I was 35. My life was wrapped around in Saturday, Sundays. That's it. I lived for a Saturday and a Sunday. And that Saturday used to go up waking up late in the evening, get drunk. Sunday swear upon god you'll not drink again. And, Monday back to office.
For my mom I never grew fat. Like, till date. I was healthy. Plump. Pleasantly Plump. Horizontally challenged. 'Ab woh kehti, "Mera beta suja hua hai".' (Now, she says, "My son has swollen up.")
I was very poor when I was young. My father passed away when I was 4. I started working with very odd jobs. I was door to door marketing, and working with PVR as a torch man. And, then pizza hut as a delivery boy. And a waiter, and then I joined call centers And I went on to become the board of directors there. 16 years it took me there. 16 years.
I was 35. I was flying jets. I was flying business class. Staying in the most swankiest of the hotels. And, what you realise is when you are middle class, and you don't have money your dreams die first. Because everybody tells you how to live your life. Everybody. And I heard them. I listened to all of them.
I bought a house when I was 26. I bought a back up house when I was 28. I bought a back up back up house when I was 30. I bought a back up back up back up house when I was 32. Now, I have got 6 flats and 2 villas, but to hell with it! I pay installments and nobody stays there.
I used to handle a thousand people at office. Then, I got divorced when I was thirty one. I couldn't handle one woman. That's a bummer in your life, right? And, then, I started cursing because, I was never the good son. I was never the good son. I was never the son who could get married, hold on to a marriage.
01:50I was never the son who could give grand kids. I was never the son who could not smoke because, I smoke like a chimney. I was the guy who got tattoos first. Got his ears pierced. I was everything that a parent doesn't want. I was the bad thing that happened to good people. I was just one of those bad things that happens to good people.
02:07If I go to Anubhav's place, "Hey Anubhav do you want to play?" His mother would come, like, "Wo ghar pe nhi hai"(He's not at home.) You know? That is who is was. Right? And, that's fine. See, you do realize I was, I was never good at anything. I was the last guy to be picked up for batsman, the worst bowler. and, pretty much an awesome fielder, look at me.
02:27I was, I was never good in studies. I was smart. I was not intelligent. I wasn't academically intelligent. I was very smart. But, I was sincere. And, then I started realizing, you know? WHAT IS NEXT? Like, for me. What is next? My boss used to suck the life out of me. Every, single day. Like, put a straw in my body, suck the blood. Like, in literal sense. I used to come like, "Sir Please! Choosiye khoon mera!" (Suck my blood) And, that's fine because, I wanted to earn money, right?
02:58I wanted to, I had all the, the more I thought about it the more scared I got. Like, "Ghar ki installment" (House installments). "Gadi ka installment" (Car's installment). "Sharab ke paise?" (Money for alcohol). "Cigarette ke paise?" (Money to smoke). "Or Shauq mere?" (And, my indulgences). "Kaha se dunga mein iss zindagi ke paise?" (How will i pay for this life?).
03:12I was 35. I did not have 35 beautiful memories about my life. Not one per year. It takes me one second to create a memory. One minute, one day, one hour, one week, one month, I couldn't give that to my life. That is what I was doing.
03:28When I was young, I did not want to be a call center director. That is not what I dreamed of. I wanted to be He-Man. I wanted to be Mithun. Mithun was big then. I never dreamt of these things. At 35, I did not have 35 memories. From 35-38 I have millions. If I sleep today and I don't wake up tomorrow, I die a very happy man! A very happy man! That is the difference, the difference was I stopped existing, I started living. I had stopped. I'd put myself first.
04:05So, I'm not an entrepreneur. I create laughs so I am a laughter-preneur. That's who I am. I put myself first. I stopped being a doormat to everyone. I said I will stand up. I will make myself happy. I'll go back home, sleep. As a happy man. That's all I wanted. Do I have crap in my life, now? Absolutely! Does my mother push me to the edge to get married again? Yes. Does she question that am I gay or not? Absolutely! But I would tell her, "Mai jhuk ke laces nhi baandh pata" (I can't even bend to tie my laces).
04:35Take a minute. I have stopped drinking. I don't drink anymore. Because, I don't need to. I don't need to forget anything. I'm not a bitter guy. I'm happy. You know how amazing it is? There was this quote by Jim Carrey that I have always believed that, everyone should be rich and famous, because you should know that it is not what it takes to be happy, that is not what it takes. Believe me, you can be happy with the daal chawal. It is amazing to be there. It is amazing. And, most of us die at the age of twenty five. We're just buried at the age of seventy five. That's all.
05:11Stop doing this to yourself. This is what I heard. This is what I wanted to do. So, the question to you is, like, if there is one question to myself and that is what the question you should ask yourself that is one question you should say, if your parents die tonight, if you have a pet, he gets hit by a car, your girlfriend cheats on you, husband dumps you, you lose every piece of penny that you ever saved. What is one thing that will make you happy that evening? If you figure that out, run for it!
For me, that was a stand-up. Twelve days ago, my dog died. 15 years of companionship. Somebody who doesn't have a dog will not get it. But, I carry him in my heart. Next day, I had a show. I made, I made a killer of a show that day. You know what? Because, that made me happy. That's what it is. I was never good at anything and look who's talking on the stage. So, eat shit people. That was it. That's my story. Yeah!
The man who quit the rat race, and why
Jeeveshu Ahluwalia was successful at 35. He was the director in a company, he owned 6 apartments and 2 villas, and he flew business class every week. But he did not have 35 happy memories. So he stopped, quit, and pressed ‘reset’. He takes us on a whirlwind tour of those first 35 years, and the 3 since, sprinkled with his own inimitable flavor of wit and humor.