Winning Stroke: Interview With Pulkit Sharma, Clinical Psychologist, Spiritual Counsellor & Author
"No single strategy has worked for me across all situations. Life is complex and I think we should never risk oversimplifying it".
If not in the current profession, you would be?
Since childhood, I have been deeply passionate about music. I enjoy listening to Indian classical, film, folk and Sufi music and often hum along. Back in my school days, when YouTube and Yahoo groups had not happened, I used to make frequent trips to a music collector in old Delhi's Meena Bazar in search of rare songs. Given this penchant for music, if I had not been a psychologist and an author, I would surely have been a singer.
One tune you always hum?
Rabindranath Tagore's Ekla Chalo Re. During difficult phases in my life, this song has had an empowering and uplifting effect - it has always beckoned me to firm up my resolve and continue pursuing my dreams, even in the absence of any external support or favourable circumstances.
One book to read when you want to motivate yourself?
I have read Herrmann Hesse's Siddhartha countless times. The book follows the journey of a young man on the road to self-realization. He experiments with life and lives in different ways alternatively embracing and renouncing asceticism, sexuality, worldly life, love and parenthood until he attains enlightenment. The book encourages the reader to discover and follow his inner voice, commencing the adventurous journey to selfhood.
One dialogue of a movie that motivates you or you like the most?
'The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination,' from Peaceful Warrior. Most of the time, life is such that our goals are too big and too distant, and if we were to base our happiness on them, we would be locked up in a fog of despair. Therefore, I believe it crucial to acknowledge and celebrate each small step that we take on our journey towards our goal. That ways every step on the journey becomes exciting and rewarding.
The place you have never been to and always want to go?
I have heard a lot of anecdotes about various cities and towns in Pakistan from my grandparents but never been there because of estranged relations between India and Pakistan. It is one place which I would wish to explore and I'm sure the experience will be enriching. Also, I am a big fan of the legendary Pakistani singer Noor Jehan and have been in touch with two of her fans from Pakistan. Over the years, we have had interesting conversations over the telephone and I look forward to meeting them in person someday.
An animal that signifies you & why?
A camel because of its resilience and the ability to survive under harsh conditions.
A Movie Character you most resemble or resonate with?
Jailor Adinath from V.Shantaram's 1957 classic, Do Ankhen Barah Haath (Two Eyes, Twelve Hands). I can relate so well to him because he picks up six dangerous criminals from the prison and rehabilitates them, instilling hope and humanitarian values in them. Although I have never worked with criminals, in my practice as a psychologist, I have tried to transform the lives of many people who had been reeling under suffering and trauma.
If your life was to be turned into a movie, who would you like to play your part?
I would be excited to see Ayushmann Khurrana play my part because he is a very seasoned actor and I have never seen him take on the role of a psychotherapist. It would be interesting to see him sit behind the couch and listen to different kinds of life stories and find out ways to guide people.
Luck or Hard Work, what do you think weighs more in defining a successful person?
I think success happens when a person's hard work is seen and blessed by Divine grace.
One best decision you ever made?
In 2017, I bid farewell to Delhi and relocated to Pondicherry in search of peaceful surroundings and inner tranquillity. My life has changed for good since then.
A strategy that you always use to take your decisions in Personal or Professional life?
No single strategy has worked for me across all situations. Life is complex and I think we should never risk oversimplifying it. Whenever I need to arrive at a decision, I simply follow my deeper instincts and my inner voice to guide me towards the best course of action and everything works out well.
Whose advice do you seek when in a dilemma?
All answers lie within us and all that we need to do is to connect with our inner voice and let it guide us. When in a dilemma, I close my eyes, calm down my breath and enter a serene zone. Sooner or later, my inner voice comes up with a nice suggestion.
What has been your biggest achievement? One thing that you want to change in yourself?
My biggest achievement has been to break free of social conditionings, walk alone with an unwavering pace and pursue the life of my dreams. This one thing has given me immense joy, satisfaction and inner peace.
A line said by your closed one that you never forget?
My maternal grandmother often used to say, ‘Just keep working hard and do not get swayed by either success or failure.’ This one line has been guiding me for years and will continue to guide me for times to come.