Soul People : What makes Soul&Surf tick? The amazing bunch of people that work with us of course. Soul People will introduce you to some of the incredible people we work in both Sri Lanka and India.
Words by Emma Brown | Photography by Steve Coombes & Pete Chamberlain | 16th October ‘16
Name: My name is Varghees
Where’s Home? Kovalam, Kerala
What’s your role at Soul&Surf: I’m a surf instructor
How did you start surfing?
I dropped out of school when I was 14 and a year later met a Belgian guy called Paul who runs a charitable school for dropouts. I started there and every weekend there were outdoor games which the volunteers there helped with. We used to play football and go the beach and one day one of the volunteers Jelle who knew how to surf offered to teach me. I’d never heard of surfing before because it’s not a thing in India. I trained really hard and loved it, it’s so much fun and really frees your mind. I got a job at the Kovalam Surf Club and became an ISA Surf Instructor. Ed & Sofie visited my school one day, spoke to Jelle about my story and offered me a job at Soul & Surf.
What does Soul mean to you?
Soul means respect and a peaceful way of living
What inspires you about your work?
I love surfing because its so much fun. If you’re feeling anything; sadness or frustration or anything like that you just take your board, go surf and it refreshes your mind. It’s different every time you go out, every wave is different to the last and the feelings you have change all the time.
What’s your goal?
I haven’t thought about my future too much, I just want to keep surfing and teaching people how to surf. One day I would love to set up my own surf school and teach other kids like me how to surf.
My life has completely changed because of Paul, Jelle and Ed, I would have been a fisherman still if it wasn’t for them. I’ve met lots of people by being at the beach and have got to travel to Portugal, Sri Lanka and the Andaman Islands. My favourite place to surf is probably the Andaman Islands and a secret spot near to my home town.