I have always been fascinated by Kalarippayattu (Kalari)—one of the oldest forms of martial arts that originates from my native city, Kerala. But staying committed to my passion while building a career would have been a farfetched dream if not for my supportive team at Accenture.
From the sidelines to the arena
Throughout my childhood days, I would fervently watch a group of strong young men keep the traditions of this ancient martial art alive. As they crouched low, holding their swords with great poise and pride, their eyes signaled the start of a great fight. And then, within a flash, they confronted their opponent—twirling their sword with all their physical prowess and jumping so high in the air it was as if they were flying.
After watching Kalari warriors from the sidelines for many years, my penchant for a deeper knowledge of this martial art eventually led me to train in it. In November 2012, I stepped inside a small Kalari arena in Bengaluru for the first time and learned a few bare-hand movements.
I was really excited, but I also knew I would have to invest an awful lot of time to excel in Kalari. The biggest question on my mind was—would I be able to pursue my passion and still succeed in a full-time job?
Balancing my career and Kalari
I have now completed six years in Kalari and more than a decade with Accenture. Over the years, I made headway in Kalari, advancing from bare hands to stick and then sword.
I’m also thriving in my career. I was chosen as part of the Accenture Operations Top Talent program in 2014, bagged the Accenture Operations Automation Decathlon contest trophy in 2015 and accepted a supervisory role in 2016—a challenge that I enjoy the most.
These days, I am training with the famous urumi weapon. Learning new techniques with this flexible, yet very dangerous whip sword requires a very focused and alert mind. I also incorporate this focus and alertness in my everyday work schedule, especially when I need to manage my deliverables with clients and maintain strong people relationships.
Kalari allows me to get in touch with my inner self, and it replaces the chaos of everyday life with peace and tranquility. Earlier, with the worries of everyday life weighing me down, my fitness had taken a back seat.
I chose Kalari as an alternative fitness regimen. From improved strength and stamina to enhanced mind-body coordination and core strength, practicing Kalari has helped boost my energy levels and made me a more positive, confident person.
Unprecedented workplace support
My managers have always been very understanding and allowed me to flex my office schedule so that I can attend Kalari classes. If I’m working late and have an early-morning class to attend the next day, my colleagues don’t hesitate to give me wake-up calls and reminders. That’s a level of support you don’t see everywhere.
Pursuing Kalari was a childhood dream. Today, as I prepare to showcase my combat abilities in front of my great grandmaster, I feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose in my life.
In today’s fast-paced life, we often forget how to live passionately and fully. Kalari has allowed me to become a better version of myself, balance work-life priorities more maturely and embrace the results of the choices I have made.
You succeed at work and fulfill your passions when you bring your true, authentic self to all you do—and when you have a work culture where you feel valued and supported.
Be yourself and do work that really makes a difference. Find an opportunity with our Accenture team.
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