About Me — Shruthi Sundaram

Storyteller, Photographer, Overthinker

Shruthi Sundaram
About Me Stories
8 min readFeb 15, 2022

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Shruthi Sundaram

There are some things in life that you cannot anticipate. Instead, they wash over you like an unexpected tsunami, testing you, checking whether you swim or drown — or at least that’s how it feels like now, thinking about the past two years of my life.

Before I take you surfing through these waves, let me introduce myself!

Who am I?

Hey! I’m Shruthi, a writer and photographer (aspiring, at least) living in Bangalore (The Silicon Valley of India). I was born in Trichy, a tier-2 town in Tamil Nadu, India, and got immediately whisked off to Mumbai (the financial capital), where I studied until I was in 5th grade. Dad’s job resulted in the whole family shifting to Bangalore, and I haven’t left this place even after 15 years.

As a girl brought up in an immensely protective South-Indian family, my life changed after marriage. Almost felt like I finally spread my wings and took a significant step into the adulting world. Moving out of your house changes you in ways you cannot imagine. Not because your parents were restricting you then, but because you did not see the outside world before. Also, being the eldest of the two, you’re forced to become responsible, especially when the age gap is eight years.

I fell in love with travel, writing and photography only after my wedding. As a result, I uncovered parts of myself that I could never imagine before, grew my self-confidence multifold, and became much more attuned to my needs and dreams.

My longest on and off relationship has been with my two best friends, depression and anxiety, though I have desperately tried to leave them behind in recent years. And my attitude to suppress emotions until they burst off the seams doesn’t help either. Nevertheless, it’s still on my bucket list. I will make it happen for sure, someday, I guess.

Until last month, I worked as an SAP developer for a prestigious firm, and after 3.5 years of slogging, I finally took a leap and quit my job to pursue writing, which felt like my calling. Continuing in corporate seemed like the right decision for everyone other than me, especially after dedicating seven years (undergrad+work) of my life to the tech field. But I just couldn’t do it. So the day I realised I felt suffocated and stuck, I made a plan to leave my job as soon as possible. Best decision ever! At least as of now…only time will tell.

The Unexpected Tsunami

The past two years felt like fighting out of a cocoon, struggling with immense internal hurdles, only to come out and marvel at the person you’ve become.

While the “You-know-who” pandemic certainly did a number on many of us, it indeed transformed me as an individual. The work from home, extra time in my hands, and a not so hectic job schedule forced me to self-evaluate like never before. As a person who thrived in productivity and the question, “What’s next?” the period forced me to sit and reflect on the whirlwind called life going on around me.

Big Mistake. Or was it?

After dribbling with Data Science, Business Analytics and whatnot, I finally stumbled upon Medium because of Towards Data Science publication. I was fighting depression already, and this platform gave me a breath of fresh air every day as I gobbled up words from various creators here. And then started to hear the constant nudging of a tiny voice inside.

“Why don’t you write too?”.

I responded with, “Wwwhhhaaattt? Are you crazy?”. Of course, I had dabbled with writing during school. I had also penned down a still-unfinished novel (I cringed so hard when I re-read those faded pages a couple of months back), but I knew that putting my work out online was a whole other level of ballgame that I had no idea of how to tackle. But I couldn’t pull myself out of it either, how much ever I wanted to.

I waited for two whole months…wanted to be sure that I still wanted to write, you see. And then, in August 2020, I published my first article here on Medium in a burst of inspiration. Finished the whole process in 2 hours and just hit Publish without thinking twice. Throughout the time, I had to keep telling myself, “What have I got to lose?”.

It’s been almost a year and a half now, and I’m still going strong.

I don’t deny that the past two years consisted of more “down” moments than “up” ones and that I almost drowned in a couple of instances (got out at the last minute), but I know for sure that I have come out of it waayyy better than before.

And writing helped me through the process. It helped in self-evaluation, meeting some fantastic souls, and most importantly, made me believe I’m not bad in SOMETHING at least. The last point was huge since I had always been an average gal. Average in everything you can think of, and a lost cause in others. Even the smallest validation that I was good from my readers started meaning so much to me. One comment, One read, One clap — I cherished (Still do) all of them.

Finding Medium, falling in love with writing, the process of penning down my thoughts and giving them a structure, interacting with new writers, forming human connections, everything hit me like small waves — add up to transform into a vast tsunami.

What else could a girl ask for?

What do I write about?

Travel, Social Issues (mainly feminism), photo-essays and personal essays. Though I did delve into personal development a couple of months before, I soon realised that genre was not my forte, and I was only doing it in hopes of earning some bucks.

Thank god I pivoted at the right time, came to my senses and returned to my love of writing and not becoming a human typewriter.

If you love my voice and the way I write, you can always email me to write blog posts and articles:)

My Journey With Photography

How could I ignore my other creative arm??!!

The past year has made me passionately fall in love with seeing the world from behind a lens. And the journey has been so rewarding so far! Photography is almost an out-of-body experience for me, where I become actively attuned to my environment. See things from a different perspective, find beauty in anything and everything, and enjoy being in the present.

The craft has helped me calm my overthinking mind and taught me to enjoy the now. Enjoy the small things in life — be it the vibrant sunset colours or the bright yellow/orange of the fallen leaves. Be it traffic or construction noise. Be it food or how people interact with one another. The past year has transformed me into a baby again, trying to suck in all the wonders around and enjoying it to the fullest.

Becoming obsessed with photos also propelled me to buy my own DSLR!!

Dennett’s Photo a day challenge helped me too! I loved the community, the challenge, and even the tiny habit of keeping up with everyone’s lives and marveling at their skills. It’s been almost five to six months now, and I’m enjoying every moment of it! It’s beautiful.

I usually take photos of nature, though, in recent times, I have gotten into street photography too. Below are some of my personal favorites.

P.S.: I’m now open to selling my photos. You can check any of my photo-a-day challenge pieces and send a note if you’re interested.

Shruthi Sundaram
Shruthi Sundaram
Shruthi Sundaram
Shruthi Sundaram
Shruthi Sundaram
Shruthi Sundaram

My Coaching Journey

Sometimes, going all-in without overthinking gives you the best experiences ever.

In February 2022, I started giving 1:1 sessions on “Building human connections online to grow your business organically to my first circle of contacts.

I only had a basic structure in mind and nothing but the thought “let’s see how it goes” and “I’ll try to help them as much as possible.” What started with an idea on a piece of paper became my passion. I loved talking to people, helping them out with their struggles, and witnessing the change in real-time!

It was the best experience ever!

So to all of you, who just have an idea tingling in the corner of your brain? Put it down on paper, and go for it. Consider it as an experiment and see what happens. What do you have to lose, right?

Some (hopefully) interesting facts about me!

  1. I am a trained Indian Classical singer who learned singing for ten years. I left the training in 10th grade, but I still do practice from time to time.
  2. I am currently learning Spanish through Duolingo (oh, I love the language!!) and plan to visit the gorgeous country by October 2022.
  3. I love love love reading books — especially science fiction, fantasy, and Indian mythology. I was a huge Harry Potter fan for a decade. Still am. But I don’t beat up another person when they same something wrong about it now.
  4. It has always been my dream to become a digital nomad for at least a year. And I have made a promise to myself to achieve it before 30.
  5. I have gotten obsessed with photography in the past year. So much that my husband has started getting pissed off because I have to stop the vehicle every time something catches my eye:)
  6. I aim to become a part-time social worker someday. I genuinely believe in the cycle of giving and taking. We humans have taken so much from mother earth; it is high time we give back.
  7. You will know that I like you a lot if I try to video-call you instead of texting you. I hate texting; it hurts my delicate fingers:)
  8. I’m trying to set up a business related to human connections since that’s something I’m passionate about. Still writing the pitch/structuring phase, but hopefully, something will come out soon.
  9. Oh yeah, last but not least, be ready to hear a lot of swearing if you are in my close circle.

Through My Lens

I started this weekly newsletter by December 2021 to promote human connections and stories. We meet such beautiful souls who inspire us throughout our travels and lives but go un-remembered in the long run. So this newsletter was a dedication to them, for the everyday connections which go unnoticed.

You can subscribe to the newsletter here. It would mean so much to me:)
https://throughmylens.substack.com/

I love love, love connecting with fellow writers and readers and helping them. So please feel free to email me at shruthisundaram2503@gmail.com for some exciting conversations and if you think I can help you in any way!

You can also D.M. me on LinkedIn and Twitter!

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Shruthi Sundaram
About Me Stories

I help employees transition into their mission-driven, passionate coaching biz & scale up to high-ticket clients. Book a free call: http://shruthisundaram.com