Note to readers: Morning Stars is a series of interviews with achievers across fields about their morning routine and how they get ready for the day ahead. Mornings bring optimism and a fresh start. And how we spend them sets the tone for the day.
Before the clickety-clack of the computer keyboard and the dings of the phone take over his day, Cygnet Infotech managing director Niraj Hutheesing surrenders himself to the melodious strains of the santoor. Some mornings it can be another form of Indian classical music or Jain prayers. Along with a workout and breakfast, this prepares Hutheesing for the day ahead.
Edited excerpts from an interaction:
Where are you currently? Please describe in brief the scene and mood around you.
I am at my home in Ahmedabad, relaxing on my garden swing. I am surrounded by beautiful plants and the chirping of birds. My mind is calm and I feel blissful.
Are you a morning person? What time do you get up on working days?
I am a complete morning person and wake up around 5.30 or 6 am every day. Even on weekends, my day begins quite early. I love the peaceful atmosphere and pleasant weather in the morning. Fresh morning air ushers in positive thoughts to kick-start the day.
How many hours of sleep do you need?
Six to seven hours of sleep is good enough for me to stay fresh and function properly.
What were your mornings like at college or university? Can you share a funny anecdote?
I studied at St Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad. For some of our subjects, we used to have early morning classes. I would always reach early for my class. We had a very small class of only 12 students for one of my subjects. One day, along with my professor, I decided to play a prank on the students coming in late. We shifted the class to the library and put up a cryptic message on the board to decipher and reach the library. The sight of my classmates staggering into the library half-sleep is one of the funniest moments from college days I can recall.
Do you reach for your phone for news and messages right away or do you stay offline for a while?
I check my phone for important messages after I have had my breakfast.
What are the two or three things you do in the morning that are important for you to start the day on the right note?
Being in a state of silence and being with myself are the two most important things for me in the morning. I workout six days a week with a constant change in the set of exercises. I also use the time available every morning to learn about technology innovations and keep myself abreast of the latest developments. This helps me share these insights, along with my perspective, during discussions at work.
What is your regular news source in the morning?
Some key media outlets from where I gain knowledge and information include The Times of India, Moneycontrol.com, CNN, NDTV and India Today.
What do you like to see on the breakfast table?
A cup of hot tea with traditional Gujarati breakfast.
Any song or tune that you like to listen to in the morning or which captures the morning mood for you?
I love the sound of different Jain stotras (hymns) during my mornings. As an alternative, I love to listen to Indian classical instrumental music. My favourite is Shivkumar Sharma on the santoor.
What is the one thing you do on weekend mornings that you don't on weekdays?
Over the weekend, my mornings are usually devoted to family. It is an extended conversation at the breakfast table, where the entire family sits together to discuss how the week went by, along with having other interesting conversations.