Paromita Vohra knew all along that she wanted to be on her own. She found the regimentation of an office day not suited for her temperament. “I had a job once for about six months but I wasn’t very happy.” She does admit that “it might be fun to have office friends.”
The flip side of being a freelancer: you can work harder and not be stuck with the same salary. Ask Vohra about financial goals, and she says there was just one, to buy her own apartment.
Speaking about what bothers her most about a full-time job, Vohra says,“It’s hard enough dealing with your own limitations, so why add someone else’s to the mix?”
What about when the chips are down? “The worst phase was when I was trying to raise money for a project — it took us nearly two years. Although I was earning money even while doing it, the disheartening nature of fundraising and the fact that I wasn’t actually producing work, was very difficult.”
Vohra takes the downside of the economic downturn in her stride. “Obviously, some projects are on go-slow and the volume of work has thinned. But filmmaking is always volatile. And, since I’m not a producer, I don’t feel it directly,” she says.
In any case, she believes, “Freelancers learn to be a bit frugal in general. I’ve never had a very expensive lifestyle so there are no real changes I need to make. Yet, anyway.”
There are the negatives of course. Like the difficult time she had getting a housing loan; she finally had to borrow most of it from friends. “I would get those soliciting calls, wanting to give me a loan and then they’d hear ‘self-employed’ and they’d go, ‘Oh, sorry!’ ” she recounts.
She admits that she misses getting a salary — “every day”. But then, she enjoys something few full-timers do: afternoon naps.