A finger in every pie

Perfect juggler-- Naveen likes to pursue new interests  

In your final years at college, you’re often told to choose a job you love. And, Bengaluru-based Naveen Chhabria, seems to have taken this advice so seriously, that after his degree in computer science, he decided to pursue his numerous interests.

Currently he is part of The Fuller Life, where he and his colleagues get recreation to be a part of daily work among the corporate folks, and Runners for Life, where they initiate people into the world of running and host runs across the country.

Naveen, who prefers to cycle around town, says, “The idea is to get recreation to be a part of people’s lives — personal and professional — and along the way get them to lead a fuller life. I work in a team that builds new businesses and my day job is to explore what we can do to enrich lives. We’ve tried our hand at getting people to cycle to work, built board games, build an inter-corporate cultural fest and currently the buzzword is gamification. I get to try something new all the time.”

Naveen’s interests are varied and his passions range from adventure sports to wildlife and forest conservation. Scuba diving in the Andaman Islands led to paragliding in Kamshet, Pune. “I like doing different things and kept exploring and got lucky to have some life changing experiences along the way,” he states.

For Naveen, passion and compassion go hand-in-hand. According to him, “The turning point was when I was involved in wildlife rehabilitation. I worked in a place that sheltered injured urban wildlife, rehabilitate them, and release them back to where they came from. My biggest learning experience has come from being a part of this journey.”

A vociferous environmental activist, Naveen went on to work briefly with Timbaktu on afforestation. He narrates, “It is a world of its own where people have been working on bringing back organic agricultural practices and reforesting wastelands for the past 25 years. Over the years they have managed to convert close to 9,000 acres of wasteland into dry land forests, bringing back hundreds of species of flora and fauna. It was an incredible experience.”

Ask him how he manages to multitask and pat comes the reply. “The idea is to enjoy each phase and look forward to the next one. I haven’t thought of it as juggling too many interests and it never felt difficult at any point. I did complete a few courses in scuba and paragliding but mostly learnt on the job. Through all of this, I’ve been lucky to meet some inspiring people who do what they do better than most professionals and I’ve got to learn things from them first hand,” he says, adding, “Possibly the only challenge for me has been time. It would be nice to have more time to do more!”

In all his experiences so far, “The biggest take way has been that I have met some incredible people. That has been life changing.”

Given his spontaneity and the fact that nothing gives him the kind of adrenaline rush as pursuing something new, Naveen quips, “I have no plans at the moment. But I’ve been thinking about learning 30 new things in the next 30 years. That’s something that gets me dreaming every now and then.”

This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:39:23 PM |

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