Balancing paragliding and biking with deadlines and projects

Sunday, Jun 9, 2013, 14:10 IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Priyanka Golikeri

Work sabbaticals on the rise, city professionals taking time off to indulge in adventure, travel to recharge themselves.

When work gets stressful and monotonous, and quitting seems unlikely due to financial constraints, sabbaticals become the one-stop solution from deadlines and boredom.

City professionals are realizing and taking a good number of days off to indulge in their interests and passions.

Human resource experts say sabbaticals stretching from a few weeks to a few months are essential as they help get refreshed.

"Companies are realizing the importance of sabbaticals," says Sunil Goel, director of search firm GlobalHunt India, adding that post the sabbatical, output towards work increases, while frustration tapers off.

Communications executive Karthy Prasanna agrees with Goel. The 28 year old took a 20 day leave from work to head to Kamshet near Pune to give wings to his love for paragliding.

He did a two-week elementary pilot course getting acquainted with the basics of paragliding, including launch techniques, equipment, wind patterns etc.

"I was always in awe of paragliding and wanted to do some substantial course," says Prasanna.

"The whole course was divided into theory and practicals starting from 9am till 6pm .  Networking with other like-minded individuals and the overall experience was one of its kind," says Prasanna, adding that he renewed work with greater interest.

Banker Namrata Gupta has just applied for a 50-day sabbatical to trek to Kailash Manasarovar in August. The 33-year-old is ecstatic that she was selected for this trek organised by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Though the trek is for 24 days, Gupta says she needs sufficient time before and after to prepare and rest. "Since I will be trekking at an altitude of 19,500 feet under extreme conditions, I have to take utmost care of my health. This is not possible when we work 10 hours per day and spend another three commuting," says Gupta.

She has already started with a daily quota of yoga, morning walks and cycling.

Though Gupta's boss was cold in his reaction to her long leave, she cares a damn.
"This is a once in lifetime opportunity. I have no issues taking leave without pay," says Gupta.

Ditto says Gokul M. The Whitefield-based Gokul quit his job since the boss did not approve his 20-day sabbatical for a biking expedition to Leh. "A 17-day biking experience to Manali, Leh and Rohtang Pass is just mind-blowing. Since my boss denied me leave, I resigned to pack my bags for this expedition."

He says the learning that takes place in these expeditions, including encounters with various people and climatic conditions cannot be missed for any project, client or deadline.

"Deadlines force us to work even on weekends, and hence I could not ride frequently. This was leading to frustration. So when the Leh opportunity came by, I grabbed with both hands," says Gokul, who is now planning to ride from Guwahati to Bhutan in December-January.