When I joined Infosys Legal Department, I was first told that he was the runners up of the Infy Idol. Then when you get to know more about him, you realise he is multifaceted. Anyone who knows him, will surely like him. Down to earth, fun and helpful.
Meet the Musically Sporty Lawyer, Mr. Danny Khumlo. Here are our talk bits.
Tell me about the “KID Danny”!
I was born and brought up in a small town of Chandel in the state of Manipur, located in the north-eastern part of India. I am the third child among five siblings in my family. My Father is a teacher in a government higher secondary school in Chandel and my mom is a retired primary school teacher. I spent most of my blissful childhood days at Chandel growing up among hills & trees, open fields, forests, Rivers, Streams, open sky and other beautiful things Mother Nature had to offer. I spent most of my schooling days in Boarding Schools at Manipur.
Your journey from Chandel to Hyderabad?!
After completing my 12th standard from John Stone Higher Secondary School, I started pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Arts (BA) but somewhere deep in my heart, I wanted to pursue a professional course and that is when I decided to quit BA and step out of Manipur for greener pastures. I convinced my parents that I should either pursue law or BBA and they contacted my uncle who was a colonel in the Indian Army posted at Kolkata. I came down to Kolkata from Manipur and took entrance exams for law and BBA. I got selected for NALSAR and BBA (IIAS) and after a lot of deliberation, I decided to go with NALSAR.
I would say that the decision to get out of Manipur and pursue law in Hyderabad has been a life changing moment in my life. But, the journey from Chandel to Hyderabad has not been a rosy one. It was journey all alone, adjusting to everything new, right from the weather, food, people, lifestyle, education system etc. The sudden change (step up) in the education system was the toughest hurdle. From DM College of Arts in Manipur, I was at NALSAR, amongst some of the brightest minds of the country. During my 5 years at NALSAR, there were moments where I wanted to give up. But today, I am proud of myself that I hung on to it and did not give up.
As cliché as it sounds… How did you choose law as a career?
Law was never my first choice of career and I always wanted to take up sports professionally. Even today, sports continue to be my first love and legal profession is only my breadwinner. When I left Manipur for Kolkata in 2000, I had secret plans to join a college in Kolkata and pursue football or cricket (which of course was not discussed with my parents or uncle). The secret plan never took off as I had heap of entrance exam books waiting for me in Kolkata as soon as I landed there.
How I chose law as a career – I disliked math and science from the bottom of my heart! Therefore, when I wanted to pursue a professional course, logically it had to be something that did not have math or science and that is where I picked law. As luck would have it, I got selected to NALSAR, which was the only law school entrance exam I appeared for.
“Civil wrongs,” “Black and white,” … …how did these law colors become musical colors?
Music has been my passion since childhood. As a child I remember, my voice was pretty awful (not that I have a very nice voice now :-p). But that did not deter me from singing. I actively participated in all singing competitions, jamming with friends and singing in churches. After lots of singing, gradually my voice settled down and my singing improved and there has been no looking back since then. I have been singing and associated with several rock bands right from my school days till today. I also love to write songs and have recorded few of them just for fun. My association with these rock bands have been the most memorable part of my life. I’ve been part of many performances in clubs, pubs and college shows with “Civil Wrongs” (in Hyderabad during my college days) and with “Black & White” and “Dhun Fusion” during my time here at Bangalore and I love and enjoy every moment of it. I just love being on stage and performing live in front of the cheering audience. I wish to continue doing so whenever the opportunities knock at me!
I know you are also very much into sports. Tell me more about your time on the field.
As cliché it may sound, music and sports to me are like air and water. They both are a must for my existence. I am an avid sportsman and I play quite a few sports but football and cricket are my favourite ones. In fact, I’ve played district and state level football (as a goalkeeper) during my junior days. I love to catch up with sports on weekends or on any other day (just that I have to bunk work if it is a weekday). Bangalore’s wonderful climate is also very good for outdoor sports. I am part of the Infosys Bangalore football team and therefore get to participate in lot of corporate tournaments which keeps the competitive adrenalin flowing. Playing sports certainly helps me relax and gets me recharged for the week ahead.
How do you balance and manage between U and The Other U?
My wife respects the fact that I was first married to sports and music and then to her, so it’s all peaceful….lol. On a serious note, I have a very understanding wife and I did have to make minor adjustments like taking up more of football against (cricket consumes more time while football is done in 1-2 hours) and spending lesser but quality jamming time with band….One of the main reasons, I choose to be an in-house lawyer is also because of the fact that it provides me the flexibility to pursue sports and music during my free time.
It seems like the Mrs is a Speeding Queen!
Olive drives really well and she always wanted to try her hand in racing, but her family restrainted her from doing it as they thought it was too dangerous a sport for her. But after marriage, I encouraged her to go for it and I’ve managed to handle her family members quite well so far :-p. She’s driven her first race in Bangalore with a stock car and was placed third which is an awesome result. I am more than happy to support her in her endeavor if she decides to take up driving seriously.
Do you want to share about any incident/person/thing that has an impact/inspired you!
My Dad has been a source of great inspiration for me. Dad is the third child of the nine siblings born to a poor Parents. He never had the best of education nor upbringing but in spite of all the shortcomings, he managed to be the provider and big brother for all his siblings and his extended family members. He toiled very hard to find a Government job for himself and gradually also reach a stature of a respected public figure in my District. He sacrificed a lot to ensure that, we (his five children) had the best education and facilities he never had.
Manipur literally means the land of jewels and Danny is surely one. For me, Danny’s story tells more than one thing. All it takes to pursue what one likes, is the zeal to do it. Time management comes almost like a default option when one has a zeal within. Career building should never be an excuse to let go off other passions, otherwise one may repent some day in life. And lastly, a big shout out to Danny’s wife, Olive too 🙂
Good luck to both of you in all your endeavours!!!