What My Parents Named Me: Jai Vyas
What My Friends Call Me: Vyas
What Robert Downey Jr Calls Me: He doesn’t
Where I Live: Mumbai, India
Where I Would Like To Live: Places that I can’t afford yet
What am I Studying: Nothing currently (although I am a Psychology Graduate and am preparing for business school – however, to what extent I studied even during graduation is up for debate)
What Am I Up To Apart from Not Studying: I run a growing business (called Bridge of Tales), I freelance, I watch TV shows, I crack amazing puns and jokes that are ahead of their time, I cook amazing omelettes, and I edit videos and wait for Marvel to hire me
Would This Turn Into a Sort of Weird Matrimonial Profile if I Continued With This Any Longer: Perhaps
Let’s not risk it. Longform ftw.
So, I guess you know me about as much as any acquaintance knows me. Its all uphill from here, friend.
Flashback to when I was, like, 6. I hadn’t been feeling well for a while, and mom and dad took me to the hospital. I had no clue what was up, but I stayed there for almost two weeks. After I was allowed to go back home, we began visiting the hospital very often, almost every day. I’d get a bunch of tablets to swallow, a few liquids to gulp down, and an injection in the butt. I didn’t go to school for a little over a year.
Buuuut, I also got to play with the kids there, got chocolates from the doctors everyday, made friends with the nurses and assistants (who still recognise me if I ever meet them), got the MakeAWish Foundation to get me a battery powered bike, got featured in a French/German short film, and got to stay home from school for a little over a year. They even promoted me without any tests!
It was during that one year that I developed my inclination towards storytelling. I used to sit in my bed and read all day long. One day I decided to give the classic Hare and Tortoise story my own twist. So I whipped out some blank sheets of paper, a pencil and some crayons, and let my amazing #SKILLZ run wild on the white canvas. You might call it a child’s pastime, but to the trained eye it was modern art and no less. That was perhaps the first original thing I ever wrote.
Many months later I found out that my hospital visits were the result of a cancer diagnosis (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, presumably an advanced stage). The balding was a clue all along, but I just didn’t see it. Evidently, I was blinded by my youthful ego.
Stories got me through all those days I spent in my bed. I read books, watched movies, and listened to my grandma tell me about everything from princes, paupers, virtuous thieves, and corrupt kings. I believe stories are the universal equaliser. Everybody has one. A person’s Tinder bio is a 140-character advertisement, the Facebook page is a memoir, a resume is a precis of his notable highs, and their Wattpad fanfic attempt is a peep into their deepest desires. We are all the sum of our individual chapters. They all exist in cohesion with one another, and none exists independent of the others. Moreover, we are all our own protagonists and also uphold supporting roles in hundreds, perhaps thousands of other stories.
I do not believe that there are any ‘bad’ stories. There are only bad ways of telling them.
My story comprises of the things I do, the people I interact with, the things I like, the things I don’t, the things that make me laugh, the ones that make me cry, the days I feel good, and the nights when I don’t. It comprises of everything that makes me want to take life head-on for the rest of my days, and it also comprises of all the moments that make me want to not do any of it. It comprises of what makes me, me.