Courtesy, Risha Jha
Source: Courtesy, Risha Jha

Risha Jha, 30, prefers to spend most time alone, although he thinks he would like to get married.

He has spent most of his life in India although he did spend a few years in San Francisco and aspires to live in Carmel, California.

Here’s a distillation of our interview, told in the first person:

"For as long as I can remember I enjoyed being alone: reading books, being in nature, analyzing literature etc.

"Through my 20s, I tried to belong to society, mainly to find sex. I also wanted to make genuine friendships but most people are shallow talkers. I'd like to talk astronomy, archaeology, history, human brain and psychology, and the arts. Most people don’t.  I can fake being in the crowd so well that I usually become the center of attention but it exhausts me mentally and physically.

"So in recent years, I’ve distanced myself from everyone (including my parents) although I do run a virtual reality café and still date. I even want to get married, largely so I can avoid the distraction of always looking for a date.

"In my solitude, I’ve come to realize a few things.  

1. Solitude makes you understand yourself. You go back into your memories. A person is what he's like as a young child. That is the true you. Most of us lead a hollow life blindly following one another when a deeper introspection can make one more assured. The greatest artists, poets and intellectuals were hermits. Just look at the Romantic period in western culture (1800s): Individualism is the cornerstone of the West, its gift to mankind.

Being in solitude is a state everyone should experience. An ideal government would require at least one hour a day of "me time."

2. We are insignificant. At an observatory, I fantasized how amazing it would be to have a giant telescope in my bedroom through which I can stare at galaxies and thus be reminded of the pettiness of everyday worries. Stanley Kubrick, one of my heroes, said, “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it's hostile; it's that it's indifferent."

3. Watching films is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I watch two great films a day, partly because it’s one of the few things that give me pleasure and partly because I aspire to be a filmmaker. I’m working on my first feature film: a remake of Night of the Living Dead. I want to start with that so I can make money from my filmmaking. After that, I plan to aim higher—I really am disdainful of recent films. My entire study has been the great films of 50s-mid 90s. I read Irving Thalberg and Steven Spielberg.

4. Humans are pretty much a sad species. For example, my father and mother agreed to an arranged marriage to please society. They weren't fit to be together. Yet they are sad that I'm not yet married with a child. I may marry but my main hope for not being sad is through reflection, reading, watching and making movies.

The 2nd edition of Work with Marty Nemko is now available. You can reach career and personal coach Marty Nemko at

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