese and Korean) food.

Cooking started out for him as a necessity when he moved to the Los Angeles, California for college, and from there his interest in the culinary arts kept growing. When he returned, even though he had applied for admission to a culinary school, he decided to go the corporate route when he was offered an interesting job opportunity in Delhi.

After working for various firms, eventually he moved to Mumbai to work as a Marketing Manager for an IT company that designed and developed Inflight Entertainment software for Airlines.  

His job involved a lot of global travel and direct communication with international airlines. It was actually one of these long work sojourns that reignited his desire to cook. The inability to find most of his favourite dishes in India, despite the availability of the ingredients, pushed him to try to make them himself. And, ever since, he has been trying to build a repertoire of cuisines that he loves in India.

“Dreams are real possibilities that people so often chose to overlook or cast aside without a second thought because they occur in their heads.”

On his passion for cooking:

“Even though I worked with some great companies, I was never truly satisfied and disliked the fact that was not able to make any sort of impression on anyone’s life by doing what I was doing. Quitting my job to start cooking was something that I was at peace with because it felt natural to me.” he muses.  

“I have been working with a company called Trekurious who have given me a great platform to share my culinary adventure with like minded foodies. Every week I make a different boxed lunch, that is delivered to offices and houses across Mumbai. The food that I am currently cooking is a reflection of my roots and some of my favourite cuisines.”

The Biggest Challenge

“Creating awareness about the kind of food that I am cooking and introducing that food culture to the wider audience has been quite difficult. It can be extremely challenging to get people to move out of their comfort zone to try something different. Another significant challenge has been to sustain and grow a solid customer base, however, my work with Trekurious and their online presence has definitely helped in this regard.”

One line that inspires him

“If you don’t plan, you plan to fail”

You can follow him on Facebook and on Instagram

 VII. Gautham D Kamath | Live A Happy Life

Who: 28-year-old Gautham started working when he was as young as 17, simply because his parents and him, wanted completely different things for his future. And, after a series of different things, he eventually quit his job to skateboard full time.

Unable to study a course of his choice, Gautham working in a granite factory before he was forced to quit for health reasons. After a short hiatus, he resumed working once again, and for the next seven years he worked with several companies.

It was around the same time as he joined his last company, JBC IMPEX, that he started skateboarding. He would go to the skate park on weekends with his friend, Gautham Nettar and skate. In 2012, Mountain Dew organised an event where they had invited a few pro skaters from Brazil, whom Gautham got a chance to talk to.

And, he as he invited them to his regular skate park, one of the skaters, Sandro Diaz, accepted his invitation. Witnessing Diaz’s performance in the skate park, changed his life, and he quit his job the very same day.

“Dreams are things that you want to be a reality. If you believe in it and work hard towards it, they do come true.”

On his passion for skateboarding:

“For me skateboarding is magic. It has changed my life. Of course, it was hard initially, but it helped that I am a very stubborn person. I refused to give up and today, I am very happy with where life has taken me. Now, I can happily tell people that I am living my life doing what I love.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“None of my family members, friends or relatives supported my decision, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to skate. I stopped attending all family functions to avoid all the questions. Making a living out of this, wasn’t easy either. But skateboarding has taught me a lot of things like living a simple life and every day I am becoming a  stronger person.”

One line that motivates him:

“When things won’t go right in my life, I take a left and keep going.”.

VIII. Huma Hazarika Sharma | Dreamer. Romanticist. Curious

28-year-old Huma Sharma is the founder of House Of Hula, a Delhi-based jewellery label that retails for a multitude of online and multi-designer stores such as Pernia’s Pop Up Shop, AtMayfair, Kalee and Creo Lifestyle, to name a few.

She used to work as a Marketing Manager for Buynbrag, a lifestyle & home decor startup and while it was a fun and extremely engaging job, she realised that she didn’t enjoy working for someone else.

Starting off her own fashion/lifestyle label was what she always wanted and in March 2013, when a friend on her return from Japan asked if she’d be keen on starting off a shoe label with her, she decided to take the leap. As is the case with most start-ups, there were a couple of hiccups along the way and they decided to make a switch to jewellery a few months down the line.

After ironing out all the kinks and getting the due processes in order, House Of Hula officially started on 22nd March, 2014. “It’s been a roller-coaster ride since - we’ve had the good fortune of collaborating with some brilliant artists on our various collections, as well as a whole host of incredible photographers/stylists and friends who’ve happily obliged and modelled for our various look-books and miscellaneous other shoots,” she confides.

“Dreams, no matter how big or small are within our reach if we just follow our hearts and stick to them even when the going gets tough.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“Initially, getting into something we had no prior experience in and finding direction along the way was challenging, but exciting nonetheless, as it helped keep the work environment dynamic. We had no formal training in jewellery design, but thankfully we’re getting the hang of it day by day.”

One line that inspires her:

“Be yourself, for everybody else is already taken.”

You can follow Huma on her Facebook.

IX. Jayanth Ramachandra | Critical. Musical Explorer. YouTube Addict.

Who: Jayanth Ramachandra is a 22-year-old music producer from Bangalore, and he has been making dance music under the moniker ‘The Sine Painter’. .Apart from making music, he also helps run an artist collective and showcase initiative called Hybrid Cycle, that works as a platform for music producers to gain more recognition.

Before discovering his true calling, Jayanth was an Information Science Engineer, after which he worked as a project assistant at the Indian Institute of Science. He enjoyed his work, and was quite content in his life. He had started making music during his free time and slowly, his creations began picking up a bit of momentum, and eventually decided to dedicate more time to his passion.

“Dreams are wants that can become a reality if you relentlessly put in focused and dedicated work in the right direction.”

 On his passion for music:

“I left my job so I could focus on making music full time.  Right now, I’m super satisfied with what I’m doing and where it’s heading. I consider myself lucky to have received the amount of recognition that I’ve gotten in such a short time. There are quite a few interesting projects that are starting to take shape that I think are really going to help push the music scene further and cannot wait to be a part of all this.”

The Biggest Challenge

“The realization that just because you are pursuing your passion, life isn’t going to be sunshine and daisies. There are going to be a lot of moments where you need to work your ass off to get the results you want, and you aren’t going to love it one bit. Sure, there are also moments where everything is great and your brain hits that flow state, and you come up with pure gold. But those are the rare moments.”

One line that inspires him:

“You need to be willing to be nobody before you can become somebody.” -Van Dyke Parks

X. Pallavi Singh | Connecting the dots

Who: 32-year-old Pallavi Singh is the co-founder of Moda Ninja - a fashion blog. Additionally, she’s involved in various social development projects related to education, malnutrition, sustainable construction and more.

Before pursuing her passion, she spent seven years working for tech companies like Honeywell Automation and HCL Technologies in marketing roles. She quit her job at HCL Technologies in 2011 so that she could work for something that made a difference.

Her previous job involved  working closely with the world economic forum, which gave her numerous opportunities to meet social entrepreneurs from across the world. Speaking to them and learning about their work and impact on the society and the environment made her think of doing something worthwhile with her skills.

“Dreams are what makes life worth living for.”

 On her passion for social development:

“I had absolutely no training in social development but I quit my job and started working as a consultant with my mentor and ex-boss, Meena Vaidyathan,, who had started a sustainable development consulting firm.

Until now, I have worked on 8 projects across education, livelihood, solid waste management, malnutrition, women safety, social innovation, carbon offset and sustainable construction. I am also the co-founder of a fashion blog called Moda Ninja, as well, with my friend, Gurpreet. In 2013, we won the Cosmopolitan best fashion blog award.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“I was earning a seven figure steady salary. I gave that up to live a life of economic uncertainties.”

One line that inspires her:

“I am the master of my fate.  I am the captain of my soul”Invictus (Poem by William Ernest Henley)

 You can follow Pallavi on Twitter and find out more about her work on the website. Do check out her blog and stay updated with their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

XI. Rohan Potdar |Original. Positive.Occasionally non-conformist.

Who: Rohan Potdar working for about seven years in the IT industry, before quitting to pursue his passion for photography.

Just like his counterparts, growing up in the 90s, Rohan Potdar had very conventional notions of career and success (read: study engineering, get an MBA degree and secure a high paying job) and he followed through with them, as well. It was in his early 30’s that he began questioning the purpose of living a life that was in a perpetual rat race mode.

As his job started to seem increasingly drudgery to him, he decided it was time to call quits. “Photography had always been a favourite hobby and it was instinctual for me to follow it,” the 35-year-old shares.

Of course, it wasn’t an easy ride, as he needed to decide what genre of photography he wanted to specialise in, and figure out a way in which he would be innovative. After contemplating for six months, he decided to go out and photograph people who have shunned the rat race to pursue their dreams.

And so, his pet project ‘One Life, One Passion’ was born in May 2014. Since then, he has photographed around a dozen passionate persons- musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and many more. Some of the stories that he has written on these people have even been featured in leading positive news portals.

“Dreams are the spices that give flavour to life. They are as unique as you are and best enjoyed when you work hard to turn them into reality.”

On his passion for photography:

“I am an indie lifestyle photographer who is passionate about telling real, positive and meaningful stories by blending my photography with written narrative and other visual media. I absolutely love what I am doing and am not worried about market demand or other extraneous factors.” he muses. 

“I believe that if you really love your craft or whatever it is that you are doing, stay focused and remain zealously original.  All the answers to your challenges lie within you. The power of your idea is the real power that you have and not competing with others and trying to beat them at their game. Everyone needs to serve his or her time before they can achieve recognition and success. So be patient!”

The Biggest Challenge:

“Creating a completely new identity as a lifestyle photographer and be recognised for that. The best indicator of this recognition is people paying you for your idea and wanting to work with you. I believe, I am deep into tackling this challenge and I am confident that I am doing the right things.”

One line that motivates him:

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs

Follow Rohan Potdar on his website.

XII. Rupali Samat 

Who: For Rupali Samat, the battle between her heart and her head went on for a very long time before she made a decision. Even though she dreamt of a creative career, she resisted the urge to just plunge into something for years.

She worked with Reliance ADAG, as a part of their Project Finance team. But, eventually, even though she had comprehensive work experience across different organizations, she decided to leave the promising professional world for a career at Choc Le’.

“Dreams are exactly what I’m living currently. I couldn’t have asked for anything different that the present.”

On her passion for chocolates:

“I am the creator, designer and marketer at Choc Le’. The undying passion for chocolates and the innate desire to create a legacy as a chocolatier, lead me to leave my 9 to 5 job and start my own company. The sheer joy that I get from understanding my client’s needs and converting that into a chocolaty-reality whilst innovating in this space is absolutely unparalleled. “

The Biggest Challenge:

“Building the right team to create a professional setup and ensuring every employee is driven to match the vision of Choc Le’,  was a challenge during the initial years.”

One line that inspires her:

“Keep walking... and you will never find yourself walking alone” –Mother Teresa

You can follow her world of chocolate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also check out their website. You can also e-mail her.

XIII. Samyak Chakrabarty​ | ​Progressive. Changemaker. Passionate. ​

Who: ​26-year-old Samyak Chakrabarty is the founder of Social Quotient -- a social enterprise which enables a collaboration between consumer brands and social causes. The aim behind this startup was to overcome the shortcomings that conventional NGO models face through a business-like approach, by bringing in accountability, better human resources and technology.

Prior to this, he used to work for the DDB Mudra Group as their Chief Youth Marketer. But, Samyak never liked having to work for someone else, which led him to resign eventually. And now, he has been working in the social impact space for over ten years.

He started off by educating school children about the United Nations through a Model UN program, and now he has also adopted  Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir -- a school in Dharavi where he is working towards transforming the learning experience for under-privileged children.

“Dreams are ​the seeds for your reality.”

On his passion for social cause:

“I think making a change is not a difficult task, no matter ​how complex the issue. One just needs to have the right mix of all factors or components which constitute a successful effort. My passion and calling was to be the enabler who gets it all together. If you see, some very good ideas fail due to lack of funding or progressive team members.

No one usually leaves a multi million INR job in advertising to make grassroot changes. My other passion is to one day to be able to say, ‘I bought my Jaguar by changing people’s lives’. Of course it’s not about the car, but to lead that mindset change that changemakers can make money too.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“​Honestly, there hasn’t been any major challenge as such other than the day-to-day glitches of any start up. All I miss is having someone put my morning cappuccino on my table at DDB Mudra, now I got to do it myself!”

One line that inspires him:

​”Let there be light” - Jesus. “And I’m not a Christian,” he quips.

 Follow his work on Twitter.

XIV. Saunak Shah | Collaborative. Expressive. Driven.

34-year-old Saunak Shah is a New York City-based photographer and designer, as well as the Founder and Creative Director behind Pursuit of Portraits, which is a social photography initiative that began via Instagram and has since become a platform to connect portraiture enthusiasts globally.

Before Pursuit of Portraits, he worked as an Art Director for an advertising agency, and used photography simply as a medium for self-expression outside the office. But he found advertising a little mundane - having to sell the same products by speaking a different language or repurposing an existing one - and this led to him putting aside his day job to pursue his passion for photography. @PursuitofPortraits started out on Instagram in February 2015.

At its inception, he was simply looking for a way to curate his work in portraiture and street style photography around New York City. Within months, he won two #WHP (Weekend Hashtag Projects) contests hosted by Instagram, and his dream slowly gained traction. “Through our Instagram account, website, events and upcoming print magazine and influencer initiatives, Pursuit of Portraits endeavors to uncover, feature, and create community amongst the abundance of talent within the portraiture photography space on and off Instagram, here in New York City and around the world,” he shares about his success today

“Dreams are what we make of it.”

On his passion:

“Passion-projects are sometimes like stars: they shine at night and disappear in the reality of daylight. It takes courage to know these stars are always present and you just need to believe that they’re always there. For many that window of opportunity never comes or they cease to grab it.”

He continues, “I waited for ten years for the opportunity to finally be free to do what I’ve long wanted to do. I recently cleared my final state of my green card application, a big decision maker, which held me to a job I was committed to do with excellence; regardless of chance or choice. Now I have a choice. I can finally say goodbye to the advertising world (for now) and look forward to projects that I’ve always wanted to pursue, such as Pursuit of Portraits.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“Oneself: We are our own worst critics and though challenges ahead might be many, the biggest challenge is to overcome the voices of doubt in our head. Facing challenges with optimism is a strength I’ve learned to develop with time.”

One line that motivates him:

“Growing up our Dad always told us, “Work Now, Play Later” or “Play Now, Work Later”. His steadfast dedication to his work and his positive outlook on life have always motivated my two siblings and me, even to this day.”

 XV. Shuchir Kai Suri | Being unnecessarily good.

Who: 27-year-old Shuchir Suri has always been passionate about food, and is the founder of Food Talk India. He believes that being a student at Vasant Valley School was the best thing that happened to him, simply because the school gave him creative space, and let his mind work independently without having ideas imposed upon him.

At the age of 18, he started organising events -- a novel concept at the time. When he was 20, he joined Fergusson College, Pune to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Economics. At this point, he started, a venture that would organise all your nightclub party pictures in one place.

This ran successfully for 2 years, and then he sold this company to a media company. After graduation, he joined A JWT, WPP company, where he planned and conceptualized marketing strategies for several corporate products and services. But as he realised his heart was not in it, he quit to do something that made him happy.

 “Dreams are inconsequential until execution.”

 On his passion for food:

“Ultimately, I decided to make something out of my passion for food, and that’s how Food Talk India was born, in 2013. The journey with Food Talk India made me realise that I am happy when I can connect people to food. Currently, I am running the community with the help of Anjali Batra, who shares my vision.”

The Biggest Challenge:

“Time, capital and not having time for personal relationships.”

One line that inspires him:

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”

 You can follow Shuchir on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. To stay updated on yummy food around the country follow Food Talk India on their website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.