CHENNAI: AVIS Viswanathan confesses committing grave mistakes in his 47-year-old journey, but says that those mistakes have taught him lessons. And these are lessons that he wishes to tell the world. He aspires to transform the lives of two billion people across the globe and his book Fall Like a Rose Petal, launched in the city, seems to be his first major step in reaching out to the public and initiating a spiritual revolution. “There is a difference between being religious and being spiritual,” asserts AVIS. He says, “Religion has the potential to divide, whereas spirituality unites. If I’m asked to choose between the two, I’ll go with the latter.”
AVIS, who currently runs two firms with the backing of his wife Vaani, says that the title of the book has been inspired from a Sufi story. “A rose petal doesn’t know where it falls. It may be on a newly-married couple, on a road, run over and crushed over by vehicles or in the graveyard. Likewise, we don’t know where life would lead us, but if we accept it, we simply flow with it. The secret is to embrace whatever life has in store and just fall like a rose petal. My book talks about ‘just being’ and a lot more,” he adds.
The chapters in book are written in the form of letters, addressing AVIS’s daughter and son (Aanch and Aash). However, the former journalist says that every person who reads the book will relate to it in some way or the other. “Everyone has problems. But, not all deal with them intelligently. Vaani and I are on a mission to touch the lives of distressed souls. We want to convey a simple yet profound message — without money, one can be happy,” he says.
All problems in life magnify once we start running away from them, says AVIS. He asks one to boldly face and rise above the problems than to succumb to them. And to enforce his point, his book candidly discloses AVIS’s bankruptcy, after a series of erroneous decisions in 2007, and how he’s yet to pay his 179 creditors their dues. “I have no money. Nevertheless, more than half of my creditors have been understanding and compassionate. I’ve also been dragged to court by some. Yet, I have faith that once I get the money, I’ll repay my debt. I refer to my creditors as angels as they’ve taught me lessons in life. Had it not been for them, the book wouldn’t have been possible and I wouldn’t have realised the true essence of life,” he says. Working on the book was a ‘therapeutic experience’ for him.
Though the book talks about living in the present, we had to wonder if he revisited the past while authoring the book? Responding with a smile, he says, “Well, yes. But the past didn’t haunt me. It healed me. The book will continue to heal millions of people across the globe. As one of the sentences of Page 267 of my book reads: Postpone everything else, but don’t ever postpone being happy.”
Fall Like a Rose Petal is priced `350 and is published by Westland Limited