Com­ing full circle

AJAY CHATURVEDI, 39 Banker-turned-en­tre­pre­neur

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - THINK! THEBIGSTORY - — Shalini Singh

Ajay Chaturvedi gave up a hefty salary, gourmet dinners, ex­pen­sive va­ca­tions, his BMW and other trap­pings of suc­cess, and re­turned to In­dia from the US in 2006 to set up HarVa, a ru­ral com­pany which also has the first women-only-run BPO.

Where once he ex­per­i­mented with cuisines at fine-din­ing restau­rants, Chaturvedi has given up al­co­hol and meat, and turned satvik. He no longer buys branded clothes. Late-night par­ty­ing has given way to early-morn­ing med­i­ta­tion. He trav­els to the Hi­malayas ev­ery six months to “switch off and catch my breath”. WHY: From Dehradun, Chaturvedi grew up in a large joint fam­ily that grew its own food and went to the gro­cery only for milk. When he moved to the US to study and work, he says his life be­came all about “ab­sorb­ing the ma­te­rial world”. “I had moulded my­self ac­cord­ing to oth­ers’ ex­pec­ta­tions... I didn’t know who I was,” he says. “I de­cided I wanted to do some­thing mean­ing­ful. I wanted to keep my eye on my real goal — hap­pi­ness.” THE IM­PACT: “From an ex­ter­nal jour­ney — lit­er­ally and metaphor­i­cally — mine has be­come an in­ter­nal one,” he says. He spends his leisure time read­ing books like the Bhag­vad Gita. He's started trav­el­ling less for busi­ness, more for self-ful­fill­ment, oc­cas­sion­ally ex­chang­ing notes on Ad­vaita and Ju­daism with a Jewish scholar in Kedar­nath and learn­ing to reg­u­late his breath in Ut­tarak­hand with his guru. “I be­lieve I had to ex­pe­ri­ence all that I did to be where I am now,” he says. Life has come a full circle for Chaturvedi — back home.

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