I am neither spiritual nor ritualistic, but Hanuman Chalisa has been an integral part of my daily life for the past 34 years. I don’t think I have skipped reciting it for a single day. I carry the Chalisa with me wherever and whenever I go. Does that make me religious, or god fearing?
I do believe in God and his creation, but I have never feared incurring the wrath of the Supreme, not even when I feast on meat and savour a drink or two during Navratra… the nine days dedicated to Goddess Durga and her manifestations, when the good forces battle for supremacy over evil…
Some may find it sacrilegious or blasphemous, but I believe I have been blessed with a life, with all its trappings…of agony and ecstasy…of trials and tribulations…of guts and glory. A life that ends up being your biggest friend, philosopher and guide…teaching you that sometimes taking the road less travelled can be more fulfilling and enriching than what you would have wished or yearned for…just like I did when I was 22 in 1983.
I was damn sure of making it to Harvard. I had done exceptionally well in GMAT…my score was just a whisker short of 800. When my application got rejected, I was devastated, and since I was also recuperating from a severe health issue, the rejection felt like a body blow. My most cherished dream had turned into a nightmare.
But like they say it’s not all over till it’s over. I finished my MBA from Delhi University. Like my peers, I started as a management consultant with AF Ferguson & Co, followed by a stint with American Express. But, pretty soon, I got bored. Television was where my passion lay. Working with Doordarshan during my college days held more charm than the job I held.
I got my break when Vinod Dua, whom I knew during my DD days, joined Madhu Trehan at the India Today Group which was launching India’s