BENGALURU: Making friends offline is a challenge today. But what if you could meet people face-to-face, play childhood games and just have fun? It is this idea that helped form That Extra Step. Shubha Pradha Somashekar, (31), a former corporate employee, her brother, Harihara S S (25), and Abhay Toshniwal, their mentor, came up with the concept. “The idea for That Extra Step came to us in our living room, when we realised that there isn’t much to do in the city that doesn’t involve alcohol,” says Somashekar.
The first event they organised was a movie night at Cooke Town with 25 people. Hosting similar events helped them grow their community.“I’ve found that things are always done better as a team. But nowadays, it is harder to connect to people offline and we wanted to change that. We’re a full-time registered business now,” said Harihara. “That Extra Step currently has a community of 90 members, apart from those that participate in other events.
As of now, we do not have a fixed venue and often collaborate with places like The Bohemian House. Some events are free, while others are chargeable,” he added. By fixing the problem of urban isolation. it seeks to create a judgement-free space. They started by playing frisbee and badminton at Cubbon Park, and regularly host movie and game nights, sing-alongs and private events.
“I’ve been associated with That Extra Step since last November. I was in Mumbai for a year and found that I was asocial. But this has changed me. I find this concept extremely useful because we often miss out on connecting offline. In fact, I play the guitar and have been able to collaborate with fellow musicians too,” said Jyotish Mani, CMC Administrator at L&TI.
The group consists of individuals above age 16. “A friend recommended it to me. It’s been three months since I joined and every event that I’ve taken part in is like a vacation. We play games like chain-cut and woodcutter, which is usually relaxing,” said marketing professional Akash Bhat.