Boldly challenging challenges

A young professional would love to be in the shoes of Niren Chaudhary – president of Yum! Restaurants India Pvt Ltd, the parent company of the better known Pizza Hut and KFC. For those interested in animation, Jesh Krishna Murthy is an icon for he and his team have provided visual effects for Hollywood films such as Twilight: New Moon and Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows.

A look at their designations, social status and power positions, and one would
surely wonder what could possibly be a challenge for these top honchos?

A shift from their professional to personal lives and the skies come down crashing when one gets to know that Chaudhary’s 18-year-old daughter Aisha succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis, in January this year while for Murthy, it is an everyday challenge to ensure that his five-year-old son Advait, born with Down syndrome, lives a healthy life.

As these fathers took to the stage at Teen Murti Bhavan, during the recent edition of The Shift Series, there were many a moist eye in the audience, as they applauded the courage in the real-life tales narrated by these and others.

“I could muster the courage to tell my wife that our son is born with Down syndrome, only after three months,” says Murthy as he presses a button and the videos of his adorable son and his progress in life steals hearts. A similar emotion is evoked through Chaudhary’s song, on his daughter who was a fighter and taught Chaudhary that ‘nothing is impossible’ at various stages of her life.

“At a point when she was completely dependent on artificial oxygen supply, she chose to speak during a talk, without oxygen and practised hard and achieved it,” says Chaudhary. In our fast-paced lives, where our professions often make us aggressive and personal lives end up making us impatient, the talk with the theme of ‘Challenging Challenges’ was a platform to prove that challenges appear in everyone’s life, without fail. What is important is how we deal with them.

For RJ Naved, the popular voice on Radio Mirchi, it wasn’t easy to become so overnight. “My father is a farmer and at a certain point in my life, I used to go door-to-door to hammer curtain rods in walls,” says Naved whose artistry to produce different voices propelled him in his current profession.

“But before this, I have even worked in customer care of Airtel where I was given night shift since I could imitate a female voice.” Though he was able to fulfil his monthly targets with his skills, but making such calls to men at night wasn’t as easy as it sounds!

Big, small, usual or unusual, a challenge could be in any form and might strike us at any stage of our life. Though stand-up comedian, Sindhu Vee, laughs about the fact that she was punished till she turned nine-years-old, it is a fact that remembering her last name ‘Venkatnarayan’ was a daunting challenge for her in her childhood. Those of us, whose names are often misspelt, would instantly connect with her case.

Even being taller than the average height of an Indian girl was a challenge for Sindhu, like many others, who face the rigorous process of arranged marriage. And even after marriage, there are challenges, such as the ones faced by Sarita Devi.

A five-time gold medallist in Asian Championship, three-time World Champion and an Arjuna Awardee, the boxer says, “In our village elders say that if girls play sports then they can’t conceive. I had to therefore plan my family soon after I got married, even though it was very difficult for me to come back to the ring after weighing 82 kilos during pregnancy.” For Sarita Devi, her husband’s support was crucial and even after facing innumerable challenges, she hasn’t let anything defeat her spirit.

“I want to make my country proud in 2016 Olympics,” Sarita Devi says leaving for Bangalore, where she is training.

While one would believe that the life of a sportsperson in India is bound to be difficult, there is the true story of celebrated chef Ritu Dalmia.

Dalmia started earning at a young age of 17 and opened her first restaurant. “It was a disaster,” she states and narrates how she learnt from her experience and her other restaurant Vama in London worked and later Diva gave her stability.

“One thing worked in my favour. I wasn’t and I’m not afraid of anything,” she exclaims. Probably, this is the mantra to face challenging challenges in our lives.    

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