#14 – Aditya Shroff (Author of the book “The Best Life Ever”) – Taking the road less travelled, being a writer and living the best life ever!

Aditya Shroff
[Image Courtesy – Aditya Shroff]

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In this episode I’m talking to Aditya Shroff popularly known through his blog as “The 5AM Guy” who is also an author of the book “The Best Life Ever”. He is also a competitive runner and frequently gets podium positions in various running races. He leads quite a simple but interesting life at a farm in a Village of Gujarat. After doing his engineering from Mumbai, he got a high paying job in Germany but eventually dropped that job and came back to India to work on his passion which is writing.

In this conversation we cover a wide variety of topics – how he took the brave decision to drop the job and work on his passion and live on a farm, his creative process while writing the book. How he got the book published and even got a forward from a celebrity whom he didn’t directly know. How someone, who has a passion can convert it into a profession. All of this and much much more is in the episode.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Aditya Shroff.

Links and references from the episode –

Interesting references –

  • Polymath – a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
  • Polyglot – One who knows many languages.
  • Foundry – A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings.
  • Lonavala Lit Fest
  • Penguin Publishing House
  • TreeShade Books
  • Aditya’s Morning Routine —
    Meditation ⇒ Pranayam ⇒ 1-2 hours of running ⇒ quick post run snack ⇒ Spiritual activities (prayers) and Yoga/Meditation together with Family ⇒ Breakfast
  • Afternoon nap is his must.
  • Meditation routine before going to bed helps him wake up fresh the next morning.
  • He eats long before going to bed (early dinner by 6pm)
  • Meditation he practices currently – Birdseye view practice.
  • He believes in minimalistic living.
  • He tried out his first writing expedition in 6th standard, inspired by the book James and the Giant Peach Novel by Roald Dahl.
  • He tried writing a book again in college, wrote 52 chapters and then lost interest and dropped it. He realised he didn’t like the book and the plot. So he dropped it.
  • One piece of advise for first time authors – Be yourself, keep writing and be patient.

Quotes mentioned –

  • Engineering is done so that you know, what you don’t want to do.
  • Being spiritual has nothing to do with being religious. It’s more related to your own spirit and being aware.
  • You can be spiritual even without being religious as well.
  • Listen to your body and don’t give in to your mind too often.
  • The birds’s eye view meditation practice helps you in not go down in the dumps when something goes wrong and it helps you not feel (egotistically) on top of the world when you are on top of the world. You feel balanced when you practice that. It’s a very fulfilling and liberating feeling.
  • When you realise that you don’t need specific material things to feel happy, that feeling is liberating.
  • My principal in life is – Either you win or you write.
  • Life is much better after a run or a bout of writing.
  • If you are not being your self, even if you get success, if it is not making you happy, is it even success?
  • Everybody can live the best life ever.

The ways you can connect with Aditya –

Listen on Castbox

My Twitter handle: twitter.com/h1m4n5hu


Credits and License:

My awesome intro background – The Real Broadway Musical by Narch and Dan Mace (Thanks guys)
Outro background – Tight Shorts – Andrew Applepie
Listen to the show in iTunes – click here.


Have something to say? Join the conversation in our Facebook community group!

#13 – Kuntal Joisher (First vegan to climb Mt. Everest from both the sides) – Living a life of compassion and Summiting the highest mountains!

Kuntal Joisher
[Image Courtesy – Kuntal Joisher (Instagram) ]

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In this episode I’m talking to Kuntal Joisher who became the World’s first Vegan to scale Everest in 2016 and now in 2019 he has summited Everest again from the North Side becoming the only vegan on earth climb Mt. Everest from both the sides. Kuntal’s expeditions are driven by compassion as a Vegan and he also spreads awareness on Dementia. He has also been on the cover of multiple international Vegan magazines. Apart from his mountain expeditions he works as a technology professional and also speaks at various events through out the globe as a public speaker.

In this conversation we talk about his story, how the early exposure to the idea that it’s ok do crazy things seeded his life with the sense of adventure. How his journey as a mountaineer started and the moments when he was first awestruck with the magnificence of Mt. Everest. His training regime and advise for people who are aspiring to summit Mt. Everest. It’s all in this episode.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Kuntal Joisher.

Links and references from the episode –

Person’s mentioned in this episode –

Product mentioned –

Book(s) mentioned –

Movie(s) Mentioned –

  • Cowspiracy – Movie about global warming and climate change

Interesting references –

  • SaveTheDuck – company which made Kuntal’s Everest wear which is made of 100% vegan materials. It withstood -30 to -40 degree Celsius on Kuntal’s expeditions.
  • Lhotse – The fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 metres (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kanchenjunga. This was Kuntal’s first major climb with the 100% vegan suit.
  • Kamath’s restaurants, Lonavala
  • Kullu and Manali (villages around)
  • Darjeeling
  • Nepal
  • Shimla
  • Narkanda
  • Hindustan Tibet Highway
  • Hatu Peak (Narkanda) – Standing on the top of this peak was the point where Kuntal fell in love with the mountains.
  • The Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Pumori Base Camp – The place from where you can see The Everest Peaks – This is the moment which inspired him to climb The Everest. (Oct 2010)
  • Superior Cardio Vascular Endurance – Lungs and Heart
  • Training bullet points –
    1. Physical Fitness
      1. Cardiovascular Training – 2 Cardio workouts in a week (Did Stair Climbs in early days – 80 floors / 100 Floors | Hiking 4 times a week now)
      2. Strength Training – 2 strength workouts in a week (Body Weight Training)
      3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – 3-4 HIIT workouts in a week (Resting heart rate of 40 was one of the key success patterns between successful Everest climbers)
    2. Mental Fitness – 2-3 months in the mountains every year. 6 – 8 small and big expedition
    3. Mountaineering course – Pre-cursor to his expeditions
  • Practiced on Eastern Express Highway (Flat Road) initially
  • Everest Attempts –
    1. April 2014 – Almost 4 years of training Since 2010 (Resting heart of Kuntal at that time was 44) – Tragedy happened – 20 Sherpa’s were killed in an ice avalanche.
    2. 2015 – Second attempt – Nepal Earthquake 7.9 Magnitude (10000 people died), Big avalanche – Kuntal’s viral video – almost verge of death.
    3. May 2016 – Third attempt – 9.20AM first summit – dietary vegan
    4. May 2019 – Fourth attempt – second summit – fully vegan
    • Some learnings from the above expeditions –
      • Cost per attempt to climb – around 30 Lacs of Indian Rupees (around 42K USD).
      • Mantra for climbing high altitude – Climb high sleep low (acclimatise). 30-35 days.
      • South Cole (Camp 4) – it is in Death Zone – borrowed time – humans cannot acclimatise in death zone
  • Related to His Father –
  • Vegan Flag – Which he took to the Everest top the second time (May 2019).
  • % of diet type of Indians – 29% Vegetarian and 71% Non-Vegetarian (~900 Million people which 3 times the size of United States)
  • Ahimsa Festival / One Earth Festival – Kuntal is the Brand Ambassador of this event
  • His Diet –
    • Nutrimake – Kuntal’s breakfast from past many months
    • Veggies and Beans based meals for breakfast
    • Frankie or Chapathi or Chapati wrap of Vada Pav masala based meal for Dinner (Done by 8.30PM)
  • Hulk Joke by Himanshu
  • Kuntal’s Mentor – The Himalayas – Teached him Patience
  • Khumbu Icefall – One of the deadly part in the Everest climb
  • Garmin Phoenix 3 HR – Fitness watch Kuntal used for a month, now he doesn’t wear a watch or any other wearables.
  • Kuntal Next Challange – Summiting Seven highest mountains in Seven different Continents on a 100% vegan diet –
    1. Asia: Mount Everest 29,035 feet (8850 meters)
    2. South America: Aconcagua 22,829 feet (6962 meters)
    3. North America: Denali AKA Mount McKinley 20,320 feet (6194 meters)
    4. Africa: Kilimanjaro 19,340 feet (5895 meters)
    5. Europe: Mount Elbrus 18,510 feet (5642 meters)
    6. Antarctica: Mount Vinson 16,067 feet (4897 meters)
    7. Australasia/Oceania: Carstensz Pyramid 16,023 feet (4884 meters)

    ** Australia: Mount Kosciusko 7,310 feet (2228 meters)OR

  • Advice for Aspiring climbers to summit Mount Everest –
    • Creating a top of the world mind and body is the way to go.
    • Do a mountaineering course to learn the basics.
    • Do as many expeditions as you can
    • Climb in various environment –
      • In the night conditions
      • Climb in snow storms
      • Climb with one hand or without hands (not in crazy high peaks but a little safer environments)

Quotes mentioned –

  • My father taught me – Doing crazy things is ok!
  • Either be on the side of apathy, or if you know the real issue and it’s pain, then go on the other side of apathy and do something about it.
  • You have to value your life, your fingers, your toes, your general well being over getting to the top (of the Mountains). Getting to the top is simply a bonus, Getting down is the main part.
  • Over-prepare all the time.

The ways you can connect with Kuntal –

Listen on Castbox

My Twitter handle: twitter.com/h1m4n5hu


Credits and License:

My awesome intro background – The Real Broadway Musical by Narch and Dan Mace (Thanks guys)
Outro background – Tight Shorts – Andrew Applepie
Listen to the show in iTunes – click here.


Have something to say? Join the conversation in our Facebook community group!

#12 – Gopi Vadsak (Aawaari) – Breathing emotions into visual art and making it come alive!

Gopi Vadsak (Aawaari)
[Image Courtesy – Gopi Vadsak (Instagram) ]

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In this episode I’m talking to Gopi Vadsak popularly known on Instagram as Aawaari. She is a visual designer, stylist, photographer and a creative director. Her creative photos and videos go viral every now on then on the Interwebs. Her work has been recognised by the likes of Adobe. We touch base on a variety of things in this conversation like – Her story, her struggle with anxiety and her way out of it, her creative process. How creatives like her make money in this profession and on what scale they should charge. How to work with whatever tools you have in hand to make something awesome! All of this and much more.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Gopi Vadsak.

Links and references from the episode –

Person’s mentioned in this episode –

Apps She mentioned –

Product mentioned –

Books mentioned –

Movies Mentioned –

Interesting references –

Quotes mentioned –

  • Time is the best medicine.
  • If you won’t stand up for yourself who else will?

Links mentioned by Gopi –

Listen on Castbox

My Twitter handle: twitter.com/h1m4n5hu


Credits and License:

My awesome intro background – The Real Broadway Musical by Narch and Dan Mace (Thanks guys)
Outro background – Tight Shorts – Andrew Applepie
Listen to the show in iTunes – click here.


Have something to say? Join the conversation in our Facebook community group!

#11 – Monica Chopra (The Eco Trunk) – Living an ethical Lifestyle, contributing towards a sustainable planet and bootstrapping an online store!

Monica Chopra (The Eco Trunk)
[Image Courtesy – Monica Chopra]

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In this episode I’m talking to Monica Chopra, who is an entrepreneur and has built up a company named The Eco Trunk which curates eco friendly products on their online store, to help people live a conscious lifestyle of Veganism. She herself is a Vegan and cares a lot about the environment and the carbon footprint.

In this conversation we talk a wide variety of things starting from her own story. Leaving a high paying career to finally go forward to her calling and building up The Eco Trunk from scratch. How our environment is getting worse and what measures we can take as individuals to reduce our carbon foot prints. We also talk about challenges she faced as a young entrepreneur and go In detail about the issues like pain points of the modern online stores like package delivery system and sustaining the company.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Monica Chopra.

Links and references from the episode –

Person’s mentioned in this episode –

  • Uma (Auroville)
  • Rajat (Friend)

Books mentioned –

Interesting references –

Links mentioned by Monica –

Listen on Castbox

My Twitter handle: twitter.com/h1m4n5hu


Credits and License:

My awesome intro background – The Real Broadway Musical by Narch and Dan Mace (Thanks guys)
Outro background – Tight Shorts – Andrew Applepie
Listen to the show in iTunes – click here.


Have something to say? Join the conversation in our Facebook community group!

#10 – Shubham Vanmali – Swimming in the shark waters and how to deal with the learning disability

Shubham Vanmali (International Ultra Swimmer)
[Image Courtesy – Shubham Vanmali]

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In this episode, I’m talking to Shubham Vanmali, who is an International ultra swimmer and has swum the English Channel and many other prestigious swim races across the world.

In this conversation, we talk about how he worked with his learning disability and became an international ultra swimmer. Now he is also working for this cause and to spread awareness about mental health-related issues. There are a lot of stories in this episode. If someone wanna pursue professional swimming, this episode is a must listen.

Plus in this episode, I’ve experimented with video as well. So this episode is available both in Video and Audio format.

Here is the Audio (If you are a regular audio podcast listener) – Audio Link

Here is the YouTube link for the video version of our conversation. Let me know if you like the video version, so I’ll try to include more videos in my content creation calendar.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Shubham Vanmali.

Links and references from the episode –

Continue reading

#9 – Monica Becerril Ugalde – Crossing Borders, running mountains and being in the now

Monica In Trails

Monica Becerril Ugalde (Head of Marketing at Unived)
[Photo Courtesy – Monica Becerril Ugalde (Instagram)]

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In this episode, I’m talking to Monica Becerril Ugalde, who is an ultra trail runner and Head of Marketing at Unived.in. She is a Mexican Immigrant who lived in the United States before moving to India. She is the wife of my friend Amit who has also been on the podcast.

Monica has done multiple ultra trail races ranging between 50 to 60km of distance. She has won the podium positions for many of these races. At the core, she is a conscious human being and a vegan.

In this episode, we talk about her story. Being a Mexican immigrant in the US and eventually moving to India. Now doing what she loves and building a vegan brand along with Amit with their great values. This was like a treat to hear her story.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Monica Becerril Ugalde.

Links and references from the episode –

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#8 – Shibani Gharat (Principal Correspondent CNBC Awaaz) – Visual Storytelling, Running the Highest Marathon and Going all out!

Shibani Gharat (CNBC Awaaz)
[Photo Courtesy – Shibani Gharat (Instagram)]

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In this episode, I’m talking to the Shibani Gharat, who is the principal correspondent at CNBC Awaaz News Channel and also an ultra marathon runner. She has travelled to more than 32 countries. On her Instagram page, she shares her fit lifestyle with the audience and inspires thousands of people.

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#7 – Bijay Nair (#TheyINSpire) – Active War Deployments, Becoming a Leader and balancing your life and passions

Lt. Cdr Bijay Nair (retd)
[Photo Courtesy – Bijay Nair (Instagram)]

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In this episode, I’m talking to Bijay Nair, who is a former Lt.Cdr of Navy, a blogger, an author, an endurance runner and a corporate professional post his retirement from defence services. He has written a book named #TheyInspire.

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#6 – Pawanpreet Budwal (Gymnastics For Kids) – Discipline, Visualisation and Never backing down

Pawanpreet Budwal
[Photo Courtesy – @gymnasticsforkidss]

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In this episode, I’m talking to the Pawanpreet Budwal, who is a former competitive gymnast and now a gymnastics coach. She has the vision to make gymnastics a more accessible sport to Indian youth. Hence she started her own venture Gymnastics For Kids in New Bombay.

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#5 – Trishita Bhattacharya (The Overrated Outcast) – Making your passion your intention

Trishita Bhattacharya
[Photo Courtesy – @Overrated_Outcast]

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In this episode, I’m talking to the Trishita Bhattacharya, popularly known on Instagram as The Overrated Outcast. She is a traveller, photographer and social media influencer with a following of more than a lac.

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