Society

The upside of penury

Their financial troubles started in 2003, but they actually woke up to it sometime around 2005. In 2007, the situation finally blew up in their faces.

Meet AVIS Viswanathan and his wife, Vaani, who faced financial bankruptcy but still look at their trials as the greatest blessing of their life.

Though still on an uphill climb to repay their 179 creditors, their troubles with money have taught them some lessons about life and they are grateful for it.

It hasn’t been easy. “My hands would tremble when I picked up the telephone because we were facing all kinds of threats,” AVIS confesses, adding that he’s woken up in the middle of the night, gripped by fear and checked to see if his daughter was still safe in bed.

He’s faced many threats and dealt with the doubts of many people. His own mother, he says, called him a cheat for being able to fly abroad for work and send his son to graduate school despite having borrowed money from the family. "A lot of people judge you by the way you look,” says Vaani, explaining that there’s a way that bankrupt people are supposed to look and their family just did not fit that mould. However, their troubles, AVIS reveals, brought them closer to understanding their purpose in life – to help people who deal with similar problems.

“This whole experience has taught us that things don't happen because of us, they happen through us,” he says. So at a time when he felt completely helpless, he turned to writing, so that he may help others.

An ex-journalist, AVIS imagined he’d write again one day when he was highly successful and famous.

He didn’t expect that when he finally came out with a book, it would be about his own lessons in living through bankruptcy. He decided to write his book, Fall like a Rose Petal , even while he is still dealing with his financial troubles because he wanted to let people realise how it is possible to face financial failure with a smile.

The book, which comprises of a series of journal entries addressed to his children, talks about his journey through a mountain of debt and how he learnt how to not just survive it but live and learn through it.

“The idea is to just be and not put conditions on your happiness,” says Vaani.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 4:26:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/the-upside-of-penury/article6530473.ece

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