An experience at TEDxGurugram

When I was discussing TED talks during a coffee break with my friends, little did we know that we were only hours away from witnessing one for ourselves.

The theme for this year’s TEDxGurugram was “LEVEL UP”. With 8 speakers and 200 attendees, the event was a perfect opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds.

The event started off with an activity where the audience came together to play a unique game with boom whackers and made music in unison. The challenge was to level-up with each attempt that set the pace with the theme. Since we had our own misconceptions about Talk events, it was refreshing to start the day and prepare ourselves for what was to come. What followed was a journey of various speakers and their incredible ideas and contribution to society.

Dinal Jain, born with a down-syndrome – went on to become a Gold Medalist in Special Olympics despite her disability. She shared, how much her consistent practice in swimming and yoga helped her to focus and concentrate on her passions. And this is not the end goal for her, when asked by the moderator regarding her dreams, she shyly replied that she wanted to open her own café, get married and have a family too. And, to the audience she said, I would like you all to help me find my boyfriend – there was a burst of laughter in the room

Avik Sarkar, Assistant Professor, ISB, shared his journey while working on several projects with the government. He introduced his idea to create a “Partnership based Accountability Platform”, that will be a centralized platform for the citizens to report and take advantage of the facilities that are available and at the same time defining accountabilities and building transparency around it by utilizing the data at disposal.

The project N-Pulse Prognostics was born out ofKajal Shrivastava’s dream to make Ayurveda and health practices more accessible and trustworthy to the world. NadiPulse is focused on building ergonomically precise, data-driven devices, which brings together modern technology and wisdom from the Vedas to create a revolutionary device.

Atishi’s talk on “Delhi’s Education Revolution”was a very inspiring success story on the transformation of Delhi Government Schools. With over 60% of the school-going children, dependent on government schools, she shared the government’s vision to provide not just a dignified environment but also preparing them to take on the future challenges, through the introduction of happiness project in the curriculum. The School Management Systems comprised of parents are set-up who support them in their undertakings.

When Rajiv Bajaj, Chairman, and MD, Bajaj Capital came on stage, our obvious assumption was him talking probably about his enterprise. To our surprise, he brought to light a very beautiful and interesting Japanese concept “Ikigai”. “Iki” stands for “Life” and “gai” for “flow”. Despite all success in his professional journey, he set on a quest for finding his purpose in life and that’s how he discovered his love for Japanese culture and Ikigai. Since then, he has been researching on the subject and also conducting “Ikigai” workshops.

Jonas Suchanek, born and brought up in Auroville, he is an “arborist” a concept that is new to India. Under the banner TreeCare India, his team has been doing exceptional work for creating a sustainable environment. In addition, has been working toward promoting and creating awareness around arboriculture in India through Education, Legislation, and Passion.

Last but the most powerful talk that also received a standing ovation from the audience was the story of Zainab Patel. As she grew up, she faced a lot of abuse while fighting for her identity. She was one of the petitioners of National Legal Services of Authority vs. Union of India, that led to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India, which declared transgender people to be a ‘third gender’, affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender.

As the theme goes, each moment about the event was a “Level Up”. The event closed with amazing performances by Shruti Jalhar and Djembefola United band.

And this is not the end, this is just a beginning – the talks and experiences shared by everyone including the speakers and the performers not just gives us reasons to be grateful for what we have and but also to make the best out of life through simple and impactful ideas. After all, its gratitude and what we give back to the society that gives real happiness.

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Guest Blog: Inspired

I am glad to present this week’s guest blog.  This week features World of Words a wonderful page owned by my friend. What I like about her writing is her talent to beautifully capture her moods 🙂 Presenting one of this and do check out her blog for more.

Inspired:

Inspired by the bounty showers of Rain,

She strolled the paths manned by the Tree Gods;

Her mind wandering the World of Mysteries,

She let herself dissolve into Oneness with the Great Love;

Enthralled at the Seraphic Beauty of Nature,

She embraced all the Love at once…

Kindled by the Earthly Scent,

She felt life breathing its way into her…

The Cold Winds cuddled her,

Stroking her hair strands and pampering every bit of her skin;

When Her Lips adorned her with Non-Stop Smiles,

And Her Eyes Smiled more than Her Lips,

She knew she was “Inspired in Love..!”

In the Moment and Forever.

Silence

A man whom I will call Akash, came rushing with a suitcase in his hands. Behind him was a young woman, let’s call her Vidya. He checked for their seat which turned out to be next to me.

Seeing me, I could sense that he was very relieved. He started inquiring my destination. I said, “Bhopal”.

He took out his phone for a video call. I was totally surprised when he handed over his phone to me and asked me to talk.

That was the moment I realized what was happening. The couple were differently abled, none of them could hear or speak.

On the other side of the phone was a very graceful woman. She had a very beautiful and genuine smile on her face. When she started speaking all she wanted was for me to assist her daughter at her destination.

There was no reason I would have denied this request. Akash left bidding goodbyes.

There was a pause for few minutes. I wanted to engage Vidya in conversations, but at the same time I had no clue how to do that. All of a sudden, she started asking me something in signs. From what I could make out she was asking about her berth. But she wasn’t confident if I understood. She immediately video called her mom and asked her the same thing. Her mom explained that she wanted to sleep after her lunch. And then she also stressed that there was no rush.

Sometime passed, I got back to my reading.

Meanwhile, I could see Akash and Vidya on a video call again. Expressing as much as they could, to let the other one know how much they loved and cared for.

It was a rare sight for me, because these days, it is the other way around where the priviledged people have nothing to speak as there are more interesting things going on which can’t be missed on their phones.

There were lots of questions going on in my mind- why did this happen to them, their life would be so difficult, how can a mother be so calm despite of all her fears, how can there be so much love? Why can’t this world be like them? Why don’t we value our blessings? Why do we keep chasing for more? And these questions went on until I chose to stop. 🙎‍♀️

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No less than a musical event!

She studied all corners of the small clinic. The walls had been converted into shelves housing all kinds of medicines. In between, lay a table and few chairs for the patients and visitors.

Dr. Ryan was attending to a patient. She took a corner seat, anxious and worried, for the purpose of her visit was her husband, that too just few days after their wedding. A few minutes passed by and her husband took his seat facing the doctor.

There was dead silence, she couldn’t make out why.  Finally, her husband broke the silence and showed his recent reports. He had a high blood pressure. The doctor listened very attentively to what he was saying and then took his blood pressure monitor from one of the drawers.

To her surprise, all of a sudden, Dr.Ryan started singing. She couldn’t recall which one it was except for the fact that it had to be a very old Hindi song. She was taken back to her memories of waiting to watch “Rangoli” on Doordorshan the only show that would have played the oldest songs that anyone could ever imagine.

The doctor paused for a second, his hands still at work, diagnosing and then signaled her husband to continue the song where he stopped. And he did as he was asked.

She sat there befuddled, watching an health check-up that turned out to be a duet.

It always feels good to be captured – candid

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