Out Of Office: Supriya Nagarajan of Manasamitra

Supriya Nagarajan

TopicUK talks to Supriya Nagarajan of south asian arts organisation, Manasamitra, to find out how she switches off outside of work.

You arrive home on Friday night after a busy week. What’s the first thing you do?

 At the end of every busy week I like to take a moment to let the week’s events wash over me, so I head to my very own quiet area in the kitchen where my favourite chair resides. Imported all the way from Singapore, it’s a beautiful mahogany wood design and has Chinese interior… and the fact it’s situated just by the heater, makes it the ideal place to relax with a cup of the finest tea. Often, I find myself getting lost in the world of music just sitting there.

It’s time for the weekend. What are we most likely to find you doing, and where?

 That all depends on whether I have an upcoming performance. If I do, then you are likely to find me in ‘performance mode’ – meditating, preparing the performance and, of course, drinking tea. During what I refer to as a ‘free weekend’, I like to spend a little time catching up on current affairs and the music of the week. Again, a fantastic cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment here. If it’s a cold winter weekend, I usually plan an elaborate food menu for the week ahead. One of my all-time favourite things to cook is a south Indian dish from scratch, so you might find me preparing the vegetables, or even breaking a coconut! The warmer weekends allow me to cultivate my herb garden whilst listening to the birds and admiring the ever so pretty flowers. Being outdoors really does make you feel fantastic. I have a really exciting tour coming up in the not-so-distant future, so I’m making a conscious effort to incorporate a balance of work and play into my weekends.

Saturday night arrives. What’s your idea of the perfect way to spend it?

 As a family we are keen walkers and love to find new spots all the time. So, I would have to say an evening walk as the sun is setting, followed by a home cooked south Indian vegetarian dish with my family and friends. Although, I enjoy cooking so much that I would most definitely insist on cooking the dish myself.

 It’s Sunday already. What tasks are usually on your ‘to-do’ list?

 Sundays to me are the day of preparation; the ideal day to plan ahead for the week and organise the family diary. If the weather permits, I will always try and schedule a walk in the great outdoors. Sometimes, we set off without a plan in the hope we will stumble across somewhere beautiful that we have never encountered. At the moment however, I’m spending my Sunday’s listening to lullabies from across the world for my forthcoming Lullaby- Sonic Cradle tour across the UK.

Work again tomorrow. Do you get the Sunday blues or look forward to getting back – and why?

There’s absolutely no Sunday blues! Music is my passion and I love what I do. In fact, sometimes I create more work for myself because I enjoy it so much and want to progress my career. It’s a fantastic position to be in, being able to build a career based on something you adore and makes you feel alive.

The weekend’s almost over. What’s the last thing you do before you hit the hay ahead of another week?

For me, there’s nothing better than settling down in bed on a Sunday evening with a brilliant book. In fact, I can’t go a whole week without reading something! Whether it be fiction, an autobiography or a non-fiction, if it grabs my attention, I’ll read it. The last book I read was ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari. It was fabulous!