I am not sure if I’m envious of Sridhar Vembu’s immense successes or of the fact that he has something so precious that cannot be stolen from him – time.
Yes, the immensely rich businessman, who is known for setting up a business empire that spans the world employing more than 8,000 people, says he is richer by the moments he spends in the quiet town of Tenkasi in South India, his home for the past two years (read the exclusive interview with Sridhar). After having traded his power suits and swanky office in California with the home office, the billionaire is now focused on leading a slow life, building local economies and infrastructure and more importantly, friendships with local farmers and entrepreneurs. And by the way he still runs his business empire.
While reflecting over Sridhar’s life, I wonder if what I am feeling is merely a case of ‘the grass is greener… syndrome’ or am I overcome with nostalgia about bedtime stories our grandparents told us of their ‘near perfect’ lives growing up in the midst of chirping birds, misty mornings and fresh produce that was grown on land and not in hydroponic farms. And, after living in sanitised cities, wanting that pure life for myself.
I believe romanticising has its side effects. There is a fear that it could lead to regret. After all, life in a remote town could mean no option of ordering in a Big Mac with fries; or, having to give up the joys of window shopping in a mall.
I guess life is all about constantly evaluating our priorities and preferences and knowing which battles to fight. And most importantly, understand that we are not losers when we surrender.
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