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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An encounter with old world charm

To escape the heat, I was looking to hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw as soon as possible. But, the roads were already deserted with just a few people here and there.

Standing on the road side, I was kind of getting impatient. I finally decided to take a metro which was at a walking distance from where I was. At the crossroads was this horse-carriage parked and a couple of men descended from it.

There was a puff of smoke in the air and the person holding the cigarette was the coachman. Now there is nothing unusual in the act of smoking, but there was something else in the way this man carried himself as he smoked with style and attitude. The entire view was so picturesque. For a moment it made me forget why I started.

Though I couldn’t capture that moment, I requested if I could take his picture with his horse carriage.

Take a little time for yourself

I strongly believe, that if there is anyone who can make you happy, then it has to be yourself. No money or person can bring you the happiness which you would get by investing in yourself. I never let go of any opportunity that would allow me to explore the unknown outside of my routine.

Attending a workshop on “Urdu Calligraphy” was an experience of a lifetime in recent times.  Persian, Arabic, and Urdu are few of the many languages that I have always been in awe of. The carvings and writings in Urdu or Arabic found in historical Mughal monuments have had amazing stories to say. Often wanting to decode the beautiful and artistic writings, experiencing the writing myself through the calligraphy helped me connect more deeply to this art.

As I held the pen and started to try my hands on a new form of writing – I was feeling so content with the work I was doing. There was no pressure to be perfect or to be better than someone else. As we were experimenting in our groups, there was only smiles, laughter and learnings we had to exchange with each other.

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Credit goes to Project Kitabat and Hobbmob for organizing this memorable event.  Follow their page for the next event in your city.

Sunshine ☀

Home 🏡 is my sanctuary. I not only get to spend time with my family but also to be near to nature. My home is located in the outskirts of the city because of which it is unaffected by the hustle and bustle.

Whether it is the sunrise 🌅 or sunsets 🌇, chirping of the birds, feeling the cold breeze, or watching kids play cricket, my home is a one stop for finding peace.

Today, was no different. Here’s what I found :

Me..

Found this from a page I follow..

I’m watching you..

An off from work on a weekday is truly a bliss. I slept like a log the entire day. It’s when I woke up in the evening, I realized how much I was deprived of sleep.

I made myself some coffee and as usual sat down to relax in my small balcony garden. It was already dark and I could hear the laughter of kids playing downstairs and a group of women chanting prayers on the other side.

When you are surrounded by buildings there isn’t much to see.

But in the dark, I saw this little creature watching me.

In a wink, I was taken back to my childhood memories with my cousins. Seeing a helicopter butterfly (that’s what we called it as kids) always fascinated us. They came in different colors and usually found in groups. We’d work hard to catch them, hold it for few seconds and then let it fly.

This one was a different view, without the colors still beautiful.