In conversation with Pramod Panvalkar – Club Mahindra Member
Pramod Panvalkar is the CEO of Supriya Associates – an IT consulting firm specializing in business consulting, business analytics, customer relationship management and ERP.
After his master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Pune’s COEP in 1973, he worked for eight years in dedicated foundry environments and then ventured out on his own. He is currently on the panel of technical advisors to several automotive component companies.
Pramod’s interests include reading, cricket, travel, music, movies … and blogging (he has over 800 posts in his feed.) We reached out to him after reading a very interesting feature he did on his Club Mahindra holiday in Kodagu - he has been a member for over 10 years.
When Pramod talks about vacations and taking a break from work, he illustrates “happiness” in a very interesting way. “I feel that all other things being okay, nature is the best therapy to bring joy out of us. If we assign a score out of ten, nature could get a 10/10.”
In this feature interview Pramod Panvalkar talks to us about holidays that serve up nature and happiness on the same plate. This is something to think about the next time you’re planning a vacation.
Here’s our first question – can you please illustrate your back-to-nature story?
Certain things give us joy in our lives - the first rain of the season, birds chirping, birds flying in search of food and water. There is an unexplainable feeling of joy every time we see birds in their natural habitats.
You don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to be with nature. You can wake up to the “kuhu kuhu” of a cuckoo in summer and set your clock to the flying-in-and-out of the birds. But we should not forget that theirs is a solar calendar, and flight timings are dependent on the sunlight, and temperature at predetermined times.
The next time you’re on vacation keep your eyes and ears wide open, and listen to nature.
Could you link your nature narrative with a memory from your vacation diary?
Being with nature comes close to giving us the ultimate experience. This is when I recall our holiday in Karnataka, when we visited Mysuru and Madikeri for a welcome break. Mysuru is well known for its historical places, monuments, tree-lined streets and vast gardens – it is also known for its cleanliness.
But the bliss we felt was different when we reached Madikeri, and checked in at our Club Mahindra resort. In the real sense, we had our rooms inside a jungle. And the jungle was, of course, made safe from wildlife and snakes. In such a setting, you experience serenity and being taken over by nature.
What’s waking up in the morning like, in a setting like that?
The first thing we would hear every day was a wake-up call by the chirping of birds outside our window. Why some birds are loud on one day, subdued the next day is not known to us. And the way birds communicate with each other is amazing. My recording of a wake-up call still brings peace and calm to my mind so long after my vacation. (It makes me feel I am still out there at the location.)
Our jungle setting gave us a heady mix of cool early morning breeze and the rustling of leaves - accompanied by a chorus of chirping birds – what more do you want on a vacation? From what I can remember the weather was not cold, but a slight chill was always around till we went for breakfast. (Which was a nice way to start our day.)
One day I noticed dark clouds, and somehow there was no wake-up call by the birds. Did it mean that the birds did not wake up and in turn depended on the morning light for their cues. Or did they want to sleep a little longer on a depressingly cloudy day?
What else did you like at your Club Mahindra Madikere resort?
At our Club Mahindra resort, there were two beautiful swimming pools. To offer additional privacy, one of them was well hidden from public view – which is a good idea. While walking on the trail near this pool, we could listen to soothing water flow sounds. Initially, I was not aware that there was a swimming pool, so I thought that it was a natural water stream nearby. I once sat there listening to the gurgling sounds made by the water fountain and drifted into a trance - for more than half an hour.
There’s another wonderful experience that I recall at the resort. To reach the spa I had to walk for about fifteen minutes in the woods - the walk back after my massage was totally refreshing. The 45-minute massage included a body massage and a head massage using dripping warm water. All this was so relaxing that I dozed off for around ten minutes – right on the massage table – which made me happy.
Which finally brings me back to my happiness analogy - what brings us joy, brings us happiness.
Storyline images used here are courtesy of Pramod Panvalkar. Resort images are from the Club Mahindra website.
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