Gratitude, transformation, and some confessions

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 By Karthika Kamath, Tech Leaders Fellow, Class of 2020

Yesterday, I finished reading this book called “No Limits” by Mukesh Bansal, the Co-founder of Cure Fit Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. Reading an entire book cover-to-cover, especially non-fiction, was an achievement for me. I fall into the category of people who never really finish a book they start. Every time when I, very ambitiously and in a positive mood, start a book, I either fall asleep or I just count the remaining pages in the chapter and if it is a lot, lose determination. But as I read the last chapter of No Limits, which is about the final performance hack Practicing Gratitude — there were 42 hacks in the book — I thought of writing this blog to express how thankful I am for the entire Plaksha TLF journey.


My entire life, all 23 years of it, I had never really stayed away from home. As a result, when I got through Plaksha, I was excited to live with new people and learn everything I could.

When I first came to the Residences, I found that almost all Fellows had at least one book on their side table. Manish (a Fellow at Plaksha) had a mini library (almost) set up in his room. When I went home during the Diwali break, I got 2 books and arranged them on my side table, just because it looked cool.

It was a common practice for Fellows to ask every guest speaker about their favorite book(s) or for book recommendations.

I was motivated to cultivate the habit of reading. In fact, the author of ‘No Limits’ gave a free copy to all the Fellows. Even when I was interviewing for the Fellowship, I recall we were given goodies, and one of them was a book — Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All.

I am really grateful that as a result of the constant nudge I got during my stay at Plaksha, I developed the habit of reading books.


I enjoy participating in marathons and have completed a few 10km marathons. But I was convinced I could run just 1 km at a stretch and no more. So, I would switch between running and walking and somehow finish the marathon. However, I continued to be fascinated by people who could run long distances at a stretch.

Here at Plaksha, there is a group of Fellows who love running. They used to go for regular runs together in the park behind the Residence. As I was open to new things, I joined them. Slowly, in the company of these Fellows, I became better and pushed myself every single day till finally, I could run for a minimum of 5km at a stretch. When I was still struggling, Saif (another Fellow) told me that if you run without stopping you will finally not feel any pressure on your knees and you will go into that flow state where you can run endlessly. This really stuck with me and played a pivotal role in motivating me to finally reach that flow state. Another achievement unlocked.

Midnight runs when there’s a project submission the next day!

I had never indulged in yoga and meditation. So, I was surprised to see a few Fellows practicing it quite regularly at the Residence. Then we got a one-month free pass to attend Mindhouse sessions — thanks a lot Pankaj Chaddah for the opportunity. I joined the bandwagon late but after attending the sessions I realized what I was missing out on. The sheer relaxation that yoga and meditation induce in the mind and body cannot be realized until you experience it. I remember feeling totally pumped up to practice yoga, so one day without second thoughts, I went and bought a yoga mat and asked my roommate to teach me how to do Surya Namaskar. While I am still not regular but whenever I practice yoga I feel energized.

The three things that I talked about are reading habits, running strength, and practicing yoga. I would be lying if I say I did not have the chance to inculcate these before Plaksha or that I got introduced to them only recently. I come from a family where my sister is an avid reader, my dad is a marathon runner who has done several full marathons (even the very taxing Ladakh marathon) and my mom practices yoga and meditation regularly. It is truly an irony how I realized their potential only when I stayed with a new set of people and away from my family.

To end, let me share one more thing that I am grateful for — those morning sun rays. Why you may ask. It is because there was also a time in the past year when I got dengue, my immunity was low and I had severe hair fall issues. When I realized this I started going to the terrace, with a cup of green tea, to just soak in some sunlight. Hence I am also grateful to the sun rays too.

Of course, there are many other things I have learned from my batchmates in this transformational year but I thought, in this blog, I will share the ones that I don’t speak about a lot.

TLP Team

TLP Team