I have always thought that marriage was unnecessary. It’s a tradition that binds two people with a legal contract. Boring religious ceremonies are performed, “When are you having kids?” becomes the next question, and you can only have sex with one person for the rest of your life! Don’t get me wrong; I have no problems with commitment when I’m with someone. But I just don’t feel like I would need the “married” label to define my relationship. After all, marriage is supposed to last FOREVER, and I really don’t think we know the future enough to predict that FAR. With this in mind, I’d like to see how my relationships play out instead of making a preemptive decision. I believe life is best lived in the moment, and in knowing this, I would rather have my future be a surprise than a plan. However, it wasn’t until I learned how to follow my life journey that I truly realized this.
Becoming paralyzed taught me a very valuable lesson; don’t be attached to anything because life can change in an instant. When my accident happened I was 22 years old, just getting out of college, and was planning what I thought I was supposed to do with my life. I planned to graduate from college with a Finance degree, get a job, earn money, and eventually marry my girlfriend at the time. These were the goals I felt I needed to achieve to attain success and happiness in my life. Then I had my accident, and that screwed up all my plans.
I now had to adjust to my new life in a wheelchair. This experience provided me with so much uncertainty about where my life was heading that I just couldn’t accept my situation. It took me 3 years and a breakup to finally propel me to reach acceptance, which enabled me to detach emotionally from the plans I had originally made for myself. Acceptance is a process that allows you to mentally let go of all the expectations you have created for your life, and live from the perspective of the present moment. This process made me realize that because the past has already happened, and the future is uncertain, all we really have control over is right now. With every passing moment, we make the conscious choice on what we decide to put our attention on. And in knowing this, I made it my life practice to always be here, right now. From this perspective I was able to move forward in my life.
One of the biggest steps I took to move forward was deciding to go back to school at the University of Houston to become a Certified Public Accountant. This was my first opportunity to live independently so I chose to live on campus, which made it very convenient to go to classes. However, the classes were not very appealing to me and I constantly questioned whether this was the path I was supposed to follow. As time went on I completed all the classes I needed, but it became evident to me that this is not what I wanted to do and that this path was not aligned with my passions and purpose in life. This led me to start brainstorming about what I felt my purpose should be and how I was going to do it. I decided that I wanted to share my life experience, so I decided to start RollWithVik.com to express what I’ve been through and how it has led me to live my life the way I do today. Each post I have written has gotten an incredible amount of positive feedback from the readers, which has been overwhelming for me to receive because it allows my experience to serve a purpose for other people. Additionally, I felt I was successful in conveying humor in some of my posts that led me to start thinking about doing comedy.
I believe when you are aligned with your life’s purpose, random events occur to lead you in the right direction to fulfill it. I had always thought comedy would be a fun thing to try one day, especially because of the attention I would get for being the “elephant in the room” thanks to my wheelchair. Eventually, this thought evolved into what I felt was a calling. I started to think really seriously about expressing myself comedically, but I had no idea how to start. Then in April 2012 I attended a Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks basketball game in Dallas, TX. At halftime, I noticed a good friend of mine in the next section over who just so happened to be hanging out with Indian comedian Paul Varghese. I rolled up to them and met Paul Varghese for the first time and knew that this was not a random coincidence. A few jager bombs later, we were having an improvisational conversation and he thought I was funny. He gave me his card, encouraged me to go for it, and to stay in touch with him. My next step was the following July when I enrolled in a comedy improv class to test myself in a situation that was completely out of my comfort zone. In improv class, you are literally put in unscripted scenes where you have to think about something funny to say that is related to the scene. At the end of the course, we did a showcase in front of an audience. The thought of performing in front of people was so nerve wrecking at the time, especially because I had no idea what I was going to say before I got on stage. But it turned out to be great as I was able to make people laugh by thinking of funny things to say in the moment. Being able to do this gave me a lot of confidence moving forward and it was now time to develop my comedy act. I began writing jokes based on my life perspective of being in a wheelchair and performed at my first open mike night in September 2012. This first attempt at delivering my jokes went horribly because I forgot half of my lines while I had the microphone. However, I was persistent and continued to go to open mikes to practice and get better. By my fourth week of doing comedy, I was approached by a comedy show promoter who wanted to feature my act in one of his shows. And just like that, in October 2012 I was in my first comedy show. It went way better than I expected it to. I received so many compliments on how great my act was and how good I was on stage, despite me doing comedy for such a short period. I was so happy to receive these compliments because I thoroughly enjoyed doing comedy and believed I had now found my passion. As time went on, I got booked on a few more shows before I hit the highlight of my comedic experience so far. On March 10th, 2013 my road to comedy came full circle when Paul Varghese, the catalyst to my comedy career, gave me the opportunity to open for him at the Houston Improv. It was the biggest show I have done to date and I delivered another successful routine that received many positive comments from many audience members. It even impressed Paul Varghese. He told me the show was great and encouraged me to keep doing comedy. Hearing people expressing gratitude to me for being able to witness my set is just evidence to me that comedy is definitely part of my purpose.
Every single person that lives in this world has a significant purpose to fulfill in his or her lifetime. The key to figuring out how to fulfill this purpose is to discover and follow your innate passions. I have now discovered my passion in comedy. And actually, I’ve now come to realize that comedy is more than my passion, it’s my religion; I believe that laughter is the same as prayer and life is best lived by not taking it so seriously. The events that occur in our lives are always changing our course, and if we are emotionally attached to the plans we make we will always resist the change that is inevitably occurring. I like to think that everything happens for a reason, so the changes that occur in our lives are only happening to lead us to discover our true passions and purpose. Because of this, I like to view my life as an adventure, going with the flow with every twist and turn thrown at you, with the faith that you are being led to become who you truly are. In knowing this, I realize that I have found my own passions by living in the moment, and not by planning. That’s why I don’t want to get married.
Marriage for anybody who has truly experienced it would tell you that it’s a lot of work. And relationships on their own are a lot of work, so I can only imagine what it would be like to know that you’re legally tied to a person for the rest of your life. Because of this, I believe marriage promotes focus on the future rather than the moment. Unfortunately, most women want to get married and depending on how much I don’t want to be lonely, I may have to bite the bullet. But even if that happens, I will not let it affect my life practice of being in the present moment. I believe that’s the most important lesson I’ve learned on how to live life. It is the reason I was lead to discover my passions that I practice today. And it has allowed me to take the backseat and let life guide me to wherever I need to be. I may not get married anymore, but I will forever be married to the moment.