What I love the most about playing football is that it feels like I am wearing an Active Noise Cancelling Headphone to block the outside world – I am not aware of anything else apart from the game itself. I don’t feel obligated, nor do I have any defeating thoughts, because there isn’t going to be a performance review at the end. I can live in the moment and enjoy myself. There are very few things that make me feel that I am alive. Football is at the top of the list.

My name is Bharath Chandar – Bharath means ‘India’, which also happens to be my country of origin. I currently work for Codec Ireland as an IT Consultant. Since childhood, I have always had an affinity for computers. Be it gaming or making simple web designs, I have spent most of my life sitting in front of a screen.

I am lucky to have lived in a lot of cities throughout my life. Coming from Kodaikanal, India (known as Queen of Hill stations), I have also lived in Madurai, Trichy, Vellore, and Chennai in India. I moved to Ireland in 2018 to pursue my masters in NUI Galway, and I’m grateful that I got an opportunity to move to Dublin to work with one of the top Irish IT consulting firms, Codec.

Outside of my job, I love Football and Guitar. I first became interested in football when I watched my cousin play a Euro 2000 video game on his PC, and I got addicted to playing that game (albeit with its ridiculously bad graphics). Since then, I haven’t looked back.

I play football casually in Dublin in a midfield position. As of November 2020, it’s been almost 8 months since I last stepped onto the field, but I hope there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! I also have tickets for the Euro 2021 Final in Wembley, so I hope this dire situation changes – I can’t wait to watch my first live football game!

I currently support Manchester United and one of my biggest inspirations is Cristiano Ronaldo. I have followed him for close to 15 years and he is the GOAT (Greatest of all time), in my opinion. I admire his work ethic, hard work, and mentality.

One of my favourite experiences with football was when I attended the trials for NUI Galway Football Team, and I got the opportunity to talk to the Head Coach, who’s a friend of Roy Keane. He taught me the importance of positional play and discipline on the pitch. I learned more in the 15 minutes I spent in that training session than I did in my entire life.

Looking at my other passion, I also play the guitar. I have a flair for anything related to Latin: the Spanish language, the flamenco music, and the guitar. This started when I was 5 or 6 – I first watched an episode of Tom and Jerry, and heard a piece of España cañí from the Bull Fight festival in Spain.

I play the rhythm guitar, and I recently started learning how to play Classical guitar. My favourite genres to play are Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal Rock, and Classical Spanish. Jimi Hendrix is my favourite guitarist, and l love his impeccable technique and style. I also enjoy listening to La Cumparsita, El Choclo, and Romance Anonimo.

Playing the guitar taught me that one can go from zero to successful with dedication and practice. Do you want to learn Babe I’m Gonna Leave You by Led Zeppelin? Wear your headphones, look at the guitar tabs, and practice until you can play the song. It’s as simple as that.

Football and Guitar have definitely been a benefit to my technological career/goals. My pastimes have helped me a lot by keeping me engaged and are an escape from reality. I never fail to include Music and Football in my busy schedule. If anything, it has taught me how to find balance.

My advice to anyone interested in Football or Guitar is to fake it till you make it. Trying to score a trivela goal? Watch how Ricardo Quaresma moves his body, adjusts his foot, and then takes a shot. Want to play Master of Puppets on the guitar quickly? Look at how James Hetfield alternate picks every note effectively. Above all else, it’s very important to know that if a hobby doesn’t come bursting out of you despite everything else, don’t do it. If it doesn’t come unasked out of your heart, your mind, your body, and your gut, don’t do it. If you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it.

There is always more than tech. I encourage others to come forward and share their interests and life experiences with their colleagues because there’s always more to someone than meets the eye. Who knows, Jennifer from the Development team might be the singer in your next band and Rob from Finance might be the left-back you have been longing for!

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