A lot of people slog throughout their lives to achieve success. Some try to achieve it through sincerity, and some through notorious methods. Still, 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. 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. Again, very rarely, one comes across people like Vishakha Ruhela, who dazzled others with her brilliance, not just defining success but life itself.
Vishakha is the founder of Wiser Budweiser. She likes to write articles, poems, self-quotes, and journey descriptions. She is also a Vision founder, where she exercises her passion for photography and uploads the best shots. She also has tied 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 makes her 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 keeping myself restricted to anything. Being a designer doesn’t mean one needs to follow design rituals and not give other things time. A designer might have an interest in science, and a scientist might have an 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 favorite genre?
A. I do not have a particular genre 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 and excerpts from The Bible and Quran. However, I am an agnostic, and I respect religious people. 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 enjoy 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 the illustrations that I draw while traveling.
Recently I tied up with an innovative start-up from India called CUPICK, where I provide my artworks to be sold on a 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 paper’s content, and I never prepared exclusively for it. Surprisingly, I got through the exam, which motivated me to attend counseling and finally getting into NIFT.
It has been one of the best decisions of my life to 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 a scholarship to study in Leicester, the UK, for a semester, and also attended a workshop in Wolverhampton, UK, during my summer break. By the end of my graduation, I was given the “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 study. I have always participated in extracurricular activities from my childhood days until college. When I topped my high school, I did face the pressure to maintain the record, but I never gave it much importance. 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 about it. I worked in that company for about a year. Meanwhile, I got this chance to travel to the USA, where I could explore, and I had a choice to make. It was indeed difficult to leave a job that paid for the rent and the food, but I have always been passionate about traveling, 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 wasn’t easy to pursue my dreams the way I wanted to. Dreams can be small, like wearing a loose t-shirt with baggy denim in public, even if you are a girl or an entrepreneur someday.
I have been criticized by many at many points in my life, I have been cheated, and I have been defamed. 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 from walking the road less traveled by, especially girls; regarding this, what do u have to say to the society and the youth out there.
A. I think we had come far from when kids were not allowed to travel on their own or live in another city. But yeah, I do agree a 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 asses off to achieve their dreams. Parents should stand as pillars and not restrict 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. Society needs to be more tolerant and should 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 any time 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 on 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 traveled 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 traveled most of South India with him. Even after having a very busy schedule as a doctor, he always made the time 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 I am not afraid to take chances.
Q. It was an honor 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 lives fearlessly. Don’t be afraid of heartbreaks and failures. One of my favorite 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 can 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 the point where it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore, that’s when we give up. In reality, 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