Nikhil Kamath: Not figuring it all out & other life lessons
Do you ever feel like you should be more productive, further along in your career or be on top of things in your life? That you should have an amazing job, a clear sense of who you are and where you’re supposed to be, and have all of gone through all life lessons you possibly could? Worse, that you should already be there by now?
It’s time for a reality check.
It’s okay to not have it all figured it out. Life lessons are gotten through spontaneity & experimentation. It’s okay to stumble through phases and things and passions, otherwise how would you know what is right for you and what isn’t?
Nikhil Kamath didn’t either. But why should you care about his story? Because his arc represents that of so many of you are probably going through: he stumbled from passion to passion, trying to get one of them to work for him, trying to figure it all out, plan it out until all his cumulative efforts just led to the launch of his debut novel.
Interviewer: “You talk about spontaneity. Were you always this way?”
Nikhil: “Back in school I was one of those intelligently cool kids who know how to get all the work done and are kind of indispensible. Everyone looked up to me and thought, “This guy has everything figured out”, and I thought so too.”
I:”So that’s the impression you always had of yourself? So what was it after school & college that changed this?”
N: “I graduated from school in 2014 and by 2015. I had failed thrice in putting together a band, I was writing a food blog that had 0 hits and I had dropped out of India’s top Hospitality College to do CA (by then I realised that I obviously didn’t have everything figured out). At this point, I didn’t want to do multiple things; I just wanted to do only one thing that would make me happy.”
I: “So how did you transition from blogging & discover your passion for writing?”
N: “In 2016, after a year of trying to figure out what my passion was, I met some amazing and like minded people who were as much into writing as I was. This was when I figured out that writing was something I enjoyed and from just writing about food I decided to also focus on some poetry and fiction writing.”
I: “So you decided to stick with writing from then on?”
N: “Since then there has been no looking back. From 2016 to 2017 I started writing regularly and I also started taking up freelance writing projects to expand my scope of writing. My works were being published across various websites and around this time I also finished writing the first draft of my novel.”
I: “So… bands, blogging, CA & freelance writing. Quite a lot of activities to get your hands full with? I can’t imagine any more.”
N: (smiles) “I also ventured into stand-up comedy. Cut Coffee Paste was something that my friend Mahadevan Iyer and I came up with to combine our passion for story-telling and comedy. Over the past one year we have 9 shows across Delhi NCR most of them being housefull. Through Cut Coffee Paste, we are developing a concept of ‘Comedy For a Cause’ which is an initiative to make people aware of certain problems that exist in the society through comedy.”
I: “So by now you had realised that you needed to keep exploring & experimenting.”
N: “Yes. During this time I also started working with a couple of start-ups from Delhi-NCR and Mumbai along with food blogging. From handling branding, content and PR to handling customer relations and business development, I got an insight into how start-ups work.”
I: “And then came your book.”
N: “January 2018 was a big turning point as the dream of becoming a published author finally came true. I launched my debut novel ‘It Was You…Always’ on which I had been working on since February 2015.
This is a journey of a Restaurateur/Chef and a Chartered Accountant of finding love, following their passions and doing what they love.The story was inspired during my time at hotel management and throughout the process of writing this novel, my elder sister Neha Kamath and cousin Abhijeet Kini constantly provided with their reviews which helped me make the story better.”
I: “So what would you like to tell our readers as takeaway or life lessons?”
N: “Not everyone has everything figured out since the beginning and sometimes it’s okay not having things figured out. When it’s the right time you will have everything figured out. The journey of discovering my passion and growing as a writer has been a tough one.I know this is just the beginning because there’s still a long way to go.”
To read more stories like this, visit Idol Ki Jubani.