Mumbai Memoir 51- Mind Matterz- A decade of serving Mumbai & beyond.
After clearing the State & National level tests for lectureship in year 2000, I got appointed as a Senior college lecturer in a Mumbai based college. Till year 2005 I served the college and enjoyed the teaching process and vibing with youthful souls around. The restless entrepreneur in me then decided to quit my well-paying & stable job & embark on the road less travelled. I was sure not to take up a new job, rather start my own set up which later would evolve into an organization.
With this singular vision in mind, I started searching rental office space for conducting my independent practise as a Psychologist, to begin with. Finally, on 1st April 2006, I got an ideal place in South Mumbai, that kick-started my entrepreneurial adventure- Mind Matterz (A Psychological Guidance Unit) www.mindmatterz.net . It is a psychology based consulting & training service started with the belief that mental health is equally important just the way physical health is addressed world-wide. Back then, between seeing clients, I use to enjoy taking up creative writing/college text book writing assignments and training/mentoring aspiring Psychologists. Like any entrepreneur would face, I too faced the ups and downs of life, especially when the rental place contract renewal was rejected after two years of successful practice.
It was a test of my passion then. I started operating from a North Mumbai location as I didn’t want external circumstances to decide the fate of my passion! Daily train commute & other ‘Mumbai blues’ was indeed tiresome, but the joy of making a positive difference in people’s life, would act like anesthesia to bear all the physical and psychological pain that I suffered during those struggling years. February 2010, the State television took my interview on prime time news, in which I clearly communicated to the masses of how the Indian society still finds approaching a Psychologist/Psychiatrist as a taboo and a matter of social shame. In the 15-minute long interview, I was determined to encourage the masses to approach a mental health professional at the right time. The interview is in Marathi language. Here’s its link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3zhbBt6QVU
Thereafter my practice evolved from individual psychotherapy to group therapy via my modules that I designed for a media academy named Sound Ideaz Academy. I was delighted to know that the views of the academy’s Founder-Director, Mr. Pramod Chandorkar, matched with mine. We both believe, as to how important it is to educate the youth on various psychological skills for their qualitative survival (both on personal and professional front).
Since its establishment in 2010, Sound Ideaz Academy has just not given the sound industry good sound engineers, but is also aiming to create psychologically ‘sound’ engineers with the Personality Development modules that they have incorporated in their regular curriculum by tie up with Mind Matterz’s training program. For more information on Sound Ideaz Academy here’s a link: www.soundideazacademy.com
Many more projects followed thereafter which continues till date. One very interesting project was offered to me by Chaitainya R, Founder-Director of web portal www.hatkeshaadi.com It’s a Bangalore based portal that has given a whole new meaning to dating and thereby finding a compatible partner to enjoy life. The entire behaviour & psychological R and D required for this portal was done by Mind Matterz.
Over the years Mind Matterz’s service has crystallized into a format that focusses on helping people to solve their problems by empowering them with research based knowledge of psychological science through our online/offline/phone counselling services and by offering mind management training (online/offline) through our School of Emotional Intelligence (SEI), which was recently established in November’2015. SEI’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolofEmotionalIntelligence/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Besides this we also have a Merchandise unit. All our merchandise have ‘mindfulness’ value. We wish to sell and promote ‘well-being’ products that radiate vibrant colours, music and sound that is soothing and inspires the soul, tasty & healthy food, Perfumes, ‘well-being’ based events, holiday tours, other professional services and practically everything that will positively energize one’s mind with optimism. We have tied up with few artists and service providers who share our vision and values. As per our resolution, 10% profit sales of all the merchandise we sell is annually donated to social causes in the area of Education, Health (Mental & Physical both) & Media projects.
As of now we have four products on display on our online merchandise store www.mindcart.in Pranav Ajgaonkar, Founder-Director of www.frekart.in & his hardworking team has set the online stores for us. Our very own Emotions Chocolates, is our in-house brand of dark chocolates which are presented in boxes that accompany with tags having positive quotes. The chocolates are home-made product made by one of our Mind Matterz’s associate, Miss. Priya Sanghavi. Dark chocolates have both physical and psychological benefits. If eaten in appropriate quantity, it regulates blood pressure, releases the body’s ‘joy chemical’ endorphins and thereby regulates moods. Since 2012 we have been getting retail and corporate orders from across India. Click here to order your box with positive quote inside: http://www.mindcart.in/fk_collection/?l1=EIMJL
Yet another in-house product of ours is our Inspirational Calendar (Apr’16-March’17). All photographs are original and are clicked by either me or my associates, who have donated their art. Every page has an ‘inspirational quote’ which serves as ‘positive affirmations’ to kick start the day. Last year our ‘inspirational calendar’ was gifted to the Queen of Great Britain, Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II!!! We were delighted to receive a gratitude filled letter from the Buckingham Palace that appreciated my work and that of Mind Matterz. Click here for ordering your copy of this year’s inspirational calendar: http://www.mindcart.in/fk_collection/?l1=MLKIH&l2=MLKII
Besides this we have also promoted art work of a talented artist Manjiri Chandorkar of Art Ideaz Studio. We believe that her art work has the potential to add value to your home/office’s décor and refresh your visual senses. Click here to order Manjiri’s art work: http://www.mindcart.in/fk_collection/?l1=MLKIK
Lastly we are also offering 2 of our Mind Management & Personality Development related online courses. Click here to pick a course for you: http://www.mindcart.in/fk_collection/?l1=EIMKE
Its been 10 years since me and my organization established its roots in Mumbai. A decade has pass by with fun and hardships. There are many more milestones to achieve and I believe it can only be possible by bringing the right people onboard. My ‘Ekla Chalo Rey’ motto (Bengali for ‘walk alone undeterred on the righteous path’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VcaiUOmjDQ ) has borne fruits as many like-minded people have joined on my journey till date. I thank my core team associates for their dedication, commitment and application of their intelligence to all the projects they were part of. The work of Advocate Geeta Sonawane, Priya Sanghavi, Fiona Pereira, Amruta Mahajan-Khatkul, Dipashri Varaskar, Tanvi Tavsalkar, Ankita Shah-Pillai, Mr. Aaruni Singh, Dhiren Khantwal, Aditya Chichkar & Aakash Patwari is appreciated who have stood by me as I led on various professional fronts. Besides this I thank all our well-wishers who want us to spread goodness with our work. To conclude, I would want to end with a poetic line-
“Two roads diverged in the wood,
And I took the road less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference” -Robert Frost.
Photo credits: Shraddha C. Sankulkar.
Photos & Captions:
Mind Matterz & School of Emotional Intelligence- Making India Psychologically Strong!
Mind Matterz core team
We all are missionaries in our own small way! Mine is promoting Psychology in all possible ways.
Mind Matterz receiving a letter from Queen of Great Britain- Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II
Sound Ideaz Academy- Creating ‘sound’ Engineers! Me with Pramod Chandorkar & Tirthankar Das (Directors) & the students.
Mind Matterz’s merchandise on our online store www.mindcart.in
Colourful Inspirational calendar from Mind Matterz displayed on www.mindcart.in
Our Inspirational Calendar titled ‘Positive Energy’!
Annual donation to social causes so far:Top left- Mind Matterz funded engineering students for their project at VJTI’s ‘Technovanza’- The team won 1st prize in the Robo War competition. Top right- Mind Matterz funded a short film based on a psychological theme- The Final Full Stop. Bottom left- Sponsoring solar lanterns towards slum kid’s education at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Bottom right- Contributed to Anti-Tobacco Campaign in collaboration with Indian Cancer Society.
R & D for www.hatkeshaadi.com
Mind Matterz’s professional activities.