I derive my identify from how I live, over what I do and where.
A safe start then, is to talk about my love for the gentle life: Mornings with birdsong. Being outdoors for the first rays of the sun. Working up a sweat. Opposing forces at work in the body and the mind when holding a Yoga asana. Unhurried meals made with local produce and care. Afternoon strolls among old trees. Meditating without counting minutes. Looking away from the laptop as often as looking at it. Message notifications that expand the heart just before I open that message… surely that is love. Flutes and harps while working. The witching hour to read before bed.
I love routine. I love putting effort into actions that soothe me. I love relationships that have been nurtured through time and travails. I love being expansive. I love puttering about in the labyrinths of the mind. I love discovering beauty. I am learning to love detachment.
Where is the backstory, you say? Okay, here goes:
I peaked at 16. After 10 years of rigour to morph into a Bharatanatyam dancer, my debut performance generated enough press for interest from the entertainment business. With the steadfastness I was luckily born with, and the steady confidence I was growing into, I walked away from that space, sanity intact, in pursuit of a conventional career. I sadly ended up completely abandoning that first love of my life, dance, by age 24.
Chased up an undergrad in Psychology, Political Science and English with an MBA and then Pensioner’s Paradise called with the lure of a calmer life. I landed in a very inclusive neighbourhood, a haven for artists and all kinds of others. So I fit right in. I was bumping into jazz legends and local rock band legends and classical singer and dancer legends on a near daily basis. This, despite working at a job for 15 hours on average, that gave me very little time at home.
I made truly supportive friends for the first time in life, entertained my brother’s and my friends at home, and grew rapidly in my career. To get all of these in the first 4 years of work life was a massive stroke of good luck.
After 7 years of corporate gigs, I quit at the turn of my 30th birthday to take stock of life. While I headed back into another corporate job for a brief while, for the past dozen years, I have done work that has been more values aligned than anything else. The trade offs have been worth it in spades.
With a ringside seat to the unfolding of the India Inc., there are few occurrences in the last two plus decades that I have not experienced, been impacted by and learnt lessons from. When I hung out my consulting shingle, those experiences and lessons have been invaluable.
Through these journeys, books have been my closest friends. From pre-internet times, these has been no question unanswered thanks to my trusty tomes; I was extremely fortunate to grow up within walking distance of and unusual access to one of the largest libraries in the country. Arts, headlining with music, possibly, has been the other big supportive track in life.
All in all, I am very aware of the amount of luck holding together this charmed life.