|Current appearance subject to change 🙂|
We are Ragunath Padmanabhan and Nisha Srinivasan. We were both raised in Tamil Nadu, India with middle class values of the 1980s. We spent our formative years in Tiruchi, a small town, as neighbours. We moved to the US at age 26 and spent 9 plus years there, primarily in the Silicon Valley, before returning to India with our then 2 year old son.
Along the way, we explored life in many ways: technology and marketing through our professions, discovering inspiring people and books, practicing and teaching Yoga, travel, hiking, meditation, Ayurveda… Partly our exploration was to just enjoy the ride and partly it was to discover ourselves and possibly our life’s purpose, if there is one.
Fortunately, our open ended exploration led us to ServiceSpace, a volunteer-run organization that inspires people through be-the-change principles. Through the lens of this Sangha, we gained a broader and deeper perspective of our life, a rich experience of serving others and a way of being that allows dynamic learning. We also met a number of amazing people old and young who inspired us and helped us decide our current commitment. Service Space keeps us nourished and constantly nudges us towards our next level of growth.
Thanks to the support of our family and good friends, in the end of 2008 we moved to Alandurai, a village near Coimbatore district in South India to pursue natural farming in its many hues. After building a Laurie Baker inspired eco-friendly home and setting up an Agroforest in 9 acres (owned by a group of friends), we have become proper “rural folk”. We also enjoy being practitioners, volunteers and students of the vast and magnificent science of natural healing. Occasionally our Coimbatore group organizes health camps to help people lead a healthy life. Our son is being farm-schooled (one among the many variations of home-schooling) and is enjoying it so far.
Ragunath worked for fifteen years in areas that include Sales, Advertising, Marketing, Information Architecture, Management Consulting and Start ups. He did a technology startup in 2001 which instead of increasing his appetite for accumulating personal wealth pushed him towards some soul searching and landed him in the world of be-the-change service.
Nisha spent many years developing software products and services for companies like Ramco Systems, Moodys and Sony.
As a transition step, in Santa Clara we ran a weekend institute called East Point for a year that explored ways for a collective of eight friends to help understand oneself better, identify each one’s passion, overcome internal resistance and take the plunge in ways big and small from that trusted space.
To keep ourselves healthy and happy, we attempt to be lifelong students of Vipassana, Yoga, Naturopathy, Simplicity and Gratitude.