A lot of people slog throughout their lives to achieve success. Some try to achieve it through sincerity and some through Machiavellian methods but every once in a while, (and mind you that “once” is extremely rare) one is faced with the profound question of how we define success and in most cases we either convince ourselves to like what we do or brush the old, uncomfortable thought neatly under the carpet of our ever evasive nature. But then again, very rarely, one comes across people like Vishakha Ruhela who dazzle others with their brilliance, not just defining success but life itself.
Vishakha is founder of Wiser_Budweiser where she likes to write articles, poems, self-quotes and her journey descriptions and is also a founder of Vision where she exercises her passion of photography and uploads the best shots. She also has tie up with fashion brands where her designs and products are sold online, CUPICK and although she has achieved so much in so little a time what makes her stand apart, is her courage to stand up for what she believes in and be passionate enough to chase her dream! Read on to find out what it is that makes her the truly an inspiration for the young and the old alike!
Q. Hello Vishakha Ma’am, from what I have heard about you, you seem to have a hoard of skills at your disposal. How did you come around to have so many interests?
A. I believe in experimenting at every level and not to keep myself restricted to anything. Being a designer doesn’t mean one needs to just follow design rituals and not give time to other things. A designer might have interest in science, a scientist might have interest in designing.
I love to get exposed to the variety of things that the world has to offer and experience happiness while doing different things!
Q. Your love for Novels (like Devdutt Pattanaik) is very interesting. Can you tell us about your favourite genre?
A. I do not have a particular genres for books that I like. I am a Potterhead and I also read books on lateral thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. I am interested in mythology and have read Ramayana and Gita as well as excerpts from The Bible and Quran. However, I am an agnostic and I respect people who are religious. Other than that starting from mysteries of Sidney Sheldon to romances like “Anything for you ma’am” by Tushar Raheja, I enjoy them all. I love reading comics like Chacha Chaudhary and Billu since childhood. I certainly like reading the most interesting comic ever written – Calvin and Hobbes.
Q. Your accomplishments leave us in awe of you. When did u start the different projects? (Wiser Budweiser, Vision, tie up with fashion brands)
A. I have not started a company of my own yet. But I do love blogging and illustrating. I started a Facebook page called VISION while I was in college to share my ideas and passions. After college, I started my blog called WISER BUDWEISER on Instagram. It exists on Facebook and WordPress as well with the same name but with filtered content. Wiser Budweiser captures my travels, my design ideas and illustrations which I draw while travelling.
Recently I tied up with an innovative start up from India called CUPICK where I provide my artworks to be sold on variety of products like tee shirts, hoodies, posters etc. I will be getting more active on that platform once I return to India in December.
Q.Had NIFT always been your dream?
A. I was preparing for engineering in Kota, Rajasthan after my high school for two years. But while preparing I understood it was not meant for me. Meanwhile, a senior of mine told me about NIFT after seeing my inclination towards art. The NIFT exam was very spontaneous. I did not know much about the content of the papers and I never prepared exclusively for it. Surprisingly, I got through the exam which motivated me to attend the counselling and finally getting into NIFT. It has been one of the best decisions of my life till date and I am proud of myself for pursuing what I loved to do. I worked hard in college and maintained a 9 point GPA, gained scholarship to study in Leicester, UK for a semester and also attend a workshop in Wolverhampton, UK during my summer break. By the end of my graduation I was given “Student of the year” and “Best Graduation Project” award, which I am sure I wouldn’t have got, if I was still pursuing engineering which I was not interested in. The best career is making a career out of what you love.
Q. So You bagged the “Best student award” and “Award for Best Project” Have you always been a good student?
A. Being a topper and getting awards does bring you a stamp of a studious nerd, but believe me I never forced myself to just study. I have always participated in extracurricular activities from my childhood, till college. When I topped my high school, I did face the pressure to maintain the record, but I never gave much importance to it. I enjoy studying and give my heart and soul to it when I am on a project, but I also enjoy riding my bike and playing table tennis whenever I get a chance. I guess that’s what gave me the best of both worlds.
Q. After all of this, it must have been a daunting task for you to leave your secure and stable job to travel. Were you worried?
A. I landed a job in Bangalore, during our campus placements and was very excited for it. I worked in that company for about a year. Meanwhile, I got this chance to travel to USA where I could explore and I had a choice to make. It was indeed a difficult decision to leave a job which paid for the rent and the food but I have always been passionate about travelling, meeting new people and learning about different cultures. It makes me grow as a person and I learn a lot. So, one day I thought, “I need to take this break while I can, because chances like these don’t come often”. I faced both: criticism and support. My parents have been really supportive of my decisions. They have taught me well. So, with full support from their side and from my friends, I gave my resignation.
The outcome? Well, I was standing at the top of Grand Canyon on the day I would have otherwise completed one year in that same monotonous job.
Q. What are some of the biggest obstacles that you have had in your way in your attempt to follow your dreams?
A. I am blessed with an amazing family and loving friends who have always been there by my side. Without them, it was almost difficult to pursue my dreams the way I wanted to. Dreams can be small like wearing a loose t shirt with baggy denims in public even after being a girl or big like being an entrepreneur someday. I have been criticised by many at many points in my life, I have been cheated and I have been defamed too. But I have been loved, I have been appreciated and I have been pushed forward to follow my heart. This is common for anyone, but the only difference is how you take it and move forward.
Believe me, exploring the world is like exploring yourself and the journey is never ending.
Q. The youth today, is discouraged to walk the road less travelled by, especially girls, for this what do u have to say to the society and the youth out there.
A. I think we have come far from the time when kids were not allowed to travel on their own or live in another city. But yeah, I do agree lot of work has to be done still in that aspect. I shall say the kids should believe in what they want in life, how they want to do it and work their ass off to achieve their dreams. The parents should stand as pillars and not bound their kids due to the social stigma and fear. They don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves. If they are contented with what their kid is doing or how he/she identifies him/herself , then they need not worry about what “sharma Ji” would think. The society needs to be more tolerant and stop trying to control everything that moves.
Q. Ok. Now enough of the serious issues. Let us lighten up the mood a bit. What is the one thing that you are completely crazy about?
A. I love riding a motorcycle. I can do that anytime of the day for as long as possible. I didn’t know how to ride a bike until my last year in college. In fact, I was the only student in campus during my time in college who owned a bicycle which helped me explore the town better. During my last year, I got this amazing opportunity to do my graduation project in Auroville, near Pondicherry. I used to ride rented old Kawasaki Boxer and Splendour sometimes and then there was no turning back. When I got settled in Bangalore for my first job, I bought myself a black Bajaj Avenger. You can say that my Black Mamba is the man of my life with whom I have had some of the most amazing times 🙂
Q.Have you travelled a lot in your childhood?
A. My father is a dermatologist and he has his annual conferences all over India. From my childhood, he used to take the whole family with him for a nice vacation. So I have travelled most of south India with him. Even after having a very busy schedule as a doctor, he always used to take time out to take us around, even if it was a small town nearby.
Q. So at the end of the day, if you had to describe yourself in a few words what would you say?
A. I take life as it comes, and am not afraid to take chances.
Q. It was an honour to meet you. The kaleidoscopic journey that you shared with us has been immensely exciting and we at Icy Tales thank you for your time. But before we leave do you have any parting words for our readers out there?
A. Love endlessly, live fearlessly. Don’t be afraid of heart breaks and failures. One of my favourite TV characters said the following which I believe in:
Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling not moving, assuming the worst that can happen, or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant.
Have fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks. There are no teams here, no buddies. You’re on your own. Be on your own.
If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.
There comes a point where it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore. So we give up. That’s when the real work begins: to find hope where there seems to be absolutely none at all.
We have to dance it out.
– Cristina Yang