Featuring – Vishal Ramadoss
What are you currently doing (job/study)? your interests?
I completed my Master’s in Robotics Engineering and currently, I am a researcher in the field of robotics. People , math , love , art , mountains ,birds , snakes ,insects, plants, environment and adventure sports are my interests. I observe nature and try to imagine what we can derive from in it in our real life
When & How did you get started CTC?
May 7, 2011 is the day I would never forget in my life which was my first trek (difficult one on those times) seven obstacle trek, with Brijesh, Sabeesh, Karthik, Manivanan, Naveen. Sankar, Kathir, Bharani and myself were the ones who came along taking up the tough path and that day changed our lives, It is so fascinating till date how mountains can bring along people from various facets of life together with a stronger bond that remains forever. After that, it was a year full of treks (back to back weekends). It all started when Poonkathir and myself wanted to explore with a group of like-minded people rather than doing it as a tag team as always we were doing it before during our college days. And we were lucky to find this amazing group which was 100-150 that time and rapidly grew to 40k , still growing strong expanding from treks to running, swimmathons, cleanups, bootcamps, triathlons and lots more.
What are the activities of CTC that you are involved in?
I was involved in treks, map-reading, coastal cleanups, route marking team in sports events, 10×10 runs, fitness tests, assisting in several events offline.
What will you say has been your biggest achievement when it comes along with CTC?
My biggest achievement would be spreading the same enthusiasm and energy to new members who want to explore and attain a healthy, active lifestyle. I have been doing it for past 6 years, by spreading my positive vibes to the newbies.
Anything else you might want to add?
CTC had also given me an insight on environmental conservation which eventually led me to work in Agumbe Rainforest Research Station for a year in couple of different projects related to energy, environment and conservation.
Share any one of the CTC Best moments you had!
Till date the best moment would be my first trek with you in the hottest month of the year in Nagala, although I had got a chance to explore through various jungles with amazing people. Nagala 7-Obstacle in May is till date is the best moment in my life. The next ones would be hiking around dense jungles of Venkateswara and winning the Treasure hunt which was quite enduring and fast.
How do you manage your work life balance?
Making things as a habit would make this simpler. If you are able to integrate sports/ outdoor activities along with your work schedule (which is quite challenging to begin with), you will get used to it and actually realise there is more time left and more things can be done rather than going out for a movie/mall. I spend most of the weekends with trekking and cycling, weekdays with running and work like a normal person. There is nothing new/ special about this, it is like brushing teeth, allot time, practice regularly, make it as a habit. This will work in the long run.
Any specific goals/dream that you are working on?
Yes, my goal is to start a research station with sustainable energy, organic farming, automated spaces in India. I have a rough framework about it, but will soon work on how technology can assist nature and make sustainable living possible.
How has your life changed after joining this CTC?
My life has always been dreamy and highly energetic. After CTC, it has opened more doors for me to explore and it has been a very good learning curve for me in terms of real time management, safety, teamwork, open-mindedness and positive spirited. There has never been a dull moment after joining CTC as the group always encourages you to step out and start trying new things. This is what you learn in B- schools. For me, CTC is a school where you really learn different subjects without books and texts and eventually excel in the same as a high-spirited individual.
Share some of your cycling experiences that you did in the CTC?
I had an opportunity to cycle in the western ghats and Himalayas. It was a breath-taking experience as an individual would feel completely refreshed and positive after getting out of his comfort zones, and that’s what happened to me. Cycling in Satyamangalam-Ooty-Gudalur was a nice experience seeing elephants crossing, training uphill cycling in humid weather. Cycling in Sach Pass was the most challenging one, as my cycle was quite loaded and heavy but survived 13 days of intense solo cycling in Himalayas. Covered Sach Pass, Keylong-Sarchu, Chatdu- Spiti- Kaza.
Some of the memorable moments would be:
Peter hugging me three times before splitting up at Sach Pass (extremely cold and windy), and when we cut the sleeping mat into two pieces (unforgettable), shared the food, and we both said, whatever happen we must endure this at Day 3. That moment at 4500m altitude was memorable, I ended up being more stronger mentally cycling all alone from there reaching Udaipur where accidentally encountered two policemen at Tindi who gave three valuable tips:
1. Never give up
2. Never split up with your teammate/ buddy
3. Never underestimate the power of the mountain
After that village, I never stopped, I cycled hard and met some amazing people. Sach Pass, Pangi valley and Spiti valley were my favourite routes. Cycling alone in high mountain ranges helped me grow my self-confidence, endurance and art of appreciation.
The place where we split.
We have seen you in leading many of volunteering and how does this helps you outside CTC ?
You stop procrastinating and take hold of the problem as a challenge and start solving, that’s how leading many of volunteering helps outside CTC.
What are you other interest?
Painting, Yoga, Tea-drinking, Languages, Conservation, Living in a forest