Having a turbulent past is definitely not very easy. As John Green quotes correctly, – “The darkest nights produce the brightest stars”, but to face the darkness itself all by yourself and fighting it through to reach the light is truly a journey of self-evolution and realisation.
Gaurang Chandarana, a 45-year-old fitness and Yoga enthusiast and the CEO of Abhisti and Wellzee, is one such braveheart who has seen the darkest of the days but evolved into a star. The only thing that kept him going was his inner strength which always existed even when nobody, including even he, could see it.
His strength was in the form of his strong desire to do something big, start his own venture and make way in the field of fitness and Yoga and wanting to spread the message of holistic wellbeing across the world.
The Lifestyle Portal is proud to share an inspiring story of how Gaurang evolved from a stormy past to a stronger version of himself.
It all started when Gaurang was working in a multinational organisation and his good performance actually started becoming a curse for him, where office politics affected him deeply.
“Being disoriented as I started getting convinced that with all the office politics, it is difficult to survive in the corporate world. At one point, I also decided to migrate or even start a small business or job. I did nothing for a while. After that, I started a business with someone, raised money for the same and ran it for over three years. Unfortunately, I ran into heavy losses,” says Gaurang.
As frustrating and depressing as it seems, for Gaurang all this started building guilt and discontent. “All these instances in a row could not be bad luck. I was convinced that I needed to change. I was also grappling to come to terms with the fact that I had different preferences. I was the only one (at my age) not married or no relationships and I was getting more convinced that something was totally wrong with me.” says Gaurang. He wasn’t even able to open up to anyone about what he was going through and a day came when he started experimenting with drugs.
The downfall had begun.
“I became an extreme drug addict and an alcoholic. Before I even knew it, I started losing weight and became half my size. My mental health took a complete toll on me. Unable to bear the agony, loss of money, guilt and massive depression, I made serious attempts to commit suicide and yet, I survived, twice,” recalls Gaurang.
But it is always believed that the deeper the downfall, the higher will be your comeback. Well, we truly believe this too after hearing the rest of Gaurang’s story.
After all this, there was still some spark alive in Gaurang, which kept him working on his startups such as Abhisti and Wellzee Gaurang says, “I stopped meeting people, friends, relatives and would sit at home most times, alternating between drugs and thinking about how I would build a Yoga Business.” In fact, he conceived many of his startup ideas and executed them, while he was actually ‘high’. The only thing which excited him then and even now is business.
During the same time, Gaurang also started coaching and teaching about Yoga, workshops, and entrepreneurship. People started loving him and this started encouraging him more.
“However, I would specifically like to mention my first teacher and Guru, Mr. Mohandas from Kaivalyadhama, Mumbai who taught me for five years. I started learning from him at the young age of 13 till I was 18. I am no longer in touch with him, but I consider him to be, ‘above all’. I attribute all of my interest and success in Yoga, to him.” Says Gaurang. Well, Yoga was something which was actually like a ladder to Gaurang’s success.
“I finally decided to take a grip on myself and to stop wallowing in self-pity. In March 2017, I spoke to my parents and a set of friend and shared everything with them completely. I found out good psychiatrists, started medication and counselling. Along with that, I joined the gym once again and started building my health.”
“At the same time, I accelerated pace on my start-up. I had to be very persistent with the Government in November 2017 for Abhisti and I also started reaching out to people. Now I am ready to start operations by February 2018 or latest by March 2018.” says a happy Gaurang.
A truly inspirational comeback!
Gaurang respects his parents and believes that whatever he is today is with the help of their support. He says, “I totally attribute my turnaround to my parents, who are in their late ’70s. They always kept me with them at home. They took care of me, staying up nights with me. They never criticized, argued, or even pulled me up. They refused to send me for rehabilitation. All they kept saying was – we trust you implicitly and you need to find your own solutions. Whenever required, they do nudge me and push me to move forward.
They are the ones who encouraged and forced me to write my story so that others in the same position may get help through encouragement and inspiration. It was also my parents who actually forced me to join the Rotary Club and get involved in various other activities as well.”
He further adds, “Apart from my parents, my friends were extremely supportive of me. All of them would say the same thing to me that I am surely going to be a roaring success. Even today my friends keep checking on me. They message me every single day and subtly keep track of me and continue encouraging me. Well, I still at times have some huge withdrawal symptoms and temptations, but with such wonderful people around, I am sure I will pull through.”
The recovery phase
Today, he is completely off medication and has put on 12 kgs of muscles in less than a year. Gaurang is kick-starting the world’s first structured Yoga brand and business. He is now also into voluntary work, cooking, travelling and writing along with counselling and at the same time enjoying quality time with his friends.
Gaurang shares his ‘Success Mantra’, with our readers:
- Follow your heart.
- Build up the ability to rise if you fall (even multiple times).
- Do not be guilty of anything; however silly or socially unacceptable it may be.
- Do not feel afraid to make mistakes at any time, (even the same ones). As long as you keep learning and make sincere efforts to improve, you will definitely succeed in overcoming them if you do not give up.
- Love your family unconditionally and take care of them.
- Learn to love yourself.
- Take care of your physical and mental health.
- Disconnect politely and diplomatically with negative people even if they are friends. Associate with positive and motivating people.
- Listen to everyone, but only you decide what is correct for you.
- Do not react to people who criticize you or think you are a ‘bad person’.
- Contribute to the society just like I have been doing through Rotary.
- Try not to lose your temper and patience or get angry (this is the most important but toughest one and even I am still learning).
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