Updated: Feb 8, 2022
I was born and brought up in Nellore, a small town in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. My dad was an electrician and mom a homemaker. Both of them led their lives in the spirit of service and sacrifice. I have an elder brother, and we lived as a joint family. My childhood to adulthood was nothing different from most of the middle-class families in India. I was largely nurtured by my paternal grandmother. She did not have any formal education but was a woman of wisdom. I was interested in pursuing medicine but could not as I realized my family would not be able to afford the costs of the education. I was also aware that it took a relatively long time to start earning in the medical profession compared to others. I was interested in pursuing sports, but my family members were a bit apprehensive about the prospects and were not in favor of my sports journey.
Finally, I landed up doing my Masters in Computer Applications in National institute of Technology, Warangal. In my final year, I was placed with Cognizant Technology Solutions, an IT services giant. It was a very fulfilling moment at that time to get to work at an IT company and help my family in all ways possible. As any regular Indian IT employee, my dream was to get an onsite opportunity. In a couple of years, that dream also came true, and I was sent to Pittsburgh, USA for my work. I truly enjoyed my work there, earned well and after 1.4 years I was back to India for my marriage.
After marriage, I moved to Singapore and started working for another IT company. With my supportive husband, we started our new home here. Soon my daughter and son were added to complete our family. Meanwhile, I continued to work as an IT professional until August 2021 which marked 15 years for me in the sector. The first few years of my IT career were very satisfying, but after a few years I was unable to feel the same amount of satisfaction that I felt at first. As years passed by, I further started to feel that this work was not really making me happy from within. Two things that used to give me a great sense of contentment and happiness were doing CSR Outreach programs through Cognizant where I was involved in helping young/old people and the other was playing sports. In 2016, I got introduced to the Singapore Masters Track and Field association and started pursuing my athletic passion under the guidance of Late Coach Phillip and Coach Jason along with our SMTFA family. From then on, one thing I always looked forward to was my athletic training. It was a great feel-good factor for me compared to my routine work.
I started to reflect on my passions, and was planning on a career shift from 2017. Keeping my full-time work at hand, I could not really take the right steps in turning my passion to my profession. I was too much in my comfort zone with my IT work. There were no concerns with the work or the environment I was in. Further, my bosses provided me with a great flexibility in all ways, with which I balanced my personal and professional life quite well.
At the same time, I started teaching my daughter's friends during weekends and this started to give me more inner satisfaction. Every time I interacted with kids, I used to feel very recharged. Every time when they said, "Aunty, I have become better from what you have taught me", an inner wave of happiness flew within me. Even from my childhood, I loved teaching whenever there was an opportunity. It is something that comes very naturally to me and for sure is my innate strength.
With these experiences, the thought of changing my profession from IT to teaching was lingering at the back of my mind. I was thinking of the right time to make this move. In May 2021, my dad passed away. This was a heartbreaking incident in my life leaving behind a huge irreplaceable vacuum. He was the man who made me. What I am today, as a person, is mostly because of his practical teaching and nurturing. With this incident in the midst of the challenging times we live in, I strongly felt the uncertainties of life. An urge came from within that I should not still be waiting for the right time to pursue my passion, despite my professional comfort zone.
After doing thorough self-introspection, I have decided to leave behind my IT career, and embark passionately on my coaching journey. With the blessings of the universe and my dad, I begin my Abhyasa initiative.