Eleutheromania – Jaydeep JhalaDecember 24, 2016
Eleutheromania, If I had to sum up, my existence in a single word, this would be it .The word signifies a mad zeal, an unquenchable thirst for freedom stemming from the core of a human that pushes him forward. So many people today lead a life stuck in the humdrum of melancholy circumstances and yet are afraid to take the leap because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation. While all of which may appear to give an appearance of peace of mind stemming from stability but in reality nothing is more distressing than a life lived with unfulfilled potentials. After all, we do get just one shot at life, don’t we? I am penning down my story with the hope that you, in the prime of your age stop, reassess your status quo and have the courage to unshackle your safety net and take the plunge, experiencing everything it has to offer.
It all began when I went on my first Himalayan trek to Brighu Lake. After completing my 12th, I went to BITS Pilani. I had prepared for IIT-JEE coaching for two years in kota and like every (well almost every ) BITSian didn’t get through it. To be fair, I didn’t even get an engineering branch and rather got admission into the Bachelor of Pharmacy course at BITS. Somewhere along the line in my second semester, I was frustrated with the academically oriented life on campus which got me thinking that It was not something I could pursue for a lifetime. A random google search and a quick itinerary later, I found myself on a backpacking trip to Brighu lake. That single experience had such a profound effect on me that it changed the course of my life. The call of the mountains, the breath of fresh air, the rustle of the leaves and the less trodden paths up to my destination imbibed in me a feeling that I just couldn’t forget. I loved the experience of meeting new people knowing about their cultures and traditions. It was almost a home away from home. And not surprisingly after Brighu lake there was no stopping as I kept on planning and executing an increasing no. of backpacking trips every semester.
Towards the end of my second year, I met few graduating seniors (Manasi Tyagi, Abhinav Ravi & Akshay Singh) who had similar interests. Together we re-established the Mountaineering and Adventure Club (MAC) at BITS Pilani. Next semester along with my batchmates (Adhiraj Singh Shekhawat, Kartikeya Kashiva & Rohit Soni) MAC undertook the task of organizing treks to the Himalayas for the students and faculty alike with increasing number of participants with every trek While the legacy was taken forward by our juniors,the club members have show grit and determination with their level of dedications pushing a club born out of the need for an escape now has a number of students taking up professional courses in mountaineering. MAC had opened up the gates for many students to pursue their love of mountains and with it, I finally had discovered another side to me.
During my journey, I came across a few people who had quit their lifestyles, their jobs ( The security, conformity i was talking about ) in pursuit of their passions, be it traveling or photography. I met many amazing photographers who could capture an image that did justice to that mesmerizing beauty provided by nature that so entranced me. They did a fantastic job of showcasing that view to people sitting on their comfortable couches, a job that while befuddling was one that intrigued me. I also saw their struggles pursue their field of interest due to various social and financial constraints. Meanwhile, towards the end of my third year, I met Anubhav Das, my college senior and a LIMCA Book World Record holder photographer who was trying to build a platform that would help photographers in pursuing their interest right from the early stages while providing them with the necessary knowledge to make their work as competent as with the professionals in the field as well as giving them a chance to earn and support their passion while improving in it.
I had a wonderful opportunity to join in with him in this endeavour but the decision as is the case with most career decisions, wasn’t easy to say the least. I was about to start my final semester of college, the dreaded semester that brings along an anxious placement season with it. I had undergone a 6 month internship at a pharmaceutical consulting firm prior to this semester. The internship though undoubtedly a good learning experience, enabled me to realize that perhaps a desk job was not the ideal place for me. Every morning at the internship whenever i used to log onto my workstation and start my proceedings for the day, my thoughts were often plagued with questions like what am I doing with my life, Why has everyday routine become so stifling and so on. But also leaving the comforts of a possible pre placement offer and moving into entrepreneurship was a big decision and required family support which at that time was very improbable
My family members, especially my dad having experienced his share of turmoil in settling in a different city and bringing up a family of four without asking for a single penny from my grandfather, wanted me to have a stable life with stable income. It was tough convincing them to let me move into entrepreneurship. After a lot of efforts i was able to ask them for a year of experimentation for the startup,and seeing my passion for it they relented and assured me that if I did find stability there, then i could pursue the same for the rest of my life.
After graduating from college, we founded AIE Services (http://www.aie.net.in/) along with Divya Agrawal, who is a professional photographer and well versed with the startup industry in Mumbai. Presently all three of us are working together to make dreams of many young aspiring photographers come to life. Since inception about 8 months ago, we have worked with close to 400 hundred creative professionals and are looking to add more every week. Photographers and videographers can read more about my current venture at
and can apply to join us at
It’s been almost 6 months since then that i ventured into entrepreneurship, and thankfully with the efforts we have put in, my family has rallied around my vision and are somewhat convinced that I made the right choice. As it is said life will always give you two choices, the easy one and the right one. Always go for the right choice, pursue what your heart desires. It won’t be easy but in the end it will definitely be worth the struggle.
Why am I doing this you ask? Well, to be honest, I don’t and probably will never have a detailed reply to this which would satisfy all queries, It’s just my belief that just like I had found a way to be associated with my love for mountains and had in the process helped so many in my peer group view the same sights that had so bewitched me, I now have a bigger goal in sight that makes me feel eleutheromanic again.